About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (sort of a bad wordplay on Orwell and machismo) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear language'), the umbrella of several of my literary projects in Dutch. This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

MRA deconstructed (IV)

This is part IV of my series about MRAs. I'll be discussing a point that pops up frequently in their discussion groups.

 

"Women are out to get and use men"

Some men are bitter about previous relationships or come out of toxic environments with bad women - women can be every bit as shitty as men. Somehow, some men project this image onto all women, and confirmation bias leads them to seek out only stories that confirm their worldview.

    False rape accusations

This one is bound to come up in any discussion of rape. In fact, false accusations are rare and accusations seldom lead to convictions. Among the reasons why they feature so disproportionally in the rape debate is that they are disproportionally featured in the media, and here's why: false stories often end up being very spectacular and attract attention. The false accusation angle also has the nefarious consequence of hindering the actual debate about rape, its causes (rapists) and what can be done to prevent it (destroying rape culture).
What MRAs think it is: Plots to destroy innocent men's lives
Actual issue: Sensationalist media reports
Actual solution: Stop being an obstructionist little shit

    Gold diggers

Nobody in their right mind thinks that all of Hugh Hefner's peroxide brides married or lived with the man out of genuine love. The problem is that MRAs seem to be convinced women exist to syphon off a man's fortune and ignore the actual cause why 'gold diggers' are even a thing in the first place. Beyond bullshit evopsych justifications, women are simply not as rich as men and possess less power. Their road to both faces roadblocks that the road of men to these goals does not. Yes, partnering up someone for their wealth is ethically questionable, but maybe we should also question the fact that men of great wealth and power leverage these two aspects as well to attract, bind or even outright buy off women. Yet that rarely goes questioned.
What MRAs think it is: Women want a free ride
Actual issue: Powerful and wealthy men 'buy off' women
Actual solution: Empower women

    Women aren't thankful for male assistance in their cause

Some men who consider themselves feminists become very angry when women are not grateful for their assistance to the cause of equality. Here's the thing: they shouldn't be thankful. All you did is prove that you are not a shitty person. If anyone thinks that "not being a giant douche" is an accomplishment worthy of accolades, they probably are a giant douche.
What MRAs think it is: Women are unthankful
Actual issue: Holding some cool opinions doesn't merit you a medal
Actual solution: Support a cause because it's right, not because you want the kudos

    Women can be picky about their sex partners

In a culture that encourages or at least condones men racking up their number of sex partners and does the reverse for women, it is not surprising that men are - in general - less picky than women are when it comes down to sexual partners. However, that is not 'female privilege' or whatever MRAs would like to call it. Men are often at liberty to consider only a few factors in whether they wish to sleep with someone. For women, there are far more background factors, such as slut-shaming, fear of rape, bodily harm and a cultural context that tells her wanting no-strings-attachad sex is demeaning by nature. Also, the MRA whine chorus about 'picky women' is uncomfortable to me for a final reason: it comes off as nice-guyish entitlement, as if they mean to say "why won't these women sleep with me?".
What MRAs think it is: Female privilege.
Actual issue: Slut shaming, rape culture, male entitlement.
Actual solution: End slut shaming and rape culture.

    Women trap men with babies

In sexist jokes as old as the Methuselah's beard, marriage is depicted as a cage that robs men of their freedom. Claims that women deliberately get pregnant and then expect unsuspecting men to provide for the child play into this. It does happen. But more often that not, marriages are cages for women: even in societies where they are not expected (anymore) to be homemakers, household chores and raising kids is still primarily their responsibility. By the way, instances of men deliberately controlling women by getting them pregnant or removing their access to birth control are way more rampant.
What MRAs think it is: Trapping poor sods in life of financial slavery
Actual issue: Sexist views on marriage
Actual solution: Engage in healthy relationships
 On to the final part!