The Internet confuses me. On the one hand, I’ve found an amazing feminist community full of support and open-mindedness. On the other hand, trolls. It’s gotten to the point where I almost can’t read comments on articles out of fear of MRA (Men’s Rights Activists) doing their thing. Sure, free speech is important and everyone is entitled to one’s own opinion. But I simultaneously feel hope and disappointment in humanity the more I stay online.
TW: misogyny, slut shaming
Prime example: an article written on Blue The Nation by Jonathan Nathan called “Five Reasons to be a Feminist Man” is awesome. Nathan’s five points include:
“There is absolutely no moral argument against feminism. Not one”, “The more feminist men there are, the fewer women will get raped. Seriously", “When women are in charge of stuff, they do a really good job”, "When abortion is restricted, people die", and “Oppression doesn’t end until the oppressor stops oppressing”.
Now obviously those are some broad points, but he expands in a thoughtful, non-alienating way that I really admire.
However, some of teh menz were not okay with the idea that there could be men out there who support the idea that women are equal! In a response to Nathan’s article, a blogger known as “Evil Weasel” jumped at the idea to point out everything wrong with “mangina” Nathan’s points. He starts off with a real winner, claiming: “Despite what feminists claim, feminism has never been about equality; feminism has been about the subjugations and persecution of men.” Um…no.
He continues with the points: “Men need to stick up for their own rights” and “Men don’t expect women to change their concept of femininity to suit men”. That last part HAS to be a joke, right?
He continues to blame feminism and women for issues facing men such as “ no-fault divorce, lifetime alimony, parental alienation, men jailed for false rape accusations, male homelessness, [and] male deaths in the workplace”. How are women responsible for male deaths in the workplace? Please, please, let me know, because I really can’t figure that one out. Also, maybe look up some statistics on how many rape accusations are false. Not that he would believe the statistics, I’m sure.
To me, the real winning point was in response to the abortion topic. Evil Weasel proclaims:
“Another common argument is that some pregnancies are the result of rape; possibly true but given the relative rarity of rape, I estimate that we are talking about a very small portion of unwanted pregnancies being attributable to rape. Yet another argument is that even during consensual sex, common contraception is not completely reliable. Again true but then no one forces women to have consensual sex; if a woman doesn’t want to get pregnant, she should keep her knees together. Unborn babies shouldn’t be punished because most women are sluts who fuck like rabbits.”
Yeah, fuuuuuck thaaaaaat.
Also, didn’t he just say that women don’t have to change their concept of femininity to suit men? But now sexually active women are sluts who fuck like rabbits?
Evil Weasel ends on the genius point: “Not only were women never oppressed by men, feminism is nothing more than the wish for women to oppress men”.
What makes some people be so hateful and spiteful? Doesn’t it take so much more energy to be angry all the time?
Luckliy, Nathan followed up Weasel’s article with a critique of his own.
“Hold up, what? Women were not treated as property of their fathers or husbands for most of human history? Women did not give up the right to own property upon marriage for most of the history of civil marriage? Women were not barred from voting in the United States until 1920? Women have not been treated as criminals for being raped in numerous cultures for centuries? Are you seriously out of your mind?”
My issue (or at least, one of them) with MRAs is that many of the issues facing men that they claim are caused by feminism are actually due to patriarchal structures and practices. Why do women often get rewarded custody more than men? Because women are expected to stay home and take care of their kids instead of go out and work. Men actually benefit from feminism! Feminism questions the typical expectations of BOTH genders. If a man wants to stay at home and raise his family, he shouldn’t be considered less of a man for not being the breadwinner. Feminism challenges the roles that society says are natural. Hopefully, more people like Nathan will speak up, and less people like Evil Weasel will spew their hate and misconceptions.
How do you see feminism as challenging both male and female roles in society? How do you respond to men (and women) who say that feminism isn’t necessary today or that it hurts men?