A response to a recent announcement by Mike Buchanan

Mike Buchanan recently made a blog post that he will now be publicly presenting himself as a Gender Equality Activist (GEA). Mike stated:

Speaking personally, I’m happy to be described as a MRA or a GEA, and for the great movement in which I’ve worked full-time for many years to be described as the MRM or GEM. But henceforth I plan to generally publicly present myself as a GEA, and our movement as the GEM. I invite other MRAs to join me.

I respect Mike and I respect his decision but I don’t agree with it. Others have dropped or de-prioritised the term Men’s Rights. I think this is a mistake.

I will continue to be calling myself an MRA and encourage others to do the same for the following reasons:

  • There is no way to compel MRAs to switch. No matter what you do some will never abandon the term Men’s Rights. As a result any attempt at rebranding will result in a split community. Within six months the new term will be demonised as much as Men’s Rights but now you’ll be left with the split community.

  • If you advocate for men and boys you will be called an MRA regardless of what you call yourself. Feminists routinely label people as MRAs even when they explicitly reject the title. Examples include Matt Forney, Roosh Valizadeh and even Milo Yiannopoulos.

  • The term Men’s Rights protects us. Feminists routinely infiltrate and take over other movements. They’ve done this with earlier incarnations of the men’s movement, the Skeptics movement and even the open source movement (which I have been involved with for 25 years). They have so demonised the MRM they can’t infiltrate it. A few feminists have actually tried, only to have the rest of the feminist community turn on them. The term Men’s Rights protects us. This effect is so powerful that I can openly admit this, as I have done in the past, and it won’t make one iota of difference.

As anti-feminism and interest in the welfare of men and boys gains traction it is more important than ever to embrace the term Men’s Rights. We’re already seeing a pattern where the wider society is absorbing the ideas of the MRM via intermediaries. Many in society are now agreeing with at least some of what we are saying even as they continue to be hostile to the MRM itself.

The MRM may never be large but it is essential that we keep the flame burning. It may continue to fall to others to repackage the message in a more palatable form for consumption by the wider society. That’s fine as long as the message gets out, and it is getting out.

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