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Open Letter to MRA’s

26/02/2013

Before I start…

Why am I writing an open letter to Mens Rights Activists?  What qualifies me to create such a letter?

Well I am writing the letter because I want to approach the topic a bit differently than the status quo, which seems to be standing on the opposite of any issue brought up by a MRA(who lets face is are primarily males who are white) and figuratively screaming at them about it.  As far as qualifications go I will state again for the record that I am a cis-gendered white male who once  thought there was merit to what MRA’s say.

And with that here is my imperfect letter to folks who identify as MRA’s

Dear MRA’s

Firstly, I want to say that I can understand where you are coming from.  Being a male sometimes it can feel like every time you turn around you’re being told you are doing something wrong.  This sucks, a lot.  Nobody likes being told that they are wrong.  However being told you are doing something wrong and being able to get out of that situation is not the same as living your entire life thinking you ARE wrong.

However MRA’s  need to stop comparing the minor inconveniences men sometimes face to the marginalization of entire sexes and races.

A rather long comment (2nd comment) from yesterday’s post outlined all the issues that this particular single dad faces when out in public.  These are legitimate concerns because this guy is obviously a great dad who would do anything for his kids.

His concerns are legitimate in the sense that they are real issues that are being faced.  But why is he facing those issues?  Is it because of how men are portrayed in the media?  Not likely because for every sitcom dad who is bumbling around the screen the writers always make sure the dad says or does something that redeems himself, usually before the end of the episode.  Is it because single dads somehow have less love for their children than a single mother would?  That is just silly.  What I think is more likely is because when boys are growing up to be men they are told things like “stop crying, don’t be such a girl”, “Suck it up [insert obvious girls name here]”, and finally my least favorite “stop being such a vagina”.

When you grow up hearing these types of things over and over again it becomes clear that boys and men should want nothing to do with being a girl, or a women since that is what girls grow up to be.  How does this affect the commenter?  Well because they are performing a task that is typically associated with women and therefore they must be less of a person.  This is not okay.

To my original sentence of minor inconveniences vs. marginalizing; what do I mean by this?  Well, I mean  the original commenter who is male can go to his friends and family who know him and understand him and are likely to give him a place of shelter from any questioning glances.  And for every questioning glance received I would be willing to place money on the fact that he receives one to two glances of admiration for taking up the banner that is being a single father and therefor super dad.

The opposite is true of a single mother.  Not only is she often questioned for what she did to chase the dad off but she also has the question of when she is going to get another man in her life to help take care of her kids.  Single moms are after said to be looking for a hand-out and just an all-around questionable person because she doesn’t have a man.

So please, if you are a MRA and think that men are dealing with an unprecedented level of sideways glances know that you are probably right, but this is not because men are suddenly being oppressed.  It’s because  gender roles are starting to level out the misogynistic society we live in; and we still have a long way to go before it is fixed.   Again, you are necessarily wrong, just tackling the wrong root of the problem and since the fix isn’t going to come easy or overnight I think it’s best if we are all trying to solve the same problem.

~Peeta

Tomorrow:  Is there a way to solve the communication problem we as a society seem to have?

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One comment

  1. I appreciate your comments on my thoughts. To be fair, I realized while reading this that I seem to recognize, take offense, and thus legitimize those cutting remarks and glances more than I do the support of family and friends. That is not okay. A bit of bitterness in me, perhaps, that needs to be sorted out.

    I once again state that I’ve had it good being a white male in the south and thus it is outrageous to me to face any form of bias, but that seems … I don’t know… disingenuous maybe, when faced with the overwhelming bias and prejudice of women and the religious and social minorities. There are other offenses out there that are more soul crushing and more disgusting. It doesn’t make mine any less real, but through the lens of empathy I can see the proportions do not match.

    I’m still angry. I will still vent. I will still rail against any who would doubt my word. But I will try to remember that those that suffer most must take priority. It doesn’t lessen my pain, but will speed the overall process of recovery and healing this social disease. In the end, humanity will be better for it. A bitter sweet pill, but one society, myself included, must needs take.



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