Friday, 17 August 2012

Some thoughts on Women and the Men's Rights Activists

So, looking obsessively as I do at my blog statistics the other day, I noticed a surprising number of hits had come from an MRA (men’s rights activists) site called ‘A Voice for Men’. Because, you know, men don’t tend to have much of a voice on the interwebz.  Anyway, I’m not going to link to the website because it’s not very nice and having more than a cursory look at it might make you feel ill. But anyway. The reason I was getting traffic was because an article written by a woman who has ‘quit’ feminism began by talking about my book, The Light Bulb Moment

I can’t be bothered to give her any publicity so we’ll just leave her name out of it. 

Anyway, as this was on an MRA website, the intro to the article was less than complimentary to my book, and the book's title with its ‘religious, Road to Damascus style imagery’ (what? Does ANYONE think of that with the pretty common phrase/cartoon image of lightbulbs?). To me, it’s a real shame that a book packed with honest, moving, funny stories about women’s and men’s lives was being held up for mockery on a site that thinks that women’s experiences are lies/crap/of no interest. Stories about childhood unfairness, depression, sexual assault, harassment, domestic abuse and more. As well as being completely irrelevant to the rest of the article, the whole tone of this introduction contributed and held up the MRA belief that women’s experiences aren’t real, aren’t serious and shouldn’t be respected. 

The article went on to talk about how the writer had left feminism and, I’m assuming from the fact that she writes for A Voice for Men and the Good Men Project, embraced MRA-ism. And this got me thinking about women’s position in a movement that is, at its heart, anti-women. Not anti-feminism, although it is that too. But purely and simply, anti-women. 

A movement that doesn’t really believe in rape and violence against women and girls.

A movement that actually really does believe that men are victimised by single mothers who simply want support when it comes to raising children.

A movement who think that there are degrees of rape, and have a scarily stupid understanding of consent. 

You know the drill. I could go on. But fundamentally, from everything I’ve heard and read about the MRA team, it’s a movement who think women are not as good as men. With a healthy dose of paranoia added in for good measure (I’m looking at you Tom Martin and your ‘hard chairs are feminazi conspiracy’ BS). 

And this is what I find hard to understand about women MRAs. Because we can be as friendly with these guys as we like, and they might even let you into their tree house for a bit, but, in the end, we'll still be women. 

We'll always be women to them.

And so long as they see being a woman as something inferior, we'll always be inferior too. 

As if to prove my point, one of the commenters on the article wrote the following:

I wonder. . . If I were an Israeli who happened on a German who used to run the ovens at Auschwitz and he told me that he no longer hates Jews; how do you think I would react?
Congratulations. You’ve have an advanced degree in hatred that you now repudiate.
Here’s your cookie.”

A movement based on disrespecting women will never respect women. They’ll always see you as less than them. They might not ALL see you as an ex-Nazi that never deserves forgiveness. But they'll always see you as a woman. 

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