An important part of being a feminist is caring about the rights of everyone. People of any race, class, sexual orientation, and so on. But I also believe fight for the rights of people of any gender.
Anti-feminists would not have one believe this. They play feminists off as being man-haters who want to men to experience the same oppression as women have experienced. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is because feminism helps everyone. I will explain why later.
But first, I want to say a few words about so-called “Men’s Rights Activists” (MRAs). The first time I went to an MRA website, it was quite an enraging yet laughable experience. MRAs claim that men are the most victimized group in modern society, and that feminists want nothing more than to treat men unfairly. As an MRA I encountered on a forum once put it, “Women in today’s society are pampered.” Pampered. Because the fact that women are paid less on average than men and face more discrimination in the workplace just screams “pampered”.
MRAs claim that most women lie about being domestically abused or raped and that they unfairly steal custody from their children’s fathers. This happens, but it happens a very small percentage of the time. MRAs make it seem that it is a major issue that happens constantly.
Not to mention, MRAs show up in every political setting in an attempt to deny women their rights and things such as protections for female and male victims of domestic abuse.
This modern breed of MRAs began because a group of men felt threatened. They were scared of women having rights and power. They want it to be like the good ol’ days where men could rape or beat without consequence. So they whine on websites like Reddit and 4chan about how feminists are ruining everything for them.
In essence, MRAs don’t want positive change. If they truly cared about making the world a better place for men, women, and children, they would pay more attention to the issues that actually matter.
For example, an issue often overlooked is that of male rape. More men are raped in the U.S. than women. This is mostly due to prison rape, often regarded as just part of being in prison. What do we do to bring attention to the problem of male rape? We make jokes about it. This is unacceptable. Rape, whether male-on-female, female-on-male, male-on-male, or female-on-female, imprisoned, or free is an awful crime that should not be tolerated. We need to make more resources available for male victims of sexual assault instead of just treating the issue like it’s something to laugh about.
There are also male domestic abuse victims who need as much help as female victims. Again, men are seen as being invincible and therefore, people scoff at the idea of a man being “beat up” by a woman.
These are just a couple of issues I believe deserve more attention from people, whether feminists or MRAs or those who don’t identify as either.
Finally, queer men are arguably more often discriminated against than queer women. I think this is because society has this idea of women being the lowest form of human life and basically the scum of the earth. So if a man does anything even remotely feminine (like, say, sleep with men), he is lowering his status to that of a woman. Feminists want to get rid of this idea of women being the bad or undesirable part of society. If men want to wear women’s clothing, they should be able to without fear of being discriminated against or made fun of. This also relates back to male victims of abuse, who are too often seen as being “weak” or “woman-like”. We need to get rid of this idea that women are always the victims and that male victims are just weak men.
Feminism has a place for everyone. Instead of treating it like the enemy, we should recognize feminism as an ally in achieving equal rights for all. Feminists have an interest in helping everyone by changing views of gender in order to make society a less discriminatory, more accepting place.