The issue of male victimhood has exposed a rift in the MRM, with one faction advocating an equivalence between male and female victimhood, and another warning of the dangers of feeding the victimhood industry and its associated enforcers.
Angry Harry, who was one of the first real MRA bloggers online (if not the first — I was still blissfully ignorant when he got started), took issue with former US marine James Landrith’s use of recovered memories (AKA suppressed memories) to claim he had been drugged and raped by a woman.
Harry pointed out that recovered memories are far more likely to be used against men, and in fact that has been the case historically. The vast majority of people who have been accused of abuse following revelations in therapy of recovered memories have been men, and many of these men have been innocent fathers. It was at epidemic levels in the 80s and 90s, and resulted in some horrific abuses of police power.
Harry’s reaction to reading the post:
If anything, it was mid-level panic from thinking about all the horrors that generally arise from the typical activities of those who believe in the veracity of “recovered memories”. And it was also mid-level dread from thinking about all the extra hysteria that would be generated by associated parts of the trauma industry should their empires be encouraged to grow by men’s activism.
And the thought that both might be gaining traction in the Men’s Movement – something that would be absolutely catastrophic, both for men, in general, and for the MM itself – was fairly unbearable.
In the early 90s in Wenatchee, Washington, an accusation a troubled girl made mushroomed into a full-blown witch hunt, resulting in dozens of arrests and charges on tens of thousands of counts of “abuse.”
The case was a nightmare for many entirely innocent people, and well worth studying for those who are concerned about how bad things can get with out-of-control police and courts in a supposedly free country.
From a history link essay on the witch hunt:
Child witnesses, mostly from 9 to 13 years old, were often taken from their families and placed in foster care. Many said later that they were subjected to hours of frightening grilling and if they didn’t believe they had been sexually abused, they were told they were “in denial” or had suppressed the memory of the abuse. They were also told that siblings and other children had witnessed their abuse, or that that their parents had already confessed.
Angry Harry, who is well read in these matters, is familiar with the hazards of relying on suppressed or “recovered” memories, which may or may not be accurate, but in any event can be very dangerous tools in the wrong hands. And that is his main objection, as it should be.
Eivind Berge, for his part, takes issue with the idea that a man can be raped at all. As he sees it, female on male rape is a fiction, and that has generally been the accepted view for most of history. I think Eivind is closer to the the mark than those who claim that female on male “rape” is a problem, but what some are trying to call “rape” today is just regular old seduction, a term people seem to have forgotten about as every aspect of female sexuality has been given license in recent years. Rather than always being positive as Eivind would have it, seduction can have seriously negative consequences for male victims, not the least being decades of crippling child support payments. Also, when the victim is, for example, an adolescent male and the seductress a married or partnered female adult, the legacy of guilt and shame can have serious implications down the road, and in some cases the boy may end up becoming a real victim of a jealous man (22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; 23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life…). Seduction can be an evil deed, and women shouldn’t get a free pass for it as they do today, but calling it rape is inaccurate.
However, like Angry Harry, Eivind identifies the primary problem with promoting abuse hysteria:
To me, nothing screams bullshit as loudly as claims of sexual abuse by women … It was clear to me from the beginning that the female sex-offender charade only serves to promote feminist sex laws that ultimately hurt men immeasurably more than it can help a few rare particularly sensitive outliers who are traumatized by female sexual coercion (if they even exist)
Both Angry Harry and Eivind Berge have correctly pointed out the flaw in using fundamentally feminist techniques to advocate for men: they redound onto men themselves. I would go further than merely scrutinizing claims of female perpetrated sex abuse, however, and question the emphasis on female perpetrated domestic violence.
Female initiated DV is quite real, and more prevalent than male initiated DV (if all physical aggression is taken into account), but there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with it. The wrong way is to make the DV industry even bigger than it is today by demanding that men are treated as “equal” victims. This is problematic because in the real world men are not equal victims for the same reason that women are not equal soldiers.
Some may wonder why, if this is the case, women still start fights with men so often these days.
They do so for one simple reason: they know that they can start a fight and have the police and courts finish it for them.
Imagine what would happen if small children knew full well that if they talked trash, slapped a teacher or parent, caused all sorts of trouble and finally provoked physical intervention, they could then call a big, burly guy with a club and a gun to come beat and detain the adult, and ultimately force him or her to buy them toys every month. Not all children would take advantage of it, but a lot of them would.
If you found yourself in this situation, would you, as an adult, argue that you are equal to the child, and should also be able to appeal to the authorities in an equal manner? Of course not, because unless you were a very frail adult and the kid was freakishly large, nobody would take you seriously when you said the child was beating you up. In all likelihood, as soon as the cop arrived you’d be the one in cuffs!
The wise solution would be to remove the authorities from the equation, and to drop the “equality” pretense. Enforcing equality in a fundamentally unequal situation is usually at the expense of the advantaged party — typically the man. This is why focusing on female domestic violence and female on male rape is counterproductive for MRAs. I would be surprised if roughly half of the men who called police claiming to have been raped by women didn’t end up in jail themselves.
If you read Landrith’s post and take him at his word, it appears that the trauma he felt was more a result of the fear of what the woman could do to him if she went to the authorities than the actual sex act:
Put yourself in my shoes for a minute. I was under 21, drinking illegally in a club, while on active duty with a local, pregnant civilian. Why didn’t I report it? Read this paragraph again and think about it harder if it eludes your grasp.
If anything, it is the massive police apparatus built up around the regulation of sexuality that inspires terror.
So why are some men insisting on being equal as victims when it’s clear that this is only perpetuating the system that victimizes men in the first place? First of all, some of the most vocal advocates of this tactic are not actually men, so maybe they simply don’t understand the reality of the male experience.
Secondly, some men are trying to “turn the tables” because, in the current climate, that’s all that comes to mind for many people. It can be difficult to think outside the dominant paradigm, but that’s what The Spearhead is here for, so let’s come up with another way to think about the problem.
If men and women are not equal victims in the real, physical world, how could they possibly be equalized? It would take a force stronger than the typical husband/boyfriend to enforce this equality. A force so strong that a man could no more resist it than a poor, frail little slip of a woman could resist an enraged, brute of a man. That force, naturally, would be the state, in the form of trained officers with powerful weapons, body armor, large toothy dogs and an organized body of men behind them.
If women want to make the case that they need protection because men are bigger, stronger and more aggressive than they are, and we should all be equalized so as to avoid victimization, then men should make the case that we need protection from the state, because it is bigger, stronger and more aggressive than we are, and frequently victimizes us. To argue that the state should be empowered in any way – even for our supposed “protection” – would be analogous to a feminist arguing that in order to empower battered wives, all husbands should be given daily doses of anabolic steroids and training in martial arts.
So, what kind of backward thinking has us striving to be equal to women instead of working to put ourselves on a more equal footing with our increasingly arrogant and violent overlords? Sadly, this is a kind of slave mentality, and only shows the depths to which men have sunk in our society.
As men, we have nothing to gain from being equal to women. Let’s face it: we make pretty lousy women, so why the hell would we (or women, for that matter) want that anyway? Only a few strange, mentally disordered fanatics, like that guy who ran the Heaven’s Gate UFO cult, truly believe that we are all exactly equal “persons.” Everyone else who pretends that is the case, such as feminists, is simply using it as an angle to disempower men (note that feminists are fiercely protective of their unique status as women on the rare occasion it is threatened by transsexuals). The correct term for it is “emasculation.”
Instead of conceding even more to the enforcers by submerging ourselves in an approved victim status, we must reject outright the idea that we have anything at all to gain by joining in on the gender equality charade, and demand equality not with women, but with those men who wear robes and uniforms, and who command great sums of money they have taken from us. Whining for their protection and favor will only increase their contempt for us, and make them bolder. In short, it will make us their bitches.