Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Men's Rights Activist Predicts Violent Demise of Feminism

A men's rights fellow by the name of Paul Elam has, perhaps with the help of psychic powers, recently opined that Men's Rights Activism is poised to overthrow the "feminist hegemony" that rules everything in the entire world.

How so?

He googled two phrases and came up with these results:

"Women’s rights: 48,300,000 hits

Men’s rights: 70,600,000 hits"

The argument he poses is that the internet "matters very much" given the incredibly powerful influence that feminism holds over the mainstream media. (?!) Opposite day argumentation aside, I have a dorky, but relevant point about this fellow's google results. See, I ran the numbers and it quickly became evident that this fellow failed to run the google with his search terms in quotations marks.

This is basic googling 101, I know, so bear with me. But, by putting a search phrase in quotation marks "you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change." Thus, a search of: "men's rights" would yield a more specific and exclusive than a search of: men's rights, without quotation marks.

A search of men's rights, without quotation marks, turns up results that include the word "men" and "rights," not necessarily in that order and not necessarily relevant to the phrase "men's rights." For instance, by searching men's rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns up, which is hardly an MRA manifesto, as does the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus. Furthermore, given that the word "man" and "men" is the (oxymoronic) gender neutral word for men and women, a search of the phrase men's rights undoubtedly turns up results regarding men's rights, meaning men only, and also men's rights, meaning the rights of both men and women.

A more specific search, however, of "men's rights," with the phrase in quotation marks turns up 186,000 hits. "Women's rights" turns up 1,290,000.

I hope this nuance isn't lost on MRAs, as it severely undercuts the argument being made. And indeed it is the only substantive argument the article makes.

For, it quickly becomes apparent that Elam's bizarre article is demonstrative of an unfortunate MRA argumentation tendency. It is, for the most part, a lazyman's argument. Without addressing any feminist argument in any semblance of a substantive manner, it sluggishly taunts that such an argument is unnecessary because feminism will irrelevance itself right out of existence. It will "sink its own ship," he claims. Switching his argument, he then offers us one uninspired, violent metaphor after another, arguing that MRA-ism is destined to overthrow feminism. I guess feminism won't "sink its own ship" after all, but will get a bit of help from MRA dudemen.

Contradictory internal arguments aside, trapped as it is in egocentrism, ignorance of feminism, and male privilege, many adherents or MRA-ism take the claim regarding the irrelevance and stupidity of feminism as being self-evidently true and a statement of objective fact. And that, perhaps is one of the their greatest errors.

I know, MRAs do this all the time.

They wish feminism to die, and so they state it as a fact that it is going to die. Literally. One MRA commenter violently boasted: "I want to murder feminism by the boatload." I wonder if he really meant, murder feminists by the boatload. No other commenters noted this violent language. The wet dreams continue, as the author writes, Men's Rights Activism "isn’t a revolutionary tsunami, but it is happening fast, like flood waters rising with deceptive speed and force," coming to "drown the feminist orthodoxy." And, "[M]en’s rights activism is on a steamroll and will soon be barreling like a locomotive right at the feminist power structure." Yes, despite lacking even basic competence in Google 101, these MRAs are already jigging their premature touchdown dance in anticipation of the fantastical MRA takeover of the universe.


This sort of verbal violence against feminism, uttered by MRAs who claim to be oppressed by feminism, is also quotidian. I know. For as much as they complain that The Feminazi Bitchez defame all men as being violent, many MRAs do a pretty damn good job of demonstrating their violent tendencies and homicidal desires of everything feminist all by themselves.

Yet, despite all of these fantasies of destroying feminism, one gets the impression that something else is what is truly important about the MRA movement. Feminists have long suspected that MRA-ism is less about breaking down rigid gender codes that harm both men and women and more about aggressively reacting to the de-centering of men from their position at the center of all that matters in the world. While some MRAs devote a fair amount of time discussing legitimate issues, many more seem to use their dude-forums mostly to angrily stew about the overall cuntiness of women, ex-wives, and feminists. To an outsider, MRA-ism looks to be the male-centric caricature of what it believes radical feminism to be: a woman-hating ideology that places men in the role of victim of the world.

In the same way that Christians in our mostly-Christian nation claim that they are oppressed, MRAs try to convince everyone that it is men who are really oppressed, especially the white heterosexual male. In both instances, whether intentional or not (for, many men and Christians genuinely do believe that they are being victimized), this faux-victimhood narrative is a desperate attempt to retain power and privilege. And so, like the dudes who wrote the Manhattan Declaration, many of their articles and posts are dedicated, not to addressing actual problems that men face, but to loud boasting about how awesome and brave they are for standing up to women, feminists, and minorities who, they claim, really rule the world.

See, when you read this Elam's article and then the comments that follow, something will hit you. No, not a giant wave. Or a locomotive, either. But... something else.

MRAs have minority envy.

Whether they understand it or not, they want to keep all of the privileges of being male, which is why they loathe the feminism that points out these privileges; but they also want to grab all of what they see as "perks" of being a minority. Because they are men in a male-dominated world, they do not understand what it is to not be a man. They do not even have to try to understand this. They think that being a woman is all about getting free drinks, having special women's studies courses, and being exempt from the draft (that no longer even exists). Because they are men, they don't have to understand the many ways that oppression flows from the one simple lie that society has convinced many men (and women) is true: Men Are The Default Human Being.

This lie is why practically every other course that is not specifically women's studies course is a men's studies course, despite lacking the appropriate moniker. This lie is why men have created "God" in their male image and insist that "he" has a pee-pee just like them and that women are a lesser rib-created version of males. This lie allows some men to claim that "almost everything good in your life was invented, discovered, created or built by men" as though that is (a) true, and (b) a testament to the innate superiority of men as opposed to the giant affirmative action plan they had afforded themselves throughout history by restricting women to the roles of wife and mother.

This lie, most damning of all to the MRA cause, is what enables these fellows to mistake their subjective opinions regarding the overall suckiness of feminism as objective truth.

So cocksure are they about this, so entirely certain that the male voice is the ultimate, authoritative arbiter of all that is true about life experience, they write incompetently overconfident articles informing the world that feminism is destined to "sink its own ship" because, they claim, of course it is men who are the real victims. Because he does not experience and cannot know what it is like to be a woman, Elam writes as though the experiences of millions of women in the world that feminism has, actually, helped do not count and are in no way relevant to the Truth About Feminism.

And so, dear readers, we come to MRA commenter Stu. I hope the Secret Society of Men's Rights Activists toiling away under the unbearable, oppressive weight of the gynocracy, will forgive Stu for revealing the MRA Master Plan. In the single greatest Jeopardy-style question to which Men's Rights Activism is the answer, he asks:

"how does a white hetro guy become part of a repressed minority with all the rights that go with it"

Ding ding ding!

We have a winner, Alex.

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