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Imagine this scenario:
Bob is much bigger and stronger than Chris. For some reason, Bob decides to single out Chris for bullying and harassment. Bob persists on it, day after day. It’s gotten to the point where Chris feel terrified of Bob, and will do anything he can to avoid Bob. However, Chris is unable to get away from Bob.
One day, Chris finally gains the courage and strength to fight back. As Bob is waiting to harass Chris, once again - this time around, Chris has a surprise for Bob. Chris uses his newly found strength to fight back - and he gives Bob the beating of his lifetime.
A third person, Dave, has witnessed everything. He claims to maintain a neutral stance on the whole Bob and Chris “feud”, because a “feud” is all he sees it as. So he decides to confront Chris, and chastises him for fighting back. When Chris counters that Bob had been harassing him for days on end, Dave acknowledges that it was wrong for Bob to harass and bully him - then argues that it was equally as wrong for Chris to fight back. After all, Dave argues, two wrongs don’t make a right.
However, Dave had also witnessed the many times that Bob had bullied and harassed Chris. At no point did Dave stand up to Bob, and tell him that it was wrong for him to bully and harass Chris. In fact, Dave had always been strangely silent on the matter - and has only decided to say something, after Chris opted to fight back.
Anyway, you probably get the whole idea. Each of the characters in this scenario represent the following: Bob = men’s rights advocates, Chris = feminists, Dave = “equalists”.
The reason why I put “equalists” in quotation marks - is because most self-identified “equalists” are not truly equalists, at all. If they were, then they would spend just as much time attacking the men’s rights movement - as they do attacking feminism. However, most of the time, it’s only the feminist movement that they choose to attack - whereas they spend time defending the men’s right movement, while claiming not to be a part of it. Now, I hope you can see what’s wrong with this picture.
I would like to point out that I would not have a problem with the men’s right movement, if the centre of their focus was not on being antagonistic towards feminism. I’m not gonna deny that the patriarchy does also hurt men, and I would not have a problem with them fighting against those things.
For example, I abhor the very concept of the draft - because I believe that it is wrong to force anyone to risk their lives fighting in a war that they may not agree with. Indeed, it is very antithetical towards what the United States claims to be about - and I don’t blame the draft dodgers that chose to immigrate to Canada (and other countries that didn’t have the draft). In fact, I sympathize very much with them. If USian men wanted to create a movement to oppose the draft, I would support that - as long as they don’t blame “feminism” for only men being affected by the draft.
Likewise, I would have no problem with men creating a “misandry in video games” series - as long as they aren’t claiming that misogyny isn’t also in issue in video games. Because, yes, there are a lot of negative male stereotypes in video games and other media - but the problem is, a lot of men seem to not have a problem with said stereotypes. Indeed, if women were to give men the “benefit of the doubt” - and not assume that stereotypes applied to all men - some men actually would take offence to that. Indeed, they would claim that it’s women not wanting men “to be men”. And then you’d get ranting on the “pussification of men”. I’m pretty sure it’s not feminists who have a problem with the “pussification of men”, and the few radfems (who are also trans-phobic) that don’t like men taking on female stereotypes would not use the word “pussification”.
The problem is not that I think men shouldn’t fight against the ways in which society disadvantages them. The problem is, they don’t need to do it by being antagonistic towards feminists. As for the “equalists”, if they truly wanted to take a neutral stance on the gender roles, they could start by not always attacking feminists - while, at the same time, rushing towards the defence of the men’s rights movement.
The bottom line is, feminists are not anti-men. We’re simply anti-patriarchy. If men are tired of being disadvantaged by the patriarchy, then they should try being feminists. It will benefit them, too.
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