The MRA Perspective

Dan Moore of MenZ magazine gives his perspective on fundamental men’s rights issues, breaks down MRA sub-groups, and answers the question: Why do MRAs hate feminism?

My involvement with the Men’s Rights Movement began nearly two decades ago, before Reddit gave MRAs (men’s rights activists) a place to gather, and before I founded MenZ magazine. Back then, there was a thing we call the “Lace Curtain,” a reference to the media’s unwillingness to take a male-sympathetic view of anything, even to the point of suppressing any pro-male comments or letters to the editor. We used to send out an email alert whenever someone got a letter to the editor published in their local paper. It was so rare, we had to celebrate it.

We’ve made a lot of progress as a movement since then. But what kind of progress, exactly? It’s obvious we exist, and that we’re angry and loud—but what do we believe in and stand for today? Explaining the MRM involves exploding so many of the cultural myths we live with that it would take more than one article to cover them. But, if you’ll bear with me, I’m going to try.

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The Issues:

Men have no reproductive rights throughout what we would call the Political West. Men have no right to choose if they are ready for parenthood post-conception, even though women have that right (and staunchly defend it). While the morality of letting men abandon pregnant girlfriends is left in question, the base inequality of the current situation is not. We have a blatant legal double standard, based solely on the sex of the person involved. Either give men the same rights as women, or restrict women’s rights to equal those of men—I don’t care which. But to fail to do so is to promote sexism as official government policy.

As the Department of Health and Human Services concedes,”historically, unmarried fathers have had fewer rights with regard to their children than either unwed mothers or married parents.” For example, as an unintended consequence of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which required single mothers seeking public assistance to identify the father and put states in charge of collecting child support, millions of men across the U.S. were declared dads by “default judgment.” As Matt Welch wrote in a 2004 issue of Reason magazine:

[W]hen the government accuses you of fathering a child, no matter how flimsy the evidence, you are one month away from having your life wrecked. Federal law gives a man just 30 days to file a written challenge; if he doesn’t, he is presumed guilty. And once that steamroller of justice starts rolling, dozens of statutory lubricants help make it extremely difficult, and prohibitively expensive, to stop—even, in most cases, if there’s conclusive DNA proof that the man is not the child’s father.

Many states have since passed reform bills, but paternity fraud is still a problem.

While we’re talking about family court, how about those child support tables? They were based in part on hysteria created when sociologist Lenore Weitzman concluded, in a 1985 report, that after a divorce women’s standard of living went down 73 percent, and men’s went up 42 percent. “For several years after the publication of her book, she did not make her data available to other researchers,” according to the Associated Press. In 1996, she admitted that her calculations were faulty. A re-analysis of her numbers “found a 27 percent decline in women’s post-divorce standard of living and a 10 percent increase in men’s—still a serious gap, but not the catastrophic one that Weitzman saw.”

But by that time it was too late. According to the 1996 AP report, Weitzman’s bogus statistic had already been cited in 348 social-science articles, 250 law review articles, 24 appeals and Supreme Court cases, and in President Clinton’s 1996 budget. “This has been one of the most widely quoted statistics in recent history,” said Anne Colby, director of Radcliffe College’s Murray Research Center at the time.

All this is done under “no fault” divorce, which basically means there’s no reason needed to initiate divorce and no acknowledgment of wrongdoing. Even in cases where one spouse is decent and hardworking and upstanding, and the other cheats and drinks too much and is addicted to gambling and takes off with the kids, there can be no assignation of blame. Alone, this is no big deal until you factor in the misandric culture we live in, where accusations of wrongdoing are gendered in the media

Speaking of the law, men have particular concerns when it comes to the justice system. There has been a massive spike in incarcerations in the U.S. over the last 30 years. Nearly all of those are men, and nearly all of those men are poor, and usually black. While some might see this as our society being tough on crime, I see a society locking their “undesirables” out of sight. And while black and white men are often treated differently, the differences in treatment between men and women are substantially greater.

Next: Why Do MRAs Hate Feminists So Much?

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About Dan Moore

Dan Moore has been a Mens Activist for going on two decades now. He's a divorced father of two teenage daughters, and has barely grayed as a result (so far). He is editor and publisher of MenZ Magazine, and creates digital artwork in his spare time.

Comments

  1. Peter, England says:

    There are some important questions about this whole Good Man Project here.
    1) What are you DOING or ADVOCATING for MEN? How are you HELPING them? This is a MEN’s GROUP – yes? Can you please list them, in a nice simple bullet point way? Because that would help assure those who come by out of curiosity. You could have it as a one-page, just 8 points or so. Then you could say HOW you are going to achieve this. Examples below.
    1.1 Positive discrimination (AA) is cheating. End of. Period. Before you start on the history argument, two wrongs don’t make a right. Why take it out on a 22-year-old guy going for a job?
    1.2 Forced male circumcision of neonates is a human rights issue. Why is it OK?
    1.3 The suicide right is three times higher for men than women
    1.4 Men have poorer health outcomes and die earlier
    1.5 Not all rape defendents are guilty, why are they named in the media before the trial. Human Rights Watch reports that male rapes in USA prisons are higher than those reported for females
    1.6 In advertising, men are presented as incapable. If anybody presented a woman in that way there’d be an outcry
    1.7 Divorce takes most of the assets (and the children) and gives to the women
    1.8 You can do your own number 8.

    2) You seem to believe men are culpable and need to ‘learn’ or ‘do penance’. (The walking in high heels at universities is just an exercise in humiliation. Saps, jerks and nitwits).
    Let me alter this slightly – yes, some guys need to: learn manners, be a gentleman in terms of quitting the bad temper thing, control their money sensibly, go to the gym, take an interest in other people’s problems – etc. So you could do a practical self-improvement piece. But you seem to have a blame culture against the male sex – again, what do you hope to gain by this? Why would any guy want to take full responsibility for the actions of 1% of his gender?

    3) The web-site seems to have an awful lot in common with feminist sites. That’s kind of strange, isn’t it? For a men’s group.

  2. NWOslave says:

    The marxist feminist hate movement was exported from the former soviet union to the west to destroy the family and transfer all social, economic, educational and political power from men to women with the state being the ultimate authority. Women being the “peasant victim class” weild the guns of the state to incarcerate, hamstring or hurt any man, who are of course the “burgiousse oppressor class” for any reason or just on a whim.

    Are feminists soley to blame? No, most women must also shoulder the resposibility of blame. The claim of NAWALT, (not all women are like that) may but true, but the number is depressingly small. When the Bolsheviks murdered 20 million Ukrainians by starving them to death and some folks took a piece of the communist pie while claiming innosence, they were also to blame. If a woman gorges herself on a piece of fruit from the feminist tree while claiming NAWALT, she is to blame. Silence is also consent, you are also to blame. You can’t pick and choose then cry NAWALT.

  3. I have yet to find a single “MRA” site that isn’t sexist against women and doesn’t blame feminism for every single issue they have. It’s pathetic. At least sites like Feministing doesn’t blame men; it merely talks about women’s issues, and the “MRAs” hate them for that, for whatever reason. “MRAs” don’t even bother to remember that not all feminists are like Valerie Solanas. I believe in equal rights for everyone. I would totally team up with the “MRM” if they didn’t hate on women so much. And I know you’re going to say “well, feminists hate men,” but no, it’s not true. I have never seen women create a site glorifying the killing of men, whereas some “MRAs” made a site dedicated to Marc Lepine, the man who killed more than a dozen innocent women because he hated feminism for encouraging women to enter the workforce and “take the men’s jobs away.” I also see so many “I hate women” videos on YouTube and “I hate women” websites. There is so much hate against women in this culture that I find it laughable when men mention the word “misandry,” while ignoring the sheer amount of misogyny that exists throughout the world.

    And then there are those of you hypocrites that complain about rigid gender roles for men, followed by a rant about how horrible Western women are and how you want a “real woman” from a foreign country. At least feminists abolished gender roles, and they tend to be highly supportive of the LGBT community. Sure, some feminists suck, but there are bad apples in every group. However, with “MRAs,” I have yet to see a single “MRA” that isn’t a total misogynist.

    • Funny you say that. I am not a MRA but I would be on board with feminists if they didn’t hate men so much. Despite certain denials, feminists man-hating reputation was earned and continues to thrive due to their relentless hatred of men and boys.

  4. “MRAs reject the very notion that “men oppressed women.” It didn’t happen. Ever.”

    You can’t be serious. Sure, men had “rigid gender roles,” too, but at least men had more options. Women couldn’t even get an education. Many girls in other countries still don’t get an education. Girls’ genitals are cut off and sewed up just enough to let urine and menses come out so they “stay pure.” Girls are aborted or abandoned simply for not being boys. Women are often blamed in the Bible for all of humankind’s “sins.”

    Also, feminists fought against these rigid gender roles. MRAs seem hell-bent on “keeping women in their place.” With your logic, I guess white people never enslaved black people.

    • thank you for bringing up genetal mutilation, they cannot complaint about circumcision anymore. i know circumcision is a big issue for these dudes. well guess what? when you were born your DAD, thats right your FATHER prolly had a good amount of say in it, not your “bitchy, tyrannic” mom (who just went through 6-24 hours give or take of extreme pain so you could come into this world.) and if your mom made the sole decision to do it then where the hell was your dad at? certianly not being the upstanding father you people are always talking about. also that has to do with religion, if you were circumsised for religious purposes it was prbably the same religion you hold near and dear in your heart for setting laws and rules and regulations so that men could use women how ever they want and women cant say shit. have a baby, have painful bloody intercourse, THEN complain about circumcision. i pity you all.

      • Seriously? Don’t you realize that women are the ones insist that young girls get circumcised? That they are the ones who hold them down?

  5. Arielle says:

    Yeah, any blog that doesn’t bash women/feminists while championing MRA men must be anti-male!

    This is why we don’t take MRAs seriously.

  6. I’m confused as to what the MRM wants to have done about the inequality between men and women over deciding whether or not to raise a child. I don’t see any good solution. It would be wrong to allow a father to abandon his child. It would be horrific if men could force women to have abortions when they didn’t want to support the child.

    So are they suggesting that to make things fair, women shouldn’t be allowed to have abortions? Wouldn’t many men be upset by that and end up having to support more children?

    Or do they want men to be able to abandon their babies?

  7. I agree that Weitzman’s data should have been corrected long ago. The thing is, that even corrected, men were getting richer after divorce and women were getting poorer. This is an issue we have to address in divorce.

    It’s still true that most married mothers work fewer hours for pay and more at home. The fathers then work more hours for pay and less at home. This is good for the kids and hopefully the parents. The only problem is if the couple divorces. Then the woman has less earning power. She hasn’t been lazy, far from it. So she needs something to make up for that in a divorce.

    The laws need to be gender neutral so a dad who stays home or works part-time can get money in the case of a divorce. Still, so long as mothers are more likely to be the ones doing the child care, actual divorces are going to end up with husbands having to help the women financially after divorce.

    The bottom line, though, is that no matter how you slice it, women aren’t getting rich after a divorce unless they married a rich older guy. Men suffer financially after a divorce, but their ex-wives are just as miserable. Divorce isn’t good for families financially. In the best, friendliest divorce, you don’t have as much to go around once you need to pay for two places to live, etc.

    So the question again is, what is the solution according to the MRM? It’s not like men can pay less and the wives and children will be okay.

  8. We should be joining forces with white supremacists! A lot of the same ideas (except about whiteness)

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