I’m a new poster on Genderratic, although I have been a reader for a few months. I feel like I have a lot to say about the MRM and our cultural gender (and racial) situation, so I was wondering if I might be able to supply a guest post for Genderratic. I’m not a writer, so if the quality isn’t what you are looking for, please say no. It won’t hurt my feelings so much that I will stop reading the blog. But here is a first draft of something I would like to get off my chest:
In a college course studying the history of bible interpretation, my professor stressed an idea that seems simple now, but revolutionized my thinking then. he extorted, quite simply, that when interpreting the Bible/Tanakh (sadly the Quaran was left out of this course) required a knowledge, and indeed a study of what my professor called its sitz im leben. This delightful German phrase does not have an accurate translation into English, but the closest approximation would be context. As the MRM moves forward, I think it is important to ask ourselves what our sitz im leben is. What are the conditions that give rise to men and women discussing inequality and injustice directed towards men? What are the influences, personal and social, that cause a man or woman to decide to take up this cause?
The sitz im leben is more than simply the inequalities that exist that give us cause to complain. What separates an MRA from his/her fellows? Any person could take up the cause, but why did we, rather than (or in addition to) our neighbors and friends?
I will share with you a little of my own sitz im leben to help start the discussion. I became interested in the MRA during my first few years in college. I was in an abusive relationship with a woman who came from what I would now call a broken home. This woman was my first serious relationship, and being young, I didn’t know better. Lest you think that I was an innocent victim, I must inform you that I too, used anger as a weapon, and frankly, abused. I understand all too well the fact that most abusive relationships are two way streets. Still, I felt at the time that my anger was an innate trait that was passed on from my father to me, via the Y chromosome. And I felt her anger was the product of her two alcoholic, abusive parents. The first experience that I had, that I knew at the time was misandristic, involved misandry that came from myself. The guilt was because I was a man, and therefore violent, abusive and dangerous. (And the misogynistic idea that she was free of blame from her actions wasn’t something I understood until I began to explore the MRM).
But my first experience with misandry came far, far earlier. I grew up in a household with two feminists, in a feminist city, at a feminist time. The song that had always been sung was that men needed to alter their behavior to suit the needs of women. This was due to the nature of men, who, like the noble savage of popular culture, while he may be well intentioned and allowed into civilization, is still a savage, and at his core he is violent, wild, backwards. Each one is a walking time bomb of destruction. Men cheat, steal, lie, hurt, violate, and it is because they have a penis. I didn’t even know it was possible for a woman to cheat on her husband until I was in my teens.
But what of the context of the MRM? Why does it exist? I think the MRM was started for the same reasons that the suffrage movement started. A desire for a voice in the public sphere to combat the injustices and inequalities present in the lives of every day people. Every day people who turned around and said ‘this isn’t right’.
But I am more curious about what the readers of Genderratic have to say on this topic, because we, as a movement need to understand ourselves in order to move forward successfully. So what is it that caused you to become an MRA? What in your life, and what in society? And equally important, where do we need to go from here?
This piece is not about an recent event/incident related to the MRM, and I don’t know if you are interested in pieces like this, but it honestly felt so good getting it down that I consider it a win whether you want to publish or not. If you do like it, what revisions would you include? I am worried that it is too focused on my own experiences. Mostly my goal is to get people to ask these questions of themselves because I felt it was a rewarding experience for me to do the same.
If you don’t like it, what more can I do to contribute to Genderratic?
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