I’ve kept silent about this phenomenon for a while now. I know there are going to be people expecting me to prove my experiences as fact. And, you know, I shouldn’t be expected to do that because I am talking about something that gets people upset. If I am shining a negative light on this, then people should probably be thinking about why that is.
I have seen a lot of talk around about the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) as a rebuttal to feminism. They say men need a movement too, because feminism isn’t focusing on them enough. They say feminists are all man-hating-lesbians. And, really, it should be telling that your main argument is a homophobic one. But, I could accept that. Men are occasionally victims of the patriarchy. It would make sense to have a movement that helped them deal with that. Despite what I’m going to say, men do need a support system.
My feminism is not one that is comfortable for men. It’s about women: Trans women, women of colour, queer women…so, some men would need a separate space for support. Because sometimes, I just want to talk about my experiences and my anger without thinking about men for once.
However, the MRM seems to be more of a movement that operates under a dangerous delusion of how the world works. In my experience, they seem more interested in threatening and insulting women more than actually helping the men they claim to help. They invade discussions of sexism or abuse or rape and just get so angry at the idea that the discussion isn’t about them. They come up with examples of a narrative about the woman who trick men into having babies with them. I hear too many claims like, “rape victims are usually lying!” And I have lost count of how many men’s rights activists, both online and in real life, default to slurs to try to silence people.
And whenever someone talks about the MRM, there seems to be dozens of people crawling out of the woodwork to claim that they’re not all like that. Okay, but there have been several documented cases of misogyny and threats of violence coming out of the MRM. So, if not all MRAs are like that, why are you letting the most reactionary people represent your movement? If you are not all like that, where are the defenses and the condemnation of the slurs and threats? I have not seen a single instance of MRAs coming to collect their most horrible members. They are either silent or agreeing with their position.
So many times they bring up male rape/abuse victims as if that is some sort of game changer. They say I don’t care about these victims, because I don’t fit their narrative as the poor, put-upon, gurl. That was what someone actually said to me once, in a discussion about my own rape. Let me elaborate: I was discussing a terrible thing that happened to me, and I was shit upon because I wasn’t considering other people’s feelings.
Okay, if they really gave as much of a shit about male victims as you claim, why is it they only bring them up in conversations where we are talking about the overwhelming amount of rape and violence that women, especially women of colour, face? Why is it that every time there is a story about rape victims who are men in the news, those same people are making jokes about it? Why is it that they are not banding together to get shelters created? Women literally had to squeeze blood out of a stone to get those shelters created. They had to fight tooth and nail for those safe spaces. Where is the same dedication from them?
Why is it that feminism is expected to step up and fight for everyone – even the people who hate it, while the MRM is screaming expletives into the universe? Why am I expected to listen to men who fucking hate me and everything that I stand for? Why am I supposed to just accept things as they are and not try and fight and bleed for a better future?
Of course, I already know the answers. Do you?