Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hit me with your best shot

Like this guy, only fighting feminism.
One of the running complaints from Men's Rights Activists who frequent this blog is that I pick on "nobodies" or "fringe elements" in the Men's Rights movement, with some suggesting erroneously that all I do is pick on individual commenters on MRA blogs who might, for all we know, be evil feminists out to make MRAs looks bad (as if MRAs really need any help in that department).

It's a silly criticism, given that most of my posts so far have dealt not with anonymous commenters, but with MRA bloggers and others with a history in the MRM, including some fairly prominent names. And the posts I make based on comments on MRA sites? They show what is considered acceptable discourse in the MRM, demonstrating the casual misogyny of all too many MRAs, which all too often goes unchallenged by other MRAs.

But let's, for a second, pretend all the critiques are true. I ask you, all the MRAs who read this blog: if I'm unfairly picking on nobodies, who are the somebodies I should be focusing on? If I'm focusing on "fringe elements," websites or forums that don't really represent the MRM, where are the websites and forums I should be looking at?

This isn't a rhetorical question. It's a challenge: I'm inviting you to post the names of blogs, websites, online manifestos, etc. that in your opinion represent the best that the MRM has to offer. Heck, even individual blog posts are fair game here. Books too. Post them in the comments below, with links if possible, and with a short statement explaining why you like that blog, forum, book, whatever.

Note: I feel compelled to add one further point, because I know what will happen if I don't. I'm not asking this question because I don't actually know of any MRA "somebodies." I'm asking because, again, I want to know who you guys think are important. I have several dozen blogs and websites in my "enemies list"; I've examined all of them. I'm familiar with Warren Farrell, Christina Hoff Sommers, Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young, Erin Pizzey, and so on and so on. I've read The Misandry Bubble and the "Don't Marry" post. I'm just asking: If I'm focusing on sites and people that misrepresent the MRM, what sites/people do you think represent you best?

45 comments:

  1. To all commenters:

    Before you bother responding to David's challenge here, let me first translate the title for you:
    "Give me a target so that I can barrage it with unceasing meritless criticism."

    It's the agenda that matters, David. If you disagree with individual items on the agenda, then you should make your case about the merits of your position.

    People, don't take the bait.

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  2. No worries John, I am going to give him a target - not a person, but an idea...

    I'd like to hear you talk about the following:

    Tell me why any man should get married.

    Tell me how V.A.W.A. is not sexually biased - and why it should not be removed.

    Tell me how the rape shield laws are not unfair - and why they should not be removed.

    There are three things for starters...

    No people, just ideas. Let's here your counter-arguments to those IDEAS.

    However, I am guessing that - like you always do, you will ignore me, unless you think I have made a type-o or error in logic somehow.


    Cheers.

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  3. John, are you really that afraid of criticism that you won't mention, say, a blog or a MRA site you like? Bizarre.

    As for my super-seekret evil agenda: this whole blog is devoted to criticizing the MRM, so, yeah, chances are good that I'll offer critiques of whatever sites you mention. Chances are good even if you don't mention them.

    But if you guys won't tell me what sites/people you consider the best representatives of your cause, then I can't really take seriously any criticism from you guys that I'm picking on the wrong guys.

    Again, my question is simple: If I'm picking on the wrong guys, who are the right guys to pick on?

    Scarecrow, I fully intend to deal with all these issues, on my own schedule. In the meantime, how about you answer my much simpler question?

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  4. @David Futrelle:

    "John, are you really that afraid of criticism that you won't mention, say, a blog or a MRA site you like? Bizarre."

    What you're going to do, David, is to search for the worst examples of posts on whatever Web site is suggested. Those posts which offend you will then become your centerpiece, and you'll use them to discredit the entire men's rights movement and its agenda. That's why I say it's useless for us to indulge your little challenge here. Your whole blog exemplifies the logical fallacy known as ad hominem. Your modus operandi is to attack the validity of the agenda of the men's rights movement by discrediting the individual supporters of that agenda (as if the agenda's merits can be reduced to a sinister plot by what you consider to be sinister people). You're bound to find some examples, almost anywhere, that seem to confirm all of your stereotypes, and you'll use the people who authored those examples as punching bags -- hoping to punch out the MRM in the process.

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  5. Comments sections running dry are they?

    Go to your enemies list, the headlines change there everyday, there is plenty to do features on.

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  6. "Scarecrow, I fully intend to deal with all these issues, on my own schedule. In the meantime, how about you answer my much simpler question?"

    Translation: Scarecrow, I MIGHT make a post dealing with these issues before the end of this century, but don't hold your breath.

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  7. @Cold
    It's David's friggin' blog. He can write about whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

    I find it funny that no one is actually answering.

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  8. The problem is that manginas like you are too fucking stupid to realize that men are NOT represented by MRAs. The "Men's Rights Activists" represent the MANGINA opinion. They are just as equally intolerant of dissenting opinions as feminists.

    The other problem is, you're too fucking stupid to realize you're a victim of your own self-serving categorizations. The Manhood Academy ebook already clearly points out the differences in gender function which both MRAs and feminists conveniently ignore or hypocritically abuse only when it suits their self-serving agendas.

    How can you spot a mangina or feminist? Easy. Just look at the fucktards who commonly mischaracterize the value of free speech. Only fucking morons with the IQ of a donut are threatened by dissenting opinion, which is why MRAs and feminists alike are threatened by the opinions of REAL MEN.

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  9. John, if you can't think of even a single MRA site that will stand up to any kind of scrutiny, what on earth does that say about your movement?

    You can't think of a single MRA blog that doesn't post misogynist stuff sometimes? You can't think of a single forum where hateful comments are called out by the other commenters rather than upvoted and agreed with?

    If that's true, it's pretty sad.

    If that's not true, name a site that's free of this.

    How hard is that?

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  10. David, you are as foolish and hypocritical as an mra complaining about misandry out of one side of his face and saying misogynist things out of the other.

    Can you think of a feminist blog that doesn't post misandrist stuff sometimes?

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  11. Ok, provide examples of this from any of the blogs/sites in my "friends list." (Besides that one post from Jezebel that I've already discussed.)

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  12. David, Im not going trolling through the comments sections of sites, thats your job. Feministing is there, and there is plenty of misandry there.

    Besides, you are politically correct, the blinkers are on when it comes to feminist polemics. All the studies Ive seen you post are deliberate polemics.

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  13. @Manhood Academy, 'free speech' involves a right to be free from government censorship, it does not require private publications to give anyone a free forum. You may think that robust argument is preferrable for discussion, but 'free speech' is an issue about legal rights, not about others being forced to allow you in their private forums (such as a private blog).

    @John Dias, if you think that David believes in a conspiratorial plot, for which these MRA statements are evidence, then you concede that he is not committing an ad hominem fallacy. Citing statements of believed conspirators as evidence of conspiracy is not an ad hominem fallacy. Personal attacks only constitute a fallacy when they are unrelated to the issue being argued. If the issue being argued is conspiracy or 'plot', then intent, character, association, etc., are generally highly relevant to the assertion, even if the assertion is not supported by good evidence. You are, I believe, confusing ad hominem with a 'strawman' (aka ignorati elenchi) wherein you claim your opponent is avoiding addressing your claims by trying to attack you by attacking positions you do not in fact hold. Your statement about stereotyping evinces this as well.

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  15. @DarkSideCat:

    The insinuation that the bad apples represent the entire MRM as well as its agenda is itself the ad hominem attack. David's attack is against an entire movement's beliefs, and his ammunition is cherry-picked from its least nuanced voices.

    If, for example, the MRM points out that fathers get a raw deal in family court, David will put up a picture of some men wearing superhero costumes and causing havoc by climbing atop a construction crane. The ad hominem attack in that case would be, "Can you see these kooks atop this construction crane in their silly costumes? These are the crazies who think that injustice exists in the family courts! Har-har! The very notion that injustice exists in the family courts is just as crazy as these crazies!" Do you get the idea? It absolutely is an ad-hominem attack, and it's ignoring the injustices that the MRM stands against.

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  16. John, I don't say that the bad apples represent the whole movement. I've never said that.

    I would say, though, that the people I've written about, with a few exceptions like Makow, DO represent mainstream opinions within the MRM.

    Do you really think the sites I've written about -- say, the Spearhead, or Paul Elam's site, as I've written about both several times -- are NOT mainstream MRM sites?

    If so, I'd like to hear specifically which of the sites I've written about represent, in your mind, the "less nuanced voices." Is Elam one of them, for example? Is the anti-feminist tech guy one of them? Is Dalrock one of them?

    They either are or they aren't, John. If you are unwilling to say, I'll just have to assume you think they all represent the worst your movement has to offer.

    If I shouldn't be focusing on Elam, or the Spearhead, or whoever, tell me which sites ARE mainstream MRM sites. You tell me the "nuanced voices" I should be talking about.

    Eoghan, I rather doubt you've read even a single one of the studies I've cited. If so, you really don't understand the meaning of the word "polemic."

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  17. @Dave---

    "John, I don't say that the bad apples represent the whole movement. I've never said that"

    THAT IS THE BULK OF JOHN'S POINT!!!!!!!!!!

    You DON'T come right out and say it,you use innuendo and inference because then you have that default position of "I never said it" as a defense when you get called on it. Just throwing crap at people and asking them to sort it out is not a position.

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  18. No, I think the primary problem is John and others assuming I'm saying things I'm not.

    A couple of weeks back I put up a dopey old sexist cartoon with a guy tying a woman to the train tracks; somehow this was turned into me being some sort of cultural commissar out to "enforce a world where the very thought that men experience problems with women in relationships is taboo." And, oh, I was also compared to David Duke.

    http://manboobz.blogspot.com/2010/10/cartoon-of-day-tied-down.html

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  19. David, Im using the word to mean attacks on one group. Your studies are slanted to contain the message that there is a bad group and a good group. Like the barn wall for the farm animals, exactly like that IMO.

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  22. @David Futrelle:

    "I would say, though, that the people I've written about . . . DO represent mainstream opinions within the MRM.

    Do you really think the sites I've written about -- say, the Spearhead, or Paul Elam's site, . . . are NOT mainstream MRM sites?"


    Just because a Web site or blogger expresses opinions that agree with the agenda of the MRM it does not necessarily mean that the agenda of the MRM is synonymous with every MRA's expressed opinion. Just like in any mass-movement, there is a spectrum of opinion, there are various ideological factions, and there is a complexity of views, values, temperaments and writing styles within each individual writer. We in the MRM come from many different walks of life and have varying life experiences. Some of us have experienced extreme injustices that were thankfully acknowledged by the MRM. Others of us experienced disgust at the drumbeat of misandrist voices ridiculing masculine values, a cultural phenomenon that has resulted from 40 years of feminist saturation, and these people identified with the non-feminist sentiments that are expressed in the MRM. Some of us are seeking to carve out a sense of identity about what it means to be a man besides just the social obligations of men. Some -- including both fathers and mothers -- have lost substantial parenting time with their children in the adversarial and money-draining family courts and were shocked to learn that as parents they didn't have the legal protections that they assumed they had. But you, David, are trying to paint all MRAs -- in one broad stroke -- as one monolithic bunch of ridiculous cartoon characters. Your demand for a specific Web site or a personality to personify this diverse group of people ignores the complexity of its constituent members, even as you attack the collective legitimacy of their views.

    If you want to make a valuable contribution, then stop shooting at us from the sidelines and start doing something to help. You can start helping by publicly acknowledging that feminism really doesn't have the well being of men in mind, and you can continue by finding a man in need and helping him through whatever crisis that he's in.

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  24. DarkSideCat said...
    @Manhood Academy, 'free speech' involves a right to be free from government censorship, it does not require private publications to give anyone a free forum


    This is correct, however a forum, which is claiming equality and is busy to delete and edit comments because they do not fit its 'party-line' is a forum which shows a serious lack of credibility.

    It seems, the huge majority of feminist forums do have such a restrictive moderation policy.

    On the other side, MRM-forums welcome any opinion, as I said many times, we do not have a 'party-line'. MRM forums are open to everybody.

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  25. "MRM forums are open to everybody."

    Well, so far I have been banned from the Men's Rights reddit and Elam's site, though I didn't post anything even remotely obnoxious on either.

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  26. David: I have been banned from the Men's Rights reddit and Elam's site, though I didn't post anything even remotely obnoxious on either.

    I strongly doubt this while reading your biased comments of your own blog.

    I gave you links to 2 forums, which are not into deleting and banning. Generally, threads which are pure idiotism are closed and are moved to an isolated sector.

    I have been banned at Hugo's - without any understandable reason. He said merely, he is fed up with all these MRAs.

    I have been banned by Ampersands too because another MRA mentioned my name and gave our forum link. The fact I am posting frequently in a MRM-forum was enough reason to ban me.

    About Reddit, I don't know that site and I never visited it. About Elam, I heard about him the first time in this blog.

    To answer your question about 'other MRM-websites':

    I am not a native English speaker and not living in North America.

    I am using for reference/information frequently other websites outside of the United States.

    Check out:

    MANNdat
    http://manndat.de/
    Verein Freimann
    http://www.freimann.at/
    反フェミニズム
    http://antifeminism.kyuseido.org/

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  27. John, so insofar as I can make out what exactly you're arguing here, you seem to think it's unfair of me to make fun of idiots in the MRM for being idiots, because somehow me making fun of the idiots in the MRM is unfair to the non-idiots in the MRM.

    Is that it?

    Yet you still refuse to tell me the name of one person in the MRM you think isn't an idiot.

    "If you want to make a valuable contribution ... you can start helping by publicly acknowledging that feminism really doesn't have the well being of men in mind"

    Not going to do that, John, because it's not actually true.

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  28. John Dias: We in the MRM come from many different walks of life and have varying life experiences. Some of us have experienced extreme injustices...

    Today I was checking out some MRM blogs of my own native country, and maybe David can tell me, what is wrong with the following demands, and if these MRM-demands are women-hating and why... (simple translation):

    http://www.freimann.at/forderungen.htm

    1
    We need more respect, stop to belittle us men in public by the media.

    2
    Men also sometimes are poor off and need social welfare and help regarding healthcare.

    3
    A man can also be a victim of a violent crime and need assistance in legal affairs - We men need sometimes the same legal assistance which is now given only to women.

    4
    Why we talk only about women concerning better working conditions? We men also need better conditions for our jobs, especially more social security and safety in case of dangerous work.

    5
    Something is wrong with the education system of boys, no guidance by men, only by women.

    6
    Why is jobless money divided 50:50 for men and women? Nowadays, there are more jobless men than women ...
    Why do we get less jobless pay than women?

    7
    There is a problem regarding children after a divorce, especially visitation rights. We recommend to consider an entire new law regarding this matter.

    8
    Why are more women than men in public services?
    It should be about 50:50

    9
    Why is the retirement age for men and women so much different, (Remark by Yohan: 60 for women, 65 for men), why do women get retirement allowances and all related other benefits 5 years earlier, like cheaper tickets for public transport etc.

    10
    Why are unpaid military services and social services obligatory only for men? (6 months no income) - Obligatory unpaid social services should be for both, young men and young women.

    -----

    I wonder if David will answer these questions...

    David is not only biased (brainwashed) but also totally uninformed (or ignorant) about the position of men outside of the USA.

    Sometimes I think, he has no idea about what the MRM is talking about.

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  29. @DarkSideCat, nobody is talking about "private forums," you idiot. This is referring to the chronic violation of men's first amendment rights by our feminist media/society.

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  30. Yohan, I have no disagreements with most of that. Better working conditions for men and women? Of course. The same retirement age for men and women? Sure. (It's the same in the US.) Welfare and legal aid for both sexes? Sure. Obligatory military service? I'm against it for both sexes.

    If these were the primary issues pushed by the MRM, I would have no problem with it. (Or at least very few.) Here in the US, most of what the MRM pushes for (and against) is very different than this.

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  31. Then David, what is your perception of what the MRM is working for? What are, in YOUR opinion, the primary issues that it's pushing?

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  32. This blog would be more aptly named "Whats wrong with the comments sections of 1% of less of the on online mens movement community".

    I had a conversation with a site owner about extreme commentary before, he didn't want it but didn't know what to do about it, most of these these guys have nowhere else to go and they are victims of the system that the mens movement is working to change. As with women in the early days, a woman that had been abused by a man found no support in society, its worse for men these days, as an abused man also faces the system and feminist legislation being used as a proxy weapon. The site owner I mention for example, was arrested for domestic violence even though his wife was the one that was abusing both him and his children. Denise Hines has a study that shows that false allegations or the threat of them are a common enough tactic used by abusive women, and family lawyers are well aware that the false allegations are used often enough in divorce tactics.

    I post occasionally at Spearhead, I got into an argument there some months ago, I was saying that it was only a matter of time before feminists began using the minority of extreme commentary to suppress abuse victims rights, fathers rights, boys that are being let down by the education system and all the other legitimate concerns of the mens movement, as you are trying to do here doing here David.

    Now, I think the more that feminists publicly use fallacy and polemic research to try to suppress the legitimate issues and victims of feminism, the more it shows its true anti-egalitarian colours, the more it does that the more of us there will be and the more severe the backlash.

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  33. @David Futrelle:

    "Yet you [John Dias] still refuse to tell me [David Futrelle] the name of one person in the MRM you think isn't an idiot."

    I already told you why. It's because once I name someone, you'll devote your effort into trying to portray that person as an idiot or an extremist. The reason why I think you would do this is not because it's necessarily true (now or in the past) but rather because it is your goal to stall the implementation of the MRM's agenda. We have been making lots of progress in the state legislatures lately, and 3 years ago won a big court case in the appellate courts. I don't want you to get in the way of those victories, or any further victories in the courts or state legislatures, on the pretext that the blogosphere somehow negates the need for our agenda to move forward. Men are experiencing genuine injustices and they need help; action needs to be taken. And outside of the political realm, the culture of emasculation and misandry must also be confronted and you're not currently helping to do that (nor would you be helping if I supplied you with a target to attack and ridicule).

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  34. @Eoghan,

    "Now, I think the more that feminists publicly use fallacy and polemic research to try to suppress the legitimate issues and victims of feminism, the more it shows its true anti-egalitarian colours,..."

    The above leads me to assume that you believe that the MRM is pro-egalitarian and/or that you are pro-egalitarian, but you don't assert that, so my assumption might be erroneous.

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  35. "This blog would be more aptly named "Whats wrong with the comments sections of 1% of less of the on online mens movement community"."

    It's not 1%. That vile stuff is omnipresent on MR sites. It's everywhere. If the attitudes I find in the comments were only held by 1% of MRAs, the comments I posted from The Spearhead, for example, suggesting that women shouldn't have the vote would have been massively downvoted on that site; instead, they had dozens of upvotes.

    That "chair dragging" comment I recently quoted? All the responses to it on that message board agreed with the OP; no one there challenged it.

    Show me a MRA site where such misogynist nonsense is regularly challenged by other commenters. Antimisandry.com is probably the best in that regard, but in this case "best" doesn't actually mean very good; there's lots of misogyny there too.

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  36. "Then David, what is your perception of what the MRM is working for? What are, in YOUR opinion, the primary issues that it's pushing? "

    The primary "issue" that the MRM (or at least MRAs online) is pushing is the notion that men are more oppressed than women, and that it's all the fault of feminism. For a significant number of MRAs, the "issue" is that women are, you know, lying whores, etc.

    Sometimes MRAs do actually focus on legitimate issues -- violence against men, unfair gender stereotypes, etc -- but their analysis of these issues is generally clouded by ideology, or sometimes simply hatred, and their "activism" on these issues becomes counterproductive.

    As I learned in my debate with Elam, it is almost impossible to have a reasoned discussion with many/most MRAs on these subjects.

    Again, if you know of MRAs online who ARE having reasoned discussions on all this, who aren't hateful, etc etc, please point them out.

    So far the only MR-related site I can think of where real debate is even possible is Feminist Critics.

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  37. So, in essence, your position and your opinion is that the only "legitimate" issues that the MRM is working for are:

    1) Violence against men

    and


    2) Unfair gender stereotypes

    The notion that men are oppressed is, to you, a sarcasm laden one that deserves only a dismissive wink and nod.

    You lump all the MRA's together (isn't that something you earlier claimed you 'never' did/said?) and state that they ALL consider ALL women (the all is implied because you did not intentionally separate the fringe from the mainstream,something you also failed to do in your superhero thread) are lying whores.

    You have also taken the position that every single MRA you personally come in contact with is impossible to have a discussion with on any gender subject.

    To recap:

    1)Even though you are NOT a men's rights advocate, you have unequivocally stated that there are only two LEGITIMATE mens inssues; those being violence against men and unfair gender stereotypes

    2) Anything else the MRM claims is a worthwhile issue is to be dismissed because YOU do not recognize it as legitimate

    3) All MRA concerns *really* just boil down to the fact that they ALL blame feminism and ALL women are lying whores

    4)No one will agree with you, so they are therefore, stupid and wrong.

    And to finish, you want me to do your work for you and bring you links to places you might consider granting your approval to like a trained puppy.....thanks but no. By your own admission, nothing anyone brings you that has a different perspective than your own is going to be looked at seriously.

    Until and unless you are able to be open to 'real' discussion about the concerns of men, with someone unconcerned about pushing their agenda, and you can *honestly* leave your own at the door, these conversations will go no where. All I hear from you David, is "Here's my opinion, its correct just read it..don't agree? Well you're unreasonable and hate women anyway, and I'm still right but I can't be arsed to further the discussion with more sources, you bring me some of YOUR sources...not so we can discuss them, but so I can dismiss them out of hand and tell you they're misogynist. There is, however, no such animal as misandry."

    I would ask you, David, what are the legitimate concerns of feminism? Not the concerns of the first or second waves, but right now, in 2010, what are the legitimate concerns? Bring the argument to us instead of passively and overtly demanding we bring it to you.

    Also, please elaborate, or hell, even just initially present the reasons why the following MRA issues are not, in your opinion legitimate:

    1) Custody agreements/Fathers rights
    2) Sexual assault against men
    3) Healthcare legislation as it pertains exclusively to men
    4) Education
    5) Birth control/reproductive rights
    6) AA and the workplace
    7) Equal access to social services


    Thanks :)

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  38. "The notion that men are oppressed is, to you, a sarcasm laden one that deserves only a dismissive wink and nod."

    Nope, he was referring to "the notion that men are *more* oppressed than women, and that it's all the fault of feminism" [my emphasis]. Very different point.

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  39. @Natasha

    At what point would systematically limited services and reppealing legislation that helps victims be good for victims?

    If for instance, MRAs are worried about rape on men, do they not call for tougher sentences for rapists?

    In contrast, didn't Paul Elam say, even if he had copious amounts of evidence that proved the man a rapist, he would still vote not guilty?

    Does that not seem wrong to you MRAs? At all?

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  40. **why do they not call for tougher sentences for rapists?

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  43. @David Futrelle:

    "The primary 'issue' that . . . MRAs online [are] pushing is the notion that men are more oppressed than women"

    That depends on the issue. In many ways men really do have it worse, but most people don't really take the time to think about it. Here's a thorough breakdown:

    Some say "It's a man's world." How good do men have it?

    @David Futrelle:

    "As I learned in my debate with Elam, it is almost impossible to have a reasoned discussion with many/most MRAs on these subjects."

    The MRA discussion forum Stand Your Ground has a thread permanently affixed to the top of its topic listings literally begging for a feminist to show up and debate them (it's entitled "Feminist Wanted"). That forum is also moderated, meaning that blanket descriptions of an entire sex are prohibited by the admin. I'm not saying that all the commenters there necessarily represent the MRM's agenda; after all they're all individuals with their own opinions. But the moderator does seem to value some level of civility there.

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  44. @Manhood Acadamey, the first amendment is binding on the federal government and, via the fourteenth amendment, the states, not private publications. NBC can publish only what it likes without violating the first amendment, so can any private blog or newspaper. No forum has a first amendment obligation to be used as a sounding board for anyone. The first amendment means that the government has no right to criminalize speech or publications (with certain exceptions regarding things like violence), not that any media forum has an obligation to any individual to let them use it to speak their views. Want a blog that never bans your comments? Make your own blog. Every other blog is free to ban you. You can criticize them for it (because of free speech), but they have in no way violated the first amendment, because they are not the government interfering with your publications.

    @Yohan, on the same issue, not every blog or site is intended to be a debate forum. Many sites explicitly detail what is allowed in comments. This is perfectly fine, though they are hypocrits if they do such moderation and then claim to be a forum open to the forbidden views. A site which explicitly bills itself as for feminist and their allies (or, alternatively, on that bills itself as the opposite) has every right to limit its site's comments to those people. Feminist sites that heavily moderate are explicit about their heavy moderation and what is allowed. Not all sites need to be an open forum. If you do not like who or what a site excludes, you are free to comment about that on your own or other sites.

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  45. @DarkSideCat obviously you're too stupid to even grasp the nature of the argument which is why you require the thumb-sucking blanket of censorship in the first place.

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