I had an interesting conversation recently with John Narayan of Melbourne, Australia, and he had a question that I think warrants further discussion.
He asked, “Why do the women in the movement seem to just get it so much easier than the men?”
I had a few answers for him at the time, but I’ve found myself dwelling on the issue for a few days now, and the one overwhelming conclusion I’ve come to is that it’s indicative of a much deeper problem—one that emphasizes the need for the men’s human rights movement in the first place.
Is it even true?
At first, I wasn’t honestly sure. Maybe yes, maybe no. It was hard to guarantee one way or the other, though with the Honey Badgers, me, and several other rapidly rising females within the movement, the question did seem to hold some significant merit.
I couldn’t guarantee 100% as a falsifiable statement that it was guaranteed to be true or false, but I could state that, from checking with the personal experience of quite a few different major names in the MHRM over Skype, that the consensus seems to be that the women who do get involved distinctly do appear to catch onto the full scope of the problems men face and the importance for activism in regards to such much quicker than the average man in the movement.
I’m sure there are those out there who would love to claim this is further “proof” that women are smarter than men, but I’m a skeptic and under even cursory examination, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Rather, there’s quite a few reasons to be addressed, and likely even more than I’ve discovered myself so far. By the end of this article you’ll have your answer, but first we need to work our way through to that point.
So, for now, let’s break this into three main sections: a) The Cons Men Have; b) The Pros Women Have; c) The Conclusion Reached.
The Cons Men Have
Due to the very nature of what it is we’re fighting, men actually are at a bit of a significant disadvantage when it comes to realizing where they’ve been harmed, much less realizing, let alone accepting, the full scope of just how bad things have become.
First and foremost, men have been practically taught from birth at this point not to question the “fact” that they have supreme privilege over absolutely everything and then some. This set of blinders is instilled in a variety of ways which makes it remarkably effective.
In particular, one may note that the whole concept of “male privilege” flat out means that men are somehow “superiour” to women, that they have more power, more strength, etc. etc.
It’s an ego stroke, and a big one at that, yet phrased as a backhanded compliment. Even so, the fact remains that people in general like to think of themselves as powerful in some way or another typically. As a quick example, from Sparta to Nazi Germany, women were taught that they were powerful as they birthed the most powerful men in existence. This method of “Oooh you’re so biiig and strooong” has been played out throughout history time and again to lure people into going along with a raw deal, such as having your children removed from you at an early age. Play up to the ego, and people will make all sorts of concessions to their rights.
Truly, if you look at it, a lot of guys actually like the idea of being supposedly all powerful. After all, power means you have control over your life, and when you’re treated as little more than a mule, that supposed control is often the only thing keeping people from rebelling.
Once you wipe away the yellow paint and discover it’s lead instead of gold, however, that’s when suicide starts to kick in from the sudden realization of helplessness and total lack of hope.
In fact, society itself has been structured in such a way that men are continually reinforced, both via positive and negative reinforcement, to accept their role.
Terms like “Man up” showcase this quite well, but so do many other things, such as berating men who cry, or avoiding men who require help. A man should help himself and others, never should he be on the receiving end.
With such a pervasive mindset which is reinforced from all sides, it’s actually quite shameful for men to even so much as question what society is doing to them.
With post-modernist discourse gradually taking over our culture, especially in the areas where one is normally supposed to encourage asking questions such as universities, rather than questioning the status-quo, men are now being told quite frequently to shut the fuck up, or to check their privilege, or otherwise do damned near anything but speak up.
As stated, universities are supposed to be the place where we challenge assertions of reality, and break down the narrative to place it against scientific rigor – however, as of the last few decades, especially in the “social sciences”, which are hardly science at all, it’s changed so that the whole point now is that if it “feels” right, it must be right, no matter how many piles of evidence you have to the contrary..
And, after all, men being more advantaged than women “feels” right on so many levels, so is it really surprising that it can be difficult for a man to even consider the areas where he might not be?
Additionally, for every thing that hurts a man, there’s always a justification that it’s okay – it’s helping society or women or someone else, so it’s fine if they get hurt. It’s manly to get hurt, after all, when it’s in defense of someone else!
With this in mind, even if a man is grievously wounded emotionally, it often just doesn’t register as a “bad” thing.
A woman raped by a man? HORRIBLE! How could he be such a monster!?
A man raped by a woman? Well, she must have needed it pretty badly, so it’s a noble sacrifice to be made to make her happy.
Women have been taught that they’re in need of protection, that they’re delicate flowers and need to be cared for, while men have been told they’re garbage whose only value occurs when they’re being harmed to help someone other than themselves.
In short, men have a laundry list of programming and propaganda to break through which specifically targets them as individuals and as a group.
In addition to that, however, is the origins of where the men of the movement come from. Most men aren’t interested in men’s rights, largely for the reasons above. So where do the men that we do get come from? Well, largely they come after that “red-pill moment”, when something so vehemently terrible occurs to them that the facade of power crumbles away and they see the rotten husk of subservience beneath.
Going through divorce court, family court, being raped by a woman, things like these major events are required to deal enough trauma to shake free the belief it’s “all men’s fault”.
As such, the vast bulk of the men of the MHRM are actually just average guys who have been horribly wounded and come seeking answers. They aren’t always the best, nor the brightest among men; they’re average joes on the street who got nailed hard. They’re still mostly indoctrinated, and still have to fight through a large chunk of that programming and propaganda a bit at a time.
Largely, these individuals are only aware of the depth of problems on a highly cursory level – they’ve glimpsed it, but don’t really understand just how rotten things are.
Even many of the major male leaders of the MHRM have taken years to dig through the bullshit before they could truly grasp the severity of the situation.
There are some truly brilliant minds out there who have caught on quick without issue at all, but you’ll also find they’re the minority, as is to be expected.
The Pros Women Have
So men have some disadvantages, got it. The real question is, however, do women have some advantages in this particular arena? We sure do. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them, shall we?
First off, while women have been undergoing a heavy dose of indoctrination of dogma and propaganda themselves, a large portion of this is limited to “you’re a victim!” and “men are bad, mm’kay?”.
Given that the vast majority of the women in the MHRM aren’t interested in being victims, all that really takes is the slightest hint of compassion for fellow carbon based meat units – I mean, uh, humans – to discount most of the rest of the female programming.
With this in mind, it’s relatively simple of a task for intelligent women to break down the programming thrown at them compared to the far more intensive programming the men have been force-fed.
After all, we covered that most people want to be powerful, and as such, for men being told they’re strong it’s a lot harder to admit that they’re weak, than it is for women being told they’re weak to admit that they’re strong.
The next major thing that crops up is when we look at how women are taught better communication skills in general.
Often women are taught from a young age to pick apart arguments and go looking for the tiniest of cracks in anything that’s being discussed. This is normally done with a bit of a malicious intent, but it can be easily turned towards potent debating skills.
Another major bonus women in the movement have is that they’ve been largely taught their whole lives to be on the lookout for pain and suffering, while men have been taught to ignore it. When a man is hurt, he’s systematically taught to shrug it off and ignore it, while the woman is taught to try to remove herself from the situation or to remove whatever it is that’s harming her.
To that end, it shouldn’t be surprising to us when a woman is more likely to actively try to seek out exactly what a problem is, rather than ignoring it. After all, this is what we see with our health, is it not? A woman feels sick, and she’ll probably go see a doctor. If a man feels sick, he’ll probably try to wait for it to go away rather than get it checked.
This callous attitude towards personal injury often means that wives the world over have frequently had to be the voice of reason to tell their husbands to go see a doctor in the past, and it’s largely the same reason the women in the MHRM are needed to tell the men that the horrible things society has been doing to them should probably be looked into rather than ignored.
Really, though, the biggest advantage the average woman in the MHRM has over the average man in seeing the problems men face, is that the average woman in the MHRM isn’t the average woman.
Seriously, think about it – the average male MRA is such largely because they’re just a normal guy who’s been wounded.
The average female MRA isn’t your average gal, though – she’s vastly more likely to be a powerful critical thinker and someone who rejects feminism already. She likely came to the MHRM without needing to be prodded by a red-pill moment, but rather probably figured it out on her own.
In large part, we’re essentially comparing the cream of the crop of women to the average man, to which one should really not be all that surprised when that comparison winds up being lopsided.
When we compare someone like Karen Straughan to James Huff, for instance, suddenly there really isn’t that large of a gap any longer. They’re both brilliant minds, and excellent at what they do. I don’t personally agree with either one 100% of the time, by any means, yet there’s no argument at all that they’re wonderful critical thinkers.
The average male MRA is… well, the average male.
The average female MRA is anything but the average female.
And hence, we find the key behind the odd dichotomy.
The Conclusion Reached
With all of this in mind, there are a few things we can surmise.
The first on that list is simply that the MHRM attracts both critical thinkers and the average man, yet typically only seems to attract the critical thinkers when it comes to women.
The second thing we discover is that the men, in general, have a systematic set of factors which actively deter them from actually even considering if there’s something harmful being used against them, and even if there is, they’re furthermore conditioned to ignore it even if they know that to be the case.
The fact that so many men are joining the MHRM when they’re specifically being trained from birth to ignore their problems should be a major indication that something is really, seriously fucking wrong.
Women are taught to complain the moment they’re uncomfortable, hence why “micro-aggressions” are even a thing at all.
Men, on the other hand, are taught to endure, and by the time a man speaks up, it’s generally because it’s already at a life-or-death level of importance.
As such, we should be horrified that men are starting to speak up in such large numbers… if a man speaks up at all, it’s usually a sign of serious, major problems because they simply don’t tend to do so unless they’ve already exhausted all other options available to them to tackle the problem on their own.
The third conclusion to be reached is that the MHRM desperately needs women within its ranks. It’s not that women are better than men, or that they fill a minority quota, but because men have been so heavily conditioned to ignore being harmed that, even when it’s staring them right in the face, they still tend to ignore it.
Women have the advantage of being outsiders, especially when they’re the critical thinkers that the movement tends to attract.
This means that the women in the MHRM are often better suited to seeing the elephant in the room that the men have been taught to glaze over and often can’t even see when it’s right there.
With all this in mind, I think I can actually answer John’s question, now.
Yes, the women in the movement do seem to “get it” quicker than the men do, on average, and the fact that this is the case is in fact evidence of just how disenfranchised the men actually are.
The fact that men are even starting to recognize the yoke tied around their collective neck at all is an indication that they’ve been beaten in the face so often that the blinders have been knocked out of place.
The harder society tries to force men into subservience, and the more blows to the head they take, the better a view they’re going to get of their chains.
We’re a pair of oxen, really, side by side – each one chained and wearing blinders, only able to see the chains upon the other.
Which is exactly why we keep being told not to look at each other. It’s all hate speech. It’s all anger and pointless bickering, or patriarchy, or whatever. The absolute last thing that anyone wants us to do is to look at each other and actually open a dialogue where one of us might inadvertently slip up and say “Do you find those chains you’re wearing heavy?”
After all, if we turn our heads and state “But you’re the one wearing the chains…” we might both have it click, and suddenly realize that we’ve both been bound this whole time.
And if that ever happens on a large scale, all hell is going to break loose.
With the first International Men’s Conference on Men’s Issues completed, that day is nearer than it has ever been. The day when we actually talk with one another and truly understand how screwed over we’ve both been. The day when we set aside our differences and help one another. The day when we finally make a better tomorrow for everyone, for men and women combined.
And I look forwards to it.
Tomorrow is closer than you think.
- The Bechdel Test, or how I learned to stop worrying about it and love character development - October 4, 2014
- Why is discrimination bad? - August 8, 2014
- Why do some women “get it” quicker than men? - July 11, 2014
- A Trigger Warning About Trigger Warnings - July 10, 2014
- Godwin’s Law - June 20, 2014