Posted in Gender

Areas Where (I Feel) MRAs Get It Right

I spent a lot of time last year thinking about what I feel about modern feminism and MRAs. Having been subject to the very worst of feminist attitudes, and seeing a movement that is now infested with misandrists and people willing to see conspiracies in everything, I am an anti-feminist. But I am not an MRA with it – it too has become a parody of itself equally with a determination to see conspiracy everywhere. I maintain that modern feminism and MRAs are more alike than either side care to admit. I’d rather not get dragged into their (often ideological rather than logical) war.

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Both sides have relevant points to make but are too busy screaming each other down to focus on helping the people they claim to want to help. Both sides are unwilling to see that the other has relevant points; both are unwilling to consider the difficulties (historic or modern) that men and women face. I know some reasonable feminists read this site and contribute occasionally so here are some issues that I feel MRAs get right – issues that I have never seen feminists get behind. I hope you read and absorb this list on its own merit.

Preferential Treatment of Women in the Legal System

Statistics demonstrate that women are less likely to be convicted of the same crime as a man. When convicted, a woman is less likely to be given a jail sentence than a man. When sent to jail, women are likely to get a shorter sentence than a man for the same crime. It is important that we understand this and acknowledge it, and not simply dismiss it with a “it’s the patriarchy” as though that is both an explanation and a solution. Women in several high profile cases in the UK used the defence (and been allowed to use the defence) that the male accomplice influenced her (read – “made her do it”). Maxine Carr is one and many had laughably argued this for Myra Hindley too.

Preferential Treatment of Women in Divorce & Custody Cases

MRAs regularly cite cases where men with money are expected to give a portion of his future earnings to his ex-wife. One of the most famous cases of this is the former footballer Brian Marwood who not only gave several million pounds in settlement to his ex wife, several houses and tens of thousands of pounds per child they had together for continued private education (none of which I object to) but also that the court ordered him to pay a portion of his future earnings after their divorce. Was half their combined fortune not enough? Examples of men being expected to pay child support to children who are not theirs have also been highlighted in the media.

Men as Stupid, Bumbling and Lazy

I don’t object to the strong independent woman on TV and in films, even if she is in danger of becoming a one-dimensional trope, but that is another argument entirely. The dads in many sit-coms are often depicated as stupid and bumbling or lazy, sometimes all three of these things and it is often a major plot point that their stupidity and laziness get the family into all sorts of hi-jinx. It is always down to the woman to put it right again. Even when it is “so easy even a man can do it”, it still needs a woman to do it for you. Not to mention the contradiction between a dad who is both lazy and always a work.

Consent to Sex is Not Consent to Parenthood

In the result of an unwanted pregnancy, a woman can decide without consulting the potential father, that the pregnancy should be terminated. Should she decide to keep the child, what choice does the man have? In some countries (such as the USA), a man who refuses to do his manly duties and pay for that child will go to jail. In most other cases, he will be shunned by society and labelled a “dead beat dad”. Surely if a woman decides to have a child for herself, she should not have the right to decide that for the man too? If a woman has a right to opt out of being a parent, why shouldn’t a man? A man giving sexual consent is automatically read as consent to becoming a father – this needs to change.

Women as Perpetual Victim

This is a major issue and many people are guilty of seeing women as victim and never as perpetrator – men too. It fuels the beliefs that women only cheat for good reason in a relationship, it fuels the belief that if you see a woman hitting a man in public he probably did something to deserve it, it’s that people will intervene if a man pushes a woman in the street but do nothing if it is the other way around. It means that women get to laugh on live television when they hear about a woman chopping off a man’s penis because he asked for a divorce, and not losing your job for laughing about it – and later justifying it with “it depends why she did it”. Woman As Victim and Man as Perpetrator is a major barrier to men getting help in many areas of life including and especially domestic violence.

So-Called Male Privilege Does Not Privilege All Men

Men are more likely to: be homeless, be unemployed, suffer injury in the workplace, die in a work environment, die from work-related illnesses (black lung, mesothelioma), die young, die by suicide. The fact that there is an under-representation of women in the boardroom is emphasised while the under-representation of anyone else from lower down the socio-economic scale is ignored. There is a lack of men born into working families in the boardroom. There is a lack of black people in the boardroom. There is a lack of disabled people in the boardroom. There is also a shortage of women working in the following workplaces: coal mines, oil rigs, street cleaners, sewers, construction and any other dirty and dangerous jobs. If you accept that a glass ceiling stops you getting to the boardroom, you also have to accept that there is a glass floor protecting you from the world’s most dirty and dangerous jobs, and that you will never be asked to do these jobs.

I have just one rule for this thread: please remain civil.

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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.

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