Stephanie’s Adventures in Singledom: The Men’s Right Movement vs True Feminism

BY STEPHANIE DOLCE

The Men’s Rights Movement can best be described full of misogyny. These are men that are so bitter against women, that they still feel that women belong in the kitchen or are jealous when a woman takes center stage, that is it actually laughable.

It’s laughable because there are men actually out there that have not left the stone age and feel they should have greater power, privilege or advantage than women. The movement focuses on what it considers to be issues of male disadvantage, discrimination, and oppression.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s men were seen as the “big cheese.” Men were the expected breadwinners. Many men got married just out of high school and then became the unquestioned rulers of their households. They made all the financial decisions, since they made the money, and when they had children they were seen largely as the disciplinarian, while the mother was seen as the nurturer of children. Remember hearing mothers go, “Wait until your father comes home?” The fathers reared sons, while mother’s reared daughters. Shows like the 1954 sitcom “Father Knows Best,” showed the gender roles to a tee as did “I Love Lucy.”

In the 1970’s and 80’s however, many men disagreed with changes that were taking place. Women were now going to college, allowed in the work force, and were now controlling the household more than ever. Women were now getting a say as to when they wanted to become mothers, etc.

“The Cosby Show, Full House and Who’s the Boss,” were TV shows that aimed at showing how the gender roles were changing. Instead of TV shows just showing men in a business suit while at work or rescuing the women, men were now doing housework and taking care of the kids.

The 1990’s were inundated with stories of Bill Clinton and the intern, not to mention the sexual harassment accusations. Men though in the nineties, played the macho man role when it came to movies, with “Dancing with Wolves,” and, “Braveheart,” as well as movies that had men in lead roles, “Forrest Gump,” and “American Beauty.”

Which leads me to today.

Men still make more money than women. In 2011, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 23 percent.

Men, if seen as a bachelor, are celebrated not taunted for it like women are. Even though women have had TV shows try to depict women being able to be single and “act” like men, it doesn’t take away the labels; cougars, sluts, and whores.

Women who ask out men are seen as desperate but I don’t assume a man is “desperate” when he asks me out, so why should it be any different for a woman? Oh, and here’s the kicker, men need to wait the “correct” amount of time to call a woman who gives them her number. I could go on.

But what these men don’t realize is the fact that the extreme hostility expressed towards the struggle for women’s rights does nothing to rectify the injustices men may face, primarily because these injustices are not caused by women. They’re caused by things like race and class, factors largely absent from most Men’s Rights discussions. (Remember these men are VERY bitter against ALL women-) They also owe much to paternal gender roles, the exact same roles that feminists fought to dismantle.

Men who truly believe in gender equality must be tired of having these debates constantly disrupted by those who either blame men’s issues on feminism or turn them into a contest of who is being more oppressed; men or women.

And with that, here are 3 of the biggest lies that Men’s Right Activists Want You To Believe

1) Women are hypocrites when it comes to wanting to be treated like a lady but then cry sexism when they are treated like sex object.

Here’s the double-edged sword. Women are sick and tired of being labeled a slut, whore, the “b” word, etc because of how some women in the world act. But if you think about it, this never stops a man from going to a strip club or watching porn. Maybe if they all looked at it as if their mother, sister or daughter was a stripper/porn star, they wouldn’t get the same “arousal” as they really do. But women should be allowed to dress in any fashion they want without having to be labeled in the first place. So, if I wear a short skirt with a pair a heels, I am automatically a slut or “wanting it?” That’s absurd! And what is so wrong with having a man open a door for a woman, let a woman go first, etc? I can tell you nothing. I would like to think that most fathers would want their daughters treated with respect, and that has nothing to do with sexism.

2) The Courts are biased against men and in favor of women in custody disputes.

Here’s the lowdown on this: Just 4% of cases actually go to trial. And mothers often get custody in large part because, on average, they’re still the primary caretakers of children. That’s not bias, and it’s not even necessarily a good thing. It’s just a fact. And you know what else is a fact: a women brought you into this world, she carried you for 9 months, and then squeezed you out an opening the size of a lemon, that’s a fact.

Statistics show 15% of fathers are granted sole custody are misleading because they include couples who have agreed to grant the mother custody or to joint custody. When men do seek primary physical custody in a disputed divorce, about half, 50% get it. That is a fact. 82% of mothers want sole custody for themselves, while 33% of fathers want sole custody. 35% of fathers want joint custody, while 15% of mothers do. So, while mothers are twice as likely to want sole custody, fathers are twice as likely to want joint custody. And those are the facts.

3) False Rape Allegations are Endemic

The fear some men appear to harbor of being falsely accused is totally misleading with the actual rate at which this occurs. Worse, this paranoia can lead to the silencing of survivors of any gender, who fear they won’t be believed if they come forward.

Numbers are hard to pin down, but estimates converge at between 2 and 8% of allegations being false. Remember though, there are many false accusations for many different crimes that are committed daily, not just rape.

Like I wrote in last week’s post, men have many issues, but they are not oppressed in any fashion. Women are not taking over the world. I repeat, Women are not taking over the world. What women wanted back in the day was to be equal to men in the areas of education, workforce/career choice, salary and have a choice whether or not to have a child. Nothing today suggests that women are going to start to carry pitchforks and burn men at the stake.

Both men and women have had the pain from broken relationships, social isolation, and the gnawing sense of personal powerlessness. But what it comes down for both men and women is the fact that we all have baggage. At some point we have to unpack what isn’t relevant anymore, so we can make room for what is. And truthfully, we don’t need movements in society for us to be able to do just that: unpack and move forward.