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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

feminism v MRA's

96 replies

spence82 · 07/11/2013 16:02

Hi all

I've been reading this board for the last couple of months as I'm keen to learn more on the subject. I see bits written about MRA's trolling etc but what I'd like to know is are there any MRA groups trying to work along side feminists for the good of children?

I've been trying to read more about the MRA groups but they don't get a good rep on here and to be fair googling it seems to mainly bring up negative stories. I'm sure there are plenty of men who aren't bothered about there kids.

I know of a few who were at school with me who are like that but even if just one good man is being restricted from seeing his kids by a vindictive mother and gets help from a group like that wouldn't it be worth it?

Im not trying to stir up an argument and may seem a little naive about it but like I said I'm trying to learn more about it.

Hope that makes sense

OP posts:
spence82 · 07/11/2013 16:06

Should say I mean no offence by vindictive woman

OP posts:
ItsNotChristmasDayItsFrigginRe · 07/11/2013 17:36

Are you talking about F4J and their ilk?

fay144 · 07/11/2013 17:43

I don't really know that much about these groups either, sorry. But it always strikes me that they are going about things backwards.

It seems far more productive to me for them to campaign primarily for easier involvement in childrearing for fathers BEFORE the family breaks down. Then the natural thing would be for equal access, etc. Once the family has split, shouting about rights seems pointless - at that stage the only consideration is what is best for the child, and generally that is for the child to remain with the main caregiver.

If they were campaigning for better access to paternity leave, flexible working, baby changing facilities in male toilets, maybe more male focussed toddler activity groups, etc, then everyone would surely support that.

But often the message they give seems to imply that they see their children as their property, or some sort of right. But to be fair, that's just my impression from the press.

BasilBabyEater · 07/11/2013 20:09

" even if just one good man is being restricted from seeing his kids by a vindictive mother and gets help from a group like that wouldn't it be worth it?"

Not at the cost of thousands of children being forced to maintain contact with abusive and negligent fathers because father's rights are more important than children's welfare, no.

The interests of the child are more important than the rights of either the mother or the father and that is the basis on which our courts work. A basis deeply resented by MRA's, who want the basis to change to a rights-based one (without responsibilities of course) for the male adults.

No, I don't think any feminist or any woman with any care for children should be working with men like this.

BasilBabyEater · 07/11/2013 20:10

I also don't think any decent men have anything to do with them either.

TheDoctrineOfWho · 07/11/2013 20:55

Equal rights to parental leave after birth? Check
Equal rights to request flexible working? Check
Campaigning for equal pay so decisions about the first two can be driven less by economic differences? Check
Encouraging women to share children's sick days with partners, share things like responding to school newsletters or party invites? Check

Those are some things feminism supports, off the top of my head, that makes equal childcare more likely. I'm sure there's tons more.

OpheliaMonarch · 08/11/2013 02:38

Hmmmm ::Raises eyebrows in suspicion::

"feminism v MRA's" is not a good start. False equivalence anyone?

Also, you say "vindictive mother", but oh so hastily say you didn't mean it that way.

Gotta say, you makes me all kinds of suspicious Spence.

"I've been trying to read more about the MRA groups but they don't get a good rep on here and to be fair googling it seems to mainly bring up negative stories."

And yet you're still wondering what these cheeky chappies are all about?

Tell you what, I'm a Man Boobzer, why don't you come on over there?

There are HUNDREDS of articles to help enlighten you, specifically about MRAs. And if you still want to 'learn' the people in the comments thread love a good chew toy.

Here's an article on MRA 'activism' to get you started.

But then you know all about MRAs don't you?

You just want to have a 'discussion' under cover of, 'I'm so very naive.', 'I'm just asking questions.' and of course, 'I'm not an MRA, but...'

Then after a few snide 'vindictive women' comments, you'll explain to the stoopid feminist wimmenz how we have it all wrong.

Yeah, yeah, jog on.

SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 08:10

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BOF · 08/11/2013 08:22

They exist mainly on the internet and are a fairly small group of saddos. Not really worth the trouble of 'researching', tbh. They seem to crop up disproportionately on mumsnet though.

spence82 · 08/11/2013 09:13

Hi all thanks for the responses.

First thing I will say is to Ophelia im not surprised you are suspicious but there are no motives to me posting. I dont have kids myself

I wasn't specifically talking about father's 4 justice. I have heard of them but arent they a bit like the edl where people dont take them seriously?

Thanks for the link Sigmund I will have a read.

OP posts:
TheDoctrineOfWho · 08/11/2013 09:21

Ah, you don't have kids yet.

So if you are personally worried about what might happen to any kids you do have were you to split with their mother, then divide the childcare responsibilities equally throughout. That way there wouldn't be a reason for a court to move away from the "default" 50:50 position.

SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 09:21

'I wasn't specifically talking about father's 4 justice. I have heard of them but arent they a bit like the edl where people dont take them seriously?'

My advice would be to find out for yourself, Google is your friend. Have an open mind and keep the blinkers off. There are plenty of fantastic, caring MRA's, but just like feminists, they have people with extreme views. FWR (or MN in general) really isn't the best place to get an unbiased view (understatement). People are slowly beginning to take the Men's Right's Movement very seriously indeed, and it's not sitting well with the sisterhood, hence the unfair and scathing criticism every time the MRM is mentioned.

'Thanks for the link Sigmund I will have a read.'

Welcome Smile

spence82 · 08/11/2013 09:33

I will keep an open mind ive been lucky as anyone close to me who do have children are still together and very happy but through friends of friends I have seen men who dont give a shit about seeing there kids and a couple of men who have had to fight tooth and nail for access. I know you only get one side of the argument but I still found it troubling.

OP posts:
SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 09:45

It is troubling. The reality for a lot of men in the family courts and how fatherhood is perceived is on this site. It's written by a woman who works in the family separation field:

Of course there will be fathers who don't deserve to see their kids (a minority), and there will be fathers who disappear without a backward glance (my biological father did, although we are sort of reconciled. And mothers also walk away, lets not forget), but there are too many fathers that are kept from their children for no good reason, and this is a tragedy for both these men and their children.

kim147 · 08/11/2013 10:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 10:35

'I think that is the biggest area for "men's rights" when it comes to children. The rest of the stuff is getting involved in a child's upbringing and that can be easily done. It just needs men to do it.'


freyasnow · 08/11/2013 12:14

I think there are definitely issues that people could work together on. Globally, gender inequality for mothers is a huge contributory factor to homelessness of boys, so I would think volunteering for aid organisations that deal with child homelessness would be a place both ground would have a shared interest.

The various schemes to house young men who have had troubled pasts with responsible adult role models would also be a scheme supported by feminists but that MRAs would surely want to participate in if they don't have children. It would allow them to take on a primary caring role while also helping other men.

Most men I know who are concerned about those kind if things volunteer with elderly men, those with learning difficulties, young offenders. They usually find it incredibly rewarding. They don't call themselves MRAs, but that is, in effect, what they're doing. Feminists support all those kind of activities.

BasilBabyEater · 08/11/2013 12:28

Yeah, men who help other men, generally aren't MRA's.

Funnily enough, they're mostly feminist allies. They understand that the more feminist goals are achieved, the more their goals are alos achieved.

SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 12:30

'Yeah, men who help other men, generally aren't MRA's.'

That's a wildly unsubstantiated claim, Basil. And a lie of epic proportions.

BasilBabyEater · 08/11/2013 12:35

No, it isn't SF.

The men who are actually working to improve men's representation in things MRA's pretend to care about (like teaching, nursing, caring etc.) are working with women's organisations and are sympathetic to feminist aims. They don't call themselves MRA's and would be horrified to be associated with them.

SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 12:56

You demonstrate time and time again that you have no idea what MRAs do, and the men (and women) they support.

It's pretty clear that the ONLY men you have time for are 'sympathetic to feminist aims'. They are not the only men who care, and you are stating a fallacy by saying they are. You have discredited a large amount of people, men and women, who don't particularly support feminist aims and it's agenda, but do support men and women.

BOF · 08/11/2013 13:11

What MRAs do?

Erm, squabble on the internet?


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SigmundFraude · 08/11/2013 13:18

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Blistory · 08/11/2013 13:28

Feminists didn't choose to set themselves in opposition to MRAs and given that feminism acknowledges that some men are also harmed by the way in which society operates, it wouldn't really make sense to do so.

I've never understood why a decent, caring man would need to join a men's rights movement. What rights do they honestly think they are lacking ? I honestly can't think of a single area where men are 'other' or are held back or punished simply because of their sex.

You want equal rights as parents ? Well, grow up, accept responsibility, take paternity leave, take the hit on the career and finances, be there for your babies and children, support them financially and emotionally, don't walk out, don't provide child support grudgingly, do it freely and willingly.

You want not to be accused of violence and rape ? Well, don't hit and don't rape. Simple. Don't be so offended that I'm afraid of you - look at why I'm afraid of you.

You want support centres for men and increased funding for male cancers ? Well, bloody well get off your arses and do something about it. Just because I donate to one cancer charity doesn't mean that the well has run dry. Stop seeing it as one or the other. You need different facilities for us so stop demanding access to ours and work our what specific support men need and provide it.

You want to abolish sexism ? Well, stop being sexist, stop thinking women's bodies are there for your pleasure, teach your sons that they don't have an entitlement to sex, call out sexism, support your wives, mothers, daughters, colleagues in not participating. Stop accusing them of being humourless harpies who constantly nag. Try actually doing the housework and stop expecting praise when you do.

You want other men to support you ? Well stop accusing them of being pussy whipped sissies and ask. You get a lot more help when you simply ask instead of attacking.

Stop blaming women, stop blaming full stop.

Recognise that a woman angry with the system isn't angry with you so stop being so offended because it really isn't about you, it's about a system that we're all part of. It's about women being beaten, being raped, being killed, being demeaned, being sidelined, every godamn day of our lives - stop to think that maybe, just maybe, it's okay for us to be pissed off about that. And that it's okay for us to want to change that.

TheDoctrineOfWho · 08/11/2013 13:34
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