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’.

I disagree.
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).
Not 50%.
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.
He mocked my attempted rape and called him a ‘stalker’. When I expressed how insensitive that was, he continued to refer to him as a stalker. The brotherhood is strong.
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 my retorts, which included rebuttals and a debate using statistics and personal experiences, (unsurprisingly) fell on deaf ears.
You can look at the conversation yourself (below the video) but it got so incredibly pointless that I just left it with him having the ‘last word’. He used words such as ‘proved’ and ‘debunked’ when he had done no such thing.
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)
‘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.’

So true.

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.





There has recently been a raging debate on the Internet, since Emily Yoffe wrote an article called, College Women: Stop Getting Drunk.
Basically – Girls, if you don’t want to get raped – don’t drink around men.

A plethora of articles were written in light of this perspective – most notably Mia Freedman, who basically agreed with Yoffe and received quite the backlash from many women.


So what’s my 2 cents’ worth?

First cent:
In essence, I agree that drinking impairs people’s behaviour as well as reduce one’s ability to think coherently – depending on the amount consumed and other circumstances.
This type of conversation should cover both men and women, as well as look at the many areas of life the consumption of alcohol effects. For all.

But that’s not what’s happening.

This argument is (again) about what women/girls need to do, to better their chances of not being raped…which our logical brains know – is impossible.
Have we moved on from outfits or do we just go ahead and add that to the list?
What’s next – curfew for girls and women?

It doesn’t matter how else I look at it, listing what women and girls need to do should not be the primary topic of discussion.

First we need to flood the debate with discourse about men.
Men, guys and boys:
* Why they’re participating in more crimes of this nature and
* What they (and we as a society) need to do to curb its violent trajectory.

First and FOREMOST.

But we’re doing it the other way round; looking at how women need to ‘prevent’ (the unpreventable) while the nature of men goes largely untouched and – for the most part – unpunished.

This graph was created by the Enliven Project using data from Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey and FBI reports. It appeared in the Washington Post at the start of the year.


This particular form of advice does nothing but provide a disservice to both genders:

* Men/boys because they’re being painted as barbaric animals who use the primal urge they can’t stop, to take advantage of intoxicated (and sober) women and girls, rape them, sometimes take turns and film the whole thing on their smartphones;
* Women/girls because they need to be taught to restrict their life practices, in the hope that the predatory male gender doesn’t stick their penis in them without consent.

Second cent:
This is not to say that parents – and society at large – shouldn’t stop mentoring their children and the youth of today, of the dangers of alcohol; that annihilating themselves is harmful on many levels.

So I hope it’s clear that I think the current drinking culture of all our youth is excessive, dangerous and violent.

BUT – the second problem I have with this discourse is that, as good as this advice may be for girls and women of today and beyond:

Question #189: What are we saying to the young women who have ALREADY been raped and may have been drinking when it happened?

What if they felt safe with the men/man/boys/boy they were with?

What if they were tricked? Deceived?

Then raped/gang-raped.

Then left.

What about them?

Articles like Yoffe’s only help to drive home the deep-seeded shame they already feel by ultimately saying, it wouldn’t have happened IF:
* you had stayed home
* you hadn’t drunk alcohol
* you hadn’t gone to that party
* you hadn’t…
* you hadn’t…

We make them feel guilt.

That’s victim-blaming.

While this type of conversation continues to ignore the elephant in the room – the rapist – we neglect the mental health and recovery of those countless girls and women who have experienced a life-altering violation of their rights as a human being.

All they are seeing are guys/men getting off from being charged – even with filmed evidence^ – whilst girls/women are being given an instruction manual on how to stop the behaviour of another (???) through lists of recommendations including how much they drink, where they go, who they talk to, what they wear, etc., etc., etc.

I think we owe those women a lot more.

Deep Breath.


^ In the case of Daisy Coleman – who was 14, given an intoxicating drink by a group of 17 year olds, gang-raped and left unconscious in the snow – saw charges against the football ‘hero’ dropped DESPITE filmed footage.
If we live in a world, where filmed footage is not enough to convict, then women are truly and royally screwed.

Michael Moore.

January 6, 2013

Michael Moore wrote the following article about his perspective on the United States and its history with violence.

The point titled ‘The ME Society’, is spot on. I think it’s the root of all that’s wrong in our insatiably, money-hungry and lustful paradigm.

Yes, it’s about the States and we may even feel a tinge of superiority – like we’re somehow ‘better’ – but don’t be so complacent and cocky. We’re going to get there really soon, if we don’t pull on the reigns.

Michael Moore: Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns.

Question #131: What do you think of Michael Moore’s insights?

The issue of ‘men with guns’ is a VERY serious one but shouldn’t we also be looking at the even more serious and destructive issue of ‘men who rape’?

As Michael wrote:

“…we rape and beat and kill our women without mercy and at a staggering rate: every three hours a women is murdered in the USA (half the time by an ex or a current); every three minutes a woman is raped in the USA; and every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the USA.”

Deep Breath.


Michael Moore

Michael Moore

Rape Culture #3

January 3, 2013

A cell within the group Anonymous, called ‘Knight Sec’ decided to be a voice against the injustice that came of the gang rape of an unconscious, 16 year old girl in Ohio, by members of a football team – who also documented it all. She was unconscious because she was

“intentionally drugged with a ‘date-rape’ intoxicant.”

The community, police and justice system, that rallied behind theses boys (widely known by their nickname, ‘The Rape Crew’) and swept it all under the carpet, were given until the end of 2012 to come forward and apologise – make things right – otherwise Anonymous was going to publish the information they had gathered.

No-one apologised.

So here is the report that was leaked to the public on the 1st Jan.

It includes the following video footage of the boys admitting to the rape.
*WARNING: This Video Is Extremely Disturbing – Viewer Discretion Is Advised.

Michael Colin Nodianos Admiting To Rape from Commander X on Vimeo.

I only have one question (it would be great if guys help me out here with some insight):

Question #129: Knowing what WE were like as teens – is this type of guy more common now?

What terrifies me most is not what they did to her (although it literally makes my stomach somersault and heart ache), it’s what they think of her – as they laugh…and laugh…and laugh…

In this case, these men flaunted their misogyny through sadistic rape and even urinated on this poor girl – who is ruined for life. But this deplorable attitude can manifest in a number of different ways – domestic violence, forced prostitution etc – and it’s seeping through globally.

* Afgan girl shot in the head for ‘being a prostitute’ in front of a cheering crowd of Taliban men who were fighting over her – DIED.

* Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head for wanting an education – LIVED.

* Indian girl’s horrific gang rape – DIED.

* This girl – intentionally drugged, sodomised, urinated on, dragged unconscious from party to party – LIVED.


And, of course, these are just the ones we hear about – 1 in 3 women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

I want my daughters to be able to go out and confidently participate in this world – but it chills me to think that these guys are out there.

So – is it worse than before?

Guys/Men? Thoughts?

Deep Breath.


PS There are no words to describe what I feel about the guy in the video – making joke, after joke, after joke. Just the manner in which he says the same type of thing over and over again, fills me with a strong and uncharacteristic desire, to smack his smug and idiotic face out. The cameraman laughing at all his jokes and egging him to keep going, would be next.
The following is what he wrote on Twitter:


A serious double whammy.

September 8, 2012

The United States continues to be in the throes of debate…and all over women’s bodies. Again. With men in politics voicing their opinions about women’s bodies. Again.

They seem to be in a political fervour and the latest CORKER comes from a Republican named Todd Akin.

In the article Todd Akin, what exactly is ‘legitimate’ rape?”, Akin is quoted, in his attempt to fortify his anti-abortion stance, as saying:

“It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”


When we find ourselves turning to a panel consisting of a majority of men, to determine the rules as to what women are allowed to do with their bodies – there’s something terribly wrong.

At the start of the year, I went to see Eve Ensler speak and she had this to say to Akin:

Dear Mr Akin, I want you to imagine…

If I can add a little spin of black humour to all this, watch the following clip:

Although we may laugh – it simply allows us to cover over how despondent we truly feel.

Now. What do I think about rape.

I know that the majority of women have either experienced rape, sexual assault, inappropriate touching and a gazillion other situations. The fact that the stories are literally ENDLESS has to say something about our culture. OK, so it’s not a new phenomenon, BUT you cannot deny that the representation of sex in the media and the saturation of porn, is having an ever more detrimental effect on our developing youth. The cases of rape to girls under the age of 12 is staggering – the film Miss Representation put the percentage at 15%.

I recently spoke to a male parent I know and he said he had to throw out a game his teenage son was playing (which he attained from another male friend) – where you got bonus points for rape.

BONUS POINTS FOR RAPE. It made me feel sick when he told me…as well as so helpless for our kids. I’ll be honest, there’s a tinge of despair as well.

1 in 6 have experienced rape or attempted rape. I am one of the 1 in 6 (attempted).

I had a guy I had not even spoken to at a university party, follow me to my college room – chit-chatting on the way. I used to collect Coke bottles and memorabilia and he feigned an interest, walked into my room and locked the door behind him. He told me that it would just take a second and that he didn’t want to have to get rough. I knew that I wasn’t a match physically, so I acted like it would be great, but that I wasn’t feeling up to it. He pushed me down on my bed by the neck a few times as well as try to take off my top. Luckily for me, I managed to get out into the corridor where he got (verbally) very angry, but we were out in the open, so I was spared.

I have never been more terrified. Just because he didn’t actually rape me, doesn’t mean that I didn’t experience pure panic inside.

But you know what? When word got around, people started to take sides – because he was a ‘nice guy’. I hadn’t even spoken to him at the college party – not a word. And yet, judgement was made against me.


Enough judgement.

Question #88: Why isn’t more being done to STOP rape – rather than working out what is or isn’t classified as rape; or what the woman did or didn’t do?

I read a phrase that says – “Don’t compare your life to others; you have no idea what their journey is all about.”

Which brings me to other point in this debate – abortion.

It’s none of my business what a woman decides for herself. I DONT KNOW HER STORY OR SITUATION. If we are so naive as to think that the majority of women take the decision lightly – then we’re believing an illusion that’s been fabricated.

The majority of women who have abortions are already mothers, who simply cannot support another child.

I have seen teen girls overseas begging on the streets because they can’t afford the child they (may) have been forced to keep. Is this child really going to be the next Einstein? Or is it more likely that it will live a life of misery, abuse and/or poverty?

“Every woman should be empowered and have the right to determine when she wants to have a child. The right to own her future and provide for her children’s futures. The right to participate freely and equally in society.” (via UPWORTHY)

The bottom line for me is this:

Question #89: What about the WOMAN’S life? (the one that’s already established)

But in terms of The United States and their heavy anti-abortion stance, it’s curious – as my friend Jane said to me – that for a country that’s so pro-life, they are also pro-guns and pro-war. (Not ALL of course, it just how they’re perceived). I’ve always seen it as absurd and surreal, that anti-abortionists, want – and do at times – kill doctors…

*shaking my lowered, saddened head*

Deep Breath.


A night with Eve Ensler.

February 13, 2012

On a whim, a colleague of mine and I found ourselves getting tickets to see Eve Ensler speak about human rights – more specifically, women’s rights.

She’s an American playwright who most famously wrote, ‘The Vagina Monologues’ but more importantly, she’s an activist for women’s human rights world-wide.

She was introduced as a warrior. How wonderful.

And she was. The horrific statistics and stories that she told about the raping, assaulting, stoning, burning, sex trafficking, genital mutilating and so on, of women around the world, right now, left us stunned – it was like the audience was holding its breath. As I listened, I knew that women were suffering worldwide, but not at this catastrophic level – a place we’ve never been at before. A sense of hopelessness took hold.

Nevertheless, I left inspired and with a fire in my belly – because there was also joy in some of her stories…and FIGHT. *Just look a deep breath*

She talked about having a voice. And that’s the answer. Women need to learn, observe, express and QUESTION the world around them – a world where women are not exploited and are equal in Every. Single. Way.

This is impossible without women using their voice. This blog is my voice.

The icing on the cake, for me, is that Eve’s a playwright, who has seen how healing it is when women watch theatre and learn the wonder of free expression. She inspires women who have been through the unimaginable, to start to create change by saying and doing what they can – to stop it from happening to anybody else. And they succeed.

Eve started V-Day, which is actually tomorrow – Valentines’ Day. V- Day is to finally STOP violence against women. Clink on the link below and join the movement because 1 in 3 women worldwide will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. That’s worldwide and it’s a deeply embedded practice.

This movement also knows that there are countless men, who want to stand together with their daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers and grandmothers and join the ‘choir’.

She also opened ‘The City of Joy’ – a place for countless women to go to, who have been victims of rape in the Republic of Congo.

Eve not only walks the walk, she talks the talk. We need to follow suit.

Eve’s latest book is a collection of stories about young women from around the world. Some are fictitious and others aren’t – but they represent a rainbow of young women. It’s called, ‘I’m an Emotional Creature’ and this is an excerpt from Eve’s introduction:

When I was your age, I didn’t know how to live as an emotional creature. I felt like an alien. I still do a lot of the time. I don’t think it has much to do with the country I grew up in or the language I speak. In this book you will meet girls from everywhere.

Some live in remote villages, others in huge cities or posh suburbs. Some worrying about whether they will be able to afford the latest purple UGGs, some worrying if they’ll ever get home after two years of being held as a sex slave. Some deciding whether they are able to kill a supposed enemy, some on the brink of killing themselves, some desperate for the next meal, some unable to stop starving themselves.

Girls from Cairo, Kwai Yong, Sofia, Ramallah, Bukavu, Narok, Westchester, Jerusalem, Manhattan, Paris. All of them, all of you, live on the planet right now. I think whatever country or town or village you physically live in, you inhabit a similar emotional landscape. You all come from girl land. There you get born with this awakeness, this open-hearted, have to eat it, taste it, know it, defy it.

Then the ‘grown-ups’ come with their rules, their directions. They teach you how to make yourselves less, so everyone feels more comfortable. They teach you not to stand out. They get you to behave.

I am older now. I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay withe being different, with being this alive, this intense. I just don’t want you to have to wait that long.

Love, Eve

Question #14: Are you with me ladies? Do you have something to say?