subscribe: Posts | Comments

Men’s rights activists named as hate group

102 comments

Jane Osmond
WVoN co-editor

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a US non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, has named men’s rights activists (MRAs) as a hate group in its latest quarterly publication.

In an issue entitled The Year in Hate and Extremism, the SPLC, based in Montgomery, Alabama, explores how MRAs spread false claims about women:

Misogynists in the men’s and fathers’ rights movements have developed a set of claims about women to support their depictions of them as violent liars and manipulators of men.

Some suggest that women attack men, even sexually, just as much as men attack women. Others claim that vast numbers of reported rapes of women, as much as half or even more, are fabrications designed to destroy men they don’t like or to gain the upper hand in contested custody cases.

Shining the spotlight on the recent suicide of an MRA – seen as a call-to-arms for American MRAs – the SPLC outline how this man became disgruntled with the family law courts after he abused his four-year old daughter:

All he had done, he said, was smack his 4-year-old daughter and bloody her mouth after she licked his hand as he was putting her to bed.

Feminist-crafted anti-domestic violence legislation did the rest. “Twenty-five years ago,” he wrote, “the federal government declared war on men. It is time to see how committed they are to their cause. It is time, boys, to give them a taste of war.”

Some of the false claims include an insistence that men are victimized by sex crimes and abuse as much, if not more, than women but that the courts ‘outrageously favour women’.

And that as many women attack men as the other way round. Or that half or more of the sexual assaults reported by women never took place and that women routinely lie about rape.

As feminist bloggers know only too well, these claims can be found in the comments section of any article that focuses on the harms done to women by male centric societies that consistently portray women primarily as sexual objects who are not capable of sitting in the rooms where the manly art of decision making takes place.

Consequently, women are under-represented in any space where decisions affecting their lives are made, resulting in political, economic and reproductive discrimination.

Any attempts to redress this balance, for example, women’s studies courses that focus on the power structures that were originally developed by men for men, are dismissed as unscholarly in that ‘using gender as a means of analysis is flawed’, and that they indoctrinate students with one worldview.

Take the recent case brought by student Tom Martin against the London School of Economics (LSE) as a good example.

Citing the Gender, Media and Culture masters course as ‘systematically anti-male’ and therefore overlooking men’s issues, Martin criticised the course (leaving it after only six weeks) as having an over simplistic view of men as perpetrators and women as victims.

Martin lost his case earlier this year after the judge said it was too weak to proceed to trial.

However, Martin has had wide coverage in the media since he brought his case, asking for donations to fund it and also setting up websites and twitter feeds such as The Missing Minister which includes comments such as:

Scumbaggy feminist writing in Guardian gets 100% disapproval rating in comments section.

Undercover research shows some radical feminists want to kill males – these haters work in education, so no joke

He is also quoted as saying:

 My belief is that 50 to 90 per cent of rape claims are made up, the rape statistics are inflated to make men look more rapey than they really are.

This level of anger against women is difficult to fathom – there are acres of statistics, studies and reports about how women suffer under a male centric society and yet MRAs dismiss these as false in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Even concrete examples of sexual assault, reflected by the recent Mumsnet campaign We Believe You, are attacked, with Fathers4Justice stating that :

Mumsnet “promotes gender hatred”, and labels “men and boys as rapists, paedophiles and wife beaters”

This led to Justine Roberts, CEO of Mumsnet, issuing a statement in which she comments:

By and large, it seemed most sensible to ignore them, not least because we’ve had our hands quite full with stuff that actually matters, like Mumsnet’s We Believe You campaign to dispel rape myths.

In addition, misogyny is found in rape jokes on Facebook, and vile comments on sites such as Unilad.

Meanwhile, there are many decent men out there who do believe that women are discriminated against, who would never dream of sexually assaulting women, who are good, consistent fathers to their children, but where are their voices?

Why do they not speak up in support of the women in their lives?  Why do they not shut down the rape jokes told in their presence?

Or call out deadbeat dads who don’t see or pay maintenance for their children?  Report when they hear accounts of sexual assault in the pub?

Why?

If you are a man and wish to state your case against MRAs, please let us know.

  1. Good summary of the attitude of these MRAs. I’m one of the ‘decent men’ (I think), and I’m horrified by the prevalence of comments that female writers receive online, and the attitudes outlined above, but most of all by the level of domestic violence against women. This is particularly distressing in the UK (and other so-called civilised nations) where the state of celebrity cellulite (or virtually anything) appears to be more important.
    I’m happy to add my voice to protests against the discriminatory culture and attitudes that women (& LGBTs) consistently face. I would probably describe myself as more of a feminist than many of the women I know, including my wife! This may be (just) one of the reasons why men sometimes feel uncomfortable speaking out about this. However, I agree that too many men have no excuse for encouraging the misogyny by their silence.
    Keep up the good work.

    • I have been charged twice now with assault by my spouse…
      This time she has come clean and sent a letter to the crown attourneys office… they are going to proceed anyway, because of the last conviction pushed through the courts..mind you with hard evidence pointing to my innocence… I know first hand that the courst are in fact bias as hell… My lawyer told me that in all the cases he has seen where the women have recanted their stories and were proven liars ..none of them have ever been charged for doing so…. dont tell me that the system is just… and unbias… that is the biggest lie of all..and hate crimes go on all the time..in the court room against men… By the policy in place to bash every male who is not friends with the presiding judge… all in the name of keeping their brethern lawyers.. driving BMW’s…. this is just a huge money grab.. if they were interested in justice..70% of these cases would never make it to trial… Women too dont understand or stop and think that their rights too are being violated… its a one way street..when you open your mouth.. the male may as well plead guilty and move on with his life… they also pull families apart with their bullshit no contact orders.. if you think this is to protect the poor so called victim, Think again.. what possitive intent could they possibly have for such an action when they know the case may go on for a year.. kids suffer.. parents suffer… but the courts…keep raking in the money on false claims and broken homes… You women had better rethink all your thoughtless nonsensical thinking…Dont talk to your spouse…. because we want nothing to maybe railroad a conviction should you stand before a just and thinking Judge…

  2. JaneO says:

    Hello Matt: thank you for your comment. I wonder whether feminist spaces can feel intimidating to a lot of decent men and that is why they are reluctant to speak up?

    • Personally I don’t feel intimidated by the spaces I see on-line, but I guess there is the feeling you (being male) represent that which is being rejected to a certain degree. I suppose it would be the same for a white person contributing to the black rights movement, or any other such situation. Thinking of it like this I imagine that this probably does inhibit many men from wanting to be seen as interlopers. They may see it as a women-only space and not want to make women feel uncomfortable by their presence, or that their opinion will not be taken very seriously because of their gender. It may be, in the case of less mature men, a case of not being seen to be there!
      Any of the reasons given above are pretty poor ones for not joining the fight against the shocking attitudes that prevail. Maybe the cultural changes take time, but I suspect that many people (not just men) simply do not appreciate the seriousness of the issues. In my opinion this is due to the lack of concern for this in the media and the failure of politicians (and other institutions, such as the police) to address it.

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        Matt, The thing that I don’t see is men speaking up for women in male-dominated spaces, which most blogs are. Why do you think that is? Most men have partners, mothers, sisters, female friends, why don’t they apply what is said about women on these sites to the women they know and speak up against it? I was staggered when an article on the Guardian’s site about the, naturally, botched police investigation into a serial rapist of grandmothers was overrun by comments about false rape allegations. No-one, no-one, stood up against it. Why does this happen?

        • Archy says:

          The decent men probably feel overwhelmed or see them as trolls and don’t want to “feed” them. Where I comment I try to get people to move away from the hate, I’ll call out the misogynists, misandrists where I can but if it’s purely a troll I don’t bother since they just want to rile people up and giving them attention is what they want. Better to delete the trolls.

          • JaneO says:

            Archy: yes, moderation of comments is very important. I am always for deleting the trolls.

        • I think Archy has the main point – many don’t want to feed the trolls. It may also be, in the case you outlined, that people genuinely felt that the false allegations were being swept aside, whilst the necessity to catch & punish the perpetrator was taken for granted.

          On that theme, I am personally in favour of anonymity for defendants prior to conviction in rape cases, or indeed any case that carries social stigma. This should be obvious, given the recent record of our beloved tabloid media, but has nothing to do with doubting victims claims. In some cases I believe it may help victims feel more able to come forward.

          • Jane Da Vall says:

            Matt, are you still in favour of anonymity for defendants if it increases the number of rapists on the street? The average first time convicted rapist is found guilty of 7 rapes. Naming suspects brings forward more victims and allows prosecutions to happen that otherwise would not go forward to trial. This is what the police say.

            Innocent men being slandered is not something anyone wants to see, it ruins lives. Rape also ruins lives. Justice is a balance – the civil rights of the defendant balanced against the right of society, in this case mostly the women in our society, to be protected from criminals.

            The rape conviction rate, and this is only for reported crimes, is 6%. Would you hold the reputation of an innocent man as more valuable than the protection of women from rape, because that is the choice.

          • Jane, I don’t accept that is the choice. It is clear that the system is awful & if I wanted to use an equally fallacious argument I could say that you are arguing to maintain the status quo. I know you are not, but I honestly think that many victims of rape would benefit from defendant anonymity. Many are intimidated by their attackers, and the thought of publicly accusing them must take great strength. This would remove some of that reluctance to come forward.
            If there was evidence that anonymity would seriously harm the cause I would be happy to consider it, but I don’t consider what the police say as evidence. They appear to me to be worse than useless in this, and in domestic violence cases, and I think its an easy thing for them to say.
            I think this is more about justice being ‘seen’, and not about it being done.

    • Archy says:

      In my own experience I saw some of the feminist spaces use “privilege” simply to silence opposing views, shut the men up, control the conversation. Another issue was claiming to be equality for all, interested in the issues of men and women yet some would want it to be a female only space. It really feels like there are 2 or more feminist movements online, 1 is egalitarian and I see many egalitarian feminists at the goodmenproject, the other is gynocentric and mainly discusses the issues of women which isn’t bad but then there is another level that seems to be gynocentric and flat out refuse men have issues, are quite angry and belittle any male who speaks up. One of the most common complaints I’ve seen mra’s and other men say of feminist spaces is they were silenced, pushed out, privilege used just to shut them up, any discussion of male abuse would devolve into “womengetitworse”, misandry would get denied and other silly stuff.

      I myself only feel comfortable around egalitarians, that can include some feminists n mra’s, I don’t mind the gender-focused ones if they are respectful of the other genders issues but I hate when either side tries to silence each other, or act like the other doesn’t suffer.

      I see in society 2 genders that have some terrible stuff to work out, they need to join together (and not JUST under the feminist label but both the non-misandrist feminists and the non-misogynist mra’s) to combat the issues affecting us all. The various other activism groups need to help out, everyone working together for a common good. If women suffer in x issue, fix it, if men suffer in y issue, fix it. Things like rape, domestic abuse aren’t limited to a gender and need both groups working together along with the anti-abuse groups.

      But how do you accomplish this when both groups are so angry at each other? I’ve seen claims on both sides that the other is a hategroup, so which is right? So much bickering goes on and I don’t feel comfortable with either group fully until the good ones start separating themselves out from the bad ones better. I’m still yet to see feminists speak out against radfemhub and the agent orange files, some of the most vile n hate filled material spoken by self-identified feminits. Same goes for the MRA on the misogynists, speak out and denounce them if you don’t follow their views or you WILL get lumped in together with them.

      “However, I agree that too many men have no excuse for encouraging the misogyny by their silence.”
      I will say the same for feminists and even many men and women, their silence on misandry simply encourages it. Both groups need to take a long good look at themselves and do some house-cleaning, much of the anti-feminist and anti-mra thought exists for a reason and the longer we go without speaking up against both…the more can be swayed by the bad eggs when they feel bitter and resentful.

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        I love this word, egalitarian. This means there are two sides to every story, no-one is more sinned against than sinning. Well sometimes there are not two sides to every story – it is called discrimination. Egalitarianism is the propaganda that flourishes everywhere, even here.

        The MRAs are organised, they monitor blogs and stories on gender issues and they hit them all. Whatever happened to Fathers4Justice, does anyone wonder? Did they just disappear? No, they went online and re-named themselves ‘egalitarians.’ They saw the future of news media was online and they jumped in early and hard. You have to take your hat off to them, they are very, very effective.

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        You see the attack here, Matt? ‘Angry, belittling, misandrist, silly, disrespectful, hate group, radfem, bickering, the bad ones, the bad eggs, vile n hate filled, agent orange (that’s a new one on me, Archie, did a new dictionary come out?), bitter, resentful’.

        Phew! To be honest, Archie, this is a bit obvious.

        • Archy says:

          I am not affiliated with Fathers4Justice. I am trying to point out that there do exist feminists who speak some vile trash. I simply am trying to explain why some of the Mra’s are mad whilst also trying to better understand why some of the feminists are mad. I myself am not an mra, nor feminist, I dislike labels personally because they tend to trigger judgment in others.

          Agent Orange is the agent orange files, a collection of screenshots from the radfemhub showing misandry by radfems. Google it if you want, I found it quite disturbing to read and hope people like that are rare. I do know quite a few are quite angry at it as I hear about it on the GMP at times and just as you are expecting men to call out those trolls in the comments, many expect feminists to call out those particular radfems who are quite vile.

          Egalitarianism isn’t new, it’s not an MRA conspiracy, I’ll quote from wiki for the explanation.
          “Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning “equal”) is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among living entities. Egalitarian doctrines tend to maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status.[1] The term has two distinct definitions in modern English.[2] It is defined either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights[3] or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people or the decentralization of power. An egalitarian believes that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.”

        • I see it Jane. The attack, and the attempt to claim that men are equally (or maybe more) victimised.

          It’s a bit like insisting that creationism be taught alongside evolution, because it too is a theory, or that climate change deniers have equal billing even though they represent a tiny fraction of thought on the matter.

          • Archy says:

            “I see it Jane. The attack, and the attempt to claim that men are equally (or maybe more) victimised.”

            Point it out, as that wasn’t the intention. It’s more like speak out against hate regardless of form, why did you turn it into a zero sum game?

      • Acknowledgement has to be given to the harm done by one’s own gender if one is to expect any respect in the debate. I would have thought this is an obvious starting point for negotiations in most scenarios.

  3. JaneO says:

    Yes Matt, I think you are right. In particular in relation to not appreciating the seriousness of the issues – I think a lot of men feel excluded from the female spaces because they weigh in with and often uninformed opinion and the women in the spaces get exasperated at having to go over the same ground. This is usually the case with rape discussions – some men either dismiss the stats as irrelevant, bring up the false rape claims or start talking about how men get raped too. This in effect derails the conversation, rather than adding to it. However, I do think that there needs to be a space where both women and men can discuss these issues in a spirit of positive enquiry. Not too sure where that space is yet.

    • Hi Jane, I understand your points & agree that men, if they feel under attack, will always have a tendency to protect themselves, or at least their pride. But, as has been said, this is partly an awareness issue & fundamental to that is the establishment & acceptance of the facts, in order to have a common perspective. Sadly, we know from other issues, such as climate change or even evolution, that this can be a challenge. There must be something to be learned from other issues that have already been at this point of denial. I guess a ‘Truth & Reconciliation’ process is probably not going to happen but it sounds somewhat appealing!

    • Archy says:

      I see a lot of men who are desperate to be heard, many who have been victims of abuse but see a very gynocentric view of abuse in the major awareness campaigns to the point that when they speak up on their own abuse in their own articles, they have some feminists come in to say women get it worse and other dismissive tactics.

      I recently saw in the CDC The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)a very under-represented statistic which has made a lot of talk in the MRA areas but zero that I’ve seen in mainstream media. In the full report, table 2.1 and 2.2. In the last 12 months, 1.1% of women and 1.1% of men were raped (when including being forced to penetrate as rape). This is where you will get people saying equal levels, or similar levels, they will probably also say the prison statistics aren’t added in which can push the number over in favor of men.

      Another interesting part is on page 24 where 79.2% men who were forced to penetrate report a female perpetrator. I believe with some lazy math that’s approx 60% male 40% +- (2-3%?)female rapists for the last 12 months (near equal levels of victims). Now it’s important to realize that rape does NOT include forced to penetrate in the CDC definition, nor the FBI’s updated definition I believe so when you hear stuff on most rapists of men ARE men it usually refers to rapists who forcibly penetrate someone, it does NOT include envelopment/being forced to penetrate. Given that clear bias I am a bit wary of comparing the statistics fully, one of my dreams would be ALL sexual violence gets reported in the same way and the rape label be changed to be inclusive of envelopment.

      One of the biggest problems I find with talk on sexual abuse is quite a few feminists and even non-feminists just flat out bury their head in the sand to that stat, it appears to be this hardened belief battered into their mind that rape is mostly perpetrated by men with female victims. This silences sooo many victims who are male, especially victims of female rape/envelopment which happens at a significant rate and causes major resentment amongst quite a few men and women.

      The thing that bugs me so much is the highly genderized view of sexual abuse, and infact all abuse where it puts perceptions into peoples minds n makes it hard for victims to be believed if they fall outside of the “norm”. I’ve heard terrible stories of male victims trying to get help and being told to go away because “abuse only happens to women” when they seek support. I truly hope they are isolated and rare cases but it does discourage me when I see very little said of male victimization and even less said about female perpetration, I truly believe we need to discuss and raise awareness of all gender combinations of abuse. The recent gender neutral ad of consent done in New York I believe is absolutely GREAT!

      That’s just one of the big issues I see and causes so many mra vs feminist fights and the lack of awareness for males whilst men are asked to champion womens issues becomes a bit offensive, there are a lot of people who feel ignored because of that. I myself refuse to use either label for myself, my views are egalitarian and I want everyone to be safe, and live a decent life.

      • Archie, I have some sympathy for the gender-neutral approach, but I really have no time for the ‘envelopment is rape’ argument. Really? Nonsense. Men who suffer abuse need support too, but don’t conflate the issues that men and women face, either qualitatively or quantitatively. It’s disingenuous, and counter-productive to any progress in this debate.

        • Archy says:

          What is nonsense about envelopment as rape? I’m a bit lost as to what you mean. Do you mean keep the issues separated to discuss the unique aspects of each?

          • There are many forms of abuse. Rape is generally accepted as being penetrated. In my opinion the harm caused by penetration is greater in many ways than other forms, and is used in different ways.

            You may wish to label ‘envelopment’ as rape. I think this is unhelpful to any debate. It should be possible to debate the issues without changing definitions – that’s more a PR strategy.

          • Archy says:

            “In my opinion the harm caused by penetration is greater in many ways than other forms, and is used in different ways.”
            Are you serious? Care to explain how?

            “You may wish to label ‘envelopment’ as rape. I think this is unhelpful to any debate. It should be possible to debate the issues without changing definitions – that’s more a PR strategy.”
            When I hear “99% of rapists are men” spoken and then see new stats like the CDC NISVS which people failed to discuss the 12 month category in the media, and barely mentioned envelopment I find it problematic. I especially find it troubling as many many people I hear talk about rape assume the stats include envelopment, so they come under the idea that it rarely happens to men when simply the definition is screwy and keeps it biased in favour of showing higher levels of female victims. What is the need to keep rape as penetration? Why is envelopment considered other sexual abuse and rarely discussed when it happens at a significant level?

            I’m not here to say more men are raped but I do care about male rape being taken seriously and not dismissed as less damaging if it’s envelopment. How is that helpful to debate the issues? It matters a lot to many men to have envelopment covered under the definition of rape, the word itself has a lot of impact and carries more seriousness than the words “sexual abuse”. Something is really amiss here…

          • I fail to see how someone can envelope-rape a man when men have to be aroused for that to be physically possible?

          • Archy says:

            Male erections can happen when men are scared, when their bladder is full (part of why many get morning wood), they can be drugged with viagra, they can be drunk and past the point of legal consent.

            Someone wrote about a man who had a cotton bud shoved down the urethra during his rape in attempt to keep it errect. Another wrote of how his attacker (female) threatened him by saying she would claim rape with the police, forced him to have sex with her. Even a threat like that is enough to give quite a few many a huge fear, I know I sure never ever want to be in that situation. A friend of mine woke up to a woman on top of him raping him.

            Remember that an erection doesn’t equal consent, just like a woman being aroused and orgasming doesn’t equal consent. Erections are not controlled by our conscious mind, as I’m sure many who’ve been to a doctor can say or experienced erections at unfortunate times. A woman (or man who forces him to perform anal sex) can do their best to force a man to have an erection, stimulate him until it happens, etc. There is also envelopment via the mouth which doesn’t rely on an erection at all.

            I guess there are still a lot of rape myths to combat…This is what annoys me about the lack of awareness for envelopment.

          • Archy, I think it is probably the physical dominance and violence that accompanies penetration, along with the fact that some one has actually entered your body that distinguishes it as rape.

            On a separate note, I would need to be much more impressed with any survey before I believed that incident rates for any abuse towards men was worth even mentioning in the same conversation as the abuse of women. It is an unfair ‘balancing’ trick.

          • Archy says:

            “Archy, I think it is probably the physical dominance and violence that accompanies penetration, along with the fact that some one has actually entered your body that distinguishes it as rape.”

            Matt, you’re making the common mistake towards male victims of rape. Women can and do physically dominate men at times, they can and do perpetrate violence, why is there a perception that rape of a woman is worse than rape of a man? Both have risks of S.T.I, both can do physical and psychological damage, the only major difference would be a woman can get pregnant.

            Do you think rape of males is not violent, or physically dominating?

          • Archy, I’m not distinguishing between male and female rape. I’m distinguishing between rape and envelopment. I can’t respond to your points as I’m not sure which you are referring to.

          • JaneO says:

            Archy: we welcome men’s comments on this site – however we do not wish to see the ‘female as perpetrator’ argument as the original point of this article was to ask men to stand side by side with women in the face of their experiences. If you want to discuss your point further then please do so elsewhere – perhaps you could write a post for the GMP and we can link to it? Thanks.

          • Archy says:

            I use a definition of rape which is forced to penetrate or forcibly penetrated/sexual intercourse which includes envelopment. But I won’t continue the debate here anymore as per Jane’s wishes.

          • Thank you Archie. Do write something over at GMP, and we will link to it.

          • Apologies Jane, I fear I am also guilty of digressing there. Thank you Archy for the conversation.

        • Jane Osmond says:

          Hi guys, thank you both for desisting. Look forward to a post we can link to.

        • Matt, if a person has sex with another person without that person’s consent, it is rape. If a woman has sex with a man without is permission, it is rape. That’s the definition, so that would include “envelopment.”

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      That space does not exist, you are right Jane. It has to be created deliberately and vigorously policed. I have been badgering the Guardian to make that space and they will not. Instead they have allowed MRA activists to occupy their site and make it a no-go area for women. The same situation is replicated across all popular news sites. If the Guardian will not do it then who?

      The thing that surprises me is that men do not speak up against it, not the men who edit these sites, not the men who post on the blogs. Where there is opposition to this tide of extremist propaganda, it is almost always by individual women, who face organised attack wherever they put their head above the parapet (I know!). And Mumsnet is wrong to ignore it, propaganda has an effect. Why would the Coalition have tried to introduce anonymity for rape suspects if they didn’t believe that women routinely lie about rape? There is the impact and it is reinforced every day all over the internet.

  4. “As feminist bloggers know only too well, these claims can be found in the comments section of any article that focuses on the harms done to women by male centric societies that consistently portray women primarily as sexual objects who are not capable of sitting in the rooms where the manly art of decision making takes place.”

    As a female blogger, I’d like to ask if you are aware of any changes in the current thinking on comment moderation. It has become a nightmare to write ANYTHING about girls or women. In fact, just to *be* female while writing has become difficult. MRA’s seem to stalk so many blogs now, immediately mobbing the comment threads of posts written by women. HuffPo Women is a cess pool at this point, and no one seems to care. MRA’s are ruining it. Thoughts on this escalating issue?

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      Lori, I think this is a big concern. I have been drawing the Guardian’s attention to it on their site for months, but they will not do anything about it. The internet is the same as the ‘real world,’ civilisation has to be imposed and maintained or extremism takes the centreground.

      I firmly believe there is an organised MRA campaign to hit news blogs and blanket gender pages with propaganda. This is what Fathers4Justice and the other MRA organisations do these days. There own sites are private – this is where the organisation takes place and from where bloggers are posted across the news media to target stories about women, custody, rape, equal pay, board quotas, you name it. They have occupied the Guardian’s site, all the other national news sites and now HuffPo. They show up here with relentless regularity.

      They are very thorough and they are too entrenched in the newspaper sites to be dislodged without determined action from the proprietors of the sites.

      The solution, I believe, is to force those proprietors to take action to clean up their houses. Hit their lifelines, their advertising revenue. Bombard their advertisers with complaints about the hatespeak that their products appear beside and make them put pressure on the site owners. It worked with Facebook with their rape joke pages, it will work with the news media. It needs a sustained, organised campaign, just the same as the MRAs already have – it needs someone like Mumsnet to marshall their readership and take them on. Want to join me in trying to persuade them to do that?

      • Archy says:

        I wish you all the luck, if a group is doing that purposely to mess stuff up and promote propaganda vs something factual then they need to be put in check.

        • JaneO says:

          Hey Archy – just read your piece over at the GMP – very moving.

          • Archy says:

            Thank-you. That’s one of the things I love about that site, anyone can contribute and there are quite a few powerful articles there.

    • Archy says:

      One idea would be to run dual commenting systems, one for solely female or male or whatever the main topic is about and a second one for a cross-gender debate. I think quite a few see an article on a topic such as abuse, they want to talk about it but it’s mainly talked about from the female perspective only. It took me quite a while to actually find the male perspective being discussed, so many just want to talk and have their voice heard but in the mainstream media the gender rights debates tend to be dominantly female point of view.

      There is a chasm in regards to awareness for men and if their awareness were to rise then I have a feeling the derailing would drop considerably. I see quite a lot of males who feel completely ignored in debates on abuse for instance, if they aren’t trolling then personally I’d redirect them to somewhere like the GMP as many are probably unaware there is a place for men to discuss their issues.

      What are they mobbing the comments with? Is there a particular theme? And are they mostly legitimate concerns but just the wrong place to comment, or purposely done trolling? The trolls should be banned immediately and give them absolutely no response to avoid encouraging them.

      If it gets really bad I’d suggest maybe run a lil disclaimer at the bottom basically saying something like “We understand the seriousness of male issues but please keep this comment thread on the topic of how X issue affects women. If you want to discuss how it affects men, goto X location”

  5. JaneO says:

    Archy – because women have historically been subjected to such a massive power imbalance we are furious when the stats of male to female rape are dismissed by MRAs – to us it is just another symptom of a system that routinely ignores our experiences. However, male rape and sexual assault does exist – mainly for the same reasons – a power imbalance perpetuated by male centric societies. Have you thought of setting up your own blog? It would be good to link to a reasoned debate about this subject – and this can only add to the overall picture and we can be supportive of each other. Jane – yes the spaces are not there and as you have found with the Guardian’s Comment is Free column, a feminist take of any situation is derailed by comments from MRAs. Lori – moderation: I have seen instances where feminist sites in particular will heavily moderate their comments sections and refuse any comments by MRAs. Women’s Views on News is an example of a well moderated site in my opinion – sometimes controversial comments are allowed, but only after careful consideration on whether such a comment will add to the debate. Certainly, you won’t find MRA comments on ANY part of this site. However the mainstream media do not see a problem with allowing hateful, sexist comments on their sites and I think that this is why people are moving away from mainstream media and into the (individual) blogosphere. I know I have stopped accessing mainstream media because I cannot stand the one-dimensional narrative that I am constantly subjected too and I suspect more and more of us are feeling the same. Eventually, the mainstream media, which is almost exclusively run by men will wither on the vine because it refuses to represent the views of their audiences and only privilege those with views that it understands: anyone who isn’t like those in charge – for example a woman, or a man who has been raped/sexually assaulted gets ignored or shouted down. So, although the blogosphere is problematic in that it gives voices to bigots, it also offers spaces for more reasonable individuals to voice their view: like here for example. Just got to keep on keeping on.

    • Archy says:

      I comment and have written an article for the goodmenproject, and actively try to get both feminism n mra/masculists/whatever term basically means male activists but I don’t want either side to have misandry or misogyny. I absolutely value and love the egalitarian feminists and MRAs who talk on the GMP and are willing to work together as there is a lot of good discussion I find. There are some bad eggs though and I try to call them out for it, regardless of group or gender.

      I am also looking for a gender neutral egalitarian website where all issues of equality, and any issue that affects us. Somewhere that any gender, race, etc can talk about the issues and get a broad range of opinions and discussion happening. I like to see issues affecting gender for example put side by side to see if it affects both, or just one and try understand why. Ie, are body image issues mostly in females, or males as well, what is similar between them and what differs, what are the rates of concern for each.

      I see the mra’s that do try dismiss or lower rape, it’s annoying and quite terrible to see. I also see some feminists (self identified) who dismiss rape or even violence against men. I also see both groups having quite a few who can accept both genders are abused and simply want to work together, I myself feel there has been a major silence on male abuse and just want the awareness to rise AND keep the awareness with females too. I think when both genders can see they can be victim and perp it might help bridge the gap and kickstart more into action.

      Interesting article on boys n men in the equality conversation, thanks for the link. There are many men willing to discuss the issues and help out, I’ve found it quite encouraging that I’ve recently seen both genders working together on the various issues.

      • Archy, see how this female site allows you men to come in. Whenever I try to write on those male sites, they jump all over, call me a troll, which I am not, then they delete my posts. There is one of the differences between women wnd men.

        • Archy says:

          JJ, there are plenty of women’s sites that don’t allow men to come in. They block, insult, belittle men’s issues quite often, call them troll. Infact a very common strawman is to call someone an MRA to try make like their point isn’t worthy. It’s not a difference between men and women, but thanks for the lil bit of sexism there. This is one site out of many, try the goodmenproject for a men’s site that allows a wide range of views.

          • vicki wharton says:

            Try a world wide billion dollar media/propoganda genre called porn Archie – the media arm of the sex industry – the biggest commissioner of human slavery and commercial rape of mainly women and children for a predominantly male audience in which women and children are referred to as c*nts, g*shes, sl*ts, wh*res, b*tches as generic references. Looking at the above comments as sexism without acknowledging the juggernaut of provocation that women and children put up with from men is a strawman of the first degree, but would agree that sexism is a straitjacket for both genders, to one degree or another.

  6. Jane Da Vall says:

    And here we are, talking about men and boys again.

  7. JaneO says:

    Hi Jane, yes we are, but I believe that only by getting the decent guys involved can we make a real change. Because as feminist bloggers we are constantly subjected to the MRA type comments, I think we begin to believe that this is the real picture of how men think, when in reality most men don’t feel confident in joining in. Only those with bigoted opinions who really don’t care about women tend to voice their view.

    What would be helpful is if we could all agree as a baseline that the discrimination that both women and men experience is the result of a male centric society developed and perpetuated by the ruling (rich) class.

    Once that is established then we can begin to address the inequalities that affect us all, instead of fighting between ourselves.

    The recent acceptance of the NHS bill by rich white men is a prime example of a decision that will affect all of us: this bill will affect all of us who cannot afford to protect ourselves financially.

    Obviously the feminist blogosphere will focus on the impact on women of this bill, but it will also impact on men. To change this, we need to band together, whilst recognising that both genders will suffer in different ways.

  8. Jane Da Vall says:

    Yes, that’s all true, Jane. But it does us well to recognise that the main way in which discussion of women’s rights are sidelined online is by redirection of that discussion, we see it everywhere, we see it here in every such discussion, including this one.

    The main tool of the dissemblers is language. MRA activists call themselves egalitarians and feminists and talk about other men being the problem and lack of awareness of men’s rights being the real issue and before you know it you are posting links to men’s rights sites and talking about violence against men and how legislation affects men. That is not what this site is about, as Archy said before he started talking about just that.

    We have to keep a clear eye on where discussion is going, to stop it being sidelined. We have to remember that online anonymity allows anyone to style themselves as anything they like. The thing to do is look at what they are actually saying and determine from that who are the good guys and who are not.

  9. JaneO says:

    Hi all, thank you for your comments on this article – as you can see the moderating policy on WVoN does not allow nasty exclusive comments, only comments that add to the debate. More of this please.

  10. Excellent post. I am a member of Mumsnet, and the Feminist section in particular has been trolled extensively in recent months by MRAs. The recent issue with F4J was the icing on the cake but it actually had a positive effect.

    Until now I think that many users of Mumsnet were unaware of this problem, but their eyes have been opened and I believe that it will make the posters and the moderators quicker to respond to any comment that is clearly from MRAs. Until now, moderation and deletion has been light, in keeping with MN normal practice. It will be interesting to see if this changes in the coming months.

  11. JaneO says:

    Hi MmeKindor, Welcome! Yes I do think that moderation is key to any online debate with the aim of keeping it inclusive of all opinions, but putting boundaries around how those opinions are expressed.

    At the very least this requires posters to really think about what they are saying, rather than dashing off an emotional and angry response which adds nothing to a debate and increases the likelihood of a flame war. This latter gets us nowhere fast.

    Mumsnet is a powerful force to be reckoned with in my opinion and has much to offer the online blogosphere, not least because it encourages views from people who, in the main, would not enter into the fray elsewhere.

    It is almost like we are all in the process of developing an online protocol for discourse which may, in the end, result in a joining of forces against oppression of all types against all genders. We can live in hope.

    • I recently read a fabulous article put out by NPR about comment moderation–its history, and where things are going. Many of the problems we discuss have been solved, and it all comes down to whether a site has the desire, the time and the resources to moderate properly. It also requires a site to not be a Google Analytics slave! You have to be willing to sometimes lose readers and page views. The best part of the article I read was about how The Atlantic deserves the gold star when it comes to comment moderation. I can’t remember the guy’s name who was interviewed, but he said it’s a ton of work, but has resulted in an excellent experience for readers. He analogized it to inviting someone into your living room. If they talk trash, if they call you a c*nt or feminazi, if they troll your page with MRA nonsense, you just escort them out the door. It’s YOUR living room, and they can find another with lower standards if they want to!

      • JaneO says:

        Hi Lori: would you have a link to that article? I would be interested in reading it.

        • Jane Da Vall says:

          Yes, I’d like to read that too.

          It irritates me when people defend lack of moderation on freedom of speech grounds (when what they actually mean is cost grounds). They ignore the legion of people who don’t care to make conversation with bigots and misanthropes and therefore don’t get the chance to speak at all. Unmoderated sites have small comment communities peopled by extremists and those that like to fight, prejudice flourishes and minorities, and women, steer clear. After all, who wants to spend their lunch hour arguing with bigots? It discourages a wide range of opinion and targets groups who are already marginalised in the mainstream media. It amazes me that liberal sites tolerate it.

          Women, it is said, constitute 80% of retail customers. They are the advertisers’ principal target group. Sites that repel women readers and bloggers surely will not survive in the new advertising-reliant digital media world.

      • JaneO says:

        Thanks for the links Lori:
        http://www.onthemedia.org/2011/dec/30/how-create-engaging-comments-section/transcript/

        Found this one too:

        Among the minority who dominate the online conversation is ‘the digital equivalent of the loudest drunk in the bar.’
        http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=102647

        • Thank you for this link as well. I’m very happy to be on the same wavelength as NPR! Hate the anonymous commenters for the exact reason Jane Da Vall states. It’s a huge problem on some sites.

  12. Jane Da Vall says:

    “Consequently, women are under-represented in any space where decisions affecting their lives are made, resulting in political, economic and reproductive discrimination.”

    Jane, This is the whole point. This is why every woman should support quotas – on boards, in government, the law. Who cares if quotas inspire disrespect and ridicule. Women need to get into these spaces in numbers, the kind of numbers that bring power. The alternative is tokenism and discrimination against women with children for another generation, at least.

  13. JaneO says:

    Another article about boys and men and constructed versions of masculinity. http://alturl.com/wf484

  14. Sarah says:

    Wow – I got here accidentally having started back at the mumsnet project – I think – it was a couple of hours ago! There’s so much and I have no more time so haven’t read every word, but I have liked it here. I am a (I like to think) strong-but-reasonable feminist with some lovely men in my life. I have been abused as a child and raped as a young woman, and seen the worst and the best that both women and men have to offer in those situations. I continue to work in rape crisis centres, and have struggled with the women-only vs what-about-the-men-and-boys question, presently “believing” that we should hold on to women-only services for a range of complex reasons but support and encourage men to stand up *more visibly* for the male survivors and help them speak out. Stand beside us but do not ask us to forget our history or the struggle that brought us this far. (Need to get MUCH more visible guys!)

    I feel comfortable with the two Janes, and I’d like to thank Matt and Archy for sticking with the dicussion, it was very interesting and I liked hearing your thoughts. I had never heard of the Agent Orange stuff, nor had the MRA impinged much on my consciousness – and I am unlikely to ever bother with a link to “RadFem”. I like to work (well, “be”) with hurt individuals and help them to re-find the beauty in the world. I had to do this and my hold on it is pretty labile, so I get quickly depressed by unpleasant ranty voices (and if I’m not careful before I know it I can feel one starting up inside!). Still, I went to have a look.

    Just a few random thoughts if I may. I see RadFems are separatists, which I can’t really be bothered with. Ever so occasionally I’ve heard such voices within rape crisis – in this context I would tend to wonder how much they’ve been hurt – but really very little these days. Having read the comments around the RadFem posts first, I was expecting the comments themselves to be really awful. So I really need to be careful how I say this – please I DO NOT think we should kill baby boys, they are just as lovely as baby girls – I DO NOT think we should exclude fathers from familes or keep them away from children … etc etc. But when I then read the radfem posts they were not as bad as I was by this time expecting and I had to sit and think hard about why I felt that.

    I think there are two intertwined reasons. As a woman writing we receive comments, threats of violence, and outpourings of hate like this on a regular basis. The RadFems fall into that category, but they are no worse. They just feel kind of on normal scale. (You might think this is a bit much given the strong comments against boy children – of course that is appalling – but try taking your rapist to court if you want to see what bile is like ..) But the radFems are easily dismissed as a private fringe group while I am talking about my daily life in the world. I am not especially surprised to be told that thay may have have positions in the world. I work in universities and in international organisations – daft outbursts along these kinds of lines are viewed as occasional troublesome people who are unable to moderate their feelings (though I am a scientist, I do work with social scis too). Having said that, I am much more concerned that such views may come from someone working with children at risk as that job calls for great wisdom.

    No doubt it is easier for me to dismiss them than for men who are angry and confused. Welcome to a tiny little morsel of our world!

    So, the MRA. Knew nothing much about them either. But oddly, I find it comforting to hear that they are blitzing sites. I was starting to think that the world was full of such crazy hatred in men who had not changed one iota. I support your call for moderation and I guess that is why I spent so long here, to take part in a quiet conversation with just a few of you – the massive thicket of shouty emotional tooing and froing just takes too much of a toll.

    I like that Matt and Archy stuck with it, so I am going to tell you a little story from a calm psychological point of view. I was raped as a young woman by a normal man on a normal street, an ex-marine. It lasted many hours and I had to finally drag myself out with hands & feet tied to ask passers-by for help. A car stopped and three young women got out. They hugged me and held me. A young male driver got out and was told what had happened. He kicked hard at the tyres of his van, shouting how he hated what he had just heard. I realised in that very second how important that moment was to me. The odd thing was, for many years I wondered why it seemed so massively important.

    In the awful years that followed, amongst all the terrible reactions from men and women, and the awful things they said, there were some very important men who helped me to heal. The calm ones who didn’t ask for much. But there was another odd thing. I was obsessed with the fact that men did not care. This is partly explainable by the fact that survivors lose all trust so tend to seek “categories” that they think are trustworthy – hence they often seek women (not all of whom step up to the bar!). But I knew there was something more. Given the very reasonable type of person I am, it was just odd. This idea was “fixed”.

    Many years later a memory came hurtling back into my brain like a wave of horror. An incident of oral rape as a child, witnessed by my also young brother, that was brushed under the carpet and never mentioned again by my well-meaning and beloved father (small town, 1960s, who knows what I would have done). I cannot know how much he knew of what happened. The rapist still came to visit occasionally.

    Truly, this memory was totally buried. But at last I understand. And now I think .. maybe .. perhaps some men do care. But I still have a slightly pathetic need to see men kick those tyres publically.

    Perhaps many of these shouty people have something stuck in their head? Something they don’t see or can’t get past, but has a real basis. If that is the case, then we need many more opportunities to bear witness, not a discussion on theory.

    I’m not the shouty type, I just went silent instead. But even with me, the anger would spill out in odd ways.

    I’m sorry, now I am not sure this is the place. I have never written that down before. I wasn’t really aiming to bring the personal, it’s just that the goodmenproject seems like a good thing and your men might see something in this story? Things are not always what they seem. And we do not always know why we rant.

    • Archy says:

      Thank-you for sharing that experience. If I were the guy in that situation the first thought I would have would be why couldn’t I have been there sooner, then trying to figure out how to catch him and also wondering what you would want me to do to help. I think a lot of tyre kicking goes on behind closed doors, men who automatically feel like they have failed in protecting their loved ones if they get hurt in anyway and for some men especially it can be hard to see it whilst others will visibly show it though not always legally. I have extended family members who’ve hidden abuse from their brothers because they knew those men would badly injure or kill the abuser. With myself you may not see my anger but believe me I have held back a lot of rage around people who have abused me or abused others, I watch like a hawk at times to make sure my loved ones aren’t in danger or even strangers that I see. But it can be quite troubling to know what to do, how to help, many would love to take revenge on someone who attacked them or their loved one but what else can be done to help?

      A woman I was very close to ended up married to an emotionally and sexually abusive man, when I heard what happened I beat the boxing bag so hard because I felt helpless and just wanted to stop her pain somehow. I looked around at various websites to try find info on how to help, spent many hours compiling info which she thanked me for. I did what I could to try help raise her self esteem as it all took it’s toll on her, I can’t describe the level of hate for the person that stole away her innocence, she went from bubbly n happy to very depressed and worn out.

      I see pain, anger, hatred, bitterness between some of the mra and feminists, it can be subtle or shouted out loud. I’m sure many misogynists and misandrists are probably reacting to some previous trauma, with some people I know they have this because of negative experiences with the opposite gender and feel all men are this, all women are that…it becomes quite tiring to try teach them otherwise.

      I think your experience would make for a good article, anyone can contribute to the GMP so if you would like to write for that site then there is a submit your story area on goodmenproject.com . It would be good to find out ways other men and women show they care when it comes to victims of abuse.

  15. JaneO says:

    Hi Sarah, firstly thank you for taking the time to comment on this thread. And thank you for sharing your story – I think you have got to the heart of the matter in that you have identified men in your life who did support you and were/are important to your recovery. As you point out, and as we are saying on this thread, it is important to bear witness to men’s experiences as well as our own, whilst requiring that both the men who have been assaulted, and those who have not, also accept our experiences as women as legitimate. Please do continue to visit us – we always welcome comments, especially from those, like yourself, who have found a way to give back to those who are currently suffering. 🙂

    • RickB says:

      Very true, and nice thoughts.
      However, walk into a room of 100 men and talk about a man abusing his wife, and most of those men will feel sympathy.
      Walk into a room of 100 women and talk about a woman abusing her husband, and what will most of those women do?
      After 20 years as a men’s rights activist, I can tell you what most women have done; laugh. Lots of eye rolls, too.
      I’ve never seen that among groups of men, when it’s mentioned that a man is abusing a woman.
      Many men don’t believe in hitting women, even when she’s abusing, making them vulnerable if women are punching, kicking, using weapons.
      An acquaintance was run over by a new girlfriend because he wouldn’t give her any money, she grabbed his wallet and took off, ran over him twice, leaving him a bloody scraped limping mess.
      Female abuse against men can be very serious.
      I completely agree that both genders should give each other equal understanding and sympathy for gender issues.
      But I also offer that the problem in today’s society hinges almost entirely off the side of a large number of women who are quick to accept feminist myths against men without proof, and build up in their brains a habit of assuming men are perpetual predators while women are endless victims.
      To your credit you handle dissent more maturely than most website hosts/authors, particularly on the subject of gender.

  16. JaneO says:

    ‘Violence against women is an issue for men too
    Boys look to men, and men look to other men to define what it means to be a man. Together we must challenge abuse’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/26/domestic-violence-against-women?CMP=twt_gu

    • Archy says:

      Interesting article, I see quite a few whataboutthemenz posts. It did make me wonder though if there was a campaign by women, telling other women to stop their abuse against men in a similar way the white ribbon campaign was started by men for men (as far as I know based on articles I’ve read of it).

      What can men or women do to help someone in a DV situation? I’ve tried comforting, letting them know their qualities to try combat some of the negative talk they’ve heard, but it is pretty hard to know what to do when you’re asked never to tell anyone, not interfere, etc. I think quite a lot of men and women would love to help but are completely unsure of what to do, or have tried a lot of things but the victim has gone back each time so they feel they can’t do anything to help.

  17. JaneO says:

    Received a email this morning from a woman who is experiencing violence and intimidation from an ex-partner. I will not repeat what she said due to confidentiality issues but here is the headline:

    ‘Oh my to read this. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!’

    Wouldn’t it be good to work towards a society where her email and thanks were not necessary?

  18. I am a men’s-rights activist. I am also a WOMEN’S-rights activist, and these terms are in no way antonymous. To name people as a hate group because they happen to be against domestic violence committed against men, statutory rape committed against boys, and sexual harassment committed against men is in itself an act of hate.

    Men’s rights + women’s rights = HUMAN rights.

  19. Hi bmmg39:

    These groups are not being named as hate groups because they are against domestic violence against men, statutory rape committed against boys and sexual harassment against men.

    They are being named as hate groups because they routinely preach violence and hate against women – such as:

    I think we should export all american [sic] bitches to other countries and take in women from other places. … Have you noticed how fat these sluts get AT AN EARLY AGE… . [I]f you were allowed to beat your wife we wouldn’t be dealing with this crap.”

    Boys,” a January posting urges Marky Mark’s readers, “don’t get involved in American women; they’re sluts, skanks, and disease ridden whores.”

    My suggestion to you is that if you, as an MRA, are being tainted by the activities of these groups, that you and men like you, strongly protest against this image of yourselves.

    • Jane, I can find plenty of examples of the same hatred coming from high-profile, well-known people who call themselves “feminists” (Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan), but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to say that feminism, as a whole, is a hate movement. The aforementioned are published authors, not people on a message board who might be people posing as MRAs to make them all look horrid.

      Why doesn’t the SLPC criticize individuals, rather than demonize an entire movement by extrapolating the ugly words of a few onto a movement of hundreds of thousands of men (AND women) who do not make such hateful comments?

      And, yes, I do call out hate regardless of where it’s from, but I really don’t waste my time with sites with scary people on them. You should check out feministcritics.org and, to a lesser extent, http://noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz.wordpress.com/ (note: naughty words sometimes used in the latter).

    • Archy says:

      I find it strange they label the ENTIRE movement as a hate movement though, I’ll gladly admit there are elements which are quite terrible in their thought-processes but feminism is no stranger to vile misandric garbage. There are forum postings on the radfemhub basically calling for male babies to be aborted and other violence against males, made by people who identify as feminists.

      I wouldn’t for a second blame feminism for this though or assume all feminists are the same, judging the actions of the few as representative of the many is a clear case of bigotry and the SPLC does seem to be bordering that line if not already crossed it.

      I commonly hear “NAWALT” and “NAFALT” (not all women/feminists are like that) from some of those that identify as feminist hate being judged by the actions of the few yet seem perfectly fine labelling the ENTIRE MRA movement as a hate movement. That to me is clearly bigotry and quite hypocritical, it’s something I’ve never understood from those individuals that appear to be quite intelligent.

      Any idea why some feminists (of course not all feminists or mra’s do this) are fine using a paint-roller vs the 1/8 inch detail brush to define the groups?

  20. bmmg39: ‘Why doesn’t the SLPC criticize individuals, rather than demonize an entire movement by extrapolating the ugly words of a few onto a movement of hundreds of thousands of men (AND women) who do not make such hateful comments?’

    I don’t know really – it would have made more sense to pick out particularly hateful groups rather than tarring everyone with the same brush.

    Also, male rape is something that does happen and should be taken seriously. What gets me down is when it is turned into a competition by both sides,

    However, this thread is not about male rape, but about why some men do not stand side by side with women’s experiences (see above message to Archie). As I said to him, if he or you were to compose a blog piece that explored the issues in a considered way, I would be glad to link to it.

    • “I don’t know really – it would have made more sense to pick out particularly hateful groups rather than tarring everyone with the same brush.”

      That’s really my point.

      “Also, male rape is something that does happen and should be taken seriously. What gets me down is when it is turned into a competition by both sides…”

      I completely agree! But I think the solution is to avoid pretending from the onset that one gender is affected or victimized. When I see people talk about “violence against women,” to me that’s like having a conversation about “identity theft against white people.” It needlessly segregates the victims or suggests that victims in other subsets of society do not even exist. Sometimes, however, when men then point out that men are victims, too, the response is often “Ooh, what about teh menz?” or something equally taunting. Then the “competition” starts. It’s pointless.

      “However, this thread is not about male rape, but about why some men do not stand side by side with women’s experiences (see above message to Archie). As I said to him, if he or you were to compose a blog piece that explored the issues in a considered way, I would be glad to link to it.”

      I can absolutely point you to a fellow named James Landrith, who was victimized in the way you mentioned. He has begun his own blog, but even before that he was on other message boards, describing his experiences. Though many responders mocked his experience, his story, and him, directly, many of us were sympathetic. Do you know one “group” of people who took his story seriously and offered its support? Female rape victims, who empathized with him rather than accuse him of trying to “steal the spotlight.” And he could empathize with them, because he knows what it’s like to have someone (of the opposite gender) have sex with him without his consent.

      So when we get beyond the hate and the sniping, we CAN find much common ground and men and women standing side-by-side with one another.

  21. I guess I’m still in this thread. Need to figure out the “manage your subscriptions” option to get out of it and stop reading about men’s rights and feminist bashing on this site, which should not be about men’s rights and feminist bashing. Buh-bye, all.

  22. Good. MRAs are annoying and an embarrassment to men everywhere.

    • Archy says:

      Nice generalization. Are feminists annoying too or do you only see the MRA’s negatively?

  23. Archy says:

    ht tp://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/

    Seems they didn’t label it a hate movement. Why is your article stating that they did? From what I see they’re commenting on SOME mra’s who do negative things, would it be fair if I said feminism was a hate movement based off a few instances of misandry?

    Painting an entire movement as bad based off the behaviour of SOME of it’s members is pretty poor behaviour, infact it’s one of the most common distates I see feminists discuss about some anti-feminists who generalize about what feminists are. Is it only ok to generalize about the MRM? You may wish to edit the title.

  24. MRAs are a bunch of bitter old assholes who are hellbent on making white American men look as misogynist, shallow, and whiny as possible. They’re an embarrassment to white men everywhere. White American men should bash these losers until they go away, and white men outside of the US should not embrace their ideology.

    • Archy says:

      So calling for violence is acceptable against a group now? You realize not all MRA’s are white?

  25. I don’t think anyone who agrees with your views would be too intimidated to make a comment.

    But if I were to disagree?

    Yep. Pretty intimidating per Jane’s treatment of Archy.

    I have views which differ, but also realize that those views would be unwelcome, only men who agree with the original poster seem to be welcome on this site.

    What bugs me is when people flat out refuse to acknowledge that there can be another side to the coin. That men also have issues and are also discriminated against.

    Men and women should work together to overcome injustice against all forms of sexism and discrimination.

    But the first step has to be to acknowledge that men can be victims of sexism too. Until then you are asking men to come on board and support women’s rights while denying that there’s any case for men’s rights.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      “..while denying that there’s any case for men’s rights”

      Not denying, Mark, ignoring. If you look right at the top of the page, you will see the title of this site. It says “Women’s Views on News.” I hope that clears up any misunderstanding.

      I’m being glib, you have highlighted a problem that is endemic on the internet. Many sites ignore male victims of sexism entirely.

      Here’s just one example – Sheep! (http://www.sheepmagazine.com)

      No mention at all of mens’ rights. It’s not even about men! Just like this site. You know what it’s about? It’s about Sheep!

  26. I’m wondering if Jane would approve of Jeff’s comments.

    Good one Jeff, violence solves everything and we all know that violence is perfectly ok as long as it’s inflicted on men.

  27. vicki wharton says:

    Everyone is a victim of sexism if it forces them into a life that they don’t want defined by their gender. Arguing as to who’s rape is worse, or who gets raped the most is a dissappation of energy. In making it a fair and decent world, or at least trying to aim in that direction, we need to accept that an abuse of one is a potential abuse of us all. In making omelettes no cook argues whether eggs or milk is the most important ingredient, we need both. Men have traditionally styled themselves as the superior gender and the men’s media have fought to hang on to this position but, looking at babies and children, who could deny that both genders are born lovely and then get messed about with by social positions that tell one side or the other that they are right/best etc. Nothing good ever comes of it – to make an omelette or a society you need both men and women, eggs and milk. Most problems tend to come from trying to make a hierarchy out of eggs and milk!

    • “Arguing as to who’s rape is worse, or who gets raped the most is a dissappation of energy. In making it a fair and decent world, or at least trying to aim in that direction, we need to accept that an abuse of one is a potential abuse of us all.”

      That is the MRA argument in a nutshell: that rape and abuse are horrific no matter the gender of the victim or the gender of the assailant. It is the misandrists (which is not the same thing as the feminists, you must understand) who pooh-pooh or try to stifle any mention of male victims, arguing that women “have it worse.” That’s needlessly segregating the victims.

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        “That is the MRA argument in a nutshell: that rape and abuse are horrific no matter the gender of the victim or the gender of the assailant”

        Yes, that is the MRA argument. Why is that the MRA argument? Why is the MRA argument not that policing of rape, a crime that can affect anyone, is abysmal? Why is it not that the CPS prosecution of rape, a crime that can affect anyone, is abysmal? Why is not that the media’s coverage of rape, its perpetuation of myths, about a crime that can affect anyone, is abysmal?

        The MRA argument is not any of those though, is it? The MRA argument, ‘in a nutshell’ is “that rape and abuse are horrific no matter the gender of the victim or the gender of the assailant”. I, for one, am eager to hear your views on these other issues, which affect all victims, no matter the gender.

      • vicki wharton says:

        I would have thought that the MRAs would be using their time better to campaign against on line porn then, which portrays men as enjoying raping women and children, lying and tricking women and children into situations where they can exploit them sexually or any of the other hideous and physically harmful actions that are portrayed by this multi million pound industry and largest commissioner of slavery in the modern world. I would argue that one of the largest limiters of men’s rights and reputations around the world is an industry that portrays them as psychopathic sexual leaches who have no emotional care for the human beings they are penetrating. Surely if you want to enjoy rights you have to be seen to be worthy of them, and the vast majority of porn does men no favours in this respect with its constant referral to women and female children as whores, sluts, bitches and worse.

  28. Dylan. says:

    I don’t think they really have anything to complain about. Women are life’s gift to man, and should probably just be left to rule the world. (Obviously thousands of years of us men being in charge has gotten us NO where.) Not sure if this comment got anywhere, but I guess it works.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Women are not a gift Dylan :-), you cannot give a group of people to another group like a set of objects – or did you mean it another way?

  29. you wanna hear something funny? a MRA once called me a terrorist because im a feminist

  30. Sarah says:

    I am not a feminist. I believe in traditional gender roles, but I have come across these MRAs on the internet and some of the things they have to say about women and children are sick. They’re nothing but insecure bullies, and it’s a hate movement.

    I was searching YouTube the other day and in my suggestions box was a video called ‘women have a shelf life, men don’t’. I clicked on it and the video and the commentors were horrendous people. The channel owner was a very unpleasant, narcissistic man that I would not touch with a 10 foot barge pole. There were these MRAs on there saying that the age of consent for teen girls should be REMOVED. That’s right people, a club where sexual predators are welcomed.

    If any woman commented, there would be men attacking her with fat comments. How very creative.

    • Archy says:

      There are bad eggs in every group. If you want to see some extreme language, look up what radfemhub feminists say about men and children.

      As an egalitarian I have seen good and bad in both the feminist and MRA camps, both have said some equally vile stuff yet both have members who are great and do good work.

      But it isn’t a hate movement anymore than feminism is a hate movement, to judge the whole by the few is silly and just causes major fights.

      • vicki wharton says:

        I think Archy, it is a question of scale and of how male culture per se has been affected by men’s rights advocates dismissing violence against women wholesale in an effort to protect their underlying belief that males are superior to females in the human race and that men suffer equal discrimination from females. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the only section of the male mainstream media which features women and children: porn. This calls women and children bitches, whores, cunts, gashes, etc and portrays females in particular from 6 through to 60 as sexualised vermin that need to be hit, insulted, raped and sodomised in order to somehow punish them for men’s need of them to continue the human race and for women’s insolence in presuming themselves equal in importance to men in continuing our species. In the end, you cannot really dismiss this multi billion pound hate industry which is one of the biggest commissioners of human slavery in the modern world as the problem of a few rogue individuals, and nor can you sideline it as a women’s issue. Porn promotes psychopathic attitudes and violence in men towards women and children, and as the Germans found to their cost in Germany, when you look at violence and hatred directed on an industrial scale towards one group in society and choose to do nothing but smokescreen, then you are part of the problem, not the solution. Men’s violence towards women and children is a male issue and needs to be addressed from the inside out, ie by men themselves, no one else can do it for them and that seems to be the issue that male culture is avoiding addressing.

  31. Janeo says:

    Hi Sarah, yes some of the comments reveal a strong antipathy to women and children that is hard to cope with. This antipathy emerges whenever women go online or are visible – female bloggers, celebrities and politicians suffer all the time. The anger that some men express is beyond anger, and when aimed at feminists it is more like homicidal rage. Some men obviously feel a huge sense of injustice and blame it on women – ironically, some women also feel a huge sense of injustice and blame it on men. Feminists blame it on the patriarchal system we all live under that causes a huge sense of injustice in all of us, because, in a nutshell, the system simply isn’t fair if you are not a rich white man. In the end, all we can do is fight for a fairer world I think.

  32. @Archy, I am very disapointed that Archy is allowed to come here on this site and freely say what he wants about females . If I tried togo to a male site and freely expresss myself, the men there, would instantly attack me and delete my comments. We as women are so different from men. We accomodate them, all while they are rejecting us. Go figure.

    • Hi Jean, thank you for your comment. We do operate a strict moderation policy on WVoN and Archy is abiding by this. We do want to encourage debate in a measured manner within the boundaries of our comment policy.

    • Jean, plenty of other sites will delete or condemn any post made by a man who defends other men, or calls attention to male victims. There is no difference there.

    • Archy says:

      “We as women are so different from men. We accomodate them, all while they are rejecting us. Go figure.”
      So you generalize about men’s sites, which is sexist by the way, and then make a generalization about men n women being so different. And you’re bothered by what I say about women why? What is it that I said that offends you? Are you offended that a male is allowed to voice his opinion? If you want to voice your opinion on a male site try the Goodmenproject as many many women already do and don’t get silenced.

      And it’s interesting you bring up the topic of people being silenced, this is one of the few female-sites I’ve actually been able to put my opinion on without being silenced. In fact I routinely hear of the silencing going on at many feminist sites so please don’t try to act like women are the better party on this and that they never silence men because experience tells me otherwise. Both sides have sites which silence the other, but there are sites like this one and the Goodmenproject which allow a wide variety of voices in the discussion.

      To be honest I’m surprised my comments were allowed as I experienced what you have with reverse genders, I have to high five the admins here for allowing the discussion to happen.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Archy, but what about men’s media that silence women and children by calling them hate filled names like bitch, whore and slut and portray them as enjoying being sexually attacked by one, two or 15 men at a time? I understand your points about being silenced but where are the men standing up against this media driven violence? Currently 1 in 3 girls in school are being subject to sexist violence such as my daughter aged 6. Quite frankly, there is nothing as silencing as being dragged off a climbing frame by a mob of five boys and being punched in the face. A third of girls suffer this kind of violence at the hands of boys now, and its not just a few isolated boys as some may claim when the most popular male media that portrays females calls us bitches and whores. Men have a real case to answer over gender bigoted violence that is there to silence girls from 6 years and upwards. What is your answer to that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *