John Anderson looks at some small but tangible progress in calling attention to men’s issues.
There are days when I just want to pack it in on equality. I lose my faith in people’s inherent fairness even the small successes I’ve forged for men’s issues seem irrelevant. What does changing one mind or even a few dozen accomplish? It doesn’t change anything materially. Men’s issues are still much too often ignored and marginalized.
That’s why it’s important to celebrate the successes. The tangible successes like criminalizing visitation interference in Illinois. The penalties are still laughable, but it starts the conversation and you never know where it will lead. Another such event happened recently at Simon Fraser University.
In fact, the only thing that is depressing in the entire story is that the bulk of the opposition seems to come from feminists. Their basic arguments are that men can’t be trusted. Because feminists didn’t create or approve this space, men will use it to subjugate women or they marginalize men’s issues. Men don’t have problems comparable to women so don’t need the space.
When suicide rates are brought up, the opposition responds, but women attempt suicide at two to three times the rate of men. In rape cases a rape is more serious than a false accusation. In domestic battery cases, the severity of injury is what is important not the act by the perpetrator, but in suicides an attempted suicide is just as important as a successful suicide. If women are successful at 6 – 10% of the rate of men, are they not as competent or is it a case where they really don’t want to commit suicide and it’s a cry for help? It seems that men actually wanting to kill themselves would be a subject worth exploring for individuals concerned with social justice.
One of the comforting things is when I move away from feminist leaning websites and enter more “neutral” spaces, the comments lean positive. People’s perceptions do seem to be changing. When we change a mind or a few dozen, it does have an effect.
photo: ell r. brown / flickr