MRAs would rather complain about “male disposability” than work to enable women to serve in combat

Men’s Rights Activists regularly complain that it is mostly men who serve in the armed forces, and that it is mostly male soldiers who are killed and injured in service to their country in wartime. MRAs also complain that, in the United States, only men have to sign up for the draft – though this is more of a formality than anything else, as the draft has been dead for decades and there is virtually no chance of it being resurrected any time soon.

MRAs love to cite the dominance of men in the armed forces as a prime example of what they call “male disposability,” and somehow manage to blame feminists for it all.

But it’s not feminists who are trying to keep women from becoming soldiers, or serving in combat. While some MRAs support the idea of women serving in the army, and having to register for the draft the same as men do, many others scoff at the very notion of women as soldiers, mocking their alleged female “weakness” and in some cases denigrating the service of women now in the armed forces as being equivalent to attending “day care camp.” (Not exactly.) These MRAs may complain that men bear the brunt of the costs of war. But they don’t actually want women to serve.

Not that it makes much of a difference, because the MRAs who do supposedly want women to share the same responsibilities as men aren’t doing shit about it. You know who is? Feminists. The National Organization for Women, while opposing the draft, has long argued that if registration is required of men, it should also be required of women. NOW has also opposed the ban on female soliders serving in combat. (Not that it’s easy to draw a clear line between combat and non-combat positions on the contemporary battlefields.)

Meanwhile, a group called the Molly Pitcher Project, made up of University of Virginia law students and headed by feminist law professor Anne Coughlin, is assisting two female soldiers who are now suing the Pentagon in an attempt to lift the combat ban.

Do you want to know who is opposing them – aside from the Pentagon’s lawyers? Take a look at some of the comments posted in response to a Los Angeles Times article on the lawsuit. Note: The quotes below are pretty egregious; some deal with military rape in a really offensive way. (Thanks to Pecunium for pointing me to them.)

These aren’t “cherry-picked” from hundreds of comments; these are the bulk of the comments that were left on the article.

Are any of these commenters MRAs? Maybe, maybe not, but certainly their misogynistic “logic” is virtually identical to that I’ve seen from misogynist MRAs opposed to women serving in combat. One thing they are clearly not is feminist.

If MRAs, or at least some of them, truly want a world in which men and women share equally in the responsibilities of military service (and both have equal opportunties for military leadership), they need to challenge the misogynists — within their movement and without — who argue that women simply aren’t fit for the battlefield. And they need to support the feminists who are actually trying to make a difference — instead of standing on the sidelines crying foul.

I don’t hold out much hope that this will ever happen. MRAs are much too enamored with their fantasies of male martyrhood.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on June 1, 2012, in a voice for men, actual activism, antifeminism, feminism, homophobia, internal debate, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, paul elam, rapey, reactionary bullshit. Bookmark the permalink. 318 Comments.

  1. Heyheyheyheyheyheyheyhey

    It’s always interesting to read anti-male hate articles that use twitter or youtube comments to support their theories of just how “evil,” people that support human rights for men are, but this takes the cake:

    Those comments were not from Twitter or YouTube, they were comments responding to a LA Times article. In the future, please misread more current posts, it’s more productive then necro-trolling ones that are over year old.

    “Anti-male hate articles”? If you were more intellectually honest you would recognize that gender hate emanates from places like AVFM rather than Manboobz. You’re just a MRA true believer that can’t handle any scrutiny directed at your pseudo-movement.

  2. (Everyone else has covered the previous paragraphs).

    I’m an MRA and I’m certainly not a feminist, though I do support women that want equal rights between the sexes. That’s not what a true feminist is though.

    That’s a textbook example of a no true scotsman fallacy.

    Feminists want rights for women and no rights for men.

    [citation badly needed]

    Hate to tell you, but from the beginning of time to right now, MOST men never had any rights.

    Hate to tell you, but women had even less rights.

    We’ve had responsibilities, but never any rights and whether you like it or not, men are waking up to this.

    I don’t even… I am having trouble believing someone this stupid actually exists.

    Wow, you fit so much wrong in 1 tiny paragraph.

  3. Since the troll has gone and necro’d a women in the military thread, I am going to seize the opportunity to shamelessly link to my latest women-in-the-military picture.

  4. Damn, you are one fine artist, katz.

    Ever do portrait commissions?

  5. Sure, but only for fun.

  6. That makes sense! I don’t like doing commissions at all. The commission bit takes the fun out of the work, cos I’m selfish and want to do stuff for MEEEEEEE.

    I was thinking how cool it’d be to have portraits of no-you-couldn’t-possibly-guess-who by artists here if, and only if, they thought it’d be fun to do so.

  7. Thing is, when I draw real people for whom I have plenty of photo reference, I prefer to rotoscope, which might not be all that exciting since it would just be a drawn copy of one of your pictures.

    If you had any pictures that weren’t coming together the way you liked (lighting wasn’t consistent, couldn’t find a good stock photo of that item of clothing/prop/background, etc), that’s the perfect sort of thing for me to redraw.

  8. A women’s movement that isn’t also a men’s movement. How evil.

    Also, while many men have lacked rights, women have lacked even fewer rights and on top of that are denied rights purely because of gender.

  9. katz – now that would be cool, ‘cos I can’t find a photo to make up Louis’s latest knitwear. It’s not a complicated thing, just a cardie that alternates big horizontal bands of rib and moss stitch.

  10. Oh yeah, that would be easy-peasy if you can send me the base image you want me to work with and a pattern/pic of the cardie.

  11. Whoot! So how much would you charge? Is it a rate per figure? (Art trivia: Goya apparently charged more if he had to paint hands, ‘cos they’re difficult.)

  12. Pff, I wouldn’t charge for that sort of thing. It’s just for fun.

  13. I really doubt there are many MRA’s who care if you are getting blown up instead of them..

    Oh, are lots of MRAs likely to be blown up then? Have large numbers of MRAs been just been drafted? Or volunteered to come out from behind their keyboards and join the military?
    Because unless they have, you slimy shit stain, you should stop trying to claim some sort of vicarious credit for being the same gender as other people who are not MRAs but who genuinely are at risk.

    Of course, we object to you bringing the “oh, I had a drunk one night stand so I was raped” crap into the military.

    Yes, we know that you are a rape apologist who doesn’t give a shit about rape victims, male or female, unless you can use them to play some petty gotcha against women. But thanks for demonstrating it so clearly.

  14. katz – yay, plus feeling a bit guilty for not paying, if that makes sense. :P

    I’ll get a rough sketch of his cardi done and send a pic of him in a different one for you to adapt.

  15. Faster than a speeding bullet, I haz done a really ordinary sketch to show the layout of the stitches on Mr’s cardie, and found a good pic to base it on. I’ve even found a photo of how moss and rib look together!

    The new cardie’s much the same colour as the one in the photo. It’s loose fitting – I made it for him to slob around at home in, though he’s worn it on this side a couple of times (with his fedora – go figure).

  16. I will get to work on that!

  17. I have to ask: how did they* trim their beards and moustaches like that originally?

    *or their servants.

  18. Servants, I reckon – not sure if razors or scissors were the go. I’ll have a poke around, I know I’ve seen a Bosse engraving of a feller having his beard trimmed.

    Trivia: there’s a tale (from a dubious source: must check if Mr K remembers doing it) that he once took it into his head to trim the beards of all the gentlemen of his household. As in, do it himself. That’s supposedly how the fashion for the very small under-the-lip beards began.

  19. Bloody hell, it would have been easier to shave the whole lot off, and then have like moustache and beard wigs glued on afterwards. Would that fuss have been every day, or more like once a week?

  20. LOL at least having your own hair would eliminate the chance of it falling off! I used to swan around dressed as a Cavalier when I was a teenager, complete with good-quality stuck on moustache (real hair). I have never figured out how spirit gum is supposed to work, ‘cos I had a literal stiff upper lip so the damn thing wouldn’t detach.

    Given that hot tongs or wax would be used to get the moustache curled, it would need to be pretty frequent, unless one was a bit of a slob. I don’t think shaving happened every day, but the only reference I’ve read about that was that Charles II (Mr K’s nephew) only shaved two-three times a week, and must have looked pretty mucky in between times, given how dark his hair was. I suspect it was much the same in the earlier generation, if only because one of Mr K’s portraits gives him the best blue jaw ever.

  21. I hope Argenti comes on line – zie gets right into historical fashion conversations. We had one of the best derails ever doing that. :D

  22. Hee hee hee … So I’m Googling “portrait of Louis XIII” and scrolling right down the page I find a picture of a chap standing outside Scally and Trombone in Fitzroy … wonder where I’ve seen that picture before?

  23. *waves* I spent the vast majority of my day having lunch that turned into a five hour conversation with someone who looks like he stepped out of the Victorian era. Definitely a fan of a vest and pocket watch, though between that and my chunky goth boots, trudging though snow so we could get to a bench to continue the conversation someplace I could smoke was a bit awkward!

    In short, my day included historical fashion!

  24. Way cool, Argenti!

    Glad to see your Styledar is working. :D

  25. Spirit gum, in a nutshell — clean well, let dry, apply the mess, when it’s tacky, stick your mustache on your face, press firmly (avoid moving, and definitely don’t sneeze!)

    Even done well though you can definitely feel it and it’ll eventually get quite annoyingly itchy.

    At a guess, you stuck it on before it was tacky, it fell off, so you repeated it and ended up with too much.

  26. Lol, yep! I ever mention that my pharm student looks as stunning in a suit and top hat as in a dress? I can pull off neither look, I’m a little jealous (worst part is we’re basically the same size, but looking good in the other’s clothes only goes one way)

  27. I most probably did, Argenti. Not that I’m gonna repeat that experiment, all that gear is long since gone. :D

    That’d be right about the clothes. Mr looks better in mine than I do in his, which is Not Fair.

  28. Derailing onto a different question, because I had a slight baking failure this afternoon. How do I stop tinned apples in a cake recipe preventing the cake from getting completely solid – there were sloppy bits around the apples? It was a lemon yoghurt cake modified by adding apples. I used oil instead of butter for the fat, and there were a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice in there as well (as per original recipe).

    Baking tips appreciated. I seem to have this issue every time I used tinned apples. I didn’t drain them. I also used fan bake in case that’s important.

  29. ::sends out powerful cat brain beams to summon them as knows how to bake::

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