GROIN recently covered the final break of “the manosphere” in his post “Feminism beats the men’s rights movement”.
The way I see it, the manosphere was never a “movement” per se. It was a collection of discussions about the plight of modern men, and the phenomenon of masculinity. A bunch of guys started writing about manliness and the way masculinity grinds against institutionalized feminism.
The “men’s movement,” or “men’s rights movement” was always a feminist movement.
A few men, like Daniel Amneus, wrote in favor of going “Back to Patriarchy!” Some involved with the “men’s movement,” or “men’s rights movement” were further to the political right, more religious, or more patriarchal than others.
But, for the most part, the “men’s movement,” or “men’s rights movement” has always accepted the most basic assumptions of mainistream feminism. Feminism argued for the cultural dissolution of specifiic gender roles, and an economic, political, and legal equality between men and women. Mainstream men’s rights activists(MRAs) argued for the same things. Their charges against feminism are merely that women aren’t being feminist enough.
Sites like Paul Elam’s A Voice for Men don’t argue for a rollback of women’s suffrage or a return to traditonal sex roles. MRAs accuse women of using their newfound political power to create legal advantages for themselves, which then create disadvantages for men. MRAs argue that women are making themselves “more equal” and MRAs point out the hypocrisies and unfairness created by feminist legislation. MRAs point out unflattering portrayals of men (misandry) in media overseen and controlled by women and feminist men. But, so very often, the arguments they make about how men should be portrayed echo feminist arguments about how men should be. MRAs, like feminists, want to “reimagine masculinity.” MRAs want essentially what profeminist men like Micheal Kimmel want — what profeminist men have been writing about since the 1970s. They want to liberate men from the unforgiving “plague” of high expectations that men inherited from their patriarchal forefathers. They want to stop women and men from “shaming” men for crying, for being weak, for giving up, for being dependent, for failing at being good at being men. Like feminists, they want men to be seen as people — as humans — unshackled by stereotypes.
Feminists are intolerant of internal criticism about the way they implement their program–especially from men. No one likes being called a hypocrite. The feminist creed is equality. MRAs say feminists are engineering inequality. Those are bitter fighting words, but protestant fighting words. MRAs are protestant feminists. They aren’t saying god doesn’t exist, or that there are other gods — they’re just saying “you’re doing it wrong.”
If the feminists at The Good Men Project were capable of admitting that women were capable of doing wrong, and the feminists at A Voice for Men were capable of admitting that they are feminists — or “humanists,” as moderate feminists often like to be called — they could probably work together to help men get better treatment from their high heeled overlords. I doubt they’d get anywhere — begging just makes her lose respect for you — but these two groups of guys belong on the same ship.
Elam’s recent statement about the “man-o-sphere” makes it clear who he doesn’t want on his ship. He’s waved good-bye to the manosphere. He doesn’t want to be associated with pick-up-artists, or radical traditionalists, or the alternative right, or white nationalists, or evolutionary psychology speculators, or powerlifters who tell you to “man the fuck up,” or the kind of men who want to destroy the future and start the world.
The manosphere encompasses a group of men having discussions about masculinity, modernity and feminism outside the carefully policed borders of politically correct feminist egalitarianism. The manosphere is an outer realm where male tribalism rules. It’s a rag-tag collection of camps made by men and for men who are expatriates of egalitarianism. The manosphere is not about what women want, or about making sure men and women are equal. The manosphere is about men writing about who men are and what they want, without supervision. It is a hard, “hollow state” hinterland where — as one of its more important writers says — “pretty lies perish.”
So MRA’s have broken with “the manosphere.” They never really belonged out here anyway.
The Manosphere is has fragmented. It was a necessary break. RooshV says the Men’s Rights Movement is dead.
Long Live the Manosphere!