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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An Open Letter to "A Voice for Men" (from a man)

The idiocy and fear-mongering really speaks for itself.


Dear folks at "A Voice for Men",

I read your "Open Letter to Feminists" posted by Gordon Wadsworth in response to Lindy West's recent post to MRAs on Jezebel.

Full disclosure: I am a man and a proud feminist. I found Lindy West's article to be one of the best articulations on feminism (and MRAs) that I've ever seen.

If you're still reading, I applaud your willingness to hear what I have to say, but I should mention that there's no further applause for you in the rest of this letter. I'm going to be brutally honest.

I debated whether or not this letter would do any good. You folks run a website with rather asinine views. Am I doing any good by sending traffic your way? Am I potentially giving you a wider audience (and more recruits)?

My reasoning finally came down to this: I am seeing an alarming number of young men (and old men) gravitate towards your website. The men's rights subreddit on Reddit.com, alone, frequently has items from your site posted to their (subreddit) audience of 66,000 users.

I'm really hoping men see my post, and instead of being led to believe feminists are out to cut off their penises and force-feed it to them, will be enlightened to the blatant ridiculousness and hyperbole of your "brave" commentary.

And the shit you guys post is more than a little disconcerting, but let's stick to Mr. Wadsworth's letter.
And yes, I’m aware that your domesticated pet-feminist male sycophants agree with you, but thankfully they don’t speak for all men, even if it is comforting and convenient for you to believe otherwise.
This is the second paragraph of your letter, which I find absolutely hilarious. A website that calls itself "A Voice for Men" is dismissing all men who identify themselves as feminists.

In other words, my opinion is only valid if it supports your assertions. Otherwise, I should take my penis and go home, where my "bitch owner" has domesticated me, right?

Classy.
Whether men are even in a position of authority anymore is debatable...
Ha! Is that so? In the United States, alone, men control 80% of the Senate, 82% of the House, 2/3 of both the Supreme Court and the presidential cabinet, and have always sat behind the desk in the Oval Office.

The idea that men are on the downswing is laughable, and your proposal that this topic can even reasonably be debated does serious harm to your credibility. But let's continue...
Stated more generally, feminism hurts men. Most men in the manosphere have done this math and come to this conclusion. So trying to convince us that “patriarchy hurts men” just won’t cut it anymore.
As a man, I have never seen more egalitarian people than those involved in feminism. They have consistently and warmly welcomed my opinions and fought for men who are victims of gender roles. Further, those few women who do, in fact, hate men have been resoundingly shouted down by the vast majority of feminists as bigots.

And what the fuck is the "manosphere"? Is this a secret, underground bunker used by MRA superheroes with laminated "man cards"?
Men valuing themselves and wanting to avoid being cut out of the picture is seen as men rising up to oppress women “again.” Men speaking out about a man’s career being thrown in the trash can wasn’t merely men being angry about being cut out of their rightful half of the picture, it was a reflection of a misogynist culture trying to keep women out of tech. In other words, you see nothing but men attempting to assert their “authority” over women.
Yeah, again, I have never been cut out of a feminist conversation. Ever. No woman has ever told me I didn't have a place in a discussion on gender issues. In fact, the exact opposite has happened. Women have encouraged me to be part of the discussion, even if they disagree, so long as I gave my opinion in a respectful manner.

Actually, if there's any sort of problem here, it's that my opinion is TOO celebrated in feminist circles. If I give the same opinion as your average woman feminist, I'm far more likely to be given a bigger microphone, both because of how hard-wired gender roles are for everyone in our society and the fact that feminists crave men who see all this bullshit for what it is...
You treat males as disposable.
Again, no. I have never been treated with anything other than the utmost respect by the feminist community.
You make no boundary separating healthy female behavior from dysfunctional female behavior.
"Healthy Female Behavior" would be a kick-ass name for a punk-rock band. In your context, it sounds extremely condescending and quite hypocritical.
When you accuse men of being uniformly privileged based on your narrow view of male authority, it delegitimizes any and all discussion of male obligation. You give yourself permission to ignore and marginalize the male perspective, and subsequently to ignore men’s issues altogether.
But we are uniformly privileged. It's not our fault, but denying that men don't have an obvious advantage in society simply for possessing a penis is really a sterling example of self-denial. And claiming that we don't have an obligation to address this privilege is ridiculous.

As I have said, time and time, again: Not addressing one's own privilege is like refusing to help put a room on fire in your own building because it's not your room.

No one is blaming you for being born, Mr. Wadsworth, but failing to recognize the head start you've been given for having an XY chromosome is ridiculous, bordering on either extreme naivete or outright dishonesty.
This cycle of destruction needs to stop. We don’t need to be enemies, but you need to acknowledge male obligation to women and society as exactly one half of “patriarchal” oppression and start working harder to free men from it.
This is one of my favorite quotations out of your entire letter, the idea of being obligated to bear half the responsibility. I have seen feminists constantly speak out on the inequity men face in both court custody battles and infant circumcision, to name a few issues.

I have never--not once--seen MRAs, especially your own website, publish an article addressing the gender wage gap, the severe underrepresentation of women in every sphere of power, or even something as basic as sexual harassment.

Feminists, myself included, do have a primary focus on issues faced by women because that's where the bulk of sexism in our society is concentrated. And yet, we're still more than pulling our weight on men's issues, especially relative to the concern you've shown for women's issues.

Stop blaming women for your problems. You look pathetic and laughable.

And not for nothing, but you're really hurting your supposed "mission" by stuffing your fingers in your ears and refusing to listen to anyone who attempts to offer a different perspective.

I am a man, and you don't speak for me. And if I'm looking solely at issues that affect me and which route to take in order to effectively address them, I'm going to go with feminism over the Men's Rights Movement, every time.

Because they seem to have the intelligence, compassion, and--how to say it--maturity to look out for my welfare and that of everyone else, too.

Please, for the love of everyone's sake, shut down your site. You're not helping anyone, especially men.

v/r

Charles Clymer

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/charlesmclymer
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cmclymer

22 comments:

  1. RE: "Ha! Is that so? In the United States, alone, men control 80% of the Senate, 82% of the House, 2/3 of both the Supreme Court and the presidential cabinet, and have always sat behind the desk in the Oval Office."

    Do you honestly believe that is good measure of how men are doing in this World? Or is it empty rhetoric. The people in the positions you mention care more about their own power than the lives of the average male.

    Regardless of what one thinks about Paul Elam, you are going to have to up your debating game.

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    1. Zimba what is said by Charles is nothing really than feminist talking points really, which means ignoring reality.

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  2. Zimba,

    I'm not clear about what you think is good debating. Good debating is using facts and valid research (as you quoted Charles doing above), instead of using empty, blame-filled arguments. You're doing the latter.

    You're right, those men in power care about their own power. So as a whole, they inherently care about male power. That's how power works. If you are similar to a power group, you'll get power as a result.

    They may not care much about the "average" male, but they care about the average male far more than they care about the average female. You have one point out of the two, women have none.

    If you don't have representation in government, you don't have a voice in government. That's the way things have ALWAYS worked. This should not need an explanation.

    Your life might suck, Zimba - or maybe it's great, but by your post, I'm guessing not. Either way, feminism has nothing to do with it. Please take your frustrations elsewhere.

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    1. What makes you think those men in Congress actually care about men and not the 1%? Please point out a single think those powerful men have done for the average man. Yes I am asking for facts, something Charles here is lacking in, besides logic.

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    2. Hey Kell, loving your derailment that is blatantly irrelevant to the point that is being made. Clearly your ability to debate is questionable since you can't even stay on topic. For the record we're talking about male priveledge. It's not your fault you were born with a penis, just as it's not my fault I was born with a vagina; the fact is however having a penis is more advantageous to having a vagina, and you know that damn well even if you refuse to acknowledge it.

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    3. Advantageous how? Is there some sort of man club bonus that I've been missing out on? Last I checked I had to pay for my own education and work a full time job. I don't have a family so luckily I can avoid the whole family court thing. I know I have to keep the topics in the workplace nice and pc if I don't want to lose my job. Hey, the ladies can talk about their tampons and which male doctors they find attractive and thats cool though. I'm not even really annoyed they do it. I'm just annoyed at the double standard.

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    4. Reluctant Paladin I understand being frustrated by double standards. If discussions about women's medicine bothers or offends you, I'd suggest bringing it up with your HR rep. It's a reasonable concern. Don't confuse that uncomfortable office chatter with real-world discrimination and bigotry however. 1:3 women are passed over for promotion in the workplace specifically because of their gender & 68% believe discrimination exists (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effects-gender-discrimination-workplace-2860.html). That's a great look at the experience of the median worker. If you want an example of the top 1% Janet Yellen is perfect. She is an American economist and professor, who is the Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. She is a front-runner to replace the Fed Chair next year, the majority of the critique about her is not her understanding of economics, or her resume - it's because she's a woman and fundamentally unable to do the job well. You've been "missing out" on the "man club bonus" because it is so intrinsic to our culture. You don't recognize it because the benefits are so automatic they aren't questioned. And, that's a problem.

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  3. Thank you so much for this blog post. I am sad that feminism has gotten such a horrid perception because quite honestly feminism is a wonderful thing. I have many male and female friends and acquaintances who are feminists! Hurray for posting this since bashing females and bashing feminist males is not in the least bit promoting the cause of the men on that website. ~ Jen

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  4. I often wonder why MRAs blame their problems on feminism, instead of taking them at face value like, maybe you're just having a bad time because you're a human being? Some woman tore your heart out? Some man tore mine out too, but I'm not blaming teh menz like you blame teh womenz.

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  5. Thank you for posting this. As you said, most women are grateful to meet a feminist man, and I am certainly so. I only know one feminist guy IRL, and that's my cousin (for he was constantly ridiculed by men for "not being man enough" and such).

    After a week on having my opinions labeled as crazy and ridiculous, it's a relief to know that there are guys like you out there.

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  6. I'm a high schooler, and the amount of hate towards feminism in my generation is RIDICULOUS! The sheer ignorance a lot of men and women portray about the meaning of the movement is unbelievable. And it moves me so to hear you say things like this, after being told that women are already equal, that I'm crazy, that I am irrational and overly sensitive to my environment based on my being a feminist by a majority of my peers. I even got asked if I was a man hater during a job interview with a 20 something year old (so not that far from my generation) because I said I was a feminist. And we're supposed to be a generation more accepting of equality!

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  7. I would not be a married, man-hater if feminism means that we "feminists" hate men and want to destroy them.

    I love men. I love my husband, I love my sons, and yet I am still and always have been a feminist.

    A man feels fearful and powerlessness from other men that pressure him to behave "like a man" however his particular circumstance dictates this male to behave. A man does not behave like a man to impress me. A man behaves like a caring, sweet, smart, respectful person to impress me.

    I do not instill fear in men. Please! A man can choose to fear or hate, just as I have that ability to think independently of mainstream beliefs. I can follow them or look for that which speaks to me. And time and again I choose to be a feminist.

    I choose to believe that I am as important to this world as a man is important to this world. I choose to believe that everyone matters equally. I choose to think for myself, and at times my opinions differ from the opinions of other feminists. That does not matter. What matters is the spirit of feminism, as I initially stated is not based on hate or hurting. It is based on raising the status of the entire human condition.

    Whereas, it seems like the defensive stance of this "manoshpere" website wants to continue the "who gets more pie" debate. Which is nit-picking at a very pervasive issue of power-inequity at all levels.

    And that, my gentlemen friends is the main focus of feminism; to make sure that we can eradicate all power-inequities, focusing on those that keep women the more consistently oppressed sex world-wide. Women more exclusively than men are still treated in many countries as property, slaves, and sub-human chattel. Even in America, we are denied the same treatment in court, in drug-treatment, in medical-care, in salaries, and in career advancement. More women live in poverty compared to men in the US. Granted, the things that feminists fight for in the USA may seem esoteric to the "manosphere", but it is important to well over 50% of this nation. Please value us, and our opinions. You can disagree, but the problem is you do not show any respect or intelligence. I hope that you can free yourselves from your fears, and see that any inequity hurts all of us. Both men and women. So if you feel hurt or fearful, let us find a way together to make this change for the good of all.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Privilege is a stupid concept and feminism is a man-hating movement by it's very nature. One of feminism's most basic tenets is that there is a conspiracy called the patriarchy that allows men to oppress women overtly and covertly. This "patriarchy" would have had to come into existence on multiple continents among groups of people separated for millennia sharing no common language or few if any shared beliefs and customs. As for privilege people face adversity in society for a variety of reasons.
    The groups of people that faces these adversities does not fall cleanly along racial or gender lines.
    These adversities may be caused by inequalities (i.e. different legal or moral standards imposed from without based on unalterable inborn traits) or they may be caused by any other rational cause. Without systematic, unbiased, scientific study, it can't be known what the cause is. Inequality is not the default cause of all adversity.
    Whenever these adversities are studied systematically and in an unbiased fashion, the studies reveal as many different reasons for the adversity as there are instances. For instance, the reason men in prison get raped is different from the reason women get paid less than men. There is no unifying, overarching force that is responsible for all adversity and inequality in society.
    Men are not involved in a concerted, organized effort to oppress women. Such an organization is logistically impossible. There are no weekly patriarchy meetings, nor could there be. Conspiracy theories along these lines are not to be taken seriously, ever.
    The feminists of interest in this debate, as well as other varieties of postmodern leftists, get at least some but usually all of these wrong. Their version tends to look something like this:
    By definition, certain classes of people can never be victims of anything. Any adversity that would befall one of these people is by definition cancelled out simply because they are a member of this class. (Conversely, there are other classes of people who are always victims, even when no harm befalls them.)
    The groups of people mentioned above are defined and classified based on unalterable inborn traits having to do with combinations of race, sex, and gender.
    Inequality is the cause of all harm suffered by the predefined victim class. No study or investigation is needed or even wanted unless it happens to support this theory. No study is needed or wanted for the non-victim classes either, since by definition they cannot be the victims of inequality. (One can't help but stand in awe of the irony and dissonance: the non-victim classes are held to a different moral standard based solely on unalterable, inborn traits -- which is the exact definition of inequality!)
    An overarching cause for all of this is created, given a name -- "patriarchy," "kyriarchy," whatever -- and then given moral agency, so that it can be a proper recipient of blame for everything that goes wrong. Members of the non-victim class are shoved into this group whether they belong there or not, and blame for things they had nothing to do with is heaped on them.
    The absurdity, asininity, and absolute impossibility of the preceding point, whenever it is brought up by anyone sane, just rolls off of feminist backs like water.

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  9. Great stickers, I will print more.

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  10. Hi, and thanks for this post - I, as a former feminist sympathiser turned men's rights sympathiser, find it amazing how hard it is to debate these issues, in particular given the legitimacy and urgency behind men's concerns.

    The rhetoric is sometimes extreme, I agree. But first, compare it to debates on exterminating men och sites like radfemhub. And second, consider that the fact that we immediately jump to conclusions like misogyny is due, in part, to gender roles - a man who jumps out of his role as a protector and providor is a threat, whereas a woman jumping out of her role is everything from a nuisance to laudable. For a man to be brave, he has to do something for others. For a woman to be brave, it is enough to fight for yourself. Illustratingly enough, most successful mens rights advocates are in fact women.

    It is the failure of feminism to fight these aspects of gender roles that made me, finally, relinquish it. But reluctantly so, as the thing we all burn for is gender equality. Why should it be so difficult to agree?

    As for why I relinquished feminism, one of the "manosphere's" best vloggers, Karen Girlwriteswhat, says it so much better than I:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o-OcTSeVcs

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  11. There are so many wrong statements in your paragraphs defending feminism, but lets get to the real one: You support Obama, and The Democrats, and they are against equality! They support war in Afghanistan, and drone strikes of citizens around the world. Obama supports corporations, and bailed out Wall street.. He supports the USA Patriot Act,.. And he continued the original bush tax cut... This exposes the "equality" hypocrisy! Stop supporting warmongers Barack, and Hillary! For god's sake.. And why don't you talk about the racist Margaret Sanger, and The pro-war nut Christabel Pankhurst.. More on that later

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  12. "But we are uniformly privileged. It's not our fault, but denying that men don't have an obvious advantage in society simply for possessing a penis is really a sterling example of self-denial."

    Interesting that the "privileged" gender has a 5-year shorter life expectancy, makes up 85% of the homeless population, 80% of suicides, and 90% of alcoholics. Or is that just another case of "patriarchy hurts men"?

    "Further, those few women who do, in fact, hate men have been resoundingly shouted down by the vast majority of feminists as bigots."

    Really? I haven't heard much condemnation of Mary Daly and Valerie Solanas coming from feminists.

    "In the United States, alone, men control 80% of the Senate, 82% of the House, 2/3 of both the Supreme Court and the presidential cabinet, and have always sat behind the desk in the Oval Office."

    Not to mention less than half of the voting population.

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    ReplyDelete
  14. Ok after having a look at both A voice for men and feminist sites i still think that the MHRAs are right.

    I have looked at articles from both sides about the Wage gap (which yes Voice for men has unlike what you claimed) and the feminist seem to use empty logic and biased study groups to throw out any numbers they like. 40% of man are rapists, women earn 75 cents to a dollar and every man is a part of a cult to oppress women

    Firstly if they was really a wage gap then only women would be hired. Because then you only have to pay them 75% as much as a man would do for the same time.
    And remember that 95% of workplace deaths happen to males. Its not because they try to kill themselves to purpose but the fact that they WORK HIGHER RISK JOBS! Which gets extra pay because of extra danger.

    And i decided to test how open to free speech Feminists and MRAs are by creating 10 accounts 5 which i said i was a male and 5 where i said i was a female. The males one would ask questions about female rights in which i pretended to be a range from White knight to Screaming 4-Channer. The female ones on the MRAs sites would also range from Anti-feminist to deranged Fem-Nazi.

    Of the accounts all 5 male ones were banned (including the White knight because i said i was male) and only 2 of the female ones were banned (The most extreme versions advocating genocide). And also any moderate posts i had on the female forums were deleted while the Screaming mad one were kept to show the EVIL MRAs!!!!

    Another example is switching it so the 5 females are on the feminist forum while the 5 male are on the MRA forums. I ranged from White knight to wifebeater crazy on the MRA forums and any account which i made that advocated beating or harming women got banned. While they actually gave good arguments and listened to my posts as a white knight persona not resorting to insults like the feminists.

    But the Feminist forum the only account to be banned was the one asking for cooperation with MRAs. The screaming Fem-Nazi persona was totally fine. And before my cooperation one was banned I recieved insults which was totally the reverse on the MRA sites (which were mostly polite except for some Redditers)

    Fin

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  15. Are there any laws enforcing white male privilege, like these laws enforcing female privilege:

    The College Affirmative Action Plan and programs are established in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Federal Office of Contract Compliance Programs, Federal Executive Order 11246, Rehabilitation Act Section 503, Governor's Executive Order 93-07 Affirming Commitment to Diversity and Equity, Re-establishing Affirmative Action and Prohibiting Discrimination, Governor's Executive Orders 89.01, 96-04 and 98-01, RCW 28 B.10, 39.19, 41.06, 49.60, and 49.74. Consistent with Federal and State law, the plan provides for equal opportunity and non-discrimination in all aspects of college employment regardless of protected group status: race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or veteran status.

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    1. That's about none discrimination.Your interpretation is hugely egocentric.

      Delete

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