Open thread in AETV 864: Russell, John, and something something rhinoceros »« When the Internet Gives you Lemons…

Why are so many MRA’s among the religious “nones”?

fedorad

“Because evolutionary psychology, that’s why!”

If you’ve been listening to The Non-Prophets in the past year (and if not, why not??) then you already know that we are no fans of the so called “Men’s Rights” movement.  Occasionally the MRA movement might support a worthwhile principle purely by accident, but in practice it is primarily a movement which is to gender as White Pride groups are to race. The civil rights activist organization Southern Poverty Law Center classifies several MRA sites as hate groups.

My wife and I were chatting last night about some statistics I saw recently. As this post on Stephanie Zvan’s blog notes, MRA’s [edit: surveyed on Reddit, so a heavily self-selected sample] are approximately:

  • 92% male
  • 87% white
  • 35% aged 17-20 (estimated overall median age 20)
  • 70% no religion

The fact that so many MRA’s are with us in the non-religion crowd should be, in my view, hugely embarrassing to atheists. Numbers higher on the page imply that the “no religion” number may be as high as 94%, but I’ll go with the reduced 70% number, which is still pretty disproportionate to the number of non-religious people overall. 16% of the general United States population consider themselves religiously unaffiliated.

[...]

So most MRA’s are irreligious, which doesn’t mean that most irreligious people are MRA’s. For example, if 16% of the population are atheists, and .16% of the population are MRA, then they could be 100% irreligious and still represent only 1% of of that group. But still: ick.

Why should this be the case? Here’s a point that I think should not be overlooked: Misogyny is straight up baked into some (not all) religious groups. Consider the Quiverfull cult, for instance. You don’t find a subgroup of Quiverfull supporters specifically formed to argue that women should be more respectful of men. You don’t need one, because the whole group is about that, and the religious justification for it. As Vyckie Garrison sums it up, “Men are to be leaders, teachers, initiators, protectors and providers. Women are created to be ‘helpmeets’ to the men in authority over them (husbands, fathers, older brothers) ~ they are to be submissive and yielding.”

Within the context of Quiverfull, both men and women generally accept the principles that women are naturally subservient to men. If you live in a bubble of people who agree with this, “men’s rights” isn’t an issue to be tackled separately; it’s part and parcel of an overarching religious outlook.

Similarly, when Tracie and I wrote about attending a liberal Muslim church in Austin, we noticed that their views about women were substantially less awful than your typical Islamic fundamentalist, but they still assume everybody is on board with the idea that women can’t do everything that men do. It’s in the Qur’an, so it’s hard to toss that aside lightly without challenging more of the fundamentals.

But say you’re a man, and you still hold to the idea that women should be subservient to men, but you don’t have the religious infrastructure to back up that belief. Let’s say you think it’s a terrible idea for women to vote (hi, Ann Coulter!), or you accept that there is a gender pay gap but you believe that’s just fine (kisses, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn!) or you just think that women are awful sluts because they sometimes have sex for fun (yoohoo Rush Limbaugh, you sexy beast!). Suppose you believe all those things, but you don’t think you can get away with saying it “just because the Bible said so.” What’s a guy to do? In that case, maybe you should ask your physician if the MRA movement is right for you.

It’s in these groups that you can find aid and comfort for the idea that the oppression of women is not only good and right, but it’s got some kind of veneer of scientific respectiability! Fundamentalists and hardcore conservatives may complain all the time about the “feminization” of society (otherwise known as “the increasingly equal status that women strive for, and sometimes succeed in getting”), but they are aiming this criticism largely outside their own in-group; they’re criticizing the rest of the world of godless feminists and wussified libdems. But the MRA movement — well, that’s what you get if you want to claim the mantle of atheism, or even “humanism” (after a fashion) but you have no other outlet where you have any hope of being taken seriously.

So I’m not proud of the fact that MRA’s are mostly our irreligious brethren. But if I had to take a stab at why that might be so — that’s my hypothesis. The agnostic/atheist/unaffiliated sphere is the main area where you find subgroups that still want to keep women down, but don’t have the broad social support to do it.

Comments

  1. says

    I’d say it’s simply a confluence of convenient factors: college-age white males getting together, often at college, being introducted to the oft-new-to-them concepts of libertarianism, atheism, and the idea that they’re all such oppressed little snowflakes.

    I’ve got nothing to back that up besides years of observations, but I’ll be damned if I’m not sticking to that as an explanation.

  2. Narf says

    As an immediate pondering of the title, without covering any material in the actual post, “Why are so many MRA’s among the religious ‘nones’?” …

    I think a good part of the reason is that the MRA’s are the ones who realize that they need the obfuscation. Religious misogynists have so many things they can fall back on, within their holy texts, so they don’t need the pseudo-rational arguments put forth by the MRA’s. When your thought processes rely upon authoritarian proclamations, you’re not going to feel the need to rationalize something.

    Now, with my simplistic treatment of the subject out of the way, let me see what you actually have to say within the article itself, Russell.

  3. consciousness razor says

    The agnostic/atheist/unaffiliated sphere is the main area where you find subgroups that still want to keep women down, but don’t have the broad social support to do it.

    One thing to point out first: that’s a big sphere. I really don’t think I have much in common with the religiously “unaffiliated,” in the way I do with self-identifying atheists and agnostics. It’s not just about ideological differences, but about the process of how I came about being an atheist and identifying as one. It’s not like I just stopped going to a particular kind of Church for just any old reason. I know atheists have lots of motivations, which don’t all match my own, but I think that minimal kind of “nonreligiosity” or “unaffiliatedness” just doesn’t cut it as a real-world description of the sort of atheists I feel like I can identify with on some significant level. We got there by thinking about problems with theology, at least a little bit, not just by default or by accident or purely out of boredom or something like that. And for those raised in atheist families/environments, that of course isn’t stopping them from thinking about their disbelief eventually, nor would that have prevented them joining some religion later in life, if they had found one compelling.

    But that’s the sort of group, the somewhat more reflective one, the one dealing with theology by rejecting it (not rejecting some other thing), which I feel like I have a reason to be embarrassed about when its membership is being embarrassing. Of course, I don’t think there’s any shortage of that within self-identifying atheists (for lots of reasons, including bigotry), but I think it’s worth considering who we’re really concerned with and who we aren’t.

    Second, the obvious conclusion to make is that they should not get our support. There are lots of reasons for that, but at a very fundamental level, they often rely (at least implicitly) on teleology, which is in no way supported by the evidence. They want to say women are for cooking and cleaning and the sexual gratification of straight white dudes. Why else would they be here? They won’t generally say that outright because of how transparently stupid the idea is, but it’s hidden all over the place in their views of gender “roles” and class “roles” and racial “roles” and so forth. But as atheists, we have a very clear and straightforward answer: no gods, no teleology. We can of course have purposes for ourselves, but that can’t be a way to insert the sort of cosmic or biological purpose of a person that they’re after. You would need something that doesn’t happen in the world at all, in order to get that. And even if we did have that (a god, who commands us to treat women like shit, for example), that would not tell us it’s a good way of structuring a society or conducting interpersonal relationships. But well before you get to the moral and political evaluation of those facts (which any atheist or any other person also needs to do anyway), you would need those facts, and they simply don’t ever happen in a naturalistic universe.

    So, all of this isn’t about questioning their membership as “real” atheists, but just to say that atheists do have strong reasons, internal to atheism, for rejecting that bullshit. This is because atheists do not simply have beliefs about gods, and only gods, and nothing at all about the world itself (including what the world is like with or without gods).

  4. Narf says

    When they start treading into radfem territory?

    They’re very far from the radfem end of things. They’re just in the category of not-being-an-asshole-to-women. If you think they’re radfems, I think you have a serious problem with thinking, in general.

  5. Narf says

    You have to have difficulties processing basic information (stupid), have to be willfully ignorant of the feminism debate, or must be dishonest and hyperbolic, to say what you just said. Take your pick. I guess it could be a combination of a couple of those or all three, though.

  6. Narf says

    I dunno. You have to be somewhat rare, in order to be precious. Sadly, this sort of idiocy isn’t.

  7. Russell Glasser says

    Clever. That reminds me of another one liner I used to like: Why is television called a medium? Because it’s neither rare nor well done.

  8. says

    Imgur seems to have it’s fair share of MRAs.

    There was one graphic where they were dismissing “male privilege” because women have privileges like having 700 college courses dedicated to women’s studies… as though the entirety of the rest of historical studies weren’t focusing exclusively on men.

    They seem to cluster into groups, and fester. They, like our MRAs, and like Schlumbumbi above, seem to have little idea what feminism is. I think “feminism” may be more misunderstood and more mischaracterized and more straw-manned than atheism is by hardcore Christians.

  9. Narf says

    Hmm, very similar to my thoughts, yeah. I should just go ahead and read the freaking article next time, huh? :D

  10. Spooky Tran says

    Can anyone explain to me the discrepancy in statistics I’m seeing here? None of the percentages Russell cites line up with those Stephanie Zvan reported in her post.

  11. Russell Glasser says

    You have to read to the bottom of Stephanie’s post. The numbers in the beginning are higher, but Stephanie goes on to say:

    If we carve out 2,400 responses from the most popular answers and 100 responses for people who didn’t fill in the form (who presumably clicked through to see the results), that brings us down to 590 surveys, close to the same number as in the prior survey. That’s a lower response rate than in the prior survey, but the new survey is only a few days old. More importantly, that puts the numbers for “nonreligious”/”no religion” plus “other” very close in the two surveys, as well as race and gender percentages. (The wording is different between the two surveys because it was suggested in response to the old survey that “nonreligious” might be pushing people toward choosing “other”.) That’s as close as we’re going to get to estimating the valid responses to the survey.

  12. Narf says

    He seems to have pulled it from the summation near the bottom of Stephanie’s post. Those line up perfectly with Russell’s post. If Stephanie made any errors between the mass of numbers higher up in her post and her summation at the end, that’s another issue entirely.

  13. Narf says

    Her numbers are a little … odd, though, as I look through her post in detail. In the top part, it shows 87% being between 17 and 20. At the bottom, it says 35%. Someone more closely acquainted may want to go poke her and ask her to clean up her numbers a bit.

  14. Narf says

    Well, I mean, she mentions that it’s two different surveys in which the numbers are similar in many areas, but that age discrepancy, for example, is pretty noticeable. I dunno.

  15. Narf says

    I’ve been afraid to ask so far, but let me just suck it up and spit out the question.

    That magazine cover is a mock-up to make whoever that is look bad, right? Someone didn’t actually put together a magazine like that and mean it, did they?

  16. Lea says

    I’m also wondering why this is, and would also like to know what percentage of atheist men are MRA’s compared to the general population? I think what you say in the article makes sense, but it seems like there must be more to it. For example, it doesn’t explain the young age (BTW the linked article has 87% in the 17-20 group, and the other stats don’t exactly match what you have here either). Another question is how accurate we should consider these stats to be.

    Although I’ve been a non-believer for many years, it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve really started looking at atheist stuff online. At first I had a good impression– watching TAE and thinking how kind-hearted the hosts were, reading some blogs where the writers also seemed intelligent and caring.

    Then I got the ebook Manual for Creating Atheists, which has many links in it, so I randomly clicked on one. I was horrified–could this be the right link? The site was chock-full of abusive misogynistic rants. (I don’t know if the book’s author is MRA-sympathetic or just didn’t vet what he was linking to). That’s how I first came across the MRA association with atheism and have since seen a lot more of it. I guess every silver lining has a cloud.

  17. says

    “Why are so many MRA’s among the religious nones?”

    It’s an interesting question, but seeing as I’ve never yet met a self-identified MRA in real life, I have to wonder how big of this problem we are talking about here. What fraction of the nones are, in fact, MRA’s?

  18. Schlumbumbi says

    My beard is longer and thicker than yours. Back to the kennel, Spike.

  19. Schlumbumbi says

    I was under the impression Mr. Glasser had admitted to believing in the elusive “Patriarchy” before ? If that’s not the case, I apologise for misrepresenting him. If it is the case, he is, by textbook definition, a radical feminist.

    The fact that so many MRA’s are with us in the non-religion crowd should be, in my view, hugely embarrassing to atheists.

    Not that actually needed any other proof than the one that is already contained in his writing. It takes a spineless coward to bash on those he knows have no lobby and won’t retaliate – but it takes a radfem mindset to actually want to do that.

  20. Schlumbumbi says

    If you stay around a little longer, you’ll quickly learn that it doesn’t really matter whether the “problem” is real, or not. It’s a matter of “principle”*

    (*doubleclownhornsound)

  21. blondeintokyo says

    Misogyny is so entrenched in society at large that it shouldn’t be surprising that there are atheist MRAs. It seems logical that if society is sexist at large (it is) then a good percentage of men and women across the spectrum of society, from all walks of life, religious or not, will be sexist, too. They don’t even need religion to be MRAs, because to them the subjugation of women is the natural, normal state of things, probably inherent in the way they were raised. To them, it’s the normal state of the world. This should not be surprising to anyone, considering that sexism is ubiquitous.

    While atheist MRS tend to use bad “science” like evolutionary psychology (not that it’s entirely bad science; but the way they twist it is) don’t forget, not all atheists came to atheism through logic or skepticism. Many of them are simply irreligious and don’t have the critical thinking skills that other atheists developed in their journey towards atheism. Notice how twisted their logic is much of the time. It’s reminiscent of the way Christians/religious people twist things.

    All in all, I’m not at all surprised there is sexism and homophobia and racism in atheism. Simply put, there are a lot of assholes out there, and our little community is no exception to that rule.

  22. says

    Oh, cupcake, you really are ignorant of the hole you’re digging for yourself. If you’re smart you’ll stop now before you say something foolish.

    Trust me, I’m trying to save you from both a merciless intellectual smackdown AND your own brainless beliefs.

  23. Hj Hornbeck says

    But if I had to take a stab at why that might be so — that’s my hypothesis.

    I’m not convinced by it, sorry. Here’s my current hypothesis:

    Sexism correlates more strongly with authoritarianism than religion. It’s tough to think men are superior to women if you reject the idea of superiority in the first place, and at the same time there are anti-authoritarian sects out there, especially among Buddhism and Christianity. Of course, the majority of religious sects are quite authoritarian, so anti-authoritarians would migrate to either softer sects or become non-believers.

    But there’s another group that wouldn’t play well with religion: authoritarians that reject all authority over themselves. This takes some level of cognitive dissonance to pull off, but if most of your culture rubs “god is the ultimate authority” in your face constantly, and your authoritarian side is mostly confined to your subconscious, it should be quite manageable.

    The “no masters” authoritarian would tend to have a different personality than their vanilla cousins; they’d have a greater ego and self-confidence, and be more likely to display overt sexism instead of the benevolent or implicit kinds. They’d be more motivated to reach for leadership positions and form groups focused on strong ambitions, but also more likely to have those groups collapse into bitter heaps of acrimony when egos collide and everyone aims to be a leader. Naturally, they wouldn’t get along with anti-authoritarians, but only in the long term; so long as the “no master” type are authoritarian primarily via their subconscious, the two can appear nearly identical and share the same space quite comfortably for some time.

    Before long, though, the subconscious sexism will out itself, perhaps as a surprise to anti-authoritarians who haven’t been paying close attention.

  24. Monocle Smile says

    So acknowledging that men, by and large, currently control how things are done makes one a radical feminist? Score one for “useless definitions.”

    Also, what’s this “won’t retaliate” bullshit? Are you honestly saying it’s cowardly for any internet blog to launch criticism, regardless of merit, towards any group that won’t attempt to tear it down by any means necessary?

  25. says

    Spend too much time on A Voice for Men, MGTOW forums, or any of the various PUAs that form much of the “Manosphere” that MRAs inhabit, and though the tone is obviously satirical, the issues aren’t. Minimizing rape (often to the point where only the “stranger in the bushes” stereotype is really rape to them), claiming male oppression is pervasive, going into pseudointellectual babble about why “women like assholes”, and everything on the parody magazine are topics MRAs are fans of prognosticating on.

  26. Schlumbumbi says

    My beliefs ? Interesting. Why don’t you tell me what my beliefs are, kiddo ?

  27. says

    I was under the impression Mr. Glasser had admitted to believing in the elusive “Patriarchy” before ? If that’s not the case, I apologise for misrepresenting him. If it is the case, he is, by textbook definition, a radical feminist.

    You could know this and act like you don’t out of intellectual dishonesty, but just in case:

    You’re aware that “patriarchy” doesn’t refer to an actual conspiracy of men to treat women poorly, right? And that it refers to the tendency of social organization in a wide range (read: majority) of areas to be biased in favor of men (empirically proven to be true in more cases than not)?

    You don’t get to claim people are straw-manning MRAs (fundamentally untrue, BTW; the most anti-MRA thing usually done is to quote their own words, verbatim) when you so clearly strawman feminists.

    It takes a spineless coward to bash on those he knows have no lobby and won’t retaliate

    This is either willfully dishonest or delusional. There is incontrovertible evidence of retaliation in the form of years-long harassment campaigns, along with a quick glance of virtually every comment section of a popular blog on this issue.

  28. Schlumbumbi says

    Wha wha… whawhawhaaawggg… I’m sorry, did you say something, darling ?

  29. jdon says

    Imgur was started purely to host reddit pictures so the crossover is unsurprising.

  30. Schlumbumbi says

    What’s your objection ? “Patriarchy” is the core doctrine of radical feminism. And the reason why liberal feminists wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole is because in opposite to you bandwagoners, they’ve long understood how toxic and destructive it is.

    If you subscribe to that stuff, you’re cuckoo in the head. And yes, that’s official.

    (BTW : “Launching criticism” “Pouring shit over people” *FTFY. Don’t ask for honesty if you aren’t prepared to deliver some straight talk yourself.)

  31. says

    Your passive aggressive trolling is noted, and on notice.

    If you’ve got something of intellectual substance to contribute (such as actually being able to explain why Russell’s assessment and opinions are wrong, preferably backed up with citations), by all means, do so. I personally think that if you could have, you would have by now, but we’re charitable around here. So far, all you’ve done is help confirm that what you think are strawman caricatures of MRA’s are in fact reasonably accurate, which strikes me as counterproductive to your goals.

  32. jdon says

    As your update points out – this is a severe case of slanted stats. A very large portion of reddit is atheist or irreligious. If you survey the Men’s Rights subs of reddit you’ll find a similar proportion of them are atheists or irreligious. Same goes for, for example, the bisexual subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/bisexual/comments/ktxbm/demographic_survey_2011_results_religious/

    38.2% atheist, 22.3% have no affiliation, and 13.2% are “agnostic” (the colloquial term for agnostic atheists) for a grand total of 73.7% irreligious. A strikingly similar result.

  33. Schlumbumbi says

    “Persecution complex” ? Armchair. Psychobabble. Ableism. Truely horrible person.
    I heard you like Oreos.

  34. Monocle Smile says

    Vanilla-flavored trolling it is, then. It appeared to be headed in that direction anyway, I guess.

  35. jdon says

    I’m starting to think that I’ve just misunderstood the thrust of this article and the other one.

    It has results that 70% of Reddit MRAs are irreligious.

    It also has results that 95% of Reddit in it’s entirety are irreligious.

    Surely the conclusion to draw is that the religious are far, far, far more likely to be MRAs? Like 5 times more likely?

  36. al says

    I don’t think the reasons for the correlation proposed in the article and the comments are the most likely reasons for the majority of MRAs being non-religious white men.

    I think it’s as follows: People generally feel the need to have a group affiliation. MRAs? They’re white, so they aren’t members of race-based groups. They’re hetero males, so they aren’t members of sex- or gender-based groups. They’re not religious, so they aren’t members of religion-based groups. In college, when a lot of people are joining groups based on their affiliations, these people have a vacuum in their life – and so it seems pretty natural for them to find a group for them to be a part of. I don’t think they’re all super keen folk, but I think a lot of them have their mind in the right place (group advocacy) and just got a bit lost along the way.

  37. Russell Glasser says

    No, you didn’t read that correctly, although I can see why you might think that since Stephanie juxtaposed a sentence about “general statistics about reddit” near the religion stats in a word way. However, if you click through to the pdf, religion isn’t even mentioned.

    The 94% stat, I believe is from the unfiltered survey responses by MRAs. The 70% is from the reduced sample.

  38. Narf says

    How does someone try to deny the existence of people with a persecution complex, then run around screaming about being persecuted, and expect anyone to take him seriously?

    Christ, if any other MRA’s want to show up and have a debate about something, at least give us something substantial. How long did this guy think he was going to be allowed to run on, before getting smacked?

  39. Narf says

    Dude, I’ve seen worse than that in MRA forums everywhere. Only two or three of the headlines are in any way over the top.

  40. fwtbc says

    If you’ve been listening to The Non-Prophets in the past year (and if not, why not??)

    Well, since you asked, I stopped listening because the audio quality was awful and the volume levels differed too much between different co-hosts which made listening to the show really unpleasant if I wasn’t able to do it in complete silence.

    I’ll go revisit it again soon and hopefully it’s now better.

  41. Narf says

    You mean the first couple of episodes after they restarted the show? They cleaned it up pretty well after 3 or 4 episodes, I think. You should check it out again.

  42. Muz says

    I’m kinda amazed how people don’t get this, or don’t seem to. However, I suspect it’s like a lot of somewhat nebulous social and sociological concepts; the difficulty in explaining them and their subtlety is just a convenient stick to beat anyone who uses the term with.
    That and possibly ideological disdain for social concepts of any sort.

    Conservatives took great delight in hammering post-modernist thought with just such methods throughout the ‘cutlure wars’ of the nineties (which haven’t ended yet). Sometimes post-modernists deserved some stern challenges, but this technique is more out to win via propaganda than intelligent argument.

    Have feminists been known to make a bit too much of the patriarchy and misogyny etc, turning them into almost unseen forces of evil? Yeah sometimes. But it’s not fundamental to the concept, despite the disingenuous claim that it is, which you see a lot nowadays. So to with leaning heavily on the scare term ‘radical’. If most people understand the term as being associated with anarchist revolutionaries and the like, well obviously a radical feminist must be out to overthrow the state and enslave men! or something.
    Again propaganda instead of honest attempts at comprehension and debate.

  43. says

    I imagine he’s off somewhere on a tear about how we’ve censored him because we cannot handle hearing opinions that differ from our own, without, of course, bothering to mention that he never offered any of any substance. Oh, and we hate free speech.

  44. says

    That’s not it at all, Russell.

    At the heart of this whole ethos is the strident individualist desire to not be controlled by ANY authority, period. They have a fierce resistance toward any group that tries to tell them how to live, how to behave, how to act, how to treat others or even how to function in society. So it all comes from the same core principle: They hate government because it legislates society, they hate religion because it enforces morality, and they also hate minority groups (or any group that’s not them: white privileged males) for forcing them to obey some arcane set of social behaviors that they did not sign up for. This is where MRA comes in, which is just a political rally removed from nationalism and a burning cross removed from racism. They don’t like other people telling them how they should treat others, especially religions, minorities and women. And most of them hate altruism.

    There are various flavors of staunch right-wing individualism, from the mild social libertarians to the ultra-schizophrenic Sovereign Citizens (a group that denies the existence of any social institutions at all) but most of them fall within the hard Libertarian/Objectivist camp — mostly college-aged males who just read Ayn Rand and realized that society has no right to tell them they aren’t allowed to be self-righteous assholes (without consequence, of course). They also tend to be Ron Paul followers.

    I would even go so far as to say that many of them are social autistics or at the very least have Aspergers. They don’t function well in groups and they don’t see the point or purpose in socializing, and this deficiency is what compels them to put up a fierce front when encountered, because when you have an ego as big as they do, it’s hard to back down from anything. So you get the Hegelian backlash to feminism in the MRA. They don’t like being forced. If you push them, they’ll push back no matter what you are: A social, political, religious or racial group.

  45. Narf says

    I work for a government entity. You should let me ban him next time, so he’ll have a … well, it would still be a completely bullshit claim of me denying his freedom of speech, but he would be a hairline closer to a valid claim, at least.

  46. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ishkur:

    I would even go so far as to say that many of them are social autistics or at the very least have Aspergers. They don’t function well in groups and they don’t see the point or purpose in socializing, and this deficiency is what compels them to put up a fierce front when encountered, because when you have an ego as big as they do, it’s hard to back down from anything.

    I can’t parse that last paragraph. Are you conflating asocial with anti-social?

  47. Monocle Smile says

    I would even go so far as to say that many of them are social autistics or at the very least have Aspergers.

    I find this to be insulting to people with spectrum disorders. My experience is that MRAs are just assholes, pure and simple.

  48. Endorkened says

    Anyone can be an asshole. Equating a disability with a character flaw is bad medicine.

  49. KCH says

    I’m curious as to why there is so much blind hate toward MRAs in the secular community. As we are minorities ourselves(even if the only “minority” aspect of us is just being atheist), we should at the very least try to understand MRAs, and what they actually do.

    I’m not an MRA myself, but I have given some people that claim to be MRAs(GirlWritesWhat, Thunderf00t, etc) the benefit of the doubt and listened to them. And I gotta admit, most(not all, but MOST) of what they say seems to be pretty reasonable. Granted I do not like it when they aim their hate at us(and vice versa, our hate isn’t necessary either IMO), but as reasonable people in a reasonable demographic, I think we should at least try to hear each other out.

    MRAs claim to have a straw representation. For instance, a couple of them watched an SNL sketch about a “straw-MRA” that wants to shut down abortion clinics. That indeed makes no sense… why would someone who doesn’t want to be trapped and pay for a child they didn’t want for 18 years of their lives want to shut down a place that is able to alleviate that problem? MRAs might not agree with you, but it’s illogical to automatically assume they’re as irrational as that. =D

  50. Monocle Smile says

    I’m curious as to why there is so much blind hate toward MRAs in the secular community.

    Uh, it’s not blind. Head on over to A Voice For Men and start reading. I recommend stopping before you puke. If you do not feel the urge to empty your insides at any point, then you may want to start worrying.

    There is no ‘straw-MRA” problem. What MRA’s call straw men are merely what they actually advocate with the candy coat removed. The biggest issue for me is their flat-out denial of clear and present problems in society concerning sexual discrimination and harassment.

  51. ragarth says

    I have (had? It’s a complicated relationship since our views are so different on this issue and we’re both willing to voice our opinions to each other) a friend who classifies as an MRA. His opinion on the matter was not one that he should be superior to women, but that he honestly and truthfully believed that the balance of equality was tipping in the opposite direction and that women were actually gaining more rights than men. Granted, the facts of the matter dispute this notion of his, but this is indicative that he actually did think he was seeking equality.

    Admittedly this is a sample size = 1 situation, and therefore doesn’t necessarily represent the greater population of MRA’s, but it does go to show that the motivation you give here is not necessarily true. It’s also important to note that motivations representing an entire group are synthetic and simplifications. It’s reasonable to think that there are many motivations for why people are MRA’s. It’s important to properly understand the motivations of those you argue against, and I fear this blog post misrepresents the motivations of MRA’s and would therefore hamper attempts to combat their own attempts to erode women’s freedom.

    I consider myself a relatively successful atheist activist. I’ve achieved that success by understanding the motivations of religious people. I’ve noticed that a great many religious people do not understand the motivations of atheists, and I think we can all agree that they are not very successful at converting us. I’ve also seen a good number of atheists with bad ideas about religious motivation fail miserably in their defense of atheism. This shows that understanding the motivations of your opposition groups is a very effective tool in framing your arguments to change the minds of others. I haven’t had success with my MRA friend, but at the same time better strategy isn’t always a guaranteed success.

  52. KCH says

    “I recommend stopping before you puke. If you do not feel the urge to empty your insides at any point, then you may want to start worrying.”
    Well, I think that, even between any misogynist comments you stumble upon, MRAs may have a good point here and there. Maybe they misunderstand the feminist community and think it’s ‘all about women’, and fail to see that feminists are addressing the same points they are, and feel that feminism therefore isn’t fair to men. Or maybe the MRAs are so deep within the mindset of their religious culture, however secular they themselves may be, that they can’t recognize the difference between what they consider equality, and what feminists consider equality. That’s how I understand it, at least.

    But if their points are harmful to equality, I definitely want to know. I do not want to stay blind like so many are claiming MRAs to be. I’m trying to be as reasonable as I can here. I want equality for everyone, regardless of sexual or gender identity. But I also think that there’s a reason that the secular community is so split on this issue. Something neither side may see yet. And if either side is as reasonable as they claim, they’ll probably come around if they understand reality a bit more. =D

    ” What MRA’s call straw men are merely what they actually advocate with the candy coat removed.”
    What is the logic in assuming that? Wouldn’t the rational position be to actually give them the benefit of the doubt and listen to their reasoning instead of just assuming they’re intentionally trying to subjugate women? It may be the rationalist in me, but I’m hesitant to blame them for something that doesn’t seem evident.

  53. Narf says

    Some disabilities can contribute to certain character flaws, though. I don’t see the problem with saying that autistic people tend to be socially inept. In fact, it’s kind of a natural component of the disorder.

    And why do I give a damn if it’s bad medicine? Last time I checked, I was an I.T. geek, not a practicing psychologist, despite my strong background in the field.

  54. Narf says

    But if their points are harmful to equality, I definitely want to know.

    If you listen to Non Prophets Radio, they’ve probably spent at least an hour or two total, this year, explaining why the basic approach of the MRA’s is tantamount to bullying.

    Jeff had a beautiful explanation, involving net rights. Say that men have 0.9 rights. Women have 0.7 rights. If you’re attempting to reach equality, bringing both people up to 1.0 rights, by first addressing the 0.1 issues that men have, in which women have an advantage, you’re widening the net-rights gap, while claiming to be all about equality.

    This is very assholish.

    The actual gross misogyny expressed in the MRA forums just makes the situation worse, as if their core goals weren’t bad enough. When you actually see the personalities of the vocal members of the movement, my impression of them moves from disdain at their wrongheadedness to absolute disgust.

  55. Monocle Smile says

    Wouldn’t the rational position be to actually give them the benefit of the doubt and listen to their reasoning instead of just assuming they’re intentionally trying to subjugate women? It may be the rationalist in me, but I’m hesitant to blame them for something that doesn’t seem evident.

    You say this as if neither myself nor anyone here has carefully examined MRA positions and we’ve just dismissed them out of hand on a whim. Why do you make this casually careless judgment? Why don’t you actually do what I suggested?

    I would prefer hard, specific examples rather than what is starting to smell like concern trolling. If you can actually find examples of rational MRA points that are actually relevant to the movement, perhaps I’ll concede them. But until you stop generalizing, that’s not going to happen.

  56. forestdragon says

    Paraphrasing an announcer I heard at a rodeo many years ago, MRA talking points tend to be like the bulls in the bull ride – “a point here, a point there and a lot of bull in the middle.”

  57. KCH says

    Okay, let me confirm that I understand correctly. I can be a little dense sometimes. =p So you’re saying that because you think that women still have less rights overall, men’s rights aren’t worth looking at till women have enough rights?

  58. KCH says

    I apologize if I assumed or generalized too much. And I’m not sure if I made a careless judgement, and I did, I apologize for that as well. Though I really don’t understand how you’d just jump to me being a troll when I’m trying to ask questions as honestly as I can. If I’m failing to do so, please, tell me. I’d rather know what I did wrong now instead of be ignored and keep doing wrong in the future.

    I’ve been following GirlWritesWhat on Youtube for months now, as well as Thunderf00t some of the less-than-nice MRAs like TheAmazingAtheist. A lot of the topics that seem to be covered on the A Voice For Men site have been covered by them many times. Maybe I missed something, but despite Thunderf00t’s jaded rants, or TJ’s downright rude videos, they never once even implied that they want women to have less rights than men. Some of their arguments even sound pretty reasonable. Advocating for more reproductive rights for men, such as more male contraceptive options, encouraging men to feel less ashamed of their sexuality, and (totally unrelated with the latter) discouraging wrongful rape convictions. As an advocate of women’s rights myself, I can’t imagine why the last one would be a bad thing, as wrongful rape convictions hurts the women that haven’t consented and have been hurt. The only reason I could come up with is that generally, men are more sexually threatening than women. Though I guess any generalization is foolish of me. D=

    Now I don’t necessarily agree 100% with those positions, as apparently some people in the secular community object to them strongly, implying that there’s a good reason to. But I would like to understand why. If you have carefully examined MRA positions and still dismiss them, why can’t I see it? I don’t want to discriminate any more than you do, so I would prefer to learn why instead of get a “if you’re not with us you’re against us” and send me away. Maybe that uninviting nature is itself something that drives some of the MRAs away, after all. Positivity breeds positivity. =)

  59. Monocle Smile says

    Advocating for more reproductive rights for men, such as more male contraceptive options, encouraging men to feel less ashamed of their sexuality, and (totally unrelated with the latter) discouraging wrongful rape convictions.

    I see these as feminist issues. So there’s some crossover.

    But let’s dissect this. Male contraceptive options are limited because of cost. There’s a male version of an IUD that works 100% of the time and lasts 10 years (and can be reversed easily), but the cost is so minimal that it can’t get a foothold in this country. And feminists and even non-feministy women who wish to avoid pregnancy would support this endeavor. Bear with me here.

    Men are “ashamed” of sexuality (I’m taking this seriously even though this is sometimes code in MRA-land for being sexually aggressive towards women in unrequited fashion or pulling PUA bullshit) because of homophobia. Pure and simple. This has nothing to do with women. Feminists would indeed be on board with social justice for homosexuals and negation of “gay terror.”

    Wrongful rape convictions are exceedingly minimal. As in almost nonexistent. I can cite sources if you wish, but guys like Brian Banks are like unicorns, even if it’s truly unfortunate. Acting as if wrongful rape conviction is this massive problem plaguing males in the US is tilting at ludicrous windmills.

    So in conclusion, two of the issues have nothing to do with women and are supported by feminism and the third is a non-issue. Why, then does every goddamn MRA forum or message board contain insane amounts of ranting about women? Why is there so much anti-feminist vitriol? Why do they use Rush Limbaugh-approved terminology?

    The problem is that you’re pointing to a huge, steaming vat full of human excrement and complaining that we say it’s full of shit because there just so happens to be a grain of gold buried somewhere in there. We’re not just dismissing the gold out of hand. We’re saying it doesn’t matter and diving into the crap-filled vat isn’t worth it. There’s nothing positive about the MRA movement that is also exclusive to them…unless you have a counterexample.

  60. KCH says

    Oh, I see, they’re feminist issues. That’s great and all, but the word ‘feminist’ kinda misleads some from seeing things like that, I suppose. But I’m sure there’s a good reason for that.

    Though I’m not sure what logic attributing men being sexually ashamed to homophobia. Especially MRAs, who claim to be 100% in support of every homosexual-related issue. I’d understand if it’s that they’re merely sexually aggressive, which would be coincidentally against the expectations of whomever they encountered.

    Still, there are feminists that are just as hate-filled as some of the MRAs. And I think that the more vocal ones of each side are the main driving force for the rift in our secular demographic. I hope that both sides can eventually come to an understanding with each other and strive for a better world. One where no one is discriminated against. =D

  61. Monocle Smile says

    Still, there are feminists that are just as hate-filled as some of the MRAs. And I think that the more vocal ones of each side are the main driving force for the rift in our secular demographic.

    I don’t buy that soft equivalence bullshit. I have yet to meet a self-identified MRA who didn’t make disturbing, offensive remarks about women that were completely uncalled for. You can find plenty of feminist forums that don’t deny the issues you raised above. But you’ll find that every MRA forum (to my knowledge) denies that women are even oppressed. They downplay sexual harassment, they make light of rape, and they do all of this from a privileged (mostly) white tower. There’s a remarkable difference in perspective, and I find it troubling that you’re apologizing for contemptible behavior.

  62. Narf says

    Take a sample of 100 issues of inequality. In 90% of those issues, men have an unfair advantage over women. In 10% of those issues the women have an unfair advantage over the men.

    By exclusively focusing on the 10% of cases in which the underprivileged side (women) has the upper hand and trying to remove that advantage, while leaving the other 90% alone and sometimes fighting against the removal of the advantage of the privileged side (men) … all while screaming that you’re fighting for equality …
    Do you really not intuitively see the problem here?

  63. KCH says

    Setting aside the claim that it’s 90%/10% or even close to that, I do understand why some may feel the need to focus on the side that has more issues. But I see no reason to completely ignore the issues of the side that has less issues. Especially at the cost of the side that began with less issues. I’m not saying you’re in favor of such things, but that sort of ideology to some might seem kinda vengeful, especially to those who don’t have a hand in treating women like lesser beings. I don’t think it’s benevolent to trample on males that do their part in favor of females. I also don’t believe that men should readily set aside their rights in favor of women any more than women setting aside their rights for men. We’re working toward equality for all, not “equality for women, THEN equality for men”. =)

  64. KCH says

    Every MRA forum? Interesting. I guess I’m looking at them wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything from an MRA that is negative toward women generally. Definitely a few individual women and men, but not generally. Would it be too much trouble to ask you for any examples…? Though if you’re right, maybe it’s because all they see in feminists are hostility and other of the ‘bad side’ of the movement.

    Also, I’m not apologizing for anything for MRAs, especially if it’s contemptible behavior. I merely think that I see good in them, and I don’t understand why that’s being ignored. It also seems like it’s a two-way street, they’re ignoring the apparent good in the feminist movement as well. I doubt I’ll be the one to close the rift between the two sides, but I’d much enjoy it if I could properly identify the problems.

    Though you might be curious about where I found the supposedly ‘good’ side of MRAs… Have you seen any of GirlWritesWhat’s videos? She seems to be a very good start to understanding them, as I myself found a few of her videos to be very compelling and eloquent. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcmnLu5cGUGeLy744WS-fsg

    If I find sufficient understanding here, I intend to approach her through email if possible, just as I came here, to ask what the MRA’s beef is with feminists. As I neither identify as a feminist nor as an MRA, I don’t think I will find hostility in her potential answers.

    I do wish to express my gratitude in you being patent and understanding with me. After seeing much of the MRA’s propaganda, I came here fairly sure I would have been identified as a troll or a bigot merely from the mention that MRA’s might not be completely evil. Thanks a lot. =)

  65. Hj Hornbeck says

    KCH:

    Have you seen any of GirlWritesWhat’s videos? She seems to be a very good start to understanding them, as I myself found a few of her videos to be very compelling and eloquent.

    She also supports small amounts of domestic violence, even suggesting that women should take self defense courses to “demonstrate to women that getting hit isn’t going to break them into little pieces.”

    The video of hers I’m most familiar with is on how feminism will cause an economic collapse. If you’ve seen that one, did you notice she never once cites an economist? That’s because they argue to the contrary, that feminist policies are good for an economy and necessary to increase human capital.

    Karen Straughan has a gift for making the monstrous sound tame, and sounding authoritative on ideas pulled straight from her ass.

  66. Hj Hornbeck says

    KCH:

    I do understand why some may feel the need to focus on the side that has more issues. But I see no reason to completely ignore the issues of the side that has less issues.

    Hold on here, you’ve had several examples feminists working on men’s issues presented to you. Here’s a few more, for good measure:

    - Feminists quite literally wrote the book on the study of male gender roles. Third wave feminists in particular have seized on dispelling “macho” culture that teaches men to be aggressive and poor communicators, as that encourages sexual assault.

    - Feminists have set up domestic abuse hotlines for men as well as women, building off existing research and infrastructure to treat an issue that’s all too commonly trivialized with the respect it deserves.

    - Feminists will change the law to law to be less sexist, ranging from fighting against the ban on women in combat roles to definitions of rape that made it impossible for men to be victimized. In the latter case, they promoted the gender-neutral “sexual assault” over the traditional term “rape” because in the US that meant “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will“. Men were deliberately excluded.

    In the face of all this evidence that feminists actively work on men’s issues, however, your response has been to pretend it doesn’t exist. You continue to promote the lie that feminists do nothing on men’s issues, and emphasize male issues in exactly the way Jeff described on the Non-Prophets.

    Whether you realize it or not, you are an MRA, and through the falsehoods you’re perpetuating you are building a good case for why skeptics should be opposed to the MRA movement.

  67. says

    For the same reason the Westboro Baptist Church uses their religion as an excuse to be prejudice, it would appear these MRA’s are using atheism as an excuse to be prejudice. Which is why it’s just as important for me to be objective as well as being skeptical.

  68. KCH says

    Well, I think it’s a good time to cut myself off here, before my inquisitive posts that I have tried pouring nothing but honesty into are mistaken as trolling, or worse.

    The purpose of me coming here was to better understand the feminist view and the criticisms against the standpoints of MRAs, but honestly, I’m not sure I do understand it better. I’m not sure where my own skepticisms should end, or if I should understand some points brought to my attention already.

    I will however continue researching both sides, whether it be the points everyone makes, and the criticisms of their opposing side. Whatever conclusion I eventually come to(if I ever do), I’m probably not going to identify myself as either label, just as I do not identify myself as a democrat or republican, even though I tend to mostly favor democratic policies.

    I will however leave you all with some of Karen’s other content, which I found to be pretty thought provoking:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eqYEVYZgdo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR3HE-knTJU

    Thank you all for your time. =D

  69. Monocle Smile says

    Dude (or dudette), if HJ Hornbeck’s posts, which are rife with solid links and specifics, haven’t taught you anything, then you’re simply not paying attention.

  70. blue says

    Until last week, patriarchy was a big buzzword in the fundy community. They loved describing themselves as patriachal. Of course, then the two leading lights (Gothard and Doug Phillips) got caught sexually harassing a thirty year long sucession of teenagers and raping his unpaid live in nanny respectively. Now they’re all trying to find another name for the same thing.

  71. blue says

    Lea, if you’re an atheist sexist you are an MRA, if you’re a religious sexist you’re a fundy. There is no reason for a religious person to be an MRA, because they have biblical patriarchy to not only whinge about women, but find and marry women who agree with them (which the MRAs don’t have, remember their anger is mostly because they want more sex). The proportion of religious males who are this extremely sexist is the same or higher than the proportion of atheists who are extremely sexist, but MRA is for the non-religious, patriarchy is for the religious.

  72. says

    There’s stuff in that post about there having been some sort of trolling of the survey. So the summation at the bottom was trying to weed out the faked survey responses and stick with the original ones before the troll/bot attack.

  73. Narf says

    While those statements aren’t exclusive and technical definitions of the situation, all of that is a pretty good summation of the general state of affairs, yeah.

  74. Narf says

    Ah, yeah, I can see how that would be a problem. Someone doing their equivalent of pharyngulating a survey, huh?

  75. Narf says

    I don’t think it’s benevolent to trample on males that do their part in favor of females.

    Who the hell said that feminists are trampling on all men? We’re trampling on MRA’s, because they’re assholes. Strawman much?

    I also don’t believe that men should readily set aside their rights in favor of women any more than women setting aside their rights for men. We’re working toward equality for all, not “equality for women, THEN equality for men”.

    Whoah whoah whoah whoah whoah. Whoah.

    If you’re working for equality for all, how does increasing the rights of the side that already has an advantage improve equality between the two sides? You’re being really sloppy with your wording, man. If you tighten that up and stop conflating terms like ‘equality’ and ‘increasing rights’, I think you would see the flaws in your own arguments. Giving men a leg up decreases equality.

    And when we’re talking about equality for all, when the equality is between women and men, how does … working for equality for men, when they already have the upper hand … wait, what the fuck does that even mean, in this context? Heh heh heh. Do you even know what you meant, when you said that?

    Clean that up a bit, and try again.

  76. Hj Hornbeck says

    if HJ Hornbeck’s posts, which are rife with solid links and specifics, haven’t taught you anything, then you’re simply not paying attention.

    Oh, they were definitely paying attention, because they knew when to cut their losses and run.

    As a parting shot, I’ll point out that Straughan is a spokesperson for Men’s Rights Edmonton, which became famous by ripping off a public health campaign’s posters in order to spread misinformation about sexual assault, and capitalized on the resulting publicity by targeting one of the organizers of the poster campaign they ripped off.

    Not surprisingly, their leader has some very strange views about sex and consent. A charming bunch.

  77. roythesnake says

    I wonder if there’s something of a naturallistic fallacy going on in the minds of MRAs. After all, we know that one doesn’t necessarily have to be a critical thinker to be nonreligious. If one sees that the natural world is all we know, and it seems natural that men are to be above women in the social order, then that means it must therefore be correct. It doesn’t take a huge neurological leap to overcome this line of thinking, but we must remember that 50% of people are below average intelligence.

  78. Monocle Smile says

    She’s even worse than I thought.

    Looking back, it seems KCH either honestly wasn’t paying attention or was disingenuous from the start. They started talking about how MRA’s may in fact make some good points and being “concerned” that this was being dismissed, but right at the beginning of the OP:

    Occasionally the MRA movement might support a worthwhile principle purely by accident

    So Russell acknowledged this point to begin with. Oh, well. Not like it matters now.

  79. John Kruger says

    If you want to fundraise for heart disease, nobody is going to give you a hard time. If you are going to come out against the draft, again, no problem. If you tack on that these are the things that are important because women are gaining advantages that are not equally shared by men, then you are an asshole. If you also minimize various other issues as not real problems because they do not affect you and you are a double asshole. The whole “oh, I guess I can never work an any rights until women are completely equal” trope is just incredibly stupid. The framing is the problem. Work on destigmatizing sex, great. Work on it because you think men are the ones who are really sexually oppressed and women have no legitimate issue to take with it, asshole.

    The numbers analogy Jeff came up with is really good. The trick the MRAs are pulling is demanding equal increases to maintain an advantage, complaining bitterly about being left out whenever the gap is closed, and being suspiciously silent when advances benefit them exclusively. The whole thing is pretty pathetic, and that particular analogy really seals the deal in my mind.

  80. says

    I think Russell’s hypo is more inclusive of the population generally.

    How large a percentage fall within your pretty restrictive description of “no masters” authoritarians?

  81. says

    You use the word ‘hate’ a lot.

    It’s strange to read in your post that you think that the mra’s are undeserving of ‘blind hate’ while going on to say that you don’t think it’s good when they aim their ‘hate’ at us…

    To use a cliché – that word you’re using. I don’t think it means what you think it means…

    If you do actually mean ‘hate’, the implication seems to be that you think there’s a valid target for MRA hate.

    Weird to my understanding.

  82. Muz says

    It could be same person each time I suppose, but the last two or three people dropping by here to recommend GWW have had the eerily pleasant and cheerful demeanour of doorstep christian evangelists dispensing ‘literature’.

  83. M says

    Well, it’s stuff like this why I decided to go back to ultimately labeling myself agnostic.

    The atheist community the past few years turned out to be thoroughly toxic. It did NOT take strong stances on ethics or equality, it did NOT apply the rationalism applied to religion to other important things. The atheist community to me failed utterly at establishing anything meaningful, and instead became to me a haven for sexist middle-class white geeks to give themselves a pat on the back for being oh so smart in rejecting religion, and then, because they think they are oh so smart, to declare all their opinions infallible, and rage against things such as feminism, fail to stand for rational progressivism to appease libertarian kooks (the economic equivalent of creationists.)

    Honestly at this point the atheist community can get gangbanged by the religionists and it’d probably end up BETTER for it. Maybe they need a few kicks in the skull before they realize that maybe they should stand for inclusiveness, equality and ethics. That they should apply logic and reason to ALL avenue’s of life, not just religion. That they should kick out the worst shitbags and their supporters and just regulate.

    But no… no… None of that. Supposedly the atheist community is apolitical! Except that no such things exist, and ‘apolitical’ defacto means ‘accepting the status quo’ Oh, not screamingly endorsing the status quo, but accepting it. And thus rejecting those who try to fight for justice or equality contrary to said status quo.

    So… I’m back to the label agnostic. Not because anything changed about my views… No, not at all.

    But to get the fuck away from this worthless toxic trainwreck that’s the atheist community.

    Sure, there’s a few atheists I deeply admire… But I can’t stay aboard this shit out of goodwill towards them. This is CLEARLY a community that does NOT truly enforce accepting me as an equal… Whereas other communities I AM still active in DO.

    So the atheist community, until it drastically changes, can go fuck itself, and I won’t be part of it. And I encourage everyone who too has been deeply disappointed with this community to abandon it. Let it become a sinking ship of angry libertarian dorkwads and MRA, and let it sink, then rebuild a BETTER one. Maybe call it the rationalist community the next time and apply reason to EVERYTHING. Not JUST religion. Instead, I advise the GOOD people in atheism to instead support progressive causes. And let the shitbags have the atheist community, and endless congratulate themselves in their little circlejerk.

    Honestly that’s all they’ll ever want to do anyway. I watched a speech from Madalyn Murray O’Hair recently where she berated these same assholes for their flaws, but that was what… the seventies? And nothing has changed. The atheist community isn’t worth it.

  84. Ruben Laane says

    I just have one question: What is an MRA, because a google search gives so many hits on different, that I have no idea what is meant here???

  85. justmy2cents says

    Recently I stumbled across some of the forums and various blogs associated with MRA and spent about a month of daily reading. With this I’ve come to a few conclusions about why someone might decide to join this group or openly identify themselves as and MRA based on a few points.

    From what others have pointed out most MRA are young, white, male and non religious. I do not think this is a coincidence at all.

    My hypothesis is based on the premise that these same identifiers can be used to describe the majority of suicide cases in the US (potentially minus religion but that was not brought up at all in anything I’ve read).

    For the life of me I cannot find the study I want to source, I think it was linked from another freethoughtblog but I’ll give you the basic premise. It’s the no one left to blame hypothesis. In a nutshell these young white, males that commit suicide have no one left to blame for their apparent failures in life so they resort to killing themselves.

    The idea being if you grow up, work hard, go to school, get good grades and get to early adulthood only to find yourself a gigantic failure you only have yourself to blame. If you are a minority you can blame racism, if you are a women you can blame sexism. If you’re white and male it’s your fault because have every advantage at your feet. That’s probably a bit oversimplified but hopefully I can find the study and link it later.

    Now I want to focus more on the age of these young white men. 17-25 was a major age group if I’m not mistaken. For men this age I can see why they might not believe in patriarchy because for this generation they have yet to benefit from it or see in the workplace. Before you go jumping down my throat for that last sentence let me explain.

    When most point to patriarchy they point to business, politics, financial differences. Yet for a person at these ages their biggest interaction outside of the home is schooling. (I say outside the home because in the home is very matriarchal for most) Schooling if anything in our society is not patriarchal and if it is it’s usually not until graduate level or higher. Elementary school, middle school, high school, and undergraduate school are dominated by women. I can’t sit here and assume that has nothing to do with the fact that young women are outperforming young men in those areas. Natural behaviors of young girls are more conducive to the traditional classroom environment and it’s finally starting to show.

    With that in mind I think we can more easily understand the mindset of MRA. They have yet to reach the part of their life where they enter the workforce and see nothing but old men at the helm with a few women here and there. They have yet to experience overt sexism go unchecked or unpunished.

    What they have experienced is the women their age succeeding. Academically girls are succeeding, economically girls are succeeding, and now they are succeeding more when it comes to entering and completing graduate school. With this lack of experience with the male dominated society that exists for most people over the age of 30 and the constant lagging behind their female peers I don’t see it as any wonder they lash out at a feminists movement that tells them they are privileged and oppressive. They have yet to feel this privilege and have yet to even be in a position to be oppressive.

    Note: I really haven’t come to any conclusions about the validity or lack thereof for any of the positions typically taken by self proclaimed MRA. I’m just trying to give an idea why they might gravitate to MRA and I’m curious if you think my ideas have any merit.

  86. kevinsolway says

    @ consciousness razor

    “They want to say women are for cooking and cleaning and the sexual gratification of straight white dudes.”

    They WANT to say it, but they don’t say it. So you have the ability to read minds, do you?

    You must be a brilliant skeptic with your ability to read minds!

  87. drenn1077 says

    You obviously do not know the full story. Either that or you simply wish to look the other way to please your audience. Most people who support Men’s rights do so because of the excesses of feminists.

Trackbacks

  1. […] A survey shows the strongest percentage of male rights activists are in the Nones and Atheist categories. These relics of patriarchal paternalism have no religion to appeal to but cannot shed their chauvinism. They lose their religion but keep the culture. Like mental plaque in hardening of the categories you can stop the growth but the crap is still there. […]

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