Don't Be That
October 24, 2013 10:54 AM   Subscribe

For the past decade, the Men's Rights Movement has been gaining traction on the Internet—and growing ever more radical in its attacks on feminists. R. Tod Kelly explores whether a movement where moderates are marginalized can ever break into the mainstream.
posted by MisantropicPainforest (181 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is there a Betteridge's law for deks?
posted by Jahaza at 11:00 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Serious questions: Why is it that I'm finding more and more often that ideologues are using the term "ideologue" to describe people that have views counter to their own absolutist positions? Is this something coming from the Fox News/Talk Radio line of discourse like using "liberal" and "progressive" as negative terms?

Also, incidentally, I just mentioned yesterday that a good name for a old dudes' band or a muscle car owned by a said middle aged dude would be "the Masculine Mistake".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:04 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


explores whether a movement where moderates are marginalized can ever break into the mainstream.

but once you are there, marginalize away (See also: Republican)
posted by Dr. Twist at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2013


Jaclyn Friedman's take at http://prospect.org/article/good-men%E2%80%99s-rights-movement-hard-find is perhaps a better analysis, in that it doesn't let off the hook those that are still disgustingly vile but merely not vitriolic.
posted by mystyk at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


In 2012, MRM writer Matt Forney penned the now-infamous treatise entitled "The Necessity of Domestic Violence," in which he declared that women "should be terrorized by men; it's the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps." Zed the Zen Priest, the MRM pioneer described by AV4M as “a warrior in the battle for sanity” caused a ruckus on the Internet last month by suggesting that if you see a four-year-old girl drowning, you should let her drown lest she grow into a woman and, perhaps, a feminist.

the inside of my brain right now
posted by theodolite at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2013 [92 favorites]


*Ctrl-F "red pill"* A-yup, there it is. Sorry anybody who still finds this a useful metaphor: MRM has poisoned it forever.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


> “I AM HERE TO F--K YOUR SHIT UP.”

The only guy I know who dabbles in MRM stuff mouths all the usual platitudes about equal rights for all, but on a base level seems deeply angered by the fact that white men don't have their run of the place like they used to.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2013 [30 favorites]


On the effectiveness of giving 'em enough rope:
Unlike everyone else in the MRM that I spoke with, Hembling claims that there was no catalytic event—no nasty breakup, no traumatic childhood, no conniving ex-wife—that steered him to the movement. Rather, he says that he was attracted to it by its sheer intellectual merits. (For example, the theory that women are “without the capacity for moral agency” and unable to grasp the concepts of “personal accountability, ethics, compassion or empathy,” which he suspects is hardwired into the X chromosome.)
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:08 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was literally just reading this (warning: I don't know much about what constitutes a "trigger" but there is DOXing and mobbing and badness involved)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:09 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rather, he says that he was attracted to it by its sheer intellectual merits.

Sheer is right: I can see right through them.
posted by rtha at 11:10 AM on October 24, 2013 [116 favorites]


Jaclyn Friedman's take[...]is perhaps a better analysis, in that it doesn't let off the hook those that are still disgustingly vile but merely not vitriolic

It also makes the point that MRAs and their compatriots are doing serious harm to men as well:
As bad as Men's Rights Activists are for women (and, really, for our collective humanity), they’re also doing harm to the causes they claim to care about. When an AVFM contributor in Australia called a hotline posing as a man being beaten by his wife and needing a shelter for himself and his son, he claims he was denied help. But if you listen to the recording (or read the transcript), you can clearly hear the counselor on the other line offer multiple forms of assistance, including a free hotel for himself and his son, a direct connection to a police officer specializing in domestic violence, and more. Far from their tagline “compassion for men and boys,” this incident reveals that MRAs are happy to abandon men and boys to real danger when it suits their hate campaign against women.

Every man who visits a men's rights site concerned about male victims of rape is a man who’ll be told that women are the problem and will be offered no practical solutions, a man who won’t be connected with direct services for survivors if he needs them, a man who still doesn’t know about Just Detention International, which works to end prison rape, or Service Women’s Action Network, which is taking the lead to end sexual violence in the U.S. military for both men and women. Every man who comes to them concerned about the high rates of on-the-job fatalities for men is a man taught to blame women but who is never encouraged to support or join unions. Every man who comes to them concerned about the male suicide rate is a man who won’t be encouraged to help out with the life-saving work The Samaritans do every day.

It’s hardly the “End of Men” these days (really, Hannah Rosin, get a grip). But as Ann Friedman (no relation, alas) writes in New York magazine, “America is finally getting around to having the conversation about what it means to be a man that, decades ago, feminism forced us to have about womanhood … [E]ven the most ideologically progressive men are just now starting to talk about how to break with masculine stereotypes and still hang onto a sense of gender identity.” It’s the very real pain caused by these systemic problems and cultural anxieties that Men's Rights Activists are all-too-eager to exploit.

Of course, you’ll find women (and, gasp!, even feminists) in leadership in most of the institutions actually working to make life safer for men. It’s feminists who fought a long and recently successful battle to ensure that male victims are included in the FBI’s definition of rape. Some feminists are working to integrate the military so that the burden of war doesn’t just fall on men, and some are working against the militarism that not only enables rape in the armed forces, but underpins the narrow, confining cultural ideas about masculinity that make so many men feel trapped. Feminists have ensured that, through the Violence Against Women Act that MRAs oppose, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the U.S. declined 64 percent between 1994 and 2010, and that decline is distributed evenly between male and female victims.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:12 AM on October 24, 2013 [121 favorites]


From Manboobz.com's criticism of the article --
1) I think it gives Men’s Rights activists way too much credit for their supposed good intentions. While there are some MRAs who do seem to be motivated at least in part by a sincere desire to help men, most of the MRAs I’ve encountered in the 3 years of doing this blog have clearly been motivated primarily by anger and hatred of feminists — and women in general. They don’t really seem to give a shit about doing anything to actually improve the lives of men — and the paucity of their accomplishments reflects this. In its relatively brief lifespan, AVFM has raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Has it set up any shelters or hotlines or helplines for men? Not a one.

2) It wildly exaggerates the importance of Hembling to the MRM – especially ironic given that Hembling has been more or less AWOL in recent months, producing only a few short videos and one article for AVFM.

3) It paints a picture of The Spearhead’s WF Price as a Men’s Rights “moderate.” Really? While it’s true that Price is not an AVFM-style hothead given to rants about “fucking your shit up,” his views are anything but moderate. This is a guy who thinks higher education is wasted on women, who blames the epidemic of rape in the armed forces on women, who celebrated one Mothers Day with a vicious transphobic rant, who once used the tragic death of a woman who’d just graduated from college to argue that “after 25, women are just wasting time.” He published posts on why women’s suffrage is a bad idea. Plus, have you met his commenters?
posted by edheil at 11:14 AM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that if they think the problem is women, these guy's solution isn't 'go gay'. Because that would seem natural to me.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Every time I see the initialism MRA, I always read it as MRSA. (Feature, not bug, etc.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


Why is it that I'm finding more and more often that ideologues are using the term "ideologue" to describe people that have views counter to their own absolutist positions?

What are you, objectively-pro-ideologue?
posted by mhoye at 11:17 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Unlike everyone else in the MRM that I spoke with, Hembling claims that there was no catalytic event—no nasty breakup, no traumatic childhood, no conniving ex-wife—that steered him to the movement. Rather, he says that he was attracted to it by its sheer intellectual merits. (For example, the theory that women are “without the capacity for moral agency” and unable to grasp the concepts of “personal accountability, ethics, compassion or empathy,” which he suspects is hardwired into the X chromosome.)

The only way this makes any sense is as a performance art piece.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:17 AM on October 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


You know when you're a kid and you're out exploring the woods, and you see an old rotten log or a good-sized rock that's light enough to pick it up? And, even though knowing full well that you're going to be disgusted and grossed out, you move the log and check out what's underneath it?

This article is like that, times 100. Because these worms and centipedes and bottom feeders actually participate in society. Gross.
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:18 AM on October 24, 2013 [35 favorites]


Llama-Lime: "This article is like that, times 100. Because these worms and centipedes and bottom feeders actually participate in society. Gross."

Something's gotta eat the filth and become food for the chordates.
posted by jquinby at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


@Atom Eyes, you're not the only one. I only learned of MRAs after the explosion of "ElevatorGate", which was always so absurd of an episode. At first, I honestly thought one of the comments was about a MRSA outbreak at the conference.

At the end of the day, MRAs shoot themselves in the foot pretty thoroughly, and fail to achieve what (very) few reasonable goals exist (such as reforming child custody or recognition of male rape). Every inch of progress on those fronts have been from the very feminists they spend all their time vilifying.
posted by mystyk at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


*Ctrl-F "red pill"* A-yup, there it is.

Yeah, the men's rights movement is where the pick-up artist community goes when they decide that their not getting laid is a public policy issue.
posted by mhoye at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2013 [159 favorites]


Serious questions: Why is it that I'm finding more and more often that ideologues are using the term "ideologue" to describe people that have views counter to their own absolutist positions? Is this something coming from the Fox News/Talk Radio line of discourse like using "liberal" and "progressive" as negative terms?

From an email I got yesterday after calling someone antisemitic (and no other quotes from them, but it was not a subtle thing): "he who says one is a Nazi is the Nazi". Classic projection.
posted by jaduncan at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


the theory that women are “without the capacity for moral agency” and unable to grasp the concepts of “personal accountability, ethics, compassion or empathy,” which he suspects is hardwired into the X chromosome

Aside from other criticisms, that guy needs a genetics lession.
posted by randomnity at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2013 [75 favorites]


My favorite is the time a dude on /r/MensRights suggested that friendzoning should be illegal. A community full of extremists is going to have people saying things like this all the time while everyone else scrambles to insist that they don't believe or endorse that viewpoint.
posted by almostmanda at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


From Manboobz.com's criticism of the article

The American Prospect article by Jaclyn Friedman that mystyk linked to really should be read as a kind of companion piece that addresses those concerns and goes a bit deeper.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Some of the introduction language confuses me: "... one of the quirkiest, fastest-growing, and most frustrating civil-rights movements in the Western world today"

Quirky? That's a pretty soft term for "aggressively misogynistic." And is this really a "civil rights movement"? The problematic (in that it is flagged for having "multiple issues") Wikipedia page lists this as a "social movement," which sounds more accurate. Perhaps it's all word play, as civil rights movements are social movements, but I feel the distinction is a good one, in the way that not all rectangles are squares.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:23 AM on October 24, 2013 [25 favorites]


"most frustrating civil-rights movements in the Western world today"

Yeah, this begs the question to hell and back.
posted by OmieWise at 11:25 AM on October 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


Yeah, the men's rights movement is where the pick-up artist community goes when they decide that their not getting laid is a public policy issue.

Why won't this crazy feminist realise she should be aroused by now? It says in the book that a healthy woman should be, so this woman must be broken.

Not that I have previously banged my head in frustration at various arguments like this being seriously made or anything.
posted by jaduncan at 11:26 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


This article is like that, times 100. Because these worms and centipedes and bottom feeders actually participate in society. Gross.

Was my feeling exactly. I know writing about this sort of stuff brings in a lot of eyeballs (check out the sheer number of comments on that four-day old article) and I thought it was a long thoughtful article (albeit written with all those little pre-outraged bits - maybe there's no way not to do that) but I do wonder if this is one of those situations like Fred Phelps or a lot of the White Power movement. Significantly more noise and posturing than actual effectiveness.

And no, I don't think this is a civil rights issue unless there are systematic inequalities occurring at an institutional level. I'm aware that some people feel that the child support/custody issue reaches these levels, I just think we need to do that research, if it needs to be done, and not lump it in with a whole bunch of other ugly woman-hating rhetoric. Arguing that previous civil rights gains (like making both parents responsible for the financial costs of bringing up a child) have gone top far and thus you are in need of civil rights remediation is not really the way this stuff tend to work except in the eyes of these sorts of folks.

I'd just like to also ask as a friendly mod aside that this thread not become a place where we argue with or wish harm on not-present MRA folks and other jerks on the internet and just talk about the article and stuff about the article. Ironic comments using MRA voices likewise not so great.
posted by jessamyn at 11:27 AM on October 24, 2013 [20 favorites]


I tried to RTFA, I really did, but I'm ill and my blood pressure is too high

Yeah, I only got about halfway through before my fingers involuntarily hit CTRL-W on that tab to save my eyes from having to read farther. What a bunch of tedious fuck-wits.
posted by octothorpe at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every inch of progress on those fronts have been from the very feminists they spend all their time vilifying.

Not to mention, those fronts - mandatory, strictly-policed gender roles - are specifically products of the the worldview they espouse.

My own theory is that the Men's Rights movement is an unfortunate byproduct of the fact that women's participation in the workforce and equal rights for women and minorities happened, historically, at approximately the same time as manufacturing started its steady offshoring and general decline in North America for other (I think largely, though not completely, unrelated?) reasons.

It's been fostered and supported since then, my theory goes, with the explicit goal of disguising the class war we should be totally be having right this exact second as a gender and race war, so the proles' energy get spent on their fighting each other instead of on things that might make rich people marginally less rich, like social justice, sane health care, education or full employment.

This isn't to say I think there's any justification or excuse for it - I don't, and fuck those guys and the impotent coward's wrath that drives them - just that it's not an accident it's continuing to exist at scale.

I could be wrong; I'd be interested in a different perspective on the historical context from someone with better information.
posted by mhoye at 11:31 AM on October 24, 2013 [55 favorites]


It's a pity we can't legislate mutual respect. I think it would go a long way.
posted by Talez at 11:31 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man alive (no irony intended), some of this stuff is at - nay, beyond - the 'precious-bodily-fluid' level of crazy. I wonder what Peak Nuts is going to look like.
posted by jquinby at 11:32 AM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


These folks just make me cringe.
posted by mrbill at 11:32 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


mhoye: the men's rights movement is where the pick-up artist community goes when they decide that their not getting laid is a public policy issue.

Why not reunite those forces for good {hamburger}?
Other sites, such as Return of Kings, somehow manage to peg the practice of picking up women at bars as a key element in the struggle for men’s civil rights.
From the article, where you can follow the link if you are so inclined. I was not.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:33 AM on October 24, 2013


I'm frequently contrarian. I've spent plenty of time playing devil's advocate. I try to explore multiple sides of an issue. But. These people freak me out.
posted by kat518 at 11:33 AM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


"he who says one is a Nazi is the Nazi"

Or as Kinsey put it, "Prescriptions are just the public confessions of prescriptionists."

But I was asking about the trend of using the term "ideologue" specifically. Is this a new thing that the right-wing ideologues have picked up from Glen Beck or something or is it just confirmation bias on my part?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2013


I haven't read the article, but I'm assuming the Men's Rights Movement is concerned with recognizing and overcoming their role in the Patriarchy, and instilling a view of men that encourages the expression of feelings, respect for others, and freedom from gender roles?

Right?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


Yuck, I knew the men's rights movement was bad, but I didn't realize just how bad.

I think we are at a point when there is a lot of confusion about masculinity and what it means to be a man. There are also some discrete problems, like child custody and resources for domestic abuse survivors, that should be addressed. It might be nice if there was a movement of men committed to equality who could work on those specific problems and have a productive conversation about male identity. However, I think the so-called men's rights movement has made that nearly impossible.
posted by Area Man at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


For members of the MRM, feminism is more than just an adversary competing for political outcomes. To the MRM, feminism is the enemy. It is a vast conspiracy that is working tirelessly to build a Matriarchy to enslave men. The red pill Matrix reference—which the movement uses to identify who is a member of their tribe—comes from the MRM belief that men are already largely slaves, even if they don't know it yet. It's the movement's job to bring them the bad news, and then to bring them out of their bondage.
No, guys, it's "Debout, les forçats de la faim."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sheer is right: I can see right through them.

You are, no doubt, using some kind of "lady logic" to deny their inherent rightness. How can you doubt their rightness? It is inherent! Something something Natural Law something Evolutionary. So there.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:39 AM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I wish I could explain to them the extent to which the feminist movement has a history of sympathizing with and analyzing the very issues they feel so hurt by -- why men behave so violently toward each other, the nature of rape regardless of gender, the reason why men are expected to have a dominant and explicitly sexual relationship with women and why that hurts both. I wish I could explain the the theory of patriarchy goes a long way toward explaining why they are in pain, and that we are women's allies in addressing an injustice that injures us both.

Unfortunately, telling somebody who hates women that feminism might help them is a bit like telling an antisemite that Rabbi Nachman had some very good things to say on the subject of interfaith collaboration.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:39 AM on October 24, 2013 [46 favorites]


the Men's Rights Movement has been gaining traction on the Internet

Sorry, you're going to need try that again.
posted by dry white toast at 11:40 AM on October 24, 2013


It might be nice if there was a movement of men committed to equality who could work on those specific problems and have a productive conversation about male identity. However, I think the so-called men's rights movement has made that nearly impossible.

Like how we all need to have some serious conversations on race but those white-power fucks and self-entitled whiney douchebags keep screwing it up for everone?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:40 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I couldn't finish the article. That is saying something.

I'm not much of a feminist by some people's definition, but those guys need to just crawl back under that rock. And I do mean guys. In my world they don't get the honorific of "men." They don't deserve it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:42 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I tried to RTFA, I really did, but I'm ill and my blood pressure is too high

Mine isn't, but my brain is really confused. It's refusing to believe that people actually spout and have these beliefs. It literally doesn't make any sense, show me a human with wings upside on the ceiling, it'll make more sense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:42 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


The whole "men are slaves" language just disgusts me to my core-- both for obvious reasons (slaves, really?) and because the verbiage now just reminds me of every vitriolic rant about male superiority I've ever read, about how women "enslave" men with their evil bodies and temptations, &c. &c.

This is the first time reading about MRAs hasn't ruined my day, because these people are so obviously off their rocker it's hard to care. I mean, it's like any hate group-- they're horrible, and they perpetuate hate that should be seriously addressed, but I don't take them seriously on a philosophical level.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:42 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Don't Godwin this thread 30 comments in - if this is a topic you'd like to be able to discuss on MeFi, don't screw it up for everyone.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:52 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why can't I walk down a street free of suggestion?
Is my body the only trait in the eyes of men? In the eyes of men?
I've got some skin
You want to look in

There lays no reward in what you discover
You spent yourself, boy, watching me suffer
Suffer your words, suffer your eyes, suffer your hands
Suffer your interpretation of what it is to be a man


These guys need to listen to more Fugazi...
posted by fikri at 11:52 AM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Every inch of progress on those fronts have been from the very feminists they spend all their time vilifying.

I feel like actually this is the core of a lot of their rage. What could be more infuriating than the knowledge that this creature you hate, fear, and revile still tries to make things better for you more often than not. What purer proof that your deeply held beliefs and identity are totally misguided and unjustified? What more concrete evidence that you have to suck it up and change yourself? Enough to make a guy spit, I tells ya.

They don't hate women near so much as they hate themselves. And they hate women A LOT.
posted by like_a_friend at 11:59 AM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


...he turns around and talks about the time he fended off a mob of 20-30 feminists wielding box cutters.

I can't believe there is any truth to this story, but if there is it reflects a significant problem. Box cutters? Apparently we're due for a teach-in on the proper use of pitchforks and torches.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


billiebee: I tried to RTFA, I really did, but I'm ill and my blood pressure is too high. I'm a pacifist and these guys make me want to punch them in the face so very very hard.

The OP text, pulled from the article, intrigued me, too. What is the "moderate" portion of the MRM? It takes some digging, but here are some the actual "rights of men" issues (as I see it) from the OP:
More moderate MRM members are seeking ways to change public policy on issues that truly do infringe on men’s civil rights, especially the rights of low-income men.
OK, I'm intrigued. Tell me more!
A predictable reaction to the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the MRM struggled for decades to get recognition. Occasionally an issue like child-custody rights would allow some small growth, but for the most part the MRM limped along relatively unknown for decades. And then, the Internet happened, and the MRM evolved along with it into a coalition where the most radical, hyperbolic and outrageous voices are disproportionately rewarded with visibility and clout.

Over the past decade, the movement has grown organically online into a confederacy of somewhat disjointed causes. Fathers' rights advocates are part of it, as are male victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Also included are members of the Pick-Up Artist movement, which is exactly what it sounds like. Men who fight for those accused of rape make up a surprisingly large part of the confederacy. There are even radical male separatists, some of whom say the power of technology has made interaction with females all but obsolete. The ability to congregate anonymously online with like-minded men has been a perfect incubator for such a mish-mash of banners, many of them politically incorrect. The single common thread that binds them all together is their deep-seated hatred of feminism.
Oh, child-custody rights and fathers' rights. Is there more?
For members of the MRM, feminism is more than just an adversary competing for political outcomes. To the MRM, feminism is the enemy.
But you just said this is a "mish-mash of banners"! Your brush, it paints too widely.
Before we get into that, it’s important to acknowledge the things that the MRM gets right. The New York Times may have recently reported that the majority of sexual assault victims in the military are men, but they are light years behind AV4M and other men’s rights sites in doing so. Then there are male victims of domestic abuse whose plight is largely ignored by both the media and the justice system. It’s hard to say exactly how big the problem is because there has never been sufficient interest to fund a proper study tracking it. There are still many regions in the United States that lack any kind of safe houses or shelters for men at risk. Even in my progressive hometown of Portland, Oregon, the Police Bureau’s domestic violence victims’ resource manual defines a domestic abuse shelter as “a temporary place for women.” In instances of immediate crisis, men who call the police are as likely to be offered smirks as they are protection. Just as female victims have historically had to deal with some form of 'she must have been asking for it,' males face derision for 'not being man enough' to defend themselves.

The MRM also shines a spotlight on underage male statutory rape victims. For the most part our justice system treats the crime as being in effect victimless, while the media tends to portray the victim as “lucky.” What’s more, male victims of statutory rape can be liable for child support payments if the molestation results in a pregnancy. When Glee dealt with female-initiated statutory rape in its third season, the storyline focused on the inherent sexiness of illicit attraction; the question posed wasn’t “Should or shouldn’t she be arrested?” so much as “Should or shouldn’t she just go for it?”
Great, now we have some context to why someone needs to stand up for abused men, and address the actual issue of statutory rape of young men, instead of joking that that kid ... died of high-fiving.
There are other MRM issues that deserve greater attention from the public, despite the movement’s dubious—and oftentimes historically inaccurate—claims that they are caused by modern feminism. These include the discrepancy in male versus female workplace deaths, murder rates, and incidents of homelessness.
Another well-balanced summary of broader issues. Let's continue.
MRM leaders say they find it especially frustrating when their critics label them as misogynists for bringing up these issues. To a person, each says this characterization is unfair. Hembling insists the charges of misogyny stem from critics conflating femaleness with feminism. “Much of men’s rights writing opposes the ideology operating under the name of Feminism,” he writes. “Critics and opponents of the MRM claiming this equates to a hatred of women make several false assumptions. The first such assumption is that ‘women’ and ‘feminism’ are synonyms. One is an ideology, one is a biological demographic.” Each MRM advocate I spoke with shared some version of this same idea.
And then the article gets back into how so many of the really vocal MRM dudes are really, truly misogynistic assholes.
If the concept of W.H. [heir apparent to lead MRM] and Michelle Price ["an outspoken, self-described feminist"] as a happy couple is hard to fathom, the reality is easy to understand. Each is an intelligent, articulate and passionate person wanting to make the world a better place. Though there is much they disagree on (obviously), each has learned to listen to the other, giving the other’s arguments both a fair hearing and the assumption of good faith. As a result, Michelle has become a fervent advocate for many of the causes that matter to Price, such as examining the negative effects of current child-support laws on men, women, and families alike. “When he first talked about his cause, the thing that became instantly clear was that he was a man who cared passionately about being a good father,” Michelle tells me. “It’s a big part of what I fell in love with.”

In turn, Michelle’s challenges to Price have made his arguments sharper and more nuanced than they were even a year ago. More importantly, he is learning how to craft an advocacy that has the potential to appeal to mainstream voters and policy makers while remaining true to his MRM ideals. He best illustrates this skill when stumping on behalf of divorced fathers. Price argues that the laws meant to remedy unpaid child support payments were largely created to solve the problems of a small subset of middle- and upper-class women without enough consideration of their potential negative impact on lower-class families.
So, they're not all egotistical assholes, good to know. And the next bit is a properly messed up Catch-22:
“Men in this recession get laid off and can’t find work, and when they fall behind on payments they’re sent to prison,” fumes Price. “They don’t earn money while doing time, so when they’re released they’re often rounded up and imprisoned again for being even farther behind. It’s a system that punishes you for being unemployed while making you less employable. And forget about the men for a minute and ask yourself, how does that actually help lower-income children or mothers?”
In this segment, Mr. Price doesn't claim the problem is because of women! Fantastic!
Price is every bit as angry about child-support inequality as Hembling, but the difference between the two is important. Hembling relies on easily debunked male-pill conspiracy theories and reflexively labels anyone who question his conclusions a liar, idiot or psychopath. In contrast, one could easily see Price’s arguments being picked up by a mainstream politician and resonating with voters. To put it another way, while Hembling has been perfecting a way to generate page hits, Price has been working on a narrative that might actually make a difference to the men they each seek to help.
And this is the key problem with continuing under the banner of MRM.
“When we talk about recovery from trauma and abuse, there were two things that helped me,” says Chris Anderson, executive director of the male-victim advocacy group Male Survivor and a sexual abuse survivor himself. “The first was realizing that I'm not alone; the second was hearing that recovery was possible.” Anderson is quick to dissociate himself from the men’s rights movement: “In [the MRM] people get that first message, that they're not alone. I don't know that they ever get the second message. And when they don’t get that second message, it turns into an endless feedback loop and eventually they say, ‘Oh my God, all of society is f**ked.’”
Emphasis is mine.
The MRM has long begged for mainstream attention. Now that it is finally getting its wish, it needs to ask itself what it truly wants: page hits or policy changes. Price and other more moderate voices (many of whom write for AV4M under Hembling) have an opportunity to take the first small steps toward correcting the very real civil rights discrepancies they have uncovered. What remains to be seen is whether the rank and file of their movement will let them, or whether they’ll opt for the instant gratification of the Hemblings and Vöreks.
No, the real, "lets change public policies" part of MRM needs to leave the "death to feminists" behind and pick up a new banner. Their stories are compelling enough to get positive media attention.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM on October 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


At the end of the day, MRAs shoot themselves in the foot pretty thoroughly, and fail to achieve what (very) few reasonable goals exist (such as reforming child custody or recognition of male rape). Every inch of progress on those fronts have been from the very feminists they spend all their time vilifying.

The only reason MRAs are even associated with those issues is because of the fact that they put Men's Rights in their self-applied label. If you just read the websites and comments they write it's clear that they just hate women. If they were called Male Power groups or something else then people wouldn't be assuming that their main focus is progressive reform.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


...he turns around and talks about the time he fended off a mob of 20-30 feminists wielding box cutters.

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: I can't believe there is any truth to this story, but if there is it reflects a significant problem. Box cutters? Apparently we're due for a teach-in on the proper use of pitchforks and torches.

It's kind of awful, but if you dig into the story, this is debunked, like so much of Hembling's nonsense.
Take the first yarn, about the box cutters. Vancouver police records show that there was indeed an altercation in Spetember of 2012 between Hembling and others seeking to tear down men’s rights posters. However, according to the police, Hembling was arguing with two or three people, not being accosted by a “mob” of any size. When questioned by the authorities, neither Hembling nor witnesses mentioned seeing any weapons. Furthermore, police state that Hembling had the right to put up posters where the altercation took place, and no mention of an arrest threat is made.

Curiously enough, Hembling actually videotaped the events and had his AV4M Radio partner Karen Straughan post it online. The discussion with the police has been conveniently edited out, but the rest of the video clearly matches police records and not Hembling’s story. There are only a few young men taking down Hembling's posters, and the video shows them choosing to ignore him except when he engages them in conversation. One of the men is seen using a box cutter to take down the flyers, but at no time does he use it as a weapon, raise his voice, or threaten Hembling in any way.
That's right, there was a police report AND a video, and the box cutters were only used to cut down posters. Ooh, the danger! The violence inherent in those feminists!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:05 PM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


The MRA idiots make me doubly sad because they have made certain subjects impossible to talk.

For instance, I have a good friend who has been in a horrible custody battle. The mother of his son has filled false police report after false police report, including assault charges from when he was away on a business trips. She has lied about serious issues in court, lives with a man who makes his money dealing drugs (in fact the person who beat her was probably her current boyfriend), etc etc. He has a stable job, has a stable household, has sacrificed a ton for what's right for his kid, and has spent a small fortune trying to get custody. But the courts have awarded her custody. And I've watched him over the years going from "I understand things are stacked against most women, I understand why the courts are difficult" to "fuck this, the system is broken" and he's still terrified this woman is going to someday succeed in getting him arrested for something he didn't do. It's frustrating has hell to watch, I can't imagine what it would be like to live it.

And yet, thanks to the assholes who call themselves Men's Rights Activists, there's no way to really talk about this without coming across as a whackadoodle who hates women.
posted by aspo at 12:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [72 favorites]


Is there an even more extreme position than this? Like, are there some people out there who irrationally hate everybody who isn't them, to the degree that guys like this hate women, racists hate people of a different race, and so on?
posted by davejay at 12:09 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It might be nice if there was a movement of men committed to equality who could work on those specific problems and have a productive conversation about male identity. However, I think the so-called men's rights movement has made that nearly impossible.

Like how we all need to have some serious conversations on race but those white-power fucks and self-entitled whiney douchebags keep screwing it up for everone?


No, not really. There really aren't any drawbacks to being white in America, it just makes your life easier. Men really do have some unique problems and issues we all need to come together and work through for the benefit of everyone. Feminists are already working on that, but men need to take responsibility and leadership for the issues facing men for the same reasons women do the same for themselves. The MRA groups are toxic towards those efforts on both sides.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:09 PM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


I need a surplus of old CRT monitors so I can put a baseball bat through them when necessary.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:10 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


How many barrels of ink must be spilled to placate these whiners' fragile egos?

It's been my experience that when it seems that the entire world is conspiring against me it's because I'M BEING A FUCKWAD AND NEED TO CHANGE.

When did everyone get to be So Fucking Special?

Poisonous masculinity. That's what this is. A toxic stew of butthurt and dick-swinging. Fuck 'em.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:13 PM on October 24, 2013 [25 favorites]


Fifty years from now, somebody's going to be able to write a great book about the supposed civil rights movements of the early 21st century -- MRA, the Tea Party, those oppressed Evangelical folks fighting against the War on Christmas, the current state of the anti-gay movement -- and how all of them co-opted the language used previously by those who society really oppressed. If I'm still around, I'll be super interested in that book then. But now, I just get tired of any spotlight shone on them at all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:13 PM on October 24, 2013 [52 favorites]


A toxic stew of butthurt and dick-swinging

Or as I liked to call it, my 29th birthday.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:14 PM on October 24, 2013 [44 favorites]


my own comment made me think I should start a "Me's Right Movement", where everybody else is wrong and can go to hell because fuck all of you and your not-me ways.
posted by davejay at 12:14 PM on October 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


aspo: And yet, thanks to the assholes who call themselves Men's Rights Activists, there's no way to really talk about this without coming across as a whackadoodle who hates women.

That's why there needs to be a split in the whole MRM muck. Calling something Fathers' Rights might gain some ground, or it might get pulled back into the mire.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


attracted to it by its sheer intellectual merits

As an academic, I must say that if a student sent me one of the linked texts as a course essay in which all references to women would be replaced by X, so that I would have no idea what the essay was actually about, I'd give them a failing grade. No matter what the topic at hand, a claim is not an argument, would I write and feel like I'm stating the obvious.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:16 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


my own comment made me think I should start a "Me's Right Movement", where everybody else is wrong and can go to hell because fuck all of you and your not-me ways.

Solipsism for me but not for thee!
posted by Etrigan at 12:16 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


What I find funny and fascinating about MRAs is that the very masculinity they cling to precludes even the possibility of them becoming successful as some sort of social pressure movement. The actual things they would have to do in order to make themselves heard and exert pressure in a civil society - letter/email campaigns, peaceful public demonstrations, petitions and so on - are unthinkably anti-masculine to them. They reek of complaining, of whining, of begging. You sometimes see men who suggest doing the kinds of things that might possibly (admittedly in a world where the rest of the 'movement' wasn't a millstone) be practical in achieving their supposed goals actually getting ostracised for it.

Of course, this isn't to say they don't do anything: what they do is harass, threaten and dox women online, and that makes them dangerous. Also occasionally a lone dude furtively pastes up posters with slogans that no doubt stuck a dagger right in the heart of the matriarchy in his mind, but that don't actually make sense to anyone who isn't him.
posted by emmtee at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


And yet, thanks to the assholes who call themselves Men's Rights Activists, there's no way to really talk about this without coming across as a whackadoodle who hates women.

And the worst part is that they cast this as an example of women being privileged. In fact, these same tactics can be used by men against women, and often are -- an old friend of mine, a woman, just went through a multi-year custody battle against her husband, who used every dirty trick he could to not simply gain custody of the child but also to deny her visitation rights. And this was a man who was so abusive to her that she suffers PTSD.

This points to a system that is easily gamed, and not one that has an inbred problem with men. While the statistics do show that many more women have sole custody of children then men, the broad stats don't include how many women have custody because they are single mothers, or because they negotiated custody privately, and the stats can't be divorced from the fact that men are much more likely to abandon their child than women. It's a very messy subject that the men's rights movement has tried to simplify into one in which a matrarchy is dominating men, and that does nothing for either men or women who are dealing with custody issues.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2013 [31 favorites]


Calling something Fathers' Rights might gain some ground, or it might get pulled back into the mire.

Equal Rights for Parents seems like a place to start; the premise that each parent (regardless of sex) should be given equal rights and consideration as a parent of a shared child. This would encompass issues where men weren't even involved as parents, such as two women who are both parents of a child born biologically by one of them -- I'd be shocked if there wasn't imbalance in the system under that scenario, too.
posted by davejay at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


A toxic stew of butthurt and dick-swinging

Or as I liked to call it, my 29th birthday.


Wow. I don't even... Umm... Where to begin... Ok, ok, Pics or it didn't happen!
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh boy. I hadn't been to manboobz.com in a few weeks, but I like to check in there every now and then to see what kind of crazy bullshit the MRA dudes are spewing. To my great disgust (but complete lack of surprise), Vox Day's name is showing up over there again.
posted by palomar at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's why there needs to be a split in the whole MRM muck. Calling something Fathers' Rights might gain some ground, or it might get pulled back into the mire.

Already being done. It suffers from a lot of the same problems as the MRM: the legitimate "The courts unreasonably tend to side with the mother in custody issues" gets drowned out by "Bitch needs to pay for being a man-hating woman!"
posted by Etrigan at 12:20 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The MRA idiots make me doubly sad because they have made certain subjects impossible to talk. For instance, I have a good friend who has been in a horrible custody battle.

It's actually worse than that. Way back when I first encountered these yahoos, was when I was the person in your example. A friend referred me to call the group and I did and attended a couple of meetings and had some conversations.

I got nothing useful from my contact with them. In fact, the advice that I got was terrible and actually made things worse.

The custody/child support thing is fucked up in this country - no lie. But that hurts women as well as men, and hurts the kids most of all. I'd really appreciate it if those dipshits would leave it alone because they're just gonna make it worse.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:21 PM on October 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


I would pay good money to see a well-done documentary about MRAs. How do they interact with their own grandmothers? Their daughters? Their male friends who have happy marriages? What if they get the stomach flu and have to go to the hospital and the entire ER staff is female?

Okay, really I just want to see them try to date, for the lulz.
posted by oinopaponton at 12:22 PM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Etrigan, I should have guessed.

davejay: Equal Rights for Parents seems like a place to start ... such as two women who are both parents of a child born biologically by one of them -- I'd be shocked if there wasn't imbalance in the system under that scenario, too.

Good idea, good point. From the little I've heard from a former co-worker who was trying to deal with our HR, being unable to marry her partner, who faced issues with our HR, because the twins that her partner gave birth to were not technically her SO's children, until they were adopted or the couple got married in another state.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:22 PM on October 24, 2013


That's why there needs to be a split in the whole MRM muck. Calling something Fathers' Rights might gain some ground

In the UK there is a movement that is a lot more like this and is not quite as poisoned by the woman-hating rhetoric. I made a long comment about such groups in an old MeTa thread and will try to track it down. There are places where this is happening but it's not the US, not at all.
posted by jessamyn at 12:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


This article is like that, times 100. Because these worms and centipedes and bottom feeders actually participate in society. Gross.

People are not vermin because you hate them. When you dehumanize others, you prepare yourself to act inhumanely towards them, thereby helping to feed their own delusions of persecution. This will not help the situation.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:27 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


The courts unreasonably tend to side with the mother in custody issues

This is really a bullshit issue anyway. It may have been a problem in the 70's & 80's when these guys were getting divorced, for whatever reason, but I really haven't seen the courts unreasonably side with any mothers amongst the divorces I've seen in the last 15 years, and I've seen quite a few, including my own. It's the ONLY place where the white male has been historically disadvantaged, but it's a ghost of a problem today. There are single fathers & fathers with joint custody everywhere.

It's more an issue of how you personally handle your divorce than it is any inherent unfairness on the part of divorce judges or courts. She hires a shark, you hire a shark, if you want to fight & win. Or maybe, just maybe, talk to one another & mediate a settlement that makes you both happy. People just need to grow the fuck up, mostly.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:32 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Poisonous masculinity. That's what this is. A toxic stew of butthurt and dick-swinging. Fuck 'em.

I was going to smirk and ask whether they can actually swing theirs, but that joke accepts the values they promote, so I stopped myself. The MRM sells an exaggerated and even more hateful version of the conventions about manhood and womanhood that a lot of us internalize from a young age; people working toward real social change, on the other hand, strive to upend those conventions.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:33 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


almostmanda: "My favorite is the time a dude on /r/MensRights suggested that friendzoning should be illegal. "

"[–]andreipmbcn -761 points 5 months ago"

Good.
posted by zarq at 12:36 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, not really. There really aren't any drawbacks to being white in America, it just makes your life easier.

This isn't about the reality of the situation, this is about perceived slight and the inability to carry on important and necessary conversations. In many many ways it is much eisier to be male on the earth, just as it is easier being white, but these "reverse-ism" bullshit mongers are clouding the conversation. Not to derail too far, but here's an example on the racial front close to my home; DC public schools have many serious issues, not least of which is a serious surplus of underutilized properties and a need to consolidate schools in order to make budgets, however the conversation about closing a school always begins with the opposition premise that the closure is really part of a white conspiracy to sell off city property in order to develop the tracts and promote further gentrification. The problem is that there IS a history of racial motivations in land use policy and further any conversation geared to calm people's fears about a conspriacy get mired down in accsations of "reverse-racism" leveled against the people who are afraid. It doesn't really matter who is right or wrong in the situation, the conversation isn't happening because of the accusations going back and forth.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


A study by the Urban Institute identified 10,000 men incarcerated for falling behind on child support in 2002. Given the disproportionate negative impact of recent years’ bad economic times on the working poor, it would be hard to believe that number has not grown significantly. Fathers unable to pay child support are the last victims of debtors’ prisons in our society. They are also the last non-enemy-combatant group of U.S. citizens who are not entitled to legal representation when being tried.

“Men in this recession get laid off and can’t find work, and when they fall behind on payments they’re sent to prison,” fumes Price. “They don’t earn money while doing time, so when they’re released they’re often rounded up and imprisoned again for being even farther behind. It’s a system that punishes you for being unemployed while making you less employable. And forget about the men for a minute and ask yourself, how does that actually help lower-income children or mothers?”


This seems like the only thing close to an actual "rights" issue in the whole article and it's credited to a moderate and largely overshadowed member of the movement. I don't see how it relates at all to some of the *completely insane* things that the rest of this "movement" seems to be saying.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:40 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


People are not vermin because you hate them. When you dehumanize others, you prepare yourself to act inhumanely towards them, thereby helping to feed their own delusions of persecution. This will not help the situation.
Thank you for saying this, because I hope that no one would think that I am trying to dehumanize them; that is merely a side effect of the analogy of observance. But on the other hand, bad behavior must be called out whether or not the actor has delusions of persecution. Because just as analogies have unintended implications, silence has the unintended implication of acceptance.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:48 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


the way child support is set up is fucked up from the other side too - in some states, say you are a single mother and you need to go on welfare - well, the state will want to know who the father is, when you tell them, they will go after the father for child support (taking from his check/arresting if he can't pay/etc) and they will put that money into the welfare fund, even if the amount they collect is more than the welfare being given. and if you go off welfare and try to collect directly, the state is suddenly not as eager to help you collect.
posted by nadawi at 12:48 PM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


It would be interesting to look at a demographic break down of the MRM. Most of the idiots on Redit, which is, fortunately, the only place I encounter them, seem to be high school or college aged and scared. Hopefully most of them will grow out of it.
posted by sfred at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want to understand what MRMs are about, know that their response to things like this:
It’s feminists who fought a long and recently successful battle to ensure that male victims are included in the FBI’s definition of rape. Some feminists are working to integrate the military so that the burden of war doesn’t just fall on men, and some are working against the militarism that not only enables rape in the armed forces, but underpins the narrow, confining cultural ideas about masculinity that make so many men feel trapped. Feminists have ensured that, through the Violence Against Women Act that MRAs oppose, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the U.S. declined 64 percent between 1994 and 2010, and that decline is distributed evenly between male and female victims.
is stuff like this, by W.F. Price himself:
And this also gets to the heart of my objection to applying the victimhood mantle to the male. Making men as physically helpless and violable as contemporary feminists hold women to be is a form of social castration. One of the defining characteristics of masculinity is the possession of agency — the ability to act. Take this away and we are slaves, so removing this from men – even with a concept ostensibly meant to “protect” men – leads us down a hole, at the bottom of which we find ourselves bereft of our manhood both culturally and legally. And make no mistake: many people really do want to rob men of their manhood. Male feminist Michael Kimmel has made a career of it.

This is not to say that men cannot be victimized or real victims; they clearly can and this has always been recognized. But the most effective means of victimizing men has always been to reduce them to a state in which they are incapable of protecting themselves and acting in their own interests, and this is accomplished as easily by feminizing them as by direct force of arms.

When a woman appeals to people for help and protection, she is engaged in an empowering act. When men rush to a woman’s aid, it demonstrates her female potency. When her “needs” are met by others, it does not detract from but rather adds to her status. For ancient, immutable reasons, this does not apply to men.

The man who cries “help” feels a certain shame. When he must apply for welfare, it is humiliating and emasculating. That men must swallow their pride and do so from time to time is a given, but almost all of us recognize that it is far from ideal when the necessity presents itself. Ideally, the man has agency, and can fend for himself. In a society that valued men, steps would be taken to ensure that men have the opportunity to do so. A society that enshrines male victimhood is the exact opposite.
In other words, they don't even work to protect men from real abuses, because helping a man is emasculating.

(Price quote via FSTDT; I'm not giving The Spearhead any hits.)
posted by kewb at 12:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


Ultimately many of these people feel hurt, and the MRA movement I think is a manifestation of their anger. I've been hurt in many of the same ways that some of these people have (hurt badly by the expectations of masculinity, hurt badly by a culture that doesn't encourage men talking about their feelings, hurt badly by violent and sexually abuse ex-partners). In short, I have been hurt by the patriarchy, like many of the MRA guys have.

I'm not sure why I turned out differently.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:54 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


No, not really. There really aren't any drawbacks to being white in America, it just makes your life easier.

This isn't about the reality of the situation, this is about perceived slight and the inability to carry on important and necessary conversations.


Yeah I don't disagree, my point is that the MRA groups use necessary conversations about men's issues as cover while white supremacists don't (can't because they don't exist) use truly legitimate white issues as cover. The true, vile nature of the conversations they want to have are much more thinly camouflaged.

The problems with white supremacist or MRA groups are hate directed outwards. The problems with men and male culture in general are problems directed both outwards and inwards. We have to address both sides of that so we have a more complex problem.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:54 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is not to say that men cannot be victimized or real victims; they clearly can and this has always been recognized. But the most effective means of victimizing men has always been to reduce them to a state in which they are incapable of protecting themselves and acting in their own interests, and this is accomplished as easily by feminizing them

The failed, or at least severely telling, logic of using the word 'feminizing' there as it applies to how men can be victimized, reduced, or rendered defenseless or without agency. It burns.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


I got nothing useful from my contact with them. In fact, the advice that I got was terrible and actually made things worse.

I saw this happen in real time in a Reddit discussion on a community subreddit a few weeks ago. Someone made a post asking about local MRAs because the OP's male friend was being abused by his girlfriend and wanted support. A couple people started off by saying "hey, maybe MRAs aren't the right place to go", which precipitated hundreds of comments and downvotes from the Reddit men's rights brigade.

Meanwhile, none of the men's rights types actually had any advice or resources for the OP, just the typical rhetoric. The only comment that actually listed male-specific resources for domestic violence came from a self described feminist. It was a wonderful microcosm of the whole messed up scene.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:58 PM on October 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


A study by the Urban Institute identified 10,000 men incarcerated for falling behind on child support in 2002. Given the disproportionate negative impact of recent years’ bad economic times on the working poor, it would be hard to believe that number has not grown significantly.

There is data on this point but it's complicated and tough to get at. 50-ish percent of both men and women who are in jail are primary financial support for one or more minor children. My guess is they decided not to include real data (because it turns out this is much more about poor people and not just male poor people) and do this hand-wavey thing instead.

Fathers unable to pay child support are the last victims of debtors’ prisons in our society.

This is an MRA talking point, you can see it in this article. It's basically a dog whistle for MRA arguments. Going to prison because of not making payments is not exactly a money thing here, it's a contempt of court thing. Incarcerated child-support owing parents can petition for a reduction or removal of support payments while they are in prison. About half of US states will consider this (and I'm sort of appalled that half won't). Here's a longish article that talks about what is being done to help make this situation not so awful. It's a topic that is being addressed, compassionately as near as I can tell, from within Health and Human Services communities.

They are also the last non-enemy-combatant group of U.S. citizens who are not entitled to legal representation when being tried.

That NBC News article also goes on to state that this above sentence is true in only five states: Florida, Georgia, Maine, South Carolina and Ohio. Which, hey not awesome, but definitely not at all what the article is implying. in 90% of US states, you are entitled to an attorney.
posted by jessamyn at 1:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


For ancient, immutable reasons,

lollerskates

Ideally, the man has agency, and can fend for himself.

soooo is he saying that the best response for male victims of sexual assault is vigilante justice because anything else will remove the agency and pride of the male victim? that is crazypants - and goes in direct opposition to how mras react when women try to discuss their histories of abuse that haven't been tried in court (and even some that have). i mean, i know the answer is in the paragraph above - all that brouhaha about women being empowered by asking for help and blahblahblah but holy fuck.
posted by nadawi at 1:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ugh. The way that some of those guys talk makes this tv episode sound less like a horror movie and more like a heartwarming tale of triumph.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:05 PM on October 24, 2013


Man, it is REALLY telling that AVFM hasn't managed to use any of the money they've raised to actually support any of the issues they claim to support. Reminds me of those guys who held the Kickstarter to investigate MEN'S issues in videogames, contra Sarkeesian, who promptly fled holding the cash once they hit their goal.
posted by KathrynT at 1:06 PM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'm actually interested in following this a little more closely; I think it will be a fantastic object lesson in what happens to the privileged as they perceive that privilege begin to die.
posted by Mooski at 1:09 PM on October 24, 2013


That NBC News article also goes on to state that this above sentence is true in only five states: Florida, Georgia, Maine, South Carolina and Ohio. Which, hey not awesome, but definitely not at all what the article is implying. in 90% of US states, you are entitled to an attorney.

You're not wrong, but the picture isn't quite that rosy. In WI, for instance, you are only entitled a lawyer for that portion that involves jail. Which is great, but won't help that person address the underlying problem of child support not getting paid for whatever reason.

That being said, you kind of have to work pretty hard to go jail for failing to pay child support.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:10 PM on October 24, 2013


Reminds me of those guys who held the Kickstarter to investigate MEN'S issues in videogames, contra Sarkeesian, who promptly fled holding the cash once they hit their goal.

I am forced to admit that part of me is amused by this grift.
posted by jaduncan at 1:10 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]




Anecdote: I was a radio announcer from the late 60s to the mid 80s. This was during the period when everyone wanted to be controversial, a "shock jock," and tell jokes on the air. It was the era of getting close to boundaries, but never stepping over them.

George Carlin's old "Seven deadly words you can't say on the radio" was very much a rule. One slip of any of those words and it was huge FCC fines, station inspections, and probable firing.

Anyway, the news guy was finishing up a story with a "light" story at the end of the news. As he threw it back to me (the on-air jock), we'd go back and forth a little (transition) and I'd go back to the music.

The news guy read a story about Sally Ride, the first female astronaut and threw it to me. I said something like, "That's great! A woman astronaut. We have a woman running for vice president now too. I just don't think women should be allowed to vote." Bam, right into the next record.

The station switchboard lit up. Lots of complaints. The president of NOW demanded my firing and a meeting with the station manager. Several letters came in. I was severely reprimanded, and was watched very closely from then on....

My reply to everyone was "It's a joke! It's a joke!" I thought it was obvious. But I hadn't realized how seriously most seemed to take it...my bad.

But these MRM folks do seem to be serious...so he responses are expected, no?
posted by CrowGoat at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2013


A community full of extremists is going to have people saying things like this all the time while everyone else scrambles to insist that they don't believe or endorse that viewpoint ignores it or refuses to repudiate it, giving implicit support to those views, and then gets all pissed off and defensive when anybody calls them on it.

...is more in line with what I've observed from movements like this. The people scrambling to back away from the crazies are few and far between.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


thanks for that link, no regrets, coyote. it's head shaking and maybe a little hilarious in parts. for instance :

A trademark would put the definition in the hands of a group of "thought police" and contradict the "widespread documented understanding of the term 'dyke' as describing hyper-militant radicals hateful toward men," McDermott wrote in his Supreme Court appeal.

like, i mean, sure, awful that he's such a women hating homophobe, but also hilarious that he wrote that in his appeal.
posted by nadawi at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also liked this part:

He also said men were illegally excluded from city streets traversed by the annual Dyke March, which precedes the Gay Pride Parade and is also led by bikers.

Uh, no.
posted by rtha at 1:33 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


50-ish percent of both men and women who are in jail are primary financial support for one or more minor children. My guess is they decided not to include real data (because it turns out this is much more about poor people and not just male poor people) and do this hand-wavey thing instead.

But 93% of the prison population is male, so it does primarily affect men. Using your 50% number, it's roughly 98,000 fathers who owe child support to 7,000 mothers. (Urban Institute does not "hand-wave" but I'm not sure if "they" refers to them in that sentence.)
posted by 0 at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


... I really haven't seen the courts unreasonably side with any mothers amongst the divorces I've seen in the last 15 years, and I've seen quite a few, including my own. It's the ONLY place where the white male has been historically disadvantaged, but it's a ghost of a problem today. There are single fathers & fathers with joint custody everywhere.

I am sure that many/ most divorces are handled better than they were few decades ago, but there still seems to be a lot to fix. I read this article earlier today:
http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/the-divorce-from-hell-the-battle-for-alimony-and-emptied-pockets/2112875

It's hard to read the article above and not to feel sorry for both ex-spouses and especially the kids involved. At the same time it's hard not to feel contempt agains both ex-spouses, attorneys and whole judicial system.
posted by zeikka at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2013


Am I becoming too sensitive? I couldn't even get through the article, because this shit was making me nauseated.

I feel like giving him any energy, attention, thought, response is just more than he deserves. I know you (the greater all-of-us "you") can't ignore someone this vile, but I (the solitary guy eating his late lunch while reading metafilter) am going to look the other way.
posted by MoxieProxy at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2013


Hi, everyone! I'm a dude. A guy. Whatever. Straight, etc.

Just give the women equal everything and anything they'd like.

I for one, as a dude, a guy, whatever, straight, etc. WOULD LOVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN A FULL-ON MATRIARCHY.

Because, um, fellas? We're cringingly boring as things are now and I'm tired of apologizing all the time.

Ladies, as far as I'm concerned, it's all yours. Take what you need and God Bless. Just leave me some kibble and I'll figure it out from here.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 1:37 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


This seems like the only thing close to an actual "rights" issue in the whole article and it's credited to a moderate and largely overshadowed member of the movement. I don't see how it relates at all to some of the *completely insane* things that the rest of this "movement" seems to be saying.

Is that not pretty much precisely the point of the article? As I read it, what the author is saying is that even to the extent that some issues raised by some more moderate and thoughtful members of the community might have some merit, they're so buried in wackadoodle bullshit from spittle flecked loons that there is no way for these issues to be meaningfully discussed.

This happens in other fields as well. Personal example: I believe the United States should secure its borders and do what it can to halt illegal immigration. I think we should be able to keep dangerous criminals out - at the very least, we should know who's coming into the country - and I think the system we have now simply puts economic migrants trying to make a better life for themselves and their families in the hands of criminal gangs, then puts them at the mercy of exploitative employers once they get here. I believe we should make it much easier to legally enter the country, and much harder to do so illegally.

But I don't advocate for that position in the public sphere because there is no legitimate way for me to do so. If I support groups arguing for tighter border security, I would immediately find myself surrounded by bigots and racists and mall ninja types with beliefs I find reprehensible. I would be making common cause with idiots like Lou Dobbs who claims illegal brown people are spreading leprosy. No matter how much I tried to distinguish my thinking on the issue from that of anti-hispanic hate groups and minuteman militias, I'd be lumped into the same camp by the larger public and end up adding some small bit of legitimacy to their moonbat ideas.

It's the same problem organizations quoted in the article face - note the bit where the author notes "of the professional male-victim advocacy organizations I spoke with, every single one specifically asked that I not allow readers to think they were in any way related to the MRM."

(Similarly, I would argue that political conservatives have now lost any legitimacy in the U.S. that they may have had, and literally have no way to advocate for their views because the well has been so thoroughly poisoned by the Tea Party. It is simply not possible any longer to be a responsible citizen of the public sphere and advance conservative ideas through the Republican Party. The only solutions - and these are the same difficult challenges reasonable advocates for mens' rights face - are to either purge the Tea Party strain from their movement, or else abandon the Republican Party and form some new institution capable of advocating for conservative principles without being re-contaminated by the fundamentally anti-American values the Tea Party has brought.)
posted by Naberius at 1:43 PM on October 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


jessamyn: Going to prison because of not making payments is not exactly a money thing here, it's a contempt of court thing. Incarcerated child-support owing parents can petition for a reduction or removal of support payments while they are in prison. About half of US states will consider this (and I'm sort of appalled that half won't). Here's a longish article that talks about what is being done to help make this situation not so awful. It's a topic that is being addressed, compassionately as near as I can tell, from within Health and Human Services communities.

Thanks for the info! And another mark against the article in the OP for giving pageviews to this (additional) nonsense without debunking it.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2013


But 93% of the prison population is male, so it does primarily affect men.

What I was referring to was their stupid "it would be hard to believe that number has not grown significantly." hand-waving statement instead of going for real numbers. The number I cited is only about parents who are primary supporters for children and includes parents paying child support as well as parents who are supporting their children directly or through other means. It's not from a child support discussion but from a parents in prison research paper.

If there are real numbers, cite them. If there are not real numbers, then just say that, don't lead people to extrapolate some giant imaginary bad number to support your case. As Pogo_Fuzzybutt said, it's actually somewhat difficult to go to jail for failure to pay child support. However if you go to jail for some other reason, your child still needs to eat and be clothed and housed. It's a shitty situation that tends to more severely impact non-custodial parents (as the folks who have child support burdens) and men (who are incarcerated at higher rates) and people with loose family/societal ties and people without any money.

None of these are things that implicate women as the people who are responsible for this state of affairs. There are strong arguments to be made that getting to the point where people had to create laws that would put people in jail for their failure to support their own children was the end result of a societal situation in which women were consistently and systematically left with the financial responsibility for children who were also the child of someone else. Making childrens' fathers responsible for them was seen as preferable to having the state be responsible for them. Because in America we pride ourselves (sometimes inaccurately) in not wanting to let people starve.

The article points out pretty well that the real shame is that these blowhards are actually detracting resources and attention from male victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault and that's a real shame. The loss of political capital with these guys making their anti-women rants is actively harmful to the causes they supposedly support.

Male victims of domestic abuse need more help than they’re currently getting, as do male victims of sexual assault. Lower-income divorced fathers need a different system to ensure the well-being of their children. But all of this help requires both financial and political resources, and getting society to allocate those resources requires support and interest from the larger tax-paying community.
posted by jessamyn at 1:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


There is just no adequate way to describe the offensiveness of these... alleged humans. They illustrate or embody almost every damned thing that is wrong with our culture, and I don't think that's an exaggeration.

I say we move them all, without any women, to an island with no internet and declare the surrounding area a no-fly zone for the next 100 years. That should do it.
posted by Foosnark at 1:55 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I say we move them all, without any women, to an island with no internet and declare the surrounding area a no-fly zone for the next 100 years. That should do it.

Since it seems like they think Lord of the Flies is a how-to manual, I imagine they'd totally love that. Let's do it!
posted by dnash at 1:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I was referring to was their stupid "it would be hard to believe that number has not grown significantly." hand-waving statement instead of going for real numbers.

I get what you're saying now better. Thank you. Just to be clear, though, "it would be hard to believe..." is the author's phrasing, not Price's.
posted by 0 at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2013


More of same...
Rush Limbaugh: NFL Wearing Pink For Breast Cancer Proves There's A National Assault On Masculinity
Limbaugh: "The Chickification Of Everything Is Taking Place ... Feelings Are Triumphing Over Common Sense"

I thought maybe there was a point to mens rights, but holy sweet oh my god are these crazy people making me embarrassed. I don't want to be caught with an opinion even vaguely related to this wackiness as I fear the stink will stick to me and not wash out.
posted by cccorlew at 2:20 PM on October 24, 2013


People are not vermin because you hate them. When you dehumanize others, you prepare yourself to act inhumanely towards them, thereby helping to feed their own delusions of persecution. This will not help the situation.

' <- There's my tears for these poor downtrodden folk. I can assure you they need nothing to feed their delusions of persecution.
posted by kmz at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I wish I could explain to them the extent to which the feminist movement has a history of sympathizing with and analyzing the very issues they feel so hurt by

This is one of the saddest tragedies of MRAs, their explicit rejection all things feminist or even vaguely related, and something underpins a lot of their vicious vitriol. They look around at how men, as a class, haven't really moved forward in society and have even suffered socio-economic setbacks and decide this is the fault of feminism, rather than de-industrialization, globalization, or a stubborn commitment on the part of men to refuse to confront how "traditional" masculinity can be damaging to themselves (coincidentally, the Jackson Katz post a few days ago was great, as I had literally just watched Tough Guise a few days earlier).

In rejecting feminism outright (or really, in rejecting a bizarro-world straw-feminism) they don't seem to realize they are discarding decades of theory and research on gender and society along with millions of imaginary S.C.U.M. members. I've yet to see a single position brought up by an MRA that couldn't be vastly improved by even the basic thinking on gender roles, representation, and ideology that get covered in a 101 class on Gender or Women's Studies. When they do attempt to use what they think are the "tactics" of feminism, it comes off like a cargo cult attempt to earn a "gotcha!" in a debate rather than a serious consideration of any substantive cultural issues.

I'm far from the first person to make this comparison, but I find it apt: The MRM wants to be taken as seriously as Feminism, but they keep adopting the most extreme, radical, and militant positions and tactics that long ago fell to the margins of feminism. Worse, they seem pretty OK with that. Worse still, MRAs don't seem to understand how that makes their "movement" both ridiculous, pitiable, and terrifying. And worst of all (as has already been pointed out), they're doing enormous harm to the very causes they purport to champion.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:40 PM on October 24, 2013 [20 favorites]


I am skeptical of the claim that "men's rights" is a growing movement. Is there any actual evidence that this group has grown relative to the overall increase in Internet usage of the Internet user base over the last few years. I recall these men's rights arguments on usenet. Rush Limbaugh's screeds against feminazi's are decades old.
posted by humanfont at 2:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm interested in a Men's Rights Movement that is all about questioning and subverting the current paradigm regarding how men are expected to behave in our society, and pointing out how toxic masculinity has a negative effect on everyone - the popular vision of the "true man" as always dominant, stoic, aggressive, uncaring, unwavering, competitive. I think there's a real need in our society for agitating toward a different idea of masculinity, one that doesn't place men along such rigid routes and traps them in a position where they never change, never show compassion, never learn, never progress. And yes, feminism absolutely serves this cause and has this thinking down already, but it couldn't hurt to form an offshoot movement by men, primarily for men, approaching these issues and questions from our unique point of view. Men's Rights Now! Take the red pill! Follow us down the rabbit hole, everything you thought you knew about gender is wrong!
posted by naju at 3:06 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


[I don't think we've been unclear - wishing injury or death on people is not okay. Go to MetaTalk if you have trouble with this.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:18 PM on October 24, 2013


> I'm interested in a Men's Rights Movement that is all about questioning and subverting the current paradigm regarding how men are expected to behave in our society, and pointing out how toxic masculinity has a negative effect on everyone

I agree with you, but even minimal gender theory is basically that, no?
posted by postcommunism at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2013


Dear Men's Rights Doodz:

I have the right to look stunning in high heels, because I have calves to die for.

I have the right to wear nail polish, simply because it makes me happy.

I have the right to love and respect women without resentment or caveat.

I have the OBLIGATION to shut up and listen when people with different perspectives talk.

I have the right to define myself by my actions, not my penis.

I have the OBLIGATION to subvert your expectations of masculinity.

I have the right to define masculinity however I damn well please.

Signed,

A guy wearing nail polish who will cheerfully kick your ass
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [50 favorites]


Sorry. It's been a beery afternoon at Casa BOP.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:37 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think this is a great movement. Lately it's been getting so I can hardly leave the house without having a bunch of rights thrust upon me. They're like Unicef flyers.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:42 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


What do we want?
GUYSHADOW!
Where do we want it?
ON OUR MOBILE LIDS, BLENDED LIKE THE DULCET TONES OF A PEACOCK!
posted by mikurski at 3:44 PM on October 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


If they're so against unfair laws by gender, why are they silent on conscription, surely the worst thing about being a man? Not in the UK (and women were conscripted in WW2, but not for overseas military work and not if they had small children or, like men, were in 'essential occupations' - so my firefighter grandfather (lots of bomb fires) and nurse grandmother weren't) but in Italy, Greece, Belgium, and i believe in america the draft only affects men? Frankly it's a doozy anyway isn't it - start a petition, get it retweeted and so on by people with enough followers /fans, watch it snowball? You can get governments to act out of embarrassment on issues which are single-law, simple, basically unimportant and not party-political. Why don't they try?
posted by maiamaia at 3:49 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


While this article didn't mention conscription, I've definitely seen individual MRA-identified commenters bring it up.
posted by jaguar at 3:52 PM on October 24, 2013


Same. Generally as a HEY WOMEN DON'T GET DRAFTED SO WHAT DO YOU MEAN FEMALE PRIVILEGE ISN'T REAL thing, though.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh yeah - conscription is a big talking point in mra discussions i've been a part of. what's interesting is that in the 70s and 80s there were challenges to a male only draft on gender inequality grounds. it got to the supreme court with the support of many women's rights groups, including the national organization for women.
posted by nadawi at 4:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah I've seen the draft thing mentioned before too, but I imagine they dont push it too much because they draft doesn't _actually_ affect anyone. The other stuff they complain about is stuff they perceive as affecting them -- they're blaming their problems/issues on women / anti-male bias, but no one is being drafted so its something that pops up in laundry lists but doesnt generate any actual passion, or so it seems.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:03 PM on October 24, 2013


...he turns around and talks about the time he fended off a mob of 20-30 feminists wielding box cutters.

I can't believe there is any truth to this story, but if there is it reflects a significant problem. Box cutters? Apparently we're due for a teach-in on the proper use of pitchforks and torches.


This story is a complete lie, which I know because I know the people who were involved.

He was verbally confronted by two or three individuals, one of them a man, one of them holding a camera. There were no box cutters; there were barely even voices raised. He was out postering at night, and residents of the neighbourhood were getting annoyed at the content of the posters. The MRA believe that plastering the walls of a lefty city enclave counts as "activism", which is pretty much their regular modus operandi online, too: drive-by nasty comments left anonymously for the rest of us to stumble over.

All that is bad enough. But this:

When his critics say he hates women, he points to the time he protected the identity of a woman who was threatened with violence by “self-identified feminists” merely for offering to debate the merits of feminism.

I don't even know where to fucking start. Because I was personally involved in this particular clusterfuck, which unfolded on Facebook and via email, I happen to know just how much of a lie this is, and just how twisted. Long story short: a well-intentioned local woman, who had much experience organizing poetry slams but not a great deal with organizing political events, had the well-meaning but ultimately foolish idea that if you asked the MRAs to sit down in a formal debate situation you could reason them out of their positions. I was one of the many who spent a weekend talking about how legitimizing the MRAs in our community by giving them a platform within that community (she wanted to hold the "debate" at the same coffee bar as the poetry slams and numerous other community events) was a counterproductive idea, to say the least. To screams of censorship, we directed them to any number of other venues, including the downtown library, where rooms could be rented and events easily held. The woman in question cancelled the debate after receiving multiple on-line threats from the MRAs, something which she spoke about with Jezebel. The idea that he was "protecting" her from anything is delusional; the idea that he was protecting her identity is a further instance of WTF, as her full name and contact info were on the FB page from the beginning.

The almost-amusing coda is that without somebody to organize the event for them, it never took place.
posted by jokeefe at 4:19 PM on October 24, 2013 [40 favorites]


The almost-amusing coda is that without somebody to organize the event for them, it never took place.

WRONG. That's totally amusing.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:45 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is anecdata and my opinion, so take it as you wish, but I am convinced the majority of Reddit is comprised of self-identified MRAs and people who don't identify as an MRA but will spout off the talking points and even the most extreme ones. I am still subscribed to a few of the default reddits because there are a few times that I genuinely get enjoyment from the content, but the comments sections are filled with the most disgusting shit. I know a lot of people often say "well that goes for any website with comments/youtube/news websites/etc, so just don't look at them" but I don't believe in that.

Reddit in general has longer and larger discussions, with people typing out longer replies and discussion chains that grow in length over a day. It's one thing to see a news article comment section where someone says a one-off racist comment in a single sentence but a completely different thing to see multiple comments talking about how it's legal to have sex with girls who are 14, or 12, because it happens to be legal, or how if a woman hits a man you, as a man, should (or do, in some cases as perceived by these people) have the right to beat the ever living shit out of her. They will then list bullshit reasons as to why these activities are totally fine, usually by completely misinterpreting biological reasons.

So perhaps this is a societal problem, where it's nearly mainstream for people to believe such things. The reason I point Reddit out as an example is because it's mostly not as anonymous, you could potentially find out information about a particular poster if you wished, and because it has a gigantic user base. Obviously not everyone on there believes these things, but I definitely think the default subreddits are a large portion of the community, and when people who are new on the website see those first and see comments that degrade women (or pretty much anyone who isn't white, straight, male, STEM major, etc.) it may give them reinforcement, make them feel at home, make them feel as if that's acceptable, or what have you.

I see this shit a lot on Facebook, too. There's this kid I use to know from my hometown and was pretty good friends with, and I'd actually probably still be pretty good friends with him if it weren't for this, but he kept posting stuff on Facebook about girls who were "sluts" and some pretty trivial intro-to-MRA type of stuff such as the aforementioned custody laws and payments. Anyway, I stopped letting him be on my newsfeed because that seemed like the simplest thing to do. But of course, it wasn't! Because Facebook then lets his comments that he posts on his statuses (which I have hidden) show up in my newsfeed, and I can't hide that. I was browsing Facebook one day with my girlfriend sitting next to me and this huge thread pops up. It's a status he posted that basically said "wow you're a cool girl, too bad you've probably fucked all of my friends" and then a load of comments saying things such as "yeah bro that shit's so lame, fucking sluts going out to the desert and getting fucked" and then the rape apologists started jumping on. I deleted him right then and there because I was so embarrassed. I wanted to show my girlfriend and say "look at these fucking crazy people I use to go to high school and be friends with" as a laugh, but then I realized it wouldn't be funny for her, AT ALL. I deleted him immediately and have never looked back.

I am really freaked out by these sorts of views that people hold. I am not sure what freaks me out the most: the actual viewpoints themselves (which are typically abhorrent) or the fact that these people are everywhere. They are "normal" adults, carrying out their lives all around me, and they've even been friends of mine, and possibly are still friends of mine!
posted by gucci mane at 4:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


Then there are male victims of domestic abuse whose plight is largely ignored by both the media and the justice system. It’s hard to say exactly how big the problem is because there has never been sufficient interest to fund a proper study tracking it. There are still many regions in the United States that lack any kind of safe houses or shelters for men at risk. Even in my progressive hometown of Portland, Oregon, the Police Bureau’s domestic violence victims’ resource manual defines a domestic abuse shelter as “a temporary place for women.” In instances of immediate crisis, men who call the police are as likely to be offered smirks as they are protection.

Yes, this is a problem, and a serious one. Men need shelters, too. But the MRM have no plan of action to address this need. They instead seem to view the existence of domestic violence shelters for women as a theft of resources. They seem to think, for example, women’s shelters were birthed whole from extant Government programs, not fought for over decades and in the face of whole-hearted opposition. Women gave their whole lives over to this work, and suffered for it; before official agencies were harried into providing grant money for their operation, many shelters ran on community fundraising and exhaustion. When MRAs ask Where are the shelters for men, the answer can only be: Get to work. Do what women did; start with volunteers and prepare to lobby for funding. Raising the topic of domestic violence drew jeers and laughter in the Canadian Parliament in 1982, but feminism has done the heavy lifting here already: they don’t have to prove that DV is a bad thing that affects people badly. I've been waiting for a while to see the establishment of men-only DV shelters; but I don't think the MRM is going to be the outfit that manages it.
posted by jokeefe at 4:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


> I am still subscribed to a few of the default reddits because there are a few times that I genuinely get enjoyment from the content, but the comments sections are filled with the most disgusting shit.

That's because Reddit's reputation system + the inertia of the existing culture = an MMORPG about enforcing a really base status quo.
posted by postcommunism at 5:06 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


postcommunism: That's because Reddit's reputation system + the inertia of the existing culture = an MMORPG about enforcing a really base status quo.

I'm subscribed to a subreddit called "TheoryofReddit" which is sometimes really interesting and other times really dumb. However, a thread popped up talking about the voting system. I took issue with a certain viewpoint the poster brought up:

What is the problem? The problem is that we end up with the muzak of information. Muzak is elevator music, or art hanging in the lobby of your dentist. It is content that is generally acceptable, and doesn't offend anyone.

Which blows me away, because it implies that the top comments of people saying grossly sexist or racist things in any given thread are "generally acceptable." I find that to be extremely disturbing. You have a gigantic community of people and a ton of them can't seem to not make racist or sexist jokes, especially when those jokes have nothing to do with the originally posted content! On top of that, the opinions that I'd typically consider to be very extreme, are obviously not as extreme on there! They're roundly accepted by the community and you can measure that in upvotes and people agreeing with them.
posted by gucci mane at 5:15 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is anecdata and my opinion, so take it as you wish, but I am convinced the majority of Reddit is comprised of self-identified MRAs and people who don't identify as an MRA but will spout off the talking points and even the most extreme ones.

Yeah, you'd think Anita Sarkeesian killed Reddit's parents or something.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:25 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have the right to wear nail polish, simply because it makes me happy.

Hell yes. My toenails are purple right now. They can't be seen under my rainbow-colored socks and black sneakers, but why not?
posted by Foosnark at 5:26 PM on October 24, 2013


*considers starting a male-focused nail polish blog*

I mean, I have recommendations and everything.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:35 PM on October 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


yesyesyesdoit
posted by rtha at 5:38 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


*considers starting a male-focused nail polish blog*

I mean, I have recommendations and everything.


I'd bookmark that.
posted by Caduceus at 5:43 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Start with a clear coat. Once you get used to that, experiment. Go get a manicure and ASTONISH and DELIGHT the jaded women working there.

I always expected nail polish for men to mainstream, because hey, that doubles the market, right? But it stayed niche. I tried! I tended bar for years with painted nails, trying to make it A Thing. Oh well.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:21 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


beware, puas have tried ruining guy nail polish with shit like alphanail. although i did just learn their site is down which makes me pretty happy.
posted by nadawi at 6:21 PM on October 24, 2013


also my husband wants to use his years of experience painting d&d miniatures to give me bitchin' nail art. i'm pretty stoked.
posted by nadawi at 6:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wait what?

PUAs are into guy nail polish? Really? Fuck.

WHY MUST PEOPLE SUCK THE FUN OUT OF EVERYTHING
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:34 PM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


I always expected nail polish for men to mainstream, because hey, that doubles the market, right? But it stayed niche. I tried! I tended bar for years with painted nails, trying to make it A Thing. Oh well.

I have gotten it on good authority many times that it's a damn shame that dudes tend to have super strong nails and long eyelashes and let them go to waste. You're fighting the good fight!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:39 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


We also have awesome legs. A lady I knew loved mine so much she wanted to cut them off and keep them.
posted by mikurski at 6:55 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "... Rather, he says that he was attracted to it by its sheer intellectual merits. (For example, the theory that women are “without the capacity for moral agency” and unable to grasp the concepts of “personal accountability, ethics, compassion or empathy,” which he suspects is hardwired into the X chromosome.)

The only way this makes any sense is as a performance art piece.
"

In the same sense Hitler was one gigantic piece of art, sure.
posted by symbioid at 7:05 PM on October 24, 2013


Alpha Nail is wretched. ManGlaze is much better, and they're totally happy to see their product on women. (Santorum's been on my wish list for a couple years now - heh heh, santorum.)

I've definitely seen at least one guy-run nail art blog, and he wasn't afraid to wear pinks and girly nail art, either. Pretty cool stuff.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


if any of you guys wanna buck gender trends, be warm, comfy, and styling, might i suggest sockdreams. like these or these or these.
posted by nadawi at 7:11 PM on October 24, 2013


ManGlaze

teeheehee
posted by jason_steakums at 7:14 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


huh santorum is darker than i thought it'd be.
posted by nadawi at 7:21 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damnit nadawi, that is teh hawtness.

Personally, I wear sarongs around the house (and maybe minor other accoutrements now and then). I would gladly wear those socks! :)

That said, it's not like Sarongs are for ladies only (at least in their traditional usage), and I'm not in any way an MRI, so...

Also - I love lipstick and fingernail polish.

I think it's because of my sister, growing up... I was a little doll to her and her friend at times, I think. The attention served as a pavlovian reinforcement mechanism.

Also - nail polish and lipstick are just cool.
posted by symbioid at 7:21 PM on October 24, 2013


symbioid, i can say from experience that those socks (and a bunch of others) look great on guys. they have a category called "bigger feet" that are tested on men and women's feet. sockdreams has the best customer service too and they'll always answer questions about fit. i'm not affiliated with them, just a super happy customer.

also i've always thought men should fight for skirts. kilts and sarongs are a good start.
posted by nadawi at 7:28 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are there any successful social movements that have started with extremist insane nutbars and eventually gained traction in tackling real issues through reasoned dialogue?

I think Nation of lslam managed that transition but it took them 30 years.
posted by miyabo at 7:31 PM on October 24, 2013


I enjoy wearing nail polish but it weirdly makes my fingertips feel like they're sweating when they aren't.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:34 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are there any successful social movements that have started with extremist insane nutbars and eventually gained traction in tackling real issues through reasoned dialogue?

That's kind of a tricky and really good question, because the only ones that leap to mind immediately changed over many generations and a lot of societal changes - the Democratic party from slavery to modern day, for instance.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:39 PM on October 24, 2013


I love this thread because of the male nail polish discussion it's inspired. I once asked a guy out (I'm a lady) because I thought he had one nail painted black and I thought it was cool. It turned out he had shut it in a door and it had turned black from the blood pooling up, but he was still kinda cool and Italian so we dated for like a month.
posted by sweetkid at 8:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Also, I want to give props to BitterOldPunk because this:

"It's been my experience that when it seems that the entire world is conspiring against me it's because I'M BEING A FUCKWAD AND NEED TO CHANGE."

I want like, cross-stitched and hung up in my (metaphorical) study.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:14 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]



Hembling relies on easily debunked male-pill conspiracy theories

It wildly exaggerates the importance of Hembling to the MRM

or whether they’ll opt for the instant gratification [of Hembling]


I propose the verb form of Hembling from now on be taken to mean

"Make or promote poorly thought and easily dismissable attacks on women or feminism". E.g -

"Steve saw the latest Polygon article on sexist character portrayals in videogames and has been hembling at anyone who'll listen by the watercooler"

"Alan saw that his gym had expanded women's-only gym hours by an extra 15 minutes on thursday mornings, and was in the manager's office hembling furiously immediately after showering"
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:19 PM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


The MRM wants to be taken as seriously as Feminism

OK, I lol'd.

Anyways, when I was in grad school there was this crazy campus preacher guy who'd rant on fire and brimstone shit and homosexuality was Satanic perversion and so on, and mostly everyone ignored him. I heard or read somewheres the gist of it was kind of fucked up life, probably some mental illnesses, cokehead, & ends up being one of those guys who gets off the drugs and on the Jesus, so yeah. But one time I see someone's picking a fight with him, getting him all riled up and like, demolishing him with passionate logic. And it was like, sure you're right, but, congratulations, you just won an argument with a powerless slightly mentally damaged street preacher?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:27 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's a mistake to dismiss MRAs as harmless cranks, though, given how much work they put into identifying, naming, and threatening feminists online. They have a very direct impact on online discourse.

They're certainly not strong enough to stop feminists from speaking up, but they're creating real obstacles to women speaking about their experiences in public.
posted by jaguar at 9:58 PM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I also think that if you told most MRAs that they could snap their fingers and get either a fully funded system of men's shelters, or for all women to stop espousing feminists beliefs in public, 95% of them would vote for Door #2.
posted by jaguar at 10:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


These dudes are the gender equivalent of the Tea Party, and they're just about as destructive. There seems to be a certain amount of overlap, as well.
posted by jrochest at 10:07 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


The custody question is an interesting one, because it seems on the surface to be a totally reasonable request and it's something that non-ideologues can identify with, and a great entry-point to this "movement".

But if you dig a little deeper into the research, it turns out that women are favored in custody arrangements because women are far more likely to ask for custody. In cases where men ask for custody they are actually pretty likely to get it a majority of the time, even if there are other mitigating circumstances such as abuse or neglect.

In other words: the big standard-bearing issue of the MRA movement is actually the fault of antiquated gender roles that expect women to be the nurturing caretakers and that train men to think that childrearing is a woman's job and thus they shouldn't even ask for their rights.

This is my surprised face.
posted by Be cool, sodapop at 10:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


I have been enjoying Ally Fogg's* engagement with Mike Buchanan** on his blog recently - 1 2 3 - though I hope it stops soon. If I have too much more contact with him, I'll feel moved to put on a frock and join the RadFems.

*Although I don't agree with Mr Fogg on everything, I would be quite happy for him to speak for me on most things, as he seems better informed and more articulate than me.

** Although I agree with Mr Buchanan about virtually nothing - perhaps we might find some consensus on things such as the behaviour of the sun in the morning or the direction objects move when you let go of them, though I doubt it - I find the enthusiasm this ludicrous man would have for speaking on my behalf as annoying as it is offensive.
posted by Grangousier at 10:24 PM on October 24, 2013


I have some Manglaze! Santorum does apply pretty dark, which is disappointing. Decent formula, though, which is good since with most matte polishes you're not supposed to use either base or top coat (unless you want the shine, then add top coat, obviously). (I use base coat and have never had an issue, fwiw.)

Fatty's Got More Blood -- a dark red -- has a formula that tended to streak and needed thinner. Lesbi-honest (yes, all the names are a bit much), a dark pink, was the best of the bunch for me. Good color, good application, good wear.

Butt Taco, an orange, also gets a lot of love over at MUA. If I make another order I'll probably go for that next.
posted by rewil at 11:24 PM on October 24, 2013


It occurs to me the MRM has a lot on common with the white power movements of a decade or two ago. They have similar tactics and bylines: captivating the damage that racism/sexism does; idolization of the "good old days" when people knew their place; a narrative of an assault on their kind; intimations of a malignant conspiracy. They are obviously reading from the same playbook, and I suspect some of the same people are involved.

In my experience with dealing with MRM types online, I've come to the conclusion that they don't even care about the situation of men; they actually only care about fighting feminists in particular, and women in general. Some may see it all as a zero-sum game, with any increase in women's status leading to a decline in their own. Others may simply fear that they'll be forced to stop doing what they like. But the majority of them just seen to object to the intrusion I'd women into privileged male spaces. As a friend of mine pointed out, It's not a case of unexamined privilege, they've looked at their privilege and said "I like it, and I want to keep it."

And the thing is, if there's any discussion of something like sexism in media, or gaming, or anywhere, they'll be there to divert the conversation to their accusations that sexism doesn't really harm anyone, and the real enemy is feminism. Take Giant in the Playground recently, where a thread on fighting sexism in gaming began. A counter "anti-feminism" thread started, and then the main thread was bundled into a real-world sexism debate until it was locked. I've seen the same tactics utilized time after time. It's frustrating, it's making the internet unusable for many people, ad I honestly don't see any solution to it.
posted by happyroach at 11:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


And it was like, sure you're right, but, congratulations, you just won an argument with a powerless slightly mentally damaged street preacher?

On the other hand, they made it just a little clearer that the community doesn't acquiesce to hateful ideologies.
posted by jaduncan at 1:37 AM on October 25, 2013


It occurs to me the MRM has a lot on common with the white power movements of a decade or two ago.

This reminds me: I think Virgil Texas once tweeted that MRAs and white power supporters were alike in that white power people were the worst examples of white people, and likewise -
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:12 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Comment deleted; let's not contribute to publicizing someone's name here in relation to accusations of false rape. Understood that the accusations are false, but the person is still being victimized, and it would better for us not to inadvertently add to that problem. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:47 AM on October 25, 2013


the guys in the mrm don't cease to exist when they step away from their computers. they also aren't all 17 year old guys living with their moms and never seeing the light of day. these guys work, shop, date, and generally move about with all of us.

before i learned to spot the mra talking points and the pua tactics i'd been taken in by a few. even as strong of a feminist as i am, and even as far away as i am from the events - i still sorta feel like a silly little girl for ever falling for their bullshit and i feel dumb because apparently this stuff would never work in real life according to some. when you reduce them to just sad little trolls on the internet you can make it harder for women to discuss how damaging these guys are in real life.
posted by nadawi at 5:51 AM on October 25, 2013 [13 favorites]


I know more than a few men in Chicago who paint their nails. I think it's fuckin' hot as hell.
posted by agregoli at 6:24 AM on October 25, 2013


More generally, contemporary white supremacists and MRMs employ very familiar strategies by which reactionaries respond to the spectre of oncoming, often radical social change. Academic and popular Civil Rights Movements led by and concerned with people of color and women have made considerable advances, introducing useful analytical and discursive methods and changing minds and the culture (However much work is left to be done and however much seems newly or constantly threatened, much has nonetheless been accomplished.)

The strategy is fundamentally one of appropriation, and more specifically the sophistical production of a kind of "cargo-cult" rhetoric that mimics and tries to invert the rhetorical and organizational strategies of radicalism. Thus contemporary white supremacists adopt the language of racial self-determination, adopt the term "whiteness" and elements of the the discussion around it from critical race studies, and more generally produce a Euro- or white Caucaso-centrism superficially homologous to discourses on the complexity and value of historically oppressed cultural or ethnically-defined groups. Among American white supremacists and nationalists, Eurocentrism is often an obvious cargo cult version of Afrocentrism or even multiculturalism, for example. Similarly, MRMs employ feminist rhetorics and discursive techniques, often even radical feminist arguments, but attempt to invert them or hollow them out to replace the concepts with patriarchal ideals. The most obvious example here might be the neologistic use of "masculinism" as a direct lift from "feminism."

If this sounds familiar, it's because of an especially prominent example or reactionary appropriation from the twentieth century: fascism. Fascism reacted against Communism by borrowing both the mass organization tactics and elements of the collectivist theories and critiques of liberalism prominent in Leninist-Marxist circles, but then wedded them to an often ad-hoc concept of "traditionalism." Like so many instances of threatened privilege, it courts self-contradiction by insisting at once that its "people" or its ideals are supremely gifted and yet constantly outwitted or suppressed by supposed inferiors; it demands to be seen as both impossibly triumphant and impossibly persecuted, as the secret motor of the world and yet as the victim of hostile, ascendant political and historical forces.

Most of all, however, reactionary politics wishes to identify and superficially replicate successful or promising organizational strategies from their opponents, replacing the innards of radical or even left-liberal institutions or groups with their own. One can find this in the fundamentalist-creationist imitation of the academic system and the publication structure supportive of both humanistic and scientific research, the tendency of rightwing groups to adopt names reminiscent of their liberal or leftist counterparts without any of the corresponding internal dynamics, or the failed response to the 99%-1% framing of income inequality with the 47%-53% framing.

If it weren't sometimes terrifyingly effective, those of us on the left might find even be able to enjoy it as evidence that the left has better ideas, to the point that the right has to capture those very methods in order to keep up with history or destructively try to roll parts of it back. But really, it shows how deeply dependent privilege is on exactly what privilege tries to render invisible; the response, then, has to be a kind of hyperbolic "making visible" of resistance to privilege on the very surfaces and in the very disocurse of privilege itself.
posted by kewb at 8:41 AM on October 25, 2013 [22 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "I tried to RTFA, I really did, but I'm ill and my blood pressure is too high

Mine isn't, but my brain is really confused. It's refusing to believe that people actually spout and have these beliefs. It literally doesn't make any sense
"

A lot of it makes sense if you consider that the movement largely consists of people dealing with trauma and mental illness, or rather not dealing with it - from the article:

“When we talk about recovery from trauma and abuse, there were two things that helped me,” says Chris Anderson, executive director of the male-victim advocacy group Male Survivor and a sexual abuse survivor himself. “The first was realizing that I'm not alone; the second was hearing that recovery was possible.” Anderson is quick to dissociate himself from the men’s rights movement: “In [the MRM] people get that first message, that they're not alone. I don't know that they ever get the second message. And when they don’t get that second message, it turns into an endless feedback loop and eventually they say, ‘Oh my God, all of society is f**ked.’”

Untreated PTSD and related mental health issues sometimes look to other people like incoherent rage, projection and persistent feelings of victimization, and often delusional thinking that comes from it. There are likely quite a lot of actual trauma survivors in the movement, but they're not getting the help they need and instead look for scapegoats as the source of their problems. It's really hard to see when you're in that state of mind, being continuously triggered and trauma bonding with others over past injuries, which is an open invitation for predatory types within these groups to further victimize them and play their corresponding roles. I mean, I've seen this in left-leaning political movements too, but ultimately social justice is more than just someone externalizing their trauma. But it looks to me like there isn't much coming from a grounded perspective from the men's rights movement, and the grievances they claim and solutions they're seeking aren't addressing the healing that they need first.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:44 AM on October 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I know more than a few men in Chicago who paint their nails. I think it's fuckin' hot as hell.

If you're really thinking of doubling the market though, you're going to need to need a liquid Kevlar polish with colloidal titanium and an ad campaign featuring an NFL tight end posing with the polish and gripping a football with obvious gouges all over it.
posted by jamjam at 8:53 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just don't see nail polish as girly. Everyone could use more color, its cheap, and fun. And guys who do it get points for not giving a shit about binary gender roles. Your stereotypical football enthusiast cares a great deal, so I don't know that a famous footballer doing it would help. But I wouldn't mind seeing it!
posted by agregoli at 9:28 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm very glad that the most visible group of these idiots I'm aware of in Britain are the entertaining and profile-raising Fathers 4 Justice who seem to spend most of their campaigning time both raising the profile of an issue that's important and having a blast by behaving like complete harmless prats.
posted by Francis at 9:53 AM on October 25, 2013


an ad campaign featuring an NFL tight end posing with the polish

sorry not sorry
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess it's good for me to be reminded just how far behind the times I really am, Metroid Baby.
posted by jamjam at 12:04 PM on October 25, 2013


Related -- though more in the 'the current patriarchy leads to some stupid shit' way than in our discussion about men and nail care:

New Nail Salon for Men Is the Manliest Place on Earth
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:29 PM on October 25, 2013


first of all - that gronk for opi will have me laughing all day.

secondly - the dude salon - beyond all the obvious problems, i really don't think those basins are going to result in a great pedicure.
posted by nadawi at 1:31 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had a roommate that wore nail polish, and he said it was to stop biting his nails. Thinking about it now, it may have been a cover excuse he gave because he liked nail polish, which I'd be okay with whatever reason he gave.
posted by FJT at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2013


My favorite thing about MRAs is their obsession with false rape accusations. It's my favorite thing because their interest is mostly disingenuous. It's not about helping unfortunate men. It's about calling women whores, and about subtly justifying rape and rapey behavior.

Do false rape accusations happen? Sure. It's impossible to get an exact number, but they do happen. Various studies in the US have turned up various numbers in the single digits.

But! And this is important! Many crimes are falsely reported. Not just rape, not at all. Falsely reporting crimes is a thing that happens across the board. While the overwhelming majority of reported crimes are reported in good faith, the fact remains that lots of people do lots of things for lots of reasons.

Do you see people this up in arms over false accusations for assault? For theft? For vandalism? No?

So...what is it about rape? Why "care" about this, but not the other things that affect people?

And about these unfortunate men, who are so falsely accused...

If you wanted to help them, do you know what would be the single best thing? Legal reform. Grant people practical access to their rights, as owed on paper. Give them access to quality defense counsel. Allow people, especially the indigent, to have actual speedy trials, or to make meaningful plea bargains. Don't force them to plead guilty, since their own practical alternative is to wait for months in jail in order to exercise their right to a trial.

The nice thing about this kind of reform is that it helps everyone, and it isn't even really about rape.

But! You never hear these kinds of suggestions coming from MRAs.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:47 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


The problem is that 1) they would question the single digit statistics for false rapes, and find a way to show that they're unverifiable and that it's impossible to report statistics, and that the groups making the statistics are biased towards feminists and thus untrustworthy; and 2) they think it happens all day, every day, because their definitions of rape and consent are vastly different from ours. Anything that's not an absolute, cut-and-dry, villanious rape scenario is a "false rape accusation." They think intoxication doesn't preclude consent, and that not saying no enough times or running away is a sign of consent, etc.

So there's already a wide gulf in the groundwork for even talking about this, and explaining the basics just mires you more in their worldview which is completely at odds with legal, social and ethical reality, and. Yeah.
posted by naju at 9:05 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


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