This article is also available in Portuguese.
Editor’s note: While the following article contains elementary descriptions of activism that seasoned MRAs are versed in, they are offered up with an eye to those who may be newer to the movement. Eds.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been anxious to make an article about strategy of fighting for men’s rights. As advocates for men, we are definitely working hard. I will continuously defend us on that front. The belief that we aren’t attempting to do anything for men is a patently false notion used to silence the discussion of men’s issues. However, the problem is not about the effort, but the blueprint. The point of activism is to not only work hard, but work smart.
In this article, I’m going to give readers some advice on procedures we can take to ensure more success. Because the one thing misandrists hate more than a male advocate, is a successful male advocate. In other articles, I usually speak from the standpoint of human rights. In this article, I’m putting more emphasis on individual virtue. I am pointing out ways that the men’s movement can improve on to insure future success. It would be disingenuous to make articles ranting about how hard men have it, without giving some solutions.
I want you to realize that this is purely experimental. It is not the only answer to our problems–as there is no short answer. I’m sure other people have different strategies. But I feel like we should give this one a try as we haven’t used this strategy before. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Where you @?
Let’s start with something simple–social media. In this age of social media, we have the ability to get our message out to other people. And we need to capitalize on the situation.
Building Our Status: From my observations, people get incredibly scared whenever we respond to their lazy MRA slandering. If their views are challenged, they won’t have the liberty to be intellectually lazy. They’re also less likely to harass people whenever they’re aware that the person has a strong base who will back them up. So we have to find each other on Facebook (Xavier Jones), Twitter (@xmjones100), and the like. We have to join each other’s pages, like and share each other’s tweets, tag each other in posts, and recommend informational articles on men’s issues. We have to become that strong base that protects our fellow MRAs from lazy slandering
Hashtags: There’s multiple hashtags including #MensRights, #misandry, and #ViolenceAgainstMen. Whenever I look it up on the internet, I don’t find MRA accounts speaking on behalf of men’s issues. I always find feminists and anti-MRAs hijacking the hashtag to tell everyone to stop speaking about men’s rights. If that’s the first thing someone sees when they click the hashtag, then they are less likely to take the entire concept seriously. Whenever we type something informal about male injustices, it wouldn’t hurt to add hashtags to our tweets at least every now and then. It’s time for us to take back the hashtags. It’s time to claim it as our own.
International Men’s Day: November 19 of every year is International Men’s Day. Last year we did an excellent job getting the day trending. Feminists were freaked out. That was definitely progress. We need to continue to build on that progress. We need to be ready again this year. We need to continue to remind everyone in advance about it. Eventually, large amounts of people are going to be aware of its existence.
I understand: All of this seems like nothing on paper due to its simplistic nature. But I assure you, it’s very effective. The stronger we are on social media, the easier it will be to get our message out to the world. I’m usually very open minded. However, I see the use of social media as a relatively easy form of action to take. With that being said, it would be almost inexcusable if we can’t do something as simple as this– at least once a week. In fact, after reading this article I’d like to see everyone trying these things out as soon as they get on social media. It’s elementary, yet urgent.
Literature and activism go hand in hand. The best way to promote a cause is to use our literary skills to promote our agenda. Rhetoric and narratives can’t stand just by word of mouth. They stand due to documentation and vivid descriptions. Literature will help cement our legacy.
How To Write: The way we choose to write is arguably the most important angle of our movement. You don’t believe me? Think about it this way. When feminists try to slander our movement, what do they point to? Our articles. They try to take our articles out of context and use them as evidence that our movement is bad news. That is why writing our articles has to be one of our main priorities.
I am guilty of slacking off on my writing duties. I have to push myself to a new level– as we all do. We have to start writing more articles when we get the opportunity. But, we have to make sure we are writing articles of quality. Our writing should be focused on misandry, the rationality behind it, and how it affects men’s lives. I know this task will be a little more difficult. But the readers need to know that we’re giving the articles our best effort.
Sharing Articles: This sort of ties back to the social media situation. Whenever we speak on men’s issues, we need to have the sources to back it up. If we see someone struggling to speak on behalf of men, due to a lack of sources, then we need to slide into the conversation. We can share articles written by A Voice For Men or any other website to support our agenda.
Keep A Record: This one is mind boggling. I don’t understand why we don’t keep a large record of our accomplishments. To be clear, we should be fighting for morality gains, not praise. However, there’s no shame in keeping a record of our victories. Every other movement does this. I have only been able to find a handful of sources that keeps these victories on record. This is something that has to change.
If you are helping fathers with family court cases, we need to know about this. When the education system listens to our movement and changes school policies, the world should know about this. We have to make our stances and our records clear for everyone to see. Because one of the largest arguments against the men’s rights movement is that “they don’t do anything for men”. Well, this is our time to prove them wrong. We need to keep a record of our boycotts, protests, speeches, political meetings, lawsuits, etc. And if we succeed in our efforts, we’ll need sources to back us up.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a man of action. If we sit here and talk only among ourselves, it’s not activism–it’s more like a drinking bar. The purpose of literature and social media is to get everyone attracted to the cause. But, we can’t beat a dead horse. We need to push forward. And that’s why we need to take more political action.
Get in contact: Believe it or not, local politics are just as important as federal politics (if not more important). From time to time, I will be attempting to have a meeting with my local politicians. Be it alderman, city council, or mayor-these are US political titles. This is a pretty simple process. So simple, I’m surprised more people aren’t doing it. The simple act of more MRAs speaking to politicians can make an impact. This would show the citizens in higher office that we have a voice and that we will be speaking about men’s rights unapologetically.
Political Pressure: One of the smartest things MRAs have done, is file lawsuits-kudos to the National Coalition For Men. The ability to file lawsuits, scares a lot of businesses and government officials. Lawsuits are a key portion of MRA success. It’s where we have been getting most of our accomplishments. We need to push further.
I would like to see us fight back against companies that push misandric messages. We should boycott products. What do I mean by that? Don’t just refuse to buy the products. Spend money on their competitors. Refusing to buy shavers from Gillette may catch their attention. But, investing money in other shaving companies will really scare them. You have to let the company know that they won’t be getting your money if they don’t care enough about the customers they market towards.
As far as political office, we are in a scary predicament. There is no political party-excluding Justice For Men & Boys — fighting for men’s issues. As voters, we could threaten to stay at home. As activists, we should continue to file lawsuits as we have been. We can also assist other people in filing lawsuits. We have the legal and constitutional grounds, already. The only thing that we would be missing is the motivation to make it happen.
This article is not like the usual articles that I write. My other articles are usually more informal or opinion based. This article, on the other hand, is more of a call to action. As a writer, I love to point out injustices. However, I am also a person of action. I love getting things done. It’s our job to hold one another accountable. Everything I pointed out on the social media section should be done at least once a week. Everything else is more complex and should be done when you have the time and money. The point is that we have to start doing, not just saying. Or else this all means nothing.
When you become an activist, you will get backlash and unnecessary slander for speaking out. You will be threatened, disinvited, mocked, harassed, doxed, etc. Why go through all of that for nothing? You want to walk out in this lifetime, letting yourself know that what you went through was all worth it. So, let’s make the most of it. Because, together, we’re a lot more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. Together we can accomplish a lot more than we think. It’s time we go beyond dreaming for a better life. It’s time we start creating a better life.