Near the end of my recent talk in Chicago I touched on the issue of the virtual invisibility of the men’s rights movement to the general public, and how I believe the degree to which the vast majority of MRAs and other anti-feminists who could engage in practical (offline) activism but don’t are largely responsible for that invisibility. I’ve highlighted the related paragraphs in this version of my talk transcript, on p.6, they consist of the following:
An increasingly important destroyer of feminism as a political force will be the men’s rights movement, the MRM, so I’m delighted to report from this conference that the MRM is not wavering in its longstanding opposition to feminism.
The MRM has long been engaged with the task of raising public consciousness about feminism and men’s issues, and we will be engaged with that task for decades to come. A metaphor I often use for the MRM is that we’re trying to climb Everest. We may still be in the foothills, but we’re making progress and climbing steadily, and there’s been a strong sense of that at each of the five ICMIs to date.
Public understanding of men’s issues and feminism is growing, largely due to social media, so, as we might expect, it’s among younger adults in particular that the understanding is growing. In time that WILL inevitably feed into the mainstream media covering our issues. It’s a question of when, not if, that will happen.
I think MRAs should be proud of what they’ve achieved online, but while online work is necessary, it’s NOT sufficient. Feminist influence in the offline world – the real world – goes from strength to strength. Frankly, I continue to be disappointed by the reluctance of MRAs to get away from their keyboards, to meet up with other like-minded men and women, and engage in real-world campaigning. We refer to the men’s rights movement, but the average citizen sees no evidence of the existence of this movement from one decade to the next. None. We’re all but invisible to the general public, and we need to change that.
MRAs continue to spend WAY too much time in the online men’s rights bubble, but only a very small proportion of the general public is in that bubble. To reach the general public will require far more MRAs to get away from their keyboards, leave the bubble, and engage with the general public. It’s why I and others campaign at Speakers’ Corner in London every other Sunday. Many people – usually men – will stop for a chat, and those chats are almost always positive.
To those of you who COULD go in for activism such as street campaigning, but DON’T, maybe because you’d be uncomfortable doing it, I say this. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, OR YOUR COMFORT. It’s about the people who are suffering, people who sorely need your support. It’s about the fathers who don’t see their children after family breakdowns, all too many of whom commit suicide as a result. It’s about the children who are emotionally abused because they’re denied access to their fathers and grandparents. It’s about the grandparents denied access to their beloved grandchildren. It’s about the men who are battered by their partners, and find there’s no support available for them. It’s about the men who have their genitals mutilated as minors, on religious or cultural grounds. I strongly urge you to step outside your comfort zone, put your keyboard to one side, and engage in activism to support these people.
I ask the MRAs who follow this website, who could but don’t engage in practical activism, why don’t you engage in it?