Today, it's time to rave. I'm angry.
In the gender equality debate, I'm angry about these people...
People who get angry about sexist jokes, but then refer to a bad joke as a "dad joke".
People who claim that their model of feminism is about gender equality for everyone, but that only ever speak or post about equality for women. (The walk don't match the talk).
People that say they support men getting together to talk about their issues, then complain that the mens rights movement is nothing but misogynists.
People who see sexual adventurousness in women as women enjoying and expressing their sexuality, but view exactly the same behavior in men as sleazy.
People who complain that men aren't good at sex or relationships or communication, and then go and run a workshop on those topics that only women can attend.
People that claim to be well informed about gender issues, but that have never read a book written from another gender's perspective.
People that argue that things that mostly effect men (like suicide) shouldn't be regarded as gendered issues because that makes women invisible, but then argue that things that mostly effect women (like street sexual harassment) should be regarded as a gendered issue.
People that tell me I should speak up when I see sexism against men, but then get deeply defensive and outraged when their sexism against men is pointed out to them.
People that make passionate cases against being judged by our gender, but feel that having a baseline of mistrust towards men is reasonable.
People that complain that men are bad at communication, but that don't have the compassion or political framework to see that men are relatively unprivileged in such things. They blame the individual, rather than the conditioning.
People who are interested in privilege, but only if we're talking about it as something that women don't have, and that men do have.
People who say that sexism doesn't really happen against men, then say something stupidly sexist against men without even realizing it.
People that think that men in the current day and age need to accept that there's a lot of anger against men, and that part of being a privileged man is learning to listen to anger directed at them and not take it personally... Not realizing that they're holding an individual accountable for something others of their demographic might have done - the very meaning of the word 'sexism'.
People who say we shouldn't use the word 'sexism' to describe what happens to men, not realizing what an amazing piece of sexism that perspective is in itself.
People that say they're passionate about exploring and discussing the concept of privilege, but struggle with the idea that privilege is not one simple thing (rather, it's made up of many many small things), or that all privileges are double-edged.
People who cannot see my anger - such as that in the background of this writing - as anything but dangerous and suspicious (as opposed to when a woman is angry about gender politics, where her anger is seen as understandable and an important part of the process). The very same people that don't understand that being able to speak up about gender politics and be taken seriously - most of the time - is a privilege.
People that think that the men's movement should only operate within the bounds set for it by feminism, but (understandably) rail at the idea that feminism should only operate within the bounds set for it by patriarchy.
People that say that the patriarchy is bad for both men and women and that that's why we need feminism. But that patriarchy also benefits men, which is why we don't have to include men's issues in our activism, our language, our funding, or our thinking.
People that say they want men to get more involved in the parenting process, but then insist that abortion is only a women's issue, and that men should have no legal rights to family access.
People that object to the use of words like 'cunt', 'twat', and 'pussy' as negative words or put-downs, but then happily use words like 'dick-head', 'prick', or 'cock' in the same context.
People that claim to be against slut-shaming and sex-negativity, but that think that male sexuality is fundamentally dangerous.
People that think that male libido enhancements are another example of a patriarchal medical system prioritizing male pleasure. And that female libido enhancements are a way of the patriarchal medical system manipulating women's bodies to suit men.
People that think dental dams are an appalling loss of pleasure, and that they understand why women don't want to use them. But that men that don't want to use condoms are incomprehensible.
Women that feel like it makes perfect sense for them to only study women's issues, but that men that only study men's issues are dangerous, misogynistic and ill-informed. (Which, for the record, the author tends to agree with - one should study sexism, inequality and privilege as it relates to all genders. See 'cis-political').
People that say that sexism by men against men isn't really sexism, but that sexism against women by women is.
People who support quotas to get women more equally represented in politics, business and media, but think that quotas to get more men in child-care, family, and community sectors would be an affront.
People that do an analysis of gender violence in video games, conclude that video gaming is misogynistic, but don't notice that almost all of the violence is against men because that's normal.
People that understand that in marginalized communities, high rates of violence, law-breaking and incarceration are evidence of those populations playing out the structural violence committed against them. But that when men demonstrate high rates of those things, it's just because men are bad.
People that - when told about domestic violence or abuse against men - assume he probably deserved it.
Women that exclaim "check your privilege!", not noticing that in discussions about gender politics, being female is a privileged position.
People that assume that any blow-back against feminism can be attributed to stupidity, and is a cue for an explanation about privilege and inequality; but the same, in reverse, is regarded as mansplaining.
Most of the above can be gender-flipped, showing the same one-sided and unfair perspectives in mens' rights activism circles.
The reason this rant is not inclusive of both is that the mens' rights movement is hopelessly small. It's not in my news-feed, it's not on my radio, it's not in the films I watch or the conversations that happen around me. The above is; it's everywhere. I promise, if it was the other way around, I'd be ranting against MRA with as much passion. So for the record: Men's Rights Activists, you need to get your act together too. You're doing all of the same things, flipped.
One-sided gender politics doesn't work. It's in too many ways a repetition of the problem it's trying to solve.
If you only care about one side of gender politics, then of course that's all you're going to see, and it's going to feel like the world is against you. I suggest it behooves us to get well informed and compassionate about all sides of the discussion - men's issues, women's issues, trans-sexual, pan-sexual, inter-sexual, and everything else.
Do what you're asking, and find some love and compassion for the other side. Gender-flip your politics.