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Men’s Rights Activists consider doing some activism, decide it’s too hard and take a nap

La-Z-Boy: The all-but-official chair of the Men’s Rights Movement

By David Futrelle

There are few creatures on this planet who are more badly misnamed than the Men’s Rights Activist. For one thing, most MRAs seem less interested in expanding rights for men than they are with taking away the rights of women. For another, as I’ve been pointing out since I started this blog nine years ago, they don’t actually do any activism beyond yelling about, and at, women online.

A few days ago, one Mens Rights Redditor called WarOfNoise decided that maybe it was time he and his fellow MRAs try their hand at some actual activism — if they could first figure out what activism even was. “What would activism for us even look like?” he asked in a post that the subreddit mods stickied to give it more attention.

In true MRA fashion, he didn’t bother to answer his own question. While acknowledging that “htere is really not a lot of activism on our part,” he didn’t lay out an inspiring vision of what this activism could look like, instead listing several reasons — excuses — as to why activism has proved too haaaaaard for him and his fellow men,

we’re not accepted in society at all

most activism tends to occur with college students, and good fucking luck getting an MRA chapter started anywhere

most of us are probably isolated and/or too fucking busy just working and trying to stay sane

and other issues, I’m sure

Never mind that all of these things have been, and are, true for every type of activism that’s ever been, yet somehow other activists managed to persevere. Civil rights activists were famously met with fire hoses; some, including Martin Luther King, were murdered by racists. Yet the movement kept going — because it had real injustices to fight.

WarOfNoise’s only specific suggestion? That MRAs have ready information to provide on “the legal and social issues that we believe contribute to legal and social oppression of men,” and maybe put up a website or prepare a fact sheet or two.

WarOfNoise’s fellow MRAs were similarly uninspired in their suggestions.

“Activism is for losers,” replied someone called xNOM. “More lawsuits.”

For someone called ShawshankRetention, the answer seemed to be for MRAs to mansplain their pet issues to anyone in their immediate vicinity.

I dont think that we can do high profile activism like popular causes. Most of us have jobs, families or friends, yet we can first seed the doubt abiut the main narrative by showing where it divert from reality.

GrapeGrater urged his fellow MRAS to start building “physical infrastructure (like websites),” making me wonder if some MRAs are aware of the actual physical world at all.

RacelessSexlessName, to his credit, suggested some activism that would require some contact with the outside world. And buying a bunch of magnets.

I’ve thought about magnets or posters… You can get a fair quantity of credit card or postcard magnets cheap and just slap them all over the place. I doubt it could be called vandalism and they’re mobile. Posters I would have to target where they are put and do it at night with a hoodie due to cameras… I can’t exactly afford to have my life ruined because a bunch of leftist/feminist wackjobs hound my employer.

Yes, magnets will surely bring the (alleged) matriarchy to its knees!

Meanwhile, someone called dildo_cannon_fodder had a brilliant suggestion: have “female/women” do it for them!

If anything, there may be a slight chance to raise awareness about MRA if there’s a sevral female/women that who were well-known and feminists to be representatives for the MRS movement. I know it sounds like a terrible idea, but hear me out!!! Since society today takes the words from women more at face value and seriously, they’ll be able to get the message/awareness out and would receive more attention. Also, with a female representative for MRA, there would only be a few times where feminists would play the “brainwashed by the patriarchy” card before people would notice on how shallow they actually are.

Several contributors suggested that MRAs take some tips from anti-circumcision “intactivist” groups that actually do some real-world activism. Never mind that “intactivists” tend to be so fanatical, and their movement so suffused with antisemitism, that they’ve managed to scare off most potential allies, including many feminists.

Here’s a thought, fellas. If you want to engage in activism that actually could make a difference in the real world, stop complaining that there aren’t shelters specifically set up for male victims of domestic abuse, and actually build some shelters of your own.

Seriously, are you guys under the impression that shelters simply grow from the ground like mushrooms after a storm? During the first decade of second wave feminism, feminist activists in the US built a vast network of women’s shelters from scratch, in the face of threats and massive political opposition.

In the eleven years since the launch of the Men’s Rights subreddit, American MRAs have built zero shelters. Zilch, Nada. They haven’t even bothered to set up a single hotline for abused men.
Today, the only institutions that actively supply shelter for male DV victims are … women’s shelters, many of which supply counseling and hotel vouchers to men looking for help. The only male-only shelters that exist in the US today were built not by MRAs but by the operators of women-only shelters — including one shelter in Texas that was once targeted for harassment “activism” by so-called Father’s Rights Activists.

I would tell MRAs to put up or shut up, but we all know that’s impossible for them.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

we’re not accepted in society at all

Gee, now why might that be?

most activism tends to occur with college students, and good fucking luck getting an MRA chapter started anywhere

The sad truth is that seeing how many angry reactionary young men there are at colleges, it probably wouldn’t be that hard for MRAs to set up shop there. White nationalist groups have created various student groups recently.

most of us are probably isolated and/or too fucking busy just working and trying to stay sane

Oh yes, the MRAs are so busy with their shitposting, and memeing, and being angry, and…and other things I’m sure.

Most of us have jobs

I somewhat question that, seeing how much time many of them seem to spend posting on Reddit. Unless Professional Redditor is a job now.

families or friends,

I’m guessing they mean other MRAs. I can’t imagine anyone else wanting to be friends with these fools.

Never mind that “intactivists” tend to be so fanatical, and their movement so suffused with antisemitism, that they’ve managed to scare off most potential allies, including many feminists.

Don’t forget the racism and Islamophobia. Or the fact that many seem to equate male circumcision with female genital mutilation, or march around with bloody pictures in a manner reminiscent of anti-choicers.

Also, maybe it’s just me, but a lot of what they say seems like body shaming. They tell circumcised people that they are “broken” and “mutilated,” yet it seems there are many perfectly happy people who are circumcised.
If I had to guess, I’d say probably a significant number of intactivists are MRAs, or at least sympathetic to them.

littlem
littlem
11 months ago

That was always going to be the outcome. These people are the laziest, most entitled, whiniest …

*sigh*

If they just DID things about the thing they claim are real issues … but they never will, because all they want is to try to get their unearned “supremacy” back by trying to suffocate everyone else into submission

LG
LG
11 months ago

Holy shit. Are we actually ok with infant circumcision here???

I’m not familiar with what intactivists do, so I’ll take your word on the anti-semitism, but…I’ve also noticed that’s a thing that tends to get thrown at me by someone whenever I say the practice is never okay, so…kinda concerned, here.

Crip Dyke
11 months ago

@LG:

Well, I’m not but I don’t speak for everyone.

To the extent that my info about other people has any value, however, I’ve seen others also express opposition to infant circumcision in the comments here.

I also don’t think that people are actually saying that they’re okay with it in comments above. To say that infant male circumcision is not comparable to FGM as practiced (which often isn’t done on infants, but on girls nearing or around the age of 10) is not the same as saying that male circumcision – or MGM if you prefer – is actually acceptable.

Some people might reasonably say that stabbing someone with a box cutter and creating a wound that takes 5 or 6 stitches to close is not okay and also that comparing that box cutter attack to a rape isn’t appropriate b/c there are significant differences (and not only in “severity” if you want to argue that). Similarly we might reasonably say that FGM and MGM are not comparable, but both are wrong.

LG
LG
11 months ago

I mean…okay, but…the way people insist upon the supposedly vast difference between FGM and MGM really bugs me because it’s centered on adult experience, not traumatic infant experience. It gets used to excuse it.

Context: my partner experiences trauma flashbacks that he’s pretty sure are from circumcision, and he almost starved to death as an infant after the procedure (failure to latch and resulting failure to thrive is associated with it). So this is very real for me.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
11 months ago

Umm yeah, everything that Crip Dyke said.

For the record I’m extremely against infant circumcision just on principle, and also have friends with legit PTSD and chronic pain issues from it. Still wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything with the word “intactivist” on it, though. Far, far too much association with MRAs.

BTW, the clamp-type circumcision that doctors in the US do is a different procedure from what mohels do. It removes more skin and is more likely to cause scarring, and IIRC can be traced back to anti-sex sentiments in US culture – same as with FGM in the US, which yes, has been a thing historically. (The medical establishment treated girls far worse, but the goal of making sex and masturbation less pleasurable was there in all cases.)

Not saying that mohel SOP is okay in my book, either, but it is in fact mainly cosmetic, as opposed to the standardized kind here which was intended to be damaging (and that as an explicit result of Christian cultural forces). Intactivists who blame us for the predominance of circumcision in the US aren’t just bigots, they have their history wrong.

Allandrel
Allandrel
11 months ago

Since society today takes the words from women more at face value and seriously

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
11 months ago

@LG:

The reason people don’t like equating the two is the fact that they’re not equivalent, and the more we learn about the clitoris the more obvious it becomes.

The two would only be equivalent if circumcision involved chopping off the glans, rather than just skinning it. (And that’s leaving out the more extreme forms of FGM that remove the labia as well.) FGM is a much, much more serious mutilation, and much more likely to cause serious health issues, to say nothing of the disproportionate negative effect it has on the victim’s sex life.

That doesn’t mean infant male circumcision is OK. But they’re not the same.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

I do not want to fan the flames of an argument here and already regret posting what I did earlier (which BTW was not arguing in favor of or against circumcision, but was arguing against the specific tactics of intactivists). What I am trying to say is that regardless of whether one agrees with intactivists, a lot of their tactics are problematic. I’m not calling out people against circumcision, but a specific type of person opposed to circumcision.

For example, they have a bit of a tendency to call Jews and Muslims “barbaric,” which is obviously problematic. A popular comic they circulated amongst themselves depicts a knockoff Superman (who, ironically, was created by Jewish artists) fighting a Happy Merchant caricature called Mohel Monster (link is here, TW: antisemitism).

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to oppose circumcision. All I’m trying to say is that intactivists as a group have some problematic aspects. My problem with them is not their opposition to circumcision, but the way they convey it.

EDIT: Seconding Rabid Rabbit on the difference between the two. Male circumcision is very different than female genital mutilation, which causes lifelong pain and increases transmission of STDs, causes infections, and has no known benefits. OTOH, male subincision, a much rarer procedure practiced primarily in the South Pacific, could possibly be compared to FGM in terms of increasing STD rates and infections (as well as difficulty urinating), but still it is not the same. I’m not saying I support any of these, but I am stating that they are different and should not be considered the same.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

most of us are probably isolated and/or too fucking busy just working and trying to stay sane

The labor movement was built by people who had no cap on the hours they could be forced to work and had no minimum wage. Yeah, it’s harder to be politically active when capitalism is grinding you down, but people do it.

Then there are the fact that in systems of slavery, there’s always been rebellion.

I mean it’s a legit thing that people don’t always have the means for activism because of physical or mental health issues, but this dude just sounds like he’s fucking lazy.

Meanwhile, someone called dildo_cannon_fodder had a brilliant suggestion: have “female/women” do it for them!

comment image?itemid=11655804

Holy shit. Are we actually ok with infant circumcision here???

I’m not familiar with what intactivists do, so I’ll take your word on the anti-semitism, but…I’ve also noticed that’s a thing that tends to get thrown at me by someone whenever I say the practice is never okay, so…kinda concerned, here.

Yeah, the intactivist movement is anti-Semitic as fuck
http://badwebcomicswiki.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Foreskin_Man

I mean…okay, but…the way people insist upon the supposedly vast difference between FGM and MGM really bugs me because it’s centered on adult experience, not traumatic infant experience. It gets used to excuse it.

Typically, the difference is brought up because what about the menzers like to barge into discussions about FGM to try and change the topic to men. When anti-circumcision arguments focus on bodily autonomy arguments, people don’t generally compare them.

Also, I really don’t like how ntactivists often tell circumcized people who say they like or don’t mind their penises sans foreskin that they’re mutilated, broken and brainwashed.

I’m not going to be pro-circumcision simply because I don’t like intactivists, but I’m not about to join or help a movement that is some anti-Semitic, misogynistic and (hypocritically) invasive about other people’s relationship to their own bodies either.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@WWTH

Also, I really don’t like how ntactivists often tell circumcized people who say they like or don’t mind their penises sans foreskin that they’re mutilated, broken and brainwashed.

This. It really annoys me when the intactivists, online or IRL, decide to tell me how they feel about other people’s bodies, a tirade that pretty quickly turns to antisemitism. The only episode I recent memory where anyone called me a k*ke was in an argument with an intactivist protestor.

Savanah
Savanah
11 months ago

That one guy was onto something. The women have to do it. Which immediately disproves MRA arguments about their superiority. If only we had a word for men expecting the loyalty and labor of women to help men keep their place of power in order to abuse women. I think it starts with a P. Lol

Avery N.
Avery N.
11 months ago

In the eleven years since the launch of the Men’s Rights subreddit, American MRAs have built zero shelters. Zilch, Nada. They haven’t even bothered to set up a single hotline for abused men.

I can say one MRA group is opened up one Men’s shelter.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MensLib/comments/69mlh6/cafeottawa_is_raising_funds_to_open_a_mens_centre/

https://equalitycanada.com/first-mens-centre-ottawa-will-celebrate-grand-opening-saturday-september-9th/

Although I have my doubts because it’s from CAFE.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4279125

What do you guys think of this?

Charlotte Noyen
Charlotte Noyen
11 months ago

The thing about sustained activism that I don’t think they understand is that it requires sincerity and vulnerability. These dudes are so thoroughly marinaded in snark and sarcasm and memes and South Park reruns I genuinely think they’ve lost the ability to be genuine in their feelings.

I don’t think they understand that minority rights activism doesn’t just come from anger (although anger helps and is a major component) which is the only thing they have in spades. It also comes from a sincere and deeply held belief that there is suffering that could and should be prevented. I’ve never met an activist who didn’t feel real, soul-deep pain at the suffering of others, whether those others are like them or not.

I don’t think these guys understand that and the more layers of irony and sarcasm and defensiveness they bury themselves under, the less likely it is they ever will. Activism takes empathy. Minority activists care about each other. I don’t think these guys do. I don’t think they feel sorrow and anger on behalf of their suffering brothers. Not if things like the “suifuel” are any indication.

It’s a cult that glorifies suffering and solitude. That’s antithetical to social activism, which generally wants to end suffering and band together.

They won’t ever do anything useful because they can’t. They don’t know how. On my more melancholy days I do pity them quite a bit.

Genjones
Genjones
11 months ago

You can also do it with just fucking fucking paper and tape. No one cares enough to bother to find out who you are because your movement is weak and passive and poses a threat to no one.

Talonknifr
Talonknifr
11 months ago

Personally, I think a circumcised penis is more aesthetically pleasing than an uncircumcised one, but that would be a pretty terrible reason to be pro-circumcision. I don’t support infant circumcision, but a lot of intactivists seem to be poorly informed about creating an effective social movement at best and downright racist/misogynistic at worst.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
11 months ago

Hey, MRAs, how about spreading the word about the dangers of concussion to football players. I’ll bet you could get some feminists to do the hard work for you.

Is It Okay to Watch Football?
On the morality of enjoying a ceaselessly brutal sport that is 70 percent black but has no black ownership.
By Dave Zirin
March 5, 2018

Science is not football’s friend. The more we learn, the more we know that the risk of developing CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a degenerative brain disease, is significant. More players are retiring early. More speak openly about their fears of not being able to remember their loved ones or wondering whether in the near future if they will be too weak or addled to pickup their children. . . .

Researchers at Boston University say that they are close to developing the ability to test for CTE in living players, instead of waiting for the autopsy. That could change the trickle of athletes retiring young out of existential fears of future brain damage into a flood. Even players who avoid CTE know, as NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said to me, “This is the only union job with a 100 percent injury rate.”

https://www.thenation.com/article/is-it-okay-to-watch-football/

Bina
11 months ago

and other issues, I’m sure

Yeah, like feminism, and how it’s actually based in reality, as opposed to all these imaginary disadvantages these guys think they have, and all these real ones caused by their own toxic masculist beliefs.

THOSE other issues, eh?

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
11 months ago

I think they should be called Men’s Rights Kvechtivists.

Lkeke35
Lkeke35
11 months ago

Yes, they’re inactive, except when it comes to enacting violence. There are MRAs (and their types) who definitely believe something, but for a lot of these people, their sole idea of what activism is, involves committing acts of violence. They don’t actually care about other men. They only care about their personal circumstances.

I would argue that they are unimaginative except They fantasize about violence all the time, and when things reach some culmination, they’re perfectly capable of planning and enacting that violence.

LollyPop
LollyPop
11 months ago

One of the main reasons they can’t do any real activism is that, to alleviate the issues they pretend to care about, they’d have to campaign for changes that are actually opposed to all their other political views. Like men getting enough parental leave and employer support to be a primary/equal carer to kids, (which would impact all sorts of things, but most pertinently for MRAs how care is split after divorce) or legislation regarding health and safety in the workplace (for the whole “men doing dangerous jobs” thing), or a better social safety net so men don’t become homeless in such terrifying rates.

But they won’t do any of that, because FREEDOM and COMMUNISM and MY TAX DOLLARS.

Also hilarious that women are so lazy and useless but a solution is to get them to enact all the intellectual, physical and emotional labour of the movement. I rather suspect this attitude extends to their personal lives.

TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
11 months ago

@Lkeke35

Agreed, it seems the only thing that they appear to show any motivation is the malevolent and misanthropic desire to hurt people in order to feel better about their own failings, presuming they even acknowledge those failings to begin with.

And fantasies about violence and the desire to enact it, and than carry it out; is the beginning and end of their alleged creativity.

Every time I observe such Neo-reactionary hate moment’s and movements like them of such kind: I’m always reminded of J.R.R Tolken and his quote on the observation of Orcs.

MikeOscarOscarRomeoSam
MikeOscarOscarRomeoSam
11 months ago

There’s a form of FGM that involves only removing the hood to the clitoris, making it literally identical to circumcision… until it comes to giving birth, where having it ups the chances of birth complications and mom and the baby dying. And that’s the difference between FGM and circumcision. The cultures that use FGM as a “right of passage” into puberty also tend to circumcise boys at puberty using brutal means, so not much of a difference if you ask me.

As far as anti-Semitism, nothing may justify hate, but religion is still a poor cover for human rights abuses. So fuck the anti-semites, and fuck all the people that refuse to let an ancient barbaric practice go the same way that all the stonings, and leverite marriages, and all theother barbaric shit that’s in the Torah/Bible/Koran went.