At A Voice for Men we often talk about the importance of the good women that have aligned with our cause, speaking out against misandry eloquently, from a woman’s perspective. We have sometimes wondered how they manage it, especially given they are in a community of men, many of whom bear not only the scars, but often the fresh, bleeding wounds of treachery and betrayal…at the hands of women. It is a rough place to be, yet women like Dr. T, GirlWritesWhat and others do it, day in and day out, with more conviction and dedication than some men who call themselves MRAs. It is quite something to watch, but it does leave the question of why hanging in the air.
What does the men’s rights movement offer these women, or any others for that matter?
We talk a lot about offering hope and a kind of intellectual sanctuary to men in a world of universal hatred towards them. We also talk about the culpability and complicity of men and women who blindly promote misandric violence, treating it as a social necessity, legitimate retribution, or worse, comedy. But again, where in all this dialogue and calls for change, is a direct benefit for women? We assume that this is a question that demands from us an answer, especially given our constant calling out of the lopsided, elitist nature of feminist doctrine.
We have grown rightfully tired of empty platitudes about how helping women really helps men; how the feminists have everyone’s interest at heart and other tidbits of unmitigated bullshit.
To understand the answers here, we must first understand the real negative effects of traditional sex roles on women, and the effects of the feminist ideology that purportedly intended to ameliorate those negatives, but instead exacerbated them.
As we can see on any battlefield, collapsed coal mine or sinking ship, gender roles have limiting and destructive elements. Though historically the consequences of those roles on women were less deadly, they were, nonetheless, restrictive. This is especially evident once we passed the point in time when those roles were required for the survival of the species. There is clear evidence of this in our history.
Ostensibly, feminism was intended to allow women to break free of those restrictions and pursue more self-directed and personally fulfilling lives. In part, that happened. No one can argue that women now have unprecedented personal freedom, at least in western culture, and they have the technology that men have provided to aid them in whatever ambitions that freedom leads them to choose.
We fully agree that this is much preferable to a life role designated by your sex at birth. This is especially true given the dependence and lack of autonomy inherent to the role of a traditional woman prior to feminism.
The fundamental problem, however, is that feminism, rather than foster true independence and self-determination, simply traded one form of childlike dependence for another.
The mandates of modern feminism amount to a regressive rerun of old school gender roles. Feminism, in reality, has been enormously successful, but not at liberating women. Its success has been in turning the state, and social consciousness, into a protective, surrogate patriarch, requiring its adherents to infantilize women with much more excess than was ever accomplished in more traditional times.
We coddle women in courts and manufacture excuses for their actions in everything from child abuse to false allegations. When they fail we help them find someone to blame; when they succeed at matters where we expect routine successes, we heap praise on them like developmentally disabled children. We feign respect where it has not been earned, and withhold disrespect where it is righteously merited. Where they cannot compete, we rig the rules so they can. Where they can compete, we rig the rules so they can excel.
We listened to their outrage at having been historically treated like children, and then treated them even more like children, socially and legally, because they insisted it was the answer to treating them like children to begin with.
Feminists have succeeded in brow beating the culture into participating in the illusion that women have been freed, even as they are treated as incapable of sustaining their own personal agency or even being accountable for their own actions. Feminism, for all its possible potential, has become a movement of entitled teeny boppers, shrieking and stomping to be seen as adults. And we have, much to our collective shame, given them precisely that.
And so again this brings us to the question. What does the MRM have to offer women?
We promote accountability, self-ownership, agency and fully realized adulthood for women in a culture silently colluding to regard them as toddlers without volition. In short, the MRM offers women the equality promised, but not delivered, by feminism. And it does so because it advocates that equality for men and women alike. It is the grown up, real world version of equalitarianism.
What we offer women is respect.
We respect people based on accomplishment. We respect those who hold to ethical principals in the face of aggression and abuse. This is the adult respect we mean when we say that respect is what the men’s rights movement offers women.
But it isn’t just a free piece of candy for anyone with a uterus to lord princess-like over members of the disposable sex. You know, the ones accounting for 4 out of 5 suicides, 93 out of 100 workplace deaths, and 99 out of 100 military deaths.
Respect is earned. But it’s there for any woman (or man) prepared to abandon the status of consequence immune, volition-free, victim-child, and who engages in ethical, self-owning adulthood.
Dr. Tara Palmatier is a highly respected woman in the men’s rights community. She has earned that respect. This is true despite the allegation that we hate all women. But we ask you to ponder some questions about the good doctor.
Do you think she is respected because she is a woman? Do you think she is respected in spite of the fact that she is a woman? Is she respected for her physical attributes, or simply being in possession of a vagina, or because MRAs are afraid to not respect her because all women should be respected?
The answer to all these questions, of course, is no. Dr. Palmatier is held in high esteem because she is a human being with personal agency, and who acts with integrity, accountability and competence. And it is because she foregoes any notion of female privilege. It is a common theme we see most all the women who identify as advocates for men.
Feminists, and a healthy number of traditionalist women as well, have roundly complained of being sexualized, patronized and marginalized in the company of men. Do you imagine that Dr. T, GWW, Erin Pizzey, Christina Hoff Sommers, Typhonblue or the other women involved in this movement feel like they need to make that complaint? Or do you think they feel treated as equals in the company of all these supposed misogynists?
Perhaps if you have doubts you could ask them. That is, if they are not too busy giving their opinions to men who hold those opinions in high regard.
What else is on offer? How about individuality? That means rather than being a conformist follower of whatever prevailing trend, impulse, fad, or unexamined bias is fed to their peer group through opinion journalism, music, or other infotainment, these women put forth their own original thoughts, create their own ideas and defend those ideas in public, even in the face of tactics of applied shame, imputations of malice and other forms of coercion.
So, what else does the men’s rights movement offer to women? How about esteem as a human being, from both men and women, as well as real self-esteem? Not because they happen to have a vagina, or a pair of fatty glands on their upper torso, or because some schmuck pretends to respect them so he can try to get between their thighs, or because they are regarded as a historical victim, or because their peers are afraid to dissent, but because they are fully adult, intelligent and independent human beings.
How about the thing so long promised by that ideology which is so prevalent, but never delivered, except in the socially engineered forced outcomes of affirmative action and female favoring advantage in law, employment, education and elsewhere?
Equality, the real thing. That’s what the men’s rights movement offers to women. Setting aside the flattery, the one-sided, selective examination of reality from those pious frauds flying the flag of feminism, the men’s rights movement is the only place in our culture where real equality is actually the goal.
But it’s not free. You have to earn it by accepting the burdens of self-ownership. Abandon the easy out of victimhood, discard the emotional masturbation of women-are better-smarter-wiser-more-human-than-men rhetoric. You have to recognize that far from being the helpless, wind-blown porcelain petals this culture teaches women and girls they are, think, speak, and act in your own interest, and in the interest of your fellow human beings, with full acceptance of the short and the long term consequences of your actions.
And then, you’ll have our respect – that’s right, the respect of misogynistic men’s rights activists, horrible woman-hating John the Other and Paul Elam. You’ll have the real, true and actual respect of all adult men and women – as well as yourself — not because you’re a special princess or a sympathetic victim or an emotional toddler who is managed and manipulated by empty lies and flattery, but because you earned it.
What does the men’s rights movement offer women? It’s simple for those who have the personal values to grasp it. The answer is everything that was ever important.