I am re-posting this article from Feb, 2012, because it seems even more apropos now than it did then. I have such a gift of prophecy!
here is no such thing as the so-called "men's rights movement". It is a spectre. A mirage. A figment. A mental spook. It does not exist.
Full stop. The phrase or letter combination does, however, exist. And you will see it posted on a lot of web screens.
The same is true of the popular acronym "MRA", and its companion "MRM". These letter combinations are commonly seen in cyberspace, but they do not signify a tangible underlying reality. Semantics 101, folks. The word is not the thing.
Finally, we must consider the annoying letter-string "MRA movement". It is purported to signify something akin to "men's rights movement", but alas! It too is a naught. A phantom. A will o' the wisp.
Again: there is no such thing as the men's rights movement, no such thing as the MRM, no such thing as an MRA, and god help us, no such thing as an MRA movement.
None of these are real. They do not exist.
Oh very well, I grant you this is a long story. Paradigm-shifts tend to be that way, at least until they settle into place.
But here is a short version to get you rolling. You see, the feminists did not invent the acronym MRA.
Other people invented it.
What the feminists did
invent, was three-quarters of the cognitive and affective baggage which clusters around
that acronym in the mind of the broader public.
Read that again. They invented
And they did not invent it "out of thin air". No, they invented it out of thick
air. Very thick. Too thick. Open up a window, please!
The term "MRA" was never coherently defined by the people who first launched it into circulation. In fact, "MRA" was never intended as more than a catch-all for "angry men opposed to feminism." Or something like that. Those early ones weren't thinking ahead; they were struggling with startup issues and learning as they went along. And mostly, they were venting.
So there was never any over-arching vision, and never any disciplined vanguard to generate structure in the realm of theory and policy.
So the result has been, that whoever considers feminism sacred can easily harvest phony "evidence" about nearly anybody
who attacks feminism for any
reason. The term "MRA", which was meant only for an umbrella word, has perversely been given a very narrow meaning -- and not a good one.
Let's break this down step by step. Early "MRAs" never coherently defined their so-called "movement" -- which was not, in fact, a movement at all. The result was anarchic; a smorgasbord of undisciplined rhetoric and wildly varied opinionizing. And so the feminist cult-followers piled their plates arbitrarily with the most compromising stuff they could find, and exhibited this as "the MRA movement". And the fact that they were intellectually dishonest made their task easier.
In their panic at the growing cultural groundswell against feminism, the feminists have stuck the "MRA" tag to nearly anything which they
think is opposed to feminism for any reason -- and the results are sometimes bizarre, bordering on comical. So they are gradually negating the propaganda edge which they had initially acquired. You might say they are inflating their own semantic currency and rendering it worthless. (They do the same with words like "rape", "misogyny", and so on. )
But here, let me wrap this all up in a few strokes.
Firstly, the feminists ordain that feminism is a Good Thing and that, by implication, whatever attacks feminism is a Bad Thing.
Secondly, they use bias confirmation and feminist subjectivism
to "prove" that the so-called "MRA movement", which attacks feminism, is a Bad Thing.
Thirdly, they bloat the appellative "MRA" to mean any
person or thing which seems to threaten feminism for any
reason -- even if that person or thing does not so self-label.
Fourthly, they ordain that whatever attacks feminism must be a Bad Thing because "MRA" is a Bad Thing. In other words, they arrive back at step one by a circular pathway.
Then the loop starts over.
Very well, then. The reason the "MRA movement" doesn't exist, is that there is no fixed, permanent, discoverable object corresponding to the term itself. There is only a mental hobgoblin which is largely, though not entirely, a product of the feminist imagination. And yes, I have acknowledged that the early pro-male partisans were at fault for their lack of foresight -- although in hindsight one sees that foresight was not easy under the circumstances.
The same remarks apply to a range of terminologies which have sprung to life over the years, and I have named a few of those -- MRA, MRM, men's movement, and so on.
So what do you think, is it time to "kill" the MRA, the MRM, and all the rest of that? Is it time to seek out a more efficient political worldview, and a more insidious narrative frame from which to kill feminism more insidiously? Is it time, at long last, to do what should have been done years ago?
Vast are my thoughts upon all this, too vast to share in one sitting. So I leave you with the following. The resistance to feminism is, let us say, a pool of nameless, primordial energy. And it is growing.
Yet for a number of reasons this energy lacks effective organization or, you might better say, effective formatting. And a crisis of the imagination now looms, in that one is stuck on a particular formatting which does not serve so well. I believe one can do better, really, than to attack feminism from a format which feminism itself has invented
. Don't you think so?