Men’s Rights versus Feminism Explained Using Magnets

This is Jill.
Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.33 PM

If we see Jill as strong, it’s difficult to see her as a victim.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.34 PM

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.34 PM #2

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.35 PM

In fact the stronger we see Jill being, the more difficult it is to see her as a victim.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.35 PM #2

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.35 PM #3

We need lots of evidence to convince us that Jill is a victim.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.37 PM

And even if we are convinced Jill is a victim in one circumstance, we quickly go back to seeing her as strong and need lots of evidence to convince us she’s a victim in any other circumstance.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.35 PM #3

We don’t have an emotional association between strength and victimhood. That’s why it’s hard for us to see strong people as victims.

This is because we are psychologically inclined to separate people into 2 categories: ‘actors’ and ‘acted upon’.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.54 PM

We resist seeing the people we classify as ‘actors’ as being ‘acted upon’. Likewise we resist seeing the people we classify as ‘acted upon’ as being ‘actors.’

This is Jack.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.40 PM

Compared to Jill, Jack is almost always in the ‘actor’ category.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.55 PM

We place women as a group into the category ‘acted upon’ relative to men.

When Jack’s hit by Jill we resist seeing him as a victim and try to find a way to blame him for her violence, recasting him as the actor in the encounter.

Conversely we recognize the internal life of the ‘acted upon.’ We see their vulnerabilities and needs. We feel compassion and wish to protect and provide for them. We tend to blame their circumstances rather than them for their actions.wham

When Jill hits Jack we resist seeing her as an actor and instead try to find a way to recast her as acted upon by Jack.wham2

 

We recast the ‘acted upon’s’ actions as reactions to someone else’s actions; and we the actor acting even when he’s being acted upon. We resist seeing ‘actors’ as being acted upon; and we resist seeing the ‘acted upon’ as taking action.act

Put together, we judge ‘actors’ based on how their actions affect those we see as ‘acted upon.’

hurt

We consider women weak but at the same time we are concerned about women’s well being.

Because we associate women with weakness, with the category ‘acted upon’ it’s easy to see them as victims.

And the more we see women as victims, the stronger the association between “woman” and “acted upon.”

If we associated strength with womanhood, we would need lots of evidence of women’s victimhood. Rational evidence, statistical evidence, factual evidence and we would look to both sides of the equation. We would look at the situation for men.

But because we associate being “actors” with manhood we resist seeing how men are “acted upon”. We resist seeing men as victims and we find it particularly difficult to see how men are victims because they are men.

Jack is 5 times more likely to commit suicide. He is 25% less likely to graduate college. Studies suggest he is just as likely to experience domestic violence or rape, but he receives almost no support as a victim of either. In fact he’s more likely to be arrested than his female abuser. Jack receives many times less government funding in social programs overall relative to Jill even though he pays more in taxes. Jack is fifteen times more likely to lose custody. He serves 60% more for the same crime. He is 4 times more likely to be unsheltered and homeless and 9 times more likely to die on the job.

If these statistics applied to Jill we would say they were evidence of Jill’s oppression, that they are evidence that Jill belongs in the category ‘acted upon.’ But because they apply to Jack and our subconscious resists putting Jack in the category ‘acted upon’, we resolve the cognitive dissonance  by saying Jack is a victim of racism, ableism, classism, homophobia… anything but recognize that Jack can be acted upon as a man.

Men act; women are acted upon.

Men are strong; women are weak.

Men’s Rights activists seek to bring awareness to how men are acted upon by society, acted upon by other men and acted upon by women.

They are opposed by feminists who think that bringing attention to how men are acted upon will take something away from women.

Every era has had its mythology of women’s weakness and men’s strength. Ours is no different and it’s not progressive.

Photo on 13-12-01 at 2.55 PM

How easy is it for you to see Jill as a victim? How hard is it for you to see Jack as vulnerable?

 

Alison Tieman
Follow me

Alison Tieman

Artist/Writer at Xenospora
Alison has been researching men's issues since her mother gave her "Princess at the Window" by Donna Laframboise in 1994 when she was 16. She's taken part in men's rights communities since she started posting on soc.men in 2003. Since 2011 she's run the gender apostate blog Genderratic with her pal Gingko the wonder leaf and she founded Honey Badger Brigade in 2013 with Hannah Wallen and Karen Straughan. According to Vice the pony she most resembles is Fluttershy.
Alison Tieman
Follow me
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather
  • Adiabat

    “If these statistics applied to Jill we would say they were evidence of Jill’s oppression, that they are evidence that Jill belongs in the category ‘acted upon.’”

    Y’know what jumped out at me when you railed off those statistics? How serious they are. They’re about how society cares about its’ vulnerable people, ensures a good education to all, the right to raise your children, and ensures we have a justice system that treats everyone equally. These are very basic things in a civilised society.

    Yet when a feminist is asked about their most pressing issues they are facing we either hear about a mythical wage gap that has been debunked by pretty much everybody or something about banknotes and/or lad’s mags. Oh, and how video games are sexist or something.

    What is it going to take to get feminists to rethink their ‘models’ and ‘theories’ regarding society?

  • Ginkgo

    “Yet when a feminist is asked about their most pressing issues they are facing we either hear about a mythical wage gap that has been debunked by pretty much everybody or something about banknotes and/or lad’s mags”

    These are attampets to retian victim status. when you have to scrpae this hard, that shows you are working off of a need.

    The extreme of this is this “I need feminism because…” thing going on on Facebook. The postings are just laughable Princess and the Pea attempts at begging for pity.

  • Adiabat

    “These are attampets to retian victim status. when you have to scrpae this hard, that shows you are working off of a need.”

    Definitely. I was even trying to come up with their best examples, so I can’t be accused of downplaying anything, and that’s what I ended up with.

    It’s funny, I’m no stranger to reading feminist sites yet I struggle to come up with a handful of decent examples of “oppression” that compare to the ones given in the OP.

    Perhaps that’s why they had to invent the “Patriarchy” and “Rape Culture” so they don’t have to come up with real life issues. Once you reject their theoretical myths suddenly feminism seems to crumble into trivia.

    Trivia, and opposition to solving the issues mentioned in the OP.

  • Jupp

    The biggest specifically female issues seem to be sexual violence and the legislation regarding abortion. Now I am aware that the prevalency of sexual violence against females as well as how this number compares to sexual violence against males is debated controversally, but if I just take the numbers feminists commonly use, then sexual violence is a problem which mainly affects females.

  • typhonblue

    @ Jupp

    “but if I just take the numbers feminists commonly use, then sexual violence is a problem which mainly affects females.”

    But why would you do that?

  • Jupp

    Typhonblue,
    I personally would not, but as, to my knowledge, there is no consent about the prevalence of sexual violence amongst men and amongst women, one has to choose some stats and we often believe authorities and use their claims fin our arguments.
    If the only problem with someones reasoning is that they use faulty statistical data, then it is a problem which can be corrected rather easily, by pointing out the faults and correcting the wrong stats. On the other hand, it is difficult to argue with hypotheticals and feelings.

  • Ginkgo

    Adiabat,
    “Perhaps that’s why they had to invent the “Patriarchy” and “Rape Culture” so they don’t have to come up with real life issues.”

    Hypoagency is at the bottom of both pushes. “Patriarchy” is used to elide women’s role in ruling elites – how they benefit and how their networks support the oligarchies we have always lived under. The new term “kyriarchy” is an atempt to correct this, and as you may have noticed, it is not cathcing on anywhere as fast as patrairchy did 40 years ago.

    “Rape culture” is used to blame men for the prostitution culture women have built around controlling men’s sexual access to them while masking their own expanding at-whim sexual access to men and deflecting attention form that contradiction.

    I noticed you don’t comment over at Ally’s place any more. Neither do I. I lurk/monitor a bit, but commenting has become pointless.

  • Adiabat

    Jupp: Lol, you’re right, can’t believe I missed those!

    Perhaps feminists’ talking about them has just become ‘background noise’ to me so I didn’t think of it. Or maybe it’s because I’m in the UK; The whole ‘abortion’ debate is mainly a US thing. I blame lack of sleep.

    Ginkgo: I also think Patriarchy and Rape Culture are used so they don’t have to think:

    If a particular issue is reported on they don’t need to analyse its root causes, measure the relative impact on various demographics, formulate solutions and work to solve the situation. They just say “It’s the patriarchy” or “It’s Rape Culture” and then go and watch a funny cat video on Youtube.

    For all their talk about fighting the Man… sorry “Patriarchy”, I don’t see anything they are actually doing on that front. Perhaps they can throw a music festival, that worked in the seventies… so I’m told.

    “I noticed you don’t comment over at Ally’s place any more. Neither do I. I lurk/monitor a bit, but commenting has become pointless.”

    I haven’t seen the point in commenting recently. Lucy’s mental rambling is killing every thread; she made 8 consecutive posts on the last thread, each filled with insane ranting with no bearing on reality. Carnation seems to undergo a “reset” in every thread where he forgets that all his talking points have been demolished several times before. It’s all just getting repetitive and boring.

    Ally himself seems to have swung more against mocking men’s rights rather than trying to walk the middle: did you see that post where he mocked them all for supposedly taking a jokey article in the Lancet seriously and his link to “prove” this consisted of a couple of guys having a laugh about it on an insignificant thread buried on some MGTOW site?

    I made a couple of comments yesterday to ‘test the water’, to see if I get anything sensible back.

  • zAcg

    I challenge anyone to post anti-feminist on this website – rawstory. com

    It is a NEWS website, NOT a feminist forum. Yet you will find an incredible number of white knights and feminists on you like a pack of wolves. Come I dare you to expose feminism there. (There are some ‘women’ related articles there, you can choose anyone of them)

  • Robert Crayle

    zAcg:

    Could you cite some specific examples? And maybe even take the initiative (I don’t know what you’ve already done, so you’ll have to fill us in on that).

  • John D

    zAcg:
    I’m having a hard time caring. I don’t have an issue with women’s articles–unless they demonize men, or specifically set out to minimize men’s issues (i.e. lie and distort to paint men as being on top or even worse womens antagonizers).

    If you want to post some articles in which you think this is happening, then I’ll have a look.

    Just because you got burned there doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be barbecued too.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome, zAcg!

    I second Robert’s request.

    You make an in mportant distinction, that that is a news site and not a feminist space and yet it is dominated by feminists and their palace eunuchs. And that really is a common state of affairs. OTOH if you look we are starting to see men’s issues treated sensibly in various places in the mainstream media. It’s a start.

  • Ginkgo
  • gwallan

    “one has to choose some stats and we often believe authorities and use their claims fin our arguments.”

    “has to”? As far as I’ve been able to tell statistics are being used to exclude rather than include. The only reason to separate victims into different classes is to enable different treatment.

  • trexpaddock

    It is a wonderful example of a ‘conformation bias’ in action. Society seems to largely function on a ‘Tarzan level’ of complexity. “Man bad. Woman good.” That gets so deeply ingrained into the way people see the world. Sadly, that seems to extend into the legal sphere as ‘man guilty, woman not guilty’. When a man is bad, it is seen to damn all men, when a woman is bad enough that people can’t excuse it, it is seen as the actions of an individual, and even then excused or at least softened with excuses. (battered wife, abused, neglected, etc )

    The stats (such that they are) are used largely to comfort the psyche when exposed to more and more ‘bad’ women. As in “Yes, she did kill all those people, HOWEVER the majority of serial killers are male.” As if that had any meaning. Is there any other genetic difference that would be used that way, and not seen as being moronic? “The majority of jaywalkers are blonde”, “The majority of overdue DVD renters have brown eyes”.

    Society seems to want to treat males and females like they are two different species. They are not. We are all purple magnets, in slightly different shades.

  • Ginkgo

    trexpaddock, welcome and I love your whole comment.

    This is gold:
    “Society seems to want to treat males and females like they are two different species. They are not. We are all purple magnets, in slightly different shades.”

    And this:
    ‘conformation bias’

    …is genius. If you meant “confirmation bias”, then I agree with you; that’s what this is. But if you meant “conformation bias” this is a keeper of a new coinage – the bias to confomr to set norms of seeing gender..

  • trexpaddock

    Thank you. :)

    I did mean ‘confirmation bias’, however, I would agree that ‘conformation bias’ works too. XD

    (I have a learning disability(ies) that makes me more-or-less blind, in regards to spelling errors. It has also saved my life, so, I rather have mixed feelings about it. Without a doubt, it is a HUGE part of what makes me ‘me’ as it greatly effects almost everything about me. Sadly, it also makes me a social outcast. Such is life, I guess. Well, mine, at least.)

  • Ginkgo

    My speeling problems is sequencing my fingers on the keyboard. My spelling is nearly perfect when I an m handwriting.

    If it’s any comfort, Charlemagne was pretty obviously dyslexic, if that applies to you. In some areas of learning it confers real benefits. For instance it can make some aspects of learning foreign languages easier.

  • vintermann

    This is a good essay, so how about fixing the image links?