Why is Men’s rights activism going south?

Men’s rights activism at its core is a movement meant for the upliftment of men in public spheres where they are discriminated against or not given the due respect as their other gender counterparts. But it seems that over the years with the rise of fake feminism, there has also been a rise of fake men’s rights agenda. These activists are nothing but a riot to fight against feminism, which has given a poor reputation to the actuality of MRA.

Let us cover up some of the basic ideas surrounding Men’s rights activism including its history, agenda, its evolution and its present day hurdles.

Origin of Men’s rights activism

In an article titled “A Word for Men’s Rights” from Putnam’s Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 38, in February 1856, the phrase “men’s rights” was first used. In order to “fight all excesses of women’s emancipation,” the League for Men’s Rights was established in 1926. 

The Men’s Rights League members thought that the feminist movement was giving women too many liberties and rights.  They criticised the updated family and marital regulations that required males to assist their ex-wives and their children who were not their biological offspring financially. 

Out of all the issues that men’s rights activists are assiduously pursuing to bring about reforms, a select handful include: 

Child custody – Men’s rights organisations have serious concerns about  aspects of family law. The legal system and family courts, according to supporters of men’s rights, is bias against men, particularly when it comes to child custody following a divorce. They assert that males do not share parenting responsibilities or contact privileges equally with their ex-spouse and use data on custody awards as proof of judicial bias against men. Advocacy groups for men’s rights strive to alter the family law system to improve the legal environment for males. 

Adoption – Men’s rights advocates want to give unmarried fathers more legal protections in the event that their kid is adopted. 

Circumcision – Male circumcision has garnered more attention than female genital mutilation, according to the majority of men’s rights activists who oppose routine neonatal circumcision. 

Divorce – Men’s rights supporters assert that due to the perceived lack of benefits in marriage and the emotional and financial repercussions of divorce, such as alimony, child custody, and maintenance, men are intentionally or unconsciously choosing to forego marriage and engaging in a “marriage strike.” Men’s rights advocates contend that laws governing divorce and child custody offend men’s inherent right to equal protection. 

Education – Males’s rights advocates maintain that men and young boys are more likely to  drop out of college early or be unable to finish their degrees due to the financial strain of having to start working as soon as possible, which is pressured by their parents and society at large. Men today must contend with a hyper competitive market where they are taught and influenced to be egotistical and successful in order to find actual success in life. But as it has been identified this situation is a direct result of the patriarchal customs that govern the lives of all genders.  

Incarceration – Men’s rights activists contend that men are imprisoned more often than women in criminal justice systems worldwide. As proof, they point to the disproportionately high number of men incarcerated. 90–95 percent of prisoners are men in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and the whole European Union. According to studies, men who commit similar crimes are more likely to be imprisoned, to be given longer prison sentences, and to be required to serve a larger portion of those sentences than women. Additionally, they criticise the conditions in male jails and the authorities’ disregard for male-to-male rapes.  

Health – According to MRA, feminism has made women’s health issues more prominent than those of men. They draw attention to financing differences between men’s and women’s health issues, noting that, for instance, prostate cancer research is given less money than breast cancer research. 

False rape accusations – Men’s rights activists are very worried about false rape and sexual assault claims and want to shield men from the harmful effects of false accusations. Numerous false allegations have caused men to lose their lives and stigmatised countless innocent men as sex offenders or sexual predators, putting the entire male gender under this caricature. 

Evolution 

According to legend, the Men’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s in Britain and North America gave rise to the present men’s rights movement. In response to the cultural and social developments of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the expansion of the feminist movement, gay liberation groups, and the sexual revolution, heterosexual, middle-class white males initiated the Men’s Liberation Movement. According to reports, the movement also included some progressive males who opposed toxic masculinity and patriarchy, which enforced strict constraints on men. The movement afterwards divided into two sections. While the progressive members either left the scene or joined the feminist movement, the conservative members of the movement founded an anti-feminist Men’s Rights Movement. 

Since the advent of the Internet, where activists frequently assemble, the men’s rights activism has grown both louder and more organised. Within the online manosphere, forums and websites dedicated to men’s rights have grown. The website A Voice for Men (AVFM), run by Paul Elam, serves as a focal point for organising and debating men’s rights concerns. The Fathers Rights Foundation, MGTOW.com (Men Going Their Own Way), and a number of Reddit boards, including /r/MensRights and /r/TheRedPill, are further websites devoted to men’s rights. Males’s rights advocates sometimes refer to one another online using the red pill and blue pill imagery from the movie The Matrix; those who believe the notion that men are the oppressed victims of a misandrist society are said to have “taken the red pill.” Despite some of the organisations’ antagonistic interactions, they are frequently united by their misogyny, support of masculinity, and antagonism to feminism. 

Present Day impediments of men’s rights activism 

MRAs appear to have a distorted view of social justice and misdirected priorities. They fail to realise that asserting your rights does not entail marginalising or removing those of another group. 

Males’s rights advocates categorically reject the idea that men have been granted extra benefits because of their sex. Many of them truly contend that the feminist movement is a political plot by women to hide the oppression of men and establish a “female-dominated world.” You did read that correctly. MRAs contend that men have always been the true “victims” and that women have never been oppressed. Women were never denied the opportunity to pursue a formal education or work in a field of their choosing. They have always had the right to vote and have children. Everything is basically a complex, evil scheme to discredit and ultimately subjugate men! 

However, statistics suggests that gender equality may reduce the number of male suicides since it may shield men from economic shocks. The financial burden that falls on men is lessened if women have an education and are able to work. According to Holter’s research, countries with better gender equality have a smaller gender gap in suicide, while those with lower levels of gender equality have higher rates of male suicide. 

Male rights activists from all over the nation are calling for a men’s commission, but their demands have changed to focus on issues that are really the result of patriarchy, which affects both men and women equally. According to the campaigners, men are killing themselves because society makes fun of them when they voice their insecurities rather than because women report sexual assault. 

Male rights activists choose to focus on this instead of disparaging women and the MeToo movement. Statistics for dowry killings and sexual assault demonstrate that considerably more women than males are victims of gender violence, despite the fraudulent cases of dowry and sexual charges. In addition, as various studies have noted, the information offered by proponents of male rights is frequently misrepresented in order to mislead people. 

Aside from this, the activists who are allegedly protecting the rights and interests of males appear to have no idea what difficulties trans men confront. Additionally, caste appears to be neglected by these activists as seen by the fact that they do not include the rising suicide rates among males from lower castes in their lengthy justifications for creating a men’s commission. 

Conclusion 

In other words, the campaign to establish the commission is less about the actual issues that men face in general and more about creating a false and baseless counter-narrative to the MeToo movement in India. As a result, the movement is void, insular, and contemptuous of the greater patriarchal bondages that prey on individuals of all genders. Men and masculinity need to be discussed in order to understand the power dynamics at work, but disparaging other genders and their advancement will never result in the transformation we desire.

This boils down again to the basic idea of how the rise of fake feminisim has dismantled true feminist agenda and how it co-realtes with also the rise of toxic men’s rights activism and the dismanling of true MRA! All movements are born out of a good cause but sometimes societal mindsets play a big role which leads to a gradual change in its actual direction. Hence, Men’s rights activism is by no means a wrong agenda but as of current has lost its true motive.

Ridhiman Das
Ridhiman Das
Articles: 120
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