A feminist-identified partner of mine once asked me: “Why are you an MRA?”
A great number of answers fluttered before my eyes. I thought of my initial attraction to the Men’s Human Rights Movement (MHRM); the redressal of the legal inequalities facing me and my gender and that woman may compel us to support children we have no choice in having. I thought of mentioning the real red-pill moments; becoming aware of the sentencing disparity, of the meat-grinder that is family law, of my growing empathy for the oft-ignored male victims of sexual assault, of the sheer weight of men who die, or are killed, or take their own lives, and the callous manner that this is “business as normal”. I even thought of launching from how my own anti-feminist inclinations came into being.
I mentioned none of this. I simply said:
“Because the truth is sacred.
“Because you, dear heart, subscribe to an ideology that has taught you that you are victims of a vast, overarching conspiracy – or perhaps a condition. That your gender ‘had it worse’. And no, I’m afraid it is not an impersonal matter to me. Your ideology insists that my father, my gentle, good-natured, wise father, is an oppressor, a thug, a brutish, rutting beast, and my mother, strong, hard-nosed, and ever-cynical, is his victim. That is an insult I will not stand.”
But, in hindsight, I think I need to add to that.
Because feminism takes history, a subject I love and treasure, and takes a knife to it, carves and maims and circumcises it to feminism’s preferred shape and form, and sets it to walk the streets of public opinion, to tell us that the entirety of human history, women have been oppressed, by men, as slaves and serfs were oppressed by their owners. As free-associating trade unionists were oppressed by gangsters, SA men and the rich and powerful. As Kulaks and Chechens were herded into railway carts and sent to freeze in Siberia. Such was the oppression of women.
I do not seek to deny the unequal treatment of men and women in the past – or even the present. The past was a harsh, brutal foreign country. Merely that unequal treatment – especially when such inequality brutally maimed and killed men by the millions – does not constitute oppression of women alone. That calling such of societies where women were home-makers and baby-producers, and men were heavy-lifters and dog-soldiers, which churned through male bodies in their bloody-handed wars, their nascent industrialization, in the daily struggle to just survive, is an utter insult.
That to address the war dead, the maimed, the miners buried beneath the earth, the limb-ripped workers, the dead the sea will never give up, and every other hideous fate meted out – predominantly to men – in the name of keeping human society functioning, with the mewl of “Patriarchy hurts men too”, is as monstrous an insult to both truth and compassion as to fall beyond my capabilities of description.
Traditional society hurt men. Traditional society hurt women. Traditional society can stay in the harsh, foreign country where it belongs.
The core of the MHRM, of its human rights advocacy, of its essence, is a struggle for truth. It is a struggle for the truth of men’s humanity – that we are people, worthy of respect, worthy of compassion, worthy of trust. That we deserve to have our consent, and rights respected and protected by law and society, just as every woman does.
It is a fight for the acknowledgement of male victims of domestic violence, of sexual assault, of a murderous court-system, and more.
It is to strive, that it be recognized the difficulties, travails and problems that face men are worth time and attention. That our worth is not in our utility. That our humanity is not negotiable. That we are more likely to be killed, more likely to be struck down by illness and injury, more likely to die on the job, more likely to kill ourselves, to be made homeless, to be made unemployed, to be compelled into supporting children we may have never wanted, or else never see due to the group psychopathy of family law practice.
It is land war in Asia against bad statistics, urban legend, and a gynocentric culture fueled by chivalry and the natural impulse to protect the weak. It is a campaign to move people from the easy, no-thought-required instinct logic of a pack animal to “protect the female!”, to a genuine, considered and rational egalitarianism, where attitudes, and policy, are shaped by the science and logic. Where unbiased enquiry into human behaviour is the norm, and debate is not shaped by a religious code of “female victim, male perpetrator”.
This is a battle for the truth. Truth in history. Truth about law. Truth regarding inequity and indignity forced upon men. Above all, it is a battle for the truth of the humanity of men.