Technical Difficulties: Why I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist
November 15, 2013 8 Comments
[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).
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.
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).
Oops, too late.
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.
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.