OP-ED: The Masculinists and their Mindless Movement
The Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) was established in the 1970’s as a response to feminism . This audacious move by self-entitled, self-righteous morons claimed men were losing their rights because of women’s demands for equal treatment [1,2]. For the sake of the argument, I will refer to these neanderthals as masculinists. Masculinists argue feminism has directly contributed to male discrimination and views feminism as a platform for male oppression . Family law, paternal rights and reproduction are some of the inane issues these masculinists use to further their sexist agenda. The MRM delves even deeper into sociological insanity by suggesting male’s shorter life spans are a direct result of too much emphasis on women’s health . Even a woman’s role as a mother isn’t safe to these sadists, some masculinists believe women as primary care givers to children have more power in society than men . Rather than fling accusations, feminists seek awareness and a shift from misogyny to equality. The MRM seeks to accuse and usurp any power gained from the feminist movement.
Strangely enough, these issues and claims about inequality by the MRM are eerily similar to those discussed by feminists. The only real difference is why they believe this inequality exists. To blame feminism for male oppression ignores hundreds of years of these issues long before feminism was a mainstream movement. The gender norms that feminists want to do away with and masculinists want to uphold are so entrenched in modern society they have become a social expectation. Women are emotional, illogical, indecisive, caring, lovable, sexy, tempting, desirable, vengeful and of course, easily raped. And what are men? Strong, powerful, logical, emotionally in check, problem solvers, rugged, fat yet distinguished, skinny yet athletic, kind hearted and ultimately our leaders. The social expectations our male-centric society has created is running amok across the world and these masculinists still believe they have the right to provide a counter to feminism. The MRM is pointing their big, rough, calloused finger at feminism when the real culprit is our inherently misogynist culture.
From a public health perspective, a man’s shorter life span is not and never will be the result of too much emphasis on women’s health. In what twisted, sadistic world is an emphasis on women’s health a bad thing. Women carry children and bring them into this world. Would the masculinists prefer all women just die at child birth? Why is an emphasis on women’s health and the women’s body a tool to bring down the glorious reign of man? Men have always had shorter life spans. This can be traced back to the role men have commonly taken in our societies. Most cultures place importance on the economy and therefore work and profits. Since men bear the brunt of being the primary bread winners, they also bear the brunt of not living as long.
In order to combat all the disadvantages faced by both men and women there has to be a consensus. To put blame on one gender has the opposite effect of breaking down a highly gendered system. Are women emotional because of their hormones, or are they emotional because they are viewed as vulnerable? Do they really wait their whole lives for their brave Prince Charming? Are men brave because they aren’t scared of anything, or are they brave because they are expected to be the saviors?
QUESTIONS: (leave a reply below)
Do you think feminism has gone too far and in the process placed men at a disadvantage?
Is it realistic to hope for all genders to one day be equal?
Do you think gender equality matters for the improvement of health for both genders?
1. Maddison, S. (1999). Private men, public anger: The men’s rights movement in Australia. Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, 4(2), 32-40.
2. Beasley, C. (2005). Gender and sexuality: critical theories, critical thinkers. SAGE Publications.
3. Farrell, W., Svoboda, S., Sterba, J. (2008). Does feminism discriminate against men? A Debate. New York: Oxford University Press.