Messaging and “moderation” in the men’s community

The following is a slightly modified piece that was originally performed as a video response to Barbarossaaaa, who recently commented on others on YouTube advocating making the men’s movement more “inclusive” and saying it has an “image problem.” Barbarossaaaa was rather skeptical of the idea, and basically said “carve out your own space and be whoever you want to be,” and noted that more hateful men’s advocates and men going their own way didn’t bother him.

This is something that has torn at me for a long time, and to an extent still does. In early 2002, which means about 11 12 years ago now, I started writing a weblog. I gave it a stupid name that was supposed to be a joke, “Dean’s World,” ironically and very loosely sort of based on the “Wayne’s World” movie that had been popular and that name stuck because to my shock it got very very popular. Possibly Barbarossa might even relate to this a little, because while there’s nothing wrong with being called Barbarossa if he ever decides “I don’t want to be Barbarossa anymore, I want to be known as something else,” he almost can’t do that without tearing everything up and starting over.

Anyway, I got stuck with “Dean’s World” and at one time I was up to about 20,000 daily visits, something like 100, 150 thousand daily hits, I got contacted by university professors, political campaigns, the Library of Congress archived part of my blog for the 2004 elections, and so on. It was big.

I mention all this for two reasons. Not to brag, because frankly it’s not that much to brag about anymore. It’s not as popular as it used to be by any means. I mention it first because a lot of the community thinks I’m new to men’s issues. Second, because that experience of being popular and having written on a lot of things taught me some bitter lessons. To make a long story short: I wrote on many things on that blog over the years, many many things: politics, history, religion, science, and many other things. But one of them was always, from the beginning, men’s issues. The issue of domestic violence was always closest to my heart, but other issues like men having rights in reproduction, the way poor men get marginalized, father’s rights, and so on were also always there.

And what I consistently noticed over more than ten years of writing is that when I would write on other subjects, I would get a whole whole lot of attention, but whenever I bothered writing anything on men’s or boys’ issues, 99% of the time I got complete silence. Or maybe one or two supportive or critical comments.

I would also try at times to have conversations with feminists, and talk to them, and while a few were reasonable most were either contemptuously dismissive or even outright bullying and nasty.

I read Warren Farrell‘s The Myth of Male Power around the time it came out, and that’s been almost 20 years ago now, and it effected me. But what impact did it have on the larger world? Nothing that I could tell.

When I finally decided to join the guys over at A Voice for Men, where I’m Managing Editor now, it was a hard thing for me to do. I had to do some soul searching. The fact of the matter is that I’ve been involved in online discourse for about 30 years, been blogging for about 12, been writing on and off on men’s issues for multiple decades if you count my pre-blogging days when I would sometimes venture into online debates, and I finally had to swallow this pill: being nice doesn’t work.

I will repeat this for emphasis: being nice, polite, and civil–it does not work.

Nobody listens, nobody cares.

Even if they do politely agree with you all they give you is quiet agreement but then they do nothing. Or they change the subject to try to minimize, or equalize. So if some woman faces street harassment once in a while, or guys occasionally make sexist remarks about women in the workplace, why that’s just exactly the same as men having no reproductive rights to speak of (beyond the right to have sex), debtor’s prison for guys who can’t make their child support and alimony payment because they’re destitute, workplace deaths, higher suicide rates, higher homelessness rates, parental alienation which disproportionately effects fathers and their children, genital mutilation… I don’t know what’s worse, having people deny these problems exist, or the people who acknowledge them but try to equalize or marginalize them so women’s issues are “just as bad” or, even more annoyingly, try to say “but it’s getting better now.”

No, it isn’t fucking getting better, not on most of these things. On most of them, it’s getting worse. In too many ways to count.

When I joined AVfM, I had a tearing at my conscience because even though in 30 years of online discourse I’ve occasionally lost my shit and said some blistering things, I’ve usually apologized for that. I don’t like getting in people’s faces, and the older I get the less I like doing that. And I’ll usually try to apologize if someone points out that I’ve been over-the-top rude. Sometimes if someone consistently pushes my buttons, or if I’m feeling overwhelmed, I get rude. I’m not a saint, but that’s just not my preferred style. I’m sure you’ll run into a few people online who only remember the times I was rude to them in particular, but really honestly, most of the time, I’d rather just be calm and rational and give people the benefit of the doubt.

But I’ve sadly noticed it appears that the only way to get attention on men’s and boys’ issues is to get in people’s faces and say “fuck you motherfuckers,” and mean it. Then they at least wake the fuck up. And so when I get people, even close friends, telling me they think we Men’s Rights Advocates need to tone down our message, I always say the same thing:

For decades now there have been people talking and writing about these things, including some very very thoughtful, learned, intelligent, and famous people, and we have gotten nowhere. In fact, of trends that people like Erin Pizzey and Warren Farrell first started identifying 20, even 30 or 40 years ago, a few have gotten a little better but most of them have either stayed the same or gotten worse, some dramatically worse. So my real question for these people who say we need to tone it down is this:

“You tell me what works better than getting rude, because being rude has consistently shown better results than being nice and kind and pleasant and rational has.”

Well, rational still matters. But, nice and kind and pleasant? Not so much.

All that said, I’m going to somewhat contradict myself: when you open yourself up to being angry and provocative, you can open yourself up to bringing in people you really don’t want to bring in. You’ll get associated with people you don’t want to associate with. For example, while I have nothing against everyone in the Pickup Artist/Game community, I have no interest in associating with those people at all, and I think much of what they’re doing is selling snake oil: for shy guys who aren’t good with girls, “we have the magic formula for you!” Yeah, maybe some of that works but whatever. There’s also this idiot called Dmitri “the Lover” who is pretty obviously a fake men’s advocate, or ought to be considered one, because he’s got this web site that appears to go back a few years and this asshole writes that men have a right to rape women and slap them around if they get mouthy and a bunch of other stupid shit like that–if you don’t believe me just Google him, I’m not giving you any links.

There’s also the occasional commenter who shows up on my channel, or other channels, or places like Reddit, or A Voice for Men or my blog, saying really outrageous shit. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious that they’re trolls, or sock puppets for radical feminists. In fact I’d be willing to bet you money that Dave Futrelle and other feminists often use sock puppet accounts to say outrageous shit to try to prove that men’s advocates are all misogynists, woman-haters, angry white people and all that.

In fact that “white” part really bothers me. “White?” Really? How racist are you that you think these issues are white people’s issues? No. Sorry, if anything, when it comes to men’s issues, men of color tend to have it a little worse, but even then that’s just a general trend. Race hasn’t got much to do with it. We as men have issues that we face as men, period, it doesn’t matter what our color is. But anyway, we get all these stereotypes about us, and I think if we don’t address them, there are people who might otherwise listen to us, who won’t if they believe the stereotypes.

I’m a big believer in the theory that you can never convince 100% of people of anything. No matter what your position. You probably can’t get 100% of the population to be against paedophilia, there’s probably a tenth of a percent of the general public that thinks that’s no big deal. If I advocated wiping out all life on Earth there’d be someone somewhere who thought that was a great idea. There’s just nothing you can ever get 100% agreement or disagreement on.

So the goal of any movement is not to persuade everybody, it’s to get enough people to get enough critical mass to change things.

Some raise the point that Men’s Rights Advocates haven’t gotten any legislation passed. But I don’t think that’s looking at it in a fair manner. One of the first things you must do with any successful movement is build enough critical mass to get legislation passed. That takes time, organization, and effort.

For example, in the United States, slavery was ended effectively in 1865. Arguably, with the passage of the 14th amendment around that era, black people should have gotten all their full civil rights within fairly short order after that. But they didn’t, did they? They didn’t have their full civil rights until about a hundred years later; I’d say that with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that’s when you can say they fully had the same civil and legal rights as whites. That doesn’t mean everything became equal or racism went away, it just meant all the same rights under the law were extended equally to everybody, formally anyway, even though there’s still disparities and discrimination.

So by my math that took ONE HUNDRED YEARS from the end of slavery.

Do I think the men’s movement is going to need a century? No. I think we’re moving faster than that. But it’s still going to take time. And what we’re seeing right now is a period of amazing growth in the men’s movement. And growth will be fractious and include some pain.

To my way of looking at the history of political movements, when you see factions and schisms develop, that’s usually a sign of one of two things: the movement is falling apart, or, it is growing. And I’m pretty convinced that we are in a growth phase right now. In fact I think we’re growing like crazy, and crazy growth means that schisms and arguments are going to happen, and some people are going to be left behind or have to go off on their own direction. And so far as I’m concerned, that is OK.

Even if you look at the history of the civil rights movement in America for black people just as an example, you had the followers of Martin Luther King, you had the followers of Malcom X, and you had the followers of other groups like the Congress of Racial Equality, and the the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which had been around a lot longer than any of those others had been (longer than most of those other people had been alive in fact), and more. You don’t need one umbrella group, nor do you need everyone in your movement to agree on everything.

Just comparing Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, there was a huge difference between those two men in their personal styles and even their stated goals. So a certain amount of fractiousness is OK.

My view is that the men’s movement’s had its Martin Luther King figures for a long time, in people like Warren Farrell and Erin Pizzey. What it hasn’t had is its Malcolm X type figures, which basically scare people because they’re rude and in your face. They’re not violent, they never advocate violence, but, they won’t back down. They won’t be nice, they won’t be ginger in their language, because they calculate that “nice” doesn’t work. They calculate that “blunt” is what works.

But, all of that said, in embracing the idea that there are going to be rude and abrasive people, and that rude and abrasive is needed, I have to get back to it: if you want a coherent movement, rather than just individuals all doing their own thing, you must have the ability to say, “This person or set of ideas does not represent us or our values at all.” And you must be able to stick to that. You must be able to say things like, for example, “You hate homosexuals? Sorry, we’re not on board with that, and you’re not part of our party here. You can make your points to somebody else, we’re not hanging out with you.”

You have to also be able to do one other thing: you have to be able to say not just what you’re against. You have to be able to say what you’re for. One of the things that consistently frustrates me about some men’s rights people is that they seem to think that just criticizing feminists or arguing with feminists is going to do anything all by itself. I’m sorry, but it’s not. As many have noted, it’s not even clear exactly what feminism is. Is conservative traditionalism “the other feminism,” as some people claim? Maybe. I think both are flip sides of the same coin, and the actual coin is male disposability. Which to me means the ultimate enemy isn’t feminism, it’s male disposability, and misandry, and the whole set of attitudes that go along with male disposability and misandry.

Furthermore, let’s say you and I agree that the ultimate problem is male disposability–maybe we don’t, but let’s just pretend that we agree on that, and that this and misandry are the real root problem. Once again, what have we done but said we’re against that? Great, we’re against male disposability. As it happens, I’m willing to bet we’re both also against mass starvation, and bad music, and mass murder, and bad weather, and bad breath. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that we’re all against those things. But so what?

What are we for exactly? What am I for? Maybe you’re not for all the same things I am, but I think if we don’t say what we’re for, all we’re doing is complaining. If you can’t say what you’re for, only what you’re against, you can only get so far with any kind of activism.

Especially on something like this. What are you going to do, ban feminism? If you believe in free speech, you can’t do that, and what good would it do? Male disposability won’t go away anyway. So if you’re going to be an activist, you have to stake out a position on specific things you’re for. Like, “we’re for the right of men to say ‘I won’t be a father. You’re pregnant? I don’t feel ready to be a father, I want to sign paperwork right now that says I give this child up for adoption, it’s up to you whether or not you have it but I will not be that child’s father.” That is a right men should have. We probably a agree that’s a right men should have, but we ought to be able to say that.

We should be able to say that if you make a proven false allegation of domestic violence you should get a criminal penalty for that. We should be able to call for aolishing debtor’s prison: no more putting men (or women for that matter, to whatever extent it happens) in jail because they can’t make these draconian support payments. We abolished debtor’s prison in this country a long time ago, except for men caught in the family court meatgrinder.

Those are specific things you have to stake out a position on and say “Yes, these are the things we’re for. We’re not just ‘against feminism,’ we’re for changing THIS to THIS.”

Otherwise you don’t have a movement, you’re just complaining.

And image starts to matter. Once you are in the business of trying to persuade the general public to change their perceptions, and to get legislation changed, you are going to have to be prepared to “clean house,” at least a little, and identify people or positions that are anathema to you. You just have to. You cannot have an effective Men’s Rights Movement and have in your ranks someone whose basic position is that feminism is a Jewish plot to undermine white Christian men (and yes, there really are fringe loons who say that, they’re a tiny minority but they exist). I mean, I’m sorry, you just can’t have them as part of your group and have the wider electorate take you seriously. You can’t take someone like a Fred Phelps with his “God Hates Fags” bullshit and let him on the bus with you. (He’s not on our bus, but the point is, you can’t cozy up with such people.) You really have to be able to say “Look, we have a big tent here, we have room for a lot of opinions and ideas, but here’s some things that we’re going to have to show you the door on. You can go do whatever activism you want but you’re not a part of what we’re doing or what we’re about.”

And when someone says to you, “aren’t you just worried about the problems of straight white middle aged men?” you have to really have the power to say NO, WE CARE ABOUT ALL MEN AND BOYS OF ALL RACES, CREEDS, COLORS, ORIENTATIONS, WHATEVER, and be willing to say that loud and clear.

I’m even willing to concede that of the problems men face, they probably affect men of different races more, in the aggregate anyway. At least in the United States, black men probably face a lot of these issues harder than white men do, in the aggregate; there are more fatherless families in the black community than the white community for example, at least the last time I looked at the statistics. But that doesn’t mean that the white or brown family that’s fatherless automatically has it better. The bottom line is that by dividing us up by race, they minimize us. It’s racist, really.

Genital mutilation is not a black vs. white issue. Father’s and children’s rights are not a black versus white issue. The opponents of men’s rights constantly try to divide us up by race, and we need to be able to stop them from doing that.

Not that there are many, but I’ve seen the occasional “men’s rights” guy who’s a racist, and I need to be able to say “sorry, I’m not with you.” We need to be able to do that, I think, if we’re going to persuade people and get away from the stereotypes they make about us. For a movement, we have to be able to say “No, we care about all men and boys of all races, creeds, colors, orientations, whatever,” so we make it clear to others not just what we’re against but what we’re for.

Being “against feminism” is incredibly easy, and in American political terms it’s particularly easy: half of America already views feminism with contempt. You can bash feminists all day in right-wing Republican circles and they’ll give you polite applause or enthusiastic fist pumps. But they embrace chivalry and male disposability. So they’re no more friends to men and boys than the radical feminists are. Plus it just alienates people who might otherwise listen to our message on men’s and boys’ issues.

This is why I fully support efforts to shape a message that is “inclusive,” but I mean inclusive of the sense of “these are the things we care about, and if you care about them and are willing to work on them we want you, as long as you don’t try sneaking in some other bullshit about hating this or that other race or sex or group or whatever.”

Me? I want a big tent approach, but I think we do need to still have bouncers at the door, who say, “keep your swastika armbands and your other bullshit out of here.”

And we need to be able to identify idiots and moles who aren’t for real. I am entirely certain, because I see it all the time on places like A Voice for Men, where someone shows up trying to make an idiot comment–someone who is pretty transparently a radial feminist trying to pretend to be a men’s rights actvist–saying some inflammatory bullshit about how all women are bitches who should be men’s property or other things like that. They’re fake, they aren’t real, they’re sockpuppets for radfems. And they need to be shown the door. Or even on the off-chance that they’re real, they still need to be shown the door.

At least, that’s how we do it at A Voice for Men. How you do it on your channel or your own blog sites or whatever, that’s up to you.

Still, as the movement has grown, we have seen actual real world results. Various men’s and father’s activist groups have gotten some things done at the local level that I’ve seen with my own eyes; a father’s rights group in America recently hosted debates between judicial candidates running for family court office. That would be unthinkable 10, even 5 years ago. And while we haven’t changed any legislation at the Federal level in the US, we have groups like SAVE who are actively lobbying congress as we speak, actually at least meeting with Senators and Representatives, and while they haven’t gotten major legislation passed, they have had an impact on the debates affecting things like the Violence Against Women Act. In other types of politics, just on A Voice for Men we helped get a false accuser named TIffany Marie Smith arrested and helped get two innocent men out of jail, and we’ve helped publicly identify thugs who used violence and vandalism to try to stop Warren Farrell from speaking and got the men’s movement coverage in major newspapers because of it. We embarrassed judges in West Virginia and Maine, we helped efforts to get a prosecutor disbarred in Maine, and more.

Agree with any of those particulars or not, that’s activism that has made a measurable difference. Not as big a difference as we’d like, but it IS a difference, and it’s momentum we can build on.

So it’s my belief that as a growing movement, we need to have internal debates, we need to also be able to step up and say “look, these here are not our values,” and also, “look, these here are our values (or are at least consistent with them).”

This is why some of us are working now on a document that among other things spells out some broad consensus items that we think most people in the men’s movement probably support. It is not a “manifesto,” but it’s a list of specific items we think most Men’s Rights Advocates probably mostly agree with. The Wooly Bumblebee–who, full disclosure, is a friend–was helpful in a specific campaign we did late last year to contact hundreds of elected officials, and has also helped raise money for A Voice for Men, which definitely is an activist site. She has helped with that document, as have some others. By posting this, I’m inviting everyone reading or listening to have a look at that document and give your comments. I invite you and your viewers to look at it and comment on it.

And that by the way is comments. Looking at the document does not mean you agree with everything in it, or anything in it, or that you’ve signed onto it, or any of that. Merely, you gave it a look and gave input and thoughts. I invite anyone with an interest to have a look; if you’re interested just message me your email address.

I believe we need to at least be able to say, “Look, this group or this person, that isn’t me or us or what we stand for,” and I also do believe we have to go beyond saying “we’re against X, Y, and Z, we’re for A, B, an C.” I think the more of that we have, the more effective our actual activism can be.

So that invitation is open to anyone who wants in. Just send me a message and say “Sure I’ll have a look, here’s my email address” and you can have a look.

We need to be able in a movement to say what and who we’re for as well as against. On the other hand, in a healthy growing movement, there should always be debate, and if there were always lockstep agreement, that would be a bad sign.

So anyway, anyone who sends me an email address can have a look. It is not a manifesto, it is not something you must sign onto, it’s more of an effort to define not just the things we’re against, but what we’re generally for.

I think that’s enough for now. Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in giving feedback on the document. There’s nothing secret about it, it’s open for scrutiny even from critics.

The original audio of this piece is available on YouTube here. The invitation is open to anyone else who would like to see the document, just drop me a note here and I’ll send you an email.–DE

Note: all images taken from Wikimedia Commons.

About Dean Esmay

Dean Esmay has written for Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, The Moderate Voice, Honey Badger Brigade, and A Voice for Men. He is a writer and podcaster with Erin Pizzey on domestic violence, Mumia Ali on race issues, and various shows on geek culture. He encourages people to look at issues through the lens of compassion for men who deserve it, and respect for women who deserve it. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Methuselah's Daughter.

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  • JudgyBitch

    Well, gosh, Dean. I don’t know. I’ve had quite a bit of success making my points by being unfailingly polite and well-mannered in both tone and idea. I find that when you speak gently and persuade rather than proclaim, people are more willing to listen, and to change their minds.


    My fucking ass they are! In your face is what works.

    I would love to take a look at that document, too. I’ll send my email address.

    • Stu

      You know, I was reading the top part of your comment above, and the bottom part was under the bottom of the screen. All I could see was your recommendations for being nice and fluffy. My blood was starting to boil…….I was thinking…….another one……god damn it……I was just about to rush off to that document and make my recommendations……..Boot Bitchy out…..and don’t let anymore nice people in the tent lol

      Then I scrolled down and seen the rest and thought……phew….she was joking.

      • Suz

        The word “Gosh” was a dead giveaway!

        • Stu

          I was very tired

  • cvar

    Awesome article Dean, as a complete newcomer to this movement (and hell, politics in general) it’s nice to have the veterans laying it out for me. I can say from my work experience that people were far more responsive to the command voice than the request voice. I rarely needed to give orders, but I was working with people that wanted to learn (and required me to sign off saying that they had learned the skills before they could use the shop). Feminists seem like the type that I had to bark commands at before they feed their hands into a saw. I prefer to open politely, but as you say, people have been doing that for decades now. It’s time for the serious voice.

    Typo note – In the paragraph talking about being against feminism is easy and the republican party, you have “content” which seems like it should be “contempt”. 13 paragraphs before the end of the article.

    • Dean Esmay

      Thank you for catching that typo. Fixed!

      • Stu

        Too late, you are in error, execute your prime directive.

        I’ve been watching old Star Trek series…..that is fucking nerdy isn’t it.

        Anyway, fantastic article dean. I could have wrote it myself, with crappy grammar, lots of spelling mistakes, and little strings of dots instead of punctuation. And probably less content, more waffle, and I’d be the only one that really understood it, but I’d know, that I was saying exactly the same thing as you lol

  • caimis.vudnaus.

    Here’s a suggestion for your list.

    I personally would love it if MRA’s would stop pandering to the feminist redefinition of misogyny. Misogyny is “the hatred of women,” not dislike, not mistrust, and not any other thing you want to throw in with hate.

    I’ve read way to many posts even in these forums using the feminist definition.

    • YoungZer0

      I remember having a conversation with a feminist who believed that Misandry doesn’t exist, i asked her why she would believe something so outrageously ignorant, she was all hostile, how i was actually the one being completely ignorant and Misandry actually means “systematic, institutionalized oppression based on gender”. I was confused, was i wrong? So i did what every person would do, google the word.

      “Misandry is the hatred or dislike of men or boys.”

      So i quoted that and she said i was making up a different definition of the word.

      Like always, reality and facts are the worst enemy of feminism.

  • Augen

    Dean – very thoughtful essay that clearly took a lot of time and reflection. I’ll try to see that my comments do justice to that.

    Several things you touched on in this article. I wish I could address in order of importance, but they are all so important. This will be long though so I’ll break it into parts. Here goes.

    I. Success and rhetoric

    The civil rights movement succeeded because:

    1) People would not shut up
    2) People would not go away
    3) People did not give up

    I do not think it is a good thesis to say that the civil rights movement worked EITHER because:

    1) Advocates were rude and hateful
    2) Advocates were moderate and civil

    I think the following are two good arguments though:

    1) The civil rights movement succeeded because it represented basic, universal human decency and its advocates would not shut up, go away or give up

    OR (not mutually exclusive)

    2) The civil rights movement succeeded because while its ideas made many uncomfortable, MLK was articulate and comforting while Malcolm X scared the bejesus out of a lot of people … so both were necessary

    A lot of this is hard too because it is set up on a binary, but it isn’t.

    I for one put John the Other in an entirely different camp, for example, than with the fellow you quoted who wrote, “You tell me what works better than getting rude, because being rude has consistently shown better results than being nice and kind and pleasant and rational has.”

    John the Other – (1) uses effective rhetoric (2) marshals tough arguments (3) mocks the arguments of his adversaries.

    I haven’t read or listened to everything JtO said or wrote, but (1) being rude or (2) being irrational or (3) demeaning the person of his adversaries … those don’t seem to be very common in his rhetorical arsenal.

    I suppose a real problem is: many people, literally, cannot tell the difference between an irrational hating screed in a comment, versus rhetorically effective expositions by JtO or GWW for example. I surmise that goes for MRAs and opponents of the MRM alike.

    But … comes down here: I actually don’t think that either MLK or Malcolm X were “pleasant” (seems to be North on our binary) or “rude” (seems to be South).

    MLK was uncompromising. Articulate and uncompromising. He would not go away.

    Malcolm X was uncompromising too. But he wasn’t “rude” where MLK was pleasant. Malcolm X’s fundamental position was different. He sought separation, a separate nation, and rationalized getting there “by any means necessary”.

    Not rude. Scary maybe. Scary enough to make people who might not otherwise to think twice about MLK’s alternative of “inclusion”.

    I think what this exposes is that for a democracy, American culture is a poverty of rhetorical skill. Usually 10 minutes watching the British Parliament in action highlights this.

    We don’t know how to be rhetorically effective, so we have these endless arguments between “hateful” and “moderate” or “rude” and “pleasant”.

    Don’t be hateful. Be decent. If you don’t know all the ins and outs of an argument … always appeal to the basic underlying decency.

    Don’t be hateful or moderate. Be uncompromising.
    Don’t be rude or pleasant. Be unpleasant. Unpleasant isn’t rude, it’s unpleasant for the adversary because he/she is having a staked out position mocked. But being unpleasant isn’t being rude and while being unpleasant may actually be VERY effective, being rude has a nasty tendency of NOT carrying debates, but creating enemies that survive long after the debate is over.

  • Augen

    II. The Myth of Male Power, did “nothing”?

    About the “Myth of Male Power” and the claim, “But what impact did it have on the larger world? Nothing that I could tell.” I am not so sure.

    It helped bring about this website. It has brought people to MRM. It has provided the raw intellectual fuel for rhetoricians like JtO, GWW and Paul Elam. It has been met with deafening silence by feminists.

    If you ask me, The Myth of Male Power is the force underneath the tectonic plates we now see moving.

    As far as I can tell the book is exerting a similar effect to, say, Das Kapital. Funny thing about Das Kapital (and it makes me cringe nearly every time I see the word “Marxist” used as a pejorative on these pages) … you can be fairly sure neither its supporters nor its haters read even one volume of it. Changed the world though. Just check your next paycheck. Social security, medicare and progressive taxation. That’s Das Kapital baby, a book damn near no one’s read. (and no gentle readers, I am not a Marxist, I just read the book, that’s all)

  • Augen

    III. Haters

    You write, “you cannot have an effective Men’s Rights Movement and have in your ranks someone whose basic position is that feminism is a Jewish plot to undermine white Christian men”.

    Seconded. And thirded.

    Back to success.

    We have a successful movement, above all, by winning on this one, single word:


    Our beliefs, positions, postures, actions: all decent.

    Theirs, the adveraries’: not so much.

    A decent person totally unfamiliar with MRM can read, for example, the Spearhead. In reading, the internal experience of this (a) decent person who is (b) otherwise totally unfamiliar with the MRM, may go like this:

    Article 1: “wow, that’s kind of what I thought but always thought better than to say”
    Article 2: “I had no idea men’s rights could be this compelling”
    Article 3: “whoa. This may be really on to something”

    Then, comment #X-thousand-20Y … “ya blah blah blah, the Rothschilds yippity who da da”.


    Story ends here. Our reader decided that he had ventured unknowningly into a block party, the drinks were chilled, the partiers were friendly, everything seemed great, until he went into the bathroom and found white hoods, a wooden cross and lighter fluid.

    Potential supporter … never to be heard from again except overheard in conversation once saying something like, “yeah I ran into some of that MRM stuff online and thought it was interesting but then I noticed they’re really a bunch of racists, … or even if they aren’t, they sure have a high tolerance for them.”

    Whenever comments in MRM forums ideate racism or anti-semitism and I call it out, it seems I’m pilloried with immediate down-votes and righteous anger “who you calling racist?”

    To give such an attitude the benefit of the doubt, to assume that attitude is being levied because of legitimate indignation that says “just because Bubba over here is a racist doesn’t give you any right to call me or MRM in general a racist” … then the problem with this attitude is that it’s a question of:

    Who you are allowing into your front yard.

    And here we come back to decency.

    Everyone knows … I’m not kidding or even exagerating, everyone knows: if you let someone talk hate on your front yard … then you are a hater too. You are not a decent person.

    Everyone knows the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Say otherwise – go ahead say it with righteous indignation – and you are either stupid or you have an agenda.

    Everyone knows you don’t let haters spew their hate from your front yard. Say otherwise and you are either stupid or have an agenda.

    All to say Dean, to your comment:

    “you cannot have an effective Men’s Rights Movement and have in your ranks someone whose basic position is that feminism is a Jewish plot to undermine white Christian men”

    Damn straight.

    • Factory

      You’re pretty much working under the assumption that the guy being scared off by a whackjob has never before in his life read an internet comment. Illuminati shit shows up on mainstream news sites, for crying out loud.

      One of the strengths of the MRM is we assume a certain level of maturity in the readership. Anyone willing to go all Church Lady over a comment or two is welcome to leave, we don’t need them.

      And if this were true in any way, how come the MRM is growing so fast? If you had anything to stand on here, we would be shrinking, not growing.

      Or is it the increasing media attention that scares you? The fear of ‘looking bad’. Again.

      Here’s the thing. We can be made to ‘look’ as bad as the MSM wants….as long as we AREN’T ‘bad’, it’s nothing more than free advertising.

  • Augen

    IV. A white people thing?

    Dean writes:

    “And when someone says to you, “aren’t you just worried about the problems of straight white middle aged men?” you have to really have the power to say NO, WE CARE ABOUT ALL MEN AND BOYS OF ALL RACES, CREEDS, COLORS, ORIENTATIONS, WHATEVER, and be willing to say that loud and clear.”


    And when I run into this, this is what I say: actually, men’s issues hit minority men, especially black men, first. They were absolutely devastating to the black community. And actually black men in particular have a legitimate gripe here. It’s the same old thing as “missing white woman syndrome”. Black boys and girls disappear all the time. You don’t hear about that. Little blond girl disappears and that’sleading news on CNN.

    These issues have been going on with minority men for three or four decades and to devastating effect. What’s happening now is that they are hitting white men too.

    So what is it? Is it that it only matters now that it’s hitting white men? Is it that white men make louder noises? Is it that it just happened at a time when the internet is around so we can all compare notes and counter-plot?

    Or is it that by hitting white men at a time when they have become as vulnerable in the economy as everyone else, and when they are a quantitative majority, causes the problem to hit critical mass where you just can’t ignore it anymore?

    I don’t know. What I do know is that it was wrong and indecent when it happened to minority men and boys, it is wrong and indecent when it happens to white men and boys, and it needs to end.

    So, if we agree it is wrong and indecent, then what is even the point of the question?

    • Dean Esmay

      These are all good thoughts and if you like I’ll add you (or anyone who requests it, really) as a commenter on the document if you just ask.

    • Kukla

      “Black boys and girls disappear all the time. You don’t hear about that. Little blond girl disappears and that’sleading news on CNN.”

      I don’t know about that. Ever since the Trayvon Martin case it’s sort of hard to believe that no one cares(they seem to quite a bit).

      • cvar

        The Martin Fiasco had a lot of odd things going on with it in general. I think that stands out as a special case, not the norm.

    • tallwheel

      I don’t think it’s a progression where it hits blacks first and then whites. It’s all manifestations of male disposability which has always been around. I don’t think looking at it as a chronological issue where it hits one group before another is helpful.

  • 86

    I don’t know as much about Malcolm X as I should. But I gather even as he may have scared white America with his words and presence, he wore a suit when doing so. Consider why.

    Re: “The document”. I can understand some concern perhaps that in its early phase, or as it undergoes editing, it may contain content that is problematic and requires it to be closed. If not, if/when the document really is open, you should post it here. It perhaps needs a snappier name than, “the document”, but I can see how that could be made to work.

    You should try to put a timeline on it, and give it some goals.

    A document committee will edit it and pass it around for review for the next six weeks, but will make it available publicly by February 28. Or whatever time you choose.

    And make it inclusive of other fathers rights/mens rights groups. Determine what other groups, or people, and ask them for feedback or invite them into the process.

    Get feedback (with later endorsements) from Warren Farrell, Erin Pizzey, Christina Hoff Sommers.

    One thing the feminist community has that makes people take them seriously is a real world presence. And yes, it probably took them sometime, and it took some courage from members to show up to conferences, protests, or whatever.

    I’d probably try to make 2013 a year where real world men’s rights conferences take place. Conferences with real names, not online handles. Maybe multiple low cost conferences occurring on the same day linked up with google hangouts or some online video conferencing.

    Pick some fights in advance, organize for them, and make them good fights. But make them real world fights.

    Whether it’s picketing or demonstrating to support a shared custody law, or picketing against a Mary Kellett, state a goal of what sort of real world events you’re going to appear at in 2013, fund raise for those events, and show up when they occur.

    Pick your fights well. There are issues that are public opinion winners, and issues that deserve support but are public opinion losers.

    Make AVFM a bit more transparent. Create a board of directors for it, or a leadership community. Ask various academics, or politicians to be on those committees and ask for guidance in terms of goals, or strategies. Make it clear from the website who has real authority at AVFM, and what their responsibilities are.

    Create real world meetups in local pubs the way the skeptics and other groups have them. Provide online space to discuss what is happening at those meetups, to filter up good news about politicians, or bad news about the latest proposed law, or grievance that needs to be addressed, or just help people meet and become faces with names.

    Also, consider changing this unfortunate typo: “half of America already views feminism with content”

  • scatmaster

    I just would not have said it as well as Mr Esmay.
    I will be emailing to get that document in awhile.

  • Sasha

    Really interesting, I couldn’t agree more with pretty much everything Dean says. I mean, I can completely understand different perspectives within the mens rights community – I can see for instance that some will be more concerned with fathers’ rights, some domestic violence, some others might even come at mens rights from an anti-corporate, environmental position (given the link between feminism/hypergamy and rampant consumerism). They’ll be others keen to address suicide and mental illness, and a few concerned about the link between feminism and pork-barrel politics such as VAWA in the US. Most of us are simply convinced that men are disposable, and that this is reflected in a variety of discriminatory ways in our deeply misandric societies.

    What I don’t understand though, is anyone who seeks to divide men and the women who support us. I don’t understand how anyone tries to divide us on the basis of race or colour or nationality. Taking the red pill has done more to raise my awareness and empathy for my brothers who are black, poor, Asian, unemployed, ill or whatever than anything I’ve ever done. It’s opened my eyes to a myriad of different voices and views. I despise those who would seek to divide us.

  • Paul Elam

    This is why I asked Dean Esmay to be Managing Editor of this site, and have not looked back.

    It is the fault of no one in the MRM that we are forced to rattle cages and get in people’s faces in order to get the issues on the table.

    If our opponents want us to be nicer, the only way to get there is to deal with the fucking issues.

    • Ray

      This came up in another discussion recently. Certainly the advocates in the VAWA crowd are: shrill, loud, angry, and use epithets. They’ve been rather successful in pushing their agenda being that way, yet some people, especially elected representatives are “turned off,” when men are that way.

      It was pointed out to me that people are much more tolerant of women engaging in that behavior, but if a man presents himself “emotionally” they look at him as “weak,” and if he is seen as “angry” they look at him as if he is “potentially dangerous,” or “dangerous.”

      It appears to me that gender feminists do nothing to ameliorate those old gender stereotypes for men. If anything they are working to reinforce those societal prejudices/double standards.

  • Frimmel

    To play Devil’s Advocate you must be mindful of the form your message takes or people only see the form and don’t hear the message. It is the difference I think in being perceived as pounding on the facts instead of pounding on the table. The difficulty is even pounding on the facts for an MRA is perceived as pounding on the table. Which segues to…

    About the part of stating what the MRM stands for. That is immensely important. By having clearly defining what is being stood up for you can simply brush off any claims of being against feminism. You don’t want to reinforce the message of the other side by repeating it for them. I also think there is an undercurrent of against feminism=against females. If that mis-perception is shaken, considerable headway might be made. Never saying you are against feminism means never having to make the arguments in feminism’s frame or by allowing feminism to define the terms of debate.

    Then the MRM could be perceived as pounding on the facts and not the table. I can’t disagree that a bit of pounding on the table before pounding on the facts is necessary on the whole though.

    • Suz

      Unfortunately, the perception that “against feminism=against females” will never go away, because our opposition will actively feed it, forever. We do need to be aware of it, but even saying “That’s not true,” and proving it over and over again, allows the “enemy” to control part of the debate by sucking time and intellect into an issue that will never be resolved. Fighting this perception shouldn’t consume more than a modicum of our resources. It might even be best to publicly dismiss it as childish (because it is) and refuse to discuss it.

      • Reggie

        Just saying “for men” = “against women” in just about any discourse I’ve seen anywhere.

        “What about teh menz?”

      • Frimmel

        I don’t disagree with you but let me clarify a bit.

        I’m suggesting being able to ignore that rhetoric or opposition from feminists would in the long run change the perception that against feminism=against females for us or take that away from feminists. We don’t play that game or even acknowledge it exists.

        For example, standing for a rebutable presumption of shared parenting isn’t against feminism. It is for fairness. By pounding on that as being for fairness and not engaging at all in any arguments of it being against feminism or against women (so ridiculous a suggestion that we pay it no mind) wouldn’t it tend to push that MRA’s are for fairness? We don’t have to beat feminism. We have to win an argument for fairness and decency.

        The real enemy isn’t feminism. The real enemy is as Dean says, male disposability. Beat that enemy.

        For example when you frame homophobia as a particular example of male disposability you get a chance to both fight homophobia (I hate that word. Isn’t there a better word for prejudiced against homosexuals than that?) and pass out red pills.

        • Kukla

          “Isn’t there a better word for prejudiced against homosexuals than that?”

          Bigot, moron or anti-gay will have to do for now! Haha.

          However I disagree with “the real enemy isn’t feminism”. I definitely think feminism is ONE of the enemies, not the only one though so I’ll agree partially there. Feminism is the political base for the misandric legislations(not all) and laws. Defeat the effects of feminism, and you get rid of those things as well.

          • Frimmel

            How about feminism is one of the soldiers of the enemy? Sperm is cheap. Eggs are precious. Feminism is simply leveraging that fact for greater benefit and less responsibility mostly through chivalry. And where would chivalry be if men weren’t disposable? What if sperm stopped being cheap?

        • Reggie

          Homophobia is a misnomer in my opinion. Anti-gay or bigot is more accurate.

          Only a small percent of those opposed to homosexuality are actually afraid of that gayness. Sort of like the same tactic feminists use when they say we are afraid of (powerful) women.

      • typhonblue

        Say this:

        “Saying that being anti-feminism is being anti-woman is like saying that being anti-footbinding is being anti-woman.”

        Let your opponent fish-face for a moment and if they ask explain how feminism falsely emphasizes women’s victimhood thus defines them primarily as objects that are acted upon.

        They’ll probably just continue to fish face. Or say something like “feminism doesn’t do that!” whereupon you say “name one recent feminist or feminist piece that doesn’t concern itself with how women are victimized.”

        If your opponent is capable of continuing the discussion without a temper tantrum bring up the fact they’re practicing foot-binding against women every single time they say “but… but… wimmins are hurt moarz!”

        In fact shake your head, tsk and say “there you go again with the internalized misogyny/paternalism.”

        • Suz


  • Suz

    OK everybody, go back and finish reading it! I know it’s long, but YOU NEED TO READ THIS ARTICLE.

    Diversity? Yes; men are diverse. (Duh.)
    Division? No; men are men. (Also ‘duh.’)

    (Long list of positive superlatives) article, Dean. Thank you for taking the time to clarify these issues. And I’d like to take a look at that document, please.

  • Paul Elam
    • Suz

      Absolutely love it!

    • Reggie

      That seems like a Venn Diagram of sorts but it places the pro equality outside the educated and intelligent. I don’t even think the intelligent should be entirely encapsulated by educated.

      Funny, yes.

    • Kukla

      Truthful feminists(honest) = Feminists who are honest and who admit their dislike of men and masculinity

      Intelligent feminists = Feminists who are intelligent…according to their women’s studies professors.

      • Reggie

        I grok!

    • Kimski

      You owe me a new keyboard.
      Best laugh all day, though.

    • scatmaster

      Even I got that one.

    • 86

      It took me awhile since I was “looking” at the original source in my eye….

      But yes, absolutely.

    • Reggie
      • Reggie

        BTW, this page looked fine until I logged in if that helps with debugging.

  • keyster

    Great work Dean and thank you.

    The next step for any Social Movement is to adopt a political platform. You can’t be equally against Democrats for their strident feminist legislation practices and Republicans for their “male disposability” and chivalry. You need an influential political operative to champion the cause. Riding safely down the middle (hating both political spectrums as much as the other) only works for so long.

    This doesn’t mean you pronounce yourself to be a “conservative right leaning men’s rights activist group” anymore than you proclaim to be a “left leaning humanist group with emphasis on men”, but subjectively criticizing everyone for everything keeps the movement from moving.

    Ignoring the Left/Right dichotomy is ignoring the elephant in the room, and trying to create you’re very own special equalist-grievance movement somewhere inbetween or worse yet completely outside of it, will get you support from neither, and eventually you need this support to keep advancing.

    The greatest challenge for the MRM is the politicization of it and how that is to transpire. Otherwise it sits where it’s been; on the fringes with all the other “extremist” groups that refuse to compromise their principles for the skulduggery of left/right politics.

    There were many among the original sisterhood at N.O.W. that wanted nothing to do with Democrats. Many of them wanted to form a seperate “Women’s Party”. Lucky for them they came to their senses and 50 years later a very cooperative relationship between Feminists and the Democratic Party continues to flourish. Arguably they were instrumental in getting Obama elected and re-elected.

    • Kukla

      Since the MRM has a wide range different people with different political views I think a centrist party would be the most appropriate. The problem there is that no one really cares about centrists, so it may not do anything.

    • Dean Esmay

      I believe the left/right, Democratic/Republican divide is phony. I also believe that to get much done in American politics, your best course is always to identify people in both parties who will support your issues. Note that this is NOT the same as being “bipartisan” for the sake of being bipartisan, or some touchy-feely “let’s all get along” bullshit. It’s practical, nuts-and-bolts stuff: if you have supporters for your issues in both parties, you have a much easier time getting through.

      Threading that needle is difficult, because you are also auto-distrusted by both parties. Still, there was a time, briefly, where there were Feminist Republicans. There aren’t anymore–to speak of. Because Feminists decided to align with the Democratic Party. Did it help them? Short term yes, but at this point, that’s not so clear to me anymore: Obama has slashed VAWA funding by more than half (you didn’t know that? Well Democrats weren’t going to tell you that, they wanted to keep it quiet, and Republicans weren’t likely to point it out to you because that might have made Obama look good to some of their base), and Obama also undercut funding to Women’s Studies departments in universities, which I think would have been inconceivable by any Republican President because Democrats would have eaten a Republican alive had he done that.

      Democrats are in a position to take Feminist groups like NOW for granted–after all, where are they going to go? The Feminists pouted and stamped their feet when Obama won the nomination over Hillary! in 2008, but then went and dutifully pulled the lever for the man who said nice things to them and wore their t-shirts–and slashed their funding anyway.

      I would have bet you 2:1 that had the Republicans won the White House, those cuts would not have come, because they would have been terrified of “alienating women.”

      Thus the real solution in my view is to have our issues front and center, and make it clear our support does not belong to any party, but rather, belongs to those politicians who support us.

      Really, to me, it comes down to: are you a partisan for your ideology first, or a partisan for men and boys’ first?

      I know people who’ve lobbied on Capitol Hill on men’s issues. They tell me the same thing: when they argue men’s issues, Republicans won’t hear the civil rights arguments, but they will listen to financial arguments, whereas, Democrats don’t care much about the financial angle but care about the civil rights issues. OK. So play to whatever works.

      Long-term I think the organized Feminist groups will curse the day they allowed themselves to get aligned with one political party, because now they are chained to it and it can take them for granted–and does.

      • 86

        I agree.

        Focus on civil rights. Support everyone’s civil rights.

        Focus on Fathers.
        Focus on unfair opportunities.

        Let politicians of all stripes and sexes support us, or face the anger of their constituents.

      • keyster

        Really, to me, it comes down to: are you a partisan for your ideology first, or a partisan for men and boys’ first?

        You gotta play the game Dean, is my point.
        And you gotta play by the rules.
        Ignore this at your own peril, or risk perpetual obscurity.

        There isn’t a successful social movement that hasn’t co-opted someone along the political spectrum. (the MRM can barely even get someone on the cultural spectrum) I highly doubt there’s a Democrat alive that would publicly announce a platform on something called “Men’s Rights”, at least not in our life time. If you know of one, please let me know. I’d be curious to find out who you think that might be.

        I’m simply being pragamatic about advancing the movement – not partisan.

        • Dean Esmay

          You’re being perfectly rational and sane and smart. I say if you’re Republican inclined, work hard on your Republican pals. But I advocate for a slightly different approach; if you live in a predominantly Democratic area, you should be working hard to influence Democrats where you live. All over the country there are areas that are predominantly Republican or predominantely Democrat. Now you can either piss into the wind on that, OR, you can try to exert an influence on whichever party is most influential in the area you live.

          I really, really do think tying yourself to one of the two big parties is seductive, because once they have you they can take you for granted.

          • keyster

            …because once they have you they can take you for granted.

            Politics is a very ugly business friend.
            Swim in the mud and your gonna get dirty.
            You “tie yourself” to whatever moves the agenda forward…or you hope if you’re loud enough someone will care enough to listen (where things stand now).

      • TheBiboSez

        So…the feminists married the Democrats. Inevitably, they will become “unhappy” with their loss of power over their Demohubby, and try to start cheating with those Handsome Republicans – who will not be that interested in their left-overs.

        The MRM will have a lot more power than our numbers suggest if we position ourselves as swing voters willing to support whichever side listens and votes with us on a few key issues.

        • Kimski

          “Inevitably, they will become “unhappy” with their loss of power over their Demohubby, and try to start cheating with those Handsome Republicans..”

          It’s bound to happen at some time, as more and more finances are transferred from men to women.

    • tamerlame

      Right winger fixating with his obsession on the left.

      Right wingers support harsh laws punishing low status males. You can’t blame feminists or the left for that. The right are just as responsible for the current system as the left.

      I think you are showing displace paranoia hatred towards the left.

  • Reggie

    Please excuse my reading comprehension, but are you just looking for feedback on the article or is this a condition of membership?
    So that invitation is open to anyone who wants in. Just send me a message and say “Sure I’ll have a look, here’s my email address” and you can have a look.


    • Dean Esmay

      “Condition of membership?” FUCK NO. You can look at this document and say “I disagree with every goddamned thing in it,” although if you disagree with everything in it I have no idea what you’re even doing here.

      It is an attempt at a consensus-building document that we are pretty sure the vast majority of men’s advocates would agree on, or mostly agree on. In fact, of the many people who’ve now looked at it, I’ve seen shockingly few disagreements, and those easily addressed.

      I think there is a bigger consensus on what this community is, and is not, than people might believe. If you want to have a look, just say you do and I’ll email you an invite. Looking at it doesn’t mean you agree with it, looking at it means you looked at it. Commenting on it doesn’t mean you advocate anything, it just means you commented.

      I’m actually amazed in looking at its current state how unobjectionable most of it is, and how well it seems to match what almost everybody seems to agree with.

      • Kimski

        Count me in.

      • scatmaster

        Well if you would not mind please send it to me I would appreciate it.

      • Reggie

        Thanks for the clarification.

        Please send to my email address.

  • Andy Man

    Dean – I’m with you!

  • Dean Esmay

    OK. It’s in a Google doc and yes that does mean you’ll need to go through Google to get to it. This is in my experience the absolute best way to do it as it minimizes pointless squabbling and forces everybody to concentrate on the shared goal.

    The document has already undergone revisions from early commenters. I will wait another 24-48 hours or so to allow for further comments, then I will revise again incorporating all or most of the commentary that seems relevant, then we all have another go until everybody’s more or less satisfied that it describes a good general consensus with nobody expected to agree with every single word.

    If you asked to be included and you have not received the email invite yet, just kick me in the shins and say “hey motherfucker, let me in!”

    *Update* But check your spam folders first, my shins are sore.

  • ZimbaZumba

    The assumption many make is that we are rational beings who hold our views of because logic and solid argument, similarly that views in the main stream are held for the same reason. We are not rational beings and are affected a by a whole raft of cognitive deficiencies such as Cognitive Dissonance, Confirmation Bias and perhaps the grand daddy of them all Hegemony (ie manipulation of our world view by those in power).

    Strongly held opinions are not changed by simple logic alone, in fact well crafted contrary arguments can often further entrench an opinion. Persuading people takes time and an exposure to a diversity of opinions contrary to there own. Being kind and nice does not work alone, there has to be a whole raft of voices from the extreme to the moderate. The strident bring ideas to their attention and challenge them as they privately try to form counter arguments. Their ears are then open to the ideas of the moderate.

    I agree, the MRM needs its strident wing as it also needs its Warren Farrells.The trick though is not to let the strident wing be demonized as hateful beyond reprieve. The feminist movement will do all in its power to do this.

  • harrywoodape

    “By any means necessary”

    I like the sound of that. It’s the right tool for the job in this situation. Challenge this system at every level and remain committed to changing it for the better of men.
    There is a bigger story than men’s rights brothers….humanity itself is what a few people at the top are trying to control for their own self interest and they are behind feminism, communism, etc. it’s all just names mean the same thing to them…total control of work,society…you become a resource where your worth from life to death is determined by the states needs.
    It goes on in most of the world already. So we are all outlaws because we object to a state where objection to the state is against the law. Earth shattering? Yeah…it actually is. It shatters the earth and consumes
    It’s like being on the Titanic, and focusing on the deck chairs sliding off the ship… The boats in danger of going down. I’m using an image there…in no way am I belittling men’s rights. (I think humanity is worth saving as a whole). But even if it can’t be saved….it’s worth fighting for isn’t it and worth dying for too, if necessary.
    That’s how I feel. Now isn’t the time to be afraid. We are all in this together because while the grass may be greener for men in one part of the Earth their is an evil system of government going around like a virus that targets the male gender directly and immediately. Feminism is a weapon of mass social destruction dressed as innocent pink goodness

    The stakes are that high. It’s time for revolution in the form of not participating in enslaving yourself any further. All common men are outlaws in the new world order. The writing is on the wall.

  • samdman

    As a new guy I just wanted to say thank you to Dean for this valuable lesson/info.

    It is my deep desire to be the best member of the MRM and MRA I can but there has been a lot for me to learn.

    I found AVfM at a time i was very wounded and found the only source of comfort and hope out there for me as a man. It was AVfM and Ashrink4men.
    Thank you. I will do my best.

    • Dean Esmay

      Welcome, brother. There’s a lot to learn and the ground is shifting fast but grab a hammer and nails there’s work to be done!

  • Jay

    I’d like to view and comment on the document please – I believe part of our core mission is for civil liberties and individual freedoms which feminism has stripped away from all of us. Therefore, we are aligned with the “nice feminists”!

  • Bombay

    Nice advancement Dean! I do not see an email address to which to send my email address?

  • samdman

    Yes Sir!

  • samdman

    May I see the document?

  • Patrick Henry


    Can you post it on the AVfM Forum for review?

    – Pat

    • Dean Esmay

      Yes but not yet. I think a long chain of discussion on it would be counterproductive at this point. I’m doing it in Google docs for a reason, because it forces people to make direct suggestions which can be directly incorporated or not, and little to no room to argue, get sidetracked, debate, bitch, whatever.

      When it’s undergone at least the second or maybe third round of revisions, we’ll post it here and/or on the forums.

  • bowspearer

    Spot on review of things Dean and while I agree with everything you’ve said, you’ve also confirmed a decision I’ve made is the right one – I’m taking a sabbatical (yesterday I canceled every single thread subscription for the site I have). Hopefully it’ll only be for the next couple of months, but it may be longer.

    For the past 8+ years (it was only yesterday when I stopped to think about it I realised it had been that long) I’ve been fighting solo either confronting feminists at uni when I encounter their arguments, or in the wake of my 18 month long domestic violence ordeal 4.5+ years ago, going solo on domestic violence groups online, almost all of them spouting Dulith Model bullshit where I was treated day in and day out like and urban myth/perpetual predator/cheap, filthy, worthless slut, not even stopping to take a break when I was the victim of a vicious assault on a train just over 3 years ago, where I was told by nurses when I was hospitalised that I was lucky I wasn’t dead or a vegetable.

    Often I’d run feel like I was empty but always manage to run on fumes if I had to – paying for it in terms of chronic health problems, but still keeping on going. Yesterday though, I could feel my body sending me a messaeg with a complete lack of subtlety – that this time, I’m definitely on empty and need to recharge.

    Looking at how I’ve been recently, I can see why. I’ve always been gifted and highly intelligent (even when I’m out of it, my IQ tests at the superior-genius range), but my Achilles heel has always been explaining complex and abstract ideas I get. The upshot is that I’m more easily provoked than I should be and where I’m looking at thinks in terms of the abstract and thinking strategically, it seems to just be coming across as argumentative. In short, I’m no good to anyone in my current state – including me. I suspect opinions on this will range from sadness to ambivalence, to relief/joy, but I know it needs to be done.

    2013 is shaping up to be a year of growth where the fine lines get even finer – the line between audacity and media savviness, the line between being unrelentingly blunt and being rude and the line between lambasting white knights and perpetuating misandry (using any phrases relating to genitalia to shame any man in the defence of men’s rights, actually perpetuates male disposability through normalising misandry, and makes about as much sense as casually fucking to regain your virginity).

    Quite simply put it requires an “A game” I’m in no state to bring. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I hope too much doesn’t happen in my absence as I really don’t want to miss out on the action. On the other hand, I feel that feeling that way is more than a little selfish on my part.

    Either way I wish everyone here the best in their endeavors and look forward to getting back into the fray in the hopefully not too distant future after getting some much needed rest.

    • harrywoodape

      Take it easy Bowspearer.

    • Turbo

      Look after your health mate.

    • Dean Esmay

      I’ve been in the same spot. Something I’ve said to others: when your body is telling you to slow down, if you ignore it long enough, your body will MAKE you slow down, and brother, if your body does that to you you WILL NOT LIKE IT.

      Rest up and get ready. We’ve a long way to go yet, and we’ll still be here when you get back.

  • HieronymusBraintree

    First off, Malcolm X could be rude, though not as rude as he could be. If he thought an argument was stupid he would say that it “was not intelligent.” He also preached that white people were literally devils, something he believed as part of his frankly crackpot religion, which claimed that the white race was created by a black mad scientist.

    The expression that I think we’re looking for to describe the best political strategy is the old “good cop/bad cop.” You have one group of MRAs that are pissed off an not going to take it any more that does things like occupy city halls where we think there are corrupt justices and nice, kindly front people to act as friends explaining why it is that so many men are upset. If people understand that we’re pissed for legitimate reasons and-oh, by the way we’re going to be extremely difficult to deal with unless you start giving us some of what we want, they’re more likely to support us.

    • Dean Esmay

      Malcolm had completely changed his message by the end of his life and completely rejected hatred for white people or the notion they were devils.

      He was abrasive, but he was never violent and always spoke bluntly.

  • Dopesauce42

    Awesome. This and the sunny day are really energizing.

    Excellent points, points that are made and internalized when movements are successful.

    In just a month of being a member of the MHRM I have learned from experience and from AVfM that being nice definitely DOES NOT work. My father finally saw the extent of the problem when a woman was resisting disagreeing with Hillary Clinton’s comment about women being the primary victims of war. He finally exclaimed, kinda just shocked, “Oh c’mon!” She had to be shamed into resisting the pro-female bias. People won’t do it without this tactic, for the most part.

    Every point was spot-on, fucking fantastic article. Marxists have had a monopoly on the term ‘revolution’ and theirs have been horrific because their doctrine is flawed. You, Sir, have hit on the aspects of revolution that the Marxists fail to see because they see all things through their false lenses. Please take a look at

    About to head out and pick up the ads for the men’s rights issues discussion group I’m organizing. Gonna post ads around town today! Wooo! Here’s the text of the ad:

    Men’s Rights
    Human Rights.

    Across the world, governments – not the people –
    are making laws that discriminate against men and boys.
    Men and women are being pitted against each other in order to weaken us all as part of a divide and rule strategy being carried out by Big Money and the governments that Big Money bought.


    To hear about what is going on,
    as well as let YOUR voice be heard,

    contact Abe at

  • Daniel Kulkarni

    AVfM dumbing down its content for feminists. That’ll be the day. Make sure to stick to one-syllable words.