Movements, moods and political ideals

Following a bit more back-and-forth with my commentator, I've been thinking a great deal about what I've been looking at, and what I've been writing.

In the last month in particular, I've been spending more and more time on the MRA sites and boards. And stopping for a moment and looking objectively at where my mind has been going, I'm a little concerned.

I started exploring this because, when I found these sites, I found a lot of what struck me as genuine problems facing men and boys today which could do with close scrutiny. These were issues like health, divorce law, education, domestic violence and apparent cultural misandry.

I also found a lot on these sites I did not agree with. Many, if not most, of the men (and women) involved in the MRM are politically conservative - some extremely so. Not all, but a lot. Being a liberal myself, that can be problematic, particularly when it comes to their views on society, and also women. Sometimes, it feels more that what they really desire is a return to pre-femenist ideals. Either that, or women are just the enemy (I don't frequent the Men Going Their Own Way sites, but there are quite a lot of them). Then, of course, there's the whole tricky world of Game tied up with the MRM, something I'm not comfortable with at all, but seems to be gaining prominence, particularly with Paul Elam, who is one of the leading MRA figures. The pattern often seems to be more about victimising yourself and 'protecting' yourself, over actually working or campaigning to make things better (not always, mind - once again I will reference Glenn Sacks, whose Fathers&Families group is doing a lot of good in the US).

There is also the problem that a lot of the debates that occur with feminists come from the more extreme wing of the feminist movement (in honesty, they're the ones most likely to be blogging and commentating), resulting in a very real 'us vs. them' mentality - which quite often doesn't actually translate when you step out your door and walk into the real world.

But, besides all of this, I found issues raised that in my mind still stood. And so, in order to examine those, I decided to start this blog. The intention was, as I said in my introductory post:

really trying to figure a lot out of it in my head – how it affects my life, what I can do, whether I agree with or believe some of what is found in the MRA (men's rights activists) blogs and forums


Finally, one last thing, just to be clear: I am not here to play victim.

Having written that, I jumped back onto the MRM sites with renewed vigour, constantly reading them, checking up on them, and absorbing what they've been saying.

It would appear that over the last month, such dedicated following has removed my objectivity. I appear to have stopped looking at them critically, picking the wheat from the chaff of their discussions and ideas, and begun taking it all as read.

Interestingly, this appears to have impacted on my emotional state - I've noticed a sharp decline in my mood overall, and an increased tendency to get angry with little provocation. I sometimes feel as though I am looking or waiting for something misandric to rear its head so I can confront whoever or whatever it is. In short, I think I allowed myself to start believing the confrontational rhetoric constantly being pumped out, even whilst telling myself that wasn't the case.

Now, I wouldn't entirely say that this is a bad thing - for one, it gives an indication of quite how easy it is, and a possible further explanation for why so many of these men are so angry, egging one another on and on, day after day, month after month, year after year.

But mostly it was a bad thing.

Of course, what it has meant for this blog is that, rather than look at the issues that initially bothered me (aside from rape anonymity), I began trying to define the ideological beliefs of the MRM - many of which I had originally intended to question - in essence, to re-say what other people had said. Instead of critically questioning it, I have regurgitated it as absolute truth. In fairness to myself, I've not written anything which I necessarily believe to be factually untrue, but have automatically accepted the political and ideological explanations of them with increasing vigour (I may not have posted many yet, but there has been a check-list of posts waiting to be written up).

And then, suddenly, *snap*. Something changed. It was almost like waking up suddenly. I looked at what's here and just thought "That's not right. That's not what I wanted. It's not what's important. And it's not my thinking." And I felt a sudden need to redress the balance, hence Ribbons for Prostate Cancer.

So there we have it: a lesson in being careful in getting caught up in political and idealogical movements without keeping a check on yourself.

What's my plan now? Well, I'm going to keep going, though I'll take a short breather. I thought about deleting some of my previous posts, but actually, I'm not going to - it seems like cheating, somehow. What I will be trying to do from here on in is hopefully demonstrated better in my last post: a look at one of the issues raised in the MRM, hopefully some analysis of the problems, and my own thoughts on the issue.

*Sigh*. Nothing worth doing's ever easy, is it?


Ribbons for Prostate Cancer

Ok, following my last couple of posts, I'm going to move on for the time being to something somewhat less conceptual, 'victim-y' and more readily obvious - but also something I (bizarrely) hope to be able to sound a bit more positive about in my outlook: the Cancer issue.

As I'm sure you know, a large proportion of research funding for cancers in the UK is actually provided by research charities, not the NHS or government. Particularly at the moment, with spending cuts being what they are, the need for charitable donations and awareness campaigns is very high.

In amongst all the different types of cancer, there are certain ones that are (generally) gender-specific: breast cancer, gynaecological cancers, prostate cancer, and testicular & penile cancers.

Of these, breast cancer arguable has the best awareness campaign. In particular, Cancer Research UK runs some fantastic campaigns - I for one seem to see a donation tub in every other shop, cafe or pub. I see adverts all over the internet, and regularly on television, and in magazines and papers. I see shops which join in campaigns, perhaps by offering donations when you buy a particular product. Women will regularly write opinion columns on the subject. Women's events such as Race For Life generate a great deal of money and publicity for Cancer Research UK. I've seen women wearing ribbons, badges, t-shirts, all to help keep the issue in the public eye.

And that's no bad thing. In the UK alone, around 12,000 women a year die from breast cancer, from 45,500 diagnosed. This is a very serious problem, and the more money going towards it, the more lives can be saved.

Of the gynaecological cancers, the most widely and publicly talked about is cervical cancer, and there have been many loud discussions and campaigns to encourage more women - particularly young women - to get screenings. Perhaps it is strange to think that the 20% rise in screenings in 2009 was mostly due to Jade Goody, but that's still a good thing - it got the papers and morning programmes talking about it, it got people at work talking about it, it got women getting themselves checked out.

Of the other gynaecological cancers, I'm afraid to say I have heard little, outside of what I have found on cancer research and awareness websites.


I imagine some of you are now expecting me to compare men's cancer awareness and blast a disproportionate campaign or something, but I'm not going to do that. There are, in fact, good resources and good campaigns already happening. True, we're not hearing about them as much (or certainly, I'm not), but at whose door do we lay that?

I know about prostate and testicular cancer. I know that prostate cancer kills about 10,000 men each year in the UK. I know another 2,000 will be diagnosed with testicular cancer. Penile cancer only effects very few men in the UK, but is quite more widespread in Africa and Asia.

But what have I done about it? Up to now, very little. What have the men I know done about it? Well, I don't know who may or may not donate, but how many men do you know who turned blue this year? How many ran in Keep Your Eye On The Ball? Or even just bought the t-shirt?

I know I didn't. And I can't think of anyone who did. Apologies if I know you and you did, but I just cannot bring it to mind.

And that is my fault. My responsibility. And also, if you are a man, yours.

I've seen quite a few MRAs complaining that men aren't allowed onto certain women-only fund-raising events. What I don't seem to see them doing, is organising events or campaigns of their own. Perhaps I'm wrong on that, perhaps someone can point me towards one, but it seems that many of them would rather complain about what they perceive us as not having, than trying to increase what we do. There's a lot of noise blown about to do with the fact that - in particular - breast cancer gets a lot more funding than prostate cancer, despite the similar risks and fatalities, but that is because women are getting organised and trying to do something about it is a way men just are NOT. If we want our funding to increase, perhaps we should get off our collective arse and do something about it.

Of course, when it comes to medical stuff, that's just something men aren't all that good at doing. I'm the same - I'll leave twinges, aches and what-have-you, in order to see if it'll just go away. I'm generally rather reluctant to go to the doctor, and don't know if I've ever gone just for an unprompted check-up. In the past, I've not examined myself as often as I should. I found a wonderful "how can women help" suggestion on a site I'm afraid I've misplaced, so cannot link to, which basically said 'nag him'. But that does hold a particular truth to it - how many men go to the doctor, not of their own will, but because their partner made them?

A couple of facts MRAs like to bring out repeatedly are men's shorter life-expectancies, and in the case of cancer, the much higher mortality rate men suffer. But, at some point, don't we have to stop playing victim about it all, stop shouting 'unfair', and maybe look to see if we can do something positive to help change that?

Certainly I know I can, should, and will do a lot more. And I would wholeheartedly encourage you, if you currently don't, do do the same.

Male Expendability Part 2 - addendum

I have received a comment elsewhere regarding this post, particularly in reference to the current reporting from Pakistan - reporting which, quite rightly, was pointed out to me contains a great many images of men, more so than I've possibly seen elsewhere in a long time.

I feel I may have tried to cram too much into that post, too fast, and would like to copy the text of my reply to my commentator in order to perhaps explain a little better the idea behind it:

"In fairness, you've got me on that point. Case of poor timing on my part, and I agree that it does make the images a hell of a lot stronger – and you're absolutely right [the use of these images] doesn't dehumanise [those men], which is my point – it's when you don't hear about/see people that that happens.

But I still think the general principle still does stand. I've been watching the reporting of news for quite a while – certainly the last couple of months – because I wanted to investigate over a period of time and see if this concept held water in my mind (that's the whole point – questioning these ideas and seeing if they work in my head – and I'm glad someone finds it thought-provoking, even if they think I'm full of it).

It just seems to hold overall. There's a difficulty in writing on this stuff in that it's hard not to come across as being “all men are victims, all women aren't, hark on my suffering!”, which is not what I intend, but that's the way some people are going to be inclined to read it. But in order to talk about what I feel like is out of kilter on one 'side', it's inevitably going to come across as rather sensationalist. Perhaps I need to work on that.

It may seem a bit petty to reduce stuff down to headlines and photos, but they are indicators of thinking and attitude. Ultimately, I can't talk about every single news article, can't make a comprehensive list of every single headline or photo, and to a large degree I have to talk in generalisations, but from what I've seen the overall trend each way seems to stand. Whether or not the word 'man' is specifically included within the body of text, the prevalence of specifically pointing out female casualties or whatnot over males (the phrase “including X amount of women” is an interesting example) does appear to be a real trend, and seems to me to imply greater implied importance or sympathy toward women than men. This is where the issue of not including the word 'man' raises it's head for me - when women seem to be highlighted over and above men. It does seem that female-specific issues and problems get a lot more public time and attention than male-specifics. And it does seem that on issues that effect both genders, often the majority of weighting, time and attention is given over to female-specific – whether that means the male-specific side is ignored, or not given even footing, it seems to be the case overall. Which does not strike me as right."

Male Expendability Part 2 - news & informative media

Now, be honest: who, after my last post, felt a little (or a lot) like just sarcastically crying out "oh boo-hoo, men are killed more onscreen! Waaah, isn't my life just awful?"

To tell the truth, I did somewhat.

But as I was at pains to point out, it's not just about films. If it was, I wouldn't particularly care. As I said, though, I was aiming to highlight a larger problem when it comes to the perception of violence against men and male death in the media and societal collective conciousness. To continue this, let's have a look at the news.


"Oh, come on! You can't be serious! All news is about men!"

Well, let's not get into an argument about that. News is what is deemed news-worthy, and yes, because of the prevalence of men in areas of politics, economics and the military in particular, you are more likely to encounter news stories that involve men ('involve', not necessarily 'are about', mind). But keep in mind what I was talking about in the last post, and look at some headlines from the last few days.

Did you see that? If not, look again.

For the record, I haven't gone out of my way to find these, I didn't have to go digging through the BBC News archive to find them, they were all very much top of the site as I write this.

Did you notice how the headlines which feature women or girls specifically identify them as such, in the headline? How about those featuring men? 'One', 'bodies', 'sledger', 'pub landlord'. Yes, they might get identified as men in the body, but to be honest if the headline doesn't say 'woman' or 'women', it's about men. Because the headline always makes sure to point out when it's a woman. In fairness, I did find one using the word 'man', but this does not appear to be the norm.

So, where's the problem? Well, it would seem to show a tendency to dehumanise men when something bad, like their death or injury, happens. Remember, I did not have to go digging for these - they're nearly all from today.

Incidentally, headlines will tend not to downplay men's gender when it comes to them doing something bad. A robber or a murderer or whatever bad thing he is, he will much more often be identified as a man in the headline.

I've been keeping my eye on this for a while, and it happens over and over and over - in incidents of accident, injury or death, men become 'workers', 'police officers', 'soldiers', 'security guards', 'miners', 'passers by', 'drivers', just about anything other than 'men'. At the same time, we make damn sure to be loud and clear when women are the victims - even going so far as to downplay men's suffering in comparison.

Remember Hillary Clinton? Well, despite the preposterous nature of that comment, don't go thinking it's only her who says things like that. Here's a nice long depressing read, a study about Kosovan men's gendercide pretty much being ignored in the western press during the war. Sample quote:

The Death March of the Kosovo Refugees
MORINA, Albania, April 18 (AFP) -- Among the thousands of refugees fleeing Kosovo, none suffer worse than those forced to travel for days and nights on end on foot {...} They also took away all the males aged 15 or over [!].
{Emphases not mine}.

Of course, what the article doesn't tell you is that those males were executed. So the systematic extermination of males is not worse than being made a refugee. Now, I don't mean to downplay the suffering those women did go through - and it was pretty bloody awful - but can you really legitimately say it was worse than being shoved on your knees and shot in the head?

Ok, so moving away from quite such nasty stuff, here's another video for you, this time about the discrepancy between what studies are saying, and what is being reported in the media, about gender issues in three areas. Again, the female side gets elevated, and the male side ignored.

What is this? Do we just not care? I have no interest in denying the issues that women and girls face, but where is the balance? How is this possibly just, right, or fair?

I'm sure at this point people will still be thinking "ah, I don't know, it still seems a bit cherry-picked to me. I'm sure you could claim all sorts of things with the right links at your disposal". And you know what? I'd agree with you. Of course you can. All I'm asking is that you bear this in mind when you look around you. See if you wind up agreeing with me or not. If not, fine, there's not a problem, I'm just on a high-horse. But if you do agree, then we've got a problem needs sorting out.


There is another element in all of this: photographs. Photos are incredibly powerful tools of communication, and the right or wrong picture in the right or wrong place can very much influence someone's opinion.

On this point, I have in my hand an issue of a free local magazine that I picked up in a pub, clearly aimed at the large student population where I live. This issue appears to be focussing a great deal on starting university amongst other things. The bit that bothers me is the Education section, which contains 'The Educational Journey', about the choices one must make throughout their educational career, and 'The Personal Touch' all about how parents can help their children.

Over several pages we have: one photo of a schoolgirl; one photo of a young woman, presumably a student; one large advert for funded positions at a public school, with picture of a smiling young girl; a college advert, picture of a studious young woman; a photo of a mother helping her young daughter study; another photo of a mother helping her two young daughters study. There are, in fairness, two adverts containing males: one for a nursery with a thumbnail picture of three boys and three girls; the other a technical college advert featuring two young men and one young woman.

What I want to know is, at a time when boys have been consistently behind girls in education for around 20 years, why are there no pictures of men or boys being run in this section? Where are the dads helping their boys or girls? Where are the boys smiling out of the page? Remember, the only two pictures that show males are adverts, not images to go with the actual articles.

Again, if this was a one-off I wouldn't have anything to talk about. But it seems to happen over and over. In fact, throughout the entire magazine, there are only two images of males in any of the non-interview articles. One is in 'Pub Fun', and is a tiny thumbnail of some guys at a barbecue, under a large banner photo of several women enjoying karaoke. The other is called 'Fresh Faced' - an article to do with starting at university - and the banner is a young woman, and a young man who is essentially being hustled out of the picture. Seriously, his face is practically cut off by the end of the page. I'd understand a bit more if they were trying to sell copy, but it's a free magazine. What about 'Staying Healthy as a Student', which contains two large pictures of smiling young women - shouldn't you at least try to appeal to young men in such a section? After all, they're the most likely not to take care of themselves, health-wise.

Of course, this is probably all about trying to appeal to a certain demographic - after all, those advertisers who fund it expect revenue... but hang on, the adverts and articles run don't seem to be gender-specific. There's gadgets and cars alongside make-up and fashion, there's interviews, competitions for festival tickets... this isn't a women's magazine, nor is it a men's magazine. It's just a youth magazine. So what happened?

The thing about breaking down one magazine as I have just done is that I can see a lot of people rolling their eyes right now, saying "yes, ok, you've proved your point with one little freebie magazine - you're just nitpicking now, aren't you". Well, perhaps. Yes, I feel a little absurd doing that breakdown, but I also believe that this lack of representation is very promenant. One magazine may not be a problem, but what about when it comes up again and again? At what point does it start to be a problem? Is it an issue when it's a BBC article about cancer, for example? What about if I mentioned that was published a day after this? Seems a bit odd in that light, doesn't it?

Feminists and ethnic minorities have fought for representation in newspapers, magazines, prospectuses and so forth for a reason - the image does hold power, can influence your perception of something. Perhaps not just the one, but when they're seen continually... or perhaps not seen. Once again, I don't want all pictures alongside these articles to be of men - but it would be nice if some were. It would be nice to feel welcome.

Well, let's take this to its inevitable unpleasant conclusion, shall we? Let's look at the website for the National Domestic Violence Helpline. There will be a post in future about domestic violence in relation to men, so I won't dwell, but have a look for a second. Look at the imagery. Read the language. Maybe you want to see how you can support a friend - notice anything interesting about the language they're using? For a national charity helpline, it seems a little one-sided, don't you think? How do you think, as a man, you would feel if you were looking for domestic violence support and came across this? Would you feel welcome? Would you feel like you were going to be helped? Would you feel like your struggle, your pain, was recognised? Hop on to YouTube and look at some DV PSAs. Where are the male victims? Do we care about their lives, their health, or their happiness at all? It certainly seems like no, we don't.

And it just seems to me, wherever I look, everything follows that pattern. We downplay, or outright ignore, male problems, male victimhood, male pain. It makes me sad.


Well, that's that for part 2. Coming up in part 3: unemployment and the 'mancession'.


Male Expendability Part 1 - films and television

Here's a little something to do next time you are watching a film or TV show which contains violence: have a look at who's dying. I'm not talking about main characters here, I'm talking about the 'collateral damage', the nameless nobody's in the background who are getting killed or hurt in order to show how dangerous the situation really is. You know, the bomb goes off, or the monster's rampaging around eating people, or random people are being caught in the cross-fire of a shoot-out. Chances are, most - if not all - of the people you see dying will be men.

Now, this is post may come across somewhat as mere whining, but it's a good introduction into a larger issue: the idea of male expendability. Being as it is quite a large issue, I've decided to break it into parts so as to not have one absolutely massive post.

Why start with films and television? Well, they seem to be a good way to start thinking about a cultural outlook that most people don't really notice. You can literally sit there and see it being played out in front of you again and again.

So, is that it? Men tend to be the ones getting killed in films? Well, yes, but also no. Let's have a look at how these deaths occur: they are often very graphic, violent, and incredibly casual. They have no emotional resonance whatsoever - the killing of all these men is occasionally to make a point, but often just for entertainment value.

Think about when a woman is killed in a film - is it ever casual? I cannot think of one single example where it is. Women's deaths are either primary plot points, or used as proof that the villain has gone 'beyond the moral event horizon' - ok, so they'd done some bad things (possibly involving the deaths of piles of men), but now they've killed a woman which makes them really evil.

In comparison, men's deaths on screen barely go noticed. How many times have you seen an action sequence where something blew up, and you didn't even think about the fact that - hang on - that's just killed those 10 men you saw a minute ago? How many times do policemen, security guards, or just people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time get shot and the action just moves on and, oh look, we've forgotten about it? How many times do truckloads of soldiers get mown down without a seconds thought? How many times have men's deaths been used as a joke? Think about that one: how many people would have laughed at the Joker's pencil trick if the victim had been a woman? I'm guessing not many.

We're just far more casual about killing men than women. In manwomanmyth's video 'Men are Disposable - 1/4', he mentions women complaining about being treated as sex objects on screen, and follows up by saying men are treated as nothing more than death objects. The medley of violence that follows is incredibly nasty - it starts at about 5:30 if you want to see it.

He also does go into another point in the comparison of male vs. female deaths on screen: the female discretion shot. This is where a woman's death occurs out of shot or off-screen (think about all those times you've seen a gun pointed at a woman, and then it cuts to a shot of the window from outside and you see a flash and hear a bang). It's quite remarkable when you start noticing quite how graphic a film or show will be with shooting, blowing up, burning, mutilating or otherwise destroying multiple men, and then there's a female discretion shot.

Now, here's the thing - I'm not saying "I want to see more women graphically killed on screen". What I am saying is that I find it remarkable that films that are graphically violent towards men have these female discretion shots in them.

Of course, I understand why they do it, and this is where things start to move on from me whining about films to real-world outlooks. It comes down to the fact that males are seen to be more expendable than females. From a Darwinian perspective, this makes perfect sense, but it still exists as a general principle in society today - ableit one that isn't said out loud and many people don't see. Not only that, but men have an innate drive to protect women - often by putting themselves in harm's way. It's expected. Violence against women is, and has always been, far less acceptable than violence against men. Men's deaths are simply not as tragic in society's eyes (I will be going into this in more detail in an upcoming post). This, coupled with the now almost inevitable feminist backlash if women are treated badly on film, leads to this discrepancy.

At this point I'm going to mention slasher films, because I'm sure someone's thinking "hang on, almost all the victims in those films are girls". But that's the point - you're supposed to know how terrible the killer is, how much of a psychopath. These films are supposed to unnerve and frighten you. The deaths of the girls in them, however graphic or seemingly throwaway, are the central plot of the film. They are the point of its existing in the first place. They may be casual in the sense of quick and not overblown, but the death is always the centrepiece of the scene - you're never in a position where the death is really just decoration.

I already mentioned men protecting women to their own detriment, and I want to have a quick look at how this is portrayed on film. Let's take the 2005 remake of King Kong. Anne Darrow gets kidnapped by Kong, and all the men go off to rescue her. In the process, dozens die, horrifically (particularly those who are unfortunate enough to get eaten by the giant tube-worms). At one point, some decide to head back to the ship, and they are branded cowards and not real men for wanting to protect their own lives from a reckless mission that is almost certainly doomed to at best fail, and at worst kill them. They are only redeemed by putting themselves back in harms way. Several of the men's deaths are treated as jokes in the dialogue (the whole 'donate the proceeds to his wife and kids' bit).

Once they do rescue Darrow, is she grateful? No, she's far more concerned about the big gorilla. Now, of course, they don't treat Kong nicely, but is it ever acknowledged that dozens of men died at the hands of this creature in an effort to save this one woman? No. Do they get any sort of service or memorial? No. Are they ever thought of again? No.

The final act is a huge lament to how terrible Kong's fortune is (whilst he kills yet more men - this time the fighter pilots), and his death is quite ridiculous in its overblown tragedy. One giant gorilla is worth your tears. Dozens of men aren't even worth thinking about.


What has been the point of this post? On the surface, it really does just look like a whinge. Do I want all male deaths on screen to be replaced by female ones? No. Then what's the point?

The point is, this is a very good way of demonstrating a cultural expectation we have that most people simply do not notice: male disposability. It's a good example of the different ways we look upon and treat male vs. female death - something which is quite profoundly skewed in modern society, which affects the way we create laws and charitable foundations, how we distribute funding, how we run awareness campaigns, and I am anticipating having to do two or three more posts just to roughly cover the basics. So really, this post in an introduction to a concept which I find to be very alarming, and wish to explore in depth.

To be continued...


Misogyny in the MRM

There's a problem in the men's rights movement, and that problem is misogyny.

Now, I don't believe the MRM is inherently misogynistic - it is, ultimately, a movement concerning itself with men, not women. However, a great deal of discussion within the movement is concerned with women - particularly feminism - and sometimes the discussion goes too far down a road I am not comfortable with. There are certain sites I will not visit, certain forums I will not post on, because of what I find other men on there saying.

The thing is, I do understand why a lot of men in the movement are like this. You see, men tend not to identify themselves as a group - we will divide ourselves by just about every other identity under the sun (colour, race, nationality, religion, geography, class, accent, you name it), but 'men' are not a group, certainly not in the same way as 'women'. We just don't see ourselves that way.

As a result of this, it is very rare for men to spontaneously join the MRM - they will tend to have had something happen to them: a bad divorce; their children taken away from them; finding no support after a domestic violence incident; perhaps a false rape accusation against them or someone close to them; perhaps they have been affected by a law that purports to be 'pro-women', but in its execution becomes 'anti-men'... the list can go on, but it is these things that bring men into the movement. Something has to have happened. And this something has made them angry.

It is hard enough when nothing has happened to you. I myself have not had any particular incident push me here, so I come with no bias attached (or, certainly, as little as can be had). Sometimes, though, reading the stories and articles that come to light every single day, it is impossible not to become angry. Incensed. Absolutely bloody furious.

It is important, when this happens, to retain perspective. I am angry, but I am angry with the situation. I am angry with the politics, laws and societal expectations that allow these things to happen. Sometimes, when I read a story about how a woman did X Y Z, I am angry at the woman. But it is specifically her that I have to confine my anger to - not allow it to spill out and jade my opinion of women overall. Occasionally I may slip, and spend an evening generalising about all women in my head, but this will pass. People are too complex to accurately lump into one huge group, to judge them all based on the actions of a few.

Unfortunately, many men in the MRM seem incapable of doing this, and then we find some very misogynistic writings emerge. It is not healthy for the person doing it, and it is not healthy for the movement as a whole.

And on a personal note, I don't like being associated with these men.

Here's the ultimate problem: in order for the movement to gain momentum, it needs to become more public, its ideas more widely accepted, or at least discussed. Movements do not change societies - societies change when the number of people within them who demand change reaches a critical mass. Movements may act as a catalyst to this, but ultimately nothing will change unless this critical mass is achieved.

In order for that to happen, we need women (and non-aggrieved men) on our side. Particularly women. They are the key. After all, it's not as if women are not affected by these issues as well - whether indirectly (through, say, damage to society), or in fact directly: whatever happens to a man, he is someone's son, father, uncle, brother, boyfriend or husband. What happens to one gender directly affects the other. I predict that when enough women start seeing what is happening to men and boys in our society, and want to do something about it, things will change very, very rapidly.

So this misogynistic talk is incredibly damaging to the movement. I've lost track of the amount of women I've spoken to on discussion boards who have said something along the lines of "I was ready to listen, and then I read ***'s post. You're all a bunch of bitter, woman-hating misogynists" and *click*, we've lost someone who was starting to listen. Someone who may have come onside, started speaking to their female friends about these things, someone who would have put us one step closer to that critical mass... gone. If this carries on, nothing will ever change.

There is talk going on about what to do about it. Glenn Sacks, in particular, has been very vocal about it. But until men start joining the movement, not due to grievances, but due to other less damaging causes, I don't see it stopping. There is not enough self-policing going on, and as these men talk back and forth and encourage each other more and more, the very people we need as our allies are being driven away.

I really don't know what to do about it. It's one of the primary reasons I began this blog, actually - to try to talk to people who aren't involved, to try to talk to people who aren't aggrieved, who have perhaps never thought about this before, to introduce them to these ideas without it being steeped in this damaging dialogue. Perhaps my little bit will help, perhaps it won't, but hopefully I'll be able to look back on this and say that I drew people in, not pushed them away. Hopefully.

A video regarding the whole rape accusation business

Following my last post, I've had a couple of... heated debates... with people.

I don't want to dwell, and I have another topic which I intend to discuss tomorrow (probably before anyone reads this), but this video has been playing around my mind for days.

So, for anyone who is anti-anonymity:

Just watch.