Posted in Gender

International Men’s Day 2015 and Feminists Are Still Asking The Wrong Questions

Never one to miss scoring a political point when it comes to raising men’s issues, feminist writers this morning have launched into unsurprising and expected vitriol about whether there is a need for an “International Men’s Day” at all. They have been asking “isn’t that every day”? Once again, blinded by their own privilege and asking the wrong question(s).

This is why I largely try to keep out of political point scoring between MRAs and feminists. They are far more concerned with getting one over on each other than they are about making the world a better place for everyone. If they’re not playing “Oppression Olympics”, they are mocking and ridiculing the other.

Yet feminist viewpoints are far more mainstream than the MRA so when these sites launch into nothing but ridicule, mockery and general nastiness, nobody wins – least of all the men who need to be listened to on International Men’s Day. These feminists often claim to care about men’s issues and rarely show it.

So I am calling on you today to prove it. You can prove how much you care about men’s issues by getting behind the men in your life – fathers and brothers, boyfriends and husbands, sons, uncles and grandfathers. Feminists can do this by changing the question from “Isn’t every day men’s day?” to any of the following:

  • What can I do about the unacceptable 75% rate male suicide?
  • What can I do about the unacceptable number of homeless men, accounting for 6/7 of all people living on the streets?
  • How can I help the silent male victims – men who suffer IPV at the hands of a woman?
  • What can I do about changing attitudes towards men and boys who are sexually abused?
  • How can I help male physical health such as testicular and prostate cancer?

But I suspect that many won’t because the questions above have very little impact on their own lives.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

5 thoughts on “International Men’s Day 2015 and Feminists Are Still Asking The Wrong Questions

    1. No, all it means is that those who are really suffering continue to suffer that little bit more while their voices are drowned out by those who claim to speak for them.

  1. With respect, I believe you are asking the wrong questions. Or, rather, that the questions you are asking will not get people of a feminist mindset to reconsider their opinions. So what if 75% of suicides are male, for example…do we want more female suicide? So what if there are male victims of female violence…..these cases are dwarfed in prevalence and severity by male-on-female violence and male-on-male violence.

    I think that the better question to raise to men and women of a feminist mindset is why they believe that society privileges men over women in the vast majority of cases. Why do they subscribe to a theory of “patriarchy” in today’s day and age? Can they bring themselves to see that just as women have a “beauty myth” that they can’t seem to overcome, men have a “success myth” that keeps them from realizing their dreams, and that myth is enforced ruthlessly by both men and women – by the male hierarchy and the female sexual/marriage market?

    Can they bring themselves to see that while they lobby for “men’s liberation from gender roles” with their words, they re-enforce those roles with their actions, dating/marriage/divorce patterns, and un-spoken expectations. That men are both punished for adhering to gender-roles and deviating from them?

    If we can see that men are no more privileged than women in today’s society (or, at least, that there are as many areas where men are the under-privileged ones as women, just different areas) then the answers to your questions will come naturally.

    1. . So what if 75% of suicides are male, for example…do we want more female suicide?

      I would have thought the answer to that would be obvious. This isn’t about making more women kill themselves, but to make women understand that there are male-specific difficulties, and that women have privilege and advantages in some areas of life. As it is, they flat out deny it. Encouraging women to be see that they have privilege and advantage over men in some areas is key to the whole thing.

      So what if there are male victims of female violence…..these cases are dwarfed in prevalence and severity by male-on-female violence and male-on-male violence.

      With respect, I think you are wrong. Recent statistics have shown that as many as 35-40% in the UK and the US victims of DV are male. That’s not “dwarfing”. A man who hits a woman will use his fists. A woman who does so will use anything but her fists – a frying pan or other heavy object, a carving knife or other sharp object. Having known men who have been hospitalised by violent women, this is no trivial matter. One of them was almost killed.

      As for the rest of your post, I agree whole-heartedly but think those things will never change until feminists can accept the possibility that men can and do suffer difficulty. That is the key to the whole.

      This is also about challenging the trope that “feminism is about men’s issues too”. As the article above from The Independent proves, that is rarely demonstrated.

  2. “This is also about challenging the trope that “feminism is about men’s issues too”. As the article above from The Independent proves, that is rarely demonstrated.”

    I agree with this whole-heartedly. As much as feminism claims to be about men’s issues as well as women’s, the underlying philosophy is that society privileges men and under-privileges women systematically. Therefore feminism tries to achieve equality by advocating for women’s rights, not men’s. They will fight for men’s rights once equality has been reached….but in their eyes equality will never be reached because they only see women’s issues and not men’s….even when those issues are pointed out to them (as you have tried to do with your questions). Therein lies the problem.

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