Men’s Rights and Feminism


I had a discussion earlier about feminism and the Men’s Rights Movement. I do not support MRA’s, because they are largely a hate group. Too many MRA’s are fine with threatening women with rape and violence and do nothing more productive than troll feminist groups. I don’t think they’ll ever do otherwise. For one, all of their legitimate grievances, such as the fact that women get custody of children more often than men when it comes to divorce, are also concerns to feminists. Feminists actually lobby to change these laws and practices, but MRA’s seem to be too busy blaming them on feminism to do anything. And for another, the best known MRA groups/representatives are all very extreme and make it difficult for moderate MRA’s to accomplish more than legitimizing a hate group. They don’t, likely because they aren’t able to, make the group more agreeable or more productive. As such, I can’t see the Men’s Rights Movement changing.

I’ve heard it said that feminism is as bad as the Men’s Rights Movement. I couldn’t disagree more. Are there feminists who are too extreme and make the movement look bad? Yes, and I think they get too much press. Too many people think that feminists hate men and burn bras. Some do, but most don’t. Despite common preconceptions, the radical feminists are a minority. And it is easy to find evidence of this. Most online feminist groups focus on gender equality. Most recent feminist actions were focused on keeping abortion safe and legal and encouraging consent education to deal with rape culture. These are not the actions of radical feminists.

I’ve heard people say that if feminism wants to deal with gender equality, then it should have a name that reflects that goal. But that is a problematic claim. When those of African decent were fighting for their rights in North America, they were fighting for equal rights. Yet the movement was named for the African American people and not simply for equal rights. This is because they were the ones who were being oppressed. They had to be given rights to match those who already had the rights. It’s a similar case with the Gay Rights Movement. The LGBTQ community was fighting for equal rights, but the movement was named for the people who were being oppressed. Feminism is the same: feminists want equal rights, but it is the feminine members of society who are being oppressed. It is women who need to get the rights that men already have. And no, feminism is not redundant now. Equality has not yet been achieved. Not just for feminism, but for all three groups that I mentioned. I hope that one day equality will have been achieved.

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15 responses to “Men’s Rights and Feminism

  • Tiffany

    Feminism is not redundant of course not but it’s not always right. It could use a makeover sometimes. I’ve recently written about that myself and why I think so if you want to check it out and let me know what you think. Cicil debate is always welcome 🙂

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  • Godless Cranium

    “Feminism is a misunderstood movement. I find it strange that men have a hard time identifying as feminists, but once it’s explained they usually don’t have a problem.”

    To be perfectly honest, I might be one of the men you’re referring to. I’ve been meaning to actually write a blog post about it but then something else comes up. There are several things I don’t really understand about feminism in North America in particular.

    I also think the question above by Oscar Rivera deserves an answer. I think he raises valid points.

    I’ve been told I’m a feminist because I do believe in equal rights, but I don’t understand the idea behind advocating for those rights by championing one sex over another. I think all inequalities, no matter the sex or gender they effect, should be addressed.

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    • R. L. Culpeper

      By misunderstood I meant that there are, generally speaking, two schools of feminism. One is called gender-feminism and the other is called equity-feminism. A distinction between the two schools is rarely made when people discuss feminism; instead, they use a blanket label – “feminism.” This distinction was pointed out to me in Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate.”

      Gender-feminism argues that women still continue to be enslaved by a male dominated system. It is an empirical position that claims the following: differences in gender have nothing to do with biology, but are rather constructed by social pressures. Humanity is motivated by power, and social issues can only be understood within this context. And finally, that interactions are not governed by individual motives, but from group motives; specifically, the motivation for men to dominate women.

      This is the school that often produces arguments such as, all intercourse is a form of rape, that only 10% of the population should be permitted to be male, and that all women should be lesbians.

      It is contrasted by the equity-feminism movement, which is a moral doctrine: individuals should not be judged by the average properties of their group.

      The former receives more spotlight because of the radical fringe elements that spawn from it. Studies have shown that when people say, “I’m not a feminist,” it is because they associate feminism with this fringe group, even though they support everything professed by the classical equity-feminists.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I’d agree, but one group can’t address every issue. There are different groups that deal with different kinds of issues, though often times they bleed into each other. Like I said in the post, Feminism is about raising women up so that women have the same rights as men. That is the area that feminists focus on. However, helping women gain equality helps men too. The gender inequalities faced by men are often caused by the same beliefs that have caused gender inequalities to women.

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      • Godless Cranium

        Then have subgroups that handle different issues. Lots of organizations and causes do this.

        I would rather raise everyone up than focus on one gender or sex.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          But feminism doesn’t focus on one sex or gender. By “one group can’t address every issue” I mean that feminists would be stretched way too thin if they tried to deal with every issue. Feminists focus on gender issues because that is how they feel they can do the most good. But we need other groups to deal with racism, poverty, LGBTQ rights, etc. But all these groups work together at one time or another because they go hand in hand. While everybody needs to be helped up to one degree or another, some people need to be brought up more than others. If white, straight, cis men where brought up as much as women, LGBTQ people, and POC, then the problems will not have gone away. That’s why certain genders, sexes, etc are focused on more than others.

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  • R. L. Culpeper

    Feminism is a misunderstood movement. I find it strange that men have a hard time identifying as feminists, but once it’s explained they usually don’t have a problem. Do you support women’s suffrage? Equal pay? Etc… Then you’re a mother flippin’ feminist.

    You’re right, the radicals get too much attention, but they do seem to be growing…

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  • Oscar Rivera

    I was under the impression that it was called the “Civil Rights Movement”, which sounds pretty all-encompassing to me. Moreover, the CRM had actual laws that it was trying to overturn in addition to the prejudice. I may be ignorant on this matter, but are there laws that specifically preclude women and favor men?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I’ve heard two names: civil rights movement and African-American Rights Movement.

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      • Oscar Rivera

        Sure, while I’ve heard the latter, I think the former is more universally recognized as standard. But that wasn’t my biggest contention – you didn’t address my question, unfortunately.

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      • marclebard

        It’s not -completely- my place to say too much given I’m not the originial poster, but the question asked makes it seem like laws against women are what legitimize feminism. No one has to do much to claim that racism exists in America even though I’d be hard pressed to find a racist law out there. Sexist mindsets and issues of gender roles definitely permeate the culture and it doesn’t require a law to legitimize that. I’d leave the poster to find laws since I’m ignorant of any really sexist laws out there. Aside from abortion laws, but that’s as much a religious matter as it is a sexism one. I’m sure once homosexuality becomes holistically legitimized we might end up going through the same growing pains of acceptance as gender and race issues have been having.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          It’s not laws, it’s societal issues as a whole. Though I’d say that it being illegal for a woman to walk around topless when men do it all the time is a sexist law. It’s perfectly legal for a woman to breastfeed her baby wherever she wants, but women have been kicked out of businesses, harassed, and, in some cases, even attacked for practicing that very right. These issues and more are what legitimize feminism. As for racist laws, I’m sure you could find a few if you looked. They would likely differ from state to state, but they definitely exist in all states. You won’t find any modern laws that single out certain ethnic groups in an obvious manner, but there are laws that hurt certain minority communities almost exclusively. Those are the racist laws.

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  • VictoriaSM

    Reblogged this on According 2 Vic and commented:
    I have been wanting to write a piece like this for a long time and hessianwithteeth has executed this post marvelously! Bravo!

    Like

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