A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On

(52 Posts)

Since we seem to have another incursion of MRAs on the thread, I thought I would post this excellent blog which should clear some points up right from the start and save valuable argument debate time.

A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On

Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.

Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.

If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?

ttosca Sun 14-Apr-13 16:59:20

Nice one.

RumbleGreen Sun 14-Apr-13 21:44:39

Erm I'm not MRA or anything but you just posted feminist likes and dislikes not really things feminists are actively working on. Even i know there isn't mass agreement amongst feminists so I will take you at your word.

Feminism main goal is to improve things for women and I agree that things should improve but let's not pretend otherwise.

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Apr-13 08:47:55

Great. Can you explain how you are actually working on them? How about how feminists are working on ONE of them?

This one:

'Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.'

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 15-Apr-13 08:56:31

There are millions of feminists in the world, there isn't one single mass of feminists who concentrate on particular issues at once. And working on something doesn't have to mean having a protest about it or rallying to change laws, it can be as simple as giving your son and daughter equal chores, teaching your children that "stop" means "stop" even if they're playing a really fun game, or challenging a sexist joke that you hear at work/see on facebook etc.

I can't really answer that particular point because I don't understand the link between "nice guys", men being lonely, and valuing superficial physical attributes. I'd be interested to see where the author is coming from there.

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Apr-13 09:04:55

Right. How are feminists as a group, individually, or through their actions at home and in their personal lives, changing this one:

'Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.'

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 15-Apr-13 09:31:29

You can support that one by taking it for granted when you see a man in charge of a child, by supporting equal rights legislation for parental (rather than maternity) leave so that fathers have more of a choice to be SAHDs rather than it being the mother's choice to stay at home or not. By taking it in turns with your DH to take sick days/annual leave to cover your child's sick days, school plays, other needs etc. By assuming that childcare is a shared responsibility.

You can challenge assumptions/comments relating to men not being as good at childcare as women. You can challenge assumptions/comments that men are totally at the mercy of their sex drives and can't control themselves when they have a sexual urge (when this is aimed at adult women, as that's when you'll more likely come across it).

You can choose to have children with a man who is responsible and takes responsibility for his children and is involved without needing his wife to dictate everything. You can LTB if he is useless at this grin

You can not bat an eyelid when your son plays with a toy buggy/pram or baby doll. You would not take it off him or try to steer him towards something else or tell him "Those toys are for girls". If this issue came up at school or nursery then you could challenge it or raise it as an issue.

There are probably more things I haven't thought of.

WilsonFrickett Mon 15-Apr-13 09:57:40

You can talk to the SAHD who goes to the playgroup or turns up at baby massage - a couple of the SAHD's I know found it very lonely at first and hard to make friends.

You can choose to have children with a man who is responsible and takes responsibility for his children and is involved without needing his wife to dictate everything. This. And you can help your partner build his confidence and experience rather than assuming 'mummy knows best'.

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Apr-13 09:59:12

Ok, but how will these things actually change perceptions that a man is not a danger to a child in a park, if he is not known to that child.

Why do men have to share childcare equally to not be perceived as a threat to a child?

How does my son playing with a doll (which he owns), or doing traditionally 'girl' stuff challenge the way society views him? It's interesting that you think this.

All the stuff you are saying men should do more of, to be perceived as less of a threat to children, is traditionally 'woman centered'.

So I can deduce from that, that women = less of a threat. That being the case, men need to behave more like 'traditional women' to be perceived as less of a threat.

It's the feminist woman/good men/bad mantra again isn't it. And it's THAT perception that needs challenging.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 15-Apr-13 10:18:14

Anyone who isn't known to a child in a park is a potential danger to them. Of course we should teach our children to be wary of strangers.

I don't think men need to share childcare equally, but don't you think it's strange that they don't? I put it together because it was phrased in the OP that men are considered a threat because (a) it's seen as "unnatural" for men to care for children, and (b) men are seen as slaves to their sexual desires.

Your son playing with a doll or a pram doesn't change how society views him but if he is told at 2 that he shouldn't play with these things then he gets the message that babies = women's work and hence he's more likely to hold this view himself as an adult.

What on earth is the "feminist" women = good/men = bad mantra? It's not one I've ever heard and it's certainly not my view. I don't think men are any more of a threat to children than women.

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Apr-13 10:21:26

It's good that it's not your view Yoni. Unfortunately for a lot of feminists, it IS their view.

FasterStronger Mon 15-Apr-13 10:45:49

Working towards equality will involve discussing what is wrong with the status quo.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 15-Apr-13 10:52:51

I think that's total bollocks, sorry. I think it's more likely that either there are a small minority who call themselves feminists but actually just hate men, or people are misunderstanding things that feminists are saying and reading anti-men feelings into something which isn't even there. Probably both, TBH. But feminism as a movement is not about how awful and dangerous men are. It just isn't.

Love the OP, haven't read all the replies yet.

SigmundFraude, DH and I share childcare duties. DH will often take DD out by himself (which I would encourage if needed!) I would be wary of anyone hanging about a playground without reason, regardless of gender. I have not heard anyone comment on this, or seen anyone react badly to a father taking their child to a park/playgroup, but if I did, I would challange it. Is there something more I should be doing as an individual?

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Apr-13 11:08:10

"But feminism as a movement is not about how awful and dangerous men are. It just isn't."

Try telling that to this feminist:

factcheckme.wordpress.com/its-the-trauma-bonding-talking/

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Apr-13 11:10:32

Anyway, I'm not spending the whole of today on this subject (DH is complaining, oppressive bastard!). So I'll bow out of this one for now.

What I want to know is why this has ended up in the Politics topic. I'm sure I posted it in FWR!! confused

That might explain why it has been slow to get responses.

"So I can deduce from that, that women = less of a threat. That being the case, men need to behave more like 'traditional women' to be perceived as less of a threat."

Seeing women looking after children is the traditional norm. Men looking after children has been perceived as unusual, abnormal, and therefore somehow wrong. If the norm was for both genders to share care equally then there wouldn't be an issue here.

Sparklyboots Mon 15-Apr-13 11:13:16

Excellent post OP. Are you being deliberately obtuse, Sigmund? Because it all reads very clearly and is explained in the original quote. FWIW the assumption that women = good/men = bad (maverick/ insatiable/ incapable of being gentle/ overly aggressive/ disobedient) is part of patriarchy. Those attributes and chores you name as 'traditionally woman centred' are 'traditionally woman centred' because of patriarchy. That they are considered virtuous in terms of relationships, specifically with children, is part of the mechanism by which patriarchy constructs gentleness, caregiving etc. as feminine values, and thereby produces the idea that masculine identity is achieved through eschewing these values. Most feminists I've met would object to those associations and constructions, including those which are coopted into the women= selfless, kind, gentle, obedient, passive (which are more generally considered useful in relation to the safety of children and sometimes summarised as 'good') and men= selfish, harsh, violent, disobedient, active (which are more generally considered antipathetic to the safety of children and sometimes summarised as 'bad'). Is it really so hard to see?

WilsonFrickett Mon 15-Apr-13 11:15:28

If equality = a different distribution of privilege (for which read wealth) there will always be some people who feel they are being hated and persecuted for the privilege they hold. It is human nature to hang onto your privilege (even if one can't see one holds it) and so to feel that the people who are taking that privilege away from you hate you. It doesn't necessarily mean its true though.

Anyway, I don't speak for 'a movement'. I only speak for myself. I don't hate men. I love them. Especially the two that live in my house. Mind you, the ones I know well are all pretty much feminist in outlook.

DuelingFanjo Mon 15-Apr-13 11:19:36

love it smile

seeker Mon 15-Apr-13 16:34:10

I am constantly baffled about what the MRA people and their fellow travellers like Shagmund actually want. I keep asking and they won't say.

wordfactory Mon 15-Apr-13 19:36:21

seeker I don't think they want anyhting. Or nothing they can articulate.

They simply feel threatened by we feminists. Why, I do not know.

caramelwaffle Mon 15-Apr-13 23:57:47

Very good Op Annie

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 16-Apr-13 09:05:56

Don't they just want everything to stay the same as it's supposedly perfect how it is?

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