[quote]Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
~ John F. Kennedy[/quote]
The Punch, an Australian website, employs Tory Shepherd, a feminist activist that has done some bit writing for a few mainstream outlets. She has recently pledged to debunk the men’s rights movement and has begun a series of articles to that end. However, all that has materialized is two short, poorly articulated rants, completely devoid of substance.
In her first piece, she created her own talking points for the men’s rights movement. Yes, she created them, herself, without speaking to or even quoting any men’s activists, and then asserted that she was going to debunk the points she had written, representing them as coming from the MRM. This particular fact seemed to go unnoticed by a following of fellow ideologues, most of which appeared to have no more interest in journalistic integrity than The Punch, or indeed Shepherd herself.
The second piece, recently released, was a cursory overview of conspiracy theorists that didn’t even address the men’s movement, except by loose and tacit implication. It looked to be written in about 10 minutes; an even less involved effort than the first article. Shepherds failure is complete, but it did not emerge from a void. It was not a coincidence she came out at this particular time and with puerile conduct and taunting that she alleged was a critique of the men’s movement. Lest anyone forget, AVfM is engaged in an ongoing exposé of the corrupt influence currently within the Australian government. It is well researched and meticulously documented. Shepherd is fabricating MRA talking points and using the approach of diversionary ridicule because she cannot contend with the facts in the case, which have been made available in abundance by AVfM research editor Kyle Lovett and managing editor John the Other. A review of her articles reveals she does not dispute any of those facts. She doesn’t because she can’t without digging a deeper hole for herself.
So while she is useless in terms of vetting facts and meaningful discourse, and has presented her series clearly to attempt to personally malign the messengers bearing the information, she has nonetheless brought more attention to the matter, which does help us present it to more Australians who will not hear about it from their own mainstream media. For anyone visiting this site for the first time, a great deal of that information is available here, and here.
Since Shepherd is not delivering on “debunking” her own assertions as promised, I hoped to fill in some of that gap here. There is debunking that needs to happen, mainly of the idea that there is no need for a men’s movement as a reaction to feminism. Shepherd alludes to it, as has every gender feminist ideologue that I have ever seen address the subject. It is a common theme that feminists are increasing in volume and frequency as the numbers of men participating in the men’s movement continues to steadily increase.
For those that want the basics on the issues faced by men and boys, we have many of them documented here on our Facts Page. Then there is the matter of why men face these issues but have taken so long to even begin doing anything about them. Part of the reason is biology and socialization. Despite feminist rhetoric, men, by their nature, are much more apt to take care of women than themselves. Then there is social pressure. Men don’t take very good care of themselves and that is pretty much the way society likes it. We like men to be strong and independent. It makes them good protectors and providers. Unfortunately, we don’t much like them to be weak or in need. Socially speaking, it is not considered very masculine.
But there is another force at play here; one that also works against men and women who have evaluated the male gender role and found aspects of it detrimental to men and boys in modern times, as well as observing the various ways men and boys face discrimination and prejudice. Those who act on those observations, politically and socially, are who we refer to as men’s rights activists/advocates, or MRA’s.
Let’s take a moment, aside from the information on The Facts page, to consider just a few recent events that have induced even more people to take a stand:
- After ten years of abuse by the family courts in New Hampshire, Thomas James Ball walked up the courthouse steps and self-immolated in protest. News coverage of the horrific suicide stalled and died with Ball, at the local level. Wikipedia, which maintains a list of political self-immolations, declined to add Ball to the list, and in fact refused to include his story on their pages, citing “irrelevance.”
- The Obama Administration issued a “Dear Colleague,” letter, advising American institutions of higher education that federal funding would be withheld if they did not reduce the standard of proof in sexually related allegations to that of “preponderance of the evidence,” likewise removing the rights of the accused to face their accuser or utilize other aspects of due process, leaving many to have their lives ruined on allegation alone.
- Australia is now embarking on a path that includes criminalizing a man for not talking to his wife enough and for making a purchase without including her in the decision, as well as revoking his right to bail if he is arrested for these things.  Activists have used egregiously fraudulent documentation and deception to further this political agenda.
- In India, men are forbidden to ride on “woman only” train cars, and have been beaten, publicly humiliated and even thrown from moving trains for straying on to the wrong car. Also in India, politicians are pushing for a law that would pay women a bounty for publicly beating their husbands; a law which would escalate the amount of payment with the severity of the beating.
- In Sweden, the murderous ideology of Valerie Solanas has been translated into plays for school children that glorify bloodlust and murder, and at least tacitly advocate for the extermination of men altogether.
- Men constitute the lion’s share of combat deaths, workplace deaths, suicide deaths, and are afflicted with almost every known human malady and disease more frequently and more severely than women.
- We have a number of offices and agencies concerned with women’s health, and none for men. In the US we have a staggering, staggering amount of other government agencies and social organizations dedicated to the welfare of women. Efforts by well-meaning individuals to take an interest matters that adversely affect men are met with disdain, vicious personal attacks and death threats.
The current ridicule and dishonest “journalism” being presented at The Punch is just another example in a long list of attempts to mischaracterize the men’s movement.
Meanwhile, the predominant social narrative is that we live in a patriarchy that operates for the enrichment of all men at the expense of all women. That narrative includes the frequent characterization of men as inferior and sub-human, deserving of every misfortune this society can manufacture and inflict upon them, including the draconian and outrageous matters listed above. Those who vociferously object to these injustices are now targeted with increasing invective and condemnation. The default criticism rests on the allegation of pathological anger.
Yes, we are accused of being angry, about gross injustice, as though we are not supposed to be. We are accused of having hostile feelings about sweeping social bigotry; which is to say, in all earnestness, we are accused of possessing human compassion and good values; accused of advocating for a more fair society. In the eyes of ideologues like Shepherd, those values and the compassion are the real problem. She just attacks the anger because it is easier, and she plays on the perception of men as all-powerful to excuse and justify it.
Normally, in the routine course of my work, I would spend at least some time donning a psychological and emotional biohazard suit and plumbing the depths of this mentality in order to try to understand what is driving it. And indeed I am truly curious as to what festering, morally atrophied deviation of humanity could look at anything approaching this level of discrimination and suffering without becoming angry. But I honestly think at this point there is more value in prognostication than etiology.
What is more significant here, and speaks directly to the core of the men’s movement, is the probable fallout from continued neglect of, and indifference toward, these issues. What feminists fail to understand, by choice or ignorance, is that we are attempting to prevent the likes of Thomas James Ball, not inspire it. His inspiration came from policies feminists support; the very policies which we oppose. Thomas Ball represents a tragic, dysfunctional reaction to chronic, systemic abuse. There are many possible reactions. Some even worse than his. And while we cannot, must not, condone violence, we had better learn to expect it as long as an ideological war against men is allowed to make a battlefield in our justice system and within the heart of our own families.
When people are subjected to hatred, bigotry and legal persecution – they always eventually react. Anyone who does not believe that has never cracked a history book. Some of the stories are chilling. There have been acts committed in the name of legitimate civil rights that are inexcusable. But they are an unavoidable part of the human condition. Inflict enough pain, as America did on blacks, and you get cities ablaze. There were burning buildings, bodies in the street and a nation torn apart. All of it could have been avoided with justice and compassion.
When you look at what is happening with feminist influence across much of the planet, you see the same formula coming into play. Pressure is building. That is precisely why even Tory Shepherd expressed caution about a men’s movement that is on the rise. The only release valve for that pressure is the recognition and amelioration of injustices against men, but we are moving, horrifically, in the wrong direction.
This isn’t some specially privileged information that we MRA’s hold license to. All you have to do is read the articles of Kyle Lovett or John the Other, visit The Facts Page here, or investigate the bullet points laid out above and you will see the problem, and why we are angry about it. It is all there in open view available for anyone. The only thing preventing anyone from seeing all this and being angry about it is apathy, indifference, and frequently, evil.
The good news here is that things will eventually change. The bad news is that it will not be easy or comfortable. The social pendulum cannot be controlled. It will swing, back and forth, seeking as always to find balance and equilibrium. It will at times knock people and institutions over in the process. Surely as physics apply in the physical world, they similarly govern our societal existence. Men and boys are under fire, in deep trouble. Most of those problems have emerged in a zeitgeist that fosters hate and indifference toward them. They are losing in our families, our schools, our courts and our media. And they are not losing to women’s rights. They are losing to hatred and depraved indifference. Regardless of anyone’s judgments or prejudices, it is fostering a reaction that is gaining visible momentum. Even as the likes of Tory Shepher denies all else, she is not denying that at all.
Whether it becomes a wave of social change, or a violent tempest of indignation and fury, the pendulum will continue to swing. The men’s movement is pushing for the former, because without that, the latter is the only thing we are left with.