June 26, 2012
IZZY, who is 17 years old and lives in Canada, writes:
There is a contingent within the Men’s Rights Movement, which can be found in various places on the Internet, that pushes the idea of artificial wombs. They say that selectively choosing boys over girls is a good thing. They actually advocate exterminating one sex. To state this simple fact will incite rage, name-calling, and the oh-so-tired label of “feminist”from the Men’s Right Movement. One must ask, however, what makes them speak this way? It may be obvious to say, but most MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) are young men who have had no success with women, and so hate them for denying them. Though this is a foolish way to judge someone, it is one of the reasons why they think they way they do. Instead of seeking better opportunities, they flock to the idea that to get rid of all women is the best thing.
It is a shame, really, because at one point I fully supported the MRM. But over time I have seen it become something indescribable. Now, to say that I am a woman against feminism, that is heresy. My hatred for feminism will remain always, but to see the opposite end make the same mistakes is discouraging.
The MRM does not consider good women who oppose feminism and flocks to the idea of artificial wombs and making strictly male babies. It’s rather unfair to the women who never wanted feminism to happen in the first place. At this point, the MRM crosses the line and follows the same path as feminism: kill one to benefit the other. At this decision, the MRM is no different. Several bench-sitters have said this, and at the time, I did not believe them. Now, I fully agree with them.
Both groups are too concerned about their own personal whims and selfishness. Why bother to love and make children, when there are artificial ways to get love and children? They, in no way, think about the children of such ways. To eliminate a father from a child’s life has catastrophic consequences. One need only see the rise of female delinquents. On the other hand, MRAs wish to eliminate the female from a child’s life – which is vital to the child’s development. Both parents are needed to properly raise a child. Such biased, one-sided thinking is equal to the rhetoric of the homosexual movement. Why need the other when you have one?
I may be ignorant on the topic of artificial wombs, but for right now, it seems to be a thing of science fiction. I am skeptical of the whole notion. If it comes to be, it will, but for right now, the question that is asked is: How can you create something out of nothing? To grow a human in a test tube may prove to be a near-impossible task, and could be as dangerous as cloning (not the ethical issues – cloning shortens the chromosomes and shortens the average life expectancy to half). And how, I may ask, is this any different than the feminists’ IVF? Both cases need sperm and eggs, and so need women and men to serve their purposes. Such selfishness and isolation on both parts are one of the primary reasons of humanity’s pending extinction.
None wish to mend the rift caused by feminism. Of course, to this there may be no solution, but the first step is to try. None do. The MRM is limited only to the Internet, while feminism is prevalent in real life. Once there was a real-life MRM, but they consisted of nothing but conspiracy theorists who blamed feminism on a group of rich men. Conspiracy theorists, along with the artificial wombers, are proving to be the downfall of the MRM. If the MRM truly wishes to get their point across, they must move to real-life. Activism on the Internet, as we have seen with Kony 2012 (a hoax), does not get anybody anywhere.
Next, we have the bizarre mechanophilia and robophilia that is growing in the MRM. Instead of having real human women, they want sexbots. Instead of talking to a real person, they just want something to have sex with. These men do not want devotion. They do not have an idea of it. Now, unknowingly, they are openly accepting the idea of having sexual intercourse with something non-living. This type of thinking is actually considered a disorder and truly shows the depravitiy of these men. I am afraid I must criticize men in this case.
There is also the topic of pornography. Pornography, to them, is perfectly fine. The pornography of choice especially is lesbian sex, because, apparently, seeing two girls kiss is “hot.” They are blissfully unaware of the consequences of pornography: the constant release of endorphin – similar to dopamine – during masturbation will cause the user to go into a constant state of euphoria. After exposure, the user will constantly want to reach that stage, and will need to seek higher, more dangerous, and more perverted forms of pornography to get it. While feminists complain of objectification, both groups do not consider the actual medical dangers of pornography. Ignoring these dangers and simply stating that it is “a tool used by feminists to shame men” both fails to consider the empirical evidence and accepting personal responsibility.
If we look at the current birth rates, we will see that over 100 countries are below replacement. Japan, for example, is a huge source for pornography of the anime-cartoon type, and their birthrate is far below replacement. Sex is also out of favour there. And, quite strangely, feminism has not had a huge influence there (at least to my knowledge). Recently, the United States, hailed by demographers as the one country that could survive the demographic crisis – is now below 2.1 children. It is now at 2.06, down from 2.08 in just a few months. Months! And feminists hail this as a victory for women. The MRM, on the other hand, leans towards the Malthusian idea that there are too many, and subconsciously agree with the feminists’ anti-human ideology. If you mention it to them, they will throw every insult under the sun at you.
Those who think Marxism or Communism as the worst scourges of humanity are dead wrong. Feminism has put billions of lives at stake, and its twin the MRM does not look to reverse that – but make it worse.
Of course, I may be attacked for my view, but I have made this decision based on the fact that there is no compromise . There there are no solutions in the MRM. I see no change in the birthrate. I don’t see any changes to revisionist history. But I do keep seeing lies and sci-fi claims that will never come true. The MRM is being taken over by paranoid conspiracy theorists (like the idea that Gloria Steinem was funded by the CIA – this was a CT started by other feminists), miserable people, and overall, dumb people. Feminism, though, is a great deal worse, and has done more damage, but it is time to start criticising the MRM as well. There are things that must be discussed within every movement, and should these things not get discussed, they fester like a bad wound.
Now, some MRAs are “difference deniers” denying any differences between men and women – and do not consider the idea that feminism is not limited to the West. India, China, Kenya, and others are all non-Western countries that have embraced feminism. Chinese women now get angry if their husbands don’t have enough money.
I suppose the only choice now is to wait, or turn off the computer, or avoid the MRM entirely and do my own research. As of right now, the last one is the choice I am leaning towards. In the end, I have stopped running and truly looked at what has made up both the MRM and feminism – rabid animals who cannot think rationally.
— Comments —-
Jesse Powell writes:
Izzy, if I may offer you some wisdom on the phenomenon of the Men’s Rights Movement, you are quite correct that the MRM and feminism are similar to each other in many ways. To put it simply feminism represents female narcissism while the MRM represents male narcissism. Neither approach does any good towards the goal of solving the Western World’s social problems.
Many MRAs will claim that they support traditional gender roles, even that they support patriarchy. I use a simple test to determine whether someone fits into the MRA camp or into the social conservative or patriarchy camp; do they unconditionally support chivalry (the idea that men should “provide for and protect” women)? If they support chivalry and they advocate traditional gender roles I am willing to see them as an ally; if they do not support chivalry then they are no ally of mine regardless of what else they say. MRAs always bash chivalry, using the “chivalry test” is the quickest and easiest way to be able to tell friend from foe.
I will add that chivalry is not a “gender contract”; it is an absolute and a universal. MRAs will often present the man’s chivalry as a reward for the woman’s good behavior but that is not what chivalry is. Chivalry is an immutable and fundamental part of the ethical man’s identity and purpose.
There is another important aspect of MRAs that should not be overlooked. MRAs are almost all atheists; they are certainly functionally atheistic even if they proclaim to be Christians. MRAs do not have an overall model of the ethical life, they do not have an outward orientation of service to others, they do not see men as having a particular role to play in the broader context of humanity. Such “moral fragmentation” as I’ll call it is very typical of atheists; in this way MRAs can be seen as part of the broader atheist community.
Religion is very good at presenting to people an overall model of life that actually works. Atheists have a very hard time creating for themselves such an overall model of life because they are cut off from the wisdom that religion has developed over many prior generations.
In your effort to learn more about how a culture should work and what your role in that culture should be I would suggest you read up on what Christian supporters of patriarchy or complementarianism have to say on the subject. Even if you are not religious yourself you can learn a lot from Christian sources as it is the religious who are the most advanced and successful in developing models of community life that work for everyone and are sustainable.
If you broaden your research to include religious sources of cultural values and beliefs what you will find is that the number of Christian supporters of patriarchy far outnumber the number of MRAs. MRAs only look dominant in anti-feminist politics when excluding the religious sphere.
To illustrate my contention that adherence to religious values is key to a successful community I earlier made a post at this website titled “The Mythical Class Divide” that illustrates how even the richest white communities in America do not do nearly as well as devoutly religious communities in terms of family indicators.
A website I recommend that offers a Christian perspective on family and cultural issues is Ladies Against Feminism.
Obedience to God is the key to a successful culture with a healthy family life. This is true even for those who are not religious. It is necessary to have a coherent model of morality to follow that accounts for the welfare of everyone.
There are other tests to be applied to a site to determine whether it is part of the Men’s Rights Movement, which by its nature is both liberal and extremist. Does the site acknowledge the part men, and liberalism in general, have played in promoting feminism? Does it support the cause of traditional women with anything more than token gestures? Does it acknowledge the female victims of feminism? To an MRA, feminism is purely the creation of women, which in itself is a claim of male powerlessness.
Izzy covers a great deal of territory in this missive. I would like to say a few things about population, regardless of the feminism and masculinism that are contributing factors to this issue.
Firstly, keeping the U.S. rate of reproduction rate (so to speak) above replacement level is now significantly dependent on immigration and the higher rates of reproduction among first generation immigrants. There is some truth to the notion that we “need immigrants to fill jobs” because native populations, whites in particular, are not having kids like they used to. However, indiscriminate mass immigration brings more problems than it purports to cure. If Japan allowed 150,000 Han Chinese to immigrate each year would that be a solution to their low birthrate problem?
Secondly, we can see through the dimming haze of modernness that what has gone before is our best indication of future outcomes. People who reproduce in the strict biological sense and work to maintain functional communities– in economic, political and religious terms– will succeed ultimately. They will watch the others fall under the weight of their own destructive, frustrated ideologies. Next time around the blocks that fall could be very large.
Thirdly and most importantly, enough of us know we are sinners on some level and that we carry on by God’s grace alone. Knowing this, we can do our best to move toward the light and away from human sources of darkness. The body of people who are led by Christ and even other theologies are a reservoir of hope that needs to increase more than our attention to the “Bad News.” Aspiring to Truth is not an attraction for everyone but it is the only thing strong enough to bear the familiar miseries and evils that never sleep.
Sunshine Mary writes:
I have been reading your blog for about a year now, and I want to thank you for what you do here. May the Lord bless you for your work.
I am writing in response to Izzy’s comment. I often read on Christian MRM blogs (such as Dalrock, Patriactionary, Complementarian Loners, Empathologicalism, and Christian Men’s Defense Network), and I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone seriously calling for artificial wombs or sexbots. Izzy did not mention any sources in her comment, so I cannot say that there are no MRM blogs where this is discussed, but it certainly isn’t common. There are several other points that Izzy makes which contrast with my experiences on MRM blogs.
She states that most of the MRM participants are young men who have had no success with women. I have actually found that most are either married men or men who have gone through very painful and costly divorces. There is also that portion of the MRM who have concluded that Western women are no longer marriageable under a corrupt and biased legal system that rewards wives with cash and prizes for filing frivolous divorces; these men either go their own way and have little to do with women or they become pick up artists who engage in casual sexual relationships with willing females. One can hardly blame them, given that 70% of divorce proceedings are initiated by wives.
Christian MRM blogs frequently deal with the complicity of the church in excusing or overlooking sinful sexual behavior by women and in supporting women in destroying their marriages for non-Biblical reasons. The MRM blogs I read strive to point out the treachery of the church in these matters and to call the world-wide church to repentance. As a woman, I fully support them in this mission.
I began to read this entry, but I couldn’t continue until I googled “men’s rights movement”. I clicked on the first of 3,500,000 results. It’s a large wiki entry. All the way at the end, after the 113 references, was two “external links.” I clicked on the first one; The Men’s Bibliography, a bibliography of writing on men, masculinities, gender and sexualities, listing over 16,700 works – primarily from a constructionist perspective. It’s in an outline format with hundreds of links, that provide you with thousands and thousands of references.
Who are these people?
There is more here to be read about men than any one, totally dedicated man could possibly read in his life-time, even if he has no notion of what being a man is.
What in the world is going on?
In response to Sunshine Mary:
Thank you for writing.
While the promotion of artificial wombs is indeed not common in the Men’s Rights Movement, extreme, personal animosity toward women, whether motivated by divorce or other forms of rejection, is very common. If the websites you mention seriously address this problem or distance themselves from places where this occurs, and also offer more than token acknowledgement of the fact that feminism rejects and despises the traditional woman, and countenances child neglect, as much as it hates men, then they are not part of the MRM. Men’s Rights supporters are mainly liberals, as the concept of “rights” indicates, who don’t believe in traditional sex roles anymore than feminists do.
I do not support the Men’s Rights Movement, which views life as a power struggle between men and women.
Izzy seems to find lunacy abundant in the men’s rights quarter. She is missing the point. It is not the MRM, but the Internet that is the culprit here. Look into any movement, group or collective, any corporation or human demographic, any religion, country or village and you will find the high and the low.
The Internet affords abundant camouflage for idiots, trolls and outright screeching lunatics. But as to Izzy’s observations on sexbots and artificial wombs, all I can say is that British scientists have developed (or are on the cusp of developing) artificial human sperm (living sperm without any origin from a human male). This has horrific portent in my view. It was not long ago that a prominent and respected psychologist urged lawmakers to ban anonymous sperm donation merely on the grounds that “a sense of origin” is innate in humans, and people who try to find who their biological parents are normally suffer depression and a loss of a sense of self. Imagine learning you have no mother (artificial womb) or father (lab-sponsored sperm). Now a number of crazies leaving remarks on an MRM blog state that they think only male children should be born?! Just how many men do you think want a world without women? These are fringe nutcases who should be medicated and ignored. And I can easily provide Internet links to radical feminist downloads that state equally if not profoundly more horrific desires for a future Earth. They are called the Agent Orange files, and they include the “dispatching” (murder) of male babies and the castration of male infants. This country has no paucity of evil, crazy and stupid.
If you get hold of a copy of “The Woman Racket” by Steve Moxon, read chapter two to understand why the human species would degenerate into extinction in less than 100 years if either sex disappeared. One reason is that the male of all species functions as a genetic test lab. This is the reason males overpopulate both the high and low end of intelligence and other human characteristics.
Scientists trying to make either sex disposable are playing in the cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Sexbots? I hope any man who wishes to copulate with a machine at least has the intellectual honesty and courage to admit he is, at best, two steps away from plugging a cocker spaniel.
I’m 51 and I still cringe at the zoo of stupid that populates cyberspace. I hope Izzy finds refuge in web sites like this one and others like it to counterbalance the depressing existence of people whose mothers, apparently, gave birth standing up.
I just finished reading the kindle version of Mike Buchanan’s “Feminism: The Ugly Truth.” I am currently reading “Exposing Feminism: The Thirty Years War on Men” by Swayne O’Pie. Both address the spread of misandry in the U.K. Both books are shocking.
I am inclined toward supporting the MRM (so long as it maintains a sense of dignity about its goals) in light of the past 60 years of feminist aggression. Having read the two books listed above and several others about the impact of gender feminism, lesbian feminism, Marxist feminism and elite feminism, I have concluded that Hanna Rosin’s “end of men” is NOT a social phenomenon brought on by a technology-based economy, but in fact the principle goal of a coven of women whose hatred of all things male transgresses overtly into the realm of psychopathy.
In England, it was recently discovered that female teachers grade boys’ work with a harsher criteria than identical girls’ work. Female teachers have been demonstrated to show a bias against boys in the U.K. I see no reason that such a bias does not exist here as well. When you consider the past 50 years of change in the U.S. education system and how girls have shot to the top while boys are collapsing into obscurity, it says to me that Christina Hoff-Sommers was utterly wrong when she described this as “misguided feminism.” Misguided?! An unbroken 60-year trend for both girls and boys in our national education system is not “misguided.” That’s as “guided” as a surface-to-air missile! Stupid cannot explain our Department of Education. Only “evil” can do that. Our education system is overwhelmingly populated with women, and the overwhelming majority of those women are feminists. The Dept of Education and NEA teachers unions are de facto arms of the N.O.W.
Do the math.
Yes, Christina Hoff-Sommers’ point that there is a good feminism and a bad, or misguided feminism, is wrong. All feminism is extreme and seeks to overhaul society for the sake of the powerful.
John P. writes:
I too agree that the MRM is going the wrong way. I nonetheless find it difficult, personally, to get very heated up about it. I went through more than a decade of being vitriolically angry and dismissive of women for reasons that would not be difficult to understand (I’ll spare you the details.) Feminism is undoubtedly an attack on one group of men by another. Women are mostly dupes in this white-man on white-man power-grab. But the extent to which feminism has gained purchase among women tends to lower one’s opinion of their powers of reason. I also see the MRM as serving as a useful “bad cop” to traditionalism’s “good cop”. “Play ball with us or deal with the bad cop” one might say. Machiavellian of me perhaps but I genuinely believe that for men to reassert their rightful authority in the family and society women do need to be shaken up and even scared a bit. One aspect of respect for authority is fear of authority.
And some of them may grow up, eventually. The others will likely wind up as bitter old men. (Tell me about it.)
Jesse Powell writes, “MRAs are almost all atheists; they are certainly functionally atheistic even if they proclaim to be Christians.”
How on Earth did you arrive at that conclusion? The preponderance of MRM writers I have encountered have identified themselves as Christians, then Protestants, and finally a good deal are Evangelicals. I have no objective data to conclude one way or the other, but an atheism/MRM connection lies completely beyond my experience in that field. And what of the Biblical admonition that a wife submit to her husband? It is feminists who loathe that position. Why would an atheist ally themselves with their sworn enemy? No offense, Mr. Powell, but your claim appears without foundation.
I will certainly allow that there are a number of MRA blogs that tolerate commenters speaking poorly of the human female. The Spearhead occasionally dresses down women who specifically disrespect the institution of marriage by their frivolous divorces and hostage-holding of a man’s children (if you feel that is anti-female). If that disposes you to view them as outside the purview of Biblical instruction, then okay. But the bulk I have encountered (Paul Elam at A Voice for Men, with whom I have crossed swords occasionally) expressly forbids anti-female stances in the comments section and routinely bans any poster who advocates violence against women. Some guy going by the name of Fidelbogen also repeatedly states he has no beef with women, only feminists. There are distinctions to be made among the players here. As I said before, you will find the high and low everywhere.
Laura writes, “There are other tests to be applied to a site to determine whether it is part of the Men’s Rights Movement, which by its nature is both liberal and extremist.”
I have no position on extremism except in the occasional instances where people posting on MRM blogs express themselves in untethered regard to common civility. But liberal? Feminism, the undisputed target of animosity for the MRM, is overwhelmingly a manifestation of Marxist/Liberal/Progressive ideological propaganda. George W. Bush never once hosted a representative from the N.O.W. at the White House. Obama/Biden kowtow to them shamelessly to purchase votes. VAWA was implemented to buy N.O.W.’s voting patronage. The MRM, putting confirmation bias and anecdotal evidence to one side, appears to be principally conservative (e.g., Phyllis Schlafly) to its core. Admittedly there are the Sarah Palins and Michelle Bachmanns who either give lip service or appearance to feminist allegiances, but for an MRA to be liberal in his/her political disposition would seem a contradiction in terms
Or am I missing something?
Regarding the men’s movement being liberal, I’ll quote from a male reader, SKM, who wrote here:
With some exceptions, MRAs are left-liberals, cultural determinists, and sexual egalitarians. These ideologues espouse the same dogmas and myths as orthodox feminism, with one major exception, and support 80-90 percent of the feminist agendum: gender-neutral laws, the ERA, androgynous pedagogy, the feminized military, women in combat and female conscription, and the sexual integration of all jobs and areas of the workforce, including police forces, jails, prisons, coal mines, factories, construction, etc.
They believe that men and women and boys and girls are exactly the same apart from rudimentary physical differences; that virtually all dispartities in sexual “roles” and behavior are culturally-derived and/or imposed. They’re motivated and defined by a compulsion to perfect interchangeable sexes. They envision a utopian society in which men and women and boys and girls are fully equal in virtually all areas and aspects of life and in which all manifestations of “sexism” and “gender stereotyping” are eliminated.***
In respect to victimology, however, “masculinists” turn feminism on its head even as they use the same terminology of victimization. The paramount difference between “masculinists” and orthodox feminists is that the former now believe that males are far more stultified and oppressed and persecuted than females by “traditional sex-roles,” the “artificial social constructs” and dichotomy of masculinity/femininity; “crippling stereotypes; “sexist” discrimination, prejudices, “conditioning,” etc. As feminism is the ideology of female victimization, “masculinism” is the ideology of male victimization. “Masculinism” is feminism, feminism for males. “Masculinism” is the mirror image of feminism.
Perhaps Kevin can provide examples from the MRM which include anyone in the movement arguing for traditional sex roles, with the man assuming the role of breadwinner. I would be surprised. I have never seen MRA’s write about the strain it has placed on women to be major breadwinners and raise their children at the same time. Most MRA’s say they believe in economic “equality” (that’s what I call liberalism) and only want to roll back the restructuring of economic roles to the extent that it does away with affirmative action for women. In my discussions with MRAS, they have adamantly maintained they believe feminism good to the extent that it has imposed financial responsibilities on women and opened up the job market to them.
Also, does Kevin know of anyone in the MRA who has acknowledged the devastation – both physical and emotional – caused to women (as opposed to men) by the legalization of abortion? It’s interesting that people so fixated on the disaster of feminism rarely mention this.
Also, is Kevin aware that Paul Elam called for men serving as jurors in any rape case to push for nullification and to exonerate regardless of the evidence? A post about it can be found here.
Quite a few men have written to me at length about the MRM and their disillusionment with it. That’s not to say there aren’t good and truthful things written by MRA’s but to have any integrity as a movement it must have more than men’s rights as its ultimate goal. Viewing reality through the lens of “rights” is modern liberalism to a T.
By the way, as for the comments sections at Men’s Rights sites, that’s a subject I won’t broach. The last time I did it resulted in death threats directed toward me. No one is so sensitive to criticism as a Men’s Rights groupie.
Could Kevin provide examples from the MRM which include anyone in the movement arguing for traditional sex roles, with the man assuming the role of breadwinner?
I don’t know where the MRM really begins and ends, but I seem to recall (my memory is not my most endearing trait) Dalrock, Christian Men’s Defense Network, and a couple others which, either periodically or overtly on their banners and About pages, identify themselves as Christian-cum-traditionalist in mentality. I cannot cite specific posts where they state they abide by the man-as-breadwinner and mother-as-principal homemaker/parent to young children model. The Christian Men’s Defense Network recently posted an article about “Evangelical American Princesses” which criticized the “churchianity” of the evangelical church to pedestalize their women to the point they are indistinguishable from your Sex And The City feminist (self-adoring, narcissistic and conceited beyond imagination. See his post for video that the woman at Full of Grace and Seasoned With Salt posted on her blog). Again, that is not an overt declaration of support for traditionalism; but it appears to be a sincere condemnation of something that cannot exist in a traditionalist society. Then there are sites such as Patriactionary, Fathers and Families, Le Cygne Gris, and another I can’t recall whose posters/commenters routinely bemoan the absence of father-as-breadwinner (by which I mean even though they do not outright state that belief, what happens to families precisely because the mother is out working or having abortions or frivolous divorce or any other aberration from a traditional healthy family).
As re the tragedy women suffer from legalized abortion, I cannot recall any MRA stating that in those terms; I have read several remarks on the “manosphere” decrying the collapse of western civilization because “killing your own children is legal and cool.” Whenever feminists or Planned Parenthood (badly titled group…should be called “Planning to Not Be A Parent”) holds a rally/march celebrating the millions of dead infants they are responsible for, numerous men’s sites post their disgust over this. I take that as being at least kindred in spirit if not shoulder-to-shoulder outspoken in word over what legal infant slaughter does to women.
Paul Elam openly declaring he will acquit any man accused of rape regardless of the evidence: Oh, yeah. He jumped the shark on that one! There are days I wonder if what he says is more for the shock value than editorial sincerity. He also lost more than a few supporters. He’s far from perfect (no understatement intended), and with regard to his view of women he does blow hot and cold. He pays a lot of lip service to girlwriteswhat and typhonblue, two of his favorite female contributors and makes it clear he is against feminism, not women. But that does not exonerate him from broadcasting his view that all accused rapists are innocent and evidence is immaterial. He has taken a big number of extremist positions.
I stumbled onto the MRM about 18 months ago, and prior to that I looked at very few blogs.
Mr. Powell writes:
Regarding the MRM and atheism I first of all want to say that I am not playing the role of lecturing MRAs for their “Godlessness” because they “don’t toe the line” on what the Bible says. My emphasis is not on MRAs failing to comport to Christian teachings, my emphasis is instead that MRAs don’t hold to a universal model of how life should be at all. MRAs fit what might be called “the atheist pattern” whether they profess a belief in Christianity or not. If a self-professed MRA advocated positions that fit “the religious pattern” I would be inclined to say that they are misrepresenting themselves as being an MRA; they would instead be a traditionalist or supporter of patriarchy.
Take what I use as the defining characteristic of “men’s rights”; opposition to chivalry. Opposition to chivalry is classically “atheistic” because it denies the transcendent duty of being a man; it reduces relations between the sexes to a “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch my back” model. Support of chivalry is a part of “the religious pattern” because it acknowledges men’s duty to women in the context of the greater whole. All MRAs oppose chivalry (by definition as I define MRAs). This means that MRAs necessarily have an “atheistic” outlook on life.
When I say “almost all MRAs are atheists” I base that judgment on my experience of interacting with MRAs. I have had a great deal of interaction with MRAs and they rarely identify themselves as Christians and they almost never make arguments using religious language or religious concepts. Now true, this experience with MRAs may partially be the result of the social environments I have specific experience with; some parts of “men’s rights” may be more religious than others; but I think the atheistic part of men’s rights is the dominant portion of the MRM overall. More to the point the men’s rights orientation is not consistent with religious traditions of any sort. No religious tradition is founded on “men’s rights”; no society could work that was organized around the principle of “men’s rights”. The reason for this is very simple; a society is not composed of men alone, it also includes women and children.
Dalrock and bloggers like him are an interesting and growing part of the Men’s Rights Movement; these are bloggers that specialize in attacking the feminist tendencies in Christianity and particularly the manipulative arguments put forth by women in Christian settings that seek to undermine Church teachings regarding marriage. Bloggers such as Dalrock can be viewed as playing a positive role in that they are attacking the “stealth feminists” who are seeking to undermine the efforts by the Christian Church to become more conservative and more patriarchal in their teachings. Still, I am uneasy about such a role being played by people who are aligned with the men’s rights tradition. I would rather the problem of “stealth feminism” be attacked by religious leaders inside the church itself. I would rather “stealth feminism” be dealt with by people with a strong religious background and orientation rather than by “outsiders” with an overarching men’s rights agenda and orientation as their world view.
One last thing worth pointing out; you never see MRAs at strongly religious websites. Websites that aren’t welcoming to atheists don’t seem to have any problem with MRAs either. Another thing that atheists and MRAs have in common is a strong streak of libertarianism; a fixation on “individual rights” and a rejection of “duties” and “obligations” not voluntarily entered into as part of a reciprocal agreement. MRAs definitely fit into the atheist diaspora; they are recognizably a branch of atheism.
I blog as empathologicalism. I only started in December 2011. One of the motivators for me was that I am expressly NOT liberal, and I am decidedly Christian. When I followed the prescribed path to drive traffic to my site, and started posting comments on other blogs, I had a screen name that was indicative of being conservative. I had no idea the wall of vitriol I would face even though I was well schooled in how MRA’s feel about so called SoCons, and why they feel that way. There is good reason, and the comment by Jesse offers a window into that dynamic. Setting aside the term feminism and choosing instead the term gynocentrism is a good step toward understanding where someone like me is coming from, how we can be both dogged MRA’s and committed Christian husbands and fathers. To present them as mutually exclusive is a product of flawed thought.
After defending myself for a couple of days against a lot of preconceived notions, I changed my screen name and the problem went away. I lost a lot of respect for a particular “legendary” MRA commenter in that exchange. But none the less, that and continued participation not only solved the riddle of where I was coming from, it introduced me to many like or similar-minded men and women. (As an aside, the Christian MRM recognizes plainly how men contribute to the problem and we call them on it boldly)
I have noted the presence of a great many liberal MRA writers, especially among the commentariat, and I and some others have been taking them to task for it by stating simply that liberalism/leftism greases the skids for feminism; the converse is also true. I have a blog post specifically about that, though it was written on the fly and could be much better developed and probably should be revisited. I think this is of enormous import. While one of the biggest MRA sites online tries to stay politically above the fray, claiming no allegiance to a political ideology, I contend that at some point one will have to do so, if they put stock in their predilections. It is my opinion that one of the very basic tenets of MRA thinking (in the circles I respect) is that of reasoned and rational pontification as opposed to following feelings, and the liberal social justice take on Christianity doesn’t pass my smell test, nor for certain does secular humanist liberalism. I see many posters on that large site who would proudly claim to be the so called 99%, for example, who espouse utopian visions and feel good slogans, falling back on contests of sarcasm and flawed analogy to drive home whatever point they are making. I cannot see that fitting with traditionalism as we Christian MRAs would define it. In that vein, to Jesse’s chivalry test I submit it misses a huge area of inquiry. I too reject mindless chivalry in any and all circumstances, and that is a patently absurd litmus test in the first place as it lacks context which is crucial. There is a reason why men have pulled back from chivalry, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether we are provider or protector of OUR family. In a sense it is an acceptance of the way gynocentrism seems to want things, a response to that, and a peek at the consequences. In short it’s a teaching moment, teaching about what is a larger than life myth about female oppression because that myth expressly excludes chivalry. Laying bare the world wanted by these women is the reason for that, much like a sink or swim strategy leaves someone flailing in the water if they jump in without precaution, gynocentrics have followed feelings into the deep water with the (subconscious) idea that there is a safety net because men have been one. The demonstration would not have taken this long but for the presence of LIBERALS and the state replacing the man as relief. Hence, one very solid reason liberalism greases the skids for feminism, and why in my opinion one cannot be an MRA and be liberal in reality, even if its de rigueur to claim to be.
I thought Empathological’s comment was a bit convoluted and hard to follow. He is stating he is a conservative, not a liberal, and even asserts that “in my opinion one cannot be an MRA and be liberal in reality” which is quite amusing since liberal social ideas are rampant within the MRM. Remember MRAs are the ones who want “true equality” between the sexes, not the female supremacism that feminism seeks. Empathological also takes a dig at my “chivalry test” (which is completely predictable). He says “Jesse’s chivalry test I submit it misses a huge area of inquiry. I too reject mindless chivalry in any and all circumstances, and that is a patently absurd litmus test in the first place as it lacks context which is crucial.” So, he says my litmus test lacks “context.” In other words, it is not changeable to go with the “reality on the ground” as it is often called. Well, that is the whole point! Chivalry is a principle, not a useful toy to be played with by the man depending on what the man feels like doing.
The reason why I like the “chivalry test” so much is because MRAs will denounce chivalry forcefully and immediately making it completely obvious that the MRA is indeed an MRA. Also, there isn’t much problem with “false positives” using the chivalry test. Very few supporters of patriarchy will claim to be against chivalry because they are confused or don’t understand what the meaning of chivalry is. Chivalry is widely understood to be a good thing among supporters of patriarchy. So, an MRA can go on and on about how they support patriarchy, how they believe traditional gender roles are better than modern feminism, etc. and it can be quite difficult to pin them down but all you have to do is utter the word “chivalry” and watch them foam at the mouth and become enraged and it then becomes obvious where they’re really coming from. You see “chivalry” can be read as “male responsibility” and there is nothing an MRA hates more than “male responsibility” because “male responsibility” is in direct conflict with “male narcissism”, the true underlying motivator of the MRA. A supporter of patriarchy on the other hand welcomes male responsibility since he sees it as the expression and fulfillment of his purpose as a man, the source of his honorable manliness, the way he expresses his devotion to God. To the supporter of patriarchy responsibility is a noble calling, to the MRA it is merely an unjust burden being foisted upon him.
Is the very idea of a “Christian MRA” an oxymoron? I tend to think so. It’s like being a Christian narcissist. Is there any such thing as a Christian narcissist? Somehow I’m thinking that narcissism doesn’t mix with “obeying God” very easily. The main claim to legitimacy of the Christian MRAs is that they are attacking the feminist heresies within the Christian Church. This might well be true but anybody within the church can attack feminist heresies, you don’t have to be an “MRA” to attack feminist heresies. The whole point of being an MRA is to advocate for “men’s rights”; I don’t see how such a fixation or agenda fits with Christianity that after all has an overall message to teach that has already been thoroughly worked out and developed over hundreds of years. Why not be a Christian defending the doctrine against manipulative feminist interpretations and arguments, why be a “Christian MRA” instead?
MRAs are notoriously manipulative and they put great effort into making their arguments sound reasonable but as soon as you shove male responsibility into an MRA’s face they become hysterical and full of rage. I somehow suspect that “Christian MRAs” talk a hell of a lot about wifely obedience but not about much else. They probably don’t emphasize much that “Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church.” I also suspect that they put very little focus on how to create a good environment to raise children in and put a lot of focus on the power struggle between men and women decrying all the different power strategies that women use in a marital context. I suspect that the orientation of “male narcissism” fits with Christian MRAs just like it fits with MRAs in general.
There appears to be a whole network of “Christian MRA” blogs.