Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another Mainstream Journalist Discovers MRAs

[Content note: MRA shit, misogyny]

R. Tod Kelly at The Daily Beast has written a piece on the men's right movement. 

It's always interesting to me to see how those who are relatively new to men's rights activists (MRAs), as Kelly is, comprehend and then present the movement to their audience.

In all, I think Kelly does an ...okay job of representing the men's rights movement, noting that the aggressive extremists tend to detract from any valid points MRAs make. And, although Kelly doesn't outright say so, the reader can infer that the number one MRA strategy seems to be to destroy feminism and cut uppity women down as opposed to doing anything that will actually tangibly benefit men.

Of course, feminists, the targets of MRAs, have been noting all of that for years, so. No newsflash here, when Kelly notes at the end of his piece:
"What the MRM doesn’t seem to realize is that every time they lionize someone who says a four-year-old girl drowning is a good thing, or giggle over a leader bragging about taking sexual advantage of a woman who’s too drunk to understand what’s happening to her, or theorize that fat women want to be forcibly raped, or float a preposterous claim that women’s brains are physically incapable of comprehending morality, they only put those resources that much further out of reach. It is telling to note that of the professional male-victim advocacy organizations I spoke with, every single one specifically asked that I not allow readers to think they were in any way related to the MRM."
Ding ding ding! And there we have the dominant action item coming straight from the so-called manosphere: Calling women cunts for male victims of assault!

If you choose to read the entire article, which in general is too easy and forgiving of MRAs in my opinion, you'll notice that Kelly chooses to highlight a purported "superstar" of the movement.  It's not a very flattering portrayal of the this Next Big MRA Dude, as Kelly claims that he "relies on easily debunked male-pill conspiracy theories and reflexively labels anyone who question his conclusions a liar, idiot or psychopath."

Yet, oddly, if you a follow a link within Kelly's piece to the guy's forum, the guy seems to be very impressed by the quality of Kelly's article and depiction of himself - calling the piece the "best" on the men's rights movement that's ever been done in a mainstream publication and "very well done." He also boasts that he and Kelly are going to "grab some beers" in an upcoming weekend.

How neat for them.

It's also weird, right, that like no major feminists were interviewed in an article in which Kelly admits that the men's rights movement is built upon "the foundation of despising feminism"?  Feminists, unlike Kelly, actually have been dealing and interacting with MRAs for decades and, again, it's interesting to read a piece that seems to echo feminist complaints without explicitly referencing or including feminist critiques.

Like dominant conversations about same-sex marriage that are largely men talking to other men about an issue that is uniquely gender-based, I'm wary of "mainstream" conversations about and with MRAs being mostly same-sex conversations.

I mean, we're talking about a movement in which The Handmaid's Tale is largely taken for granted as a utopian fantasy rather than a dystopian nightmare.  Grabbing beers with MRA superstars isn't a luxury I'm particularly invested in, as a woman.

ABC Story on MRA Aggression Sparks MRA Bias in Comments

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