To the men’s right’s activists of the world:
I see how much anger you have towards women. I see your frustration and your pain.
I don’t know what is at the root of your anger and your hurt. I’m confident that there are lots of different ones. Whether it was a single event or it was something that spanned years, whether it involved one woman or many, and whether it happened in isolation or there were other people, there are reasons for each of you to feel pain.
“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”
I’ve read complaints that housing and shelters are biased towards women. What I don’t see is an analysis of the situation that reflects the fact that women are much more likely to be living in poverty, especially with children and after being abandoned by a male partner. I also don’t see you volunteering your time and working towards the creation of resources for men. I see you talking about the ways in which child custody decisions are often biased towards women. And I don’t see you helping fathers develop the skills to be more engaged as parents, or helping boys learn the emotional and practical tools that will help them be great fathers. I don’t see you discussing how equality in pay for women would help fathers because they would have more freedom to parent. I don’t see you trying to change anything in the world, though I see you complaining a lot online.
In all fairness, perhaps that’s because you’re doing the work in the real world and just not talking about it on the internet. But somehow, I feel confident that if that were the case, you’d be letting us know. I’m willing to admit that that’s an assumption, and if it’s inaccurate, you’re welcome to comment below and offer a link to information about whatever projects you’re working on. I invite you to show me that I’m mistaken.
I understand that many of you are in situations that have been or feel unfair to you. I get that. The fact that, taken as a group, men consistently receive the benefit of gender-based inequities can live side by side with the fact that there are some situations in which the balance tilts unevenly away from you as an individual. Similarly, the fact that men are, on average, taller than women doesn’t mean that every man is taller than every woman.
However, just as the odds are that each of you is taller than some or even many women, I expect that there are ways in which gender-based imbalances favor you. And given the nature of such things, I’m also willing to bet that you aren’t aware of many of them. That’s the way it works. Even if you’re looking for them, you won’t see all of them because you’re on the inside of it. Plus, many of you have a bias against seeing them because that would conflict with the assumptions that prop up your rhetoric.
Then there are the trolls. The people who enjoy poking other people’s painful spots in order to get a reaction. Some of you enjoy causing pain, especially to women. Some of you are trying to provoke a reaction because you don’t know how to receive attention that isn’t angry. Some of you don’t have any idea what to do with your anger. Some of you feel a deep shame and are attacking anyone you think is connected to it. Whatever the reasons, you’re also making things worse. And you’re making it even harder for the people who are actually trying to do something productive because you make it more difficult for their voices to be heard.
So for the MRAs who actually do want to make things better, try looking for real solutions. Volunteer for an organization that is doing some good. Start your own groups, if you need to. If all you’re doing is complaining online and getting people riled up, you’re just wallowing in your anger and it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between you and a troll. If you’re not sure where to start, how about forming a men’s group? Get some guys together and talk about what you think the problems are, and see if you can find some productive ways to respond to them. It’s a technique that’s worked well before.