• Not Steve
    18
    Disclaimer: this thread is a long-as-fuck text dump I'm hammering out at 1AM. If parts of it are vague or incoherent, I'll happily clarify when my head doesn't feel like a bag of squirrels on meth.

    Whenever you hear anything related to men's rights, I bet you automatically think of sad online reactionaries attacking feminism. That's because such is usually the nature of those calling themselves men's rights activists, and those few adherents who genuinely support the "movement's" stated agenda are quickly told that their group is divisive and redundant. After all, others would argue, the few disadvantages men truly do face are best addressed by incorporating them into the feminist - or egalitarian - agenda, because it's all the same cause, right?

    I have a problem with this proposition. There's a reason why the intellectual leadership of the women's rights movement has always been exclusively female, even when men express sympathy for the feminist cause; it's because one cannot fully understand and appreciate the experiences of a sex without belonging to that sex. This holds true for men as well as women. Yes, a woman may know in an intellectual sense the challenges men face. She may know that men are the majority of suicides, the majority of work related deaths, the majority of combat deaths, the majority of alcoholics, et cetera et cetera. Doubless you've heard the men's rights spiel before, whether from reactionaries or true supporters.

    But does she know what it's like to be unable to express emotions, things as simple as fear and pain, without the possibility of being outcast and labeled weak? Does she know what it's like to have pent up aggression with no way of relieving it, and to be ostracized as dangerous and problematic when that aggression shows? To fear being accused of rape, and labeled a monster even when found innocent?

    Does she know what it's like to be expected to face the horrors of war, to die a violent death, or to return, broken, to a home where one no longer belongs? No. She can never know, because either through biology or millennia of social conditioning, those are not her burdens to bear. She does not envy them, just as men do not envy physical vulnerability or the pain of childbirth. Therein lies my key point: the sexes are not the same, the challenges they face are not the same, and treating them the same can only bring about hardship for one, the other, or both.

    So, with all that said, should there be a distinct and credible men's rights movement? If not, how can men directly affected by these issues speak out and find support? I'm interested to hear any feedback you may have.
  • Judaka
    323

    The problem with men's rights and recently even women's rights is that in the 20th-century or in many developing countries today, women face unambiguous discrimination, lower status by design, they're thought to be less intelligent and capable and so on, many problems which are clearly hurting women. The basis for these beliefs usually don't hold up to scrutiny - the reasoning being either fundamentally incorrect or going against common sense and morality.

    More recently, it is not as clear than women's right in the West are actually targetting unambiguously unfair things, quite the opposite. It's hard to understand the current feminist ideology and their views are very controversial.

    There are issues which impact men disproportionally or even biases against men such as in education or law. I've made a thread on this forum before discussing why empathy is not a useful tool for understanding, we don't need men who think they can empathise with other men to find solutions for problems. Fact-based decision making, including both nurture AND nature influences and factors, aimed at reducing problems for both men and women wherever they appear doesn't really seem to require a men's rights group.

    The concern here is that the social constructionists think men are raised poorly, the feminists think successful men are tyrannical, misogynistic and toxic and society, in general, is more sympathetic to women's problems than men's problems. So what is needed before fact-based decision making is a political movement that calls for more attention to be placed on the various issues that men face.
  • Bitter Crank
    8k
    Men have interests unique to their sex, just as women do. Men and women have a lot of interests in common, which should at least sometimes override sex-difference-interests. If not a men's "rights' movement, a lot of men would, I think, benefit from a men's movement directed toward sex-role excellence--that is, finding better models among men to emulate.
  • ssu
    1.4k
    Does she know what it's like to be expected to face the horrors of war, to die a violent death, or to return, broken, to a home where one no longer belongs? No. She can never knowNot Steve
    Tell that to senator Tammy Duckworth.


    So, with all that said, should there be a distinct and credible men's rights movement?Not Steve
    I'll tell a little anecdote of my wife.

    We had Parliamentary elections here just last sunday. As she is an immigrant and doesn't follow so much Finnish politics, she used these 'election machines' as we call them to find the candidate that shares the most of her political views. The website also gave her the candidate that was the most opposed to her. This candidate, the furthest from her political views, had the least similar views in the category of "values". My wife and this candidate shared only 9% of common ground in questions of values. Yes, you might have guessed it. The candidate was a woman from the Feminist Party. This candidate, as any candidate from the Feminist party, didn't get elected and had one of the lowest amount of votes given in the district, btw.

    This shows actually the plight of feminism today. My wife does think the women are oppressed in some way in this society. Many women usually support the traditional objectives of feminism, but hardly see anything relateable in the current wave of feminism. Hence if 'male studies' have anything to with current feminism, it's total nonsense. And 'Male rights' movement is totally absurd.

    The big question is just how reasonable is it to crave for male rights? What rights are men missing? What is so wrong with human rights? What is so wrong to talk about humans, men and women, when it comes to the rights of people?
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    If not a men's "rights' movement, a lot of men would, I think, benefit from a men's movement directed toward sex-role excellence--that is, finding better models among men to emulate.Bitter Crank
    I have recently come across a few sites that seem, at least on the surface, to celebrate masculinity in a positive way, rather than whinging about women or promoting violence. This arose when I was looking for information about getting a push reel mower (being a fanatical greenie) and the best source of info about it was on such a site. Then I turned to the ecology of shaving, wanting to dump disposable razors and use razor blades, and the same site had good info on that. When I searched further, some of the good info about shaving options was on other such "men's" sites.

    Curious, I browsed one or two of the sites further to see if there was hidden patriarchalism, misogyny, violence or incel-ism. I couldn't find any, or any demanding of 'male rights', but I might just not be very thorough.

    Here is the site where I got good info on push mowers and razors. I'd be interested in the opinions of others:
    https://www.artofmanliness.com/
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    A man's rights movement sounds awfully feminine
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    I had never heard of Tammy Duckworth, but I looked her up on wiki and she sounds tremendously impressive. Quite an inspiration!
  • Not Steve
    18
    Yeah, maybe not rights per se, but some sort of "meninism". I think rights movements stopped focusing on legal enfranchisement a long time ago, now it's just a catch all for the self-actualization of a social group.
  • NKBJ
    1.1k


    FWIW, the way I understand and enact feminism is liberating and empowering for men as well. I know some people get all hung up on the term, but that's besides the point.

    I don't agree with your identity politics or standpoint theory here: I think men and women are very much capable (in theory) of understanding each other's struggles. We need to be able to do so, so we can support each other and enact meaningful change. Also, some of your claims about women just don't apply to all women. Women are told to smile and not show frustration or anger, though we are allowed to show sadness. 10% of women experience fertility issues and DO have to watch others than themselves get pregnant. And although women may not fear being accused of rape, they have to fear BEING raped and not believed.

    The problem I see with a "men's rights" movement is that it brings out people like Proctor here. Married men are "chained to ageing women" and "fertilizing vast swaths of women people"? It's beyond disgusting. (I certainly hope you're not trying to appeal to such people.)
  • Not Steve
    18
    My point wasn't that men are the only ones who go to war, but that they're the ones expected to do so when it becomes necessary. Not discounting Senator Ducksworth's sacrifice, but she chose to serve of her own volition and without a social obligation to do so, while the same can't be said of many young men in service. The danger of gender norms is that they coerce people into decision that they might otherwise avoid.

    As I said to Bitter Crank, most "rights" movements now are misnomers. There are few, if any, legal rights possessed by one gender but not the other, at least in developed western countries. If not exactly men's rights, the movement in question would fight for men's self-determination in the same way feminist movements do for women.

    As you pointed out, because there are few commonalities within a sex, political movements based on sex are not universally appealing. However, I think there are enough common interests for men to warrant some kind of political attention, or at the least, a social movement that recognizes their struggles and offers support. Community support is something troubled men aren't taught to seek or expect.
  • Not Steve
    18
    The sexes are definitely able to understand each other, but that's only possible with the kind of discourse I'd like to encourage. Feminism is perpetuated by women who make their negative experiences known; I'd like to see men do the same, and hopefully start a narrative between sexes which isn't one sided.

    I didn't mean to imply that women don't face comparable issues to the ones I described, but they aren't the same. The intention isn't to give close minded people a "defense" again feminism. That entire mindset is the issue; a movement dedicated to helping women is not an attack on men, and a movement dedicated to helping men would not be an attack on women. They should be two sides of the same coin.
  • RBS
    54
    First of all lots of love and respect to all the women out there in the world :)

    The Idea of feminism is pure bbbb... Why do the women think that they need a movement, what was the reason for creating a movement? Where they left out? No they weren't, to me most of the women will always feel that they are being treated the same as men or more than men, but the problem lies in politics...

    In God's eyes both gender are same and no one is superior but those who does good, sees good and says good..... Women in today's world are just as active participants as men.....Women are soft and of kind heart while men are somewhat excused from this principle, now there are things that need to be done in the current society that requires a strong mind and heart, am not saying that women doesn't have, but physically and physiologically they cannot all the time and over again and again.... and is proven numerous times by....and for that reason the men will be compensated differently for those jobs....

    Everything what we see around us in the current realm is pure political B.S. and nothing more.. Ask a women around you that has family and kids and a normal life, ask them of what they want? Of course they will want a nice and quite life not with all those troubles that men faces,,12 hours job,,,working night shifts,,,,doing weekend jobs,,,,and many more which were noted by several above me,,,,,
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    Feminism is perpetuated by women who make their negative experiences knownNot Steve

    It is? Modern feminism seems to be much more gender-neutral and global in scope than you assume:
    "They are also rendering philosophical previously un-problematized topics, such as the body, class and work, disability, the family, reproduction, the self, sex work, human trafficking, and sexuality. And they are bringing a particularly feminist lens to issues of science, globalization, human rights, popular culture, and race and racism."
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminist-philosophy/#FemiBeliFemiMove

    Ask a women around you that has family and kids and a normal life, ask them of what they want?RBS

    Oh, look, I found a mansplainer! How awesome that we have you to enlighten us on what ALL women want and feel. s/
  • Not Steve
    18
    If feminism were equally inclusive of both genders, it would no longer be feminism, it would be egalitarianism. I definitely don't think that the modern feminist movement is equally driven by men and women, even if many feminist are concerned about men's issues. IMO, having seperate movements would be far easier than trying to equally represent the two perspectives within one movement, but I'm open to debate on that point.

    Also... just disregard the two people above who aren't adding anything to the discussion. They're definitely not on the same page, and I'm getting a moderator for one of them.
  • frank
    2.8k
    There is a men's rights movement. Google it. You could just start participating and decide for yourself if it's valuable to you and others.
  • RBS
    54
    Oh, look, I found a mansplainer! How awesome that we have you to enlighten us on what ALL women want and feel. s/NKBJ

    Very very untrue,,,,I said look around and ask??? If you don't have a someone like that in your list, then hey welcome to the feminist club.....
  • Not Steve
    18
    Referring back to my full question, there is no "distinct, credible men's rights movement." The existing quote-on-quote movement is a joke, because most of the people in it are trolls rather than activists.
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    If feminism were equally inclusive of both genders, it would no longer be feminism, it would be egalitarianism. I definitely don't think that the modern feminist movement is equally driven by men and women, even if many feminist are concerned about men's issues. IMO, having seperate movements would be far easier than trying to equally represent the two perspectives within one movement, but I'm open to debate on that point.Not Steve

    I'm open to changing the term to "egalitarianism," even if that is a mouthful. I think people employ the term "feminism" because it did originate from a women's rights movement, and much of the theory is grounded in analysis of women's roles in society.

    I also think "feminism" as a term is supposed to be in defiance of "patriarchy," which although it causes a lot of harm to men, on the face of it is supposed to keep men in charge and benefit them.

    Personally, I think there should be one movement, or else we have men fighting for men's rights and women fighting for women's rights and nobody is just fighting for HUMAN rights. Men and women are equally needed on both fronts. Mothers are needed who encourage boys to be sensitive and caring, fathers who show girls how to take charge and assert themselves, and vice versa.

    Also... just disregard the two people above who aren't adding anything to the discussion. They're definitely not on the same page, and I'm getting a moderator for one of them.Not Steve

    :smile:
  • frank
    2.8k
    What could you do to make the movement more substantial and significant in peoples' lives? Focus on the problem(s) you really want to solve. Prioritize them. What's number one?
  • Not Steve
    18
    If I had to prioritize one thing, it would be expanding resources that offer men emotional support, things like outreach groups, group therapy, etc. The most severe issue at hand is probably male alienation and suicide.
  • whollyrolling
    412
    Issues should be prioritized based on individual necessity not by virtue of group identity. Identity politics have failed for thousands of years, and now that we have a far better system in place that promotes equal opportunity and individual freedom and liberty, a variety of fringe influences, some of them making ground, are pushing for regression into the dark ages. We're again bound to face an evil our ancestors fought to overcome.
  • frank
    2.8k
    I had to prioritize one thing, it would be expanding resources that offer men emotional support, things like outreach groups, group therapy, etc. The most severe issue at hand is probably male alienation and suicide.Not Steve

    This is what the main character in Fight Club is looking for, but he can only find groups that address illness or divorce, so he resorts to pretending that he has a disease in order to fit in at support groups.

    The Fight Club evolves out of that situation. I'm not sure what to do about that. Ideas?
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    As a person of color, I see a lot of men's rights advocates largely like I see women's rights advocates a bunch of people who have privileges but are complaining that they don't have enough. Looking at the history of the civil rights movement and the feminist waves during that time, women's rights largely spoke for disgruntled white women who wanted to be a part of the work force and the greater portion of society. Fast forward now we have disgruntled white males who feel isolated apart from society and who feel that the judicial system specifically family court are biased. This followed by circumcision arguments and such.

    Unfortunately in the United States, I am still trying to fight against a system that still sees me as an inferior human being all because my skin pigmentation isn't a reflection of the greater portion of the U.S. Although there are biases against men, I do not feel they are significant enough to formulate a group where there is a substantial enough amount of evidence to support where men have little to no rights. Men's rights groups especially online have been infiltrated by supremacist believers already, so obviously I'm not going to be on board with other men who hold these beliefs, naturally.

    Like modern feminism, its a bunch of disgruntled folks who are/were privileged and who wants t continue that privilege.
  • RBS
    54
    See this is the problem, with your arguments nothing stands out, they are just words in an order, to you they may seem great, but to an "emotional" person like me they don't mean anything.

    How do you define emotions when there is a clear question, if people were depending on Encyclopedias then why would they question anything at all.....???

    Ask someone? am asking you? if you are running away from the question then say so??? Morality doesn't mean that you can defend a statement by referring to someone else??? or does it?? maybe they have described it wrong in the SEP....

    Anyways, got my answer and no need to respond,,,Thanks..a bunch...
  • frank
    2.8k
    As a person of color, IAnaxagoras

    I try not to play the race card too often. I'm afraid if I wear it out I won't be able to get another one.
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    Like modern feminism, its a bunch of disgruntled folks who are/were privileged and who wants t continue that privilege.Anaxagoras

    White women and black men both have some privileges and some disadvantages, just of different kinds.
  • javra
    768
    So, with all that said, should there be a distinct and credible men's rights movement?Not Steve

    I find myself onboard with your posts, but also find the term “men’s rights” lacking in its description of what you are addressing. To me (and I think to many others) a ‘rights’ movement connotes an intention to ameliorate the lack of rights applicable to a certain cohort.

    My initial reaction to the title of this thread was: Is this about wanting to increase men’s rights so that they at last become of equal power to the social, economic, and political rights of women … because the latter have historically been used to oppress the rights of men? Or is this about men’s natural rights / God-given rights (choose as one’s pleases) being oppressed by the opposite sex’s wants. As one possible example of the latter: the oppressing of each man’s right to do as he wants with forty virgins that he owns as property … if not during one’s life on earth than in the afterlife; or, as a similar example: the right of certain skin-toned men (but not others) to impregnate any woman they want (this irrespective of the women's wants) being an unquestionable good that, thereby, should not be oppressed by anyone anywhere.)

    Having read your posts, I'll assume you’d agree with the absurdity of these given examples.

    How about a “men’s wellbeing or health movement” rather than one addressing rights? This, I’d agree, is direly needed considering all the suicides and such.

    A personal observation: men’s wellbeing is most prevalently undermined by other men—rather than by women, though I hold no doubt that exceptions to this do occur. To be more explicit: engaging in very traumatizing unjust wars, the lack of reliance upon empathy or sympathy for one’s ailments, or any number of other male issue that impede men’s mental and physical wellbeing are most often caused by men in the same society ... that goad everyone into unjust wars, that decry affectionate men as [pick your pejorative: fairies, wusses, etc.], and so on.

    From this vantage: it is not a lack of men’s rights that is the problem but, instead, the predominant, implicit, societal rights of men in current culture: the societal right to outcast those men who question authority in its decrees of war; the right to demean the human value of a man who sheds tears, even if in private; and so forth. … And yes, some women will sometimes reinforce the same by, I hold, following the social norms of ingrained rights that authoritarian men enforce in our shared culture.

    For me, at least, it’s a complex and tough topic to handle. Especially since it, in part, addresses touchy-feely issues … which are, again, a current societal pariah among males. And in part because toughness is still often enough required; though I'd say this is valid for men and women alike, each in their own ways.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    I appreciate this thread, and I commend you for writing it as dispassionately as you have done. I also think I agree with the main thrust of the thread; there are indeed issues that men face which most women do not, and a social movement to address those issues is not unwarranted.

    But I must object to some parts of your argument. Specifically this:

    There's a reason why the intellectual leadership of the women's rights movement has always been exclusively female, even when men express sympathy for the feminist cause; it's because one cannot fully understand and appreciate the experiences of a sex without belonging to that sex. This holds true for men as well as women. Yes, a woman may know in an intellectual sense the challenges men face. She may know that men are the majority of suicides, the majority of work related deaths, the majority of combat deaths, the majority of alcoholics, et cetera et cetera. Doubless you've heard the men's rights spiel before, whether from reactionaries or true supporters.Not Steve

    It doesn't actually hold true; it mustn't. If we cannot sufficiently understand the ideas, feelings, experiences, and opinions of "others", then we're philosophically fucked up beyond all recognition (PFUBAR). Philosophical exchanges utterly depend on our ability to communicate our ideas, feelings, experiences, opinions, and beliefs, as well as the underlying reasons which have driven us toward them. If it works for other things, why can't it work for identity based suffering?

    It's a clever line, to be sure: "How can you disagree with me when you do not share, and therefore cannot comprehend, my suffering?", but it's a classically fallacious appeal to authority (the authority of race or gender, which is racist/sexist).

    Meanwhile, in the real world, race and gender demographics do not compose monolithic groups who all share the same set of experiences. For instance, some black individuals experience certain forms of racism, some black individuals experience other forms of racism, and some black individuals experience no racism. Are each of them therefore unable to comprehend or understand the position of the others?

    Shared experience can lead to shared understanding, but what of shared experience that leads to mutually exclusive understandings? (doesn't that refute the whole argument?). What of our human ability to empathize and sympathize with the plights of others? What of human imagination?

    The back-of-the-line approach (for non-marginalized identities) that too many contemporary social justice movements organize around is just classic and arbitrary segregation based on race or gender. Outrage is king these days, and objecting to the color of someone's skin or the shape of their genitalia is alive and well as a form of political motivation; the pendulum has merely swung in a novel direction.

    Is more identity politics really the answer? Where ideas are apparently correct only in proportion to the correctness of the various orifices, sexual preferences, and skin pigments of the great and terrible apes who espouse them?

    My avatar is a representation of a snake eating its own tail. Fourth wave intersectional feminism was my inspiration in adopting it: it's a rare and extreme phenomenon where people set out to accomplish something (in this case, to bring about social justice and equality), but the effect of their methods actually winds up subverting and dismantling their founding objective or principle. Intersectional feminism seeks to create justice, but they do it by confusing us with sloppy and fallacious rhetoric (like the "lived-experiences" bull-shit) and then by inherently dividing us into in and out groups (which leads to conflict that can prolong/exacerbate inequality).

    It's tragic irony at best, and reprehensible ignorance at worst. We don't need leaders whose immutable features have symbolic and therefore rational value, we need leaders with good ideas. In trying to remedy "bad feelings", we would be remiss to allow "feelings" to replace reason and evidence.

    In summary, yes, many men experience the effects of inherent or systemic sexism in ways that most women do not, but it's not so simple. Some men are free or almost entirely from any and all social burdens placed upon them (eg: born rich), but so too are some women, some gays, some blacks, some transsexuals, etc... We have problems, but they aren't rigidly defined along the lines of race or gender. Much more severe are problems that don't see pigments or sexual organs/desires (eg: poverty), and it is in the solving of those more fundamental problems that the social disparities we now decry will actually be solved.

    Not being sexist isn't going to change the religious beliefs that see to the mutilation of infant genitalia (it is estimated that more than 100 babies die in America each year due to circumcision related complications), and it isn't going to change the fact that drafting women into an infantry force could never work. It isn't going to change that fact that many women will seek male partners who assume the responsibility of provider, or generally that many men will always look to compete with one another (to the detriment of those males who are more interested in cooperation). I might catch flack for saying this, but women tend to make better care-givers than men. Courts should be giving men a fair hearing when they seek custody (the kid should get the best parent), but that also means women will tend to be the victor in such disputes. The solution to all this is to stop thinking of ourselves as team-oriented groups (we're not), and to start thinking of ourselves, and others, as individuals. To do otherwise is to adopt classically anti-humanist racism. It's anti egalitarian and it's blatantly not allowing us to morally progress as a society.
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    try not to play the race card too oftenfrank

    Well, race does matter when it comes to examining perspectives. When you're looking at disadvantages and things of that nature unfortunately race does play a part in the issues that affect certain people. so when I say "I and a person of color," I'm demonstrating that my opinion comes from the minority perspective as I do see a dichotomy of my civil rights as a person of color, and rights as a man.
  • Anaxagoras
    349
    White women and black men both have some privileges and some disadvantages, just of different kinds.NKBJ

    True. But what I'm saying is that the grievances proposed by feminism in its original context was not meant for "all women" just as the grievances proposed by men's rights groups is not meant for all men. Furthermore, feminism although was a bedrock for women highlighting social equality, has transformed into a hot bed of fanatical women who for the most part want to take issue of every facet of society. Although their numbers are small, they are extremists and are the most outspoken. Unfortunately, men's rights is the result of that.
  • NKBJ
    1.1k
    feminism although was a bedrock for women highlighting social equality, has transformed into a hot bed of fanatical women who for the most part want to take issue of every facet of society. Although their numbers are small, they are extremists and are the most outspoken.Anaxagoras

    That's like saying all Republicans are foaming at the mouth fascists, or that all Jews want to knife Palestinians, or that all men are rapists. Some women have used the platform of feminism to voice their sexist hatred of men. The vast majority of feminists are humanists. And most of them, including me, are frankly tired of people trying to strawperson the movement by saying it's about hating men.

    I do think that the knee-jerk impulse to vilify feminists comes from a fear of men's privilege being uprooted.

    It's very much like people trying to demonize any black rights movement by pointing to the outlier black racists who talk about killing cops and wreck stores and set fire to cars in protests.

    One sexist feminist/racist black does not discredit the entire movement.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment