Let’s Talk About Missing the Point?

Over Christmas I noticed with interest that the Huffington Post has a Men’s section. Sadly if Rachel Moss’s contribution on the subject of menimists is reflective of what’s on offer then I it goes some way to explaining why it carries the rather patronising tagline of ‘Building Better Men’….

Here’s the rather lengthy retort I naively left in the comments section:

Rachel are you just indulging in a bit of ‘harmless’ misandry or are you really missing the point by a country mile? Allow me to retort…

‘Any true feminist knows that feminism is about gender equality – not man hating.’

Agreed – it is generally understood to be the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes.

Although perhaps you shouldn’t dismiss concerns about men hating so quickly when even the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women believes that feminism, (AKA fighting for women’s rights) has ‘too often become synonymous with man-hating’.

‘But unfortunately it seems some guys on Twitter do not think feminism speaks for them.’

Unfortunate for whom exactly? For anyone understanding that a ‘feminist’ generally self-defines as advocating for or supporting the rights and equality of women’?

Is it perhaps unfortunate for someone challenged by the concept of men attempting to find a space to talk about their own views and needs in the all too regular discourse about gender equality? Would it be misanthropic to suggest that gender equality issues are most commonly understood as a dichotomy where men are almost exclusively presented as living on the lucky side of an equally weighted coin, more often than not for reasons entirely of their own nefarious doing?

While it was previously being used to make misogynistic jokes that many women found offensive

No argument there – the world is full of assholes and a lot of assholes are men.

The hashtag is now being used by many males who want to seriously discuss issues facing men in the 21st century.

Are those really the best examples you could find? If you were listening to the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women you might have come across less easily mocked issues such as suicide, mental health, fathers rights etc.

It’s great that men are talking about gender equality, but we’re wondering whether they really need their own movement to do so.

We being….?

You? Us? Them?

Earlier this year, Emma Watson’s powerful #HeForShe speech highlighted the need for men to support feminism in order to improve life for both sexes.

Powerful? Really? Surely I’m not the only human on the planet to have rolled their eyes at the sight of the “Harry Potter Girl” being rolled out to challenge the men of the world to get in touch with their feminine side?

No matter how well intended it may have been, I wasn’t entirely moved by her tale of how a lifetime of ‘sheer privilege’ has occasionally been interpreted by such (#trending) horrors as being accused of being ‘bossy’. I can’t help thinking there are better ways of addressing the serious inequalities experienced by women and girls around the world than whatever (??) it was Ms Watson was attempting to sell to the masses…I mean look how S.P.E.W worked out (little joke for the Potter fans there).

Menimism risks creating an “us against them” scenario where men and women are pitted against each other, rather than supporting one another.

Really? Does such infrastructure not already exist? Might #menimist not simply be an inevitable development to discourse where men and women are so very often pitted against each other? You must have some understanding of how sweeping concepts like a UK equal pay gap are established? Surely the argument for excluding men from publicly funded domestic abuse services is justified primarily on a pretty uncharitable ‘us against them’ shakedown of available statistics. Would a mother think I risk such a scenario by pointing out that men and boys are 4 times more likely to commit suicide?

Menimists and feminists essentially want the same thing so wouldn’t it be better if we all worked together to achieve it?

Err yes. So why does your article read like something a dinosaur would have produced back in the day to argue against voting rights for women?

Next Page: The Daily Telegraph


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