You Literally Won’t Believe These Mind-Blowing Simple Statistics… And How Wrong People Are About Them

Getting a bit sick of this post, actually. I should really get around to re-writing it with some newer information and statistics rather than leaving it scattered around 20 different comment sections. Either way, the take-home point for MRAs sharing this sort of thing remains the same – quit your bullshit persecution complex and get over yourself you whiny self-entitled prick.


How d’you like my attempt at a click-bait headline? Cool, eh? *wink-wink*

Anyway, here are the statistics in question. They’re a specific formulation of something I’ve seen 4-5 times in different ways. It concerns how “hard done by” men actually are – and therefore is a complete and thorough deconstruction and destruction of feminism and women’s rights.

privilege

Fucking women… Bah!

Hopefully, it shouldn’t take a genius to figure out where this is going. The above is bullshit – not that the stats lie, but that their application is flawed. I’ll cover a general response first for brevity and then, for completeness, look at each one individually lest someone whines about missing a point. This is extensive, but that’s the issue with bullshit; it takes a long time to thoroughly dismantle to the point where you can begin to start correcting things. I won’t re-explain what “privilege” means, I’ll try to avoid even raising it as an issue so that anyone reading this won’t need to understand it.

Summary

Overall, none of these statistics (save one, just, see below) have anything to do with gender. Gender is not a causal factor in these cases.* That’s it, basically. If you cannot be bothered to read further (I won’t blame you for that) then that’s your take home message. Those stats above are not male issues or problems in the way that, say, breast cancer or being raped is a female problem.** No one is being targeted in these situations because they are male, and if you can’t spot that, I’ll reiterate how that works for each point below.

Secondly, most of the people who regurgitate these statistics – whom I refer to as MRAssholes, because “MRA” alone suggests that they’re both interested in rights and activism, but this isn’t the case – are simply not interested in addressing these statistics and the dependencies. This sort of thing is used exclusively as a whine – “look how bad us men have it!!” or “see, women are privileged too!” That’s all. No thought, no solutions, no progress; just whining.

These apparent “activists” have demonstrably no interest in addressing these issues, or real issues that actually arise from being male. A simple search for “Men United” (the prostate cancer awareness campaign ran by Prostate Cancer UK) amongst the usual suspects of Men’s Rights on the internet, even the UK-based ones, produces absolute nada as a result. If their interest was in helping men for problems arising because they were men, that sort of thing would be front page news. But no, they instead want to attack women, and blame women, for their own shortcomings, failures, and personal issues. More general searches for male health and well-being also produce precious few results – while I’m open to proof that the precious few are actual rules and aren’t exceptions, I’m not holding my breath (I did find one, which is linked to below, but the comments section suggests it wasn’t universally supported).

So overall; this is whining, and pointless whining at that, with no solutions for how to actually help men or solve wider social problems. The specifics are below.

*Clarification: 4 out of 5 are conflating factors rather than casual. But if you want an executive, take-home summary that summarises them all, then it’s that gender is not a factor in these statistics. Certainly in the 1 out of 5, the cases of suicide, most MRA groups are blinded to why it is a causal factor.

**Clarification 2: I saw this line criticised elsewhere (thanks for not enquiring in the comments where I would have answered this in a less annoyed tone rather than having to have it sent to me from a closed Facebook group) because it supposedly reads as me saying “men can’t get breast cancer” and “men are never raped”. Really? You think I’m that stupid? Do you think I’m not aware of the prevalence of those things? Take the common sense interpretation of this, please – there are issues that, for Reasons, affect women more often than men, and others issues, for Reasons, affect men more oftern than women. Of the former, breast cancer and sexual violence are two examples. It’s not to say that this is not a problem for men, just that these are statistically outlying problems, not core things to keep you up at night because it’s within reasonable chance that you would be affected.

Combat Deaths

The thing about combat deaths is that this is entirely due to exposure. That 97% of combat fatalities are male needs to be taken in the context that about 97% of all soldiers worldwide are male. Even in a (comparatively) progressive modern military such as the US Army, only approximately 15% of all occupations are held by women – a figure that drops way further when you look at frontline infantry, and in the US Marines it drops to a literal handful. This is something that has been fought against by women and feminists for a long time, who have been demanding the ability to enlist throughout most of the modern warfare era. The results of this campaigning have seen an exponential rise in the number of military positions that no longer exclude women by default, and female soldiers are now as prized and celebrated as their male counterparts.

Yet, it is primarily male soldiers, generals and social commentators who oppose this. And if it’s not male soldiers (I can disagree with, but actually respect their view on this), it’s male sofa-warriors with an internet connection and an addiction to increasingly identical First-Person Shooters.

Go on Internet Tough Guy, tear yourself away from shouting racist abuse on multi-player Call of Duty long enough tell them they’re not allowed to serve in combat because they’re physically weak. Go on. See what happens. I dare you.

The statistic on combat deaths is further misleading because it excludes civilian deaths. Effectively by definition this affects either both sexes/genders equally, or disproportionately to women as the men were off fighting (yes, that’s conjecture, so?). Civilian deaths in war, on average, are responsible for approximately 50% of all casualties across the board. Historically this has been through war-induced famine, and with significant increases in some modern warfare fields where civilian casualties can dominate – the second world war, for instance, is estimated to be as high as 70% civilian casualties. That’s a lot of women killed due to combat.

But as stated in the summary, this is not a male issue. This is a social issue; and the way to improve it is to oppose war, not to oppose feminism. Anti-war protests and campaigns are ten-a-penny, yet no significant contribution to them has been made by prominent “Men’s Rights” activists or movements – and when they are, they’re framed in this rather dishonest way as the fault of women for not dying enough. As Man Boobz has reported recently, some self-styled MRAs are literally saying that women should die in droves to combat the discrepancy. If that attitude strikes you as a reasonable response to a disparity in the gender of soldiers killed, you have some serious issues you need to address.

Homicide Victims

That the majority of homicide victims are male needs to be put in the much wider context of a more nuanced breakdown of the demographics – but first, the easy and cheap shot; the majority of homicide perpetrators are also male. What should that tell us? Well, frankly, nothing much more than the demographics of the victims tell us, but you don’t see that factoid being cherry-picked as an example of female privilege.

The statistic has come as a surprise to some people I’ve spoken to on this – who either thought that the split was closer to 50:50, or that life really does work like a police procedural where the victim is always a pretty girl found in a dumpster by the hard-nosed cop and her witty and implausibly quirky sidekick (Castle, I’m looking at you…). But no, the majority of murders (in US statistics, which are nicely summarised here, while the equivalent UK data is discussed here – since we’re all about the first-world-problems here) are gang-related or drugs related. That gang membership and drug-dealing is a predominantly male profession makes being male more of a confounding variable than a causal factor in this case. Presumably as more women begin working in gangs, female victims and perpetrators of homicide will increase accordingly.

Rejected Plot Idea No. 1: Castle and Beckett discover the body of gang member killed for dealing drugs on the wrong territory. It goes unsolved for the rest of the episode.

Now, there are some cases where gender could be a causal factor in homicide rather than merely a confounding variable. For this, we need to look at whether the victim is the victim primarily for being a certain way – for instance, hate crimes are perpetuated with the victim’s identity being a part contributor to the motive. And quite fittingly, the US crime statistics do summarise exactly this in the form of “intimate” or “domestic” violence – i.e., between partners, lovers or family members – or in sex related crimes including rape. In this, sex/gender is not just a confounding variable, but is in fact the exact reason a perpetrator and victim will be in the same place at the same time. And in this (the US statistics), we see a very different picture to the overall, gang-violence dominated, trend; the majority of victims are female and the perpetrators are male. 70% of victims in “intimate” violence are female, and just shy of 50% are victims in intra-family homicide, 80% in sex related crimes and again just shy of 50% in arson and poisoning.

In short, where gender is a causal factor, the majority of victims are female; where gender is not a factor at all (e.g., arson), the rate of victims is ~50:50; and the skew in the overall 75% male figure comes from gang and drug rates of 90+% male victims (and, as a matter of course, 90+% male perpetrators) where sex/gender is just a confounding variable caused by gang membership. So while overall your prior odds of being murdered are  in the region of 75% if you’re male, if you’re outside one of the major high-risk groups such as a gang member or drug user, your risks increase significantly more if you are female.

Again, no mention of how to actually solve this problem coming from MRAssholes. It’s just a whine. No campaigning to decrease the murder rate, or campaigns to keep young men away from gangs. Nothing. They seem to be treating it as if Germaine Greer spent 90% of The Female Eunuch declaringthat young boys should join gangs and deal drugs, rather than far weirder things like drinking menstrual blood.

Industrial Deaths and Accidents

This is pretty much ditto to the military combat deaths; it’s a question of exposure. High risk occupations, manual labour and industrial for instance, are primarily male dominated. The occupations are often seen as masculine, anti-feminine, and as a result women are actively discouraged from performing them. Challenging these ideas of specified gender roles is something that modern feminism looks to fight against – that being female shouldn’t stop you being a bricklayer if that’s what you feel you should do, and as a corollary, that being a secretary should be a fine enough occupation if you’re male.

Mmm… secretaries…

Far from it being an MRA position, it’s actually a very third-wave feminist position to say there should be more female accident victims because better representation of women in the high-risk workplace is a stated goal.

Well, it would be, except that unlike the position above that suggests we should kill women to “even out” the disparity in combat victims since the first world war, an actual liberal position would be to reduce the number of accidents in total. Because, naturally, the average liberal feminist doesn’t go around actively celebrating someone’s death as a sop to equality. A gender breakdown is effectively a meaningless statistic that tells us nothing about the nature of accidents, however, a more useful breakdown does show a meaningful decrease in workplace accidents.

The Orwellian Nightmare; Big Guv’mnt regulation leads to fewer people killing themselves on building sites.

The way to reduce accidents overall is not to blame women for not being in the right (or wrong) occupations, but to take personal safety seriously, not to glorify unnecessary risk, and effectively punish those that risk the lives of workers and those around them in the name of corner-cutting and profit. Yet, from bitter experience I know that MRAsshole attitudes have a very significant overlap with libertarian anti-regulation politics – and a further overlap with the kind of weird douchey behaviour that is obsessed with being Alpha-As-Fuck, which means Real Men don’t wear helmets on building sites or something like that. Either you accept regulation and oversight combined with liberal attitudes to gender roles, or you accept higher casualty rates selectively for the dominant demographic; you cannot have both.

Suicide Victims

Now this is serious fucking business. But it’s also complicated fucking business. Rates of suicide are tied into a myriad of factors. On the face of it, there’s depression and mental health – that much is obvious. There is a massive stigma surrounding mental health; and indeed more so if you’re male, where talking about problems and opening up about them is considered “unmanly” (talking to someone about your feelings is soooo beta, you horrible mangina, you…).

So in this particular issue, the prevalence of male victims is more than the confounding factor that it is in the above examples.

But with the MRAsshole crowd, which is inextricably linked to hyper-misogyny and pick-up-artistry, such a stigma is actively reinforced. A search for “mental health” on A Voice For Men quite literally produces fuck all in terms of help or guidance. A little bit of kowtowing to generic “men’s health”, but two posts in two years rounds down to zero in my humble opinion when it comes to such a serious issue. The stigma that you face as a man for having mental health issues is massive; and yet it’s really an intersectional feminism position to fight against it because that’s about dismantling the attitude that says it’s not okay to talk and be open if you’re male. As someone in possession of both a penis and a Y chromosome (because this is, of course, so damn important for some people…), this is something that actually affects me – but improving access to mental health care in general, as well as specifically fighting against the stigma of being a man with a problem, is the way to fight against this.

Today on Spherical Bullshit, we ask “why do all mental health stock photos look exactly the same?”

But there’s also access to the means of suicide. I don’t really want to de-rail this into gun control, but, it’s a pretty solid statistic that the majority of firearms deaths in the United States are by suicide, not homicide. Where access to firearms is limited, those deaths don’t occur. The theory is pretty simple; suicidal thoughts are transitory; and the ease with which someone can actually kill themselves correlates with an increased suicide rate. A temporary deterrent doesn’t lead someone to seek an option elsewhere, but delays them committing the act long enough for the suicidal thoughts to pass – this is something backed up by evidence from suicide barriers on bridges. The correlation between gun-ownership and perceived manliness is pretty much undeniable – as this particular advert for Bushmaster evidently shows. Combine all this together and you have a significant recipe for increased suicide rates. You have an easy and rapid access to an object that will kill you effectively, that you own because you’ve been encouraged to be “manly”, and thoughts that you refuse to share because you’ve been encouraged to be “manly”. That’s the theory, and evidence from suicide rates and methods demonstrate it fairly robustly.

In this case I did – shock of horrors – find something on this subject on A Voice for Men that might be constructive – but unfortunately a good-size chunk of the comments underline exactly the problem outlined in this entire post; they don’t care about speaking out on male issues or mental health issues, they just want to blame women for them.

Child Custody

Child custody is a another complex issue that has a lot of confounding variables attached to it. It’s really not as simple as you expecting a 50:50 split in outcomes. In fact, given other evidence we should expect anything but an equal custody split.

Now, some history. Back in the day, wrangling over child custody was a non-issue. It was never contested; it was the case that the father literally owned the children, and the mother had no rights to her own children at all. That was just The Way. In the case of a divorce, the children defaulted to the father. Check out any period drama for a good demonstration of how this works, it’s a plot point in most of them.

Elizabeth Foster, later Elizabeth Cavendisth, Duchess of Devonshire, had three children by John Thomas Foster. After they separated, he maintained sole custody and control of the children, and didn’t allow them to see their mother for 14 years. Elizabeth had no legal rights over them. And yes, I’m bringing up this particular example purely because I’ve seen The Duchess and Hayley Atwell in period dress makes me want to take up smoking.

While this fact about male-dominated pre-20th century society is well-known, it’s not often applied. It makes for very striking and vital context for discussing child custody settlements today. We’re talking about women going from absolutely zero rights in this field, to something of a slight advantage in a courtroom. I feel oppressed already…

So, along comes modern law-making that decided that “sanity” was better than “de facto” when it came to figuring out child custody. And so the law switched over, slowly over the course of the early/mid-20th century, from the father having automatic and uncontested custody, to courts making a decision based on the “most suitable parent”. In a way, MRAssholes are right on this; it’s largely thanks to feminism that this has been brought about. The earliest waves of feminism, dating back to the suffragettes and even earlier, focused on legal rights and representation for women; and this included child custody amongst other basic rights that we now take for granted – though emphatically do not mean that social equality has been reached (see, like, all of the above). So far, so history.

But… consider the homicide statistics quoted above and related non-fatal statistics on domestic violence. In the cases of intimate violence and domestic violence, the perpetrators are largely male and the victims female – although by no means a rule, this heavily stacks the statistical weighting of what we expect to see. What the courts conclude as “the most suitable parent” will be heavily biased towards the mother. If a large number of couples split due to violence, and the majority of violence is committed by men, a disparity here should be a no-brainer and highly expected. There’s a lot more that could be discussed on this, but I’ll leave it here for now.

I’m not going to discuss specific cases where there’s demonstrable vindictiveness that leads to unfair custody results – ex-couples dragging themselves through divorce courts are vindictive and bitter, film at 11 – but this is largely a problem for those specific cases, and isn’t proven to be a systematic problem by an overall statistical discrepancy between men and women and their respective victories in child custody battles. That alone doesn’t say anything about specific motives of why the disparity is the case. Of course, this could be a serious issue that self-styled MRAs could have a good point about and a positive contribution to make. Unfortunately they seem incapable of staying on focus long enough. Even the usually on-topic Fathers4Justice went completely off the rails with their most recent attack ads on mothers.

Further Summary

This was long, but hopefully thorough enough. So, in final conclusion, we’ve seen the statistics. We’ve seen more detailed breakdowns of the statistics. We’ve seen the context of them. We’ve seen reasons why the world is like that. We’ve seen ways we could fix it. We’ve seen reasons that most male “rights” enthusiasts largely miss the lessons we can conclude from these statistics

I deliberately haven’t tried demonstrating why treating these aren’t “female privilege” as some might put it; hopefully, I won’t have to.

Proud to be…

Via Man Boobz, the blog that gives me my almost-daily dose of depression, comes a particular poster from the MRA contingent of DeviantART (DA is a place I rarely dive into for this stuff, it’s there, but I really don’t want to get involved…).

I’m going to be nicer than David Futrelle here. I can’t just put this up and mock it relentlessly, because I don’t think there’s any wilful ignorance here to mock (there are a few others mentioned in the above Man Boobz post that come close to it, though…). It just needs explained. And when things are explained, there might be a chance that someone might change their mind and evolve.

So I can give the “proud to be a white heterosexual man” thing some benefit of the doubt. It’s not really an overt declaration of hatred or misogyny, it’ simply borne out of a little bit of incomprehension regarding what “pride” actually means when it comes to things like “gay pride”. Simply put, Person A sees other people being “proud” of simply what/who they happen to be, and so Person A thinks “hang on, can’t I be happy and unashamed of who/what I happen to be? I’m proud to be Person A!”

And, to a first approximation, there’s nothing actually wrong with this. When you understand the actual sentiment involved, it’s actually quite understandable and the thought process is harmless.

If another group gets to be vocally “proud” of their life and heritage, but you somehow aren’t, then that doesn’t feel particularly good. Now, personally, I don’t think the retort of “but every other day is Male Pride Day” or “White Pride Day” or “Cis Pride Day” is a particularly good one. It’s simply not. It’s a derogatory dismissal, and self-declared social justice advocates need to cut it out with that shit. Because no, your white, heteroseuxal, cisgendered males aren’t going out of their way every day to overtly display their personal attributes – what is actually going on is far more subtle than that and way beyond the word count of this.

Anyway, with that said, the trouble with the poster above (and the “every day is white pride day” retort, in fact) is that it misses the point of why certain groups have to be vocal about themselves in the first place – or at least deserve to be vocal about it after the fact.

As it stands, you simply do not need to “come out” as straight. You don’t. It’s effectively assumed to be the Default Position. While I’d prefer young children are presumed by default to be implicitly asexual (see implicit atheism) the fact is that they’re usually assumed to be straight. It’s expected anyway.  When little Timmy finally discovers what his penis is actually there for, the assumption is that he’s going to start fancying girls, and not develop a more complex and fluid sexual identity involving having emotional attraction exclusively to females but an open sex life with all genders and sexes. No, that would be weird, or at best unexpected. Even with the most progressive will in the world, you cannot deny that that sort of thing is at least in a minority (between 3% and 10% depending on which bias your survey-du-jour has), and outside your expectation value of “straight”.

So nothing is going to happen to you if you declare yourself as straight. No one will care. I can wear a wedding ring and show off my wife and no one thinks its strange, unusual, or out-of-the-ordinary or beyond the expectation value – in fact it’s so normalised people don’t even consider it as showing off sexuality. Yet it still is. After all, it is blatantly showing off my preferences publicly. Very, very few people who equate two men holding hands as “ramming your sexuality down my throat”, take the time to extend such derision to public displays by heterosexual couples.

In short, nothing really bad is going to happen if you “come out” as straight – and even more pointedly there’s no real “coming out” involved. Well, I do have one circle of friends who are so sexually fluid you really do, but that’s something else entirely. Sorry, guys, I guess I’m just boring… anywho…

Want to come out as gay to the world? That’s a different thing entirely. Oh, is it not as bad any more? Perhaps. But not everyone is privileged enough to live in a nice, clean, middle-class, and progressive environment riddled with first-world-problems. A place where homosexuality accepted and normalised and no one really has a fuck to give about your sexual orientation.

In many environments you risk – at best – being shouted at, condemned, blamed for hurricanes, or derided as a paedophile. That’s the thin end of the wedge; that’s if you’re lucky. Elsewhere you have the beatings, the murders, the arson attacks on clubs, and the places where perpetrators of violence towards don’t just get away with it but are actively celebrated. Sorry to break the “I’ll be nice and just explain things” character for a moment, but when the fuck did you, Mr Proud To Be Heterosexual, have to put up with anywhere near that level of persecution rather than your own imagined bullshit? If you want to come out as gay in that sort of situation, doing so requires an immense amount of courage and personal risk. It’s effort. It’s bravery. It’s achievement. A literal achievement; not just a little X-Box sign that flashes up temporarily because you shot 50 bad guys. 

There are many things I’m proud of being and/or doing, and a lot of areas of under-privilege I’ve fought against. I’ll not bother to list them here, but skin colour and sexual orientation would come pretty far down. So far down it’s really worth ignoring, it’s hardly anything at all, in fact, these are achievements for me on par with “breathing”. Perhaps one day everyone will be able to live in a world where coming out as gay to your parents can be so far down that list it’s worth ignoring, too, and “gay pride” will be as redundant as “white pride”. One can hope.

So, the problem with being “proud” of heterosexuality is that there is no effort involved. You can’t equate that with coming out as non-heterosexual. You don’t risk your parents disowning you, you don’t risk being beaten, you don’t risk being treated as a stereotype your entire life. In short, there is little to be proud of in just being part of a majority, where there aren’t real and tangible fights for your rights on a near daily basis. No matter what your persecution complex may claim, there simply aren’t instances where people wanted to ban heterosexual marriage, or blame lightning strikes on an endorsement of straight people. That’s why people claim “pride” and rightly so, but claiming “pride” for so many other attributes misses the point entirely.

As the snarky response goes; if being proud of being a white, heterosexual male is the best you’ve got, your life must suck.

Femme Heil!

As the RW server is still being a very naughty boy, I thought I’d copy this here (well, publish the draft that was saved here). 

In response to recent accusations from Reddit, RationalWiki’s feminist contributors have prepared a brief statement.

We have been biding our time, we have been waiting. But now, now is the time to strike. We are coming out, we are making it known; we are here to take over RationalWiki. From here on RationalWiki will now be known as RadfemWiki, and will concentrate solely on the issues of our Lesbian Sisterhood.

Our mission is simple, and covered in four points. These are adapted from the Old Patriarchal system, in order for Pathetic Men to be able to accept the transition slowly:

  1. Analyzing and refuting Patriarchy and the anti-woman movement.
  2. Documenting the full range of terrible Male ideas.
  3. Explorations of Men and how they should have no rights.
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are denied by the media.

Right now, we have our own Lesbian Sisters waiting to carry out our orders to complete the transition to our own ideology of Femme Superiority. While our main goal is the enslavement of all male contributors, we must not forget the other goals. All non-lesbian womyn authors of RationalWiki will be banned forthwith. All transgendered womyn will be denied the so-called “right” be labelled womyn, and will be classified as Men, as they so obviously just are as we are accepting only of the superiority of Womyn-born Womyn, also known as True Womyn, who have been oppressed by the patriarchy by being forced to share the better gender with these quasi men. Gay male contributors can stay, but since all Gay Men are into BDSM, can be our willing whipping boys as we stomp our big, flat (Not high heels! They’re Male Oppression) boots into their testicles repeatedly.

We would also like to note that, in a change to established tradition and established by-laws, with immediate effect the RationalWiki Foundation will also take a more active role in this new editorial stance. We shall be appropriating new funds in order to campaign against these so-called mens “rights”. “Rights” such as, but not limited to:

  • The freedom to rape any woman wearing a skirt above ankle-length – not that we condone wearing anything but trousers.
  • The right to demand sex in exchange for dinner.
  • Breathing.

All articles about Male subjects will be demoted to UNWORTHY brainstar status, as all men are unworthy of it. Articles on Males like Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers and Charles Darwin will be re-framed in their proper social context; that of their immense contributions to the worldwide and systematic oppression of True Women. Articles critical of True Womyn are unacceptable, as this merely contributes to further Patriarchal Oppression. We don’t care how wrong Phyllis Schlafly, Margaret Thatcher and Ann Coulter are, as members of the Lesbian Sisterhood, they should be given the True recognition they all deserve.

New articles to look out for include:

  •  How razors oppress True Womyn by forcing them to divert from their Natural State for the pleasure of unruly paedophile men.
  •  A new editorial slant on the blowjob, dictating the best angle of attack for using teeth to remove the penis in a single action.
  •  How mansplaining is what ALL men do whenever they open their mouths.
  •  General re-writing of the article on “homo sapiens” to remove the male-leaning bias – i.e, any mention of the male aspect of the species.

Finally, we shall crusade against all off the following: computer games, pornography (even consenting adults are just brainwashed), the existence of testicles, and allowing Male children to wear the colour Blue.

We aim to make this transition as peaceful as possible. Those who accept willingly shall die first, those who resist shall first be driven mad.

Femme Heil!

Armondikov
Gamma Mangina-in-Chief

But what about the men?

There are a lot of issues that are primarily focused on human males – or men, since we’re past the point in linguistic evolution where “man” is expressly synonymous with “human”.

For instance, there’s health issues like the case of raising awareness of prostate cancer. Fiddling around with our balls is usually a favoured pastime of many of us apes, but doing it methodically to check for signs of a common disease is something that needs to be raised and repeated.

Or there’s legal issues, such as the asymmetrical treatment of fathers/husbands in divorce cases, or the harsher sentencing or, in particular if you’re in the US, the use of the death penalty.

There are also social issues, like the fact that rape and sexual assault on men goes significantly under-reported due to a significantly increased stigma. In fact, the media and public largely treats it as a joke.

But we can’t discuss these issues. Why? Because women and feminism get in the way!

…at least, that’s what I would say if I was a fucking idiot.

The only people getting in the way of these issues being treated seriously are the men’s rights movement (MRM) or men’s rights “activist” (MRA) groups themselves. They hide behind these issues, pretending to use them as examples of what their cause is about, but it’s clear from any casual look that these things are always on the backburner. These real issues only come out when pushed, and used as defensive shields to shy away behind when challenged for their more insidious bullshit.

It’s a shame, really, because whenever someone wants to raise a point like “I don’t think babies should be circumcised because it’s not their choice” they run the risk of being responded to with the automatic assumption that they’re in the MRA crowd. It’s not a completely unwarranted assumption, though. Find any discussion of FGM and you’ll find de-railing cries of “what about male circumcision” as if that’s magically not entirely irrelevant.

It’s not hard to tell the difference between legitimate calls for concern in men’s legal/social/health issues and blatant covering up of misogyny and old-fashioned sexism. Look at the complaints, for instance. If the complaint focuses on men, or concerns what they should do, not do, take up, try, or change, then it’s probably legitimate. “Hey guys, check your balls for signs of stress!” Simple. There’s nothing wrong with that. Or “don’t circumcise your son’s penis, it’s a procedure that should be done with informed consent later in life” – look, this is easy! It’s not hard, right?

But, on the other hand… well, it’s already documented elsewhere quite thoroughly. Here we have people accusing women/feminists of wanting “special” rights (though, ask what specific special rights and you’ll get tumbleweeds in response) or defending outright sexist behaviour using bullshit evolutionary psychology, or people simply saying “I hope you drown in rape semen” – seriously, the guy who said that is continually praised as an MRA hero, that’s like asking Hitler what to do about antisemitism. They continually target their problems elsewhere, they project them onto others and try to claim that they’re victims in a vast conspiracy against Men, by Women. They claim to be for “true” (read “naive”) equality, but perpetuate differences in genders more than any other group on the planet (well, maybe slightly behind second-wave rad-fems on that) and create far more divides than they claim to be against. In short, MRA groups have little interest in equality, despite the amount of kicking and screaming like little brattish children to the contrary. They feel ignored and victimised, but mostly it’s a persecution complex of their own devising – they’ve just imagined it.

Yes, feminism (even intersectional, third-wave, sex-positive, modern feminism) is asymmetrical. It puts greater focus on women’s issues than men’s. But what else can it do? Society as we see it is already asymmetrical. Trying to instigate pure, naive equality doesn’t address inequality, it perpetuates the status quo. It’s basically Newton’s First Law; an object in motion won’t be changed by balanced forces, you have to overbalance the forces to get it to move. And so with any social justice issue, the force needs to be unbalanced to to create the motion. Segregation and slavery didn’t end because people gave equal time to “white” and “black” issues, it had to focus and overbalance to get somewhere.

If you attack a straw woman enough…

Women have a bum deal in society (note; the caveats to this statement are not an argument against it), and some of us aren’t blinded to the phenomena involved; they have to perform, to put out, to make themselves beautiful, to wear X, Y Z, be threatened with rape and violence. Yet because this isn’t a problem for the other 50% of the population, the men’s rights crowd see fit to dismiss it and pretend that it isn’t true. They’ve decided that they don’t like having their own misogyny shown to them so that they can correct it – that would be effort. They don’t want to apply that effort because the status quo leaves them in a nice, comfortable position, where they can slap a girl’s arse and expect to be called “cheeky” rather than “rude”, or that they expect to get sex in exchange for buying dinner, or refer to complex social issues with blatantly sexist terminology like “pussy pass“. I mean, seriously, who the hell thinks “pussy pass” is a term that should be present in a mature discussion? Hands up? Anyone? No? Good.

They like this arrangement, so no wonder they push back against despite their cries for “equality”.

This is what makes dealing with “men’s rights” so difficult. There’s a wealth of legitimate things we need to discuss, but ironically, the only people who seem to give a fuck about those things are feminists, not the men’s rights activists.