Progressive View of Men’s Rights
The Men’s Rights Movement(MRM) and its activists have long been criticized by feminists, and to some extent by society and mainstream media in general, as reactionary, feudal, sexist, misogynistic, right-wing, alt-right, against women’s liberation, against gender equality, patriarchal oppressors, rape apologists and what not. This propaganda serves the following purposes.
- To deny the movement its deserved space in the liberal discourse in society
- To keep the progressive or liberal youth and those who might agree with it from joining it for fear of being stigmatized
- To stop it from exposing the biased laws and prejudices in society against men and boys and masculinity in general
One has only to see the recent protests and boycotts being organized in places like Melbourne and Ottawa against the movie Red Pill, that seeks to focus on the problems of men, to realize how this kind of strategies work. My intention in writing this article is to show how men’s rights, and its aims, far from being reactionary, are truly progressive, and how the men’s rights movement helps make this world a better place for one and all. Obviously, there is no one voice which can claim to speak for the movement, and these views are clouded by my own background and experience.
My intention in writing this article is to show how men’s rights, and its aims, far from being reactionary, are truly progressive, and how the men’s rights movement helps make this world a better place for one and all. Obviously, there is no one voice which can claim to speak for the movement, and these views are clouded by my own background and experience.
The men’s rights movement seeks to make a simple point: men, too, have rights. Men, too are human. Men, too, have feelings. Every man’s life is equally valuable as every woman’s life. Every man’s time and labor is equally valuable as every woman’s.
Male victims of domestic violence, more than 2 in 5 as per statistics, feel equal pain as do female victims. Male victims of sexual abuse also feel helpless and abused, just like female victims. Forced circumcision of males is no less horrifying than the genital mutilation of females. Fathers love their children and want to spend quality time with them just as much as mothers do. Men like to have time free to themselves, away from working to support their family, just as much as women do. Men do not like to be forcibly drafted to fight for another’s cause, be it country or religion, just like women don’t.
Men have the right to just be men without someone pathologizing their behavior, just as much as women do. Male children forced to work instead of going to school deserve their childhood every bit as much as female children who are denied school. Is asking for any of these less than progressive?
If the men’s rights movement has its way, it is not that girls will get less education or will be confined to their homes, it is just that boys and girls will be equally educated so that both can make a fair contribution to society. Everyone shall have equality of opportunity. There will be no discrimination on the basis of gender or any of the other divisions that divide men such as religion or country or race or caste or class. Nobody will be forced to become a soldier, fight and die for any cause. No child shall have their parent’s beliefs shoved down their throat. Every person shall be free to work as he wishes, whether it be to hunt in the morning, rear fish in the afternoon and rear cattle in the evening, to quote Marx. Society and the family shall be modeled on the principles of freedom and true equality, perhaps using community models such as the Israeli Kibbutzim for raising children. No man shall be forced into wage slavery to support their wife and kids, any more than no woman shall be forced into kitchens. No farmers shall be forced to commit suicide because of their unsustainable debts and inability to support their families.
Men’s rights activists are in favor of girls’ education and working because men and women with good education and technical skills foster a healthy culture and progress in society. They are in favor of rights of gay people because everyone has the right to choose their partners independently without societal or government interference. They are in favor of shared parenting because every child deserves to spend quality time with both their parents to have a healthy development. Just as it is regressive to force a man to pay lifelong alimony and maintenance to his wife in case of a relationship break-up since it fosters an unhealthy dependency and ulterior motives, so it is progressive to oppose it and campaign for both partners to be financially independent. This is why men’s rights activists oppose regressive traditional family structures and societal expectations that force men into bondage for life. They support the liberation and independence of life choices for both men and women. What can ever be more progressive than this?
It is a well-known fact that men are the most productive elements of society. This is why liberating men from the burden of the family will liberate all of the society. It is, in fact, the petty divisions among men that lead to wars and policies for the benefit of the rich and powerful at the cost of the poor and unemployed. This is why raising awareness of men’s exploitation and men’s rights is simultaneously a campaign for peace, harmony and prosperity.
Long have the rights of men been ignored and men considered disposable, whether it be endless work at low wages workers to make the rich richer, or fight in endless wars to enable the powerful to keep their power. A man’s life is so cheap that death or suicide of a man in countries like India is not considered worth a mention, while the death of a woman becomes front page news and people clamoring for changing laws to prevent females from dying.
While society, egged on by feminist propaganda, focuses on solving the imaginary gender wage gap problem (attributable to different lifestyle choices by men and women who are similarly qualified) by giving higher wages and positions in lucrative high paying corporate jobs to less deserving educated women who are already from well-off classes, nobody cares about the backbreaking jobs at minuscule wages by the blue collar and poorer male workers which, of course, the feminists never crave for equality in. The feminists also forget about equality when it comes to drafting soldiers at the time of war. Also forgotten are the child laborers, being mostly boys, who also deserve an equal education as the girls educated by the Save the Girl child and the Beti Padhao brigade.
Regressive views of feminists
Rather than the men’s rights movement activists, it is the feminists and their allies who have a regressive and backward philosophy, tactics and actions. It is they who regularly seek the help of their much-despised patriarchy at every possible instance to advance their anti-male and female supremacist agenda, while claiming victimization and running to the same patriarchy whenever their propaganda is challenged.
It is the feminists who seek the help of the patriarchal courts to impose unfair family law and divorce judgments on men. It is the feminists who seek the help of the patriarchal politicians to pass women friendly and anti-male laws such as the Domestic violence Act and 498a in India, where the laws of natural justice are turned on their head and the men are presumed guilty until they can prove they are innocent. It is the feminists who take the help of the patriarchal courts, the politicians and the media to block any change or repeal in the same biased laws even though there is credible data on their widespread abuse.
It is the feminists like Kavita Krishnan who demand the patriarchal media to ban coverage of men’s day or ban the screening of films like the Red Pill that present the male point of view. It is the feminists who bay for the blood of any politician or scientist in the patriarchal media, no matter how respected like Tim Hunt he might be, whom they deem to make sexist comments. On the other hand, they themselves have no qualms to pass comments in the same patriarchal media like “It is the turn of men to suffer” (Renuka Chowdhury, previous women’s development minister of India) or “All violence is male generated” (Maneka Gandhi, present women’s development minister of India) or laugh at men’s problems being discussed in parliament (Jess Phillips, labor MP in UK) without facing any repercussions or even being praised for their statements.
It is the feminists in India who, while claiming to be anti-imperialist, have no qualms taking huge donations from institutions with dubious US foreign policy objectives such as the Ford Foundation, Clinton Foundation or Bill Gates Foundation, to advance their agenda of lobbying to get gender biased laws passed in developing countries or putting pressure on governments (such as here and here) via international agencies such as UN Women. It is the Swedish feminists who support the extradition of Julian Assange on trumped up rape charges to punish him for exposing widespread corruption in the US on Wikileaks while having no problems with their own Swedish government doing business with countries like Saudi Arabia. It is the feminists in the USA who, while claiming to stand for gay liberation, have no qualms stopping gay libertarian activists like Milo from speaking in universities because they don’t like his logical and well-articulated views on topics such as the imaginary wage gap and campus rape fear-mongering and have no coherent arguments to oppose them. It is the feminists who claim that men’s rights are not needed because feminism will care for men too while opposing campaigns like Movember that raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and CALM that raises awareness about male suicide. Worldwide, it is the same story: the feminists who claim to be for gender equality and against patriarchy always oppose men’s causes and run for support to the patriarchy.
Women sitting in the front or reserved coaches of buses and trains while men are forced to sit at the back, is this not regressive? The civil rights movement in the US was started by Rosa parks when she protested just such a treatment of black people being forced to sit at the back of the buses. The use of identity politics, such as the ‘Vote for me just because I am a woman and if you don’t it is because you are evil and sexist’ campaign of Hillary Clinton and her supporters, are similarly regressive. It is, in fact, regressive and misogynistic of feminists to consider women to be the weaker sex and dependent on men for life.
It is time for men to unite, they have nothing to lose but their chains.
Picture Courtesy: Franck Michel/Flickr