The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), a US non-profit organisation “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society,” has recently declared MRAs to be a hate group (found via Women’s Views on News)
The SPLC report makes sobering reading, it’s easy to forget, some times, exactly how much men hate women, their hatred is rabid and all consuming, and they actively condone and encourage physical violence against women.
I had intended to write a more jokey post, after all, MRA ‘thought’ is so insubstantial and contradictory (eg, women who work are taking jobs away from men, women who don’t work are parasites and whores), that it’s possible to write a whole blog ridiculing and satirizing them, but after reading through the SPLC report I’m not so sure that I can.
One thing that has struck me about all this, is that despite rabidly hating women, these men also desperately need women, they can’t define themselves except through having economic, social and sexual domination over women; without women to dominate, these men couldn’t exist.
A UK men’s rights group, calling itself ‘Parity‘, claims on its front page to be about “Equal Rights for UK Men and Women in the UK”, but one click away on its ‘Equal Parenting’ page, it says:
“The combination of feminism and the welfare state will reduce the status of fathers to that of household pets” – a prediction attributed to Bertrand Russell in the 1930s
I don’t know a whole lot about Bertrand Russell, but he is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. The fact that they are saying it is ‘attributed’ to him, rather than just saying that he said it, probably means that he didn’t actually say it; but that is a side note, the point is, they are talking ‘parity’ and ‘equality’ on their front page, then very quickly reverting to male supremacism.
The quote illustrates what I mean exactly; men, in order to be ‘real men’ need to have dominance over women, without that dominance, men are ‘household pets’.
The ‘men going their own way’ sub-group of the MRA movement is an interesting add-on to this, it could have been something positive, a way for men to find ways to define themselves outside of the dominance-submission paradigm of mainstream patriarchal masculinity, instead, they spend all their time going on about how much they hate women and aren’t going to let themselves be ‘tricked’ into having a relationship with one.
If these men hate women so much, why not just ignore them? Women don’t have the privilege of being able to ignore men, we need, as a survival skill, to be aware of and understand men in great detail; any oppressed group needs to understand their oppressors in order to survive. These men could just walk away and find positive, constructive ways to be men on their own, instead they put their energy into writing blogs, creating internet radio programmes, and even theme songs about how much they hate women.
I can’t help thinking, that the human race exists, still, in the West, only because women somehow manage to carry on liking and loving and wanting relationships with men, in spite of the levels of hatred and violence committed against us, even in the mainstream, before you go scraping the MRA gunk at the bottom of the barrel.
The whole MRA ‘thought’ system is an awkward and contradictory mix of traditional, patriarchal, ‘family values’, and a kind of juvenile modern masculinity that refuses any kind of personal responsibility – Nine Deuce writes about this phenomenon very well here (“In order to be a real man, one must be dirty, hairy, and stupid to the point of self-destructiveness. The poorer one’s decision making skills, the greater his masculinity, it seems.”). MRAs hate women, they don’t want relationships with them, but they do want to fuck them, and feel they are entitled to fuck them; the ideal MRA woman is a young, hot, ‘porn star’ who never expresses an opinion, doesn’t want to spend time with him, isn’t a ‘gold-digger’ (ie will put out without getting anything in return, even his company or friendship) and will magically disappear the following morning. Birth control will be entirely her responsibility, and if she gets pregnant, she should have an abortion, if that’s what the MRA wants, or not, if that’s what the MRA wants, but she must never expect any support from him for raising the resulting child, unless that’s what the MRA wants, in which case she should forfeit all her own human rights to be a surrendered wife.
Some MRAs do hate sex and find female genitalia disgusting, but none of them are gay – remember, misogyny and homophobia are two sides of the same coin, ‘real’ men must hate and reject anything to do with women, including the possibility of relationships with each other.
Let’s return to ‘Parity’. On the page on men and domestic violence, their first ‘fact’ is completely untrue:
Men account for between one third and one half of all victims in intimate relationships, the proportion rising with the severity of the abuse suffered by them.
Observe this report here, it is written very much from a ‘men are victims too’ angle, but even it says:
[A] number of meta-analytic reviews of these studies and found that women are as likely to use domestic violence as men, but women are twice as likely as men to be injured or killed during a domestic assault. Men still represent a substantial proportion of people who are assaulted, injured or killed by an intimate partner (50%, 30% and 25% respectively)
Which is exactly the opposite of the claim made by ‘Parity’, as the severity of the violence increases, the percentage of male victims goes down. (Please note, I am not saying that men are never victims, that violence against men doesn’t matter, or that women are never violent.)
The direct link to the researcher isn’t very forthcoming on what, exactly, is being studied, and how exactly ‘domestic violence’ is being defined, in UK law physical assault can be anything that leaves a red mark on the skin; how many of the ‘assaults’ and ‘injuries’ against men where committed by women in self-defense? How much of the intimate partner violence against men was committed by other men? How many of the men killed where batterers themselves, whose victims snapped and killed them in self-defense (‘battered wife’ syndrome is recognised both legally and by the medical establishment)? We don’t know, because the information we are given isn’t detailed enough.
As an interesting side note, the report ‘Parity’ released to the press in 2010, got its stats from the British Crime Survey. The British Crime Survey is used to show how few rapes are reported to the police, but whenever the under-reporting of rape is mentioned, the British Crime Survey is rubbished by exactly the same group of MRAs who will jump on these ‘Parity’ type reports as absolute ‘proof’ that men are the ‘real’ victims.
So, on to Tom Martin, and his failed attempt to sue the LSE for ‘misandry’.
District Judge John Taylor said: “What [barrister Nick Armstrong, for the LSE] would have me say, and I use his words, is that this is a hopeless claim. This claim has in my opinion no chance of success at all.”
The judge added that he agreed with Mr Armstrong’s argument that Mr Martin’s claim was too weak to have a reasonable chance of success in any trial.
An earlier application by Mr Martin for an adjournment was rejected, and permission to appeal was refused.
Mr Martin was ordered to pay the LSE’s legal costs subject to a financial assessment.
It’s too easy, and lazy, to dismiss someone like Martin as a ‘parody’, but it is difficult in his case not to wonder.
Martin calls himself a feminist, but on Cath Elliott’s blog, called Muslim women ‘skanky whores’ and claimed that they ‘choose’ the oppression of the veil, segregation, a lack of education or the vote because they are too lazy to get jobs and prefer ‘controlling’ men instead. He also claimed that trafficking is a myth, and that ‘hookers’ volunteer to be held captive in brothels until they have paid back their ‘debts’.
He’s also developed a whole ‘colour coded’ system for ‘misandry'; as commentor AliceRubberFeet put it so well:
He also claimed on one of his YouTube videos that women ‘choose’ to have lower pay – as if women could just ‘choose’ to abandon their children in the woods in favour of a full-time career.
How on earth Martin expects to be taken seriously when he spends all his time calling women ‘whores’ ‘sluts’ and ‘bitches’, I don’t know. The report in the Camden New Journal article contains more info to suggest that Martin cannot be taken seriously. One of his claims was that “’hard’ chairs in the library were uncomfortable for men” – yes, because women evolved fat arses to sit around on hard chairs all day while men where off hunting woolly mammoths! One of Martin’s supporters in the comments thread even seems to think that the ‘hard’ chairs where only being given to men! Does he imagine that the women were being given hand-embroidered pink cushions for their delicate lady-behinds, because the world hates men so much!?
The comments thread under the Camden New Journal piece reveals yet another contradictory facet to MRA ‘thought’, their uncomfortable relationship with masculinity. Women are simultaneously trying to ‘castrate’ men, and ‘forcing’ masculinity on them by accusing them of whining. MRAs definitely do whine, the average MRA couldn’t tell the difference between a right and a privilege if his very life depended on it.
MRAs also have a hard time working out what oppression actually means, and have to go through all kinds of contortions to ‘prove’ that men are oppressed as men. Lots of men are powerless, but no men are oppressed as men; men are oppressed for a whole range of reasons, including class, race, religion, being disabled, sexuality and gender expression, but they are not oppresses for being male and they are certainly not oppressed by women or by feminism.
All the examples MRAs come up with of men being oppressed ‘as men’, that men have to fight in wars, that men do dangerous jobs, that through much of human history, most men had no access to power, do not prove that men are oppressed as men.
Most of the world is, and had been for recorded history, dominated by an upper class male elite (bell hook’s concept of ‘white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy’ is useful here). In recent history, a small number of women have been allowed into this elite (think Margaret Thatcher or Condoleezza Rice), but only if their activity is entirely male-centric, that is to say, it only serves the purpose of the status quo. That men were sent off to die in war, or on building sites, doesn’t prove an anti-male bias, it only proves that to this global elite, human life is cheap; the only reason, historically, that women weren’t sent of to war, is that they were considered physically inferior to men, and that, more importantly, they were needed to breed the next generation of cannon fodder. In the UK, before the social reforms of the Victorian era, this upper class male elite was perfectly happy to see women and children die alongside men in factories and mines.
Which brings me neatly to another MRA bugbear I’ve seen in a number of places. MRAs have a desperate need to discredit the suffrage movement that won women the vote all over the world at the beginning of the 20th century. The MRA ‘thought’ on this subject is that women didn’t actually achieve anything, it was handed to them by men, as part of ongoing social reforms that were bought about by men – their ‘proof’ of this is how quickly women’s suffrage was bought about. Now, it is legitimate to see women’s suffrage as part of a much larger movement for social change in that era, but that is hardly proof that women didn’t work for it; in the UK women were physically attacked by mobs of men when they spoke publically about the vote, women were tortured in prison through force-feeding (perhaps MRAs would be happier if a few women had been burnt at the stake as well?). Women took part in the campaign to end the transatlantic slave trade before they had the right to vote (see, for example, here and here), women have always participated, but it serves the MRA agenda to pretend that women are nothing more than gold-digging parasites.
It would all be sad if it wasn’t so dangerous to women and children; instead of responding positively to the challenges to traditional masculinity that came about because of women’s liberation, they have responded only with negativity, violence, hate and fear.