Let’s look at it from another angle though, the problems in the feminist movement are a really good reason NOT to get behind the MRM. The MRM will only harbor more bigots and sexists as it grows. The egalitarian types in the MRM won’t can’t deny the ass holes(I have witnessed some disgusting behavior from MRAs and feminists alike mind you)the title of men’s rights activists any more than egalitarian type feminists can cry NAFALT and make the misandrists disappear. Of course none of this is relevant to you if you are an MRA who is not inherently anti feminist and simply want both movements to get along. Which is fine but I really wish people wouldn’t lump egalitarians up with MRAs because they aren’t interchangeable and many egalitarians do not want to be associated with the term.
We’ve actually discussed two different aspects of this argument previously here and here. The short answer is that the MRM and feminism are very different, particularly in terms of organization. The MRM is self-critical in a way that feminism isn’t, and has much stronger roots in empiricism and data-driven advocacy. Most importantly, it has largely avoided the Marxist and post-modernist leanings which have characterized so much problematic feminist ideology.
A second issue is that a huge number of the people who are labeled as “MRAs,” aren’t. No, this isn’t just another permutation of “NAFALT,” nor is it a “No True Scotsman” argument. In NAFALT, the point is to argue that the behavior of some subgroup (whether minority or majority) shouldn’t reflect on the image of the group as a whole, and that people can’t hold the wider group responsible for their actions done in its name. A “No True Scotsman” is used to retroactively exclude otherwise viable examples by inserting a retroactive premise regarding group membership, rendering the argument circular and begging the question. Both of these are very commonly used by feminists, but also appear frequently in the more general social justice community.
Here, however, the label of “MRA” is being applied by others to people who neither self-identify as MRAs, nor have any connection to the movement. In short, it’s being used as a combination of a shaming tactic toward the individual and a smear campaign toward MRAs in general. This behavior takes a variety of forms, from the banal to the ridiculous: on one hand, any anonymous hate or criticism towards a prominent feminist is usually attributed to MRAs regardless of any evidence (or, for that matter, whether the feminist managed to piss off a large and vitriolic chunk of the internet, *cough* Anita *cough*), on the other we see groups like the SPLC trying to label a mass murderer an MRA based on the fact that he once took a pickup artist class.
The reason feminists can’t cry “NAFALT” and make the misandrists disappear is that the misandrists are embedded in every level of their movement. Indeed, they have a strong influence on the overall actions of the movement, and there are virtually no efforts by those “egalitarian-type feminists” to remove them or deprive them of power and influence. After all, why would they? Even most moderate feminists still take full advantage of the misandrists: they provide a scapegoat for feminist misbehavior, they produce a never-ending stream of questionable academic research, and they can get their hands dirty in a way that moderates can’t without damaging their credibility.
The egalitarian MRAs can’t deny bigots the label, but they can deny them power and influence. They can self-police. They can speak out against bigotry even when it comes from people who call themselves “allies.” And the funny thing? An awful lot of them do.
Kay but that’s not the reason feminists can’t deny misandrists the title of feminist.
No, that’s a completely separate issue.
It’s because feminist is a self label. And so is MRA. I’ve witnessed egalitarian feminists policing feminism. Saying that feminists or MRAs consistently do or don’t self police or that either behaves one way or another more often is largely generalization.
Of course it’s a generalization, but that doesn’t make it invalid when we’re addressing the situation at a movement level.
MRAs CANT deny misogynists the title of MRA. Even if you consider MRA an adjective rather than label, because misogynists can rally for men’s rights and therefore be MRAs.
No, they can’t, but we don’t claim they can. What they can do is deny them power, influence and purchase within the movement, the exact opposite of what feminism has done.
It is exactly the same thing as NAFALT. I don’t see how you’ve actually disputed that?
No, it’s not. NAFALT is “don’t judge my movement just because my movement is bigoted.” This is “don’t judge a movement based on others’ inaccurate labeling of people who are not and do not claim to be a part of it.” In NAFALT not only do the bigots label themselves feminists, they’re widely accepted within the movement. On the other hand, the people we’re talking about don’t accept the label, nor are they involved with the movement in any capacity.
Basically, we’re talking about the purposeful labeling by others of misogynists as MRAs in an attempt to make the movement look bad. We’re not arguing that they’re not “real” MRAs, we’re pointing out that they’re not any kind of MRA.
You can not predict or prevent self labeled or active MRAs from partaking in the behaviors you have deemed to make the feminists different from the MRAs. And even if they don’t display the same tendencies and behavior patterns as feminism it can and will be problematic.
No, we can’t. That doesn’t make a difference, though. Neither does it make your criticism here founded. We may not be able to predict or prevent MRAs from behaving in such a fashion, but we can note from an observational perspective that by and large they do not engage in such behaviors.
But I think maybe you’ve missed that I’m against gender labels for equality movements altogether, I don’t need proof that an inherently bad thing pans out badly in the eyes of those who don’t think it’s inherently bad in order to stand against it.
But I’m sure your argument stands for those who’s problem with feminism lies with it’s behaviors rather than the principle of its behaviors.
We haven’t “missed” it so much as we don’t consider it relevant. Your stance doesn’t change a thing when it comes to the validity of your arguments, because you haven’t yet successfully asserted or defended that stance.
You are so confused about what we are even talking about. My argument was not that MRAs do anything as a group. It was that the movement can and will be misused.
Every movement that has ever existed has been misused. That isn’t enough to justify abandoning them all. Movements should be abandoned when their misuse becomes a clear trend, the rule rather than the exception, and begins to derail the overall work or impact of the movement.
I have seen SELF LABELED MRAs displaying misogynistic attitudes and extremely flawed logic and arguments. The community is not without philosophical issue and if you think that it’s inherently any better than feminism than I really don’t know what to tell you or where you are coming from.
"Inherently"? No. Practically, yes. The conditions in which the MRM exists and was created in make it less likely to “go bad” than feminism, in part because it’s developed in the shadow of a movement which has provided a stellar example of precisely what not to do. The problem here is that you’re drawing a false dichotomy between “perfect” and “bad,” which in turn leads you to incorrectly equate “imperfect” (the MRM) with “awful” (most modern feminism). There’s room for shades of grey: neither movement may be perfect, but that doesn’t mean that they’re equally problematic.
But the MRA is much less influential and respected than feminism and you can not discount that effect on how much of what it is we can see and predict. You can’t judge the MRA against feminism because they simply aren’t even on the same level. But just as a can judge the feminist movement on what I see from feminists I judge the MRA based on what I see from people who call themselves MRAs. And they are toxic and problematic and they DO misuse the movement.
As the MRM grows, it will likely change. If it changes enough, and in the wrong ways, that may eventually justify its abandonment. However, our judgments regarding the MRAs we’ve dealt with run largely counter to yours, and we can pretty well guarantee that our experience with them outweighs yours by at least an order of magnitude.
But my assertion is literally just that gender bias is bad for an equality movement no matter what that movement does or has done. Because it can and will be misused. You still have made no argument against it whatsoever and continue to ignore what I’m saying entirely while you amuse yourself with whatever imaginary conversation you are having.
Do you really think focusing on certain kinds of inequality automatically makes you biased? Is that really your assertion? None of your arguments had anything to do with that idea at all, and that idea is so stupid that you’ll have to pardon us for not realizing that it was your entire point.
It was you who responded to me first,
Actually, no. It’s you who reblogged us first (unless you happen to also run browsingmymind). Not that it matters, of course.
and yet you are completely trying to change the issue we are discussing so that you can argue a different stance than one I ever asserted at all. I don’t even know what you think My point was. And you just admitted you literally consider my entire stance irrelevant to the conversation. Even though this conversation is in response to that very stance.
We’re arguing against what you’ve actually said, not what you think you said. The fact that you seem to be confused about what you have written is entirely on you.
And you are really confused about the point of my statements about feminism and misandry where if you legitimately think that that’s a separate issue. Do you honestly think that being able to deny the title works different for feminists than it does for MRAs?
We don’t. Please reread our responses and come back to us.
I am talking about MRAs misusing the movement and that has been abundantly clear from the beginning yet you continue to claim that because feminists mislabel misogynists as MRAs that that somehow means that self labeled MRAs won’t be misogynists or misuse the movement.
That’s not what we’ve been arguing, and if you actually read our responses, that would be clear.
You keep trying to pretend I at some point was talking about misogynists being labeled as MRAs when that was something you where trying to bring into a conversation it was never relevant to.
The original conversation was about two things: individuals being labeled as MRAs, and NAFALT. You then butted in talking about misogyny within the MRM, while apparently thinking that you were talking about inherent flaws in gender-focused movements. Everything that we’ve been saying has been completely relevant. Your responses, less so.