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Gaining Momentum, The Men’s Rights Movement Meets Increasing Opposition

In the past several years the Men’s Rights Movement has been gaining a greater presence, not only on the web but in legislatures and courts around the world. Finally, members of the British Parliament are openly criticizing feminists and feminism, calling them out as hate mongers. Groups such as Fathers and FamiliesThe National Coalition for Men and S.A.V.E. are gaining ground on Capitol Hill and legislatures across the U.S., gaining traction and claiming victories in the areas of family law reformdomestic violence law reform and other issues concerning what has now become broadly identified as the war on fathers, men and boys in our society.

Additionally, sites like Antimisandry and other online forums that invite people to discuss, openly, issues that affect men are seeing increasing membership. A Voice for MenThe Spearhead and similar sites are all experiencing increased traffic and readership.

Despite what we may hear from our detractors from outside of the MRM, and our more pessimistic members within, we are gaining ground in a tangible and conspicuous way.

Perhaps the most concrete proof of this is the recent emergence of the Good Men Project, or what is more colloquially (and appropriately) known by MRAs as “The Good Mangina Project.” Their purpose is the “daunting task of introducing, unlocking and dismantling the so-called Men’s Rights Movement” as stated by Ms. Magazine, the same people that gave us the hateful idea that one in four women will be raped in their lifetime. Funny how a group of people describing us as a “so called” movement would describe our dismantlement as “daunting.”

And they are not the only ones getting in on the game.

Huffington Post Columnist Tom Matlack wrote an article titled “Why We Don’t Need a ‘Men’s Movement’ to Be Good Men” in which he writes:

“In many ways, the Good Men Project was born not out of the men’s movement, or the Men’s Rights movement, masculism, anti-misandry or MGTOW (men going their own way), but out of the brutal facts of our own lives as fathers, husbands and guys trying to make a living. In fact, I had never even heard of any of these philosophies until I started writing about my own life and publishing the stories of other men. In the process, I somehow got myself in the middle of a political issue that to me completely misses the fundamental challenge for men in 2011. There are plenty of ways the law (particularly family law) and popular culture, as represented by the media, have limited men. But we have no one to blame but ourselves. We made the laws. We control the media. We have, in the end, suffered too long in silence. Too many of us have knuckled under and become absentee fathers.

Mothers have more rights than fathers, more women are going to college and Oprah rules the gender discourse. So what? Do we allow ourselves to be emasculated by feminism, by divorce law, by women, who, God forbid, want to break the glass ceiling once and for all? Or do we embrace their successes while developing our own powerful voice for good in the world, most particularly when it comes to be being fathers and husbands? To me, having guys beat drums or set up some grand zero-sum gender war ignores the opportunity — an opportunity that’s right in front of our faces — that we might figure out a way to get out of the cave of our own suffering.”

Tom Matlack is trying to convince his already convinced readers that the Good Men Project didn’t come from the Men’s Rights Movement. When Ms. Magazine itself stated that they had the task of dismantling it?

These guys need to compare notes.

By blaming men for the problems that feminism has caused; accusing people who champion shared parenting laws, parity in reproductive rights, a return to due process and the presumption of innocence of setting up a “zero sum gender war,” they conclude we can “get out of the cave of our own suffering.”

Please.

It doesn’t stop there. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and author of an interesting political blog posted recently about the Men’s Rights Movement in which he commented:

Now I would like to speak directly to my male readers who feel unjustly treated by the widespread suppression of men’s rights:

Get over it, you bunch of pussies.”

Now that doesn’t sound like a very good MRA to me.  He went on to state:

The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.

How many times do we men suppress our natural instincts for sex and aggression just to get something better in the long run? It’s called a strategy. Sometimes you sacrifice a pawn to nail the queen. If you’re still crying about your pawn when you’re having your way with the queen, there’s something wrong with you and it isn’t men’s rights.

Now that definitely does not sound like an MRA. The whole movement is geared towards treating women as the adults they are and not children, right? Yet amazingly, simply because he compared women to children and mentally handicapped people, he was called an MRA by feminists around the blogosphere. In fact, because of this comparison to children and mentally challenged people he deleted his post and put this in it’s place: I deleted today’s post. My regular readers have the capacity to deal with this sort of topic but it gained a bit too much attention from outside my normal reading circle. Knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Actually, Mr. Adams, with all due respect as a Dilbert fan, sticking your nose into gender politics is a dangerous thing when you don’t know what you are talking about.

One of the many publications that featured the idea that Scott Adams was an MRA and that it may be proof that the MRA is growing was none other then our lovely friends over at Slate, who employed reporter, Peter Finocchiaro, to cover the Scott Adams fiasco. Finocchiaro wrote an article titled “Is the men’s rights movement growing?” featuring an interview with Michael Kimmel, a self proclaimed expert on the Men’s Rights Movement. Kimmel, a sociologist at Stony Brook University and author of such books as “Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States , 1776-1990″ and “Manhood in America : A Cultural History” (oh joy!) seems to have a misguided view of the men’s rights movement if not a completely misinformed one. He goes on to state in the interview:

Fathering is not just an existential state of being. It’s things people do. When you do it — when you’re a really good father — you’ll retain connection with your children.

Here’s an interesting factoid for you: After divorce, virtually no mothers who do not retain custody — none of them actually lose contact with their children. But about half of all non-custodial fathers lose contact with their children. It’s not because the mothers are keeping them away, but because they just drift off. Mothers don’t do that. I’d love to hear a zero number for fathers who don’t drift off, not because they’re prevented, but because they just don’t.

Ah yes , Dr. Kimmel, and what is motherhood? An existential state of being or something that you have to prove yourself to be in our society? I have a feeling society treats it as the former. And we are to believe that fathers loose contact with their children simply because they don’t care? Did you ever consider that non custodial fathers must pay child support or go to jail so they have to go to more fertile job markets in order to avoid imprisonment, often separating them from their children? Did you ever consider that mothers can relocate to far away places with the children and there is nothing the father can do about it as the visitation rights of fathers are rarely enforced? Did you ever consider that there are actually vindictive, personality disordered mothers out there that alienate their children from their fathers?

Oh that’s right, parental alienation doesn’t exist. I forgot. Sorry, Dr. Kimmel, you’re the expert after all.

When asked whether or not he thought the men’s rights movement was gaining ground he said “No, I don’t, first of all because I don’t see women in any way buying this stuff. You know, women aren’t suddenly going to say, ‘Oh, you’re right!’.” When I read this I had a vision of Dr. Kimmel,tied up naked in a prone position with a gag ball in his mouth, being whipped in turn on his behind by Erin PizzyUma ChallaSue Price and Christina Hoff Summers with a riding crop and all the while Kimmel enjoying it tremendously. I could ad to this cavalcade the army of young women aged 19 to 27 joining the MRM in droves because feminism has destroyed marriage as an institution making it untenable for men to marry; but things would get a little too tawdry.

You will notice that whenever the Men’s Rights Movement is mentioned in any of these news outlets there is never any consultation or interview with a real MRA such as Glenn Sacks, Paul Elam, Harry Crouch, Stephen Baskerville or any of the women mentioned above.

Why?

The truth for both MRA’s and the editors of the publications cited above is obvious. If you get just one well spoken MRA in front of a camera or a microphone with an objective reporter reporting for a major news outlet people will hear the real message of the MRM.

You would hear that mothers and fathers should have equal rights to their children and those rights should be enforced; that there is a war that has been raging in our education system for the past thirty years against men and boys; that the criminal justice system is biased in favor of women and not holding them to proper accountability; that it results in murderers, child molesters and false accusers going free; that rape shield laws, mandatory arrest laws and predominant aggressor laws that deny men accused of sexual assault and domestic violence their constitutional rights be repealed so individuals accused have the same protections as those accused of any other crime, thus keeping innocent men out of jail and leaving their lives and families intact; that no fault divorce and alimony be abolished and many other issues for which there is not enough space here to mention.

And you would hear all the objective research that backs all this up.

For a great many people in our society these ideas are very dangerous. Think about all of the academics who make their living off of misandry and research for women’s issues in our schools as well as the administrators who rake in millions for women only programs. Think about the mainstream media who’s advertisement revenue is heavily dependent on women feeling superior to men in every way. Think about the many thousands of petty bureaucrats, lawyers and judges who make their living exclusively off of family disillusion. Think of what is collectively known as the Sexual Grievance Industry, which demonizes all men and male sexuality for profit. Think of the millions of young women who are just a hairs breath away from realizing, as so many have already, that this blind faith in feminism has screwed them royally and that it needs to be countered.

The entire purpose of the Good Men Project and the commentaries concerning the Men’s Rights Movement is to deflect attention away from the MRM and direct it towards our detractors and the decoy that is the Good Men Project. The idea is to sabotage our momentum by calling in so called “experts” who deliberately distort our cause and redirect attention to those who say they speak for men but are, in fact, impostors.

Anyone familiar with military history will note that the use of deflections and decoys are often an act of desperation or a fatal error such as the propaganda of Tokyo Rose and the French Defeat in Indo China when they chose to create a massive decoy base in the remote village of Dien Bien Phu with the intention of drawing the enemy out for a more conventional battle and got their asses handed to them. Could this be one such instance between two social movements? Not an inaccurate analogy I would think considering what has been going on.

So what are we going to do about it?

The same thing we have been doing! Lobbying, writing and speaking out. We must also identify and point out the actions or our opponents for what they are-a rouse. What we have been doing thus far is working and our growing numbers prove it.

The fear on the faces of our enemies proves it as well.

About Robert O'Hara

Bob O'Hara is the U.S. News Director for A Voice for Men. He is a men's rights activist living in the Washington, D. C. area who has done work with S.A.V.E. and is the host of a weekly radio show with news and analysis on men's and boys' issues.

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  • Samantha

    Sometimes I am truly ashamed to be a woman because of the feminist movement. My genders penis envy has gotten our culture so screwed up.