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?

wordfactory Tue 16-Apr-13 10:39:02

I don't think so. They're always bemoaning things that are actually part and parcel of the patriarchy. It doesn't serve men or women well in reality.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Apr-13 00:23:27

Great Op, Annie.

ilovexmastime Wed 17-Apr-13 09:39:34

"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."
Can you really not see that if men had equal responsibility for child care then over time our habit of viewing a man in a park as suspicious (not that I do btw) would disappear as it become the norm for men to be in the park just as much as women?

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 17-Apr-13 09:58:26

I have never met anyone who thinks a man in a park is suspicious simply by virtue of their not being known to them or their child. If you think like that SF, then I think that is simply your own paranoia. I would only be suspicious of a man (or woman) in a park if they were behaving oddly or in a threatening way. I am not very keen, for example, on the men who sit on the benches in the park near us drinking cans of beer and commenting on/to passers-by (and I equally wouldn't like it if there were women doing the same thing). They make me uncomfortable. However, men or women playing football or other games/reading/sunbathing/playing with their children/jogging/having a picnic etc would not raise any concerns with me. Which is not to say I would let my child wander off somewhere with them whichever sex they were.

Some men say they feel they are viewed this way certainly. But I think that is them projecting their own feelings onto others. I certainly don't see how feminism has had a negative influence on how men in parks are viewed. If anything, I would have thought feminism is all in favour of men in parks with their children as that suggests said men are looking after their children and taking responsibility for them.

NicholasTeakozy Wed 17-Apr-13 10:37:29

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.

I can tell you from personal experience that in the main it isn't women who treat me with suspicion but men.

Once again it's a clear example of feminists being accused of doing something that we're actually opposed to. No wonder there's so much anti-feminist sentiment when there's also so much misconception about what the philosophies of feminism really are. sad

wonderingagain Wed 17-Apr-13 11:23:13

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.

I like this one best. grin

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 11:34:44

I am entertained by the idea that feminists don't know what they think or believe until they've had it explained to them by a man. And if they then say "well, actually that isn't what I think or believe" they are obviously wrong. And here is a nut job on Utube to prove it.

SigmundFraude Wed 17-Apr-13 11:40:05

'Once again it's a clear example of feminists being accused of doing something that we're actually opposed to. No wonder there's so much anti-feminist sentiment when there's also so much misconception about what the philosophies of feminism really are.'

If you listed what you believed the philosophies of feminism really are, I could link you to numerous feminist blogs/quotes etc...that will not back up your statements.

The fact is, there are a great many people out there who claim to be feminists. Indeed, would claim to be far more feminist than you. Who would claim that there's no way you could be a feminist if you challenge anti-male bias. Who would say that men can't be feminist. Who advocate for eugenics, aborting boys, separatism and a whole host of other pretty radical stuff. Stuff that the average person would find unbelievably shocking.

How about telling your 4 year old son that he's a rapist because he tried to kiss a girl, or the childcare worker who called her charges 'little rapists' or 'mr rape threat'??

So, who is the feminist? You or those nutjobs? Is it any wonder people struggle with feminism?

You see I come across 'nice' feminists a lot, I also come across nutjob ones. Both call themselves 'feminist'.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 11:46:35

I come across nice men. I also come across men who are nut jobs. They both clam to be men. Which ones are the real ones?

SigmundFraude Wed 17-Apr-13 11:47:32

Being a man isn't an ideology.

SigmundFraude Wed 17-Apr-13 11:48:33

Feminists do tend to evade this question a lot.

Sparklyboots Wed 17-Apr-13 11:52:11

"Being a man isn't an ideology" yes but it is subject to ideology to a degree to which it's actually impossible to say what's nature and what's nuture... but anyway, there are Christians that are total nutjobs and some lovely ones too who base their whole loveliness on their faith. They both claim to be Christians. Which ones are the real ones?

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 11:54:14

"How about telling your 4 year old son that he's a rapist because he tried to kiss a girl"

I read this article. I too wondered why he used the word rape. But what he was saying to his son was this. His son said he tried to kiss a girl. The girl didn't want to be kissed. The father asked his son whether he had asked her and the little boy said no, so the father said that he shouldn't have tried to kiss her. He didn't say that his child was a rapist. He was introducing his child early to the idea that if somebody doesn't want to be touched you don't touch them. It's interesting that we are happy with teaching our children that it's OK to say no to being touched, but not that you have to listen when somebody says no. Maybe if we teach both sides of the coin from the early years we'll finally bring up a generation who understand that "yes means yes and no means no".

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 11:55:48

"Feminists do tend to evade this question a lot."

Ask me the question in simple words and I guarantee to answer it. Maybe not for an hour or so- I've got to put the dowels in my cake. But I will answer it.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 12:19:07

sigmund a feminist is someone who believes that men and women are equal... it really really isn't complicated, or subtle, or difficult.

Of course there are differences in opinion in how that can be achieved. Differences in opinion in methodology.

Obviously there will be nut jobs who say equality should be achieved by seperation of the sexes, or mass castration or waering uni sex clothes, or whatever...

But those people simply have flawed methodology. It doesn't make the concept of feminism flawed.

Of course people try to discredit the concept by pointing to a few nut jobs, but those people, I assume, simply lack intelligence grin.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 17-Apr-13 12:22:48

Nicholas Teakozy: "I can tell you from personal experience that in the main it isn't women who treat me with suspicion but men."

This.

It is most often men who are most suspicious of other men who show an interest in children, whether as a career - working in primary schools/nurseries etc. or whether because they are seen out with prams etc. Women are usually impressed (overly so really) with men who care for their children. Men not always so much.

It is often men who don't want their sons to play with "girls' toys" or wear clothes or join in activities which are seen as traditionally girly. That is not always the case - some women do have the same views - but in my experience it is often fathers who express these views.

I think you are aiming your anger about this and other wrongs against men (some genuine, some imagined) at the wrong people when you focus on feminism.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 12:23:32

Put it this way, during the anti slavery campaigns, some campaigners agitated for seperate communities. Some campaigners set up terrorist organisations. Some campaigners attempted the muder of white children...

Did these campaigners make the concept of anti slavery flawed?

Did these few nut jobs discredit the entire concept?

Sparklyboots Wed 17-Apr-13 12:45:49

Word, word Esp. But those people simply have flawed methodology. It doesn't make the concept of feminism flawed

This ^^

YoniMatopoeia Wed 17-Apr-13 12:55:51

Great op.

Absy Wed 17-Apr-13 13:09:22

""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."

I have heard that this is more of a UK issue (e.g. reading articles by male journalists saying they're viewed with suspicion in the UK, not in Italy for e.g.) and wonder how it compares to countries like Sweden where there is more equitable distribution of childcare between men and women. Perhaps the default position of "sex predator" if a man is seen with a child is partly because it is the exception, rather than the norm, that men care for children. (I also don't think that every woman out there assumes that every male hanging around children is a sex pest).
I also think that there is this perception because of all the media hype Daily Mail about sexual predators, child abusers etc.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 15:03:11

Just popped back to see if Shagmund has asked me her question yet.

These MRA don' have a brilliant record when actually pinned down to specifics, do they?

SigmundFraude Wed 17-Apr-13 16:53:58

It's Sigmund, not Shagmund, ta very muchly. I have a shedload of things to do today. Unlike some I can't pretend to be working whilst MNing. I will answer when I've got time to sit down.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Apr-13 17:03:34

YY NT - when a (male) cousin of mine helps out with Cubs events etc, it's male colleagues of his who pass comment.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 18:55:55

Sorry sigmund- I got you confused with another postersadflowers

seeker Thu 18-Apr-13 00:17:46

Sorry you've been so busy, sigmund- a woman's work is never done, eh?

Tortington Thu 18-Apr-13 01:01:35

"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. "

...........i agree so far - on an equality level

"The idea that men should coddle "<<< where is this written even on an every day level anecdotally?

"and provide for women" capitalism has negated this which was mainly an merican 1950's utopian construct - not what poor women ever experienced

, "and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy."

now thi is interesting, i never considered that buying anything for anyone was anything more than thoughtful

"Feminists do not want you to commit suicide."
not a lot of people want this to be fair - feminists aren't alone in this

"Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of either gender are part of patriarchy"

part of capitalism - the rich constructing society in a way which screws everyone who hasn't got enough money, power or influence.

if you had even aid capitalist patriarchy here - i might of agreed,

society is ot constrcted to subjugate women anymore ( although it once was)

it is constructed in every fathomable way to make everyone make money for a super rich few - and tbh, they dont give a shit what gender you are!

"The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy."

mental health issues, especially depression, is not the contruct of patriarchy, it is a result of a society baed on capitalist principles

gener v gender will never get anyone anywhere - which is why i cannot support a feminist ideology.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now