After reading hundreds upon hundreds of comments on both feminist sites and men’s rights sites like The Spearhead and A Voice for Men, I noticed the clear pattern that men and women argue differently. Men tend to try to understand what their opponent is saying in order to point out the flaws in his argument. Women on the other hand tend to try to show that nothing about their opponent’s argument is understandable at all. As soon as she determines a person’s argument is contrary to how she feels, rather than confront her opponent’s reasoning she’ll use ridicule or derision to dismiss the argument entirely.
The great many men visiting feminist blogs to confront what they see as faulty logic is proof men look to engage and attack any weakness in their opponent’s argument. It’s also apparent when the odd women shows up on a men’s forum. No matter how insulting or far off topic she is there’s always a surplus of men ready to engage.
On the other hand when men come to women’s forums to debate the issues they’re banned from commenting if they say anything the women don’t agree with. This is proof women look for reasons not to engage their opponents argument. Furthermore unlike the many men who troll feminist forums, women rarely show up to debate men’s rights with men, though this is no loss for them since women don’t need the opposition present to have a debate. Though they didn’t permit their opponent to make his argument they’ll agree amongst themselves on what he probably would have said and then ridicule that misrepresentation among themselves.
There are exceptions of course. Aside from the fact that his site is intentionally satirical, Manboobz relies on ridicule while refusing to address any relevant points, exactly like a woman. However I haven’t seen a picture of him so I’m still not convinced he isn’t one, in which case he’s not an exception. On the flip side I’ve also read at least one woman’s blog on men’s rights that was more methodically logical than most men’s writing. These exceptions are extremely uncommon.
It’s not surprising then that in the gender rights debate neither side is convincing the other even in the slightest, and that raises a good question: If men can never be convinced because women don’t engage men’s rational arguments, and women can never be convinced because men ignore their feelings and bully them with the excuse that their feelings aren’t rational, then how can the sexes ever compromise? Compromise relies on a belief in the “common good” and requires a common understanding of the issues. There’s no “common good” if both parties have conflicting agendas, and there’s no common understanding if both parties have different ways of reaching a conclusion.
I believe there may be a solution. To achieve compromise men may need to take the initiative and address arguments that make women feel differently about men being treated unequally; that is demonstrate that the devastating consequences of men being denied equal rights in areas like false accusations and family law will in the long run be more painful for the majority of women than individual women no longer being able to get away with as much when the systemic injustice against men is exposed. Whether false accusation, unfair child support or alimony, unfair division of property, or unfair custody and visitation, more women in the man’s family are hurt by an unjust court ruling than the single woman who benefits. The man’s mother, sisters, aunts, daughters, and new significant other may suffer terribly because he suffers, and because they’ll stop at nothing to support him.
Stop at nothing may be what they need to do because it’s clear that the battle to end discrimination against men can’t be won without their help. Men are designed for war against neighboring villages not for defending ourselves against our “helpless women” whom we find it difficult to hold to account for anything.
We can’t even learn from the hard lessons learned by other men because part of being “manly” is refusing to pay attention of common difficulties men face in our dealings with women. Consequently when men are confronted with gender inequity in divorce, false accusations etc. they’ll face it alone and lose. Being “manly” means he’ll take responsibility for his defeat in this system that’s so rigged winning is impossible. As a result he and other men will be ashamed to share their stories. With all the injustice so invisible he’ll get no sympathy from the legions of other men who haven’t had their eyes opened by their own struggles, and who haven’t taken the time to become informed. They’ll just look down on him as being weak for having lost. On top of this women will band together to heap on scorn and abuse for him defending himself against a woman. They won’t relent until the man is forced to accept his defeat. All this makes it difficult for men to come together to make a change. We men may have left our ancestral villages to conquer nations and may have subdued the unknown perils of the ocean to discover the new world, but facing the shaming circle of the village’s fishwives we have always conceded victory.
Surprisingly I agree women should continue to have the privileged social position this lopsided situation demonstrates. Men’s chivalry and protection of women has been around for much longer than feminism and will likely be around long after feminism is gone. Under most circumstances where men have some leadership role in the relationship both men and women feel positively about the man putting his duty to protect and provide for women and children before his own needs and safety. It’s probably a natural state of affairs because any society that did otherwise is extinct. But a man taking responsibility for putting women first goes with empowering men to disabuse themselves of women who behave badly or fail to support him. We ‘re at a warped point in history in which the feminist state has so deeply involved itself in relationships it has broken the contract between men and women. Where men would simply leave a bad wife, refuse to take responsibility for a loose woman’s child that in all probability wasn’t his, or ignore a woman who drunkenly agreed to sex and then cried rape the next day from shame and regret, men today are now completely blocked from acting in our own interests to solve our own problems. We’re forced to appeal to the feminist state which has effectively decreed men are always wrong in any dispute. We’ve become so disenfranchised that the rewards for taking on the chivalrous “leader and protector” roles men always aspired to are vanishing. In marriage for example the only recourse men have is to play the odds of getting reamed in divorce if it doesn’t work out, to endure a completely emasculating and unsatisfactory marriage, or to opt out of marriage or cohabitation altogether.
Societies still rely heavily on men, and no society can prosper if men are so disenfranchised. Men aren’t asking for special status as “victims”, we don’t need help, we just need the law to stop actively enslaving us to women. If weren’t so shackled by the law that we can’t act in our own self-interest we would’ve corrected feminism ourselves as we’ve always solved our own problems. But where we are now is needing women to allow the state to give us equal rights in our relationships with them. For that to happen we need to show women AND feminist men that allowing men equal rights is in women’s interest too.
This shouldn’t be a difficult argument to make because wherever one woman may benefit many more women on the man’s side suffer, and because even that single women who benefitted is being adversely impacted by anti-male laws. As an example, though women primarily benefit from no fault divorce that are commonly interpreted as “no fault” means “his fault” , it’s no fault divorce that’s reduced lifetime alimony and made being a homemaker such an uncertain occupation that women feel they have no other choice than to keep a career. Women openly acknowledge that as a result they now work too much, face criticism from all quarters for neglecting their husbands and families, complain their husbands don’t do enough at home, then divorce in greater numbers than ever to end up living life alone. Rather than being happier women are now unhappier than ever.
So the MRM may have started with the many well constructed points we men have gathered like big sharpened sticks for the coming gender war. But a great many women aren’t vulnerable to such hard logic. We have to broaden our strategy to include some carrots to lull them across enemy lines as in reality it’s less of a gender war we’re confronting than it is a challenge facing both men and women. We’ve always needed each other too much for complete victory in favor of either sex to lead anywhere but towards mutual destruction. Feminism is winning but it will be the end of marriage when men are forced to completely surrender and this is not a victory for women. The destruction of marriage will be followed by the destruction of innovation and economic prosperity as marriage is not only an incentive for men to pursue both, but it’s also the best environment to nurtures children to have these qualities. To avert the end, somehow we need to help women understand that women need men to have the right to be men for women to fully realize their right to be happy being women.