So there’s a young woman who attends a “a small liberal arts school.” She majors in Philosophy, and minors in Women’s Studies. And she has a job as an aide for one of her feminist professors.
Her big brother disapproves of her academic choices and the fact that she’s a — wait for it — feminist. And apparently he expresses his disapproval to her at every opportunity. He’s a Men’s Rights Activist, you see, and arguing with his sister is evidently an important form of activism for him. He writes:
I cannot have a discussion with her without it turning into a huge fight. I try to debate, discuss and challenge her to at least entertain ideas that oppose her own – and I get accused of ‘mocking her principles’ and ‘not taking her career choices seriously’ – because apparently I am not allowed to take men’s rights seriously, it could only be a joke with the sole purpose of pissing her off.
So she writes him a note asking him to stop:
‘men’s rights activists’ as I have experienced them not only oppose everything I think, hope for, and fundamentally believe, they hinder the progress of it. They take examples of injustice where men are the victims (of which I will never deny there are plentiful) and they take quotes of some mostly second wave feminists (of which most modern feminists disagree with) and conflate it to fight against feminist agendas. They seem to see that as male oppression.
This seems to me to be a pretty accurate summation of Men’s Rights Activism as I have experienced it too. She continues:
Everything I want to do with my life, my passions, my academic pursuits, my role models, etc. are all put in jeopardy by the ‘men’s rights activism’ I have seen. And when you send me these articles to try to… I don’t know, explain your position, show me why I might be wrong, etc. it hurts me and deeply saddens me because it makes me feel like you’ve never given much thought to my life.
Now, if I were having constant arguments with someone in my family about an issue close to their hearts, and about which we had major disagreements, and this person sent me a note like this, I would, you know, stop arguing with them about it. Because whatever disagreements I had with them would matter less than my relationship with them. And because people who are not assholes generally try to avoid doing things that hurt and sadden those they care about.
I mean, there are limits. If someone in my family became a literal Nazi, I might react differently. But someone in my family majoring in something I think is a dumb thing to major in? Not really any of my fucking business.
So what does MRA Brother do after getting this note?
He goes to the Men’s Rights subreddit to moan about what a terrible ideologue his sister has become, and to get advice on more effective ways to, well, keep doing the things he’s doing that she’s explicitly told him make her feel like shit.
Naturally, the Men’s Rights regulars support him in his quest to be an ongoing asshole to his sister.
One thoughtful fellow going by the name IHaveALargePenis responds directly to the sister’s comment about how her brother’s actions are “hurting and sadden[ing] her,” saying:
Glad we’re making a difference, but what really strikes me is that she can’t deal with being questioned/criticized and this usually applies to a lot of feminists. If their points had merit, then why the fuss? I honestly think it’s because for 50 years or so they were completely unchallenged and were able to get away with insane claims like 1 in 4 women are raped, etc. Now all of a sudden people are asking for sources or stating that yes, women make less, but it’s not due to sexism.
I honestly think you should keep challenging her. She’s been in an echo chamber full of people constantly agreeing with those feminist ideals for far too long and is now convinced everything is true without even questioning it.
Irony alert! Code RED!
Tim8080 is even more blunt:
You may still love her but she almost certainly doesn’t love you anymore. I’ve seen this type of transformation before with one of my friends from highschool. Trust me its only going to get worse.
The creatively named SarcastiCock adds:
Aside from her opinions, she’s completely fucking useless and unemployable. … She’ll be looking for a sugar daddy some day.
JabCross vaguely remembers that some famous philosophers were themselves misogynists:
If she studied Kant at all in Philosophy then she should be shaking her head at the Womyn’s Studies bullshit.
But frankly, a lot of women love to feel like the victim and will subvert their own intelligence to believe it’s true.
MRAMoment suggests that a young woman like the sister in question is unlikely to respond to reason, and suggests that the brother instead try to, well, trick her into seeing the world his way:
I would hazard a guess that she’s currently living in a bubble. She’s on campus, completely enveloped in the ideology without any outside force acting on it. You are her brother, likely her older brother so she views you as some sort of fuddy-duddy who’s opinions don’t matter.
Rather than use reason, expose her bubble to the needles it needs to pop it. Bring her to places where her ideology clashes with reality. If you ever have time to mutually consume entertainment, watch a movie that will bait her into the objectification framing of it and follow up with a counter view of male disposability. Place the debris in the oyster and watch the pearl of doubt grow. Ask her to come volunteering with you at a homeless shelter, and not one specifically aimed at women.
Ironically, it is the generally repugnant OuiCrudites who offers the brother the most straightforward and sensible advice. Oh sure, he declares the sister “a supremacist ideologue demonstrating dangerous levels of solipsism & superiority complex.” But then he adds: “I would just stop talking with her about it.”
Alas, brother makes clear he’s not going to follow this bit of advice.
“I’m more concerned about her dedicating her life to this,” he writes, “than having a peaceful relationship.”
And the mansplainers mansplain on. Because clearly a bunch of random dudes with penis-related usernames on the Men’s Rights subreddit know more about feminism and philosophy than, you know, some dumb chick actually studying those specific subjects and hoping to devote her life to them.