Men's rights movement
| Voice of the voiceful|
|Lest women catch up|
|Bros before hoes|
“”The list of grievances for MRAs is long. It includes the elevated rate of suicide for men, educational discrimination against boys, economic and workplace conditions for men, violence against men, false rape reporting, fathers’ rights in custody battles, rates of male imprisonment and prison conditions, and the horrors of war. Many of these issues deserve a thoughtful response and the force of an organized movement to address them. It’s too bad that’s not what men’s rights activists are offering.
The men's rights movement (MRM), also known as men's rights activism (MRA), masculism, or "The Men's Human Rights Movement", is a fringe movement which espouses the view that social, legal, and economic discrimination against males is present in society to the extent that fighting it deserves an organized effort mirroring that of feminism, and crucially, that any and all variants of feminism do society and the individual far more harm than good.
There are two distinct age ranges for Men's Rights Activists: group one consists of adolescent boys aged 12-16, and group two is mainly inhabited by young adult males in the early 20s to late 30s range. The most prominent MRA media and literature consist of memes circulated on sites such as iFunny or 4chan, as well as YouTube channels run by fundamentalists or, unfortunately, New Atheists.
Based on their insistence that men are held back by women at least as much as women are by men (if not more so), combined with a general adherence to neo-reactionary strains of anti-progressivism within the movement, MRAs hold the entirety of modern feminism to be an inherently unequal attempt to worsen the "already equally unfair" balance of rights and responsibilities between the sexes by selfishly putting women even further ahead. The question then becomes why in the world anyone in their right mind, today living, would willingly call themselves a feminist (especially if they're male!) when the perfectly good (and clearly much more egalitarian) label of MRA is — as far as society is concerned — just sitting out there in the barn doing nothing?
The MRA narrative explains this obvious plot hole as the devious result of a long-standing propaganda campaign — directed at the masses from various ivory towers — by a chaotic-evil radical intelligentsia. To support this overtly conspiratorial view, the crankery of various fringe radical feminist cliques (such as the TERFs) are nutpicked and presented both as "what your next door feminist actually believes" and as a necessary end goal to the entire project of feminism.
The MRA membership is primarily male, though some females also identify with the movement and are sometimes known as "fMRAs" or "feMRAs". These few women are naturally held up front row center as walking proof that the MRA movement really is everything feminism claims to be.[note 1] While the MRM might bill itself as a progressive movement and a rational reaction to the excesses of third-wave feminism, its demonization of female rape and DV victims mixed with its thorough cross-pollination with reactionary movements make it nothing but a Trojan horse to roll back protections for women under the guise of fighting male oppression.
- 1 Subdivisions
- 2 History and goals
- 3 Alt-right overlap
- 4 Claims and rebuttals
- 4.1 Circumcision
- 4.2 Pay gap
- 4.3 War, male-only militaries, and male-only drafts
- 4.4 Education and sports
- 4.5 Reproductive rights and mandated child support
- 4.6 Healthcare and life expectancy
- 4.7 Government support for businesses
- 4.8 The Birkenhead Drill
- 4.9 Family court
- 4.10 Criminal sentencing
- 4.11 False rape accusations
- 4.12 Rape of males
- 4.13 Marital rape
- 4.14 Homelessness
- 5 Criticisms
- 6 2014 Isla Vista killings
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
Like most social movements, there is no specific agreed upon set of goals and no formal organization. The general movement is an offshoot of the men's liberation movements of the 1970s, and as such, used tactics learned from the feminist movement to attempt to gain equality in several areas. The movement itself split into two groups: one that largely supported feminism, and one that was strongly anti-feminist. Both movements, but especially the latter — which is frequently overtly misogynist — are generally understood to be to some extent a backlash to feminism.
Genuine equal rights groups
While "men's rights" is often used as a cover for sexism, there are men's advocacy groups that genuinely promote equal rights. The Good Men Foundation, for example, promotes activism on men's issues, supports charitable foundations such as boys' and girls' clubs, and publishes an online magazine dealing with men's issues that also acts as a forum for dialogue between feminists and men's rights advocates. They focus on criticisms of traditional male gender norms, fathers' issues, factors affecting at-risk boys in inner cities, sex and health. Naturally, according to the sexist element, the Good Men Project should be called the "Good Mangina Project" and is secretly a tool of Ms. Magazine. One blogger actually gives out "Mangina Awards" and The Good Men Project is a recipient. It seems an organization that focuses on men yet evokes sympathy, approval and interaction from women can suffer a backlash from those who prefer it to remain principally focused on men.
Some blatantly sexist sects of MRAs push the idea that there are definitive differences in ability between women and men (traditional values and "women's roles") and therefore suppose women should not compete with men for various jobs (although it is apparently all right with them for women to receive more social encouragement to be child care givers, school teachers, or maids, without stigma). Specifically, these groups argue that macho worlds like construction, the military, fire departments and police departments are no place for women because of their presumably inferior abilities or because that's just nasty.
Many of these sites lean right-wing in the political ideologies they promote — e.g., the feminazis are attempting to steal men's hard-earned money through socialist policies. Of course, the irony meter is again through the roof here. Their ramblings tend to read like the communist tracts they also rail against: All feminists are evil (extending to all women for the MGTOW crowd) and seek to bring about matriarchal domination (i.e., become the "ruling class"). They cook up their propaganda in their nefarious women's studies classes in academia and spread it through woman's advocacy groups. This has supposedly caused most men to become indoctrinated into a false consciousness, thereby causing them to abandon "true" masculinity (class traitors) and actively work against male liberties by becoming mouthpieces for and enforcers of the feminazi agenda (useful idiots, or "manginas" in their terminology).[note 2]
Some also blast feminists for their "man-hatred," but they dump copious amounts of hatred on men who don't
subscribe to their agenda share their persecution complex. If you don't eat beef jerky for every meal, idolize Chuck Norris, and tell your bitch to make you a damn sandwich, you're probably a mangina and responsible for the ongoing "feminization" of our society.
When confronted with concepts like patriarchy and its results, they tend to go full-tinfoil hat and assume that it's actually a sinister plot by women and the New World Order and/or communists. Women more likely to get kids/maintenance in a divorce? It's because women have mindjacked hundreds of thousands of judges and lawyers with vaginal magic, not because women are viewed as "maternal" and socially expected to be caregivers. There's some overlap with Redpillers and Gators, as well, and anti-feminist beliefs like MRAs' are one of the core tenets of redpill and MGTOW.
A splinter group with some overlap with MRAs that says that not only are men more oppressed than women, but the only way for men to be free is to not live with women at all. In other words, the anti-feminist equivalent to the (equally kooky) radical lesbian separatism movement.
There is, however, a third class of MRA, who are sadly difficult to distinguish from the second. While still right-wing, this class of MRA tend to hold views that fall within the standard limits of a libertarian ideal, but, for some bizarre reason, seem determined to wrap these ideals in the most misogynistic-sounding language possible. Basically, women earn less money because the free market says so, and by attempting to change it, you're the devil. An example of such an MRA is Paul Elam, host of the internet radio show "A Voice for Men," who posts on YouTube under the name TheHappyMisogynist.
History and goals
“”girls always love to telling people not to" Mansplain"
but they do not care of, "Man's Pain"
Although one could argue the socialist movement was the original men's rights movement, by pushing for an end to male wageslavery, the beginnings of a self-identified modern Men's Rights Movement can be traced to an 1856 article in 'Putnam's Monthly' which argued for an end to laws that made men legally responsible for the actions of women in relationships. One example of such a law had to do with the 'heart balm' suit which awarded the person who broke off an engagement to marriage with financial compensation (virtually always the woman receiving compensation). Women were known for abusing this suit by 'gold-digging'; faking love then breaking off an engagement or blackmailing men who they were engaged to. By the late 1920s, the practice had become a widespread criminal enterprise, highly profitable for both weeping bogus sweethearts and racketeering lawyers that it gained the appellation, “The Heart Balm Racket.”
The first prominent MRA writer was arguably Marxist writer and anti-suffragist Ernest Belfort Bax. He wrote The Legal Subjection of Men in 1908, modeled after The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill. Bax also wrote The Fraud Of Feminism in 1913 — at a time when only a minority of countries in the Western world even gave women the right to vote. In his writings Bax argued against laws which he saw as unfair sex-favoritism towards women, including the stiff penalties or jail time a man faced for leaving a marriage, when a woman faced no such penalties. He argued that feminists didn't really want to abolish chivalry, and will appeal to chivalric arguments to defend their privileged position. He also argued that capitalism inherently placed man in a slave relationship to women, and only socialism could liberate men from women. Bax was therefore a socialist MRA activist, which today would be qualified as a strange kind of moonbat.
A movement called the "Male Liberation Movement" was a single self-conscious liberal feminist movement that dissolved during the late 1970s. By the early 1980s, members of the movement had fully split into two entities. The members who had placed greater emphasis on the 'cost of male gender roles to men' than the 'cost of male gender roles to women' had formed the men's rights movement focusing on issues faced by men. The members who saw sexism exclusively as a system of men oppressing women rejected the language of sex roles and created pro-feminist men's organizations focused primarily on addressing sexual violence against women. MRAs also generally have asserted since the 80s that women and feminism "went too far" and harmed men in the process. Notable MRA Herb Goldberg asserted that women played a larger role in their own sense of objectification as well as the creation and maintenance of their social roles: "I think women didn’t see their side of the coin particularly in their relationships with men; they didn’t see their part of the dance and how they helped to set up a lot of things that they found offensive, how they participated in them." He and other Men's Rights groups also believed that women have the power in any sexual relationship, and men must "fight" to keep a sense of balance, which is often what leads to actual physical fights as men wrongfully use force to reclaim their power.
With the popularity of the internet, fringe groups of men's rights activists began talking with each other, creating centers for discussion of the poor life men necessarily led in a world so controlled by women. As with most internet "groups", a small to significant portion of them had extreme views — in this case, actual hatred towards women in their personal lives and in the world at large. Feeding off each other, many internet men's rights groups have become cesspools of anti-women tirades, name-calling, and even instances of verbal violence against particular women who have stirred the pot.
Outside of these extremist voices, men's rights in the contemporary world is a niche market, but a few groups have helped change perceptions of the laws and application of laws in divorce courts, custody cases and a few other legal venues.
As the movement found the Internet, a new breed of men's rights proponents found a venue for a highly anti-female view of "men's rights", no longer just focused on generally accepted inequality (like family court issues), but an overall idea that men have it bad because of women. Wonder if they'll miss all the boot-knocking.
As the MRAs found a new home on the internet, especially on /r/mensrights, the MRAs managed to create a weird and and convoluted pseudo academic framework of epic proportions. The movement and its children have managed to create a small orgy of various terms and concepts, the vast majority being completely unnecessary. A well-known example from the Red Pill community is the needless grouping of men into different categories based on some kind of social hierarchy. These categories has grown out of simply just alpha and beta males into seven different categories (alpha, beta, delta, gamma, sigma, lambda, omega), and why these are necessary for a sensible critique of modern feminism is completely beyond understanding.
It has been noted by the Anti-Defamation League and others that there is a substantial overlap of men who ascribe to the MRM ideology and that of alt-right ideology. Some of the prominent people who are in both the MRM and alt-right are: F. Roger Devlin, Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer, Greg Johnson, Richard Spencer, Sam Woodward of Atomwaffen Division, Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff of Red Ice Creations, and Roosh V.
Claims and rebuttals
“”[M]ost of the people who regurgitate these statistics – whom I refer to as MRAssholes, because “MRA” alone suggests that they’re both interested in rights and activism, but this isn’t the case – are simply not interested in addressing these statistics and the dependencies. This sort of thing is used exclusively as a whine – “look how bad us men have it!!” or “see, women are privileged too!” That’s all. No thought, no solutions, no progress; just whining.
There are various specific things that MRAs take issue with, some of which are legitimate issues where men are actually discriminated against. All of these arguments included here are taken directly from "Men's Rights" groups.
The interesting thing here is that feminism addresses essentially all of these concerns. It's as if feminism truly is about equality (one might even call feminism egalitarian).
|Circumcision (male genital mutilation or MGM) is a violation of the rights of male children. In media, it isn't given the same treatment as female genital mutilation (FGM). Steven Svoboda writes that society thinks that "[w]omen's pain is simply more important than men's pain, and so we can tolerate a cultural practice of cutting baby boy's genitals."||First, the attention that feminism has brought to FGM has increased pressure on countries that allow MGM. Ironically for MRAs, the most feminist-friendly nations are those taking the greatest action. Second, it should be noted that cutting off the foreskin doesn't remotely compare with cutting off the clitoris (and sometimes the labia) in terms of damage done (at least when "properly" done). FGM essentially ends sexual pleasure, while MGM reduces it. If one thinks that there are limited resources to fight genital mutilation, then it's worth focusing more on FGM than MGM. (If one disagrees, however, then this is a not as bad as fallacy.) To be fair, there are several types of FGM, including some that don't remove any tissue. |
|The “pay gap” only exists because men work far more hours at high-stress jobs they hate with longer commutes, less flexibility, more physical risk, etc., just to be breadwinners and feed their families, only to die younger and get bashed for “earning more." A study by the Congressional Budget Office in 2002 compared women and men ages 27-33 who had not had children, and found that the wage gap among them was 2%. Corporations have supported the drive for women to enter the workforce in order to expand the labor supply and drive down wages. A somewhat unusual case of MRAs putting their money where their mouth is can be found in another YouTuber named RockingMrE. Mr. E agrees with the MRA sentiment that wages are driven down when both members of a household work...and thus he has opted to become a stay-at-home dad whose wife works. How this helps either side is a question in itself.||Complete crap. It cannot be effectively argued that it has diminished to such a point where it is irrelevant, anywhere on the planet. While it is sometimes overblown when discussing first world countries, in the developing world the wage gap can be as high as 10 cents to the dollar. The wage gap does correlate with the age of the workers in question. A study of lawyers in the United States found that women with no children still earned significantly less than their male partners at the same practice. Should we be expecting they're all lying on a couch having babies? (And even more absurdly, do you think that feminists want men to have higher-stress jobs than females?)|
War, male-only militaries, and male-only drafts
|Most countries only require men to participate in the draft or national services. This means life is has higher chance to be put at risk in those countries, simply by being born male and possibly having to go to war.||This borders on red herring as nearly every nation in the developed world has stopped compulsory enlistment, and the ones which haven't often have neutral foreign policies. Sweden, for example, was already opposing it in 2002 for the very reason that it was undermining gender equality; they finally scrapped it in 2010. Nations that do enforce the draft for women (e.g. Israel) are in the minority; nevertheless many that single-out males for conscription simultaneously portray women in a harshly negative light (think of the "get back in the kitchen" trope). Apartheid South Africa only conscripted white males, whereas black males were only even allowed in the army at all as a last resort, yet nobody in their right mind would conclude from this that Apartheid oppressed white people more than it did blacks. Similarly, until 2011, openly gay people were forbidden from serving in the US military (and openly transgender people still are forbidden from serving in most militaries around the world; the Pentagon dropped that policy in 2016, though Trump tried to ban them again, but a federal court stopped this). And as with apartheid, nobody argues that this means heterosexual and cisgender people are or were more oppressed than LGBTQ+ people. However, being conscripted is still not good for men. The only reason to conscript them is if they won't join the military when they have a choice. See Conscription and sexism
Some MRAs point to historical examples of when men were conscripted (such as during the two World Wars) as proof that men were more discriminated against throughout history, with all nations exempting women from conscription. However, it should be noted that disabled men were also exempt; does this mean that able-bodied people were more discriminated against than the disabled? No, it was simply because both women and disabled men were seen (rightly or wrongly) to be more of a burden than an asset. Also, at least in World War II, male-only conscription for frontline combat roles was more rare than MRA's believe, as women filled 8% of combat roles in the Red Army while America kept women in support roles because they believed the general public would have an absolute cow otherwise. However, before the 20th century, men were the only ones ever subject to conscription (again, see Conscription and sexism). Moreover, the upper echelons of the military — and the government in general — are overwhelmingly male, and it is these people who decide both who gets into the military and where they are deployed. It might be more accurate to say, then, that this is less a problem of gender discrimination against men and more a problem of older male officers and armchair politicians playing games with the lives of their younger subordinates/soldiers (of course in some cases that is unreasonable to both say and do as soldiers are investments in and of themselves, and some death costs doesn't account for lost valued experience, gear, and training lost). Anti-war protestors have said something similar for decades.
In rare cases, such as in North and South Korea, men are conscripted into a relatively riskier military service for less than market rate pay and comparatively poor living conditions. This may be a legitimate complaint for men in these countries, but neither is representative of a Western, first-world country in which many MRAs claim citizenship nor is either country an ideal towards which feminists worldwide aspire.Note also that evolutionary psychology predicts that males are more disposable than females. Sperms are metabolically cheap to produce in the millions, while pregnancy is metabolically costly. This difference is generally accepted by many MRA advocates in other contexts. It also predicts that men will be disposable in war in ways that women are not, that men will be significantly overrepresented in dangerous jobs, and other objects of MRA complaint. In terms of physical fitness, men are more suited towards frontline duties and physical labor due to generally more durable and stronger musculoskeletal systems. However this wouldn't exclude women from certain combat roles, such as pilots as seen with the case of Kim Campbell (A-10 pilot). But this argument ignores that conscription is for worst-case scenarios. In those scenarios, it is less important to only use the best and/or most expendable people in combat and more important to get enough soldiers to win the war. So, requiring women to register for the draft makes strategic sense. More to the point, having a gender-based exemption to the legal responsibility for the defense of the nation is incompatible with gender equality.
Education and sports
|Another claim, far more common in the anti-feminist camps, is that the modern education system is "sissifying" our boys. Our schools today discourage boys from fighting (oh noes!). Such anti-feminist MRAs claim that schools discourage competition, and "hyper protect" kids from "natural," normal, manly roughhousing. Certain MRAs have held such actions up as proof that "feminist society" "wants boys to be girls." Another claim is that the education system is run for the benefit of girls rather than boys because women are over-represented among university and graduate school students.||If evidence shows the dangers of football, especially to young children, especially to males, one would think that men would be the ones posed to gain the most if it was reformed. And because of course all young boys need to play football to realize their budding masculinity, and that restricting football on school hours will emasculate red-blooded young boys, leaving them to take up girly things like every other less-hazardous sport they could dream of. It is true that girls get better grades than boys in all subjects. But there is no evidence that this is feminism's fault.|
Reproductive rights and mandated child support
|Summarized as "if you have the right to abort with or without my consent, I have the right not to pay for the child." Men do not have any right to force a woman to have an abortion, or carry the child to term. However, because women hold this right in full, men must have a right to declare a desire to opt-out of child support.||It's debatable whether forced child support is good or bad in the general case -- whether the freedom for a father to choose not to have to pay child support is worth having the child grow up poorer if the mother doesn't abort. It is something that isn't studied nearly as much as it should be.
However, one must note that the largest burden for childcare, in terms of time and money, is on women when there is an unwanted pregnancy. If a woman feels compelled to have the child for religious or social reasons, that child was still the product of two persons, and the simple fact that she can "opt-out" (whether she chooses to or not) does not abdicate a man's responsibility. While a truly reliable, temporary male birth control is not yet available, men do have options, including using condoms and getting vasectomies (however, both condoms and vasectomies do fail sometimes, so that is an important factor as well).
That said, there are a very, very few cases where a woman stole a man's sperm and impregnated herself with it; and in at least one of those cases, the man was then forced to pay child support. There are also documented instances of women becoming pregnant by committing statutory rape, and in one case that other courts in the United States have cited as precedent a panel of judges held a 12 year old whose babysitter molested him responsible for child support. In those cases, at least, the man certainly should have some form of protection or choice; but they are rare outliers and shouldn't affect the debate much.Oh, and there's also the issue of putting the baby up for adoption.
Healthcare and life expectancy
|One of the odder MRA claims is that the health system is geared for women, and against men.
According to various statistics related to male health, life expectancy, and suicide rates, men's medical issues are not given as much attention as women's health problems.The word “women” appears 134 times in the body of Obamacare. The word “men” appears twice in the body of Obamacare. ZOMG!
|Health care costs for women are nearly twice that for men in the US.[note 3] Prior to Obamacare, many states still allowed insurance companies to charge women more for the same coverage. However, this is because health insurance companies consider women greater risks than men because they consume more medical care. Because they are largely in charge of reproductive control, women tend to visit doctors more often, and their health concerns are often caught before they become out of control. Men's issues have historically been taken seriously whereas women's issues often require a real fight to be acknowledged by the medical community. For example, the female viagra wasn't approved until 2015.
Some issues that are usually viewed as men's problems such as alcoholism have been severely under-studied in women. Until May of 2014 the US did not even require pharmaceuticals be tested equally on female laboratory animals or human subjects, for fuck's sake, although claims that this discrepancy in testing extended to human subjects were either outright lies or were done for obvious medical reasons. However, the idea that the healthcare system as a whole is biased against women is difficult to maintain in the face of women getting superior outcomes to men in many cases. 
There is, however, a socially-created reality that men do not go to the doctor as often or as "soon" as women do, and this often leads to finding problems late into the medical situation, so instead of an easy prevention (say, for example, the onset of diabetes, depression, or knee problems which all can be mitigated) the patients require more serious treatment. MRAs haven't explained how feminism has caused this.
As for life expectancy, it's true that women currently live longer then men. Whether you're in Iran or Iceland they still live longer. Why this occurs remains vague; socioeconomic factors has a part. Unfortunately, the difference isn't narrowing. In addition, it appears to have been a relatively recent phenomenon brought on by higher mortality caused by smoking and binge drinking, which have traditionally been male affairs. Prior to the demographic transition of the 19th and early 20th centuries (when death in childbirth and infectious diseases were largely eliminated in the " Global North " ) men outlived women virtually everywhere in the world, sometimes by 5 or more years.  In the U.S, the NIH has budget items for women's health and violence against women, but no corresponding items for men's health or violence against men. This is certainly unfair, but does not imply that the healthcare system as a whole is unfair to men. Indeed, that would be like a white person saying that the existence of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Discrepancy somehow means the entire system is rigged in against white people, even though the point of such an institute is to alleviate already existing healthcare inequalities. As it stands, the healthcare system was designed with men in mind while organizations have had to spring up in order for women's specific health concerns to keep pace; and while men and women commit equal levels of minor domestic violence against one another, severe domestic violence and domestic terrorism is still committed more against women, while a great deal of female-on-male violence seems to be self-defense. However, most female on male violence is not in self-defense. A study of British heterosexuals found that only 21% of female on male domestic violence is in self-defense.
|Many MRAs point to the much higher worldwide suicide rate among men than among women as an example of inequality (though like the above, this is rarely directly attributed to feminism itself).||At least in the United States, there is an easy, gruesome (and sad) explanation for this. As Womenshealth.gov writes:
Where women tend to use more knives and pills (which fail quite often), men tend to use more guns and bridges (which don't fail nearly as often). This doesn't mean that suicidal men don't deserve help (because they do), but rather this isn't a rights issue so much as a tragic phenomenon that should be reduced. The fact that women attempt suicide more often would indicate that they are especially in need of support. Why not help all of them?
More expensive insurance premiums
|Generally tied into the above issue is that men pay more for insurance than women.||This is sort of true. Men actually pay less for health insurance, until about age 41, but more for auto and life insurance. But men are getting cheaper health insurance because men don't go to the doctor as much, they have more expensive auto insurance because they are more likely to be in accidents (now you see the problem with stereotypes), and they have more expensive life insurance because they don't shop around, live shorter lives, and lead riskier lives (this might be related to the whole "live shorter lives" part). This is still a legitimate issue of concern because it paints all men with the same broad stroke in a negative way, but the people fighting to end the practice are largely feminists.|
Government support for businesses
|In the United States, the federal government has one program designed to support small businesses that are owned by women, but does not have a similar program targeted uniquely at men.||While the American government supports small businesses regardless of the gender of the owner in a variety of ways, the program supporting small woman-owned businesses is a direct response to the extreme rarity of female executives and business owners. There is no similar rarity of male executives. It is affirmative action, but one that most people would argue is rather important.|
The Birkenhead Drill
|MRAs are unhappy about the "women and children first" protocol in maritime disasters, for example the Titanic in 1912, where 74% of the women survived but only 20% of the men did.||The so-called "Birkenhead Drill" has never been codified as international maritime law,[note 4] and studies even suggest that survival rates favor men in general accidents on average; the Titanic was a rather anomalous situation, and involved massive failures on many other levels as well.
The Birkenhead Drill is extremely rare these days; it was last applied in 2011 in a low-risk scenario with zero casualties.[note 5] The only preferential treatment frequently implemented appears to be for disabled and injured passengers, pregnant women, the elderly, and young children.[note 6]
When the "women and children first" trope has been applied, you have to wonder whether it's really ultimately the result of seeing men as expendable, the result of condescendingly lumping women together with children as people who can't look after themselves and need to be protected, or simply an act of selflessness expected from men thanks to machismo and evolutionary psychology.
And if we are getting into the ethical question of whom to save, if each lifeboat only has room for 2000 pounds of human, and women usually weigh less than men...For those curious about the history, the drill is named after the sinking of the HMS Birkenhead in 1852, which was a troopship—nearly everyone onboard who wasn't a woman or child was a soldier or a seaman. It's believed there were only 7 women and 13 children aboard (all surviving), compared to roughly 500 men (173 surviving). Letting women board before men only prioritized a small number of people, who could be reasonably considered more in need of help, being civilians; furthermore, it seems likely that many of the women were the children's mothers, and putting small children on a lifeboat alone is clearly a bad idea.
During the 70s-90s, it was without doubt that women were given an edge in family courts. Many if not most courts saw the mother as the more important parent, and the courts were therefore more inclined to give custody of children to the mother, all else being equal. This attitude can be found in some courts today, but it is less common and easier to challenge.
It is important, however, to put this in perspective as the other side of the coin of the mandate of motherhood: mothers were the default recipients of custody in good part because raising children was a feminine duty, as it was, in the patriarchal scheme, the most important role that any woman should aspire to.
Divorce became more socially acceptable starting in the 1950s. At this time, women were often considered homemakers - unskilled or unable to support themselves. As a result, during the 50s-80s courts gave large settlements of spousal support (alimony) to women. As women began joining the workforce and income disparity between genders narrowed, the practice has declined. Major reforms in the US, Canada and the UK reflect the reality of co-parenting, two parents working, and women supporting the husband. In fact, a few states in the US do not hear arguments for long-term spousal support except where there are extenuating circumstances. Further, at least in the UK, study has shown that of those who actually apply for custody of their children, an equal proportion of men and women receive custody with no statistically discernible gender bias in rulings. Ironically, it was the accomplishments of feminism in the 20th century that were largely responsible for mitigating this imbalance.
The modern Western presumption that custody should be awarded to the mother was codified in the Tender Years Doctrine, adopted in English law in 1839 and expanded in 1873, encouraging similar legislation throughout the European sphere of influence. Prior to the first Act, 'ownership' of children of any age (along with ownership of everything else) was given to the father in cases of divorce, up to and including shutting the mother out of their lives completely, with no recourse. So, in fact, bias in favour of maternal custody is a relatively recent phenomenon; a partial correction or mitigation of women's disadvantaged state at the time it was introduced. Some MRAs will claim that this bias has existed for a lot longer than it has in order to try to frame custody as one part of some vast systematic oppression of men. A crushing ignorance of history and/or culture is merely par for the course for antifeminist MRAs.
|In the United States, women receive significantly shorter prison sentences than men for the same crime.||This is indisputable. One of the arguments against the death penalty today is that a greater proportion of men are convicted of capital crimes, and receive longer punishments for that crime. Out of the 1,300 or so executions in the US, only 12 of them were women. It is inconceivable that these women are 1/100th as worthy of capital punishment as men. Believing that feminists are responsible for this rather ignores a core tenet of feminism: equal treatment, and that would also mean for committing the same crime.|
|The legal system frequently has an imbalance in viewing domestic violence. When a call is made regarding domestic violence in the homes, men are generally assumed to be the perpetrator and women the victim. Some states (like Colorado) have a mandatory "removal for safety" law, which requires that if a couple is involved, the male participant must be taken out of the home (or away from the scene) regardless of the circumstances. More extreme MRA positions go so far as to claim that women are the cause of violence, are more often the perpetrators of violence in the home, and that men have to react violently in self-defense.
The Violence Against Women Act and primary aggressor laws (laws in some states requiring the man to be arrested in any domestic dispute call, regardless of who the aggressor is) are factors that create environments in which domestic violence perpetrated against men by women is not taken seriously.Relatedly, some MRAs argue that laws allowing restraining orders are the result of feminism being better-funded than men's rights activism.
|The problem with male victims of domestic abuse being arrested instead of their female partners is real. One explanation is that we have created a society in which the valued traits in men are stereotypically masculine, such as strength, stoicism, and ability to defend oneself from a weaker woman, so society will naturally step up to protect the "weak" woman against the "macho" abuser. Abused men are sometimes reluctant to report victimization because of the stigma of being embarrassed and labelled as "unmanly" (indeed, domestic violence in general tends to be highly underreported). It has been suggested that as society becomes more egalitarian, more focus will be placed on male domestic abuse. This is one of the only areas where some individual elements of the feminist movement are partially responsible; when mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence first came about there was a small but rather vocal group of women complaining that police were arresting a higher percentage of women than before (the national average before such laws was 5%, and the complaints began when the percentage in Florida rose to 11% after implementation of mandatory arrest laws), and there have been occasional protests against acknowledging male domestic violence victims. Where the MRAs lose traction is when they neglect the fact that these attitudes, while certainly problematic, are only those of said individuals and not representative of feminism as a whole. Many other feminists have pointed out that the movement seeks equality between men and women on all matters, which would absolutely include equal treatment for male and female domestic abusers and victims.|
False rape accusations
|MRAs incessantly complain about false accusations, demanding that people be punished and/or prosecuted for lying about rape and criticizing any bias, real or perceived, against an accused person.||This is certainly reasonable in cases where the accuser admits to or has been irrefutably proven to have been knowingly and deliberately making false allegations, and they occasionally have a valid point; in recent memory there were some truly bizarre criticisms of Conor Oberst for having the audacity to file a defamation lawsuit in response to a completely bogus allegation (since he is known for being very pro-feminist he was apparently supposed to do nothing and allow his reputation to be destroyed "for the greater good of helping survivors" or some such, and shortly after the woman apologized he decided to drop it anyways), and in the wake of the collapse of Rolling Stone's "A Rape on Campus" story, a number of people blithely ignored the fact that protesters went unpunished after throwing cinder blocks through the windows of the fraternity house and ultimately forcing its members to live in hotels for several weeks, to name two. |
However, these scenarios are far less frequent than many of them would care to admit, for the simple reason that the act reporting sexual assault or harassment is itself a great risk for the accuser -- ironically, it is exactly because of the damaging notion that women often lie about rape that many victims fail to report it. When false accusations do happen, the lies quickly fall apart under scrutiny, as shown by A Rape on Campus. The majority of the time, when MRAs claim an accuser lied they cannot point to much (or any) evidence. Even in those relatively rare instances when they have a legitimate complaint, instead of constructive discourse their response generally consists of hysterical ranting; ironically, on one such occasion, they also made false accusations themselves with Occidental College's rape form, in an effort to crash the system.
Rape of males
The more "universally" accepted claim by MRA is that men are raped, by other men but also by women. In 2012 the National Crime Victimization Survey found that 38% of incidents of rape and sexual violence were against men. And frankly, being hard does not make you "willing." Both the law and society have yet to really come to terms with this. The more batshit view held by MRAs include ideas that women usually lie about rape (see where this is going?). Although the actual number of false accusations is notoriously difficult to pin down, every study done by the FBI suggests that false reporting in rape cases is no higher, or perhaps only very marginally higher, than in any other type of criminal case.
|Marital rape laws are misandrist because the wife automatically consents to sex whenever the husband desires as part of the marriage contract. A less severe formulation is that marital rape laws are unfairly biased against men because regular rape laws should cover it.||This argument is so mind-bogglingly offensive that any competent observer should be able to dismiss it out of hand. Unfortunately, as the Republican Party attempts to redefine the definition of sexual assault (à la only criminalizing "forcible rape") this argument has found unexpected new ammunition. The weaker version, while more plausible, neglects to point out that many existing non-marital rape laws make exceptions for husbands, meaning that ending marital rape laws "as a separate category of rape" would require changing the non-marital rape laws, or effectively decriminalize marital rape altogether in many jurisdictions.|
|Approximately 60% of all documented homeless identify as male.||It is unclear why this is the case. Feminism itself cannot be pinned down as the explanation.|
“”Equality?! Give me back that vote, woman! Lemme guess who's at work and busting his ass all day, lemme guess who makes the most money - I know, it's Chuck! It's the man! [audience claps and whistles] You know who's made the most money throughout history? The man! Who have been the great leaders? Men! Maybe you have Cleopatra but, Egyptians live in triangles, tetrahedrons and shit. A triangle is not manly! [audience claps] Who fought the best wars? Men! Who make the best murderers? Men! Who invented the plague? Men! We got it all, bitch! We run this show, and I don't give a fuck who knows it!
|—Judge Grady, Just or Unjust|
Critics of both camps of the movement liken it to reverse racism and argue that men who subscribe to the ideology are merely trying to hold on to privilege granted them by a long history of patriarchal culture. The term "movement" is itself challenged, since "men's movements" function more as a social salve, rather than actually redressing inequality in the overall social structure. There remain relatively few barriers to men's achievement in the world compared to women's, and few real areas where one can demonstrate a "lack of equality." Where such inequalities (apparent or real) do actually exist, it is important to critique if they're a result of feminism or if they derive from cultural attitudes which long predate it. Indeed, it'll be difficult to find feminists who push ingrained prejudices such as "men are strong enough to look out for themselves and don't need support."
Men's rights activists have been criticized for privilege blindness and their tendency towards "mansplaining." Frequently, MRA arguments rely on gross generalizations. Men's rights activists also have a reputation for palpable anger, based on their personal experiences of relationships, divorce, or the law. This stereotype is common to almost all fringe groups, however, as can be seen from the "angry feminist who wants to destroy men" stereotype (which has even greater currency in pop culture).
Exaggerating men's issues
MRA's have often come under fire for exaggerating or even making up men's issues with the deliberate intention of either downplaying women's issues or attempting to delegitimize feminism as a whole. They have an unfortunate tendency of blowing up minute problems into massive injustices and oftentimes being completely oblivious to similar issues women face.
An example of this in action is the near-ubiquitous tendency of MRAs to toot the #NotAllMen horn when any criticism of male behavior is raised only to engage in the same kind of generalizations with regards to women.
Many issues MRA's campaign on are either outright fabrications or are deliberately designed as a means of couching garden variety sexism by pretending to care about social equality. An example of this is how MRAs will complain about the poor treatment men who`re victims of rape receive only to male rape jokes.
Many men's rights groups use the term as a front for misogyny while claiming to be for gender equality; some openly supporting patriarchy. Since they haven't gained much influence as of yet, their activity seems to be mostly limited to whining about the "feminazis" or "femtards" on the internet.
One splinter group of the MRM (which has a complicated relationship with the movement) is Men Going Their Own Way, aka MGTOW (the equivalent of "Going Galt" for misogynists). Their aim is to escape the "male-hatred" of our society, which has been poisoned by the cabal of feminists and their vile ideology (which is not dissimilar to some types of separatist feminism). This puts them in a dilemma, as they still want to have sex but have disavowed relationships with women. The result: Sex bot obsession! Liberation will soon be at hand as the sex bot nears perfection!
Mistreatment of men by MRA
“”I would rather not see these kinds of "gay, redpill, and proud" posts. Masculinity is in part defined by our attraction to the feminine. If your preference is to be a man-pleaser then you're not expressing any kind of masculinity that's worth celebrating.
MRAs are known to exploit the stories of male rape victims for their own agenda of proving that men are the really oppressed ones.  They lure insecure men into their movement. In the MRA movement, there exists a known hatred for gay men.
2014 Isla Vista killings
On May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara, Elliot Rodger, a 22-year old student, went on a misogyny-fueled killing spree, murdering 2 women and 4 men, wounding 13, and finally committing suicide when confronted by the police. Before the murders, Rodger had posted a series of YouTube videos and a 140-page manifesto detailing his wishes of violent retribution against women and society for their perceived slights against him (consisting mainly of not engaging in a sexual relationship with him). He also had a history of making posts in the same spirit on various Internet forums, most notably on r/ForeverAlone and PUAHate, forums for bashing pick-up artists but populated mainly by self-identified "incels" ("involuntarily celibate") and other malcontents that was taken down as soon as the connection started to gain publicity.
Parts of the media and various feminists pointed out the sexist angle, some referring to Rodger as an MRA. Various MRA sites and personalities switched into full defensive mode, dismissing any possible connection between Rodger's ideas and their rhetoric,[note 7] and going on the offense, decrying the "politicization" of the murders by feminists. Many went as far as to claim that the murders were entirely attributable to mental illness (no one anywhere actually disputed the relevance of his mental health issues) and had nothing whatsoever to do with his rather obvious misogyny. (Sound familiar?) A particularly odious form is the claim that because Rodger killed more men than women (his 3 roommates and a random person on the street) or any men at all, this couldn't have been motivated by misogyny. In addition to playing "no true misogynist," this also conveniently ignores a pile of evidence — the contents of his videos and his manifesto and his unsuccessful attempt to enter a sorority house, which he followed immediately by shooting three women outside, only one survived. If he had managed to enter, the body count would be very different.
- Manosphere glossary
- Anita's Law
- Gay rights movement: A movement that aims to gain both men and women further rights concerning their sexuality.
- Men's movement: Woo unrelated to the above.
- Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white: The white supremacist equivalent.
- Female supremacy: What MRAs think feminists are.
- We Hunted The Mammoth
- Neoreactionary movement
- Alt-right, some MRAs/MGTOWs are part of this movement or have the same beliefs such as The Daily Stormer.
- The Red Pill movie – a Cassie Jaye documentary
- Masculinism, as made famous by Wikipedia
- Leader's Suicide Brings Attention to Men's Rights Movement, Southern Poverty Law Center
- How Men's Rights activists get feminism wrong
- All Hail the Matriarchy, And a Note to the Dudebros, Feministe
- The MRAs have a wiki. Goat help us.
- You Literally Won’t Believe These Mind-Blowing Simple Statistics… And How Wrong People Are About Them – A look at misinterpreted statistics used by Men’s Rights Activists. Warning, stupidity in comments.
- Deconstruct the Female – a dramatic reading of an MRA tract
- To be fair, feminists sometimes do this with men as well.
- Also ironic is that many socialists (such as the SPD) used to be very un-feminist and resisted demands from conservatives for female suffrage and the right for women to labor, though it should be noted that they weren't opposed to female membership (unlike parties such as the NSDAP). It was only during the 1960's onward that many socialists actually started accepting feminist thought and that the roles reversed. Then again, there is probably a reason why they say that feminism was good, but is bad today.
- One of the most expensive procedures in the US is childbirth, costing an average of $10,000. There are a number of reasons for this, the biggest being defensive medicine and malpractice insurance (blame Senator John "C-section" Edwards, see this), but the end result is if a woman is expected to have 3 kids and cost an extra $30,000, over her lifetime she will have to pay the insurance company an extra $30,000. Perhaps unironically, this is one of many reasons for the pay gap between men and women; if the company offers health insurance, they have to "pay" women more. Around age 42, men start costing more to insure than women.
- The closest it gets is the Boy Scouts calling it the "motto of the sea," and the Boy Scouts are notably neither a legislative body nor a bastion of feminism
- There were "informal instructions" to prioritize women and children—along with men with families—when Costa Concordia wrecked; most people ignored them.
- Unless you're a total sociopath, this is something that MRAs and feminists can both agree upon.
- He was technically an incel, which doesn't necessarily make him an MRA, but there is some amount of overlap.
- A Look Inside the 'Men's Rights' Movement That Helped Fuel California Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger, The American Prospect
- "Entering a new era"
- Julianne Ross, "The 8 Biggest Lies Men's Rights Activists Spread About Women", Mic.
- "New Men’s Rights conspiracy theory replaces the Illuminati with Teen Vogue", We Hunted the Mammoth.
- Men Going Their Own Way, "Marxism abolishes Absolute Truth. In a Marxist society everything is a Relative Truth. One thing you will hear many people who lived in Communist regimes claim they found to be the worst aspect of it all, were the lies! Everything becomes a lie, and there is no more truth.". (Erm..)
- Paul Elam, "A Voice for Men Has a New Face and Feminism is a Communist Plot", AVFM. (Usually they aren't as up-front as Paulie, here.)
- Stefan Molyneux, "Feminism is SOCIALISM IN PANTIES".
- "Men ruined and destroyed by feminist legal system, driven to self immolation and murder"
- A weird thing to be happy about.
- (in en) Putnams Monthly Magazine Volume 7. DIX EDWARDS & CO. 1856. p. 208. https://books.google.com/books?id=9-gRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA208&lpg=PA208&dq#.
- Fail here
- More fail
- See the Wikipedia article on Timeline of women's suffrage.
- Messner, Michael A. (June 1998). "The Limits of "The Male Sex Role": An Analysis of the Men's Liberation and Men's Rights Movements' Discourse". Gender and Society 12 (3): 255–276.
- Carrigan, Tim; Connell, Bob & Lee, John (September 1985). "Toward a New Sociology of Masculinity". Theory and Society 14 (5): 551–604.
- Messner (June 1998). "The Limits of “The Male Sex Role”: An Analysis of the Men's Liberation and Men's Rights Movements' Discourse" in Gender & Society vol. 12, 3: pp. 255–276.
- When Women are the Enemy: The Intersection of Misogyny and White Supremacy Anti-Defamation League
- One Norwegian MRA group's report on the issue
- See the Wikipedia article on Circumcision and law.
- National Coalition for Men
- National Center for Policy Analysis, which has a very delightful history.
- How not to read Department of Labor statistics
- Global Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum
- OECD Factbook 2013: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics
- Equal Pay Act
- The Gender Wage Gap, Around the World, The New York Times
- Women's Earnings and Income, Catalyst
- Wage gap and lawyers
- Selective Service System
- Women in the military — international, CBC
- "9 Reasons Women Should Have To Register For The Draft" by Kelly Antoine. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/9-reasons-women-should-have-to-register-for-the-draft_us_577591c0e4b00a3ae4cd748a
- "Gender Differences in Scholastic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis." Written by Daniel Voyer and Susan D. Voyer on April 28th, 2014. Volume 140. Number 4. pages 1174–1204 of the Psychological bulletin. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036620. http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/bul-a0036620.pdf
- "Should Women Pay More for Healthcare Services?"Written by Rose Rimler on June 13, 2016. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/should-women-pay-more-healthcare-services.
- "'Female Viagra' approved by FDA" written by Honor Whiteman for Medical News Today on Wednesday 19 August 2015 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298349.php
- "The Sex-Bias Myth in Medicine" By Andrew G. Kadar, M.D. Published in The Atlantic Monthly August 1994. https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/96jun/cancer/kadar.htm.
- If you want to check the statistics for every (206) sovereign state, here you go.
- "Why do Women Live Longer Than Men?" Written by David Robson for BBC Future on October 2nd 2015. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151001-why-women-live-longer-than-men.
- Living Standards in the Past: New Perspectives on Well-Being in Asia and Europe edited by Robert C. Allen, Tommy Bengtsson, Martin Dribe
- National Institute of Health. Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC). Published July 3, 2017. https://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx.
- "Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships: A Descriptive Analysis" By ichelle Carrado, M.J. George, Elizabeth Loxam, L. Jones and Dale Templar. http://www.batteredmen.com/carrgeo3.htm.
- As seen here
- Pregnancy costs on average $10,000. Yes that's right; this is less because of greedy healthcare providers (though that's part of it) and more because Americans are less likely to abort in cases where the fetus has issues (premature babies can cost more than liver transplants, and Thor help you if you have congenitally conjoined twins). Then there's the issue with drug addiction, which gets paid for by everyone else. Add on the malpractice insurance, where due to the way the legal system works an OBGYN costs anywhere from $80,000 to over $300,000 per year to insure, and that's one that doesn't have a bad history!
- Health insurance, automotive insurance, and life Insurance
- Women-Owned Small Businesses, Small Business Administration
- Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners, Catalyst
- Women Leaders in Business
- Titanic Casualty Figures
- Costa Concordia: The rules of evacuating a ship, BBC
- Every man for himself: Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters, Uppsala University
- "Cris Collinsworth among 83 rescued"
- More Fathers Are Getting Custody in Divorce, The New York Times
- [http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/djglp19&div=5&id=&page= Alimony: What Social Science and Popular Culture Tells Us about Women, Guilt, and Spousal Support after Divorce; McMullen, Judith G. ]
- Homogenous Rules for Heterogeneous Families:The Standardization of Family Law When There is No Standard Family Katherine K. Baker, Pages 20-25
- How do County Courts share care of children between parents? and the full study
- Women and the Death Penalty
- Won't anyone please think of the men for once?
- Talking Back to Restraining Orders (7 September 2014), Big Money v. No Money: VAWA and the Men’s Rights Movement
- Men as Victims of Domestic Violence, University of New South Wales
- The invisible domestic violence – against men, The Guardian
- Men's Rights Activists Do Not Prove Their Point, Slate
- When Men Are Raped, Slate
- See here and here.
- "The 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress DECEMBER 2017." The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Community Planning and Development. https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2017-AHAR-Part-1.pdf. page 9.
- YouTube: GTA IV Radio WKTT: Judge Grady - Just or Unjust #1
- For those who don't know what "salve" means...
- Michael Messner, Politics of Masculinities: Men in Movements (1997), Sage Publications
- "Patriarchy Works!"
- Sex bots and artificial wombs!
- 5 Uncomfortable Truths Behind the Men's Rights Movement
- A male rape victim's account