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Conference reflections: A young woman becomes an MRA

“Deleting me because I disagreed with you?” I typed on Facebook. I had politely disagreed with her post that men reading and talking about the Elliot Rodger shooting should just “Shut Up.” She had then deleted both my comments and her friendship with me, writing, “Deleting you because you are part of the problem and have a skewed vision of feminism. Knowing a woman who could be so horrifyingly altered in the head is not something I want to be a part of.” She then continued, “People like you are the reason we need feminism.”

People who disagree with feminist censorship are the reason we need feminism? That doesn’t seem logical, I thought.

Before that day, I hadn’t thought of myself as an “anti-feminist,” mostly because I didn’t really care about gender issues. But this encounter, along with others like it, changed me. After feeling the heat of hatred and censorship from college classmates and female colleagues, I drove to Detroit to find refuge.

I didn’t know what to expect, so (as I often do) I had a knife in my boot.

I walked into the center for Veterans of Foreign Wars, handed my ID to security, and was smilingly directed to a buffet of A Voice for Men–branded buttons, bookmarks, chapsticks, T-shirts, and event programs.

I was surprised to see that the first three speakers were women, but that wasn’t the biggest surprise for me. Having learned about the men’s rights movement only through online sources—MRA YouTube channels, blogs, and forums as well as media coverage of the movement—I was expecting some solid, reasoned arguments, but I was also expecting a lot of complaining, immaturity, and anger. What I found instead decisively converted me into a Men’s Rights Activist.

1. That VFW center was the ultimate “safe space.”

Even as a new person and a woman, I didn’t come close to feeling out of place or uncomfortable. Instead, I enjoyed lively, free dialogue with people of all ages about all topics: gender, politics, philosophy, work, and movies. There were times when I disagreed fundamentally with people (e.g., about the feasibility of anarchy), but never did I or anyone else raise a voice. I didn’t hear a single ad hominem remark the entire weekend. This wasn’t the MRM I’d read about—this was a joining of ideas that made me, a graduate student, salivate.

2. The conference was about compassion.

Contrary to the image of bitter ex-husbands portrayed in the media, the men at the conference were not “out to get” their ex-wives. Again and again, the story I heard was, “I don’t resent her. I want to keep paying child support. I just want to see my kids.” When these forbidden fathers said their children’s names, their faces lit up with happiness but also contracted with strain.

I listened to a story about going to jail to avoid Vietnam—and how that was almost as bad. I listened to the stories of sons who had lost their fathers or been unjustly separated from them by cruel mothers.

I don’t have any kids, I’ve never gone to war, and my parents are happily married. But I have never felt more empathy than I did during those two days.

3. The MRM loves women.

I’ve never been a feminist because I’ve always felt in my gut that feminism doesn’t like men. My suspicion was confirmed by Karen Straughan’s thoughtful analysis of the topic, but even if I didn’t believe that feminism hates men, I realized that the MRM loves women more than feminism loves men.

This was the realization that sealed the deal—it would be impossible for a rational person who attended the AVfM conference to believe that the MRM is a woman-hating movement. To the contrary, when Warren Farrell was asked what he thought was most important to the future of men’s rights activism, he said, especially for the men in the movement, “to partner with a woman who has compassion for you and for men.”

As media commenters have noted, an anti-Hillary Clinton comment gained thunderous applause from the crowd. But what they failed to note is that perhaps the loudest applause of the conference came after Canadian Senator Anne Cools said, “Men have been the protectors of women for centuries.”

The audience cheered, “Yes!” and “That’s right!”

The man beside me said softly, “And we won’t stop.”

About Ellen A. Fishbein

Ellen is an entrepreneur and Economics grad student in NYC. Her current project, Precision Editing, is a B2B editing company that helps small business owners communicate with customers, especially when English isn't their first language. When she's not doing patent research or regression analysis, she enjoys opera, driving long distances, and blue jolly ranchers.

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  • Dr_Tara_J_Palmatier

    Welcome, Ellen!

    • Ellen A. Fish

      Thank you, Doc. I’m so touched and inspired by all the positive responses! Can’t wait to become more involved in the movement. :)

      • Sports Droppings

        An honor to have you. . .Ty Henry

  • Robert Franklin

    Compare this with Monica Hesse’s take on the conference.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

      Someone mail or tweet it to her. And her editors. I don’t want to be called a “harasser.”

    • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

      That is easy: Honesty versus dishonesty! The truth is all we need!

  • Attila_L_Vinczer

    Pleased to have you among us Ellen. You come across as a wise woman who cares about issues concerning men and boys. Issues that MRAs are struggling about.

  • donzaloog

    This is what happens when you have an open and honest mind. There was nothing hateful about the conference. Welcome, Ellen.

    • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

      Right! Being honest about things and if such discussion includes women, historical and contemporary, it is NOT hatred! They call it hatred so they can control the weak. Typical and predictable. It is important that people who can think for themselves remember that.

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Paul Elam

    What a novel idea. Someone who attended the conference and actually reported on what happened. Welcome, Ellen.

    • ralf

      yea, involves strange concepts like honesty etc. Not something the feminists are familiar with.
      Same as Matt Binder. Feminist celebrate most that he lied to you and you believed the lie, because you expecting that he would be sincere, as one could have expected.
      Playing a trick so low (that not even in the dirtiest election campaign a politician would try to score with), and then celebrating it as a great victory, just tells everything about the moral bankcrupcy of feminism.

  • Usagi Yojimbo

    As much as may seem trite, I have to say it:

    “Welome to the real world.”

    Glad to see you did this through reason and direct observation. Best way to enter it. :)

  • http://garycostanza.wordpress.com gary959

    Glad you found us, and us, you. I, too loved the conference – I wish I’d met you – next year! Here’s my say:http://youtu.be/6qNAPC-SbKg

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com John Narayan

      Gald to meet you in Detroit Gerry!

  • http://chaoticia.blogspot.com/ Class Punk

    The men’s movement as a whole loves women through endless complaining about them.

    • DukeLax

      So if a women never stops complaining about you…..that really means …”She loves you”.

    • Bewildered

      What an appropriate nick !
      Oh! btw there’s a difference between a grievance and a complaint. White knights,manginas and pseudo princesses are totally blind to it.

    • Diotima

      Well I thought it was funny – lol. I want an MRM where the right to humour is also upheld, lol.

    • Frontierguy03

      I think it is the same way we love our children when bringing them up to be responsible adults. It’s called tough love.

  • fools2234

    Many are ‘anti-Hillary’ because she is the feminist of feminists. Her ridiculous “women are the primary victims of war” comment and her continuing crusade of talks on colleges about womens issues, completely ignoring the fact that men only represent 40% of college attendance disgusts me.

    I would rather vote for dog poop over Hillary and I suspect many here would as well. Ironic tho is that nearly every early poll that comes out shows her doing horrible among men even worse than Obama’s 8 point negative:

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/colorado/release-detail?ReleaseID=2060

    • Doug Lefelhocz

      Hillary has also come as known to abuse Bill http://www.ifeminists.com/introduction/editorials/2002/0507a.html And yes, she is responsible for such behavior. Cheating does NOT qualify as a rational ground for violence (though cheating does stand as a rational ground for dissolving a relationship).

      • Martin Lloyd

        Thank you for sharing that! I’ll see what I can do to make sure more people know about this. I think more people need to know that Hillary Clinton is a domestic abuser, and more people need to hear about it before the election.

        • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

          Hillary is a feminist icon. Since feminism has been historically hostile to men and boys… deliberately too…it makes perfect since most of us here are against her…not as a woman, but as a feminist who simply does not get it and does not want to either. She will be horrible for the country with her socialism and her irrefutable anti-male stance on many issues.

          Just like it was said at the conference by Carnell Smith ( I think he was the one, correct me if wrong, but one of the speakers said), “We must have our priorities in order when voting”. I take that to mean that stopping misandry is more important than most all other issues when it comes to MHRA’s. That is how I will vote. I hope other MHRA’s see this too. Voting for a feminists icon goes against all else we are here for! Why in the hell undo all we are trying to fix by voting for the one who not “just might” but WILL hurt men and boys?

    • Old_Fart_Henry

      The left controls the narrative via the MSM.
      Shrillary wiill be the next president of the United States. God help you all.

      • fools2234

        Hillary is a horrible candidate that was losing against warhawk mccain in a hypothetical matchup for most of the dem/rep primary in 2007/2008:

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_clinton-224.html

        Once her 10 mile baggage is exposed her poll numbers will fall faster than Obamas approval ratings. She is even already consistently losing to Rand Paul (despite him being relatively unknown nationally) in Colorado (a state Obama won by 5 points)

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/co/colorado_paul_vs_clinton-3852.html

        She is an overrated hack. Completely out of touch, plenty of baggage to expose, and is as corrupt as they come. All reasons why she lost to Obama in the primary and why (as long as Reps are SMART about who they nominate) won’t become the next president.

        • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

          There really is a lesser of the two evils. Not in every case, but in this one? SURE!

      • DukeLax

        This is why so many Americans are now seeking a news source outside the “Media lace curtain”

        • Factory

          Thank you for using that term correctly.

    • Avatar

      Yes ,ok I will say it …..Hilary is an Femtart idiot .

    • ralf

      I really hope she can be keep out of office. That would be horrible.

  • Astrokid

    I didn’t know what to expect, so (as I often do) I had a knife in my boot.

    Thats good feedback for AVFM security for next time .. LOL
    Got to check boots, pockets, and more!

    • Bombay

      So she brought a knife to a bomb fight?

  • ManWithPlan

    MSM Summary: “I had a knife in my boot…lively…graduate student…salivate.” MRAs ARE KNIFING AND EATING CO-ED GRADUATE STUDENTS!!!!

    • DukeLax

      “Knifing” is eerily similar to “knifong-ing”

      • ManWithPlan

        MSM Summary: “Knifing” is eerily similar to “knifong-ing”

        MRAs DEFENDING DUKE LACROSSE RAPISTS; THREATEN HEROIC PROSECUTOR

  • driversuz

    Welcome! It takes guts to come to a place your friends tell you is unsafe, but it takes more guts to turn your back on people you thought were your friends.

    When I first noticed the movement my reaction was: “This stuff makes sense. So what’s the catch?” After over 3 years I’ve found that the only “catch” is the freedom of knowing I really don’t care what bigots think of me. This is the future.

  • SineNomine

    Welcome aboard Ellen! Glad to have you!

  • Dagda Mór

    ““Men have been the protectors of women for centuries.”
    The audience cheered, “Yes!” and “That’s right!”
    The man beside me said softly, “And we won’t stop.””

    Yeah, good luck with that buddy.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

      Lotta guys are losing that urge, thanks to all the abuse.

      • Dagda Mór

        Also due to the lack of existential threats looming over women in western democracies. And even if such did exist a woman can pull a trigger just as well as a man.

        I would interpret such sentiments in the modern context as being a tradcon call to return men to “object of utility” status. Not, needless to say, sentiments I would endorse.

      • Old_Fart_Henry

        Lost it a long time ago. Chivalry died over 50 years ago.
        A group of wimmin spoke for all and for those who say NAWALT most are as those ones are silent.

        • ralf

          NAWALT would be true and women like Ellen are the prove of it.
          NAFALT is a lie!

      • Diotima

        “Lotta guys are losing that urge, thanks to all the abuse.”

        Understandable sentiment, but to quote a great post on the Women Against Feminism Facebook page: –

        “I don’t need feminism because I’m a rape survivor, but I’m not afraid of men”

        My last girlfriend was also raped by some fucked-up guy, but avoided women-led support groups like the plague because she sensed they were trying to fuck her as well, and turned to me instead.

        So, despite any level of abuse, it is still possible to retain one’s humanity and not tar all men with the same brush. Just so with women. It’s perfectly understandable to do so, but it doesn’t help.

        Abuse should never be thanked for anything.

        • Lana Voreskova

          “Abuse should never be thanked for anything”. . . . I hope you don’t mind if I quote that because I think it is so very true.

          • Diotima

            Of course I wouldn’t mind – it’s a compliment :-)

      • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

        The faster men change, the better. This site is great at educating men (and women) but now we have to get them to actually act with their knowledge…this means changing them to go against what will get for the men, women and female admiration. Tough challenge but that is what it will take. Some say “men will not let women push them over the edge”. I say men already have…and the pushing and shoving is only getting started. Change men, change the world. The faster the better.

      • mike gibbs

        I know I did.
        When I see some women who may be stranded on the freeway where yesterday I may have helped her out, now I will not even think about entering into a ‘false accusation’ potential simply because I could not change her tire fast enough!
        No sir! I won’t even wish them good luck because they certainly have ZERO reguard for men and boys…

        It’s the bed they ‘demanded’. So they can have it-

    • Chris Wedge

      Protecting the downtrodden is a far better motto.

      And oft, we are the downtrodden, and must protect ourselves. I must make sure not to join their ranks, so I may focus my efforts on them, not myself.

    • Fatherless

      I have a protective urge. I try to extend it to men and not let anyone take advantage of it. Politically, I’m certainly interested in nurturing women’s protective urge of men.

    • ghebert

      Women shouldn’t expect protection from men any more than men should expect women to get back in the kitchen.

      • benjames

        great comment!…. but personally: I set my own standards. I don’t care what women or other men may or may not do. I do what I believe to be right: which includes protecting others whenever I can.

        • ghebert

          I can understand wanting to protect others from a human decency standpoint but I’m just against the societal expectation that men be the protectors of women.

    • http://menaregood.com/ Tom Golden

      Hell, if women wan all the power isn’t it time that they start protecting men?

      • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

        You are right but I suspect women will want out of that responsibility as well! They will get to, too…unless we can light a fire under the asses of apathetic men.

    • Magnus

      I actually have no issue with men wanting to protect women, and I feel it in myself all the time that I need to polish my Armor and save the wominz!
      Heck I gladly fight for anyone I think deserve it, regardless of gender.

      But the thing is, I don’t want to be demonized for it! I don’t want to be hated for trying to do good. I don’t want to be expected to protect someone while they spit me in the face.

      I just don’t want to be taken advantage of.

    • ralf

      I protect the women in my life if there need be and if I can, but I as well make hell sure that the women in my life are worthy of it.

  • Lastango

    What I especially like about this is the “come see for yourself” message. The Men’s Human Rights Movement is overflowing with… humanity. All someone has to do is muster the courage to take a look.

    That’s one reason why it’s especially good to read about efforts like Victor Zen’s organizing work at KSU and the upcoming conference there. An established campus presence, and special events like conferences give people a chance to meet the human beings advocating for human rights for men. Over time, that will do our movement a world of good, in ways that a web presence alone may not be able to achieve. (Perhaps that’s a key reason why campus feminists and their ideological fellow travelers in the US and Canada have worked so hard to prevent the MRM from gaining a recognized toehold at their schools.)

    Kudos to Ellen for her strength of character and her self-confidence. It’s wonderful of her to share her experiences with the feminists, and her discoveries among the MRM people in Detroit.

    • Ellen A. Fish

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. You really grokked my intention in writing the article.

      • chickenbrothel

        A reference to Stranger in a Strange Land? Plus 3 respect points.

  • Mike Buchanan

    Ellen, after the final day of the conference, along with a number of other guys in their 50s and 60s, we had dinner at Malone’s, and a charming young lady came to talk with us near the end of our meal. Was that your good self? If so, thank you warmly. I’ve just posted a link to your article.
    Mike Buchanan
    http://j4mb.org.uk

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com John Narayan

    I realized that the MRM loves women more than feminism loves men

    I will extrapolate that, the MRM loves people more than feminism loves people, I suspect many feminists are misanthropes starting with a fuckton (metric) of deep self-hatred.

    • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

      With their feminist goggles on, they have misguided and unsupportable, completely unfounded envy of males…and it is apparently eating them alive.

      John, I enjoyed meeting and talking with you at the conference. I look forward to the next one and hope I get to mingle with all the other greats who attend.

  • Dawn Blast

    Welcome to the team, Ellen. Good to have you aboard.

  • knightrunner

    Ellen. I got to speak to you only briefly. I must admit that not knowing who you were I was a little guarded. I thought you might have been a plant. I wish now I had taken the time to talk to you more. Welcome and glad to have you.

    • Ellen A. Fish

      Sorry you felt that way. If you like, you can find me on Facebook! I’m Ellen A. Fish. :)

      • knightrunner

        Nothing for you to be sorry for. It was the circumstance. We were all a little paranoid.

        • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

          I agree about being so concerned as we were. The truth haters interrupted what would have been a more organized and compatible conference if held at the doubletree. After hours were botched up so much that it seemed far too many split up and went to different places. One of the things I wanted from the conference was for us all to be in the same place having a good time during after hours. It is hard to make friends here online so I was hoping any shortcomings here could be made up for at the conference.

          Gee, if we can even get another host venue to accept us now, I think it would be wise to try and keep us all together during after hours—minus the yellow press… or ANY press during “our time together”.

          Is there anyone who thinks the feminists didn’t organize this way? Heck, they stayed up to 2am just to plan their attacks…so said Farrell (paraphrased).

          I would have liked to met both you Ellen and Jack. Perhaps next time!

  • DukeLax

    As todays gender-feminism specifically targets the hetero-male, and as the feds keep pumping more and more federal pork bloating dollars into law enforcement to attack the hetero-male…we are slowly seeing, that segment of guys that “hetero-date”…….are shrinking fast.
    Folks….Guys will only take so much perversions to law enforcement, they will only take so much of the “media lace curtain” ….type media vilification’s……Until we reach the point where only poor and un-educated males with no assets to lose will dare to date hetero.

    • DukeLax

      whats going to happen….is so many guys will refuse to be one of those “vilified hetero’s”…that the wiser women are going to finally start to understand that they have nothing to gain ( in the long run) by perverting American law enforcement, they have nothing to gain by pushing the “media lace curtain”……to the point where hetero-relationships become a “Legal liability”.

  • Bewildered

    AH-HA! at last the shit is beginning to stink. Big Time! Sanity is slowly reclaiming lost ground. Great news.

  • Diotima

    Yeh, but….

    You are an entrepreneur, a graduate student in a discipline that requires intellectual rigor, a researcher AND an opera lover! Nowhere on your CV do I see “self-identifying victim.” That suggests you will likely have confidence to be considered on your own terms, and the confidence to extend the same courtesy to others. In other words, you are an empowered woman. Feminism has no place for you, lol.

  • Turbo

    Welcome Ellen.

  • iggy

    Whenever someone tries to censor what I get to hear, I am automatically more curious about it and resentful of the person trying to decide what I get to hear. The more censorship Feminist’s use, the harder people will start looking at the subject. Ellen is a great example of people suspecting censorship for what it usually is… hiding the truth. In the marketplace of ideas, only the bad ideas need censorship to bolster their views.

  • Daniel Kulkarni

    “I don’t resent her. I want to keep paying child support. I just want to see my kids.”
    “I don’t resent her. I want to keep wearing my slave collar. I just want to see my kids.”

    • mike gibbs

      There is a reason it’s called ‘mommy-support’ but I prefer extortion as it fits better.

  • http://menaregood.com/ Tom Golden

    Welcome Ellen. So glad you had the courage to show up and then to listen. So many media folks showed up, but didn’t listen and vomited out their preconceptions into stories on the conference. It was amazing to me how far from reality those articles were. So glad you listened and got the message. You are correct, it is truly about compassion. Compassion and choice for men and boys.

  • Bryan Scandrett

    Thank you Ellen

  • Scrufflecat

    Meow, welcome.

    • Lucian Vâlsan

      Meow.

  • PeterPan

    it was very moving article, thank you! Clearly Ellen you open minded, free thinker and very observant! A strong independent woman!

  • chickenbrothel

    Don’t mean to be derisive or anything here, but technically, the title should read “Conference Reflections: A Young Woman Becomes *a* MRA.” Because any time an article precedes an acronym (or initialism, technically), its form is determined by the first word of the acronym. So, in this case, would it be “a young woman becomes an men’s rights activist?” Or would it be “a young woman becomes a men’s rights activist?” It would be the latter. So, the sentence should read “a young woman becomes a MRA.” Sorry for being so pedantic here.

    • chickenbrothel

      The mistake is made because “M” is pronounced “em,” so we think of the letter “M” in “MRM” as beginning with a vowel, when we consider the pronunciation. So, we think, “oh well, we use the article ‘an’ when it precedes a vowel, so it would be ‘an MRM.'” but this is technically incorrect. Whatever the pronunciation of the first letter of the initialism, “men’s” begins with a consonant, not a vowel. Acronyms and initialisms follow the rule that you use the first word of the acronym as the guide for the preceding article, rather than the pronunciation of the first letter. Hope this makes sense.

      • http://www.avoiceformen.com TheBibo Sez

        Would you prefer “I’m an U.S. citizen” to “I’m a U.S. citizen”?

        • chickenbrothel

          That’s probably a good exception to the rule. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a rule. I’m not just making stuff up. It’s not what *I* would prefer. Any English teacher would tell you the same thing. Just google it. I’m just stating fact. Again, not trying to be derisive. Just want people to take this site as a serious publication, as much as possible.

          • chickenbrothel
          • http://www.avoiceformen.com TheBibo Sez

            Spoken language predates written language, and so when the explicit rules of written language make spoken language sound off-key, I’m going to side with the spoken version. “I’m an Em-Ar-A”.

            Just saying.

          • chickenbrothel

            I just looked into it, and it seems both ways are considered acceptable now. So I apologize and stand corrected. Still, I just prefer the old way. Seems like everything I was taught in school is changing (like “ain’t” officially becoming a word), so that I’d have to go to school all over again to keep up. Oh well. lol Anyway, I stand corrected, good sir.

  • chickenbrothel

    Great stuff, Ellen! And welcome!

  • Daniel Peirson

    Love your article

  • Howard Gordan

    Welcome Ellen. It was a pleasure meeting you in Detroit. Next time we’ll share the ride.

  • Magnus

    Hey, you are the Entrepreneur that was interviewed in one of the “articles” about the conference right? The one that disliked being called “Woman-Entrepreneur”?

    Thank you for your account, always nice to hear how “real people” and not opinionated journalists reacted. Seems also that going into something with an open mind is a better solution than full of prejudice and hate :D

  • http://www.stgeorgewest.blogspot.co.uk/ Angelo

    Welcome and great work Ellen, “Dark as it gets, dark as it gets, light will be at the end I bet” …’Follow Me’. VAYAS CONMIGO
    by BIG C

  • Renaissance Man

    Great piece! Thanks

  • markis1

    Ellen Thank you :)

  • Rick Westlake

    Thank you, Ellen. And WELCOME!

  • Fatherless

    Many of us would prefer, ideally, a gender transition movement. But that’s a ways off.

    Check around the site and you’ll the men’s issues that need to be addressed.

  • benjames

    hi Lea – that is a very fair question: The best recommendation I can make is to watch a few of Karen Straughns videos – ESPECIALLY – the first 20 early ones where she speaks to the camera directly. They are superb summaries of the issues and concerns that have lately manifested into a movement. My eyes were really opened by them. (Im happily married, good life, non bitter, egalitarian who as a generation X-er has borne the brunt of feminism’s put downs, shaming, contradictions, false-credit claiming, and at times outright bigotry my entire life and think its wonderful there is now a fact-based movement that is properly articulating the problems modern feminism represents. I don’t have a beard, and I don’t live with my mum.
    Please make your own mind up, please challenge us if you feel we’ve got it wrong somewhere – but first of all, please please just listen to the points made here on this site and elsewhere. There is a a very valid worldview that is not just ‘anti-feminism’, it is very pro equality. Feminism just gets in the firing line because so much of it is anti-equality…. read on and find out why! :)

  • earth one

    Great post Ellen! I am a gay man, a progressive, and I love and admire women, believe in equality, and I am wholly in support of Men’s Rights. Thank you.

    Feminists hate everything to do with Men’s Rights because they know “Big F” Feminism is on shaky ground. They are projecting their hate onto men, claiming the MHRM is a “hate movement.” It has always struck me, they say this, spittle flying from their lips, while hurling shockingly hateful lies and anti-male propaganda at the men who have had the courage to come forward and represent themselves and stand up for their own right to exist, equally.

    And the feminists still don’t get it! Nobody really needs to expose their hate, they do an incredible job of it themselves. Every time the MHRM speaks, feminists go on offensive. But it’s not just a matter of expressing opposition. They go for the jugular. Their language is violent, hateful, degrading, dehumanizing.

    In other words, we could not ask for better advertising.

  • Laotuz

    I admire your courage Ellen. Noticing the Emperor has no clothes is intimidating. Pointing it out is corageous. Starting to figure out how to get him clothes so everyone benefits is noble. Your ability to see past the zeitgeist and look at the underlying data is a rare and difficult path. I’m glad you’re part of the dialogue.

  • Aimee McGee

    Ellen, welcome!
    I’m so envious of you getting to conference – but thanks for reporting it from your perspective – much I think as I might experience it

  • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

    “… but even if I didn’t believe that feminism hates men, I realized that the MRM loves women more than feminism loves men.”

    —You absolutely nailed that one…big time! We men who want and DO question half the world’s population do NOT hate women. Wanting to preserve some sanity is not hatred. Women are not exempt from scrutiny!

    Welcome Ellen! We are glad you can think for yourself! And we do love you.

  • Mateusz82

    Welcome, Ellen. Glad to have someone who came to the conference with an open mind.

  • Avatar

    You are very welcome Ellen .

  • PlainOldTruth

    You were told you were driving to Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartok opera reference), but you discovered it wasn’t true. It was more like a gathering of survivors of Rose Veres’s rooming house trying to get it shut down (Detroit reference).

    re: Rose Veres
    http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/rose-veras-suspected-hungarian-american.html

  • ralf

    Thank you for sharing some real experience of the conference.

  • Sanguifer

    I don’t think the replies You got here were as helpful as they could be, so I’ll give it a go. It is certainly true You will see plenty of reasons if You browse this site, and Karen’s videos really ARE damn good (they’re what got me thinking about this whole thing in the first place, so yeah…), but You asked for reasons, not referrals…

    With that in mind, I think we need a Men’s Rights Movement because there are quite a few rights men lack in most societies, and quite a few issues people don’t have in their social consciousness. A few of them can be argued about, certainly, but here is a short list of the few that are, in my eyes, absolutely irrefutable:

    – The right to bodily autonomy. Circumcision is still legal in most western countries, and it’s frankly incomprehensible. Yes, we are all aware that circumcision is not as severe form of mutilation as excision (or, god forbid, infibulation) is for females. However, that’s not much of an argument – it’s still mutilation for no good reason other than tradition or cultural values. It can have severe consequences for both physical and mental health of the victim, and, quite frankly, even if it didn’t – we’re still allowing people to take a knife to a little boy’s genitalia, for christ’s sake, and why? Because the parents want to? We have laws that forbid slapping Your kids, but cutting off parts of their bodies is okay? There is just so much wrong with that I can’t even put that into words.

    – Reproductive rights. I know, it’s a difficult topic, but whenever there is an actual struggle for rights, there are no easy topics. As far as reproductive rights go, men can basically use condoms and that’s it. If they want additional security, they can get a vasectomy which is in many cases irreversible. Beyond that, they have nothing. Women not only have access to condoms as well, they have a wide selection of contraceptives beyond that including the very safe pill. If that fails, they often have the option to abort. If, for any reason, they don’t want to, they have the option of legal parental surrender. And if they don’t want to do that, they can force the father to pay child support. Now, everyone MUST agree that there is a huge imbalance of rights and power there. Sure, no-one argues that a man should be able to force a woman to abort a child. But we need to recognize that this is, in most cases, something that hit BOTH parties unexpectedly and severely. There is no good moral argument, let alone a logical one, why we should give the right to legally surrender the child to the women, but not to men.

    – Domestic violence and rape. We can argue about the numbers, we can argue about statistics, but it’s pretty clear that male victims of domestic violence and rape are either quietly dropped under the table, defined out of existence, or just downplayed. DV shelters routinely refuse to admit men, police routinely arrests male victims. Even if – and that is a HUGE “if” – 90% of the victims of DV were female, that doesn’t mean that the 10% of the male victims don’t deserve help and rights.

    The huge, huge problem of prison rape gets downplayed, or justified away. Especially the argument “If You don’t want to get raped in prison, don’t commit crimes” is telling – and You’d be surprised how often I hear that. That argument is horrible. It is basically saying “If You land in prison, for whatever reason, You deserve to be violated in the most vile ways imaginable”. Got jailed for smoking weed? You deserve to be raped. Couldn’t afford child support? Get raped. Barl brawl or self-defense that went wrong? Get raped. And that’s not even accounting for the people who are innocent but still get jailed. The fact that prison rape is routinely laughed at, or seen as just, is mind-boggling and serves as proof that something is wrong with our perception of men when it comes to violence and rape victimization. Outside of prison rape, rape is often defined in a way that makes it impossible for women to rape men by definition. It’s called “unwanted sexual contact” or “forced to penetrate” instead when it happens to men. Again, we can argue about numbers, but the fact that rape is often viewed as something that simply cannot happen to men (at least not by a female perpetrator) shows that there is a dire need to change the paradigm and bring it to social consciousness: Yes, men can be raped, too. And that goes double for teenage boys who “get lucky” and “score” with their teacher. Come on. If it’s child abuse when the genders are reversed, then it must be child abuse here, too (even if I personally think that teenagers of BOTH genders should be given much more credit regarding their ability to consent. But that’s a different topic altogether).

    – Courts and prison terms. The family court is skewed heavily against men. Even if there was a statistical, objective bias that made women the better custodial parent in general, that couldn’t possibly account for the actual numbers. The particular numbers are debatable, but even the most balanced numbers I have seen still show that custody is overwhelmingly being granted to women. If a bias is present, it means men are wronged – but also the children might be, if they’d have been better off in care of the other parent, but ended up with the mother due to a court bias.
    In addition to that, men get more severe sentences even when we adjust for the severity of the crime. If even the HuffPo reports on that, You can be pretty sure the numbers are not cooked by a gender warrior with an agenda (https://secure.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/men-women-prison-sentence-length-gender-gap_n_1874742.html).

    Those are the issues off the top of my head that, I think are pretty much impossible to argue against. There are many more that are not quite as clear cut such as education, divorce, unemployment, poverty, mortality, health care etc etc. I’m sure You will stumble across them. But for me, those issues alone show that we are indeed in need of a Men’s Rights Movement.

    • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

      Thank you for putting in extra time here to provide answers to her question. We MHRA’s have all heard of this abuse to men and boys but for those who haven’t, this stuff can’t be said enough!

    • Lea

      Ok, those are good examples. But what about the womens issues? Aren’t they important too? I mean shouldn’t we fight for both genders..?

      • Sanguifer

        Well, this is a very tricky question for a number of reasons. It’s very difficult to answer this question honestly without sounding very dismissive or even condescending. I’ll try to explain this as well as I can, though.

        First of all, Your initial question was why there should be a men’s rights movement. I don’t think anyone is saying that there should be no women’s rights movement. Those things are not exclusive, we can have two movements for two different demographics. We just think that men’s issues deserve attention, too, and as I’ve demonstrated, some of these issues are really serious. We just specialize. Some groups fight for the rights of homosexuals, some for the rights of blacks, some for the rights of women, and some for the rights of men. That doesn’t mean that an LGBT activist hates women, or that an anti-Nazi doesn’t care about the rights of homosexuals. They just specialize in different areas.

        That is not to say that women don’t have their own issues. They might have. I do not know, I’m not an expert on that. In my home country of Germany, most women’s issues that could be fixed seem to have been fixed. We already have equal opportunity, university attendance is more or less equal (I think it’s about 49 to 51 % in favor of women, but that sounds quite acceptable to me), our prime minister is a woman, female genital mutilation is outlawed, we even have quotas. Abortion is legal. That’s a lot of solved issues.

        There is another big problem, and it’s really not a nice topic to talk about, but – some of the women’s issues that are claimed to be big really aren’t once You look at the numbers. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not out to actively try to minimize the suffering of anyone. I’m just a skeptical person. Whenever I see statistics on this site, I always try to double-check them, and when I hear statistics from the other side of the gender debate, I do so, too. And I came to the conclusion that, for example, the so-called “wage gap” is a problem created by bad methodology. Up till now I haven’t seen one study supporting the wage gap theory that didn’t fail to account for a number of significant factors like working hours, field of study, qualifications, social mobility and so on. Please understand that this is not me looking for excuses – I’ve seen one study that compared the pay for men and women in one field who worked “35 hours or more”. That is just not a good study, because “35 hours or more” could be 36, or 60. And we do have other studies that show that men are statistically more likely to work more hours than women. So here, we have a “gap” that is perfectly explainable and ultimately cannot be fixed by anyone except the women themselves.

        The numbers on domestic violence also often just don’t add up or are ridiculously cooked. Terre des Femmes, a women’s rights organization, has such a broad definition of domestic violence that I’m really surprised they don’t say 1 in 1 women have suffered it. They include things like “shoving” or “psychological violence” – that is, “offensive language” (I’m not kidding!), “humiliating” and “ridiculing”. And on the flipside, there isn’t even a representative study on domestic violence against men! Our government did ONE study with 200 men which does not count as a representative study. Interestingly enough, the numbers on that one actually match the numbers on the study on domestic violence against women pretty well. Also unsurprisingly, the study showed that 0 of the men reported the abuse to the police. Not even the one guy who suffered bone fractures in the process.

        But apparently we, as a society, aren’t even interested in finding out how domestic violence affects men. It’s not even a topic. This is why I choose to specialize in men’s issues – I just personally think that they are more pressing and often more severe, and many of them are actually solvable. We can’t do more for the female victims of domestic violence, for example. We already have laws, we have shelters, awareness campaigns, hotlines. But we don’t do even half of that for the male victims, so things can still be done in that regard.

        So when I see funds being wasted on campaigns that do little more but vilify men – like with the aforementioned Terre Des Femmes with their “You don’t hit women” campaign – when these funds could be used to solve actually solvable issues that men face, well, it becomes a fight for resources. I think they are more needed for men’s issues at the moment, so I fight for that. If there is an issue that can be tackled that helps both men and women, I’ll gladly fight for both genders.

        But time and money is finite, we have to choose what to fight for. Otherwise, it’s just an infinite chain: “What about the women’s issues”? Okay, let’s do that… “what about the men?” – okay, let’s work on that for a bit “HEY! We have some women’s issues here, what are You doing over there?”. Even if I didn’t think that men’s issues are more pressing at the moment – and I do think that – that just wouldn’t be workable.

        I hope that answer satisfies You =)

      • driversuz

        That’s a very good question to ask feminists.

      • driversuz

        There should be an EQUAL rights movement. The men’s movement is necessary right now to reverse the damage done by feminist institutionalized bigotry. The men’s rights movement should end about a decade or two before it comes up with a concept equivalent to “stare rape.”

        Until we reunite the sexes, we need to fight for balance.

      • Diotima

        In my opinion, Lea, if you consider women’s issues to be important, and want to fight for women, you should fight against feminism. There are two problems with feminism. The first is that it does not truly advance women’s interests – it undermines them, and the second is that it actively fights against the interests of men. Feminism would be okay if it only focussed on women, i.e. was like a pressure group that had a particular emphasis. But feminism is more than this. It is anti-men. The women in the MRM are not just anti-feminists for the sake of men, they are anti-feminists for the sake of women. Feminism is poisonous to men, women, and society. It not only fails to deliver what it promises, it delivers the opposite.

        There is a reason why feminism fails. It is not because there are some ‘bad’ or extreme feminists who harm the movement. Were that the case they would be easy to weed out. In order to fix a problem you first have to understand it correctly. If the diagnosis is wrong, the treatment will be wrong. That is the problem with feminism. The problems that it tries to fix are not understood correctly, and so all of the solutions that feminism comes up with don’t work. The feminist understanding of gender, society, psychology, history, etc, etc, are all wrong. Therefore none of the solutions that feminism devizes to correct for supposed human problem are going to be right. The feminist understanding of human beings is wrong. It is a bit like the understanding of medicine based on the theory of the humors. This theory was wrong. Human illness does not arise because of an imbalance between blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. This is the wrong model, and so any solutions based on this model won’t work.

  • thatdogguy

    Thank you for being open minded and honest. Welcome Ellen!