In a word… No.
Men’s Rights activists are used to being accused of misogyny, it’s the go-to accusation for our critics everywhere who don’t seem to understand the difference between opposing the ideology of feminism and hating half of the population of the planet. Feminism does not equal women, nor does it represent the views & opinions of all women, it’s merely an ideology and it should not be considered wrong to question it’s dogma. Doing so is not misogyny.
The MHRM is not misogynistic in nature, indeed many MHRAs are themselves women. These women are not merely “supporters” of the men in the movement, they are our fellow activists, just as much a part of the movement as any male MHRA.
If you doubt that the MHRM is not misogynistic, I put the following question to you. If the MHRM is misogynistic, why were the following high profile people, many of whom have also advocated for women’s rights, among those who supported & spoke at the recent 2014 International Conference on Men’s Issues?
Erin Pizzey – Founder of the first Women’s Domestic Violence Refuge in the UK in the early 1970’s.
Senator Anne Cools – The first black female Senator in North America.
Dr. Warren Farrell – Social & Political Scientist, author on gender issues, and former feminist elected three times to the Board of Directors of the National Organisation for Women (NOW) during the 1970’s.
If you’re unfamiliar with any of these people (or any of the other women who spoke at the conference or who are part of the MHRM), I invite you to Google them and take a good look at their writing, achievements, and outlook on life.
The women of the MHRM are often dismissed by our detractors as being delicate, weak & “brainwashed” little flowers who don’t know any better and are suffering from “Internalised misogyny” but I ask you, do any of the women in the above list seem like anything other than intelligent, autonomous, accomplished women? Do they really seem to you to be obsequious or deferential to men, or easily cowed into subservience or abdication of their voices, opinions, rights & freedoms? Or do they seem far more like the strong, outspoken, intelligent women that feminism has always promised women they would be free to become?
I’ll leave you to make up your own mind but there are no prizes for guessing what our opinion is.
16 thoughts on “Are Men’s Rights Activists Misogynists?”
tvinesperanto (love the name by the way), I seem to have put that whole hatespeech thing poorly. I’m putting it from the perspective of the other side, and the definitions they’ve foisted upon everyone, where in “Hallo luv” = gendered language + reference to female + said by a male = MISOGYNY therefor hatespeech ERGO MRA’s = SATAN. If we teflon them, then they have to outright lie. They have to actually fabricate our words themselves, rather than just wist them beyond all recognition.
And no, I’m not having a go at you, just the parts of the movement that happen to be… well… ineffective… Sure, I want every guy who had bad things happen to get better, and heal at their own pace, in their own way… When violated, anger is a natural part of that process… But I think there’s a difference between it being benign (as in, no-one gets harmed) and unhelpful is when it makes it that much harder to try and make sure it doesn’t happen to other people. Feminism fell into that trap, needing to tell people they’re trauma victims just to feed their hunger for overblown outrage.
Get these guys some therapy, or make spaces for them to heal that are predominately private, and labeled as such, so if Feminist quoteminers infiltrate to make a fuss, we can point the public at the front page, and nullify their drama.
I went to too many protests when I was young, and saw too many police-lead headkickings that started with one angry youth with police-related trauma issues crossing a line due to trauma-induced righteous anger. Until we can resolve the issue of feeding ammo to Feminists, there’s not much motivation for me to identify myself as part of the gang, and I know many people who feel similarly about all politics. Everyone I know over 30 prefers the politicians who speak to the ones that rant and accuse…
Plus, like I said before, this stuff, genital mutilation, massive genderbiased injustice in the criminal and family courts, military service, domestic violence… It’s all far too important to waste time and energy doing anything that isn’t effective, goal-oriented. In my head and in my heart, slay the beast is my top priority, and hugs for those who weigh down my sword-arm can wait, along with apologising for knocking them cold till I got the job done, to stretch my shitty metaphor a tad further :p
Still, I should make it clearer: I like you guys, you guys seem to have your heads screwed on right, and to be doing all the right things. Your use of language is pretty profoundly good, your stories and choices of how to conduct yourselves are gold-standard. But we’re hardly the flagship here, now, are we?
I think we pretty much agree. In a perfect world, the anger & related crude language would not be a part of the moment at all. You’re right, it is handing the opposition ammunition, even if it isn’t actually hateful, it is easy to represent it as such.
Why not come along to the meeting next month & we can discuss it in detail if you like. This isn’t the best forum for complex back & forth like this.
“I’m not having a go at you”
Never be concerned about that. We are big boys, we can take it. We’re not after an echo chamber here, we are looking for the truth. That can only be gotten at through dissent & debate & we are always up for that.
Glad to see you are also.
Can social sciences research help?
The issue seems to be whether men or women are more condemning of their opposites, and carry more malice. It is easy to argue by cherry picking, taking instances that support your own position and step on your opponents.
We would do better to set standards, and then use random polling to find out what percentage of men vs. women meet the standards. A 2008 Gallup poll [ ]did just that, and found that a third of women reported being almost always resentful of men, while a sixth of men reported being almost always resentful of women. Such findings show women to be about twice as resentful, and suggests that misandry (against men) might be about twice as common as misogyny (against women). The marital relations literature suggests similar conclusions, finding that women are quicker to anger while men more often try to concede, placate, and withdraw.
We might also surmise that women are becoming angrier as they gain political power, but I have not run across research to back it up. These are the sorts of concerns that social sciences research is uniquely qualified to answer, and the conclusions should be better publicized.
Driscoll has recently released “Would You Meet Me Halfway,” which relies strongly on research to answer these sorts of political questions.
1.The battle of the sexes continues according to new Gallup poll, 2008
Sorry, imdefender, by “you” I’m usually referring to the “big guns”, like AVFM, and even, unfortunately, Karen Straughn, much to my dismay. At least in her case it was a one off, paying lip service to being understanding of male trauma response… Trauma response is trauma response. Everyone kicks their legs when shit hurts. Even when it’s helpful, like emergency, life-or-death surgery sans anesthesia. But our trauma responses are a product of evolution, so at some point in time they may well have been useful. As someone who was hobbled for years by overblown trauma response, I can attest to just how helpful it is in any circumstance in the modern world though…
Me, I see it on both sides, and find it equally unhelpful and lamentable. Understandable, sure, but by no means useful…
I do take your point on the political correctness front, there are a lot of things Feminism has been teaching people they’re just not allowed to say, regardless of the truth. One solution I’ve thought could help is to let them show it for us. Never be the angry man, always let them go off. Be the ones slipping in the sly offensive triggers and watch them lose it on TV. Play our own game, rather than trying to play it the way they set it up. Remember, in the game of Patriarchy, men HAVE to be the bat in order for women to claim to be the ball…
Oh, and by no means am I suggesting we should BE respectful, BE sincere, BE generous, BE lacking in disgust and contempt for their twisted circular logic. No, all I suggest is that we play it that way to win. In this case, winning the game is far more important than how we choose to play it, so let’s choose to play it a way we can win…
I think we spending most of our time right now agreeing with one another….
But i don’t think continuing to talk about this here is going to be very constructive I’m a LOT better at a verbal conversation then a text based one so send me youre skype user name or somthing.
Then maybe we can work together on an Article exploring this in more depth
Eh, hate to disappoint, or possibly be my usual contrarian self, but…
I’ve never heard more open, blatant misogyny outside of MRA/MHRA spaces. In and of itself, the MHRA movement isn’t inherently misogynist, but the amount of people who carelessly (I’m no mindreader, so I can’t ascribe intent, especially on the interwebs) use harsh, gendered language, make blanket judgments of genders collectively, and refer to any man who disagrees by claiming he has what reads to me as “yucky inferior girlparts”.
That’s not to say the cause, or the goals are misogynistic. Funnily, we see and hate this in the Feminist world. We see that their ideology attracts bigots. I think it’s an odd person to think they can try and work in the other direction and not attract similar people from their own side.
Seriously, while I don’t have the numbers, my completely unscientific and entirely subjective experience is that we’ve got about a one-for one parity with sexist, supremacist nutjobs and/or people who come across as said same with their side. I’m often left wondering how we can deride them for their failures, yet shrug or explain away our own? In the end, with the exception of this particular site, I’m pretty much done with the whole deal. More and more each day, that guy that looked like Gandhi is starting to look more like a British officer every day…
You are only partially correct I think.
It is certainly common within the MHRM for people to use impolite or rude terms to refer to women at times & have been known to say things about specific women that could be considered by some to be hateful but then again, they have said similar things about specific men too. It’s not like women are being selectively targeted for that sort of language.
That stuff, while distasteful, is not a real problem IMHO since it’s little more than being crude &, in any case, is almost always just people expressing righteous anger & certainly has nothing to do with MHRM tenets. It’s very much along the same lines as someone seeing a paedophile or child murderer on the news & then saying “I’d stick that guys head up his own arse if I ever got hold of that scumbag”. It’s just people letting off steam, one of the few places they can still do so without blanket censure or accusations of violence being levelled at them. For this reason, it is tolerated to a certain degree.
However, you are correct, there is a small percentage of hardcore misogynists who identify as MHRAs. However, the MHRM does it’s best to eject these people as soon as they are identified.
I know one of the moderators for AVFM’s forums & the number of people they ban there for saying hateful stuff is significant indeed & the rules are strictly adhered to. Anyone advocating violence of any kind, anyone espousing views that paint all women (as opposed to specific women or feminists) as weak or stupid or inferior or anything at all along these lines, is either insta-banned or given a stern warning followed by banning for a second offence (depending on the severity of the original offence). In short, the MHRM does it’s level best to weed these people out & to make it clear that those views are not welcome.
The difference in this respect between the MHRM & feminism is that, if you could wave a magic wand & make all of the hateful people disappear from both the MHRM & Feminism, the MHRM would look exactly the same as it does now, these people would not be missed. They are few, hold no power, have no support or influence, & are certainly not leaders, mostly because nobody will follow them but also because they don’t tend to last long before they are booted out.
Feminism, on the other hand, would basically cease to exist (at least in any sort of recognisable form). The hateful people in the feminism are the very people in power, they are the ones making policy & influencing governments. In short, they are the leaders of the movement and they matter. Without them, feminism would lose all political power & would cease to be the dominant voice on gender issues. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love that to happen but there’s no way it will because I’m yet to see any significant number of mainstream feminists speak out against the hateful stuff said & done by these leaders.
This right here is the crux of the matter & the primary difference between the two groups. As you say, every group has it’s radical fringe but whether or not the group allows itself to be affected and influenced by those radicals is the measure of it’s integrity.
The MHRM totally rejects these people. Feminism is led by them.
Not sure if my post went through or not, and honestly found a better comment of yours to reply to within the thread to make my point…
This hyperbolic way in which women as a whole throw around the word misogyny while simultaneously ignoring misandry has to be genetic. Studies about education and women show that women have a problem with being interrupted or that they feel inadequate to respond in a class with peers for similar reasons. Many arts colleges have modified their classroom interactivity to suit this. If you look around women just hate to have to deal with ANY opposition, especially when their arguments are weak, throw out all the scientific methodology etc and all they want is respect and recognition without any substance. Is this all genetic?
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whenever any woman is criticized, she immediately throws out an accusation of misogyny.
I noticed that whenever I criticized anyone, males would either accept it or lash out, but I was never accused of misandry or otherwise bigotry. women immediately fly towards accusations of misogyny (or “internalized misogyny”) because they can’t comprehend being held responsible for their own wrongdoing.
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Bingo! There is something obvious but still not pinpoint-able about why women have a much greater affinity for taking things personal when the only thing done was to ensure honesty has not been ditched. With most women, fine, as long as it doesn’t make them see themselves, take responsibility or realize that freedom and equality is not possible without the accompaniment of accountability, sacrifice, and duty. They want all the good and none of the bad. Hence, they shriek at anything or anyone speaking to them that they must participate fully, not only that usually limited to children.
I think determinism plays a huge role here but this obvious thing falls on deaf ears…probably people just trying to make sure they are pleasing women.
The truth is NOT hatred but oooh how it is hated…thus the immediate outcry of “misogynist” even before they have much of a real chance to think about what they are saying and accusing. It works well to manipulate men so why should they not use it every chance they get?
And too, if men are sooo shameable, why are we truth-crusaders not engaging in something powerful that apparently speaks to the consciences of males? What, we would rather lose?
They’d have to understand the wrong they’re doing to be shamed by it. This would require hours of exposition they’d wander away from the second their dicks dried. Our opponents have a workaround; if a woman claims something and pretends comprehension, males galore will parrot her useless statements.
The reason that women use this as their go-to tactic is completely logical IMHO…It works. No man wants to be thought of as a woman hater & he knows full well that people tend to believe a female accuser so he’ll almost always shut his mouth if he’s accused of it.
This is why the claim that women are hated or not respected in society is such a laugh. If women weren’t respected that sort of shaming language just would not work.
It’s a tactic that only has as much power as we choose to give it. I have resigned myself to being a bad man. Not that I am violent, or hateful, or a criminal, or anything like that but simply that I have refused to be shamed by these types of tactics. That is what makes me a bad man, bad like a disobedient dog.
I realised long ago that my own self respect was more important than a pat on the head and a scratch behind the ear.
“Who’s a good man? You are! Oh, yes you are! Such a goooooood man!”
If you don’t see the flaws in trying to base a movement for the protection of people being harmed by a system that defines them as both disposable, and also inherently more likely to be bad and/or punishable on behaving badly in public, nothing I say or do will make a difference. This is the problem I come across in MRA spaces a lot. I try to talk tactics, PR, you know, logical means to achieve our vital goals, and all anyone else wants to do is either ignore it completely or tell me why being a counterproductive prick is perfectly valid.
Shit, I’m glad you can spot one emotion-led, logicless rabble, it proves you’re not completely blind. You can see misbehavior, malfeasance, counterproductive behaviors and lamentable hatespeech. In one half of humanity.
I guess it’s too much to ask any gender warrior to look in a mirror…
“If you don’t see the flaws in trying to base a movement for the protection of people being harmed by a system that defines them as both disposable, and also inherently more likely to be bad and/or punishable on behaving badly in public, nothing I say or do will make a difference.”
Personally, I find the cruder talk distasteful & tend not to engage in it myself except perhaps in rare extreme cases. However, there are people in this movement who have been treated extremely unjustly & I don’t see it as my place to tone police them. Anger is a natural reaction to injustice and so long as they aren’t advocating violence or saying anything truly bigoted, I honestly don’t have a problem with it, especially if it assists them in healing which I believe it often does.
As far as tactics are concerned, I actually agree with you that being seen to be angry is playing up to the stereotype but like I said, there’s a lot of deep hurt in the MHRM & I see it as borderline disrespectful to tell people how they should deal with that. You may disagree, as is your prerogative.
“You can see misbehavior, malfeasance, counterproductive behaviors and lamentable hatespeech.”
There is a difference between misbehaviour/malfeasance/hatespeech and counterproductive behaviours. I agree that the crude language sometimes used is counterproductive. Any anger, even righteous anger, is always going to be interpreted as violent or threatening by the gynocentric public, that’s a given. However, that certainly isn’t hatespeech or malfeasance. Advocating violence or expressing truly bigoted attitudes (i.e. “all women are inferior to men” or “Women are only good for breeding stock”), THAT is hate speech & that gets banned, proper quick, in this movement.
In fact, I believe that it was an act along these very lines that first attracted you to comment on this site.
“I guess it’s too much to ask any gender warrior to look in a mirror…”
I’m baffled that you formed that impression based on what I’ve said thus far. I actually agree with you that public displays of anger are counterproductive from a PR perspective & also that there are a fringe of truly hateful people attracted to the MHRM (as there are with any movement). My only disagreement is that angry rhetoric is hate speech, I don’t believe it is.
The sort of stuff I see as tolerable within the MHRM is no worse than what I consider tolerable with feminism. It’s only when they start in with the truly hateful stuff like advocating male genocide or our domestication for use as beasts of burden that I take issue with them. There’s no double standard here.
“You can see misbehavior, malfeasance, counterproductive behaviors and lamentable hatespeech. In one half of humanity.”
No. We see it in all parts of humanity, it’s just that talking about the male half of the problem is politically correct but talking about the female half isn’t.