mankytoes

Men's rights/issues thread- Grab 'em right by the willy

402 posts in this topic

With the womenfolk marching on Washington for the arrival of President Pussygrabber, it's definitely a time when women's issues are predominant in public discussion. So where should men stand with issues that specifically effect us?

The main issues we face in Western countries as far as I can tell are-

- Paternity, and whether fathers do/should have equal rights as mothers.

- Crime/Justice, and whether men do/should receive equal punishments as women.

- Education, where boys are consistantly doing worse overall

- Addiction, how men are significantly more likely to be addicted to alcohol and drugs

- Health, where men die younger and commit suicide more

I was asked in a recent feminist thread why I don't just join a men's rights group. I don't have any objection to that, but unfortunately all the groups I've seen are anti-feminist and conservative, and I'm neither of those things. Rights for fathers, for example, have got better in more liberal, feminist influenced countries. It's pretty outrageous that a raped boy can later be forced to pay child support-

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/02/statutory-rape-victim-child-support/14953965/

But that's happening in Kansas, not Stockholm.

The other common answer is that feminists are going to solve these problems by achieving gender equality. That's a view I'm a lot more favourable towards. The idea of a father getting equal rights to see his children is clearly linked to the idea of a mother having equal working opportunities. However, I've found actual enthusiasm for tackling these issues pretty lacking in feminists. In fact, they often seem quite offended by even bringing issues that effect men up in a feminist discussion, and want to make it clear that anything about men must be seen as a lesser issue.

So the main question is- what are the most important issues we face, and how should we tackle them? Is harmony between feminists and "meninists" possible?

Please note- This thread is not a safe space for anyone, and all views are welcome. The only thing I'd like to request is that we try to stick to Western society and issues, just because it is very different in other parts of the world, and history shows me once we bring Islam, etc, into discussions, it tends to dominate and get off topic.

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IBTL.

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These are all serious issues. However, context is important: pretty much all of them, so far as can be determined, arise from 'traditional' models of masculinity that emphasise qualities like independence, dominance, and fear of being seen as 'weak'.

Because of that, and because in almost all cases the answers lie in changing male-dominated institutions like the justice system, the answers lie with us, as men. They don't lie in complaining about women. We need to raise the status of childcare, tackle the perception that academic achievement and intelligence aren't 'masculine', and encourage men to be open about our physical and mental health. (And we're making some inroads there, but not enough.)

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1 hour ago, Spockydog said:

IBTL.

Is there a rule that we aren't allowed to talk about this, or are you just assuming discussion is gonna go downhill fast?

1 hour ago, mormont said:

These are all serious issues. However, context is important: pretty much all of them, so far as can be determined, arise from 'traditional' models of masculinity that emphasise qualities like independence, dominance, and fear of being seen as 'weak'.

Because of that, and because in almost all cases the answers lie in changing male-dominated institutions like the justice system, the answers lie with us, as men. They don't lie in complaining about women. We need to raise the status of childcare, tackle the perception that academic achievement and intelligence aren't 'masculine', and encourage men to be open about our physical and mental health. (And we're making some inroads there, but not enough.)

Yeah, I'd broadly agree with that. I guess the question then becomes whether those traditional models are just by nurture, or if they relate to male nature, testosterone, etc.

See, I'm not sure I agree with that, because I don't think you can separate men and women like that. I think any answers lie with gender co-operation.

So do you think we need men's groups to do this, just ones with a more enlightened outlook?

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Let's find a men's group that can help.

  1. POTUS
  2. Senate
  3. House of Representatives
  4. Supreme Court
  5. Most of the cabinet positions
  6. Most governorship
  7. Most (all) State Congresses

Agree with Mormont, the problem is within male-dominated institutions and reforming those institutions. Women are and should expected to support solving these issues, but we are singularly capable of doing something about them. The Patriarchy cuts both ways for men too. 

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Well, to quote HRC, "women's rights are human rights."  So, I'm always on the side of seeing people not as a bundle of chromosomes, but rather as individual humans entitled to basic rights and dignity. 

I give this thread 5 pages before it goes down in flames.  :P

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See, I'm not sure I agree with that, because I don't think you can separate men and women like that. I think any answers lie with gender co-operation.

Sure. But as noted, men dominate the structures required to produce change: not only legally, but culturally. As long as the overwhelming majority of movies feature male leads written by male writers under a male director, for example, 'gender co-operation' can do little to provide men with healthy role models.

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20 minutes ago, mormont said:

Sure. But as noted, men dominate the structures required to produce change: not only legally, but culturally. As long as the overwhelming majority of movies feature male leads written by male writers under a male director, for example, 'gender co-operation' can do little to provide men with healthy role models.

Culturally is the hardest.  Dumb stuff just from this weekend:  We were on a school sponsored trip for my daughters' school (which is all girls).  I had some work to do, so my husband took all three kids to the pool - apparently a bunch of other parents (not necessarily from our school) commented on what a great dad he is.  If I had taken them which I had done in the morning), trust me, I wouldn't have gotten (and didn't get) any such comment. And he's a great dad, mind you. 

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Family law clearly needs updating in many ways, and not necessarily just for men.  Families are created in a lot of ways, but the law struggles to recognize that.  Same sex couples often either can't have both parents on birth certificates or have a difficult and lengthy process to get that done.  Sperm donors for women - whether coupled or single - can be on the hook for custodial and financial support if insemination is not done through an expensive clinic.  Single or coupled males have a whole different set of obstacles to becoming biological parents because surrogacy laws aren't supportive.  I certainly don't have any legal experience, but I imagine updating family law to be an incredibly complicated minefield because the needs and wants of the child can be in conflict with the needs and wants of the adults.

11 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Culturally is the hardest.  Dumb stuff just from this weekend:  We were on a school sponsored trip for my daughters' school (which is all girls).  I had some work to do, so my husband took all three kids to the pool - apparently a bunch of other parents (not necessarily from our school) commented on what a great dad he is.  If I had taken them which I had done in the morning), trust me, I wouldn't have gotten (and didn't get) any such comment. And he's a great dad, mind you. 

For real.  Everyone oohs and ahhs over this dad who brings his baby to storytime at the library during the privileged hour acting like he's completed some insurmountable task and I'm just sitting there baffled because we all went through the same steps to get our kids to storytime in the middle of the day.  

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1 hour ago, Week said:

Let's find a men's group that can help.

  1. POTUS
  2. Senate
  3. House of Representatives
  4. Supreme Court
  5. Most of the cabinet positions
  6. Most governorship
  7. Most (all) State Congresses

Agree with Mormont, the problem is within male-dominated institutions and reforming those institutions. Women are and should expected to support solving these issues, but we are singularly capable of doing something about them. The Patriarchy cuts both ways for men too. 

A group comprising men isn't necessarily a "men's group". I mean a lot of those groups actually make the issues I've mentioned worse in my opinion (and I'm guessing in most people's). I don't think the POTUS has more responsibility to their own gender.

I should probably mention I'm English before we go further into that. Few people would say our female PM(s) have done much for feminist causes (except exist, maybe).

Patriachy cuts both ways- exactly. To say patriachy helps men and harms women is a vast oversimplification.

1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Well, to quote HRC, "women's rights are human rights."  So, I'm always on the side of seeing people not as a bundle of chromosomes, but rather as individual humans entitled to basic rights and dignity. 

I give this thread 5 pages before it goes down in flames.  :P

Absolutely, that's why I think we can co-operate on these issues. They come from the same principles.

I didn't know you were such an optimist?

41 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Culturally is the hardest.  Dumb stuff just from this weekend:  We were on a school sponsored trip for my daughters' school (which is all girls).  I had some work to do, so my husband took all three kids to the pool - apparently a bunch of other parents (not necessarily from our school) commented on what a great dad he is.  If I had taken them which I had done in the morning), trust me, I wouldn't have gotten (and didn't get) any such comment. And he's a great dad, mind you. 

Ooh I've got one, I got told I was "such a nice guy" on Friday by a girl I know because I mentioned how I never cheat on my girlfriend. I don't know if that's down to her personal experience, but either way, gotta love that low bar.

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1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Culturally is the hardest.  Dumb stuff just from this weekend:  We were on a school sponsored trip for my daughters' school (which is all girls).  I had some work to do, so my husband took all three kids to the pool - apparently a bunch of other parents (not necessarily from our school) commented on what a great dad he is.  If I had taken them which I had done in the morning), trust me, I wouldn't have gotten (and didn't get) any such comment. And he's a great dad, mind you. 

By other parents, do you mean female parents?  As a father, I have received similar "praise" from mothers and grandmothers when I take my girls to the park or bookstore withtout their mother.  Those comments have always come from SAHMs or grandmothers and never fathers (SAH or otherwise) or grandfathers.  

Although stylized as "praise," I believe these comments show disdain for--or at least a misunderstanding of--the parenting skills of men in general.  As such, men have to continually prove that they are competent and caring parents whereas those traits are presumed for mothers. 

You're better off without that "praise."

Edited by Tempra

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21 minutes ago, Tempra said:

 Although stylized as "praise," I believe these comments show disdain for--or at least a misunderstanding of--the parenting skills of men in general.  As such, men have to continually prove that they are competent and caring parents whereas those traits are presumed for mothers. 

You're better off without that "praise."

For sure, it's like when people say they're "inspired" by disabled people performing basic tasks. Or, my favourite, an old women telling us of what a good job her black bus driver did.

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We can start by stopping :

stop calling it babysitting when mom goes out and leaves dad alone with the kids - it's you know, parenting

stop accepting the portrayal of dad as some adorably bumbling idiot compared to mom in commercials, television and movies

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1 minute ago, kairparabola said:

We can start by stopping :

stop calling it babysitting when mom goes out and leaves dad alone with the kids - it's you know, parenting

stop accepting the portrayal of dad as some adorably bumbling idiot compared to mom in commercials, television and movies

 

33 minutes ago, Tempra said:

By other parents, do you mean female parents?  As a father, I have received similar "praise" from mothers and grandmothers when I take my girls to the park or bookstore withtout their mother.  Those comments have always come from SAHMs or grandmothers and never fathers (SAH or otherwise) or grandfathers.  

Although stylized as "praise," I believe these comments show disdain for--or at least a misunderstanding of--the parenting skills of men in general.  As such, men have to continually prove that they are competent and caring parents whereas those traits are presumed for mothers. 

You're better off without that "praise."

Agree with both of these comments.  Not sure who made the comment to my husband, wasn't there and he didn't specify, but I completely agree with the sentiment.

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I'm not sure about many of these issues being somehow sidelined by feminists, either. (Who are 'the feminists' anyway? Is there a central accrediting body I haven't heard of?) Paternal leave, and the promotion of greater male involvement in parenting in both legal and cultural spheres are right in the forefront of most feminist discourse I'm aware of on the subject, and the feminization of professions (including teaching and its possible consequences for boys) is also firmly in what I'd reckon is the feminist ballpark.

I don't know that there's a real 'men's issue' out there (anymore than there is a pure 'women's issue'), but while I guess feminism is less directlu engaged with things like higher incarceration and addiction rates and worse health outcomes for men, I have a hard time imagining the brand of feminism that is opposed to them or doesn't see the deep cultural shifts that need to take place for it change as being entirely within the feminist remit.

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2 hours ago, Tempra said:

By other parents, do you mean female parents?  As a father, I have received similar "praise" from mothers and grandmothers when I take my girls to the park or bookstore withtout their mother.  Those comments have always come from SAHMs or grandmothers and never fathers (SAH or otherwise) or grandfathers.  

Although stylized as "praise," I believe these comments show disdain for--or at least a misunderstanding of--the parenting skills of men in general.  As such, men have to continually prove that they are competent and caring parents whereas those traits are presumed for mothers. 

You're better off without that "praise."

 

2 hours ago, kairparabola said:

We can start by stopping :

stop calling it babysitting when mom goes out and leaves dad alone with the kids - it's you know, parenting

stop accepting the portrayal of dad as some adorably bumbling idiot compared to mom in commercials, television and movies

Yeah, I agree with the point of these commenters here. Dads are adorable parenting idiots... and who is it that thinks of them that way? It needs to stop.

By the way, I had to take my very tall son clothes shopping again two nights ago. He had to actually try clothes on because of such a growth spurt recently. When he came out of the dressing room with his new sizes on, I was in such awe of my son that I told him he looked very handsome. And then what happened? A female employee came over to me and told me that I was "such a good mom" because I gave him a compliment.

Are mother's not complimenting their sons? I appreciated the comment from the lady, but I was slightly confused afterward. Then I thought that since women are the majority caregivers, then maybe we women have to make some changes as well because these young boys are learning from us as well.

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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2 hours ago, kairparabola said:

We can start by stopping :

stop accepting the portrayal of dad as some adorably bumbling idiot compared to mom in commercials, television and movies

This does my head in aswell. It's like the advertising industry is trying to influence men into not being fathers- single men are usually portrayed as cool and stylish, married men are emasculated (and I recently learned what that literally means) morons. (To be clear, I don't actually think there is such a conspiracy. Presumably something to do with the idea that single men have disposable income, and it's wives making family purchases).

Not really sure how to fight this, though, I guess trying to direct complaints/boycotts?

1 minute ago, Datepalm said:

I'm not sure about many of these issues being somehow sidelined by feminists, either. (Who are 'the feminists' anyway? Is there a central accrediting body I haven't heard of?) Paternal leave, and the promotion of greater male involvement in parenting in both legal and cultural spheres are right in the forefront of most feminist discourse I'm aware of on the subject, and the feminization of professions (including teaching and its possible consequences for boys) is also firmly in what I'd reckon is the feminist ballpark.

I don't know that there's a real 'men's issue' out there (anymore than there is a pure 'women's issue'), but while I guess feminism is less directlu engaged with things like higher incarceration and addiction rates and worse health outcomes for men, I have a hard time imagining the brand of feminism that is opposed to them or doesn't see the deep cultural shifts that need to take place for it change as being entirely within the feminist remit.

Just any self identifying feminists, in my personal experience.

It's definitely true that feminists have done a lot for parenting issues but, unsurprisingly, they're looking at it mainly from the female perspective. I think it's important there is a mix of viewpoints in these debates. Again, I can only talk about my experience, but feminists seem more concerned about professionals and top jobs. There's little interest in low skill, manual, often male dominated professions, which are often the most dangerous.

I agree that pretty much all issues effect everyone, it's about the response being proportionate. For example, any normal person can see domestic violence effects women more than men. However, this still becomes a men's issue if men are getting less support than we need proportionatly. I think this is one area where there is LGBT crossover, as they also often struggle with getting seen as equal to straight women in domestic violence issues. Of course, male gay issues are men's issues. I've heard a lot of homophobes openly say that male homosexuality is worse than female.

The question should always be- why? Do men get more addictions because of this idea that we have an innately higher drive towards risk, or because society encourages us to get involved in these behaviours?

I don't think they're opposing them in general, but I don't think they are promoting them enough for us to accept that feminist groups should be the only way we promote our issues.

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I think you're being a little reductionist in what you're seeing as feminism...I don't wan't to derail the thread over it because generally I think it's an important topic, as a feminist(!) and a good approach...but if you look at the work being done on things like men's identities today, or low income male labour force, the dichotomy men find themselves in in the current economy (either 'brain' high-status professions, or manual, dirty/dangerous/difficult 'brawn' employment, with no cultural legitimacy to take on the mid-tier jobs in the service economy that are managing to survive and being dominated by women) its coming from perfectly feminist approaches, and writers. Check out Linda McDowell or Arlie Hochschild, off the top of my head.

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7 hours ago, mankytoes said:

Is there a rule that we aren't allowed to talk about this, or are you just assuming discussion is gonna go downhill fast?

The latter. As Mormont says, they are serious issues. But it probably won't be long before the flame wars are ignited by some idiot whining about 'male genocide' or some other bollocks.

Edited by Spockydog

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2 hours ago, mankytoes said:

This does my head in aswell. It's like the advertising industry is trying to influence men into not being fathers- single men are usually portrayed as cool and stylish, married men are emasculated (and I recently learned what that literally means) morons. (To be clear, I don't actually think there is such a conspiracy. Presumably something to do with the idea that single men have disposable income, and it's wives making family purchases).

Not really sure how to fight this, though, I guess trying to direct complaints/boycotts?

Just any self identifying feminists, in my personal experience.

It's definitely true that feminists have done a lot for parenting issues but, unsurprisingly, they're looking at it mainly from the female perspective. I think it's important there is a mix of viewpoints in these debates. Again, I can only talk about my experience, but feminists seem more concerned about professionals and top jobs. There's little interest in low skill, manual, often male dominated professions, which are often the most dangerous.

I agree that pretty much all issues effect everyone, it's about the response being proportionate. For example, any normal person can see domestic violence effects women more than men. However, this still becomes a men's issue if men are getting less support than we need proportionatly. I think this is one area where there is LGBT crossover, as they also often struggle with getting seen as equal to straight women in domestic violence issues. Of course, male gay issues are men's issues. I've heard a lot of homophobes openly say that male homosexuality is worse than female.

The question should always be- why? Do men get more addictions because of this idea that we have an innately higher drive towards risk, or because society encourages us to get involved in these behaviours?

I don't think they're opposing them in general, but I don't think they are promoting them enough for us to accept that feminist groups should be the only way we promote our issues.

Actually, @Lyanna Stark (I think) linked some great things in the feminist thread about the fact that what one thinks about in terms of "feminism" is white and middle class.  It is a great point and there was a great discussion on this point.  That is, there is a class overlay on all of these issues, both for men and women.  

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