I will appear as a guest on The Magic Sandwich Show, on Sunday, July 12th, 2015.
We will be discussing The Men’s Movement, and a number of related topics. It will be an introductory level talk. Expect many definitions, distinctions and clarifications. Come and join us!
This is just another addition to my scratchpad of tricks that I’m learning that work well in creating good conversations with people who are used to conflict as a means of discourse.
1. Replace the word “you” with “one” or “we” or even “I.”
2. Speak to the idea, not the person. Replace “You are” with “this idea.”
3. Speak to a person’s behaviour, or speech, not to their intentions or motivations and especially not their sense of self. Do not say “You think,” use “you said.” Better yet, use “Your previous comment read…”
4. Assume that even if we are arguing diametrically opposite ideas, that we are are colleagues striving to find a workable solution to our mutual problem.
If we are to challenge ideas, and we want our ideas to be listened to, we must first disconnect them from the promoter of the idea, so that our interlocutor can see the idea at a distance, and not as a part of themselves, and then include them in our group.
5. Understand that any insult that comes your way, is an sign that your interlocutor does not have the tools to express their aims, needs or fundamental ideas. It is merely a clumsy attempt to accomplish something, to meet a need, even if they don’t know what they are trying to accomplish.
6. I find that taking someone’s idea, role-reversing it, or presenting the same argument, but in a slightly different context and asking them “Do you accept this idea?” is far more effective at getting the person to see their own argument in a new light.
7. When someone makes a good, true or even slightly useful distinction, acknowledge it, and build on that acknowledgement, rather than merely slapping down bad arguments. “OK, your point about this is true, now, how do you reconcile it with X?”
I wish, wish, wish, that I had known this as a young man. This is all new to me, and I’m still working on it.
I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with the hard-core liars. My way of dealing with it is to presume that the lie serves to protect their sense of self.
Cassandra Kennedy Admits Lying About Father Raping Her, Man Released From Prison After Nine Years
Same old same old. Merely adding another example to the heap that is currently on this blog. One day, I’ll tag them, and when people ask for evidence of false-rape accusations, I’ll have a ready-made link. And this does not count the many, many other examples that I have not linked to.
Two excellent analogies for how men and women currently interact relative to the Feminist hypothesis of Patriarchy, the alleged one-sided “oppression” of women. Men call it being treated like a disposable utility, in the case of these analogies, a hireling, someone who gets the job done then is told to take a hike.
Feminism purports “oppression” without acknowledging the benefits (“the privileges”) that come with the contract, and so uses this as a moral justification to demonize men. Many men see this set up as being taken advantage of.
Either both engage in the contract, or not. When men choose not to, because they see the contract as being inequitable, it’s called “MGTOW.” When men try to bring awareness of this, and change the laws that have taken this cultural norm of a contract into law, it’s called Men’s Rights Activism. When people simply discuss this issue free of the Feminist framework, it’s called Men’s Issues Advocacy.
Dear Feminists: want to smash the patriarchy? Be completely self-reliant, and make any exchange a mutually agreeable contract: do your own work, fend for yourself. We men certainly do. Feminists have spent years demonizing men, pointing to only to men’s advantages, and ignoring their obligations and disadvantages, while focusing exclusively on women’s inconveniences and ignoring the advantages that the contract brings them.
I especially appreciate the author’s conclusion: men have to stop offering, and women have to stop expecting. Women only expect the incessant freebies because men so undervalue what they have to offer, and so overvalue what women have to offer that they pay to give it away. “Oh! You want to go to Montana? Let me take you there, and while we’re at it, I’ll pay you for the trip! Can I throw in some extra free lunches for you? Would that incite you to ride my bus?”
We men are half the problem.
Another conversation I’ve had with a MGTOW.
tl;dr? Your comments are reflective of a very broad swath of men, whom I’d like to address indirectly as I speak with you. Much of your argument is typical of the kind that many MGTOW make: “I don’t know how it can be done, therefore it cannot.” This is an argument from lack of knowledge, and of hopelessness.
They then follow up with ” I will focus on what I can control: my life.” I do encourage men to take charge of their lives and to put themselves first.
At some point, however, one must measure when one’s life is stable and steady enough, to be willing to venture out of the comfort zones, even only if by small increments. My intent is not to convert you to an MRA, but to encourage you to replace hopelessness and helplessness with what MGTOW is really about: men living full rich lives as valuable and self-respecting men.
Forgive the length, the conversation is worth it. Wish we could do this via Hangouts. Interested? Contact me, and we’ll set it up.
“Having men speaking out doesn´t mean that laws will change. I have a hard time to see where things are getting better.”
You are right that discussion does not guarantee results, but no discussion certainly guarantees no results. Having women speak out didn’t mean that laws would change. But they have, haven’t they? I can provide you examples of where people speaking out has created change. I refer you to the Canadian Association for Equality, who have for the first time, since Earl Silverman, have create a shelter for abused men. That isn’t a law, but it’s a change. I could provide you with names of lawyers who actively specialize in men’s issues. That’s a next step. I can refer you Mike Buchanan who has started a political party in the UK based on men’s issues and is running for political positions. Step by step, all starting with talk. Give it time, we’ve only just begun, don’t write things off before we step off of the blocks.
“Instead we have the Yes-means-yes-law and some countries are introducing new laws where men can now get in trouble for flirting with a woman in public. Or airlines who require single traveling men not to sit next to young children.”
Yes, we have two groups, one, being a very-well funded massive power, and another simultaneously operating fledgling movement. Put one drop of red dye in a glass of water. The water is no longer 100% transparent. Add another drop. How long until we recognize that the water has a reddish hue? Remember that we are changing societies–plural. This is a generational task. We are doing this for our grand-children (and hopefully we’ll get to enjoy some of the results.)
“And what is that critical mass? 25%, 50%, 90%?”
That is excellent question–and one should be researched. How does one measure “critical mass?” That we do not know, at the time of this conversation, does not imply that it cannot be done. That would be an argument from lack of knowledge. I’m going to do some research on this for two reasons. 1. I want to know. 2. Knowing and being able to measure would allow us a concrete goal to strive for.
“I think there is more to it then rational thoughts. Biology and the urge of most men to care for women and to protect them at any cost is a huge factor as well.”
Oh yes. We are trying to change hearts and minds–in that order.
“I remember Cenk saying something like “Even if a woman hits you first, you don´t hit her back! That is just different!” And many men feel the same way.”
Yes, he’s entitled to hold very ignorant and thoughtless beliefs. Now, put him in a context with 1000 people who vociferously disagree and see how long he holds to that belief. Hearts and minds… Social pressure, psychology, emotion. It is all part of the equation.
Francis said: “This is very dense with assumptions.”
“I have talked to a large number of women about equality and feminism and while some of them might agree that feminism has taken things much too far, they often refuse to acknowledge that certain “facts” that are propagated by feminists are in fact just myths or flat out lies. Like the “gender wage gap” for example. You can produce statistics from official sources and those women will still claim that there is a gender wage gap and that women are “oppressed”. Again, this is not something rational in my opinion. It seems to be that those women instictively know that being the “victim” will benefit them and they won´t let go of it, no matter how many facts you present. They will constantly change the subject or end the discussion with the usual attacks: “You hate women! You have a problem with women! You are a sexist!” etc…”
Yes. And gravity exists. We do two things: use it, and find work-arounds. Ever ponder on how amazing suspended bridges are?
Francis said: “Cenk is not an enemy, he’s someone who doesn’t accept the argument…”
“Men like him will never change their behavior unless they have been burned badly themself. Sometimes not even then. At least that is my experience. There are some exceptions though…”
But we don’t know that for a fact. If we assume that this is so, as an irrefutable given, we aren’t likely to act on it, are we? Cenk is only one–and notice how many disagree with him. We don’t need 100% acceptance, we need critical mass. I can’t measure it yet, but I can see that it is growing.
Francis said: “MGTOW is not “the” solution, it is part of the solution.”
“I agree with you that MGTOW doesn´t provide a universal solution. But many MGTOW men probably don´t believe in a political solution (like myself). They just try to improve their life and stay safe. And that is a more practical approach then hoping or fighting for a political change, at least in my opinion. It is a solution for ME because it works for ME.”
Full disclosure, here: I am both an MRA and MGTOW. I was MGTOW before the term existed and only became MRA when I saw others doing it, and had an example to go by. MGTOW don’t believe in direct action. I get that, I didn’t for years either. You say “a more practical approach then hoping or fighting for a political change.”
Hoping and fighting for are two different things. The only reason that I was MGTOW and not MRA was because I thought “If I don’t know how it can be done, it can’t be.”
“I have nothing against the MRM, I just think it will not work.”
Two observations. The first is that you are looking at the MRM as though it is a singular static tool. It isn’t. The MRM is comprised of men and women, of all walks of life, of all psychological bents, of all skill, drive, talent and passion levels. The second is that you are again repeating “I can’t see it, so I don’t think it will work, therefore I will not invest in it.” That’s fair enough, and you are entitled to think that way–but it isn’t sound thinking, it is an argument from ignorance. You may not be one of those naturally proactive people, a mover-and-shaker by nature, neither am I, but I do not accept “I don’t know the solution, so I won’t try.” I’m not judging you for it, nor am I asking you to take action. I am asking you to think more deeply about your reasoning, even if it is only to stop thinking as someone who is oppressed.
“And one reason is because women have more leverage in our society. You can´t bargain with someone who is in a superior position. That´s the way I see it.”
Of course you can–if you have the right leverage. It might be financial, psychological, physical, etc. Sun Tzu is quoted as saying “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” and “To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” You have already lost in your mind, and so retreat. Our “war” is not won though violence, but influence. Take one person, and help them change one idea. That’s your drop of dye in the water. The first battle, however, is against our sense of weakness, powerlessness and hopelessness.
“Thanks anyway for your comment. Even if we don´t agree with each other, I always enjoy having a civil and respectful discussion like that. And that is the reason I gave your comment a thumbs up, not because I agree with you.”
Imagine that: people having civil discourse and enjoying it! I encourage you to continue doing do. It makes us more effective and more fun to be listened to.
A commenter in a thread said _”I sympathize with the MRM insofar as they fight for mens rights. I just think that they will not get very far.”_
Yet, all evidence is to the contrary. We have more men speaking out now than we ever have had before. The result is that we have more people acting on it.
_”And the reason are people like Cenk.”_
Not at all. People like Cenk are merely what the marketing industry would call “a late adopter.” Given critical mass, he, and those who hold his points of view will also change. This is how ideas get propagated in a very large mass of ideas. Changing public consciousness takes time, first because humans need time to change their ideas and second, because there are so many humans.
_”Most women are not willing to give men equal rights. (And this includes especially reproductive rights!)”_
This is very dense with assumptions. First, rights are not “given,” they are accepted then respected, then acted upon. When we speak of rights, such as reproductive rights, for example, what we’re speaking of is legislation that leads to the enactment and enforcement of policy. There is a process to these things. The order is such: academic introduction and debate, public acceptance, political acceptance, legislation and encoding into policy, followed up the encoding and enforcement of policy at the local level (in the bureaucracy, then down to cops and social workers, for example.)
Once all of this is in play, there’s a number of years where the specifics have to be worked out in court to refine the issues via challenges and decisions.
_”And a large number of men are mens worst enemy. Cenk is the best example for that.”_
Cenk is not an enemy, he’s someone who doesn’t accept the argument, whether his arguments are good or bad (I think they’re atrocious.) That he is male or female has no bearing on the matter.
Where men _are_ “enemies” to each other is in day-by-day activities where men piss on each other, or fail to stand up for each other in a context. In a conversation at a party, at a job interview, by the cop who just goes with the flow or in a comment thread where people scream out “pussy beggar!”
MGTOW is not “the” solution, it is part of the solution. MGTOW simply remove support from the current system: they don’t feed the enemy, they deny the enemy resources. MRAs are the warriors on the field, sword and shield in hand against those who would harm us. MGTOW is more passive, but is valuable. A hungry, unsheltered opponent is a weaker opponent which makes the job easier for the warriors in the field.
It is time to stop thinking of each other as opposing armies and to think of ourselves as mutually supporting specialists.
This is a comment that I had left to an interlocutor on social media. It is, I think, a good and relatively short introduction to the difference between the Men’s Rights Movement, Feminism and why so many Men’s Rights Activists are anti-Feminist as well.
I’d like to shorten this to an elevator pitch. I welcome your feedback.
The men’s rights movement is not the inverse of Feminism. It is not “Feminism for men.” That there was once a woman’s rights movement that eventually gave way to Feminism, does not imply that people who now strive for equivalent rights for men (such as gaining reproductive rights) use an equivalent, but sex-reversed mental framework.
A refresher. Feminism’s three phases can be simplified to this: 1. Fighting for actual rights in law. 2. Re-examining women’s roles and sense of identity relative to society. 3. Trying to re-write cultural norms.
At the moment, men are fighting for our actual rights in law, and re-examining our roles and sense of identity relative to society. We are not, however, trying to re-write cultural norms on the basis of an androcentrically oriented mental framework.
The women’s rights movement was a good thing, and I don’t think you’ll hear any MRA say otherwise. Feminism was sharp split from the women’s rights movement. It went from being about equal rights and responsibilities, to the post-modern, neo-Marxist critical theory-based framework that accepted the notion of class warfare (patriarchy theory) that posits that not only are women oppressed and subjugated, but added “by men.”
Ever since, Feminism has been actively doing three things.
The first, is to seek women’s advantage–deserved or not–regardless of the cost to men.
The second was to infiltrate and lobby government with the tenets of Radical Feminism: that women need to be protected from men, that men are a danger to women, and to implement these presuppositions though legislature and policy.
The third, was to promote the cultural message that men are perpetrators of women’s victimization.
All of this translates to tangible, measurable active harms to men, legally and culturally. It may work to women’s advantage and interest, but is in no way fair, or impartial. This is a far cry from equal pay for equal work, or equal opportunity, or equal rights under just law.
Does disagreement with these behaviours in anyway diminish women’s legal or moral standing? It does not. If men want to re-balance law so that it is genuinely sex-neutral, does this detract from women’s rights? It does not. If men speak out against the negative stereotypes propagated against us, does this mean that we want to foster inverse negative stereotypes about women? Of course not. And if men are angry with the way that we are treated, does this mean that we hate women? It doesn’t.
That one is anti the-political-ideology of Radical Feminism does not mean that one is anti-woman. It means that the ideas that Feminism promotes and implement are bad ideas. It means that it is our turn to start cleaning things up, but first, we have to get people to stop the mud-slinging.
I hope this clarifies my point of view. I welcome your thoughtful response.
I think that it’s terrific that women have all the help they can get, but why is it that men don’t have those same services? Men are human beings. I think there needs to be a greater call for men’s services.
I know that I often write about anti-Feminist issues. My real reason for being an MRA is the kind of story that we hear in this video. I remember when I lived on the streets in Vancouver for a short while, very few women were homeless. Those that were of three types: rock-bottom low-end junkies, prostitutes and teenage girls who thought of it as an adventure. Part of the reason there were more men on the streets than women, was because in the end, women could always trade sexual services for a meal or a place to stay.
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