My history with gender politics
I’m ashamed to admit it now, but there was once a time I called myself a feminist. Or at least a feminist ally. It just seemed like the logical step to take as an atheist, humanist, and a liberal. But then I went to University. The first thing I did to change that was take a gender studies class. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I think genuine objective study of modern gender studies will create more anti-feminists, just like a serious study of the bible creates atheists. The other thing that really changed my mind was talking to actual real modern feminists. So many are just so stupid.
But Fathed, what does this have to do with the “Men’s Rights” in the title?
Well, to get to the rest of my point in this post I need to talk about my history with the Men’s Rights movement. To get it out of the way, I am not a Men’s Rights Activist. I had never actually heard of the MRM until like 2 and a half years ago. I was in a particularly dark mood at the moment. Above and beyond my otherwise slow descent into madness. To entertain myself I found myself trolling different communities on the internet. I found the MRM on reddit and my immediate opinion was “these whiny bitches sound like feminists constantly whining about being oppressed”. It is my opinion that no one in the modern western industrialized world is oppressed. (I have a post started on this, hopefully I’ll quit being lazy and post it soon) So I had to fuck with them.
But then I actually started to realize that a lot of the people were just men that were hurting. In particular there were a lot of former soldiers, and their stories particularly tugged at my heartstrings because I have a lot of great friends that were/are former/current soldiers. On these different forums there were men who came home from Iraq/Afghanistan to empty homes because their wives left them during their 3+ tours. There were men who had lost up to half of their group to suicide (sorry, I’m ignorant of the proper naming of groups in the military by size). Stuff like that.
I quickly felt like an asshole. I moved on and forgot about the MRM. The only trace of the MRM in my life was I started following a youtuber named Drrandomercam. He’s just awesome though.
Then the Elliot Rodger thing happened. Everyone knows about that. But the thing that pissed me off was that everyone in the main stream media was spreading the narrative that he was an MRA. This is just false. I watched his videos. I read parts of his manifesto. He was clearly a young man that was seriously disturbed. He clearly had a severe case of narcissism and an in-general disdain for the world and all people. But nothing he said was anything that was in line to what I knew about the MRM. He wasn’t talking about divorce and child custody loss. Or male suicide. Or circumcision. Or the gender inequity in the criminal courts. The closest connection to the MRM was his subscribing to a couple pickup artist things. Pick-up Artists (PUAs) are not MRAs. They are just a bunch of (mostly) asshole men trying to teach other men tricks on how to bed women. In fact the PUAs and MRAs quite often hate each other. Honestly though, Is anyone surprised that an awkward 22 year old virgin, who’s whole life seemed to be fixated on sex, was subscribed to PUA stuff?
What this incident taught me was just how Orwellian the media had become. He who controls the narrative controls the truth. To this day I’m sure most people believe Eliot Rodger was an MRA. I found myself constantly defending the MRM, despite not really caring about their movement. Just because I care about the truth over anything. The people that I was arguing were not stupid people either. Many of them were people that I otherwise had tremendous respect for their intellectual endeavors. But they either simple trusted the mainstream media, or had a genuine political interest in destroying the MRM by lumping Rodger with them. (read feminists)
For a perfect modern example, look at Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton. The people seem to love Sanders. After the first debate almost every online poll showed Sanders as the winner. But the DNC and media have a major interest in Hillary winning, so they just deleted their polls and declared Clinton the winner. I genuinely believe Hillary will win the democratic nomination. Not because she necessarily has the support of the people, but because she is the establishment. The establishment controls the narrative. So she will probably win. So much for democracy.
Free Speech and “The Red Pill”
I am a firm believer that freedom of speech and expression is the most important human right. Controlling speech is how you can control the narrative. How you control the people. As someone who believes in finding the truth no matter what, I genuinely believe the path to the truth involves allowing all and every perspective to be able to voice themselves, and the truth will bubble to the surface.
This is why I particularly hate the modern radical left. They don’t care about the truth. They care about feelings over facts. They are major supporters of particularly nasty policy called No Platforming. This disgusting policy should be offensive to anyone that genuinely cares about the truth and/or human rights. As is often attributed to Voltaire, though maybe not necessarily truthfully:
One of the things the MRM complains about most is that they are given the No Platform treatment. There’s a Youtube video that went viral of the protesters at a Warren Farrell speech where the feminist protesters ended up pulling the fire alarms to try preventing the talk. At the 1st International Conference on Men’s Issues put on by A Voice for Men, their first venue cancelled on them due to threats of violence. Even after they raised addition funds to purchase the services of off duty police officers. Luckily for them, they were able to move to a nearby VFW. They basically said we fought for your right to free speech, everyone should have their say.
Whether you agree with them or not, as a liberal I think this behavior should be abhorrent to you. Let everyone speak. But not only let them speak. It should be your duty to listen. If they’re idiots, mock them. That is how the world deals with the Westboro Baptist church. This is something I firmly believe in. You would be surprised by the people I follow on Twitter. Obviously I follow quite a few better known physicists and astronomers to be able to keep up with current events. But I follow republicans, democrats, and libertarians. I follow feminists. Actually only 1 MRA, and that’s Karen Straughn. I follow porn stars and strippers. I follow “weev”, one of the world’s most famous “hackers”, and self proclaimed white nationalist. I follow all kinds of people because I believe in listening to everyone.
Along comes Cassie Jay.
Cassie Jay is an award winning documentarian and self proclaimed feminist. For the past two and a half years, she has been working on a documentary about her journey through understanding the MRM. (I’ll link her kickstarter and video below.) It appears she herself is getting a first hand experience with the policy of “no platforming”. She was having zero luck getting funding to finish up her documentary. She found producers willing to help her out. But they wanted some creative control and pretty much demanded that she turn her documentary into a hit piece trashing the MRM. She refused to do it. She wants to stick to her guns as a documentarian and try remaining as objective as possible. For that I have nothing but respect.
So she was forced into crowdfunding post production on her film. Here’s what gets kind of interesting to me. Whether or not this turns into a hit piece against the MRM, they all openly supported it just to have their voices heard. It’s amusing to me because they are proudly supporting it with very limited skepticism. I guess the inner troll in me is waiting to laugh if this turns into a hit piece anyways. It did end up getting its funding in large part due to an article written about it by Milo Yiannopolous (I have a post planned about him). I suspect this was mostly to try to stick it to the feminist establishment. But whatever. Another person gets to throw their voice out for us to judge. Hopefully most judge on the merits of the content. But I can’t control other people’s thought processes.
“The Red Pill” kickstarter
In the end I really don’t care. It’s just one example to show no platforming. Heck even the once prominent feminist Germaine Greer is learning about “no platforming” first hand. I believe all of us that care about truth, free speech, and liberal principles should be adamantly doing something to fight this policy of no platforming. I’ll end this with one of my favorite speeches by the late great Christopher Hitchens about free speech.