On Monday, Martin Luther King Day here in the United States, this was posted in the Men’s Rights subreddit, where, as you can see, it was quite popular with the assembled Men’s Rightsers:
How wrong is this? Let me count the ways.
1) It’s wrong because Men’s Rights “Activists” aren’t “warriors for peace,” or justice, or even for their own backwards notions of men’s rights. MRAs, like a lot of men insecure about their own worth, love to claim credit for the accomplishments of great men in the past (without accepting any responsibility for the terrible deeds of the terrible men who lived before them).
But even in terms of claiming credit where no credit is due this is especially ridiculous. Aside from a tiny handful of “fathers rights activists,” who’ve bizarrely chosen to try to advance their cause by vandalizing paintings and/or dressing up in superhero costumes and climbing up buildings, and one troubled man who killed himself in hopes that his death would spur other MRAs to acts of terrorism directed at courthouses and police stations, MRAs don’t risk anything with their “activism,” insofar as they engage in anything that can be called activism at all.
There’s nothing heroic, or risky, about posting anonymous rants online about how women are all a bunch of hypergamous bitches, or sending some vague threat to the feminist villain of the day.
Indeed, MRAs face so little risk that some are forced to invent stories of persecution — like John Hembling’s tall tale of being confronted by a mob of boxcutter-wielding feminists, thoroughly discredited by The Daily Beast — in order to cast themselves in the role of the persecuted victim-turned-hero.
2) It’s wrong because the person posting this message, and attempting to suggest some sort of link between the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King and the Men’s Rights movement today, is someone who also posts in the White Rights subreddit, a haven for the same sort of hateful white supremacists who hurled racial epithets — not to mention actual rocks and bottles — at King when he was alive.
When one Redditor pointed this out, and noted (correctly) that numerous white nationalists post in the Men’s Rights subreddit, they were quickly downvoted for their troubles.
The original poster explained that he only posted in White Rights about “real cases of white discrimination.”
Another poster offered an example of what he saw as one such case of “real” anti-white discrimination:
Yeah, that was totally a real thing.
3) It’s wrong because it’s wrong. As in, factually incorrect. Warren Farrell is talking out of his ass, again. Here’s a slightly longer version of his quote, which you can find on his web page. (It’s originally from The Myth of Male Power.)
Men are likely to be not only the warriors of war but also the warriors of peace. Almost all those who risk their lives, are put in jail, or are killed for peace are men. While some of the peace warriors—Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Dag Hammarskjold—are remembered, most are forgotten. Remember Norm Morrison?
Well, no, Warren, I don’t remember Norm Morrison. But I think you’re forgetting a few people too. Like half of the human race.
Women have been involved in peace and social justice movements as long as women have been active in the public sphere. Ever hear of Women Strike for Peace? Code Pink? At every large demonstration I’ve been at that has involved civil disobedience, I’ve seen both men and women arrested, with some of the women old enough to be grandmothers or great-grandmothers. The idea that women don’t put themselves on the line for peace or social justice is patently false.
This is really kind of basic stuff. But with MRAs, alas, you always need to go back to the basics.
But the post in the Men’s Rights subreddit was all about co-opting the civil rights movement, so today I thought I would remind anyone who might have forgotten — or who never knew — that it wasn’t just men who put themselves at risk in the struggle for civil rights.
You can click on the pictures for more information.