Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A trend: Separating "men's rights" from "anti-feminism".

The feminists are trying to pound a wedge between "men's rights" and "anti-feminism." Let's dig into this.

They are chiefly motivated by fear of anti-feminism. They know they are in trouble because so many angry voices are talking against them, and what else to call that if not "anti-feminism"?  If I were them, I too would be fearful.

They are attempting a balancing act. They are finally compelled to admit that yes, men really do have problems that must be taken seriously. At the same time, they don't want people to be discussing feminism's complicity in men's problems. Consequently, their effort is to steer the talk in a less menacing direction.

They want to rebrand themselves as "good guys" by insisting that they are not against "men's rights", and further insisting that feminism has all the answers. For good measure, they will even toss in that moldy old chestnut about "patriarchy hurts men too."

In short, now that a conversation about men's problems has become unavoidable, they are willing to let that conversation happen only on condition that they control it. In other words, they want the conversation about men's problems to be a feminist conversation.

That is why they don't want anti-feminism in the picture: because they know that anti-feminist conversation cannot end well for feminism - and this is equally true of a conversation which is merely non-feminist.

Accordingly, the feminists are looking for so-called "MRAs" who will politically geld themselves by divesting of their opposition to feminism. The oft-heard sentiment that "you don't really care about men, you're just anti-feminist" aims to produce exactly that effect. If all goes as planned, the anti-feminists will isolate themselves in a separate corner where they will make an easier target. Meanwhile, the more compliant "MRAs" can be easily pulled into a feminist conversation and assimilated to the feminist project.  

We too want to isolate the anti-feminist element, but we have different reasons. Whereas the feminists want to do this in order to draw the heat away from feminism, we want to do it so as to concentrate that heat as much as possible.

We have understood that beaming attention upon feminism, in a narrow way, is like directing attention toward a person who wants to remain inconspicuous while doing something illicit. Such a person wants to slip through the crowd unremarked. They want to be "invisible". The last thing they want is to attract a general gaze for any reason whatsoever.  That is called "putting them on Front street."

For this reason, we aim to establish strict anti-feminism as a voice separate from "men's rights" -- because we want to put feminism on Front street. The feminists think they can isolate anti-feminism in order to direct social artillery fire against it, but they little realize how quickly this could backfire. For when they isolate anti-feminism as a target of attention, they also isolate feminism as a target of attention - and this induces people to take a closer look.

Does feminism really want that kind of scrutiny? Does it really want to be on Front street?  I think not, but that is what it will get.


  1. You've captured what is probably my main objection to feminism: its quest for hegemony in the social justice conversation.

  2. Replies
    1. It seems that the YProtest movement is "not antifeminist" - at least according to what is written on the blog. Well around here, the climate is most certainly opposed to feminism.