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On The Men's Rights Movement

I have complicated feelings about the "men's rights movement," as you might imagine. But I doubt that you - certainly if you are a member of the movement - realize how accepting I am of the men's rights movement's ideals.

That is my first, foremost, and most enduring critique: that men's rights activists inevitably blow right past what I have written, misunderstanding everything beyond the word "feminist," and go on to pick some random, tiny point and argue it to the death. Sup with that? I know not.

If you are a men's rights activist, do us both a favor: slow down and actually read what I have written.

I go on and on about blaming the kyriarchy rather than the patriarchy. You know why? It's not just a war of highfalutin' language. It's because members of the men's rights movements are people who find themselves on the wrong side of the kyriarchy - just like feminists. The kyriarchy damages us both. We are, in fact, siblings in arms.

I'mma stop and let that sink in.

I don't blame the patriarchy, because all men are not by default rulers of the world. Is the kyriarchy comprised largely of men? Yes. But as any men's rights activist worth his snuff will tell you, there are a lot of disenfranchised men in the world, too.

The kyriarchy only recognizes the "right" kind of man. If you are not an affluent and reasonably attractive white male between the ages of 25 and 60, ideally from a suburban or upper-class urban background, with a higher education and a white collar job, then you're on the out.

Coincidentally, this power structure robs women of their agency, as well. We are on the same side.

My whole deal is equality. So to answer the inevitable barrage of questions:
  • Yes, I would be in favor of women being subjected to the draft. It works pretty well for Israel, don't you think?
  • Yes, I am in favor of equal parenting rights.
  • Yes, I believe that the custody imbalance needs to be addressed.
  • Yes, I wholeheartedly agree (as someone who was raised by divorced parents, with - not to put too fine a point on it - a better dad than a mom) that women are not by default better caregivers.
  • Yes, I would be more than happy to go halfsies on every dinner for the rest of my life.
  • Yes, I will open my own doors. I make my own way in the world. To quote my favorite thing ever said on the internet, "Chivalry is the consolation prize handed out by a sexist society."

Equality. That's what I want. That's what you want, too. Why so much grar?

This brings me to my final point: I'm not sure if you have noticed, but a lot of self-styled men's rights activists come off as women-hating, slut-shaming, victim-blaming troglodytes with paralyzing mommy issues. You guys might want to look into that. Feminists did it by branching off a new division called "third wave feminism" (which see). So that's always an option. Just an FYI.

Photo credit: Flickr/royalt