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The Paradox of the “Men’s Rights Movement”
All the problems that *certain men* complain about — male suicide, mothers gaining custody of children more often following a divorce, men dying from hazardous occupations, men going to war, and so on — are problems directly caused by patriarchy.
Men raised without the weight of toxic masculinity from their fathers, their brothers, their male friends, and their male coworkers, who felt encouraged to express emotion in the relatively uninhibited manner typically associated with femininity, and who felt like they could be open with their partners, seek therapy when needed, and ask people for help, would be less likely to commit suicide.
If half of all time spent on childcare was done by fathers, then the idea of granting custody to a father would bear no connotations different from those of granting custody to a mother.
If men did not harass women in male-dominated occupations, then more women would work in them. This includes the trades. This includes physically dangerous occupations that some women would take, both because college is expensive and because these jobs pay more than the retail and other service industry jobs that women with no college education are relegated to. That would make more women, and fewer men, *die at work*.
I oppose the draft. I oppose the Selective Service. It is unconstitutional. But if, for the sake of argument, the draft/Selective Service were allowed to remain, then I would support female inclusion. For every man who can serve on the ground, there is a woman who can serve in the air or at sea.
Maybe some men get sucked into believing that the aforementioned problems are WOMEN’S fault, and feminists’ fault, because most among this group have no concept of how millennia of legal, institutionalized, structural, systemic, and totalitarian oppression compounds and completely overtakes a society. They have no concept of the magnitude of the power of oppression based on innate, and easily identifiable, traits to erase the oppressed group. They do not understand the concept of supremacy. They don’t understand that “causing all problems” is a corollary of “controlling everything.”
They do not understand how the oppressive group — in this case, men — could possibly cause the majority of the world’s problems. It sounds pejorative. And yet, that is exactly what one would expect to happen when the other group (i.e., women) are not allowed to vote, work anywhere, buy anything, own anything, learn anything in school, even learn to read or go outside the house without a man. If women are all in the house watching children, cooking, and cleaning all the time, then how could they cause more than a minuscule fraction of the world’s problems?
The 21st century is no longer entirely like this, but mothers are STILL five times more likely than fathers to stay at home to raise children. Mothers are still SEVEN TIMES more likely than fathers to be absent from the workforce to raise children under 6. So yes, if there are more men working at companies, then there are more men behind the various problems wrought by these companies. Every American president has been a man. Those who blame presidents for the country’s problems, then and now, are blaming only men. 80 percent of Congress is male. This means men are disproportionately behind the problems that laws and government policies have wrought.
In this context, the idea of “blaming men” is merely a mathematical, logical conclusion. Some men then argue the flip side, that if men caused most of the world’s problems, then they also created most of the world’s solutions. But this argument is invalid, because women were categorically prohibited from creating the world’s solutions. The idea that we never could have if we had had the same freedom as men all along, and will never be able to, is nothing more than pure unadulterated bioessentialist misogyny.
Bioessentialist pseudoscience was just a relatively fancy, nineteenth-century way of saying that BIPOC and women were innately inferior, a *more modern* update to the old adage that their innate inferiority was proven by scripture. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries show a pattern of oppressive pseudoscientific claims being debunked. Because there is a greater genetic difference between different sexes versus different races, the debunking of sex-based pseudoscience has lagged behind the debunking of race-based pseudoscience, but the limit is approaching 0 practical difference in terms of who can do which jobs or tasks. Consider, among other things, the Flynn effect and the fact that greater *cognitive differences* between men and women *magically appear* in countries where women are more oppressed.
Now that we have taken out the bioessentialist trash, we can recognize that, as with every group project you have ever done, or every new person who has ever joined your group of friends, the equal participation of women in society will cause both new problems and new solutions. Because no person is perfect, and therefore no group of people is perfect. And yet, the more ideas there are in a meeting, or a company, or a country, or the world, the higher the quality of those ideas that rise to the top. The equal participation of EVERY group also would provide a sorely needed checks and balances mechanism to the biggest problems that we face today because they have run rampant, unchecked and unregulated, for so long. If two heads are better than one, then 7.9 billion heads are better than 3.95 billion.
In a male supremacist society, virtually all problems disproportionately faced by women versus men, AND virtually all problems disproportionately faced by men versus women, are the fault of men as a group. Because male supremacy isn’t some metaphysical force, it is only still around because individual men keep enforcing it (think of each man who contributes to the problem as one atom from an enormous form).
The goal of feminism is for there to be no problems — other than relatively trivial things like menstruation and nocturnal emissions, and the less than two years out of her entire life that the average woman desires to spend pregnant — that disproprtionately affect women OR men. This means we both go to war and we both die at work. And also that we both raise the children and we both do the cooking, grocery shopping, and housework. That we split the bill at restaurants, and that the concept of marital community property is irrelevant because we both make the same amount of money. No need to worry about gold diggers or hypergamy if men and women, on average, make the same!
Some people really need to stop perpetuating the very problems that they complain about.