Before I interviewed Amanda Marcotte in July, we were discussing Men’s Rights activists. She made a statement to the effect that if you scratch an MRA, you find a guy upset that someone is keeping him from beating his wife and kids whenever he feels like it. Yesterday, via Ophelia, I came across a Man Boobz post that features an MRA making basically the same argument.
The MRA, Price, doesn’t say it directly, of course. He just says violence against women is all the fault of feminists.
Repeated provocations against men, systematic discrimination against men, and state-sanctioned debt slavery are starting to have the inevitable effect. In a triumph for the feminist movement, men are lashing out violently against women, fulfilling the feminist fantasy of a gender war.
I didn’t want to hurt you, honey, but you just wouldn’t stop. Everything would be fine if you’d just stop–in Price’s case, stop doing things like getting child support orders or demanding that equal civil rights trump the historical favoring of men in the workplace and civil and educational institutions.
You know I love you, but you make me crazy when you’re like that. I just can’t control myself.
Ironically, rates of violence against women, like rates of violent crime in general in the U.S., have been decreasing for the last couple of decades. There is no burgeoning gender war. There are just these few guys, pretending their entire gender is just like them as they fantasize about punishing that bitch who is walking away and anyone who dares to help her–those who stop at fantasizing.
So what “proof” does Price offer for his claim that men are “lashing out” at women because of feminism? He cites three news stories: one dealing with a woman-hating trucker who’s accused of killing several prostitutes; another involving a man who went on a shooting rampage at a church, killing his wife and wounding two others; and finally, the case of James Ray Palmer, the Arkansas man who shot up the offices of the judge who’d handled his divorce and custody case more than a decade earlier.
David Futurelle at Man Boobz is confused about how those crimes relate to feminism or a gender war, but it snaps into focus if you realize that this guy, like most MRAs, defines feminism as not being entirely under the control of the men around you. Feminism means not giving away sex for free just because some guy wants it. It means disappointing your husband so badly, somehow, even after you’ve withdrawn from your church with him, that he has to shoot you just like he did his first wife. It means telling a guy he has to keep paying for the upkeep of that kid whose visitation schedule is so inconvenient.
Feminism means, to this guy, deviating in the slightest from giving him what he thinks he should be due as a man. Those deviations have earned violence, just like noncompliant women in relationships have earned their beatings. And just as in domestic violence, Price warns us that the greatest price comes as we change the system, get out from under the control of men.
If we really leave, he’s telling us, we will die, and we will have made it happen. They can’t help it, you know. We’re so good at making them crazy.
Like any good abuser, however, Price will be generous and offer us a way out.
Women’s best bet for security is not in denouncing and fighting men, as feminists would have it, but in cooperating with them and taking on their proper role.
He can’t promise anything, mind you. It’s just our best bet. As though he knows from experience just how reliable those promises are.
Yeah, I’m with Amanda on this one.