Dear Internet Feminists,
It has come to my attention as of late that a lot of you are insisting, quite loudly, that men should support feminism because it helps us, too. Unlike Big Red, some of you have insisted this so thoroughly and sometimes passionately that it has led me to believe that a handful of you genuinely believe this. I’m not saying you’re right, I’m just saying that you truly believe it.
The fact is, feminism really does not help men. Many of you insist that it does because it dismantles the Patriarchy, which apparently hurts men, too. Feminism would be helping men if the Patriarchy really DID exist in the form that you claim it does. Still, I genuinely believe that some of you have good intentions, but are just carrying them out in completely the wrong way.
If you really want to help us and not want us to confuse you with loud, angry hate-mongers like Big Red up there, then you should try listening to US for a change instead of assuming that you know better than us what we need. To assist you in that, I have decided to prepare a list for you of what you should or should not be doing in your approach to men.
Stop your womansplaining.
Yes, I know what you really mean when you accuse a dude of “mansplaining”. You’re not saying you have a problem with a man explaining something, you have a problem with men using anecdotes of their own experiences to invalidate yours. And when this happens, yes, you are perfectly right to complain. Even so, physician, heal thyself.
Anytime I tell about my very real experience with being physically abused by women in my life, I’m accused of lying, or told to shut up, because apparently what I went through is nothing compared to what women have had to endure for centuries. “Women have been oppressed,” goes the narrative, “So men shouldn’t ever complain about anything because it’s just not the same.” Really? How would you know what men are going through so much better than we do? How do you know that we don’t struggle every bit as much as you? Until you’ve actually spent a decent amount of time as a man, stop trying to invalidate what we say based on your experiences.
Stop peddling false statistics.
I have previously explored the falsehoods that are purveyed in the arena of rape reporting. Your insistence that 1 in every 3 women will be raped in her lifetime carries with it the implication that 1 out of every 3 men is a rapist. This is flat-out false, and continuing to tout it as fact without any real evidence can only be misandry.
Also, the pay gap is the most common go-to answer for your attempt to address our claim that men and women have achieved equality. We have offered a wide array of factors for why women earn less than men, from the fact that women on average work fewer hours per week than men, to seniority and the pursuing of skills relevant to the field of study. On top of all this, we have also offered, from a capitalist perspective, a logical argument that I have yet to see a decent rebuttal to: “If corporations only care about making money, and they pay men more than women, why does anybody hire men anymore instead of saving money by hiring only women?”
Oust your movement’s sexists instead of supporting them.
Whenever I show a clear example of anti-male hatred from a feminist spokeswoman to another feminist, the response I get is the same: “She’s not a feminist, she’s a sexist who calls herself a feminist. She’s not one of us.” To this, I have only one response: “What are you doing about these faux feminists?”
Feminists who make anti-male statements are given a free pass by their supposedly more reasonable contemporaries. Men’s Rights Activists who display actual bigotry (including but not limited to misogyny) are shown the door by the mainstream. Tempting as it may be to pull examples from RadFemHub, I think I’ll reach into feminism’s self-proclaimed “mainstream”; Jessica Valenti and Amanda Marcotte are still considered leaders for the 3rd wave, despite the fact that the former has proposed removing presumption of innocence for men accused of rape, and the latter considers anyone who dares question a woman making an accusation of rape, no matter how shoddy her testimony, to be “rape-loving scum”. Get rid of your misandrists, then we’ll talk about going easy on you.
Stop being such flaming hypocrites.
Jezebel’s own Lindy West published an article recently in which she put forth, point by point, the case that feminists really are helping men, and that everything Men’s Rights Activists complain about is the result of Patriarchy. Well, I’ve already stated that I doubt the very existence of Patriarchy, but I’ll address this anyway.
Take, for instance, when Lindy argues that people presuming that men are pedophiles because of the Patriarchy saying that only women should be involved in child-rearing. Writers at Jezebel have shown little hesitation blaming men for the actions of female child abusers.
Then we have the incident of Warren Farrell’s speech at the University of Toronto. To refresh your memories, here’s what happened: U of T booked the Mr. Rogers of the Men’s Rights Movement to speak on the issues of high dropout and suicide rates among boys. Dr. Farrell did not blame women at all for either of these phenomena, nor did he call for any of women’s rights to be curbed in order to make things easier for men (another thing that separates the men’s rights movement from feminism, but I digress).
All Dr. Farrell wanted to do was discuss why these young boys found the world so unbearable that they would cut themselves off from a means to get by in it, or why they would cut themselves out from it entirely, and how did your cronies react? They blocked the doors to the event (which constitutes a fire hazard, yet they had the audacity to complain about the police merely removing them from the doors instead of arresting their asses like they deserved), berated men who were seeking answers about their friends’ deaths by calling them “fucking thcum”, and screamed at attendees. Does that sound to you like people who want to help men?
A number of the protesters who had been breaking the law bragged about it in public forums such as Twitter. They had been endangering other people’s lives, taking away their freedom of speech by tearing down posters promoting the events, and making jokes about killing men. And no, I’m not going to buy the excuse that they were just joking. Threatening men alongside censoring events designed to help them suggests an attitude far different from satire.
A group of men’s rights activists identified the lawbreakers, took what they had posted in public forums, and just made them…a little more public. Then Kate Harding took a quote from Warren Farrell from over twenty years ago (from a time during which, by the way, he still identified as a feminist,) and pretended that this represented all of his views. In the same article, she called us out for identifying people who, again, had endangered the lives of others in their campaign against free speech, and accused us of encouraging violence against them, even though we did no such thing. These women that we exposed were all over the age of 18. In Canada, that’s old enough to vote, marry, and own property. It goes without saying that it’s old enough to own your shit.
Then, you went along and targeted a bunch of kids, most of them under 18, for making racist tweets about President Obama. You were targeting kids who broke no laws, who have probably had their lives threatened, while we targeted “adults” who endangered people with their anti-free speech antics, and you still had the audacity to assume the moral high ground?
Stop pushing for sexist laws, especially under the guise of equality.
I’ve mentioned previously how your very own Jessica Valenti tried to pass a law to take away the presumption of innocence for men accused of rape. But what a lot of you don’t seem to realize (or willfully ignore) is that the Violence Against Women Act, despite your protests otherwise, does NOT contain gender-neutral language. Even the title is an insinuation that only women are victims of domestic violence. One of its provisions explicitly states that the authors of the act have no interest in helping male victims of domestic violence.
The VAWA also has a mandatory arrest provision that is a blatant violation of Constitutional rights. I never heard a feminist advocate for this provision to be removed, but I have heard of countless cases of a man getting assaulted repeatedly by his wife, getting hit in the back of a neck with an object, calling the police, his wife admitting to what she did, and him getting arrested even though his wife is completely unharmed and he is FUCKING BLEEDING. There is also a man in my family who throughout his entire marriage was physically and emotionally abused by his wife.
He never once so much as hit her, but she hit him, demeaned him in front of his children, and came up with endless ways to remind him of the fact that she made more than him. He went to his pastor, who told him that he wasn’t being abused and didn’t know what abuse was. He tried to stay at an abuse shelter, but was turned away because he was a man. He sought help from Catholic Social Services, and they accused him of being the perpetrator. All of this was justified to him on the grounds of his “white male privilege”. These things happen because of laws that your ilk have passed. Either help us take them down, or stop pretending that our hating them makes us anti-woman.
Stop defending women who do wrong.
You want to be taken seriously on the job, right? Well, so do we. We want you to have successful careers in whatever field you feel you’re best at. That’s why it’s in your best interest not to defend people like Adria Richards, whose eavesdropping and tattling over a small joke destroyed a man’s career. You see, Adria is ruining it for women with IT ambitions. Her message, whether she worded it that way or not, was that the only way a woman can get ahead in the industry is to sabotage any men who outperform her.
She is also telling men in IT that they can’t trust women, because they’ll constantly be looking for ways to frame them for sexual harassment, and they’ll create a hostile work environment by policing men’s private conversations, and forbid them from using terms necessary to the field just because they could possibly have a sexual connotation. What’s next, forbidding men from mentioning hard drives or hardware just because they could link that to an erection?
Stop demonizing male sexuality.
Have you ever heard of those horrible camps that religious fundamentalists send their kids to if they suspect they’re gay? You know, the ones where kids often commit suicide? Well, being a male under feminist rule is kind of like being a kid at Exodus International.
What is it that Exodus does that is so deplorable? Well, any reasonable person would say it begins with their approach: they tell kids that they are inherently evil and sinful, and that they must reject a part of their identity that they have no control over in order to be “clean”. I think we can agree that this is a horrid practice, one that would in many ways constitute child abuse. So why, then, are you doing the same thing to men?
Yes, you heard me. You’re shaming men about their sexuality, urges that are beyond their control. You call it “denouncing rape culture”, but I call it “trying to police men’s thoughts”. There is a feminist online who has compiled a list of behaviors that she say makes a man a rape-supporter. In it she lists such benign things as “He watches pornography in which women are depicted,” “He argues that people have sexual ‘needs’,” “He sexually objectifies lesbians or lesbian sexual activity,” or, goddess forbid, “He discusses the types of women he finds sexually appealing and/or attempts to demean women by telling them he does not find them sexually appealing.” So basically, when it comes to our sexuality, we men are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. In what world is that fair?
Then there’s your ridiculous laundry lists of behaviors that could “trigger” a woman, and that a man should go out of his way to avoid. These include but aren’t limited to looking at a woman the wrong way, talking about grapes, or whistling. You also host people on your websites who insist that all men should be presumed rapsists…is that a pattern I’m seeing?
Also, you keep accusing us of turning women into objects if we so much as state that we find their bodies attractive, which is just as insulting. Here’s the way it works: I’m bisexual, but I find myself far more attracted to women than men most of the time. Does that mean that I hate men? No, of course not. I am also more attracted to women with large breasts than women with small breasts.
Does that mean that I evaluate a woman’s whole being based on the size of her breasts? Of course not. I know plenty of women with big breasts who I think are quite frankly stupid, horrible people (such as Laci Green), and plenty of flat-chested women who are wonderful human beings that I’d love to spend time with. Stop pretending that you know how the male mind works, because you’re every bit as clueless about it as we are about the female mind.
Stop poisoning the minds of children.
When it comes down to it, I can take it when you insult me for being a man. I’m an adult, and I won’t let stupid remarks get under my skin. But don’t you dare try and fill the heads of my future children up with your ideas. If you tell my son that he is inherently evil simply for having a penis, or that he’s somehow privileged when girls get to hit him all the time and he’s strictly forbidden from hitting back, then you are abusing him. That is what really brings out my dark side. I had a friend in Elementary School who so internalized the bile that the teachers poured into his ears that he attempted to castrate himself with a pair of safety scissors. That is flat-out wrong no matter how you try to spin it.
Stop calling us misogynists.
Honestly, we don’t hate women. We hate the system that enables those women with malicious intent to so thoroughly destroy the lives of men and their loved ones. The primary reason that anybody thinks we’re misogynists is because you keep screaming about how we are, and because your cohorts take what we say out of context and hold up disturbed people like Marc Lépine and Anders Behring-Breivik as somehow representative of us, just because they agree with us on a couple things. That’s a false equivalency. Hitler was a vegetarian who passed some of the world’s first animal rights laws…does that mean that all vegetarians and animal rights activists are genocidal, totalitarian maniacs? No, of course not.
You may be wondering why I’m writing this. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s because the MRM is desperate for allies. Actually, you couldn’t be further from the truth. We’d like you to join us, but we don’t need it. I wrote this because I care about you as people. I want you to be on the winning side when the feminist juggernaut comes tumbling down, because the consequences of associating yourselves with such a clearly hateful movement will be dire indeed. Please, do yourselves a favor and see the error of your ways. If you forsake feminism, we will forgive you unconditionally.
The choice is yours.