The Problem with the Men’s Rights Movement

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NOTE: This article was originally published at In Mala Fide on May 1, 2012. I’m re-posting it here as the site will soon be defunct.

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I’ve been a long-time lurker in the manosphere and on MRA blogs. I agree with much of what they say, but I realized a while ago that I couldn’t in good conscience consider myself a supporter of men’s rights. The catalyst? Register-Her.com.

When A Voice for Men launched the site last year, I thought it was a great idea; a database of false rape accusers, misandrist murderers, pedophiles and whatnot. Unfortunately, Register-Her.com has since expanded into cataloguing “bigots,” defined as follows:

Bigot is a label that reflects the editorial opinion of register-her.com . It is used to designate individuals whose active ideology is one that results in socially inflicted harm on men and/or boys in the general population. Hatemongers have the added effect of supporting and/or promoting the exclusion of women from consequences for the other offenses defined on this page.

Popular feminist writers like Jessica Valenti and Amanda Marcotte are classified as bigots for obvious reasons. And then there’s Katherine Heigl:

Celebrity Katherine Heigl and her husband Jason use human castration and hatred of men as a promotional device for their charity to neuter dogs. in 2011, Heigl filmed a public service announcement for Funny-or-Die in support of the neutering of cats and dogs to prevent unwanted animals being necessarily destroyed by animals shelters. The punchline of this campaign was the claim, made by Heigl that her motivation was a hatred of testicles, and that she is unable to castrate human males – yet.

The statement, intended to be humorous betrays an awareness that male targeting violence is increasingly common, and treated as slapstick comedy.

This is the video in question:

Were you honestly offended? Did that video get you mad? It didn’t get me mad. I thought it was stupid and unfunny, but aside from that, I don’t care about it. After watching it, I just shrugged my shoulders and closed the tab.

Right now, we seem to hitting peak political correctness, with a new figure getting attacked every week for offending our lefty cultural commissars. Rush Limbaugh calls some lantern-jawed law student feminist activist a slut and gets boycotted. John Derbyshire politely offers suggestions on how not to get killed by black criminals and gets fired from National Review. Lesley Arfin, some hipster dork who writes for a TV show I don’t watch, is having her entire Twitter history combed for “racist” comments. Everywhere you turn, there’s someone getting offended over something and raising a big obnoxious stink about it.

The solution of MRAs isn’t to laugh off these phony pussies, but to clamor to join their ranks. They want to make men into victims.

The problem is that I don’t want to be a victim. I want to be a victor. I want to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women. I want to look them in the eye and dare them to take me on.

Come at me, bro.

I don’t want to get in line for a bowl of victim borscht. “Oh, your whore wife divorced you? Here here, cry on my shoulder. Here’s a cookie. It’ll be alright.”

It’s really easy to be a victim. All you need is a sob story and a lack of shame. Being a victor requires sacrifice. Being a victor requires you to get down in the dirt and work yourself to the bone. Being a victor requires you to risk your career, your reputation, maybe even your life for a payout that is not guaranteed.

In trying to gin up indignation over Heigl’s ball-cutting comments, Register-Her.com and the MRM are seeking to perpetuate our politically correct regime, not burn it to the ground and piss on its ashes.

Don’t get me wrong, I recognize the necessity of the MRM. I have a high regard for Paul Elam, John the Other and other activists who get out there and Fuck Their Shit Up. If you’ve been through family court hell or otherwise had your life ruined by a vindictive woman, it’s perfectly acceptable, even required, to grieve and be angry.

But where do you go afterwards? Do you keep picking at that scab until it becomes infected, or do you shrug it off, learn your lesson and become a better man?

The men’s rights movement wants men to keep picking at their scabs, to wallow in self-pity for all eternity. That’s not a satisfying goal for me, or countless other men who want to rise out of the mud. Until MRAs address this issue, their movement will be stuck in  neutral, regardless of their occasional victories.

Read Next: Anonymity is for Guys with Something to Lose

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