My chat with an MRA
April 27, 2014
Last week, a video was shared with me that left me livid.
It’s a female from the United States saying she declares war on feminism and uses every clichéd, pedestrian and privileged argument to denounce the existence of things like rape culture – all because of her hate of radical feminism. She uses the tried and tested view of rape victim-blaming to drive that message home and it’s all delivered in a slow and patronising tone. Her final suggestion is that we arm all women with guns against a rape culture she just spent minutes saying doesn’t exist. Go figure.
I found it extremely difficult to finish watching, because of my growing indignation, but I needed to see the full package of dangerous delusion.
Take a look for yourself.
So I left a lengthy comment about her persecutive on rape because otherwise, I’m just like everyone else who thinks in the customary oppressed manner – that ‘nothing’s going to change with my opinion’.
It’s exactly our silence that is more crippling than those who regurgitate their ‘rightful’ toxic mindset.
I got a response; not from her but from an MRA – a Men’s Rights Activist.
Their arguments always revert to the same script, about how bad males have it too and how females don’t have anything to complain about – because we’re equal.
My basic argument was that I thought the video was a dangerous one when discussing rape and rape culture to which he purported simply does. not. exist. in the United States (ha!), that 50% of rapes are suffered by males and that I should stop being annoying about it all.
So I wrote the following (please note I call him ‘kind’ and ‘just’. Wrong.):
I’m not equating slut-shaming to rape culture; it contributes to it. So. many. factors play into this toxic underworld. The continual conversation, predominantly spotlighting the actions of the female only, also contributes to it – as this video also does.
The culture is an attitude and it’s very negative towards females; it’s created through a variety of avenues. Of course most people you know believe rape is abhorrent (as do all the people who surround me) because you’re probably a kind and just person and around likewise thinking people.
But in a stupid crowd – things are different. It’s always been there, but now it’s worse – it’s spreading. I’m a high school teacher who sees a lot of what’s going on in reality and I also research this topic.
In 1990, I was followed back to my dorm room (a walk across a small courtyard and into the building – 3 mins tops) by a guy I had never met before nor had spoken to at the party we were coming from. He used to live there and was visiting friends. I knew ‘of’ him. I made polite conversation thinking he was going back to his room – as I would if it were a female walking alongside me – aka another person.
He followed me to my room – innocently enough; it’s just another person, after all – a female in his place would be just as capable to hurt me if she wanted – but he then walked in after me, closed my door and locked it. He attempted to rape me and was pushing me down by my neck saying he didn’t want to have to hurt me.
I have never been more terrified in my life and he didn’t actually succeed. Imagine if he had? You have no idea of the violation I felt just with that experience and knowing that now I had real fear instilled in my future existence.
Some questioned my actions and I was also called a slut. I didn’t deserve that but you know what? It’s his word against mine; hers against his and today the general population (like the girl in this video) swings the way of the male – gives him the benefit of the doubt. Why?
What about the girl in Steubenville (US) who was carried around to different parties, unconscious, repeatedly raped, sodomised (filmed) urinated on, left naked on a lawn for dead, laughed about for 15 mins on a video by a male who watched that done to her egged on by his mate filming it (have you seen it? I have a link), a girl seen in danger by dozens of people at the parties, including coaches of the footballers and who call themselves ‘The Rape Crew’? NOONE DID ANYTHING. The rapists got one year. One of the two got another year for publishing the evidence; THE EVIDENCE of brutal and unspeakable acts and they got ONE year. What does someone have to do to a fellow human being before there’s outrage? Not THAT obviously – Why? Because she was drunk. Probably a ‘slut’ too.
That’s rape culture. There have been too many stories similar to this coming from the US and – as a species – we argue for the males – the ones who suffer one rape out of the 9 women do (and that’s just on the reported ones).
If you can’t understand from the above that this video perpetuates a very real rape culture by excusing it as not existing because it hasn’t been a part of her experience (although she has to carry a gun to protect herself against it somehow) – then I shrug my shoulders despondently and know there’s just one more person who won’t help.
To counteract his argument that in the US, rape is treated ‘worse than murder’ (Classic!) – I logically pointed out (above) that one of the most abhorrent cases of rape in the US (Steubenville) that went to court, saw the rapists only get one year and therefore is not treated at the important level he claimed.
But the following two comments – in his ‘last word’ – encompass the MRA arguments to a tee:
‘I sure as hell don’t see any protests or anything substantial from feminists that involve ANYTHING related to helping men. In fact the contrary is what i find. Name the most important thing you did to fight for women in another country.’
(So I have to start fighting for the minority and also justify what I do for women before my argument will be taken seriously by this MRA)and‘If you think you have it worse than men you’re pretty ignorant to the bullshit men have to deal with too. I already proved to you all the things men have to deal with and you act like scantily clad women in the media is sooo bad. Give me a break. You’re equal and I demonstrated that this is true and you made no rebuttal to most of my points.’
As I wrote in my comments to him – I fight for an equal existence for ALL, but when statistics look at how much worse it is for females to navigate through a world that is steeped in violence against them – I’m going to logically start there.
Are males oppressed? Yes – however, not as much as females.
Are males used unfairly for their strength? Yes but not as much as female vaginas, anuses and mouths are used for penises.
Are males raped? Yes. Out of every 10 rapes; 9 are female – one is male…and generally by another male.
Do I think males need help? ABSOLUTELY!
A conversation on social media had the following comment:
‘When you are surrounded by people who say the only way to do manhood correctly is to kill and maim and torture, is it a shock that some people would distance themselves from manhood out of shock and a deep-seated unwillingness to see themselves as being of the same class of people they’d seen held up as men?’
If we’re going to play the accusatory gender swap game, I still don’t know how males can complain that females degrade them in an equal fashion.
Clementine Ford expressed it perfectly when she wrote:
‘We live in a toxic culture, and violence crosses a broad spectrum of behaviours. I can’t think of any female codes that enforce the systematic physical and mental degradation of men and certainly none that are supported, accepted and even celebrated as part of mainstream culture.’
How do we participate in intelligent discourse when confronting big issues like rape culture?
I was told by everyone I mentioned this conversation to, that I shouldn’t waste my time with ‘people like that’. The thing is, though, that the people who commonly comment are ‘people like that’ – regardless of gender. Remember that the video is based on the perspectives of feminism by a female. It’s curious how THAT’S the moment males come out of the woodwork and say, ‘SEE? A woman said that!’
Are ‘people like that’ ultimately stupid?
If they are, then we’re doomed – especially if we’re not supposed to engage with ‘them’ and ‘they’ can spread their hate, while ‘we’ sit mute.
Question #201: Actually – why do ‘we’ sit mute?
Well I’m not going to because my voice is all I have.
I’m still proud I said something.
The hope I have is that those who agree ALSO say something. Hope.
I have to say, though, that it perplexes and disheartens me as to why – if we’re such an intelligent species (apparently) – the conversation predictably goes like this:
Deep frustrated breath.