The Good Men Project Magazine went live online last summer. The GMP calls itself “a gathering place for thoughtful men with a conscience.” The articles are indeed thoughtful pieces on a wide range of topics, without the anxious masculinity that pervades mainstream men’s magazines. Once Men’s Rights Advocates (MRAs) discovered it, however, the comment sections became unreadable. A piece about helping daughters grow up with positive body image? “Feminist propaganda.” A piece about education? “Feminist administrators are poisoning boys with ADHD meds.”
This week was Men’s Rights week on the site, so it’s only going to get (and probably stay) worse. The GMP published about a dozen articles about the Men’s Rights Movement and/or from MRA perspectives. The Men’s Rights Movement includes many Nice Guys® and overlaps with the PUA (pick-up artist) community and expatriate dating scene (I won’t link to American Women Suck but you can find it if you so choose). The Straight White Men’s Rights Movement would be a more accurate name for their movement, as they never acknowledge gay men’s rights or issues faced by men of color.
In his post, “A Breakdown of the Men’s Rights Movement,” Dan Moore writes:
MRAs reject the very notion that “men oppressed women.” It didn’t happen. Ever.
Feminism is little more than government-sponsored and -enforced chivalry.
Men are literally saying “screw you” to women as a sex, and society in general, and for the first time ever, are dismantling the Chivalric infrastructure.
MRAs claim the myth that women dislike sex was begun by feminists in order to make men devote more energy to pleasing them. They claim women rape men as often–if not more–as men rape women, and complain that the justice system is too kind to female domestic violence and rape victims (ahem, accusers). They are very upset that women are awarded custody of their children after a divorce more often than men are, but they balk at the suggestion that men take on the primary care-giving role in their families. “Feminist social engineering.”
The wage gap is a myth, of course, and they are sick and tired of working long hours in grueling jobs just to make women happy. MRAs direct a lot of anger at women who have been abused–even killed–by intimate partners. What was she doing with an asshole like him in the first place when she could have been with a
asshole Nice Guy® like me?
Amanda Marcotte contributed a post called, “The Solution to MRA Problems? More Feminism.” And she’s right: if MRAs were motivated by anything besides misogyny, it would make perfect sense for them to get on board with feminism. But they hate feminists and do not believe patriarchy exists. They talk about “male reproductive rights,” but: they just don’t want to pay child support. They think we live in a “gynocracy.” It’s impossible to have a discussion with one of them because they live in an alternate reality.
The funny and feminist David Futrelle mocks MRAs on his blog Man Boobz. In his piece for GMP, he wrote:
To borrow a phrase from computer programmers: misogyny isn’t a bug in the Men’s Rights Movement; it’s a feature.
MRAs … are quick to raise the issue prison rape (which mostly affects men) whenever rape is being discussed, but generally only to score rhetorical points; very few MRAs seem to even be aware there is an established national organization, Just Detention, devoted to fighting prison rape.
At its heart, men’s rights activism doesn’t really seem to be about activism at all. What the movement has turned into is a strange parody of “victim feminism,” an endless search for proof that men (despite earning more than women, heading up the overwhelming majority of companies and governments in the world, getting all the best movie roles, never having to wear heels, and so on and so on and so on) are in fact second-class citizens.
MRAs really hate him, and call him–and any other man who likes women–a “mangina” and a traitor. But he soldiers on, uncovering the vilest of the vile in the MRA blogosphere. To be honest, MRAs scare the shit out of me. They are proud of their misogyny. My time spent on the Internet makes me think they are multiplying like rabbits. The community will create another George Sodini; it’s just a matter of when.