A SYTYCB Entry
A few weeks ago at my University, a ‘Men’s Society’ was born in response to the growing number (2) of feminist groups on campus. The Society’s opening night invitation called all ‘blokes’ to come and ‘help out your gender’ because ‘men’s issues need more attention than women’s issues because stupid feminists take shit too far.’ Needless to say, the Men’s Society has an exclusive ‘male-identifying’ membership.
Rather than dismissing the group as the dream-child of pathetic boy-men, I decided to research the group’s proclaimed Men’s Rights Movement doctrine and decide for myself whether Men’s Soc is really warranted.
My research began with the website ‘A Voice for Men’, a Men’s Rights Movement site. Reading the website’s Mission Statement (can be found http://www.avoiceformen.com/mission-and-values/”>here), two things caught my eye. The comparison of feminists to ‘klansmen, skinheads, neo Nazi’s’ (because we are, apparently, an established hate group), and the prevalence of the phrase ‘feminist governance’ (because the 20% of parliamentarians around the world that are women are really such a dominating force).
To avoid the growing allure of throwing my laptop out of the window, I click around to the blog section of the website, landing on posts entitled ‘Why Rape Culture is Essential to Feminism,’ ‘Time to Blame the Victims: Only Women can Stop Rape’ and ‘Don’t Rape a Slut Day.’ It would be all too easy to consider the Blogger, TDOM, an idiot and move on but I decide take a look at his writing (can be found here).
According to this man, rape victims who don’t report rapists have ‘provided consent after the fact.’ Women and their ‘toxic femininity’ are responsible for the way men behave. ‘Dirty, slovenly, immoral, dissolute, or loose’ women do not deserve respect because they are ‘sluts’. And my favourite, feminists invented patriarchy. It’s a myth of oppression.
With opinions such as these, it is not surprising that a man has commented below one of his posts that rape is “…like being force fed a chocolate cake.” I have to close the page before I grab a gun and shoot myself in the foot.
A fresh tab. Google. Despondently I type in ‘Men’s Groups’. I scroll a little. Something catches my eye again. The Good Men Project. I click, with hope and it is rewarded. The Good Men Project claims to be ‘a glimpse of what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century’. Its website and foundation help foster cultural conversations about manhood surrounding sex, fatherhood, relationships, conflict, and sport. And all without a severe bashing of women and feminists. They even allow feminist writers to post.
Check out their awesomeness here.
Clearly, there are polar differences between ‘A Voice for Men’ and ‘The Good Men Project,’ much like there are divisions within feminism. And it is important to understand one can be pro-men’s rights and pro-feminism (in many instances I would argue they are the same).
So do I support the idea of the Men’s Rights Movement? On a level.
Without a doubt, there are issues in societies around the world that particularly affect males and to combat these there is a definite need for discussion, action and awareness. However, all of these things can be achieved without the need for an attack on feminism and feminists. It is not furthering humanity (men or women) to launch an attack on a movement that has equality as its benchmark.
And as for the Men’s Society? Word on campus is opening night was a flop. Turns out their anti-stupid-feminists-who-take-things-too-far perspective didn’t really resonate with the ‘male-identifying blokes’ at uni.
Karma is a feminist bitch.