3 years ago500+ Views

While men's rights activists see feminism as the enemy, feminist activists are actually making the world a better place for them.

You can probably name a bunch of cartoons that paint feminists as man-hating, crazed, stupid, vain, people who think they're strong but are actually lazy and weak, making up fake complaints to get away with breaking the law or avoiding work... yup, that's what people call a straw-man feminist. Characters like that have nothing to do with actual anti-oppression movements. Their arguments are easy to tear apart because they're not real arguments. Writers intentionally misconstrue real issues so people can feel justified in dismissing them.
When it comes to informational fallacies, they got something right.

So what does feminism have to do with men's rights?

The men's rights movement has been around since the 1970s (it wasn't born on 4chan or reddit). Some men's rights advocates suggest that feminism has gone too far and is hurting men by taking away their rights. And they're correct- men no longer have the right to rape their spouses for example. But many of the issues the men's rights movement are concerned with (things like the military draft, the prison-industrial complex, and yes, child custody) are things that the feminist movement is also invested in. Because feminism has always been about equality. Not world domination.

But what about...

False rape accusations. Nothing but bad statistics suggest that this is a common occurrence (via), but feminists don't want innocent people to go to prison. We want victims of assaults (of ANY gender) to be believed and get justice. False allegations wouldn't make that happen.
Child custody battles. There is an assumption that the family court system is favoring women and only cares about father's paychecks. In actuality, 91% of custody decisions are made outside the family court system (via). So while only 22% of divorced or unwed fathers see their children more than once a week, it's not because of a legal barrier. Feminists don't want men to lose custody of their children. Feminists want to break apart the assumption that women should be the primary caretakers and encourage men to be more present as parents to their children...
... Except in cases of abuse. If there *is* a bias in the family court system, it's one that favors abusers. Abusive parents are more likely to demand full custody than non-abusive ones, and they succeed about 70% of the time (via). And on the subject of abuse...
Female abusers do exist. And men can absolutely be the victims of abuse and intimate partner violence- according to the CDC that's about 1 in 7 men (via). However, abusers use the justice system to further control their partners. In his book 'Why Does He Do That', Lundy Bancroft describes the tactics used by a batterer:
"... how he would snap out of his rage when the police pulled up in front of the house and would sweet-talk the police, 'telling them what she had done. Then they would look at her, and she'd be the one who was totally out of control, because I had just degraded her and put her in fear. I'd say to the police, 'see, it isn't me'. Ty managed to escape arrest repeatedly with his calm demeanor and claims of self-defense."
There's nothing feminist about letting abusers manipulate the court system in their favor so they can continue abusing their victims. Feminists don't want men to be abused (or raped in prison). Equality means that no person should have that kind of power over another.

When it comes to men's rights, feminists are there.

That's why trans men are part of the feminist movement*. That's why Black Lives Matter has feminist support*. That's why feminists supported the same-sex marriage decision.
What are the complaints of the men's rights movement? The idea that men should coddle and finance women, the idea that people should be judged for superficial attributes, the idea that men should be risking their lives doing dangerous work that women are too delicate for... the list goes on. So many of the complaints of the men's rights movement are part of the system of gendered bias that feminism is trying to get rid of.
*Yes, there are transphobic and racist feminists. There are crappy individuals in any movement. The MOVEMENT itself is deeply concerned with individual rights and ending oppression.

Feminists are not looking to be coddled.

Equality means that anyone who needs to be cared for, regardless of gender, should have the same opportunities and that regardless of ability, each human being should be treated with respect. That includes men who have disabilities, and women who are able soldiers.

There's nothing wrong with having traits that are perceived as 'feminine'.

In fact, the idea that any behavior or trait is inherently 'feminine' or 'masculine' is absurd. They're based on the assumption that men and women are polar opposites and essentially unequal.

"Men do not need to live under an emotionless, macho facade."

Feminists aren't asking men to live up to an unachievable ideal. That's toxic masculinity. Feminists are asking men to treat all people with respect, which is 100% achievable. And if everyone did it, men would benefit too.