I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out precisely what it is about the gender debate – particularly the screaming match between feminists and society – and between feminists and MRAs irks me so much. I’ve always treated people with the same respect I would expect from them in return. From an earlier age, I had no concept that girls and women were lesser people than me and having grown up in the 80s, I also grew up very aware of what we then called “women’s lib”.
Yet even from that age, I felt a growing unease. I’m sure I will be accused of being scared of losing my (apparent) privilege but it really came down what I saw as preferential treatment given to girls and women. I was then, and am now, an egalitarian and saw how girls and women were more than happy to retain the privileges of their gender – if they forgot their homework at school (read: didn’t actually do it) all they had to was cry and the teacher would give them an extension; how they wanted equality of jobs and education, but all sought a rich man; how if a boy hit a girl in school the matter would be treated with the utmost seriousness but it if was the other way around, the girl’s punishment would be far less severe and he would be mocked for having allowed himself to be hit by a girl in the first place (that’s assuming, nobody thought he must have done something to deserve it).
Now I am a man pushing 40 and far more politically aware, but that doesn’t mean my left wing egalitarian principles have changed.
On the contrary, they have intensified and it is that which drives my anti-feminist principles especially. Why just anti feminist? Because there is no real MRA movement here in the UK and what there is, is largely fought on the very real problem of fathers’ rights and how they are treated in the courts, how women abuse and are permitted to abuse the system and how the CSA pursues absent fathers but not absent mothers.
People assume because I am politically left, that I am probably a male feminist of some description. I’m not and never will be. The more I hear about feminism, the more I am convinced that it is the very antithesis of my egalitarian principles.
Emma Watson was applauded for her HeForShe campaign in September but it, along with every other feminist movement, never invites men to speak – unless it is on the understanding that they must always defer every time to women talking about their issues. That is fine if you are a male feminist, but there are very real problems that men suffer in the world today and being expected to “sit down, shut up, check your privilege” always in favour of women, is not conducive to egalitarianism and arguably goes against the equality for which feminists claim to stand. It also does nothing to address the 95% male workplace deaths and the 78% male suicide rate in the western world.
Watson claimed to be for equality, yet this feminist movement is not and has never been interested in areas where men are disadvantaged. Until feminism actively addresses the issues above rather than paying lip service to them, and blaming “patriarchy” while doing nothing (except inviting men into the conversation while advising them to sit quietly and wait their turn), feminism does not deserve to be charged with solving them.
I’m also talking about male rape victims, men who are falsely accused of rape (a fact denied by feminists in their assault on the film Gone Girl), that rape in the UK is defined only as penetration by a penis (which means that no woman could ever be charged with rape as a man could), male victims of domestic violence, how they are treated in public and many other things.
While we’re on the subject of “patriarchy” these two issues really bother me:
- Firstly, why would a system by men for men ever create a scenario where men could be disadvantaged? It makes no sense. A society that favour privilege of one religion over another (such as in this country where there is an enfranchised Church of England) would never disadvantage its members
- The second problem I have is that feminism promotes the notion that any man is automatically more privileged than any woman. It is plain stupid to suggest that a homeless man with no qualifications automatically has more privilege than any female CEO with an Ox-Bridge degree
So, feel free to comment with all your NAFALTs (Not All Feminists Are Like That), or to blame the patriarchy for female gender privilege – or even outright deny it exists if you like. You cannot have equality by focussing solely on the rights and social issues of one gender, and telling the other gender to either join the feminist movement and wait their turn, or simply keep silent to avoid silencing women’s issues. This is precisely what the HeForShe campaign is doing – make no mistake that this is not about true gender equality while it requires compliance from men.
A final word from Amazing Atheist sums up some of my thoughts. The relevant points start from around 6:15: