Socialists are wrong about men's rights groups
By Rod Van Mechelen
Feminists and other socialists view the "war between the sexes" as a zero-sum game, in which there can be only one winner. They equate male-positive efforts with female-negative goals. But most Men's Rights Groups see the world through better eyes than that. They view the "war between the sexes" as a contrivance of the feminists to drive us apart, and believe that there can be harmony between women and men, and outcomes in which both win.
Falsely equating male-positive efforts with female-negative goals
2012 Olympia, Wash. - Socialists oppose men's rights. They say otherwise. But when juxtaposed with women's rights, they get grouchy and all but claim men have none by blaming men for what socialists in general, and feminists in particular are wont to do:
The problem with “men’s rights” is how they generalize these experiences, who they ignore and who they blame. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
The author follows up this statement with a critique of issues raised by the Men’s Issues Awareness at UofT, including..."men’s health, fathers and family issues, boys issues, suicide, violence, safety, workplace issues, crime and punishment." Let's take a look, shall we?
1) health: “prostate cancer gets less funding than breast cancer.”
Dodging the issue by hiding behind the attacks on abortion clinics is a common feminist tactic. Don't confront the real issues, just run and hide. We'll see where they hide once artificial womb technology is perfected and fetuses can be "evicted" rather than aborted.
The complaint that prostate cancer gets less funding implies that men’s health suffers because of one simplistic measure of women’s health. But there is no feature of men’s health that is so systematically attacked like abortion rights—with violence and harassment at clinics and motions in Parliament. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
With regard to breast cancer, rates could be reduced by up to 50 percent if all women got sufficient Vitamin D3 at a cost per year of as little as $20 per person. (See New Scientific Options for Preventing Breast Cancer, Life Extension Magazine October 2008) Twenty dollars a year is a sum most women in the west can afford, but any expectation that individuals should take responsibility for their own health, especially women, is attacked by feminists as sexist and patriarchal.
2) bullying: “boys have high rates of being bullied”
Personally, that was not and is not my experience. Currently I am dealing with a group of female bullies who are bent on systematically eliminating anybody who opposes them, and they are not above slander and lies to achieve their goals. But that's now. As a child in school, although it was boys who attacked me with their fists, when it came to throwing rocks there were as many girls hurling stones as boys. But then, I was an autistic American Indian kid at a school in which the only other minority student, besides my siblings, was the son of an affluent Hispanic family. The teachers watched over him, but not the autistic Indian kid.
Yes they do, but this is an abstract statement that ignores the main perpetrators and reasons. Boys are not bullied by girls for being boys, they are mainly bullied by other boys—who also bully girls. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
I could generalize from that, but unlike feminists, I don't. McLaren is partly right. Girls bully other girls with sometimes astounding verbal and emotional viciousness, but boys do most of the beating up of other boys. To dismiss that, however, as "they are mainly bullied by other boys" is like dismissing inner city gang violence as "Blacks killing Blacks" or "minorities killing minorities." The latter would be racist, and the former is sexist.
There is a saying that, "hurt people hurt people." Which is to say that children are especially prone to mirror the violence done to them. This gets turned into a false stereotype and leads many--I even heard Senator Al Franken say it once on his radio show--that all abused children grow up to be abusers. Statistically, about one-third of them do. But that's two-thirds who do not. And who commits most of the child abuse? By upwards of 60 percent, it's women.
Were we like feminists, we could draw all manner of sexist conclusions about women from that. But we're not sexist, and we can do better.
3) suicide: “more men kill themselves than women”
Wait a minute, let me get this straight, "men do not kill themselves because of men’s oppression, they kill themselves (because) of ... real forms of oppression"? Excuse me while I take a moment to stop laughing. ... Okay, I've regained my composure.
Another abstract statement. Men do not kill themselves because of men’s oppression, they kill themselves (because) of poverty and other real forms of oppression along lines of sexuality, ability and race. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
Now where was I? Oh, yes. What can one say to this? Yes, McLaren is absolutely right, we can't have the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) helping men to deal with "real forms of oppression," especially not those that are "along lines of sexuality, ability and race." Not when socialists hope to recruit those who don't kill themselves to promote socialist totalitarianism. What about those they cannot recruit? That's what labor camps are for. So for goodness sakes stop helping men to cope with "real forms of oppression"!
I hope that wasn't too sarcastic.
4) violence: “men are victims of violence”
Nonsense. Every study not based on a self-selecting population (i.e., police statistics) and ideologically driven surveys tells the same sad story: women are at least as violent as men, if not more so. The difference is in the anatomically-driven ability to inflict injury. Male muscles and our primordial heritage enable the male to bursts of energy that can inflict far more harm than most women.
In terms of interpersonal violence, the vast majority of domestic abuse and rape victims are women. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
So in walks an abusive woman, poking, jabbing, hitting and nagging at the man until he snaps, pops her one and sends her flying across the room, often resulting in serious injuries. The police arrest him, she goes to hospital, he goes to jail where he is branded as a violent offender, and the system treats her as a victim when, in this scenario, she was the aggressor. Does that let him off the hook? No. There are appropriate and more effective ways to deal with an abusive spouse or significant other. But it does demonstrate that both parties have responsibility, and that the system, by treating only half the problem, solves nothing.
As for women comprising the vast majority of rape victims, that's only by definition. Rape is sexual assault. Men and boys are as often victims of sexual assault as women and girls. But where we encourage and comfort female victims, cultures around the world and here at home still discourage and shame male victims...who admit they were victimized.
5) education: “women do better on some educational indicators, like test scores or enrolment”
A typical socialist response that ignores many other factors. Chief among them, a system of education that caters to the female brain, and that penalizes testosterone. Boys fidget and fuss. It's the nature of the beast. It's okay. Let them.
The main threats to education for men and women is corporatization, which increasingly imposes a rigid reliance on test scores (like was tried in Chicago), while undermining accessibility through tuition hikes (like was tried in Quebec). - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
Worse, our system of education cripples the ability of many to read. One of the worst offenses is the maxim that, "when you come to a word you don't understand, keep reading and you'll get the meaning from the context." That's terrible. Every child should be taught that when you come to a word you don't understand, stop, look it up, learn the word, and in that way you will understand the context by understanding all of the words.
6) legal: “women have higher rates of custody over children”
This either displays an astounding ignorance or makes callous use of the issue to support the socialist effort to turn women into housekeepers and hookers under the guise of "wages for housework." The idea, as I outlined in my chapter on Housework, is that women provide housekeeping and child rearing services to their husbands, for which the men should pay.
Given women provide the majority of unpaid labour raising children, it’s no surprise that courts might award more custody cases to the mother. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
This argument reduces women to employees of their husbands. Employees can be laid off and their jobs contracted out. In the case of the services in question, the "contractors" would be housekeepers, daycare and prostitutes. Now, should I ever marry I do not intend to refer to my spouse as my "wife," but as my consort. I like the gender neutrality of the term and that it connotes an equal status. I stole the idea from one of my favorite authors, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., specifically Colors of Chaos and all of the other books in his Saga of Recluce series.
Personal predilections aside, the whole scheme, it seems to me, objectifies women in a most vulgar and sexist way. As does much of the family court system, which treats men like walking wallets, good for nothing but sperm donations and child support. It's simply a biased system set up to destroy the family and make us all that much more susceptible to the oppression of a totalitarian state.
7) work: the major features of work are not considered by “men’s issues’ groups
Claiming that women "earn 70 cents per dollar of what men are paid" is bad math and anybody who has taken at least one class on statistical analysis knows it. The number--as most of my readers will know--is derived by taking the total compensation paid to women and dividing it by the total compensation paid to men. Which, as Warren Farrell amply demonstrated in his book, Why Men Earn More, ignores all of the personal decisions, preferences and predilections that are reflected in job and career choices.
In the home, women still do the majority of unpaid labour, despite entry into the labour market. In Canada 60 per cent of women are part of the paid workforce, but comprise 70 per cent of part-time workers, two-thirds of minimum wage earners, perform two-thirds of unpaid caregiving work, and earn 70 cents per dollar of what men are paid. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
It still galls socialists in general, and feminists in particular, that an ironworker (male or female) earns more than a professor of women's studies. And it particularly angers feminists that fewer women than men choose to be an ironworker because it's a very dirty, often very cold or very hot, and very dangerous job. They hate the role played by supply and demand: to entice somebody to be a women's studies professor requires much less money than it does to entice somebody to risk their life and limbs braving the elements hundreds and, nowadays, thousands of feet above the pavement.
Not to mention that, when women exercise the freedom of choice that feminists claim they stand for, more women choose to work part time or at lower paying, less stressful jobs to have the time and flexibility to tend to the family while men take on the more stressful, often more dangerous jobs that pay the higher wages so that they can provide for their families.
Blaming men for not blaming women
This traditional division of labor is just too horrifying to contemplate...for feminists.
There’s a pattern to these sound-bytes: framing these issues as “men’s issues” erases the dynamics of race, class, ability and sexuality that are at the heart of so many experience of men (and women). “Men’s issues” fail to address any issues related to men, and instead scapegoat women—appealing to two different audiences: the confused and the misogynist. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
Nonsense. Few MRAs blame women for anything, unless it's that some take advantage of a situation in which feminists are using the political, cultural and social resources of the oligarchs to destroy the family and oppress us all. But, as with most men, most women are caught in the same matrix-like delusion. Which is why so many MRAs, and other people who "get it," talk about the "red pill," which symbolizes reality.
The pattern to which McLaren refers is simply that of recognizing that men have issues of their own, many of which have been made worse by the feminists and other totalitarians. As socialism is fundamentally totalitarian and invariably leads to a totalitarian state, socialists are compelled to attack groups with admirable goals, like CAFE
A life well spent
McLaren claims that assertions of misandry are misogynist, and reveals, horror of horrors, that "'men’s issues' groups directly attack feminism." Well, duh! Supremacists of all stripes deserve condemnation, and that includes feminists. Then he goes after Warren Farrell:
Warren Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power, is one of the most mysoginyst (SIC) of their leaders, and has built a career promoting and profiting from the backlash against women—dismissing women’s oppression and comparing feminism to Stalinism. - Why “men’s rights” groups are wrong, Jesse McLaren, November 7, 2012
Dr. Farrell turned from his much more lucrative career promoting feminism to take up the banner of truth. Years ago he explained that when he was in college, he was making more than many of his professors from sales of The Liberated Man and speaking engagements. But when he saw that men were as oppressed as women, and told that truth, his income evaporated.
He could have taken the easy path and made millions. But he made the hard decision to do the right thing. And doing the right thing is the right thing to do. Eventually we all must die, and when we come to the end, a question will be answered. The question is, did I do well? For some, the answer will be yes. For them, it will be sufficient, it will be enough, and they will continue on to the next leg in their journey. But for others, there will be a great emptiness, the hollow feeling left behind by a life poorly spent.
Dr. Farrell is spending his life well. We should all aspire to do likewise.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.