A Question For Discussion: Are Female MRAs The Ultimate Gender Rebels?

Hello!

I’m YetAnotherCommenter from Reddit. After posting this question to /r/LadyMRAs, Typhonblue extended an invitation for me to join this fine blog as a contributor. Needless to say I consider this an honor and for my first post I will simply copy the post which led to this opportunity.

In the future, I will be uploading my theoretical articles from Reddit (they were mostly posted on /r/Masculism) and place them here. Another work – a basic summary of my gender theories (which of course have been influenced by the work of Typhonblue and GirlWritesWhat as well as other thinkers like Sandra Bem, Roy Baumeister, Warren Farrel and other thinkers in the alternative gendersphere.

Anyway, on to the post!

—–

I just wanted to float the idea – are female MRA’s the ultimate expression of rebellion against the gender system?

The gender system sees men as actors and women as acted upon. The gender system sees men as inherently expendable and women as inherently cherishable.

A female feminist, at least one who is theoretically radical-second-wave or third-wave, demands the government or other people change themselves for her benefit. She argues she’s a victim of the system, that the system was imposed upon her, and that it was created by men. She argues that the State or some other authority needs to fix things on her behalf. She’s just like a woman who says she needs a man to fix her lightbulb – she embodies hypoagency and the enlistment of male agency. Look at the Redstockings Manifesto – it claimed that the solution was for men to change.

A male feminist, of the radical-second-wave or third-wave variety, takes the role of white knight and protector of women. He wins female approval through the deployment of his agency in the service of the interests of women. He rescues his women from the cruelty of internet trolls and thus lives up to the traditional male gender role. Through his agency he protects the innately precious-yet-vulnerable females and thus demonstrates his status as a real man.

A male MRA is a man who employs his agency to advance his own interests. That’s pretty much in line with gender stereotypes (not that there’s anything automatically wrong with that).

A female MRA?

She employs her own agency. She treats men as having an innate value which society is denying. She acts for their interests. She rejects the feminine role of passivity and acts on premises which contradict male disposability. She doesn’t accept that she’s more innately worthy than anyone else. She willingly assumes agency and responsibility and pursues teleological action for the benefit of someone else (primarily, although arguably she herself benefits as a consequence by weakening the gender system).

In short, female MRAs act against pretty much the entirety of the traditional gender system. Compare this to the neo-traditionalists of today’s “official” feminist movement – Karen Straughan certainly comes off as far less gender-conformist than Anita Sarkeesian after all.

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  • Robert Crayle

    Maybe not the only one thought. Men are expected to employ agency for a PATIENT’S benefit. To employ agency for oneself is to admit that you can be a patient (and imply that you can be both, which is correct and what so much of this bullshit is fighting against). Leaving the patient role requires more effort but is punished significantly less harshly. As an example, look up free speech advocates and writers around the world who have been imprisoned or murdered. Note how one sex seems to be the majority of prisoners, the other sex seems to fill most of the shallow graves?

  • YetAnotherCommenter

    Robert,

    Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Thanks for spotting that embarassing gap in my reasoning.

    As such, a male MRA would be gender-typical in the use of agency, however gender-atypical in drawing attention to male moral patiency.

    The issue of working-for-something-greater-than-oneself can be debated though. MRAs benefit themselves AND other men – so you can argue they aren’t being gender-atypical here (the atypicality lies in the acknowledgment of male moral patiency).

    Perhaps we can see it as gender-typical means to gender-transgressive ends. Female MRAs employ gender-transgressive means to gender-transgressive ends. Both sexes of (Radical Second/Third Wave) feminist ultimately employ gender-typical means to gender-typical ends.

    Thank you for your comment and pointing out the gap in my reasoning. Kudos!

  • Copyleft

    It’s more a matter of credibility–female MRAs cannot be instantly and casually dismissed by (inevitably female) radfems. Their existence poses a problem for the woman who insists that “listen to what WOMEN are saying” is the default rule for all discussion of gender issues.

  • Robert Crayle

    Almost all the people who rant to me to “listen to the women” are men, but others may vary on this.

    At least with the men, I find when they bleat about “listening to women” they invariably mean that you should listen to the women who parrot what they, the bleater, has already spoonfed them. Female MRAs are impossible for them to feed their delusions with, and are probably open to a special kind of mostly impotent, nerve-sapping, passive aggressive anger underpinned by a need for them to not exist anymore…

  • YetAnotherCommenter

    Copyleft and Crayle,

    I agree entirely. Being a woman grants an advantage of presumed credibility in gender discussions, whereas men are presumed suspect (“they’re secretly conspiring to force us back into the kitchen!” etc).

  • Ginkgo

    Robert wins the thread for suing the term “patient role” instead of the inaccurate subject/object binary you see in standard gender discourse.

    “She argues she’s a victim of the system, that the system was imposed upon her, and that it was created by men. She argues that the State or some other authority needs to fix things on her behalf. ”

    IOW she demands the very system she claims is oppressing her to come and be her savior. She expects the male-dominated state to cahampion her against the Patrirachy it is an organ of. I call this “Climbing Back Up Into Daddy’s Lap.”

  • Snake Oil Baron

    I suspect that female MRAs would definitely be in the running for “ultimate gender system rebels”. But then, male MRAs are going against strong cultural conditioning which tells them they have no right to challenge anything because they’re too powerful and privileged while telling women they have a right to do anything–challenge anything–but then dismisses them if they choose to challenge the ‘wrong’ things.

  • John D

    I would say that in terms of disadvantaging one’s own gender male feminists are in the same boat as female mras.

    However, on a social setting it is a true flip of the gender script for women to be protecting men (female mras). However, men protecting women (male feminists) is just more of the same old song and dance.

    I’d say there’s some greater levels of selflessness and fighting against culture to a female mra stances vs a male feminist stance.

  • John D

    @robert:
    “Note how one sex seems to be the majority of prisoners, the other sex seems to fill most of the shallow graves?”

    As far as I know this is the same sex, and is predominantly men.

  • Eagle35

    Guys, I hate to drag this off-topic but I have a post in reddit linking to the article I did on being bullied and hurt by girls and women in addition to boys in men. I invited discussion on it and there’s this one troll that basically didn’t get it. We got into a little verbal back and forth (which I regret doing) and he/she posted this:

    “It does not matter if you are male or female. No adult should be obsessed with petty childhood grievances. You can write a post about whatever you like, but that doesn’t mean that you can demand only positive responses. Likewise, the fact that you feel you are getting little social support does not automatically indicate a need for greater social awareness. Look up the definition of hubris.

    Many adults deal with very real, horrible and CURRENT problems daily. Like keeping your family from spinning out of control when your spouse has terminal cancer.

    So you discovered at age 32 that you had something to complain about that happened in grade school? Which basically is that other children, male and female, were not being nice to you. Amazingly, other adults in your life didn’t rush in to offer emotional support for this trauma? Well OP, that is not because more social awareness is needed. It is because other adults in your life know what real trauma is, and they are dealing with it now or know someone who is, and they don’t have time or patience to hold your hand while you whine about what happened over 20 years ago.

    This is not some men’s rights issue. You can re-frame it all you want, but that won’t change the facts. You can bring in as many sock puppets as you like, but that won’t change the facts. You are obsessed with extremely common childhood incidents and upset with what you perceive as a lack of respect for your victim status. Once you go through real tragedy, which most adults do sooner or later, you will understand why the world isn’t flocking to hold your hand.”

    Looking at it again, this is the most mean-spirited response I’ve ever had to deal with. I’d rather not deal with this person again so please tear him/her apart, limb from limb. Destroy this comment, this insinuation. Here and then in the link here:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/1suujr/bullied_by_girls_hurt_by_women_my_post_including/

    Frankly, he/she talks about terminal cancer in the first paragraph. I hope he/she gets it and dies along with every member of his/her family.

  • http://thedamnedoldeman.com TDOM

    @Ginkgo

    “IOW she demands the very system she claims is oppressing her to come and be her savior. She expects the male-dominated state to champion her against the Patriarchy it is an organ of.”

    This is precisely why feminism is not good for men and why it cannot possibly liberate them from their traditional gender roles as some feminists claim it is meant to do. It merely redirects the traditional role of one man as provider/protector of one woman to all men/all women thereby removing any individual man’s ability to opt out by refusing to marry, reproduce or by getting a divorce. Feminism is a parody of Marxism: “Every man according to his ability, every woman according to her need.” Ideally feminism provides a safety net for all women that guarantees a minimal standard of living, while requiring all men to provide their labor to meet that guarantee. It offers women the ability to improve on that minimal standard by marrying and/or entering the labor force (without requiring it), while requiring a minimum contribution from men who have the option of increasing that contribution by reproducing and/or marrying (although once a man opts in, he may not opt back out).

  • Jameseq

    cool to see yetanothercommentor from reddit here. a name ive seen quite frequently over there.

    ___
    Feminism is a parody of Marxism: “Every man according to his ability, every woman according to her need.”

    tdom, that was powerful, i instantly searched engine for the phrase, found nothing. which meant u are origin – damn nice.

    also i prefer the 70s/80s term ‘women’s libbers’ (liberationists) for the reason tdom outlined

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    TDOM:

    That parody of Marx also appears on the cover of the fictitious parody magazine “Cosmarxpolitan,” alongside such phrases as “is constant, unceasing class warfare ruining YOUR skin.” I don’t have the image on me at that moment, but it’s fairly common on some imageboards and shouldn’t be too hard to track down.

  • Hendrick

    There is no such thing as a female MRA.

    For instance, in employment. No woman will advocate that women “fill up” half of the menial jobs before being considered for the high ranking jobs. Example: women must make up half of the road crews and garbage men, before they are allowed to take the cushy municipal desk jobs.

    Every man at a desk,is one less man down a mine shaft,

    Which women are working their way up from the bottom? Name one…..

  • Robert Crayle

    In order to get women to do those menial jobs, they have to instil in women the desire to compete for those cushy jobs.

    The real trick is to stop men seeing women as a child their adopting that they might be able to have sex with if princess deigns.

    If that happens, you will see a lot more women in and around mine shafts, in civil service jobs (with no need of a leg up), and in the other dirty jobs.

    On the other hand, those dirty jobs will still have high death tolls. So the real push with these jobs is to seriously increase the safety level. Then it will cease to matter that they are vast majority male, they will be comparatively safe and retain their high wage (comparatively safe is still an element of danger) and with a lot of strenuous outdoor work. This is the real push in a world that has long since run out of excuses.

  • Robert Crayle

    Arrrrrrrrghhhh…. it’s ‘they’re’ not ‘their’

  • Hendrick

    I would say that if they really care about men, they would go down that mine shaft. If we want to have a high standard of living, then that requires people to actually produce something. And right now, that means men. Instead, they want to burden those producing men with even more dependants. “Equal” to them means turning some men into the same type of burden that women have been. Imagine what a high standard of living we could have if EVERYONE were doing actual productive work. And imagine how much easier and safer it would be for the pack mule men if there were ten times as many people engaged in productive work.

    In the very least, they wouldn’t be able to call it “equal” anymore. Only when they are shielded from real life can they pretend that their “work” is equal to a mans contribution. A true MRA Woman would have gratitude. A true MRA Woman would know that equal is not possible.

  • http://deleted Hendrick

    And it”s not just laborers. Engineers, Entrepenuers, Scientists, Welders, Craftsmen, ect ect.

    Women only want to “work” if they can be part of the Bureaucratic Class. They don’t take pride in their work and contribution. They don’t strive to be good at their trade. They only take pride in their “rank”. A position they achieve by the bestowment from a man.

  • Robert Crayle

    Equality under the law is the first goal.

    The second goal is for women to actually value men, rather than the role of men (and the resultant spoils of such). One thing that I see from regular women that I don’t see from MRA women is the sheer entitlement they display when peahenning their vulnerabilities at ordained best-victim-in-show ugliness contests. Anyone whose entire existence is victimhood is unable to value anything beyond their narcissiverse.

    Further, even if they go down the shaft in equal numbers, the point stands: people will still die at the same rates. No business owner who has callous attitudes towards workers suddenly has a case of the heartmelts when a few of those workers have innies instead of outies. By working, they agentify themselves, and white knights only want to save damsels.

    And, now I need to say something about the (historically recent) rise in safety conditions. Begin rant:

    The common and horrible misconception about workplace safety is that the plight of working women and children specifically was what drove the need to raise workplace safety conditions. These people have never heard the name Frederick Taylor before (which isn’t surprising since a worrying amount of economics students haven’t either). He was a nineteenth/early twentieth century economist who has probably had more impact on economics and business than any other economist apart from John Maynard Keynes (yes, more than Smith and Marx). We’ve had Marxist economies, Smith-and-Keynes capitalist economies, but they all utilise Taylor’s ideas about workers as ‘resources’ similar to computers or conveyor belts. The incidental upside was the sudden realisation that if workers were actually MAINTAINED and not run into the ground, there might be more profit in it, as well maintained machinery works better. This was useful at the time, but this man’s theories are responsible for a huge amount of our current economic woes specifically relating to trying to create any kind of sensible idea about work ie. the grossly swollen manager class, the frankly spastic idea of firing experienced workers for inexperienced green workers, the inability to communicate with each other on the actual current goals of any business, the staggering disrespect of trying to modify worker cultures to accommodate ‘warlord’ workers…the list goes on. It stems from trying to see humans as something else. Also, FUCK ECONOMICS SCHOOLS!

    I am now out of rant…

  • http://thedamnedoldeman.com TDOM

    @HidingFromtheDinosaurs & Jameseq

    My wording of that phrase may be original, but I had heard something like it before, although I have never seen or even heard of Cosmarxpolitan before. I did look it up, though and you are right. The Cosmarx quote is “from each according to his ability, to each according to her needs” and is applied to “the bedroom.” That version changes only one word from Marx original quote.

  • Bronze Kettle

    I’ve just considered female MRAs as being people who exercise the virtue of compassion sans condescension. And, instead of internalizing dogma, have made their own observations and opinions about the world, instead of having it made for them.

    They devote their time and effort to the needs of another group, and stick their necks out in doing so. Considering I’ve sat down and thought that, for all intend and purposes, they may as well be considered men, I suppose the answer to the question might be yes, they are gender role rebels.

    There are times in society when women cease to be patients and become agents, although thinking on it, this is either only partial, or temporary. Female doctors and nurses tending for wounded being one instance, but then they clock out and go back to being patients of the government or their spouses.

    The big one though being a shift that takes place when a woman makes the transition from Maiden to Mother. A transition in which now the woman acts as agent for patients, up to and including, putting herself in harms way for, and in the direst of circumstances, sacrificing herself (ie becoming disposable) for those patients. But, on the other hand, she is still often a patient of her husband.

    So the case being made is that female MRAs have a full, ongoing agency status, as opposed to any temporary or partial agency status that may be demanded by society, which after being forfilled, patiency is once again accepted.

    But I think there is something to be said for the difference between gender roles that are the expected and/or acceptable norm, and gender roles that are enforced.
    As Robert said, “Leaving the patient role requires more effort but is punished significantly less harshly”.
    Women might be more heavily subverting expectation, but men going up against harsher opposition.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome, Bronze Kettle,

    That’s a very elegant summation. That just may get elevated to a post of its own.

  • YerBioTruthsAreShowing

    So basically female MRAs are taking a nurturing role for men, because men apparently need attack dogs and speakers since they’re unable to argue with females using man logics.

    Female MRAs are sticking their necks out there for sure, taking a stance that thousands of men will worship them for having and basically treat them as the “last good women on earth” while other females who aren’t feminists will laud their alternative insightful based on something they haven’t really studied. Being a female MRA is akin to being a black republican; as long as they let you in, you become their beloved postergirl.

  • Robert Crayle

    But why would they become a beloved MRA postergirl? There is both money and political clout in becoming a feminist icon (refer to Anita Sarkeesian for a recent example) whereas here it only costs money and gets threats and doubts about whether you’re doing it for money and attention. Doubt is an excellent thing and a true virtue, but no-one is truly comfortable with being doubted. If they want attention and adulation ‘just for being a woman’ they are doing it in the stupidest way possible, one that won’t yield results in their lifetime.

  • http://siryouarebeingmocked.tumblr.com/ SYABM

    @Crayle
    >Female MRAs are impossible for them to feed their delusions with, and are probably open to a special kind of mostly impotent, nerve-sapping, passive aggressive anger underpinned by a need for them to not exist anymore…

    Like the way Manboobz has a category for GWW, yet describes MRAs as white men in his “White Hot Rage” article for the American Prospect.

    What’s really ironic is the fact that both he and Kimmel (whose book the article was allegedly reviewing) are themselves straight white men. And so is Jackson Katz, IIRC.

    In fact, a lot of feminists who criticize MRAs tend to conveniently forget about female MRAs (and male feminists) when their rhetoric requires it.

    @Bio
    Screw it, I’ll feed the drive-by troll.
    >So basically female MRAs are taking a nurturing role for men, because men apparently need attack dogs and speakers since they’re unable to argue with females using man logics.

    No, because people tend to dismiss men who talk about men’s problems. I’ve seen plenty of people of both genders who found just the idea of men’s rights advocacy ridiculous, much less the actual substance. In fact, many seemed to be actively avoiding the substance, and telling everyone else to avoid it too.

    >Female MRAs are sticking their necks out there for sure, taking a stance that thousands of men

    Ah, yes, trying to gender MRAs as “really” being men. Nice shot at trying to backdoor in that rhetoric.

    > will worship them for having and basically treat them as the “last good women on earth”

    Lol no. Where are you getting these strawmen from? For the most part, MRAs don’t actually seem to care about whether any given MRA is male or female. GirlWritesWhat rose to prominence on her intelligence, not on having girly bits. But I go to a Jackson Katz video on Youtube (specifically, his TEDx talk), and you can’t swing a cat without hitting the “We need more men like him!” comments.

    It’s also ironic that you’re trying to stigmatize men who care about men’s rights for supporting, um, women who care about men’s rights. As has been pointed out time and time again, people are more likely to listen to women talking about men’s problems than men. By contrast, male feminists are looked at with suspicion unless they pander to women. Even the prominent “experts on masculinity” like Katz and Kimmel, basically just repeat feminist rhetoric about how men are flawed and need feminism to fix them. And this got Kimmel over a quarter-million bucks to build a “center for men and masculinity”, while actual male shelters go begging in the market. Warren Farrell, by another contrast, has been demonized and harangued and protested by feminists ever since he went “hey, maybe we should also work on men’s issues” and got kicked out of the treehouse.

    >while other females who aren’t feminists

    I note how you skipped over what female MRAs think of each other, what non-MRA/feminist men think of feminists, and what feminists think of them,. The latter group likes to pretend they don’t even exist, and GWW has mentioned getting death threats before.

    > will laud their alternative insightful based on something they haven’t really studied.

    Which you’re assuming based on…what? Strawman work better when you’re not just making crap up out of whole cloth. I’ve seen lots of people criticizing feminism who clearly knew more about the movement than the feminist they were talking to. Some of them used to be feminists. Heck, I know of at least one that considers themselves a feminist and an MRA.

    Incidentally, do you think the feminists who protested Warren Farrell in late 2012 had “really studied” the false claims that he supported rape and incest? How about the feminists at the protest last April, for a talk by two entirely different speakers, who were still accusing MRAs of supporting rape and incest? Heck, how about all the feminists who sincerely believe all MRAs are men, not just the ones who conveniently forget it when they want to demonize the MRM?

    >Being a female MRA is akin to being a black republican; as long as they let you in, you become their beloved postergirl.

    I literally can’t recall a single prominent Black republican I’ve ever heard of. Or more accurately, I can’t recall one who’s Black republicanism was played up by the GOP. I do recall some lady with glasses and weird hair, tho.

    Oh, and good job implying that female MRAs are just tokens. I’ve seen that once or twice too.

    @Crayle:
    >But why would they become a beloved MRA postergirl? There is both money and political clout in becoming a feminist icon (refer to Anita Sarkeesian for a recent example) whereas here it only costs money and gets threats and doubts about whether you’re doing it for money and attention. Doubt is an excellent thing and a true virtue, but no-one is truly comfortable with being doubted.

    I’d like to point out that many feminists react like rabid dogs at just the thought of Anita’s content being questioned, much less her motivations.

    >If they want attention and adulation ‘just for being a woman’ they are doing it in the stupidest way possible, one that won’t yield results in their lifetime.

    What’s really interesting is that the most prominent female MRAs I know of (Typhonblue, GWW, Erin Pizzey, and maaaybe JudgyBitch) all put a shedload of work into their advocacy and research. Pizzey, for example, has been working on Men’s issues since before I was born. She claims that much of the money spent on domestic violence is just being used to line feminist coffers instead of helping women, much less men. And she got death threats when she tried to bring attention to male DV victims back in the 70s. She was often used by MRAs as an example of how feminists are misandric even before she identified as an MRA.

    I’m still waiting for some female feminist to pretend to be an MRA using crap arguments and poorly-sourced claims, then going “look, I was lying all along!” Of course, I’m pretty sure it’d never get that far, in part because of the MRM’s lower tolerance for BS, in part because they’d likely capitulate after other feminists started to hate them.