Cathy Young is an opinion writer of some notoriety. Among other subjects over the years she has written often on the issues faced by men and boys, and from a decidedly empathetic angle. As such I have seen her name mentioned, as I have done myself, frequently and favorably in the men’s rights community.
Given the recent uptick in mainstream media attention to men’s issues it is hardly surprising that she would be addressing the subject again. It is not even surprising that she would reference A Voice for Men.
In an opinion piece today for the Boston Globe, Young summarizes many of the problems faced by men, calls out feminist inattention and denial of those problems and reiterates the need for more a thoughtful approach than society has yet to muster. She then addresses the efforts of A Voice for Men:
Unfortunately, any movement championing one gender seems doomed to devolve into victim politics and demonization of the other sex. Some leading men’s rights websites such as A Voice for Men offer a steady diet of vulgar woman-bashing that discredits any valid points they may make.
First, allow me to make use of my copy and paste function to assert, yet again, that A Voice for Men does not offer a steady diet, or even a reduced calorie version, of woman-bashing, which partly explains why Young relied on the allegation of such rather than providing an example, or, better yet, linking her readers to such an example so they could see what she had a problem with in context.
After years of condemning feminism’s hypocrisies and eloquently stating men’s issues, Young just played the misogyny card, true to the feminist playbook.
A Voice for Men has a longstanding tradition of offering unapologetic, but thoughtful critique of men and women, and what has become of them in modern culture. It is a subject that would appear almost obligatory given the current climate in sexual politics. That critique is delivered about both sexes, and by both sexes, from many different walks of life, something Young also fails to mention. Reducing the opinions of those men and women to just another example of online misogyny is not only shallow and thoughtless, it is dishonest.
It leaves one to only speculate about Young’s motives for such an assessment, which does not interest me personally enough to pursue. What I am interested in, however, is the hypocrisy.
As a writer on men’s issues, Young has addressed essentially the same subjects as this website over the past several years: father’s rights, false accusations, male reproductive rights, workplace mortality, male suicide, legal discrimination, educational disenfranchisement and other issues. She lends legitimacy to most or all of them, even in the same article in which she dismisses A Voice for Men as misogynistic. She equally laments the social ignorance surrounding these issues, and the feminist ideologues whose raison d’être it is to perpetuate that ignorance.
It appears that Cathy Young is all well and good about protesting the treatment of men and looking for solutions.
Unless we forget our place and get all uppity about it.
This is the kind of arm’s length, insincere social justice that Young has just shown herself to practice to every man and woman out there who are actually hurt by these problems. She is fine with men’s issues over latte and scones and polite conversation. But the moment we start to offend with our anger; the moment we start to react to these issues for what they really are: men being bled out on the streets as the general public, annoyed at the inconvenience, steps over their bodies, Cathy Young has a problem with it and wants us to shut the fuck up.
I’m sorry, was that vulgar?
I am afraid you will have to get used to it. I am also quite certain that sending people to A Voice for Men for the first time, some of which will actually figure out they have been lied to, is not a very good way to prove you have a reason to be haughty. A Voice for Men has grown exponentially on just that sort of irrational, false allegation. We are accustomed to it coming from feminist ideologues, but will happily accept it from those whose interest in men and boys is positive, but restricted to a paycheck and a pat on the back.
Here’s the deal, for the likes and Cathy Young and others who claim to support positive changes for men and boys, but who then clutch pearls and pinch their noses closed in fake fits of nobility over straight talk, harsh language and defiant rhetoric:
You have had your chance to draw attention to these problems, and failed.
This society has made the evisceration of men and boys business as usual. Polite social pontificators, well-meaning, well-paid public speakers and the like are sometimes a refreshing respite from the onslaught of misandry and the overt demonization of men and boys. But are they changing the social climate in any way? What change has Cathy Young fostered? And, to be blunt, what has she accomplished other than enhancing her career?
If you want to point the finger at people about discrediting their own valid points, it is best not to do so while standing on a foundation of opportunism, empty rhetoric and hypocrisy.
At A Voice for Men we serve a community of men already bleeding, with knives already in their backs. We serve the women and children who love them and care about them enough that they want more than fluff and Pablum from social commentators who ultimately don’t give a damn about the outcome.
If we are a little, uh, provocative and rude, then you have a choice. You can ridicule us for not using the back entrance and the correct water fountain as instructed – which Cathy Young has just done. Or, you can attack the fact that marginalized, ignored victims of social and legal discrimination have always had a way of becoming annoying to the comfortable masses. That is what they are supposed to do, in case you never deigned to notice.
If you think you can stop that with name-calling and manufactured allegations, you better go back and crack a few history books. They should be very instructive in precisely predicting the worst of scenarios, which you are now helping to foment.