(Spoiler Alert: There are none.) Men’s Rights Activists, commonly known as MRAs, have been gaining ground all over North America in the last decade.
Men’s rights, are they serious? Apparently.
So what is the men’s rights movement?
Well, it has an uncanny resemblance to a child throwing a temper tantrum when someone questions if they need that fifth piece of cake.
The movement began in the 70’s in response to a growing feminism in the preceding decade. As feminists worked towards goals like workplace equality, North American men seemed okay with the idea of their little gals adding extra cash to the bank account, but when discussion of women’s rights took hold, men began to question the movement. Women’s rights? What about our rights?!
The men’s rights movement seems to be a result of some serious FOMO.
Generally speaking, the movement houses a boatload of resentment and produces endless hate speech. The basis for MRA rests on the belief that traditionally oppressed groups have gained control and eliminated/stolen the white male privilege. How have feminized people done this? Well ain’t that a good question.
The men’s rights movement is the North American male response to the terrifying idea of feminism, one borne out of insecurities. Today, the idea of what it is to ‘be a man’ is steadily changing and many males are anxious about the uncertain definition of masculinity. As feminism gradually gains rights and opportunities for women, the MRA population gets bigger and louder.
To these men, a world with feminism means that they will one day soon be farmed for sperm under an unruly female autocracy.
Due to their literature, it is clear that MRAs do not comprehend the principles of feminism. For instance, MRAs often cite preference to women in family court as an example of injustice toward males. What they fail to understand is that feminism seeks equal treatment for all individuals. Such preferential treatment is the antithesis of gender equality, and therefore feminism does not support such a bias.
Certainly, some (definitely not all) issues brought up by MRAs deserve discussion. But that’s roadblock number one; the inherent way in which MRAs operate does not promote nor often even allow for productive discourse.
Last year an anti-sexual assault campaign took place in Alberta called “Don’t Be That Guy”. Each poster hosted a different scenario with messages retorting rape culture. One reads, “Just because she’s drinking, doesn’t mean she wants sex”. Men’s Rights Canada responded to this with its own campaign, “Don’t Be That Girl”. One poster, for example, exclaims, “Just because you regret a one night stand, doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual”.
This is only one example of MRAs choosing a method of attack over dialogue. (Get your google on, it’ll blow your mind.)
But the bottom line is that white men are not being persecuted. Period. Nowhere in the world are they in jeopardy of losing the privileges to which they’ve grown accustom. Pale skin and penises are still the golden ticket in today’s day and age.
I admit MRAs have articulated legitimate issues that need addressing, but the idea of men’s rights is so not legitimate, I can’t even begin.
Males who identify as MRAs and who truly seek equality (rather than maintaining their privilege) should be working towards a collaborative relationship with feminists. News flash: Gender equality is, shockingly, the entire overarching goal of the feminist movement. So if that’s what you actually want fellas, hop on board!
But hearing this from a girl, no less a fed up and sarcastic feminist, isn’t always that convincing. So take it from these guys:
“Are there some problems with specific instances of unequal treatment? Yes. Is there some anti-male sentiment out there? Yeah, that happens too. But turning these issues into a movement is laughable. It is a like a multi-millionaire who whines that a tax loophole was closed and he’s losing 0.5% of his annual income.” James S. Fell, Time Magazine
“Sure, a pretty girl will get into a club before you do, but you know what else a hot girl has to deal with? Six dollars less an hour than I would get for the same job. Even though I'm lazy." Chris Gethard, Comedian