Yesterday I read two articles about Feminism and the MHRM (Men’s Human Rights Movement). They were both quite interesting in their own way. Both were very outspoken, and had valid points. This post however, is not about the valid points presented in each artice (look for my next post for that topic).
First, the feminist article came out, with the offensive title of ‘Why the Men’s Rights Movement is Garbage’. I read it and actually quite enjoyed it. I approve of some of what was said, especially about the Patriarchal society. You can read it here http://bellejar.ca/2014/03/28/why-the-mens-rights-movement-is-garbage/ . Very interesting article, although I noticed some issues with it. At one point the author states that MRA’s are spending their time bashing feminists and what not. Now I’m not disagreeing with that, especially after the MHRM article in response to this one, but the very title of the article is bashing the MHRM… from this I take away that feminists are allowed to slam and defame MHRM but if it goes the other way then all of a sudden it’s a big deal.
What I disagree with in the article written by The Belle Jar, is that she creates the idea of two very separate groups of Feminists and MHRA’s. The way she writes makes it sound like every single MHRA is a terrible person and hates Feminists. Just as she creates the image of a united front on the Feminist side, where they all feel the same way as her. I would like to consider myself both a feminist and an MHRA, and why not? I support the empowerment of women, and yet I also recognize the ideals of the MHRM. So what does that make me? I would hope that there are Feminists out there who are ashamed of this article, just as I hope that there are MHRA’s that are ashamed of the response article. Here is that one http://judgybitch.com/2014/04/02/why-this-hit-piece-on-the-mens-rights-movement-is-garbage/ . It is equally offensive, although definitely more factual. Every incorrect assumption that The Belle Jar makes is greeted with a friendly Wrong! hyperlinked to the article that proves it.
Okay, not that friendly. In fact, when I started reading the article I was hopeful. I wanted to see how the MHRM defended themselves. I was let down. Just as with The Belle Jar’s article, Judgy Bitch’s article maintained the same sense of Feminist vs. MHRA. As if these articles are carrying the full weight and support of each respective side.
Look at what I just wrote. It saddens me that I see it as two different sides. It is upsetting that Feminists and MHRA’s can’t set aside their differences. Oh wait… they can. These two in particular though have got it in for the other group, and anyone who classifies themselves as such. This is hateful and wrong, and neither party involved is free of blame. There is literally nothing to be gained from continuing to undermine one another, if either party wants to actually make progress.
In BelleJar’s article, she writes “MRAs believe that feminists are to blame for basically everything that’s wrong with their lives.” She later (having done a very good job in making this distinction until this point) uses the word women instead of feminists. Not every woman is a feminist even if she would like it to be that way. Her style of writing is very fluid, and reads like an article should. Good things. It hides the fact that she doesn’t have any links to back up the statements she makes.
Conversely, Judgy Bitch, while providing factual counterarguments, takes it in completely the opposite direction. Unless you had already read the first article, it would be nigh impossible to enjoy the highlighted portions. It is choppy and rough. She hardly uses complete sentences, and rather than explaining herself often just shoves a link in your face. Both authors abuse the tools at their disposal to create the atmosphere they desire. For the majority of readers, (who only clicked on the link because they agreed with it from the get-go) it is easy to jump in behind the author and praise it as righteous. For myself, and I’m sure there are others, I see the duality and nothing else. I see the Yin and Yang, the good and bad. Both articles share elements of each. Neither is right or wrong, in fact they both have valid points. Unfortunately, both articles are also extremely instigative. They are both guilty of what is being accused, although neither is really open to seeing that fact.
While I will state that the response article by Judgy Bitch was more justified in it’s righteous fury than the original was, I also am more ashamed of the response article than I am of the original. Belle Jar’s article was an opinionated piece, where she shared her thoughts and feelings about something she felt strongly about. However wrong she was about certain things, it’s important to note that she should not be ashamed of what she wrote. She meant it when she wrote it, and as long as she is willing to agree that she made incorrect assumptions then that is all that needs to be said. A light slap on the wrist, and a helpful push towards the truth is all that was needed.
Instead, in a vindictive manner, the author of the respose article felt it was necessary to take her out back and shoot her a few times, then shoot her a few more, just for good measure. She takes it way too far, and doesn’t really formulate her own ideas or opinions, she just refutes every single thing Belle Jar says. She doesn’t even do it nicely! JB tears her article to shreds, and in doing so lowers herself to Belle’s level, perhaps even lower.
Here is the bottom line for me. What bothers me the most is that these are the people who are seemingly the spokespeople of these organizations. Yes belle jar had some things wrong. That was her mistake, and I’m sure she is regretting it. However, what Judgy Bitch did is inexcusable. She is simply reinforcing the opinion that MHRA’s hate feminists. Even though I’m sure she doesn’t, she never conveys that. She might despise this particular one, and she is entitled to that. Individuals disliking other individuals is a natural part of life on this planet. Pretending that they speak for organizations such as these is no laughing matter though, and they both have failed that which they claim to fight for.
This post got pretty negative pretty quickly. I would like to reiterate that I found things in both articles that I believe are good, and need to be shared. I plan on re reading both articles when I have more energy and compiling the things I agree with in each one, and writing another post about that.
We are entering a very important phase as a planet. We are reaching the ends of our world, and we are starting to see the truth of needing to act as a united planet. Every organization and article along these lines stems from that same belief. Unfortunately, no one seems to notice that unifying factor. We all want what is best. Everyone just seems to feel the need to tag on extra bits to that truth, and in doing so, distort it beyond recognition.