I learned a new word recently and am now pledged, of course, to use it in a piece as though it‘s been in my vocabulary since grade school. I even managed to work this one into the title.
For those of you that this fine word has eluded in the past, as it has me, it means:
Harmony in the arrangement or interarrangement of parts with respect to a whole.
And it would seem to be a word apropos of the times where it involves the men’s rights movement, and a concept direly needed.
There seems to be a rift in the movement between proponents of gay marriage and advocates for family values. And I say seems most intentionally, because from the outset this is an erroneous and misleading definition in terms.
Searching high and low, I have found no MRA’s that have taken on the cause of promoting gay marriage. They don’t exist that I know of, though I could have easily missed something in a movement so comprised of scattered voices.
There are some, like myself, that view it as a non issue and a waste of time. Most of these are MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) minded fellows who are much more worried about the personal and legal hazards of heterosexual marriage than they are the supposed dangers of gay marriage to the culture.
So perhaps we can jump start the walk toward concinnity with a more accurate and honest description of the problem, keeping in mind that there is no absolute and monolithic mindset on either side of the fence.
The rift, if we have one, is between some MGTOW’s and some family values advocates. Or to be shorter, and more succinct, those that promote traditional marriage and those who think it should be avoided. In my mind, it is a rift that has been largely manufactured from within our ranks and is purely unnecessary.
Indeed, with some balanced perspective it is easy to see where these two camps complement each other and have the possibility for productive synergy, via concinnity.
First, the very reason that family advocates in the men’s rights movement exist is because the institution of marriage has been crippled and reduced to a hazard zone for men and children, and to a lesser degree, for women. The efforts of activists to change this is important and laudable. We will have marriage for some time, and growing numbers of people are losing their freedom, property and family bonds to the state enforced intrusions we now allow.
These would be the same intrusions, by the way, that drive many MRA’s to speak out against involvement in the institution in the first place.
Being motivated by the same factors would seem to be a motivation toward concinnity as well, but for reasons beyond my grasp we are in a movement that never seems to miss an opportunity to divide and implode.
I hope eternal it is just growing pains, and in fact believe it is.
And part of the pain of that growth is born from facing honest assessments and taking appropriate action, regardless of how we wish things were, or how we think they ought to be. Advising men to invest in marriage because we are trying to make changes in the laws is like telling people to keep smoking because we are working on a cure for cancer.
The very idea is as unsound as blindfolding men and pointing them toward the mine field with marching orders and an “atta boy,“ and it sadly reflects an abject indifference to their mangled bodies when inevitable explosions come.
Such are the results when we forget that being a men’s rights activist means advocacy for the men themselves, not necessarily the institutions that they have historically served.
And in taking this unfortunate stance we take from the movement what could be the one-two punch against the current paradigm by boycotting marriage and simultaneously pushing for reforms in family law. Instead, in the folly of this divide, we turn that flurry of punches inward, and suffer the self inflicted wounds of infighting.
We rob the movement of the concinnity that could actually result in inertia and momentum, breeding destructive divisions; taking the move out of a movement that has still not found its initial stride.
I will always support work to change family law and to lessen the stranglehold the legal system now has over our parents and children. I consider the men and women who pursue these changes an indispensable asset to the men’s rights movement.
I also support men and women who warn of the pitfalls of modern marriage, and caution men in the strongest possible terms to avoid it.
I am one of those with such a message and I won’t do much in the future but turn up the volume.
When marriage has been made safe again, the dynamics and the message, at least my message, will change.
Till then, I hope we can see the wisdom in supporting efforts toward change on all fronts, in keeping our fingers off each others throats, and in helping children and men avoid the gallows till some badly needed changes occur.