Posted by: CeCe | June 19, 2013

Men’s Rights vs Feminism

So a couple weeks back, I was briefly involved in a debate on a Men’s Rights blog.  After it was revealed that I’m a feminist, I was banned.  I understand why they banned me; after all, I was disingenuous in not admitting straight off the bat that I’m a feminist (though I did admit to agreeing with various tenets of feminism).  One of the admin assumed that because I didn’t admit it, I’m ashamed of it.  I am not.  However, in debate, what I’ve learned is that when you’re trying to find middle ground, it’s best not to admit to one ideology or another.  I do the same thing when I’m debating with atheists about the Bible; I argue from a strictly literary standpoint, rather than religious, and I won’t admit straight away that I’m a Christian, because usually as soon as I do, everything I’ve said up to that point and everything I say afterwards is dismissed.  The response becomes, “Oh you would say that, you’re a Christian!”  Ad hominem at its finest.  So I did the same thing on this thread.  I read responses, I answered questions, I asked questions, and I agreed with some things and disagreed with others.  And yet, despite the fact that I was open to questions and agreed with some things that were said, I was called a “feminist cow”, a “feminazi”, and a “feminasty”.  Nice.

To be fair to them though, several of the admin disagreed with me being banned, and invited me to come back, and several of them were very polite, but I think I got what I needed and wanted out of the experience, which was to learn.  So here are my thoughts:

1)  They have this belief that many, or at least some, feminists are misandrists, yet we aren’t.  Many of us love men, and don’t believe in discriminating against them.  One of the people on there made the remark that feminists who hate men are still feminists.  I say no, they’re not.  The point of feminism is that men and women are equal.  If it’s acceptable to discriminate men based on their gender, then it would also be acceptable to discriminate against women, if men and women are indeed equal.  So in my opinion, women who hate men and call themselves feminists are liars and bigots.  Further, there are clearly some men who belong to the organization who use it to justify hatred against women.  I wonder if they want to be associated with them.

2)  The MRA (Men’s Rights Association) actually does have some good points, such as that there is more emphasis given to breast cancer than prostate cancer, even though prostate cancer affects more men than breast cancer affects women.  They’re also right that often in child custody hearings, women have an advantage straight off the bat: Being a woman.  This isn’t really fair at all.  I understand the latter more than the former, but that doesn’t mean that it is fair.  Further, it is scary to be a man, because men are more at risk for violent crime than women.  This is certainly something that needs to be addressed.  Even further, men are sometimes victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and yet too often society thinks of these being strictly done to women.  All people should be protected from sexual assault and domestic violence, regardless of gender.

3)  Those who speak out against rape culture are sometimes unfair to men, in that so much emphasis is being placed on “teaching men not to rape”; instead, people ought to teach their children, regardless of gender, to keep their hands to themselves unless and until they receive permission to touch someone.  We also need to remember that although most rapists are men, most men are not rapists.

4)  Feminists and the MRA can find common ground.  We just have to look for it.

I won’t link to the blog or to the thread.  What I will say though is that it was an interesting experience, and I’m glad I had it.  I’m constantly evolving in all of my ideologies, and learning from those with whom I disagree.  I think it’s important to do so, lest one’s beliefs become stagnant or worse, become completely incapable of seeing or understanding the other side.  One should never allow their ideologies to stand in the way of understanding.

Have you ever had a similar experience?  Please feel free to tell me about it in a comment!

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Responses

  1. […] examples of it.  Someone on the discussion on the MRA blog that I mentioned in my last post (link here) stated that rape culture is just a feminist construct.  I don’t understand how anyone can […]

  2. I feel like many times it’s hard for both sides to speak because people instantly become offended. I know I sometimes don’t enter discussions because I fear I will be quickly be labeled as a bigot.


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