Thursday, June 17, 2010

Feminism Epiphany

I was reading through some blogs today, some articles as well, to do with feminism. and any forms not-feminism comes in. I was struck over the head with a metaphorical 2x4. This 2x4 connected with other 2x4s that had come before it. I came to a conclusion, whether this conclusion is correct or not remains to be seen.

The anti-feminist movement as just that, anti-feminist, it appears to care very little about actually helping men in comparison to dragging women (mostly feminists) down to their (alleged) level. They are so blind in their need to knock feminists out of the way they are ignoring those they claim to support: men.

MRA as I have been able to tell so far, are characterised by such rage, such hatred, that leads to an inability to reason. In being liberated women had to take on the traits of men, now it appears as though men are taking on the traits of the stereotypical woman. Whiny, unreasonable and emotionally driven. They seek injustice to attempt to balance out injustice.

Worse still this leads them to confront their imagined foe, the big bad feminist when they could be doing good in the world. An absolute refusal to recognise the system for what it is, a flawed patriarchy. Instead a feminist tyranny has been invented, and things like FRA is used to show the flaws in feminism, when in fact it has nothing to do with feminism and more to do with our increasingly nonchalant culture. A moral void.

Perhaps instead of wasting time blaming all their problems on feminism, making absurd claims of feminist dictatorship and deducing from there an existence of male oppression, men can actually further men's rights, and while they are there why not women's rights as well?


  1. This is a good read on the situation. And it makes sense if we compare it with the beginnings of the feminist movement. Early on, there was a lot of anger and focus on tearing down the system and men with it. That evolved to developing political power, focusing on areas of improvement, and effecting change. There is still anger in some quarters, but most of us have adapted to and appreciate the change wrought from those beginnings.

    When I'm in a good place, I am less angry at the men's rights movement than I am understanding of its level of development. This is meant in no way condescending, but I see it as a child learning to walk. It will fall a lot and make mistakes, but eventually find its footing.

    I think this is the growth process of any movement.

    I've recently noted more and more that every movement REQUIRES extremism in order for the more rational points of the movement to eventually be heard and acted on.
    It's painful and uncomfortable when it's happening, but we have not socially evolved past its need as a people.
    I think that's part of what is happening now in the MRA circuit.

    (When I'm not in a good place, I rail against it and its seeming oppression of women to make their point.)

  2. I hear what you say, Social Worker, and to a degree I agree with you. However, I have recently found an ABUNDANCE of "masculinist" sites for societies that actually work specifically towards the very real and very valid concerns and problems that face men specifically, making great strides in addressing those problems without attacking women or seeking to roll back those rights that women have won.

    I find it, therefore, triply hard to understand the branch of MRA who do nothing but complain and blame it all on feminism, and inconceivable to understand those MRAs that actively attack services achieved through feminism for men AND women, like domestic violence shelters, which caters to male victims of domestic abuse as well.

  3. I chalk part of that up to you'll find a group of people to back anything.
    More specifically, I see in the history of the women's movement many of those same attitudes aped in their own way given the era and context they existed in.
    There's everything from the stigma of the SCUM manifesto to the bland public-accepted message without teeth of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman."
    I am certainly not defending bad behavior in any circumstance, but I do think it's fair to some extent to view the current variations of the MRA movement in parallel with the history of Women's Lib.
    I agree that I do not understand the sheer anger and hatred that I have seen on some of these sites, but nor do I understand similar tones I've seen on the women's counterpart sites.

  4. I was thinking about what you wrote all day, and the more I think about it, the more I start to see that I was wrong in saying that I find a certain branch of MRA's (and a certain branch of Feminists, like you said) "inconceivable" and "triply hard to understand".

    I have to be honest here and say, after thinking about what you said deeply and thoroughly, I realized that I actually DO understand and sympathize with the anger, on *both* sides of the argument.

    What I realized is that it's almost like we are all in an abusive relationship - The System is abusing us, shattering us as individuals, breaking us apart inside and outside, man or woman, and It controls all the resources we need to survive, so we cannot just "leave it", and we have to engage it SOMEHOW.

    And anger at being in an abused relationship, being TRAPPED in an abused relationship and seeing NO way out, is completely justified, and I would go so far as to say "normal", "rational" and "healthy" - although I personally hate all of those terms for the connotations The System had connected to them.

    And when that anger (and sometimes anger turns to hate, it's often unavoidable) is directed towards strengthening and maintaining that very system that is abusing you, (man or woman, call The System whatever you like, Patriarchy, Kyriarchy, Society, whatever) what I feel after this realization is not disbelief, or contempt, or hatred in turn.

    I feel empathy - because I've BEEN in an abusive relationship, where the only safe place I felt I could direct my anger and hate was at those actively trying to help me.

    There's much more to this that I can say, but this is not my blog, so I'll just leave you with that summary and go write on my own blog, instead of appropriating Cassie's :p.

  5. I wanted to add, because I didn't add before and only realized it too late, that there's a difference in the anger of the abused, if we can continue my analogy, whether one is male or female, and the anger of the abuser when the abused finally does manage to start to shake free and/or escape (once again, whether the one escaping the abuse is male or female).

    I feel that is an important distinction to make.

  6. That is incredibly insightful. And it immediately reminds me of the analogy to therapy. It is common, I'd go so far as to say expected, for clients I've worked with with abusive pasts (or currents, in some cases-apologies for bad phrasing)to go through a phase of incredible anger towards me. It can last weeks, months, even years. It's a necessary part of the process to move towards; examining and letting go of the rage at what happened. It doesn't mean letting go of the positive momentum that anger can have(though I don't think of that part as anger anymore), but of the self-damaging pieces.
    I often think individual relationships and patterns are a reflection, or better, an incorporation, of the patterns of society around us. I like the metaphor of the Kyriarchy as an abusive relationship with both men and women as the abused.
    I love what you said here.

    I'll go check out your blog.

  7. Hey, Cassie. I'm just checking in to see what's going on. You haven't said much in a few days. Not that you need to; I was just concerned.
    Not concerned trolling though. Just concerned.

  8. Thanks for your concern. The ol' anxiety is flaring up atm. So I didn't think I would be that capable of intelligent thought. I am thinking about a new blog topic though, don't worry I haven't disappeared yet.

  9. Don't you dare.

    I saw you posted a new one. I'm going to read it now.

  10. I was reading back through these posts and I wanted to address something Social Worker said.

    "And it makes sense if we compare it with the beginnings of the feminist movement. Early on, there was a lot of anger and focus on tearing down the system and men with it."

    I don't like the feminism/MRA parallel you are drawing here. There are a couple of flaws in it. Firstly the original feminists had to tear down the system to equalise things. Here however feminism is far from the system and MRA types are still focused on tearing us down (from where I don't know).

    Secondly I see the anger of feminists towards men as justified in that context, they were oppressed afterall. In the context of MRA I really can't see how feminism is oppressing them.