Men’s Rights in Modern Society
by Ellis Riker Halford
We live in a world full of prejudices and inequality, where racist and sexist parties like Britain First can exist and where people will back these parties. In a world that has these many different types of prejudices, we call the people opposed to them ‘Egalitarians’ or ‘Feminists’ or ‘Humanitarians’, but do they actually fight for true equality?
While misogyny is an unbelievably huge problem, I would argue that misandry is a really big problem too, and one that is not recognised by many people. I was discussing this with a male feminist the other day and he stated “The only people who have a problem with misandry are either those who have experienced it, or those who don’t know it isn’t a problem.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I felt greatly offended by this statement. He first stated that some people are affected by this problem, only to then disregard it completely. I find his reasoning tantamount to claiming that Ebola isn’t a problem as it affects fewer people than cancer. This is a ludicrous statement, but this is just one person’s (foolish) opinion.
This is not just an article on misandry. This is an article on how men are not recognised as being abused in relationships and how men feel scared to stand up and say anything to the police when they are abused. Feminists say they want to help men too and will state this in arguments, but they fail to follow it to its ultimate conclusion; it appears to me that they are only interested in women’s rights. If we look at Emma Watson’s UN speech which, I agree, makes some valid points, it seems to suggest that it is all men’s fault for being to “aggressive”. She said “I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice”. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised she didn’t just say “Men, it is your fault society is entrenched in its patriarchal ways so sort it!”
I’m sorry; the last 200,000 years of human existence must have slipped my mind. I thought I was born into this system like everyone else alive, but it appears Miss Watson thinks this is not the case. She clearly states that the only way women can be free is for men to ‘free them’. Well, I am sorry my ancestors created this system, but my ancestors are everyone’s ancestors, so how is the supposed oppression of women the fault of modern men? Instead of asking “men to take up this mantle” why not ask everyone Ms Watson?
I would like to point out to the feminist community that blames men for their struggle, which is real, that the philosopher Stefan Molyneux does an excellent video dismantling Ms Watson’s UN speech (I would highly recommend going watching it). In this video he states that before we are men we are, of course, boys and as boys we are children. Now most children are raised predominantly by mothers as the father usually works (although this is not always the case), in a recent study in the US it was shown that 80% of American mothers hit their children (Toddlers age 7 months to 3 years) on average 900 times a year. You may say well this is to punish the child for wrong doings and should teach them to know better, however there are more effective methods to discipline a child. This probably seems like an assault on motherhood but it is not as many psychology studies have conclusively shown that beating children for punishment makes them aggressive in later life. Now Ms Watson thinks men should be less aggressive so let’s go back up the chain I stated earlier, just over half of these children are boys (there are 101 males in the world to every 100 females) these boys will be aggressive, the boys will become men and these men will be aggressive. Women are partly a cause of this cycle just like men, if you think men need to be less aggressive, Ms Watson, so that women can become more free, that if men become more free then women will follow suit. Then does it not suggest that men can become less aggressive if women become less aggressive with their children when disciplining them. If you want more on topics like this may I recommend Stefan Molyneux’s videos on YouTube as he has been an inspiration and resource for this paragraph.
Now, the campaign she is working for is actually quite misandrist. Maybe the aims of the campaign are genuinely egalitarian and genuinely balanced, but listen to the name “He for She”. Either these people are too stupid to consider the connotations of such a name, or they really do still think that it is a man’s responsibility to ‘protect’ woman, both harkening back to chivalry and suggesting that men are in fact the problem.
If men should do this for “freedom” does that not take away a man’s freedom to choose whether to support this movement for freedom? If we are being Compatibilist it even removes their free will. The name also suggest that he should be replaced with she, that men should be replaced with women and this leads us to Neo Feminism, a very extreme form of Feminism. Now, a program about equality should not even implicitly suggest Neo Feminism or any other form of view that proposes inequality.
Now, I will leave the topic of the ‘He for She’ campaign because I do agree with its core values. But I mentioned Neo Feminism which is a gross form of feminism which needs to be stamped out. Neo Feminism believes in a world that is dominated by women and a world in which men play the role of second-class citizens as ‘house husbands’ and in some cases they believe that men should just be used for breeding purposes and everyone should be lesbians as women are the best parents. How does this solve our problem of sexism? It doesn’t, that’s like saying if we made white people slaves for 200 years we would no longer have racism. It is obvious that this is a disgusting view, so why is it acceptable to call for the enslavement of men? I have said my piece on the matter so if you don’t see how these are extremist views, then you are lost.
Next, I will talk about the fear men have to come forward after abuse. This might sound like I am claiming this to be all women’s fault, but I am most certainly not. Men can indeed be sexually assaulted and they feel afraid to come forward; when men are abused in relationships, which, by the way, make up 40% of such abusive relationships, they feel like they won’t be recognised by the police. This is no one person’s fault I must stress this, but the real problem is that this is hardly recognised at most Universities where almost all the sexual abuse classes are targeted directly at women, at best only mentioning men in passing.
I will now get to the root of the problem (in the UK) which is the law. 50,000 rape cases are brought to court every year and every single one is where a man is a defendant, the reason for this is because the law fails to recognise female rapists (in the UK, in the USA this is not the case), instead they are treated as sexual assault cases which is seen by the law as a far lesser evil (for lack of a better word) – this is why men are afraid because of the law and politics! The government needs to focus less on protecting only women. Stop treating women as weak, because they are clearly not. Look at everyone’s weaknesses and protect those regardless of gender.
Yet another problem with the law and how men, in this instance, turn out unequal is in the age of consent laws. If two people of age 15 (let’s assume they are a heterosexual couple) have sex, it is possible in our law system that if the parents of the girl found out, the boy could be prosecuted for rape even if both children gave consent or even if the boy didn’t give his consent! Unless of course the child (and lawyers) can convince the court that he was the victim, but the only time the law will consider the boy the victim in these underage acts of sex, is when he was underage but she was not, but these would be paedophilia and sexual assault charges not paedophilia and rape charges. The law needs to change.
I have a final point concerned with feminism; it is an equal rights movement by definition, however the very name of the movement presupposes that female rights, from the ‘fem’, are more valuable than male rights, the name implies a rejection of male rights, so if it was a truly equal desire for both then would it not have a different name? But this is of course just an objection to the name and its connotations. It is important to promote equal rights, but feminism suggests that only women are the victims of this – this is not the case! If you take anything at all away from this article, make it this: men can be abused, men can be discriminated against, and men can, and do, have a lack of rights in modern society.
Ellis Riker Halford is a Philosophy student at Winstanley College.