In their July/August 2013 issue, The Atlantic published an article entitled “The Masculine Mystique” and quickly toned it down to “Home Economics: The Link Between Work-Life Balance and Income Equality” for the online version. Possibly one of their editors noticed that the author, Stephen Marche, had failed to make a clear point so they built a topic into the new title. Instead of the manly masterpiece that Marche intended we are left with a home-ec student’s sunken souffle.
This is not the first time Stephen has screwed up. He has a reputation for being pointless,incoherent, and rambling. He admits that, despite being a former professor of Shakespeare, his book on the Bard is not a scholarly work. His bumbling career annoys men and women equally – so, at least in one aspect, he is an egalitarian.
This pussyfooted promenade careens, prances and bellyflops into a pool of self-pity. Thinking contradiction is an art form, he references “inherently absurd” men’s rights groups while claiming that men are silent in the gender dialogue taking place. He coins the intriguing phrase “hollow patriarchy” wherein we are all equally oppressed by a few, evil men at the top while simultaneously asserting that women are oppressed while men merely struggle with their identity. Marche finally reveals the key to unlocking his madness: he’s only talking about “good” men who are, of course, exactly like him.
After a quick google search of his other scribblings, it became clear that Marche is a confused and ineffective puttering artiste who will say anything to get attention – preferably female attention.
He tweets: “The women who show their contempt for my piece on the contempt of women prove my point by virtue of their contempt. Does that make sense?”
If you have to ask, Stephen, you should reconsider your career choice.
The only interesting thing about Stephen Marche’s meandering musings is that he led me to wonder how many other men were trying to whip the movement into another version of feminism. A softer, fluffier version that lets the feminists keep their fallacious jobs.
Freethoughtblogs posted a summary of the candidates.
Richard Carrier despairs. He’d like to make the hollow patriarchy sound less hollow and flat and the best way to do that is fill it up with Men’s Human Rights Advocates. What a hero.
While some criticize AVfM for having too many vocal women, Richard asserts that we are actually woman haters. Richard admits that the MHRM has legitimate concerns but can’t endorse MHRAs because they want to silence… me.
As opposed to most MHRAs, Mr. Carrier is unable to distinguish the difference between women and feminists. In my own experience, those MRAs who do hate women roughly equal the number of feminists who think the male population should be reduced to 10%. On the other hand, I find that those who merely distrust women in the current social climate are being wise.
To mesh his compassion for men’s issues but distaste for the people who brought them to his attention, Richard offers alternatives to sites like AVfM. These are his choices for “how to do men’s rights rightly.”
The Good Men Project. When you go there you can discover Mark Green’s pride in being a Men’s Rights Feminist. Mark Greene’s biggest concern with AVfM is that he can only muster “Fuck you, assholes” as a response and, because that’s the limit of his vocabulary, he blames the site for trapping him into “intellectual and spiritual death.” Feminism 101: when in doubt, blame it on someone else. Greene wants the dialogue to be mainstream but is, unfortunately, offended by the people who have done just that.
Just say “thank you,” Mark. You’re welcome. Now fuck off.
Good Men Project also offers advice on how to be desirable to women. Andy Bodle has read The Feminine Mystique and now, thanks to Marche, he can read the Masculine one to addle his brains even further. With ramblings like “different strokes for different folks, blah di blah” Andy explains how his life was made meaningful by spending a year reading all the feminist literature he could get his hands on, studying up on sexual trivia, and landing a girlfriend that stayed with him for a whole three and a half years.
Bodle will also teach you how to practice womanology on his own site, where you learn valuable things, like why cocaine is bad.
In conclusion, odd choice, Richard.
The next alternative in doing MRA work properly leads to A Men’s Project. AMP’s first mission statement is to “1. No longer [hurt] women and girls, as well as other men and boys.” Words are tricky things, guys. First of all, this either states that men and boys are different versions of women and girls or that only men are doing the hurting. Both versions are wrong.
In case it’s unclear as to their agenda, AMP kindly provides a quote of praise to clarify. “This site is a public resource for anyone – women, men and young people – committed to gender justice and ending violence against women.”
Richard points out himself that by clicking on Men’s/Father’s Rights you will not find help, only a bunch of articles about why to stay away from men’s and father’s rights groups. How is this helping men?
People like Richard Carrier and Stephen Marche think that men should work within the feminist framework. This sets aside that feminism can not admit that men are as equally but differently oppressed as women. Their entire ideology would crumble. They would disappear in a puff of logic. Feminism requires the denial that men face just as many obstacles to happiness as do women. It’s their bread and butter.
Marche (with the help of his editors) asserts that the real concerns are financial, not gendered. He catches on that leading feminists are living in “a capitalist fantasy” but fails to see how that has affected the economy. He thinks affordable day care is the big solution but forgets that it’s subsidized by taxes. Feminism is and always has been a materialistic movement draining the tax system. It’s all about empowering middle class women to get more stuff.
The women who actually suffer survival dilemmas are not helped by professional feminists who are too busy helping themselves. Feminists claim to strive for self-actualization but are obsessed with wage gaps and dollar signs.
Richard, at least, has a clear breakdown of his beef with MHRAs. While Richard is welcome to his personal preferences in who he likes or dislikes, I suspect he cares a lot more about being right. So here’s a response to some of the errors he has made:
MRAs don’t promote pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, we debunk them. We don’t believe in Patriarchy Theory for the same reason Richard doesn’t believe in God.
He claims that we seek to instil a warped narrative or worldview. No, that’s Women’s Studies, and they charge a lot of money for it too. Feminists are more “consistent” because they have training camps and university degrees to teach their narrative to each generation. Women pay thousands of dollars just to learn the feminist point of view.
Richard Carrier claims that other organizations which help men with specific problems are a better cause, ignoring that AVfM encourages and fosters the same organizations: those that aren’t seeking to attack us and divide the movement. AVfM supported Earl Silverman and his shelter for battered men, mourning the loss of both. The links Richard gives to The Fatherhood Institute, Campaign Against Living Miserably, Abused Men In Scotland, and Mankind Initiative are all the precise types of organizations AVfM promotes. They are part of the MHRM with us.
AVfM is the leading voice in getting attention and, therefore, funding to the organizations that are helping men who have been locked out of the social safety net. Feminism, on the other hand, not only has government departments devoted to allocating money for women’s causes, they hijack ones started by men.
Richard states that, in regards to excessive breast cancer funding, if the MRM “weren’t pissing on women, but actually cooperatively and respectfully working with them, they could make progress on this issue. If, that is, MRAs actually did things like develop campaigns to fight prostate cancer.”
In June of this year, feminists took over a mental illness charity that was started by a man to raise money for both genders and turned it into a fundraiser solely for women. They had the gall to give a case example of a girl who was depressed because her brother had killed himself a year earlier. Her brother wouldn’t have seen a dime of the money raised.
Feminism cannot be incorporated in the MHRM. Only villains and fools would try.
In an ode to the unscholarly Shakespearean ex-professor who led me to the doorstep of other loathsome creatures like Carrier, I offer this testament to how women like me feel about guys like them:
Oh, cursed blight upon mine eye
Oh, wretched vermin, alas and fie!
The dew full morn hath turned awry
With rueful pen I ask you: Why?
Your ill-bred, mangled boil-brained verse
Leads but to naught. Depraved! Perverse!
A gleeking, rough-hewn, weeping sore
That draws to it the currish whore
Infectious, base and boorish wit
Here wallows in its stinking pit
Harken how he soughs and cries
And see through this thin veiled disguise
Unfettered, foul and festering
The words persist in haunting, pestering
How the villain doth plead his virtue
When motives beg and have been seen through
All flight and fancy is my foe
Yet his vomitous verse clumsy and slow
His rapier dull, his judgement flawed
His poetry a shameful fraud
I pity the lass who may be wooed
By the spleeny spur-galled lines you’ve spewed
Flaccid, wilted, weak and limp
A talentless nitwitted chimp
Tis not to fear but wary be
The trappings of this wanton flea
His candy-coated chivalry
Obscures true personality
Now lame and woeful ploys aside
Your disgraceful strategies denied
You lewd and knotty-pated lout
It pains us all to hear you spout
A paunchy pox-marked wagtag weasel
A frothy fetid rump-fed measle
Pedal backwards, white-liver’d toad
And proclaimeth not a moral code
For brandishing filth and calling it art
This feckless faker I call a fart
To shame! En garde! Take up your sword!
And make amends to those abhorred.
Also posted on avoiceformen.com