On May 9th, I wrote about an effort by Dan Perrins to draw attention to issues of male suicide, and male victims of abuse. His 75 mile walk and his hunger strike served to both spread that awareness, and pressure Ontario politicians to consider these issues. In addition to his request that the Ontario legislature take action to ensure funding for shelters to house male victims of abuse, he asked that Canada’s criminal defamation law be enforced against opponents of men’s issues activists when they resort to libel or slander instead of honest discussion.
The hashtag #IStandWithDan was used to promote awareness of Dan’s campaign. Feminists who oppose men’s rights activism in general and Dan’s activism specifically found it, and set about giving a demonstration of why men’s rights activists are so critical of feminism.
Feminists often complain that men’s rights activists never do anything. They visit forums for discussion of men’s issues to tell us that very thing, accompanied by the accusation that men’s rights activism is about nothing but criticizing feminism. With one of their chief accusations being a lack of real-world action, you’d think their response to #IStandWithDan would have been somewhere between neutral and positive.
Instead, a group of them reacted with outrage, opposing any suggestion that battered men should receive the same protections as battered women. Their arguments?
In light of the above, it was argued, abused men deserve nothing more than a few days in a homeless shelter to help them escape their circumstances:
They also complained against the idea of holding gender discussion to the same legal standards as other speech. Dan asked that section 300 of the criminal code of Canada be upheld. This request is due to a habit among feminists of responding to advocacy with defamatory hyperbole. Assertions such as “male victims of sexual violence deserve the same legal recourse as female victims” and “fathers are as important to their children as mothers” are answered with targeted accusations of everything from intent to roll back women’s voting rights to a desire to legalize rape, and even pedophilia.
The right to free political speech extends to criticizing any group’s assertions and even to discussing known behavior. The disagreement between MRAs and feminists is whether it extends to leveling false accusations as a means of silencing or obscuring an opponent’s political speech. Dan’s request is that the legislators recognize everyone’s rights and responsibilities equally. His opponents wish to legalize the use of false, but often unfalsifiable accusations to silence whoever they do not wish to be heard. Rather than just admit that, however, they played the victim card, falsely claiming that the goal was to silence all criticism. When that claim was countered, one of the group made it his mission to spam the hashtag with repetition of that claim and others under the apparent belief that a lie repeated often enough actually does become the truth.
When these tactics did not deter either Dan’s efforts or the enthusiasm of men’s issues activists communicating in the hashtag, the opposition decided to switch gears. Beginning on the 15th of May, they began spamming the hashtag with random images ranging from ridiculous to gross to NSFW, along with a few threatoids. The attack was neither well organized nor enthusiastic enough to keep up with activity in the hashtag. It was abandoned after a couple of days and most of the spammers disappeared, with a few remaining behind to resume demonizing men and treating calls for accountability as an attack. One of them (shown above) linked to another hashtag, #menareviolent.
Curious, I visited it. It was pitiful, a barely populated tag created by one of the same accounts which has been harassing Dan, entirely for the purpose of generalizing the dysfunction of criminals onto the general male population.
Feminists will tell you that feminism is about equality for everyone. They’ll tell you it’s not about man-hating. When the hashtag #yesallwomen was coined the excuse was that it was about female experiences, not bashing men. Thin as that excuse was for #yesallwomen, it’s nonexistent for #menareviolent. There is no purpose for it except to, by compiling a list of incidents, insinuate that violence is a uniquely defining characteristic of masculinity.
Further, such an attack is not accidental or incidental. The same ideologues who engage in it object vehemently when dysfunctional female behavior is even discussed at all. While they expect men to take no issue with all being generalized to their lowest common denominator, the act of even acknowledging that women and girls are capable of having character flaws is taken as woman-bashing and treated as evidence of misogyny.
This can be seen in many men’s issues discussion forums, where concern troll posts can be found admonishing the regulars that “women behaving badly” posts, generally put up as a response to “dysfunction-X is a male behavior,” make them look like woman-hating basement dwellers. In other words, if feminists claim that certain character flaws are elements of masculinity, no man had better contradict them with anything stronger than “Nuh UH!” or he’ll be labeled a misogynist, because as feminists will tell you, compiling evidence of a gender’s dysfunction is a display of hate for that gender. Except, of course, when they do it.
Considering the attack on #IStandWithDan, a group of us decided to see what would happen if we gave the opposition a taste of their own medicine. We posted to #menareviolent, linking images, videos, and news stories showing men in a positive light.
Because the hashtag was infrequently used, the new posts were at first not noticed by its regular users. Our twitter followers, however, did notice, and some of them began following our lead. In short order the violent posts were drowned in a sea of men fighting fires, rescuing people trapped in flooded homes and submerged cars, saving animals, and volunteering to mentor children.
When the tag’s dedicated feminists and their friends noticed the change, their response was very telling. They all but sat in a corner and hissed at us like vampires hit with bright light.
Interestingly, other feminists who noticed the tag because of the activity mistakenly believed its source to be nonfeminist and responded to that.
If it wasn’t clear before feminists’ response that the hashtag was, in fact, about demonizing men, the resentful whining that showing good things men do contradicts their hateful narrative made it obvious. While feminists claim to not hate men, they demonstrate a hateful opinion of what men’s innate nature is. While they claim their advocacy is about equality for women and that somehow that advocacy will help men, they clearly have demonizing men as a goal. And while they claim that they want men to be kind, compassionate, and protective, they are offended at anything which shows men in that light. It’s obvious that feminism is not about helping women, but about damaging society’s view of men. Why else would a show of men displaying admirable character be taken as an attack?
These ideologues effectively communicated that while demonstration of admirable character is expected of men, it is never to be acknowledged, nor does feminism consider any admirable trait a male characteristic, even when examples of it are common among men. Only things which can be used to demonize men may be generalized as a means of defining and describing masculinity.
Feminists complain that women are objectified, but there’s nothing more objectifying than treating a person in such a utilitarian manner as men are treated by feminist ideology. They want a man to be a weapon, a wallet, a stepping stone, a security blanket, a punching bag when they’re mad… anything but an actual person with his own unique set of characteristics, experiences, and needs.
Such is the nature of feminist misandry. This is why they are so offended at advocacy for the inclusion of men and boys in human rights initiatives such as domestic violence victim’s advocacy; not because need is a uniquely female experience, but because doing so requires acknowledging that men are equally human. And then they wonder why men’s rights activists are critical of their rhetoric.