Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

I run a feminist forum: our strange conversations with Men's Rights Activists (MRAs)

Have I linked to this article before? I'm not sure:

Southern Poverty Law Center: A War On Women

It's from 2012, and details three separate cases of "men's right activists" going on murder sprees. It struck a chord with me because it was the first time I'd heard the movement taken so seriously (and possibly monitored as a category for hate groups). At the feminist forums on my website we had these guys come in all the time, but I thought it was all just silly internet debate. They were annoying trolls, nothing more. But their posts have escalated in recent years. I wondered if anyone else was noticing... turns out yes, they are.

And the sad thing is, last year when I posted the article in my feminist forum I still had to deal with anti-feminist trolls telling us "Oh, you can't judge MRAs by a few fringe extremists, every group has those."

Uh, and every group's extremists are gunning down innocent people?

Here's what we see in our forum all the time:

- Men who think feminists have "won" and have taken over the courts, despite statistics reflecting otherwise

- Angry divorcees who want to blame all women for their failed relationships. Yes, divorce sucks... but why the external blame? I don't get it.

- Men who completely deny the idea that violence against women is a problem, they want us to know that men are just as equally victimized or at least victims of the even worse sexism against men. It doesn't matter that women are so much more likely to be killed or hospitalized as a result of partner violence, these guys want us to know that women usually "start it" (by what, burning your sandwich?), exaggerate their injuries, or just plain make shit up.

Basically they think there's a giant feminist conspiracy that's ruining their lives and they don't want to hear anything else. We try to ask questions, talk them down... but they end up getting banned on a somewhat regular basis. Unlike a lot of feminist forums we don't ban them right away, I want the dialog out there. But it can go downhill fast.

The scary thing is that most of them probably don't even post on our forum. They talk amongst themselves, validate each others feelings, fuel hateful violent ideas. Oh and most of them live in America where we think it's our patriotic duty to love guns. It's a scary combination: ammunition and desperation.

And that's why their members keep making the news.
Tags: feminism
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