Anti-Misandrists, and "The Bangkok Girl Fantasy"

Blogger David Futrelle has written up a short but sweet article on the Western male fantasy of the "nubile, pliant, and above all grateful" Asian or Eastern European woman.  This is a common trope, and it's one that I think a lot of us in the feminist community have chosen to simply ignore.  But sadly enough, ignoring something doesn't make it go away.

The same can be said for the anti-misandry or "men's rights movement."  After reading the linked article, I clicked around a little and found that Futrelle has developed a commendable vocation for directly tackling misogynist outlets like Spearhead.

I'll be honest with you: I don't engage with the men's rights movement because those guys scare me.  The only violent, threatening comments I've ever received have been from that particular corner of the Crazyverse. 

These are men who believe there's no such thing as rape, or that women are primarily responsible for it.  Men who believe that you can either have abortion rights OR child support, but not both.  (Because if a woman has the option to have a child on her own, then it's her choice and the father shouldn't have to pay for it.  No, I don't know how they handle the divorce situation either.  I never said this stuff made sense.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I said exactly the opposite.)

And this behavior and overall attitude of threatening creepiness is not just confined to the internet.  I once worked at a desk adjacent to a somewhat prominent "men's rights activist." 

I didn't realize this until one day I mentioned something about being a feminist.  The next day he brought in a huge cardboard box full of copies of the men's rights newsletter which he had been self-publishing for several years.  Let me tell you something: that noise was scary. 

I later learned that he had performed the same airlift drop of misogyny on several other women in the office.  And yet, he never handed his stuff out to other men.  Why? 

It was impossible not to feel there was an implied threat in being handed a copy paper box full of self-published "men's rights" newsletters.  Particularly coupled with his can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it creepiness. 

Let me put it this way: I still remember his name quite clearly, even though this was fifteen years ago, and I don't remember my best office friend's name.  I remember his name because every few years I look him up online, convinced that this will be the time I learn he's been sent to jail for being a serial killer.

Furthermore, it's a futile effort.  Nothing I could possibly say would ever change the mind of a rabid "anti-feminist," so why should I bother?

But to circle back to our original topic: at least those guys are pretty open about what they want.  There's something refreshing about a man who says, "I want a partner who is completely submissive, subservient, and wholly dedicated to catering to my own needs without insisting on any of her own."  So there's that, I guess.

Photo credit: Flickr/Liz Henry


Simon's picture


"These are men who believe there's no such thing as rape, or that women are primarily responsible for it."

There are also women (self-proclaimed feminists) who believe that all men are rapists. Are we to believe that this is what the whole movement of feminism stands for? (No.) Don't tar the entire men's right movement with the same brush.


Kat's picture


There are a collection of articles about philosophical perspectives on violence against women edited by French, Teays and Purdy. I am sure it will be available in "good book stores" or at least Amazon. One of the opening articles talks about this "all men are rapist" issue.

It puts forward this theory - Because Some men do commit violence against women, women must assume that all men could.


when i first read this i thought it was quite black and white - but then i thought about it harder. there are some men who do commit rape and violent attacks specifically against women. and it does mean that women must veiw all men in any situation as a potential threat, because there are those who would. by understanding that the risk is there, women can try to help protect themselves. this is completely unfair to men of course, but until Gender based violence is eliminated then all of the kind, non raping, non violent men out there will just have to suffer being bundled in the same group.


Rape and Violent attack from men is not all there is to Feminism, but if your safety is at daily risk (which for many women around the world it is) just because of your gender, surely you can see that it is going to be a pretty fundamental issue within the womens movement.


FEMINISM is about Equality. therefor those men who believe in equality are FEMINISTS.


the "Men's right movement" (as you have called it) is not a part of feminism, as it is not about Equality, but about male dominance.


as this is a feminist - Read EQUALITY - blog you can surely see that there will be writers here who will criticise a movement campaigning for mens supremacy.


If you are able to give a balance and reasoned argument into the positive aspects of the men's movement then they will be gladly listened to.


short sharp statements with no research or infomation backing them up may make you feel clever, but unfortunately do not contribute anything to the debate.


Anonymous's picture


The goal of the men's movement is to help men reach a point from which they can fully experience their emotions.  This goal is not often reached because the movement fails to recognize that an examination of privilege is intrinsically linked to this experience.  Privilege is dependent upon those who have it not empathizing with those who do not.  When someone begins to truly experience their emotions and empathize with those around them, then their own privilege becomes apparent.  Thus this goal exists in accordance with feminism.  This is incomplete, please critique it.


On a slightly related note, could you walk me through how the philosophy of blaming the victim leads you to the belief that the men's movement's primary objective is the perpetuation of male domination?

 "I want to make it clear that this book does not seek to turn men against women, nor to return to the domineering model that has led to the repression of women and their values for centuries"-Robert Bly, in the preface to the book Iron John, which launched the men's movement.  

ps.  I am not a member of the men's movement.


DeZ's picture


Okay, I will admit, what first brought me to this posting was a mention of expat dating in asian countries.

needless to say I am rather disappointing how this article starts with the issue (sort of) with expat dating then devolves into a tangent of ad hominem and evidence free accusations of unknown person and completely fails to address the topic of westerners seeking spouses abroad or the accusations of the original article.

this seems like crappy writing to me.

and just on a logical note. if feminists are for equality, and they claim they are anti-misogyny. wouldn't it make sense to be anti-misandry as well? I mean that would be equality...