Posted in Gender

Five Areas Where I Feel MRAs Get It Wrong

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on the things I feel MRAs get right when it comes to criticism of the actions of feminists or women in general. Here, I present the counter argument and explain why I cannot identify with large areas of their cause.

Abortion

This is often where MRAs betray their right wing, conservative politics. Their argument against abortion is often focused in completely the wrong area. I can understand complaints that, effectively, women get a say over men’s bodies when it comes to reproduction. After all, if a woman wants to opt out of being a parent she can have an abortion. In the event of accidental pregnancy, a man has no such opt out and in some countries, he will go to prison for failure to provide financial support. This is an imbalance that needs addressing and the Swedish government just passed a law saying a man can opt out of parental responsibilities up to week 18. I will write a blog post on this when I know a bit more about it.

Contraception

I have never heard a rational reason for why contraception should be outlawed at all. Not only has it allowed people to have sex without the worry of pregnancy, particularly for women, but some help prevent the spread of diseases. They should be championing the condom as the right of a man to control his own reproduction rights. Yet where do they focus their efforts? On the fact that men are paying for it through their taxes. Maybe these people want an over-populated world, but I don’t. This is a bigger issue in the US that has private medical insurance and the fact that such insurance covers women’s contraception seems to be a battle ground. Here in the UK where my taxes go towards the National Health Service, I would much rather that went towards contraception than child care, family allowance and other benefits to pay for another unwanted child.

Also, the idea that people shouldn’t have sex if they don’t want children is one of the most stupid attitudes I have ever come across.

Making It A Divide Between Left and Right

If you care about men’s issues, why allow the political divide between liberal and conservative, left and right to enter into the debate? Why is it relevant? Not all feminists are left wing and they haven’t always been. The fact that some elements of feminism has allied itself with the regressive left is circumstantial; misandrists may be mostly left wing, but there are people and groups on the left who do not ally with these people, and who are now challenging the harming attitudes of these people. They are not called “The Regressive Left” for nothing. This is not a debate about left and right, about progressive and conservative. When it does, I am out of the debate and I am no longer interested in getting involved. I am left wing and not a feminist. I am anti-feminist and not a social conservative.

Denying Women’s Difficulties

Why anyone would pretend that women do not and have never suffered difficulty should be the one thing that kills the credibility instantly. I certainly accept the notion that women have privileges of which they are blissfully unaware, and continue to experience them. I would (and do) argue against feminists who claim that there is no such thing as female gender privilege – because there is – but to say that women do not and have never had difficulties? Oh come on, that’s just as bad as pretending that men don’t have difficulties and disadvantage and we know how they feel about that. Yes, women have privileges to which they are largely blind – and sometimes dismissive that they are even privileges at all, but they also have difficulties. Just like men.

Climate Change

Now, I really do not get this one. Climate science has jack shit to do with men’s and women’s rights as they relate to paternity rights, disparity in criminal sentencing, in gender privilege and gender disadvantage. Once again, they betray their conservative bias by denying the scientific evidence of climate change. What’s even more bemusing is that they don’t even attempt to relate it to feminism other than a general attack on the political left. Big fat fail with that one, I’m afraid and I can’t even begin to understand where they are coming from on this one. In denying their political angle, they are betraying it every time they believe that this is all a great big anti capitalist hoax. By the way, the divide between capitalism and socialism also has very little to do with the gender debate.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Five Areas Where I Feel MRAs Get It Wrong

  1. MRAs get a lot of things wrong, unfortunately. Their vitriol against women makes their movement impossible to identify with publicly.

    But more than that, aside from a few defined points (such as male reproductive rights and divorce law), they have failed to identify the problems of men in a way that women (and men) can understand. They have failed to articulate exactly what FEMALE privilege is : the ability to ask for help and receive it without judgement. The ability to be supported by others who want to support you – physically, financially and emotionally. The ability to complain and have someone cats enough to listen and act for you. The fact that men do not have this advantage, and suffer for it.

    The very fact that feminism shuts down male discourse because men’s complaints are not worth hearing is a reflection of female privilege, which is rampant in today’s society (as male privilege has all but evaporated).

    What the MRAs need to do is address the half of the world that feminism ignores, not coopt feminist issues as men’s issues. Until women understand that men’s problems exist, and simply aren’t visible to women because women lack those problems, men will always be seen to be advantaged. And that will only reinforce the idea that a men’s movement is ridiculous.

    1. they have failed to identify the problems of men in a way that women (and men) can understand

      A few do. Karen Straughn in particular, but even she devolves into some of these arguments above. Her earlier videos come across as much more rational and it was my hope she would be a voice of moderation. Since she got on board with AVFM I think she’s succumbed too.

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