Technical Difficulties: Why I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist

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[Protip: It's because I'm a man-fox]

Last year I wrote a post about how I’m not a Feminist. Today, a year later, I write why I’m also not an Men’s Rights Activist (MRA), because apparently people think that not being a Feminist automatically makes me an MRA.

Below is a list of reasons, in no particular order, why I am not an MRA or identify with the MRM (Men’s Rights Movement). I would like to make absolutely certain here that, obviously, my observations and experiences are my own and do not necessarily represent the Truth (with capital T).

Conspiracy Thinking

From my experience with MRAs and the MRM, the vast majority of participants in the movement seem to have a very skewed perception of reality that lends itself to “conspiracy thinking”. While the MRM does not feature concepts like The Patriarchy (TM), which is in itself a conspiracy theory, a large amount of people seem to subscribe to at least a few areas where they think a vast conspiracy is taking place. As an example could be cited the often common thread in discussions that Feminism as an ideology is/was a Marxist plant to destroy the American spirit and way of life. Other examples include trying to look for conspiracies in the government, mind control through media, vast pharmaceutical conspiracies about male birth control (the “suppression” of a Male Pill) or medical conspiracies about suppressing extracorporeal pregnancy technology (Artifical Womb technology).

As a skeptic I can not be part of any group that so readily jumps head-first into conspiracy thinking if it rationalizes certain behaviors or circumstances.

Libertarian Nutfuckery

While not every single MRA is a libertarian, the proportion of activists with libertarian leanings is extremely high in the MRM. Most of the prolific MRAs identify with the Libertarian philosophy and most of those have hard-core Libertarian leanings. Now, this in itself is not a problem as every person has different views and it would be unreasonable to expect a movement to be completely homogeneous on unrelated issues.

However the problem here comes in my experience from the fact that the MRM has a curious relationship between its political leanings and their activism. The MRM philosophy and public appearance is largely colored by these prolific MRAs. This in turn attracts more people that are more interested in the libertarian agenda than they are interested in actual Men’s Rights, creating a similar situation I experienced in the Atheism/Skeptics movement where the social justice issues overtook it and hijacked the movement, sundering it. The reason for this is simple, the MRM is a counter-movement to hardcore Feminism and with it a counter to “cultural marxism” which in turn attracts the hardcore opposite position. It’s a bit like Skepticism attracts people that have an axe to grind with religion/creationism but are not actually interested in critical thought.

Sooner or later this will lead to a radicalization of the movement or a hijack by other values unrelated to men’s rights, like calling the EU a “totalitarian marxist regime” (AVFM quote).

Capture

Oops, too late.

A Counter-Movement

From my observation of the MRM, the movement is largely centered around anti-feminism, or at least thats what the prolific writers and video/audio producers of the movement frequently put out. The problem I have with this approach is mentioned above, being against something is insufficient for a movement. I am all for opposing Feminism where it encroaches on rights, but basing a whole movement around just being reactionary will lead to radicalization because some people won’t be against it “enough”.

It’s a fundamental question of what the goal is, stopping feminism or advocating Men’s Rights? Both aren’t mutually exclusive but being against Feminism doesn’t make you support Men’s Rights. Traditionalists are against Feminism because they want a return of the atomic family in all its oppressive glory and the MRM is attracting those like flies by just being a counter-movement. Shouting down feminists at rallies, while funny, isn’t helping Men’s Rights.

Being a counter-movement didn’t work for ANTIFA and it won’t work for the MRM.

A Misogynistic Axe To Grind

Similarly to the above the MRM also attracts men with an axe to grind against women. Let me be clear here, I am not insinuating that the MRM in itself is a cover for misogyny or that it is a cover for sexists, but rather that it’s counter-structure is supportive in attracting the wrong type of people that will exploit the movement for their own agendas. Instead of promoting Men’s Rights and gender equity these people are again interested in gender supremacy and will use the movement to covertly push towards it. Not only that, these members will marginalize the MRM in the publics perception as an anti-female hate group.

The public perception of the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) part of the MRM is already not helping.

In Conclusion

The MRM is unfortunately doomed to fail just like Feminism did, the same problems Feminism had/has are still there, just viewed from the other side of the mirror. I am more than happy to support any single men’s rights issue together with the MRM, but I am not going to stick my arm in the anthill and declare my affiliation. The way the MRM has been going once it gained traction on the Internet is not dissimilar to other movements like Atheism or Skepticism and I can see the end from where I stand. I guess at some point I have to also write an article why I’m not an Atheist while being an atheist and not a Skeptic while being a skeptic. Reasons would include that both movements have been moving up their own arse since 2009, just like the MRM is now starting to.

I am more than happy to retain my individuality on those issues without risking my association with a crumbling movement that will inevitably turn into a shitstorm and a cesspool of crazy.

8 Responses to Technical Difficulties: Why I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist

  1. Frez says:

    Reblogged this on fredtroy.

  2. Sarah Ling says:

    “Why I’m not an Mens Rights Activist”

    “an Mens”… um lol???

    • tradamtm says:

      Originally the title read “Why I’m not an MRA” then i decided to expand the abbreviation for clarity, the “an” stayed as an oversight.

  3. gunlord500 says:

    Ah, another lucky week. It’s been a while since another blogger managed to encapsulate my thoughts on an issue so well, and you’ve succeeded here. You seem to be coming from pretty much the same place I am: Not that fond of feminism, but not buying into the “manosphere” snake-oil either. Pretty much every critique you’ve made of the manosphere is something I would have made, but not as well as you have here.

    I will say, though, that ironically enough, feminists have done more for “men’s rights” causes than actual MRAs have, for the most part. I’d really like a reliable male BC pill, but I’ve seen absolutely no reliable evidence that feminists have done anything to shoot it down (What really nixed the first attempt, IIRC, was that one of its components called Gossypol had a bunch of nasty side effects). Feminists have, however, done at least some work towards increasing awareness and support for male BC; the director of http://www.newmalecontraception.org/ is a woman (Elaine Lissner). I haven’t heard of any MRAs or MGTOWs or whatever doing anything about contraceptive options for men other than complaining about how they don’t exist.

    Still, there’s too much misandry in even “mainstream” feminist culture, like that disgusting Jezebel article about beating up one’s boyfriend, for me to give the movement too much support. I think I’ll be most happy to “Go My Own Way,” which means, curiously, that I’ll be going far away from both the feminists and the MGTOWs as well (I’ve actually written a post where I describe my reasons for not being a MGTOW in greater depth, maybe you’d be interested). Hah!

    As an aside, though, you seem to be a pretty interesting fella…while I’m not a part of the “Skeptic” movement per se, I’m certainly quite interested in video games and the philosophy of game design. Methinks I’ll be following your blog!

    • tradamtm says:

      I’ve since hung up my Skeptic mantle, i am still interested in reason, science and skepticism but I’m not active in the movement anymore, it has burned out. The time was not wasted however and I never regret being part of it.

      I’ve read your post on MGTOWs and I liked the comparison to lesbian separatists, however I would not compare them directly but rather just assume they are the mirror image. Everything about the MRM/MGTOW behavior/presentation seems to reflect Feminism as a movement except with an tangential ideological flip.

      While hardcore feminism strives towards collectivism, the MRM strives towards individualism (to an extreme with MGTOW).
      While Feminism is largely socialist, the MRM is largely libertarian (the american/US flavor, as aspirational individual anarchism).
      While Feminism is largely culturally liberal, the MRM is traditional.
      etc.etc.

      Both movements get the approach wrong, even in their absolutely tamest forms, and are severely tainted by the ideologies they managed to attract.

      The sanest solution is to let both movements die and move on to individual issues right now. That or create a new movement/label which I invented just now:

      ♦GEM♦ – Gender Egalitarian Movement

      You have to admit the acronym is snazzy and cool.

  4. Brian N. says:

    The cross-culturing of MRM and libertarianism is puzzling to me. With the exception of things like unfair treatment in divorce courts MRM concerns are completely beside the issues which concern libertarians. It has some similarities to the way the Trots infiltrated a number of leftist organizations in the 20th century (especially environmentalism, whence the term watermelon as insult) and it has a similar stink about it. The two ought part ways.

    • tradamtm says:

      “The cross-culturing of MRM and libertarianism is puzzling to me. With the exception of things like unfair treatment in divorce courts MRM concerns are completely beside the issues which concern libertarians.”

      The MRM seems to place high value on individualism and individual economic responsibility as a response to what they perceive as feminist/female privileges in divorce courts and how men are (economically) disenfranchised upon divorce.
      Its the MRMs only “solid” issue, i.e. an issue that is a visible and easily arguable from an economic and/or legal standpoint. Its not surprising that this would attract the libertarian mindset and as most of the prolific writers already -are- libertarians that started in the movement out of economic rather than philosophical concerns it is even less so.
      They also extend this philosophy as a counter towards what they perceive to be the feminist mindset of ceding responsibility to the state but asking for equal privileges (voting rights without the Draft, etc).

      • Brian N. says:

        All well and understood but…at the same time I would expect most libertarians to have the same instinctual hostility towards it that they do towards some schools of feminism. If feminism is Marxist (some schools are, no denying that) or akin to Marxism then MRA is akin to cold war era conservatism. In the early days of National Review, YAF and Willi Schlamm and all the rest the libertarians were left out in the cold because they despised both sides of the divide. Who knows, maybe some parts of the MRM and the individualist feminists will get together, heal the wounds and a new movement will terrorize the country with slogans like ‘can’t we all just get along?’ and ‘I respect your right to disagree as long as you respect mine’. Hey, it could happen.

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