One that was not an anti-feminist but a feminist ally with a focus on things like how rape culture and stupid gender roles harm men too, without butting into women’s conversations about it.
One that didn’t do rape apologism (a lot of them seem to…).
Actually, one that didn’t say the messed up stuff many mainstream MRAs say or upvote. Much like how the Bible works against Christianity, sites like AVFM or MRA Reddit spaces make them look completely terrible in ways I hope don’t generalize well. (“The idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection”? Really?)
They also should not go around calling women they disagree with “cunts” or similar slurs, obviously. They should not be misogynists.
I’m trying to guard against generalizing too much here but several MRAs seem to be very disconnected from reality or really lack empathy. They are upvoted heavily though so I’m really worried about that.
Basically I think it might be kind of like a male feminist who talks about men’s issues a lot. It is true, for example, that men are trained by their (usually male male) peers and culture to be violent and imprudent. Being manly is considered to entail things like always being willing to fight, never crying, and doing self-destructive things like smoking.
A lot of this is obviously based on misogyny, of course. For example, boys who cry are insulted by being compared to women (or considered to be gay, which they consider “girly”).
Anyway, this hypothetical good MRA could take that sort of role without trying to minimize women’s issues or invade other topics in trying to draw attention to it.
MRAs as we know them are very anti-feminist, sometimes proudly and blatantly misogynistic, often very disconnected from reality and generally very backwards. They range from extremely messed up but still somehow a bit influential (Paul Elam, Eivind Berge) to potentially well-intentioned but kind of misled (some of the “Egalitarian” crowd?).
Maybe some of the salvageable ones can consider separating from the more hateful figures in the movement and maybe joining feminism as good allies? I mean, it is possible that all of those many, many horrible things we hear from the MRM are not representative and that there’s some community of more reasonable members somewhere (such as those who provide support for male victims instead of complaining about women).
Feel free to add to the list of traits a more reasonable MRA would need to have and discuss this stuff.
*Of course, one can also say that if feminism is completely successful then MRAs won’t be needed either, which is true. The kind of society I wish for as a feminist is completely equal.
I could also get on board with an MRA who is aware of intersectionality. Not once have I EVER seen an MRA discuss race, disability, sexuality, or class. They’ll talk about the lack of men’s shelters til they’re blue in the face, but not once have I seen a conversation about what puts men on the street in the first place. I don’t see conversations about the rate of young men of colour in prisons as compared to white prisoners and criminals. I have certainly seen not a damn thing about trans men and their needs. Not a word about how disabled men are often seen as asexual (when they’re not actually asexual), just like disabled women. Now it’s possible these conversations exist somewhere, but I’ve never been able to find them and they’re certainly not part of the mainstream conversations. There, it’s all divorce (by which I mean alimony), child custody, and male rape (again, I don’t see anybody addressing the male rape that occurs in prisons and the causes of that, ever). These are conversations that the MRM could be having and aren’t. I’d wager that if a poll was taken, it would be made of mostly middle class white men.
Edited to add, the bolded is my main problem with the MRM as it stands.
This is bullshit for many reasons, but the one smacking me in the face is that lesbians do not give two shits (or any bothers at all) about what straight women do in their own bedrooms.
It sounds like this person heard at some point that feminists are against marital rape (because duh) and thought they meant that all sex was rape.
OMG, I just skimmed through an article that addresses one law makers comment about short skirts and high heels putting females at risk for rape.
As if that wasnt infuriating enough, there were actually idiots who made comments on the article, equating wearing revealing clothing to putting your valuables on display to get stolen.
I just want to scream, “Guess what a-holes? A woman’s body is not just some object that you can take because you like it. Not to mention that even stealing actual objects is wrong, and violating a woman’s body is about a million times worse.”
The thing that bugs me the most about the bolded is that even if we accept the premise that wearing revealing clothing is equivalent to putting your valuables on display, when you put your valuables on display and they get stolen nobody questions whether or not it was actually a theft. They might call you stupid for doing it (which would be wrong), but rape is the only crime where the ways in which the victim may have failed to take precautions somehow negates the existence or validity of the crime. Victim-blaming with other crimes makes you an asshole; victim-blaming with rape actually calls the existence of a crime into question, and that is an extremely important difference.
tonight my neighbor and i were talking about men and women, and how women can cry their way out of tickets and men can’t. then he said something about how men typically win in society anyway, and i added “yeah, like how it’s women’s fault we get raped based on how we present ourselves.” and he was flabbergasted, and he was like “what? thats not true, what are you even talking about?” and i said, “yeah, it’s always ‘well, you wore an attention getting skirt, so dont act like you didnt want the attention’”
he tried to argue that nobody thinks like that, and i said “are you fucking kidding me? thats how the majority of people feel when it comes to rape, that it’s the woman’s doing from the get go” and he responded with, “well i don’t know anyone who feels that way about rape.”
and it’s like,
I don’t know whether to hate him for being so fucking ignorant,
Or love him for surrounding himself with good people.
tell him to keep an eye out when he’s reading newspaper articles about rape - they almost always specify what the victim was wearing, as if it is relevant. Also look up some stories about rapists who weren’t convicted because of this. Actual judges have used victims’ clothing and sexual history to throw out rape cases.
I’m seeing the same repeating themes over and over and the huge majority of this makes no sense. The biggest complaint seems to be “I’m being called a potential rapist and I wouldn’t do that” and “dem women are getting picked over me for jobs because of the law.”
1) somebody talking about how men can potentially rape them does not mean they are jumping up and down pointing at you calling for your arrest. They are saying that they have to be aware, for their own safety, that any man they encounter could assault them - not will, but might. They’re not calling you a rapist, they’re saying they know that rapists are around and they don’t wear signs so they have to consider that you could be one. And considering how this group of people loves to tell people to not get raped, you’d think they’d applaud their diligence.
2) What is this assumption that these women aren’t qualified? There’s some guy complaining that he has to take orders from younger women who can’t lift what he can - so? Welcome to the hierarchy of work, where the higher-up people delegate work to people who specialize in something, whether that something be engineering or lifting. Your boss is rarely going to be qualified to do both your job and their job and the jobs of everybody they supervise. That’s what delegation and specialization are for.
And if I see one more person complain about the draft I swear. WE ARE NOT PRO-DRAFT. And you have to be pretty damn stupid to assume that just because something exists and negatively affects you feminists are automatically for keeping it around. People who complain about this conveniently ignore that women have been trying to get into the military for fucking ever. They’re constantly trying to move up the ranks. Sexual assault rates for deployed women are sky high. The restrictions on their combat roles often keep them out of high ranking positions. How blind do you have to be to think “oh there aren’t many women in the military must be because they expect us to do all the risky work” and never have it occur to you that a) they’ve been trying to get in and b) many of them don’t want you in the military either and aren’t going into it not because they want you to die but because they think it’s stupid for anybody to go into?
Seriously I want an answer to that last one. And just generally I’d love to know why it’s assumed that anytime something negatively impacts men we’re sitting here cheering. I keep seeing complaints on tumblr that women don’t talk about men’s issues - how the fuck would you know though? I see it all the time. It might help if you followed something besides MRA blogs.
I don’t think anybody has to identify as a feminist but I do think people should actually learn what it means. Just because it has “fem” as a root doesn’t mean it’s about female people all the time.
I’m doing an arts subject masters, very interdisciplinary, with students from all kinds of academic backgrounds on the course. Gender issues and feminist theories quite often come up in our reading, and there is plenty of scope to discuss gender theory, feminism, and queer theory in class. Through these discussions, I’ve gained a reputation as being someone not shy about holding and espousing feminist beliefs. It’s not at all a problem, in theory, as everyone on the course is ~oh so progressive~. But still.
There’s a guy on my course, E. After class a couple of weeks ago, a group of us went to the student union bar, as is our habit. I got chatting to E, and he told me he’s started reading Simone de Beauvoir. That’s cool, I said, I like much of what she has to say, especially the idea that biology is not destiny and “on ne naît pas femme : on le devient”, even if I think that her theories on the workings of patriarchy in ancient cultures are slightly—- E then cut me off, and started to tell me, based on his reading of half of the first volume of The Second Sex, that the “problem” with “modern feminism” is that it’s all about “lifting up women to the level of men”, and do modern feminists even consider the nuances of masculinity, and simply pitting “men” against “women” was never going to work and what did modern feminism think about that, and have modern feminists considered the unique problems facing men?!?
I laughed in E’s face, not even trying to disguise my shock, and asked if he’d read anything by, say, Professor Michael Kimmel as an example of a prominent academic gender theorist who looks at men and masculinities; he hadn’t, and didn’t even seem to know that theories of masculinity are a hot topic in gender studies at the moment. I asked E if he read any feminist magazines, blogs, or modern feminist theorists; nope. He’d not heard of the term “intersectionality” in a feminist context. I asked him if he was familiar with the old cliché that Patriarchy Hurts Men Too; nah. So he knew practically NOTHING about the composition and priorities of modern feminism, but decided to lecture me about Where Feminism is Going Wrong Today, based on half-reading a book written - with the best will in the world - over 60 years ago.
If that isn’t the very definition of mansplaining, I don’t know what is.
I like E on a personal level; and I suppose I’m glad he is thinking about these issues. I am just sad that he demonstrated so perfectly and unthinkingly the result of patriarchy telling him again and again that he naturally has more searching insights into the problems facing feminism thanks to his (cis) gender, and that he is therefore more of an expert on feminism than a female classmate who has read extensively on the subject, who is involved in feminist activism, and who identifies openly as a feminist.
this is one of the major problems I have with people who get mad about gender studies not addresses males. THEY DO. FREQUENTLY. You can argue til the ends of the earth about whether they should, but for the love of god go looking before you claim they don’t.
Toronto woman takes denied haircut to Human Rights Tribunal
A request for a lunch-hour haircut has turned into a battle over human rights, pitting freedom of religion against a woman’s right not to be denied service based on her gender.
Faith McGregor walked into the Terminal Barber Shop on Bay St. in June to get a haircut — the “businessman,” short on the sides, tapered, trim the top. The shop, like many barbers in Toronto, doesn’t do women’s haircuts. But McGregor, 35, said she wanted a men’s cut.
Shop co-owner Omar Mahrouk told her his Muslim faith prohibits him from touching a woman who is not a member of his family. All the other barbers said the same thing.
One of the many reasons I disprove of many religions is the issues with women’s rights and how they are treated in them. Faith didn’t walk into that barbershop asking for the latest style from vogue (or whatever), she specifically wanted a men’s style cut. She said she felt like a second class citizen, and I agree with her and if that was me I would feel the same. It’s bad enough feeling like that on a regular basis, and the have the reminders constantly with actions like this.
What astonishes me the most, is a lot of the comments:
“Give me a freakin’ break - she could have gone to a different place for the same “man” cut.”
“Faith, are you sure you aren’t using the second class citizen line just to get yourself a few minutes of fame at Omar Mahrouk’s expense. This man also has rights & works in a men’s barbershop so he won’t be forced to violate his own beliefs. You strike me as a pushy & arrogant bullying type!”
“This woman is clearly achieving what she set out to do… be a feces disturber. There really is no point to be proven or lesson to learned it just appears she is a hardline extremist of sorts and wishes to cause problems. If indeed she is trying to promote tolerance or equality she is definitely going about it the wrong was and in a very tasteless manner.”
“When I go to a Barber shop I like to relax. I do not want women there. mens hair cut 25 dollars. women hair cut 2500 dollars. If they are forced to start cutting womens hair I am going to personally ruin everything women like to do as women. I am going to stink of the gym at the spa. I am going to talk about getting loudly on my phone at the nail salon. And a trip to the mall with the boys wont be complete without at least 20 minutes walking around the lingerie store.”
that last comment is the most ridiculous to me. This guy seems convinced that any of those actions would send us into a flurry of rage like the one he’s experiencing. To be clear, I do not give a single flying fuck if men want to do any of those things.
Tweets from the author of Fox News’ “The War on Men” article and RFN blogger responses.
Her Twitter is unreal.
Check out her quiz on how to know whether you need her help. Apparently if you pursue men, are open to the idea of living with one or are a product of divorce, you are in dire need of her book.
Here they go again with their incessant sexism. To the individual in question: I am NOT an animal, and I am NOT a child. I don’t need some insecure moron teaching me “not to rape” because I don’t rape anyways. I’ve never sexually assaulted any female in my entire life. Why? Because I’m a naturally shy person and I feel wrong doing things without permission, so I always have to ask for permission first…. even for just holding hands. And if the answer is “no” then I don’t continue. Just because a few men might have fucked you over in the past doesn’t give you the right to blame the entire male gender for your problems. That’s the real “asinine bullshit”.
… I don’t know why this is so difficult to understand. If you don’t rape, you’re really not a person I’m talking about. Although it’s entirely possible that you have at some point told a guy to keep asking a girl out, be persistent it takes time, blah blah blah. Which definitely reinforces rape culture in the background. And IIRC, the stat is that 1 in 6 men in north america have committed a sexual assault. Meaning that you probably have regular contact with a rapist in your day to day life. They are fairly common.
Seriously. “I don’t rape anyways.” Then congratulations, this conversation isn’t about you.
It is my personal opinion that we should raise our sons to NOT rape. But that we should ALSO raise our daughters to not dress ‘inappropriately’ and be a tease.
Sure, you’re not asking for rape. I get that. And sure, women should have the right to dress as they please. But really, wearing a 5 inch mini skirt and a halter top that goes down to your belly button is insane. Feminism wasn’t about being a whore. It was about being a WOMAN. Equal to a man. Business suits, jobs, the good stuff. Not being able to post pictures of our breasts on the internet and calling that ‘freedom.’ Not going out in lingerie and protesting against rapists.
Women these days have forgotten that. Men are NOT all at fault. Women are to blame as well.
We need to step up and recognize our part in this. Yes, the men need to learn respect. But women do as well. Help a brother out, don’t tempt him. Be classy.
Don’t tempt him? You’re basically saying that men are too weak and stupid to resist a scantily clad woman, even if she’s saying no firmly and directly. First of all, insulting to men as a whole.
Second of all, female advancement was about being a free person who can make all the same choices a man can, including choosing staying at home with children, sleeping around as much as she wants, or going out into the workplace, or any combination of that, and a hell of a lot more.
Our part in rape is that we exist and we are available and it’s disgusting that you would suggest that a woman is at all to blame for her own rape. Women get assaulted wearing anything from a miniskirt to a parka, wearing jeans and a t shirt.
I sincerely hope that you’ll take my suggestion of reading up on victim blaming because this post is just teeming with it and you are genuinely hurting a good deal of people with this thinking.
All the misogyny and slut-shaming and victim blaming in OP’s post makes me want to vomit.
Ugh I didn’t even notice the part about being a tease. A “tease” is pretty much code for “she flirted with me but didn’t want to sleep with me,” or “I could see her breasts and mistakenly assumed she was open for business because of that, but she didn’t want to talk to me.” If anybody uses “she was a tease” as an excuse to rape somebody - to rape somebody, forcibly use their body against their will how do I have to explain this to anybody - they are fucking delusional and somebody reinforced that that was okay for them. Somebody like the OP told them it was a real excuse for violating somebody’s personal space, that some of the blame was not theirs because “she was tempting me, how could I possibly resist?”
Is that it is soooo fucking generalised. It categorises all men as rapists and paints all women as victims. Yes, feminism itself perpetuates a victim complex within women. Shoving statics constantly at young women and telling them that there are men out there who want to rape them. The highest percentage of rape that occurs is within prisons, to men. They tend to forget that. It’s just not a healthy thing to shove in young women’s faces. Yes people need to be aware of the reality of our world, but at the same time, you can’t just put all men into this one category by saying we all behave the same way, all have the same sex drive, the same sexual needs, the same sexual desires and that we are all inherently rapists or have the potential to rape. Sexism goes both ways. GET FUCKED YOU SEXIST IDIOTS.
Go read schrodinger’s rapist. Easy to google.
And read his follow-up post responding to commenters wondering how they will ever get laid if they don’t invade people’s bubbles in coffee shops.
Wow. Just 3% of cab drivers in New York are women. That’s pretty remarkable. The vast majority of New Yorkers take public transportation each and every day, never getting their drivers license (because they don’t need it), so if they do happen to get into a car, chances are, it’s going to be in a cab. Children living here are growing up thinking only men can drive… Interesting point implied in an interesting mini docu.
I was just thinking about this. I’d never want to do this - the amount of pacifying I’d have to do just to get them out of the car would be ridiculous. I have to stroke egos just to get out of the coffee shop without being called a bitch, can’t imagine driving drunk people around all night.
If Men Could Menstruate
by Gloria Steinem
Living in India made me understand that a white minority of the world has spent centuries conning us into thinking a white skin makes people superior, even though the only thing it really does is make them more subject to ultraviolet rays and wrinkles.
Reading Freud made me just as skeptical about penis envy. The power of giving birth makes “womb envy” more logical, and an organ as external and unprotected as the penis makes men very vulnerable indeed.
But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, “and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It’s probably the first real thing that’s happened to this group in years.”
Laughter. Relief. She had turned a negative into a positive. Somehow her story merged with India and Freud to make me finally understand the power of positive thinking. Whatever a “superior” group has will be used to justify its superiority, and whatever and “inferior” group has will be used to justify its plight. Black me were given poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “stronger” than white men, while all women were relegated to poorly paid jobs because they were said to be “weaker.” As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother, “Oh no, that’s women’s work.” Logic has nothing to do with oppression.
So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?
Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:
Men would brag about how long and how much.
Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.
To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.
Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- “For Those Light Bachelor Days.”
Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.
Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).
Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights (“Everything else is a single issue”) or self-inflict a major wound every month (“You must give blood for the revolution”).
Street guys would invent slang (“He’s a three-pad man”) and “give fives” on the corner with some exchenge like, “Man you lookin’ good!”
“Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!”
TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)
Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.
Medical schools would limit women’s entry (“they might faint at the sight of blood”).
Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics— or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?
Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.
Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.
And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly)
In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here’s an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)
The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.
If we let them.
(c) Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. NY: NAL, 1986.
I don’t really like Steinem that much but OMG THE BOLDED. I’ve never thought of that before.