A Redditor named doch_doch has a new blog she has just started and it is definitely worth a look. (This is one of the cleverer screen names I have seen. It means “though, though” or “yes, but….” in German.)
She has a very good early post, Why Not Feminism?
She starts with:
“Imagine you’re a man in the US in the time prior to women’s right activism.”
And winds up with this, which I have never seen anywhere else:
“So where we the men’s rights activist in all this upheaval? Well, with a few exceptions, there just weren’t any. While things were changing for women, things were not changing as quickly for men. In fact, men deviating from the norm of being the sole financial provider were dismissed, mocked, and ostracized.”
“In the world I live in right now, I know that the gender binary is still screwing everyone. But for women’s issues there is a dialogue, there is movement and change. There is support from churches, government agencies, and individuals for “women’s” issues. Not only doesn’t this exist for men, it isn’t allowed to exist. Men’s rights is a dirty word for most feminists, with people throwing around accusations of misogyny, sexism, racism.
I’m not going to allow feminists to define this movement for me. There are some very, very angry men involved, it’s true. Anger can be destructive, but it can also breed change. Many men have just had enough of being told they don’t matter unless they’re rich and white.
I get it. “
Indeed she does. You need to read the whole post to see how thoroughly she gets it.
Something that just occurred to me because you asked where the MRAs were in the 1800s is that it would be interesting to compare the resistance from women that the women’s rights movement got, starting with the suffrage movement but not restricted to that, to the resistance the MRM is getting from men. People resist change because it threatens vested positions of power or security. That power may be real or simply the power of psychological comfort.
So let’s compare the two.
Male resistance to the MRM seems to fall into a few main categories:
There are the macho thumbheads who dismiss any discussion of men’s issues as un-masculine whining. These are the idiots who shout down male victims of rape(1), and who dismiss women raping boys by saying the boys got lucky.
Then there are the white knights, who downplay men’s issues because women and only women are the deserving targets of concern. These people believe in empathy apartheid. Basically it’s more macho posturing. A subset of these white knights are the guys who fancy themselves the protectors of sacred womanhood against all those other men, brutes all of them, with nothing between these fragile women and the horrors……
A special subset of these are the pedestalerasts. They love pedestalizing women, praising women to the heavens and calling them some higher form of life. Women are more nurturant, women are more intuitive, women are more insightful, if only women ran the world, all would be peaceful….
Then there are the complacent ones, who think things are fine the way they are. These are the guys who have yet to be sundered from their children by an ex-wife who the criminal and family court system privilege with every possible advantage. These are the guys who insist there can’t be anything wrong with circumcision because they were circumcised and they don’t know any better.
And then there are the guys who just benefit by keeping other men down. The word for that is kyriarchy.
Now let’s look at female resistance to the suffrage and larger women’s rights movements:
There were those who thought that all this agitation was unladylike. Real ladies didn’t want anything to do with politics, not even voting.
Then there were the complacent ones, the ones who knew a good deal when they saw it. The country had come through a devastating Civil War in which the war dead and maimed were overwhelmingly men and not women – women had almost completely been spared that. Further down the social scale men labored and died in mines and factories in unspeakable conditions – if you haven’t read the Jungle, this is the time to remedy that gap in your education – and their women knew that however hard their lot at home was, it was a damned sight safer and more comfortable than what their men went out to face.
And then there were those women at the top, hiding behind their front men running the world, keeping the women down.
So the question, and I am asking the commentariat, is to what degree these forms of resistance in the culture resemble each other, how they differ, and why.
1. It is worth your while to go read that whole sordid comment thread. A clear pattern emerges – most of the women support the male rape victim. Telling. And remember this was four years ago. Compare that with the state of the discussion on comment threads these days.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016