Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MRM v. MHRM - Drawing the Map Correctly

 A question was recently nailed to the board at Yahoo Answers, and it runs as follows:
A question for MRAs/MHRAs- where do you find yourself on the ideological divide?
There seems to be a split brewing in the Men's Rights Movement.

On the one side you have the "traditionalists," who believe the movement should continue as it has up until this point.

On the other side lets call them the "modernists," who believe the movement has to embrace a broader cross section of men's rights. This group seeks to be more inclusive of men regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation...arguing that the challenges that may be unique to men in these groups are still men's rights.

The first group is adamant that the movement should still be called the "Mens Rights Movement" or MRM; the second group seems to be moving towards renaming the movement the "Mens Human Rights Movement" or MHRM.

My question for MRAs/MHRAs is this: with which group do you feel most comfortable and why?

BQ: Do you believe the movement will be better off in the end for hashing out these issues?    

Additional Details

Just to clarify...when I say "traditionalist," I'm not talking about the traditional roles of men. I'm talking about the traditional advocacy for Men's Rights. The traditionalists that I'm referring to...are basically saying that this is the way the MRM/MHRM is...and we shouldn't change it, no matter what. Whereas the "modernists" are saying "yes, this is the way the MRM is, but the MHRM should project a more inclusive message to all men...including those who traditionally haven't connected with the MRM in the past."

I, Fidelbogen, felt moved to weigh in, or wade in, and did so thuswise:

Those who are not insiders might misunderstand the significance of the "MHRM" appellative. It does not signal a shift toward a "humanistic" perspective so much as a rhetorical/semantic move. The stress is upon MALE, i.e. the MALE human rights movement.

The idea is to block feminist ideology and silence detractors of "men's rights" by adopting a high-ground position that is difficult to argue with. By establishing the idea that "men's rights are human rights", anybody who goes against you is in the difficult position of being against human rights FOR MEN.

One other thing. The original question draws a false picture of the "movement". The movement was never not inclusive of all those extra groups -- in fact, that point was never settled. But the question makes it sound like there was a consensus about these issues all along. No, there was never any such consensus, and the so-called "traditional" MRA (as defined here) is only a construct which the author cobbled together somehow. The "ideological divide" is wrongly mapped by the author.

There is, however, a tectonic split within the non-feminist revolution -- a real one, I mean.

The "traditionalist" group (the actual one, not the author's constructed one) consists of men and women both who favor a return to traditional sex roles and. . . get this!. . . male supremacy. (Or male paternalism if you prefer a more benign term.) This group is not a so-called "MRA" group. In fact, they explicitly reject the "MRA" label. Others may call these people MRAs, but they make it clear that they do not call themselves that.

As for the other group, it might be better to call them "libertarian" until a better term comes along. People within this group do argue amongst themselves about the appropriateness of the "MHRA" label, apparently because some of them have gotten the wrong idea that it signifies an ideological shift rather than a rhetorical stance. I wish they would get that sorted out, and learn to appreciate the tactical advantage which "MHRA" offers.

Yes, it seems that certain people have childishly simplistic ideas about certain things. So, if any of my wise readers wish to shed some light and clarify some minds, please head over to the Yahoo Answers page in the near future before the question gets settled and closed:



Blogger ScareCrow said...

I am starting to think the whole thing is a bit silly...

I wonder what the President of the Society for Putting Things on top of Other Things would say...?

1:45 PM  
Blogger Fidelbogen said...


I wish I could agree that all of this is silly. Maybe on some ultimate higher level it is, but in the middle of the fray where we are presently located, these matters carry a lot of weight.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Introspectre said...

I agree Fidelbogen, I could tell what the idea was, from the outset. I'm not sure it will help, given that women have evolutionary motivators on their side, which make their issues seem instantly legit, to instinctively reacting people, which may be most of us; and men do not.

I often tend to think that, humanity doesn't wish to change it's mistreatment of men and indeed believes that it profits from male suffering, (and does to some degree). Conservative traditionalists and feminist supporters being prime examples of this mentality. This is obsolete, primitive, tribalism and has to go.

But I agree in the sense, that if we can't make them wake up, we can at least rub humanities face in it's hypocrisy and see if that awakens any front-brain slumberers. All the while taking the: "feminism is human right's", assumptions of they and their supporters and telling them to, "put up or shut up", essentially.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the "broader cross-section" bit is an attempt to dilute and dissipate the sector's energy, as well as distracting it's focus.

Off topic, here are two "snippets" I'd like to bounce off anyone who cares to listen.

Snippet 1: If you don't take feminism seriously, then you can't seriously oppose feminism.

Snippet 2: Female privilege and primacy exist prior to feminism.

Thats all folks!

5:28 PM  
OpenID Eric said...

I have to disagree that this MHRA appelation is merely a rhetorical shift. I don't believe that it elevates men to the rhetorical level of human beings; I see its purpose as lowering men into yet another class of exploited victims.

The premise behind such victimology is the same as the feminist premise that the 'Personal is Political.' It can only lead to further politicization of male sexuality and further repression of men in general.

6:00 PM  
Blogger ScareCrow said...

@Eric - like I said - silly.

They are going to do for men what feminism did for women.

Count me out.

This is not repairing the damage feminism has done - this is doing more damage.

But, I am not in this group - I am outside laughing at it.

And laugh hard I shall!!!


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, it's just MRA plus H, i'n it? Yesterday I noticed I think four different references, threats actually, of using the "ban hammer"... is PZMeyers running the show from behind the scenes? I was okay with it at first, but now I get it, there is a problem, it has to do with the old frog in the boiling water thing - fyi, read recently that's actually not correct, frogs do jump out of water that slowly rises in temperature.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Fidelbogen said...

"Hey, it's just MRA plus H, i'n it?"

Yes, anybody can see that the letter H has been sandwiched in amongst the letters M, R, and A?

Your point...?

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry left out reference to fact the 'ban hammer' going on at AVFM, site I particularly enjoy.

My point. Just seems like a lot of men's rights oriented sites seem to be doing things like banning, threatening to ban - I don't mean like with the 'I'm not a feminist' troll on there last couple of days, I mean when a guy make a comment that doesn't dovetail, that is, seems to disagree with the point of the article.

Isn't that a point worth making?

Seems ironic now it's also got a new improved name, just like 'Atheism - Plus'. It's going to be a big tent that accepts everyone (that part is good) but scrutinizes and bans outspoken regular ol' men, keep 'em from gettin' uppity? how come treason never prospers... because once it becomes pc everybody better start watching what they say, especially ironically the men. Cues from Atheism Plus, Bernard Chapin, Rocking Mr. E, etc. etc. give them a shit test, then ban them. Check balls at the door, hello femitheist revolution. might as well embrace it eh?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Fidelbogen said...

AVfM is navigating the tight channels of a political strategy, and practicing a strategic discipline. Those who are not 'in the know' would not savvy this.

"Free speech" is very noble as a constitutional right and so on, but in some situations it can be a wrecker.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"some of them have gotten the wrong idea that it signifies an ideological shift rather than a rhetorical stance. I wish they would get that sorted out, and learn to appreciate the tactical advantage which "MHRA" offers."

Yes indeed. This comment goes to the core of cores. As someone who knows exactly how this MHRM got suddenly thrust into the lexicon, let me just say i agree with the claim that this is a rhetorical move. the MRM has always been concerned about men's human rights, however they forgot to say it loudly enough thus giving thier opponents the duty to define us.

Nothing is more important than rhetoric we choose to use.

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Robert Brockway said...

I've only been in the MHRM five minutes and it was clear to me that the change from MRM to MHRM was to make it clear these are human rights and to counter attempts to dismiss men seeking rights and fair treatment in society.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Zeph said...

In my opinion, we should just stop it with this MRA and feminist bull. Both titles can suggest that we are only working towards the rights of a single sex, and in associating with these groups, people automatically assume you are a woman or a man hater.
If you're an Equalist(Egualist, as some call it), no one can question that you are all for the rights of all human beings, regardless of sex, gender identity, orientation, race or etc. THIS is what we need everyone in society to jump on board for. We can't have people picking and choosing who should and shouldn't have rights. All humans deserve rights.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Fidelbogen said...


These are fine, admirable, upstanding sentiments you have expressed here. And I can assure you that you are not the first to think of them.

Tell ya what, dude. If we can just get rid of feminism, everything else will sort itself out. See, right now we have us a feminist problem, and we gotta do something about it. Know what I'm saying?

So what's your plan for the non-feminist revolution? I hand you the microphone.


11:58 PM  

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