Men’s Rights does not mean Anti- Feminist

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I have been having conversations with a Facebook ‘Friend’ for a couple of weeks and he seems to feel that Feminism and women’s rights have disadvantaged men.  He and some men’s groups are calling for Men’s Rights as they feel that feminism has degraded their own rights, particularly around the issue of parental access to children.

The photo, was re posted by my ‘friend’ after being posted to the Against Feminism Facebook page. Interesting reading the About Page on that site.  I thought I would post the first part of the discussion here at Changing Women to get comments from others.

[name removed for privacy]

Aug 5, 2012, The rules of domestic violence that are in the law are made by women’s activist, call them feminist, whatever, you should just type “men’s rights” in Google, then you would know about this issue, at least from a legal perspective, laws made by women’s activists, Yes, feminists themselves do not persuade physical violence against men by women as a primary propaganda (and yes, killing children as an option that feminism suggests as a reproductive right is to be acknowledged as well, for feminism that proclaims itself as non violent), but laws are made against men in such situations, and these laws are made and created by feminists, you are speaking of the good feminism, and bad feminism needs to be acknowledge by society, and yes , it is gradually being understood by people, the percentage of gender based violence against women is greater but is not an justification to make laws biased against men, there was a single woman graduate in India which became the role models for billions of women to be educated, there was a single woman pilot on the world to be the cause for us to encourage women to be pilots, there are just a few women in corporate broads today, but just these few women are enough for the world to motivate billions of women to join the corporate leadership, we there are a few women in company’s managers, but we try to address their issues for promoting women in companies, few women become as cause for concern, similarly violence by women on a few men is not a justification that men’s issue should not be addressed, as I said before men’s rights activist are not against feminism that seeks justice for women, but the same feminist does address women and men in different light, if a women is are condemned and not allowed by the society for doing some thing men does, feminism and their followers say she is denied her rights, but if men are condemned and not allowed by the society for doing some thing women does, feminist and their followers say men are escapist. See, we need to acknowledge these realities men face from feminism apart from the common society, denying these legal and social realities of men inflicted by feminism and society is same as denying that women are raped, face gender discrimination, etc., in fact, men’s rights activists are more balanced in this way – men’s rights activists do blame certain kinds of feminism, but unlike feminism that does not acknowledges men’s rights, men’s rights activists acknowledge women’s rights.”

MY COMMENTS
Feminism does not support violence against women, it does not lie – the percentage of violence against women is far greater than violence against men. That being said, feminists do not support domestic violence against meneither. It is not feminist teaching to bash men. You may be surprised to know that there is domestic violence in same sex male relationships as well – this has nothing to do with feminism.  Surely, you and this organisation do not support the raping, terrorism and killing of women that is all too common in many countries? Feminism exists to bring awareness and to promote equality between the sexes. It has also changed over time. It is not feminism that did this to the man in the photo, it is a violent person.

This is a big subject [NAME REMOVED]. What are the rules of domestic violence that are made by women’s activist? I don’t need to type ‘mens rights‘ into Google to know that men have been in power for centuries and have created most of (if not all)

law. Can you give me examples? Don’t you know the figures for violence against women? Domestic violence is very serious – it is not just the physical violence but also the disempowerment of many women with children who have no job, no money and no place to go. These women live in violent homes with their husbands and partners and the violence can continue over decades. For some women (in Australia) they have to escape their husbands in order to protect themselves and their children, sadly many still die at the hands of their husband after they have left. Domestic violence laws were set up to protect these people (and if it happens to a man – then it protects him as well), from harm and enables them to have a life that is safe. This is a very complex subject and not one that you can easily dismiss as the percentage and outcome of domestic violence against women and men is very different. Perhaps you can do a Google search on the statistics, the recovery times and the ongoing damage that domestic violence has caused to so many women. Lets not forget that men are still stronger than most women and at a minimum can physically restrain them – women can’t do that to most men.
In terms of abortion – feminism does not advocate abortion, but it does work for women to have the ability to decide how their bodies will be treated (self determination) and to make decisions that effect their own bodies. In the past, women have not had that choice and you only need to look as close as China, where the Government – not feminists are forcing parents to have abortions against their will.  Other countries force circumcision, and the list goes on. Women only ask to have equal choice, not to limit the choices of men.

If you have a problem with the legal system, then you need to address the legal system. Many laws HAVE been changed to try and balance the rights of women to the rights of men – which our legal systems are founded on. Wouldn’t you fight if

you were denied the basic rights to education, to not be killed for refusing marriage, the have the ability to leave the house and to choose your own pathway in life? Of course our laws needed to be changed as they did not provide for equality. In Australia, women had limited ability to vote in 1894, so who made the laws before that? It wasn’t women.
Can you give me an example of BAD Feminism? Is this where women disagree with men?
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS….
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12 responses »

  1. It’s like all weekend I’m being stalked by this viewpoint that feminism is about oppressing men…weird. I will throw my two cents in here. It used to be culturally acceptable to “physically discipline” women, that is why feminists work so hard to prevent this type of abuse against women. It was common and even today some women accept abuse because they were raised with it or they see it as “normal.” I don’t see how fighting against this mindset promotes abuse against men. I, for one, would like to see nobody being abused.
    I think that men are often afraid to admit when they are abused by a female partner, because there is still the mindset that women are the weaker sex. It makes a man feel ashamed if he is “less of a man” than a woman. Feminism can help to combat this thinking by promoting the idea that women are not weaker by nature and that there is no shame in saying you need help if you are being physically abused by a female.
    Good blog, by the way, this was interesting to think about. … Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment on my blog, I really appreciate the feedback – so glad that you thought the subject something to think about. Studies have shown that men that have been abused in a domestic violence situation actually recover faster emotionally, often this is because they have work outside the home and are able to connect to networks more easily whereas many abused women are isolated by the domestic violence cycle because they are at home with children, unemployed and without networks that can help them. There is also a great deal of shame involved for women who are victims, the shame that they are not successfully managing their relationship. I agree with you about men feeling ashamed to speak out because of the stigma of men needing to be strong ‘be a man’, and as you say, no one should abused particularly in a relationship where they should feel safe.

      I love your article about the gluten and wheat! My sister is a celiac and I am gluten and lactose free! Makes it difficult but I manage pretty well. I usually have a supply of nuts and sultana’s in my bag so I am not going to starve!

  2. See, we need to acknowledge these realities men face from feminism apart from the common society, denying these legal and social realities of men inflicted by feminism and society is same as denying that women are raped, face gender discrimination, etc.

    lolsob forever. What a tragic tale of woe for the men, even without false equivocation (because legal bias is totally the same as rape) is complete crock of lizard-poo.

    n fact, men’s rights activists are more balanced in this way

    Just like faux news is fair and balanced in their reporting.

  3. That was extremely frustrating to read (not least because some of it didn’t make sense). It’s unequivocally NOT true that laws regarding domestic violence or parental custody are made by women’s activists – they are made by lawmakers. Since the writer gives hardly concrete examples of instances of what he’s talking about, it’s hard to respond to what he’s saying a lot of the time!

    Of course, it is awful when men are abused by female partners; this is completely unacceptable and would be punishable by law. I don’t understand how the writer feels that “laws are made against men in such situations” because of this. There IS bias in society against men who are attacked by women because of the idea that women are weaker and men should be able to stand up for themselves – but this is not a feminist idea; it is a patriarchal idea. Feminism is anti-men, it’s anti-patriarchy. So actually in many cases, feminism and men’s rights activists are working to the same end.

    The one notable case in which the law is biased against men – and I do strongly feel that this should be addressed – is in the case of child custody. The law is heavily biased towards the mother in almost all situations, sometimes making it difficult for fathers to see their children. However, this again stems largely from the patriarchal idea that women are caregivers and men don’t need to be as involved in family life. Obviously, looking at it from this perspective, patriarchy can be as damaging to men as to women. Attributing that to feminists is ill-informed and frankly unfair.

    In other words, this is a complete misdirection of anger. It’s generally very ill-informed and infuriating because of it!

    • Hi Beckie, thanks for commenting. The Facebook ‘friend’ that I refer to has English as his second language, hence the difficult wording at times. After reading my reply to him last night, he is coming around to realize that he needs to substantiate some of his claims (if he can which I doubt). Your comment about patriarchy being the issue and not feminism is a great one which I never thought of and so true. I think that the Anti-Feminist group that this guy is part of must have started with a custody battle where the father has come off second best and now they are blaming all women ‘feminists’. Since I posted this article, I have also posted something to the Anti-Feminist Facebook page and now have a response which I need to do something with. The ‘About’ section of the website is a very interesting read, http://www.facebook.com/AgainstFeminism. It is very long, has some good points but also some misguided ones. I am encouraging them to join this site or our Facebook site http://www.facebook.com/changingwomen to see if we can start to address one issue at a time.

      Thanks again for your comment.

  4. I know this post is a bit old, but I have been studying Men’s rights, domestic violence against men, male victims of rape, etc. While some issues brought up by these groups are illogical, many are issues that should at least be looked at more. What I have learned so far is that women are abused by their parter at a rate of 1 in 4 (In the US), while men are abused at a rate of 1 in 7 (in the US0. While it isn’t hard to see that women are the victims more than men, Every city in America has a shelter dedicated to women. The studies get most of their data from these shelters. There are just a handful of shelters that address men and women, no shelters that are dedicated to just men. Even the domestic violence hotlines, while using gender neutral language, cater to women 95% of the time. I called a shelter the other day asking about resources for men and was hung up on. I called back and was told not to call back. I called a few more and only one out of the 10 I called offered my any advice for male victims. Their advice was to contact local law enforcement, go to a homeless shelter, get a hotel room, and gave me a number to call. The number was to a anger management group.

    The problem men face with domestic violence is not one caused by feminism, but society in general. There is a stigma all men face, at least in the US that claims men can’t be victims of rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc. This stigma formed because of other stigmas men face claiming they have to be strong, they can’t cry or show emotion, if a woman hits them they probably deserved it, they can’t do anything remotely feminine or they will lose their “man card”. These stigmas cause male victims of domestic violence to hesitate and refuse to report these crimes because they feel ashamed. When it comes to male victims of domestic violence and rape, men are invisible only because society systematicall chooses to ignore them.

    In regards to abortion, most men’s rights advocates don’t want to take away a womans right to choose, they just want an equal (as equal as they can get) option of opting out of an unwanted pregnacy. The way a man could do this would be to opt out of financial obligations and parental responsibilities. This would have to be done before the child is born and require women to notify them of their pregnancy. If they aren’t notified they are given a time to decide. This seems like an excuse for men to be deadbeet dads, but it’s not as the man would only have the same amout time a woman has to perform the abortion.

    Any MRA that blames feminism for these things lacks a proper understanding of feminism and why men face such stigmas. As a men’s rights advocate, not only am I fighting the misconceptions of normal male behavior, I am fighting the misconceptions people assign Men’s rights advocates.

    • Hi Tom, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I agree that we need to address all incidents of domestic (and other) violence, I guess that given the history of inequality between the sexes a women’s need has been the greatest and therefore many men in similar circumstances may have suffered as a result. I also personally agree that both parents should be involved in birth control and if it comes to that, abortion, unfortunately too many women and girls are left to make the decision and deal with the consequences themselves. If we could instead teach our young men to be more responsible and proactive when it comes to sex so that they know that the result of unprotected sex could be very long term. I am not saying it is right, but I do think we need to encourage a language around the ‘right to choose’ that is inclusive of men, but does not try to control and manipulate women. I say that, because men still out number women as government policy makers and as a result, can sway policy so that it ensures that a women takes the submissive traditional role of wife and mother instead of allowing her to choose freely without being penalized.

      I am not sure where your figures are coming from, but I guess the US? Incidents of domestic violence in some other countries like Africa, Pakistan, Indian and Afghanistan are very much higher for women and of course much of this is related to their culture. In Australia the incidence of domestic violence among our indigenous women is extremely high and certainly outweighs that of domestic violence against men.

      I certainly agree with you that the problem that men face with domestic violence is a societal issue and we do have some serious issues to now face in terms of the gang rape culture among young men that is reported as being the new way of ‘belonging’ and showing masculinity. Violence is violence and it is not the way to handle any confrontation, if only we could get this message across.

  5. Hi Susanne,

    I would certainly appreciate it if you took down the photo that headlines this article. You see, it is a photo of me the day after a male coworker accidentally poked my eye while playing basketball. I have never been attacked by my wife, and I am a feminist supporter. My first instinct was to laugh this off and leave it alone, but I don’t want anyone to recognize me and think my wife who I’ve been with for 20 years has ever hit me.

    I will be contacting the ridiculous organization that posted the photo originally as well. Feel free to contact me personally if you need to verify anything.

    Thanks,
    CG

    • Hi CG I will certainly remove the photo immediately. Sorry to see you have had so much trouble but not surprising given the way the internet works. I hope you successfully have it removed from the other sites.

    • Thank you dear for taking care of this on behalf of our family. Goes without saying that I would never do anything like this to you. It is sad to see how the internet works but such is life.

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