Posted by: hellonhairylegs | September 22, 2008

What wouldn’t an MRA do to seem oppressed?

After reading Lauredhel’s post about the Men’s Confraternity, a men’s rights group in Perth I’m ready to start rending things apart with my bare hands.

 

Aboriginal Australians

Men

More die at birth in early childhood.

More die at birth in early childhood.

More are unemployed

More are unemployed

Less involvement in education, lower grades

Less involvement in education, lower grades

More are homeless

More are homeless

More are incarcerated

More are incarcerated

More suffer from alcohol and drug addiction

More suffer from alcohol and drug addiction

More suffer and die from preventable diseases

More suffer and die from preventable diseases

More commit suicide

More commit suicide

Smaller life expectancy

Smaller life expectancy

Uhuh. You read that right. Men are comparing their situation to that of Australian Aborigines. Need I remind my audience of how truly oppressed Australian Aborigines are? They had their land, culture and children stolen from them. How the hell can you compare the position of men in society to that of Aborigines?!

Ok, so the main areas of that table are birth, employment, education, homelessness, incarceration, alcohol and drug addiction, health care, suicide and life expectancy. Let’s see if I can create a better graph in an hour on the subjects they’ve chosen.

Birth

More boys are born that girls and more die early. This may be a genetic quirk or a factor of stress/climate or another issue. However boys do not generally get aborted or killed at birth because of their sex (NB: I support any woman’s right to abortion for any reason). Female infanticide is common. I hesitate to quote exact statistics because it is uncertain what percentage are aborted and what percentage are killed. I do know that 600,000 women die every year in labour. As many as half of these deaths are preventable.

Employment

Yes, more men are unemployed than women. Unsurprising given that women do two thirds of world labour. Women are more likely to do poorly paid, part time or unpaid labour. There is a sixteen percent wage gap between men and women in Australia. Those poor men.

Education

Yes, boys don’t get the grades that girls do in schools, but men still manage to get the high paying jobs. Strange that. I recommend Gendered Lives by Julia Woods, in which we discover that male students are given more support than female students in academia, while female students are encouraged to be quiet. We all also learn that teachers pay more attention to male students than female students and are more likely to know the name of their male students than their female counterparts.

Homelessness

Yes, more men are homeless than women just as women are more likely to be economically dependent on men. This is part of cultural expectations applied to the two genders, expectations that feminists attempt to analyse and dismantle.

Incarceration

Men are more likely to be incarcerated than women, again because of the gender binary. They commit the vast majority of violent crimes because they have been socialised to be masculine, while women have been socialised to be feminine and compliant. Also, as Margaret Atwood noted, in the US women who kill their husbands have an average life sentence of twenty years. A man who kills his wife gets an average of four.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Again we come to the spectre of the gender binary. Women are taught to care for their family and to sacrifice their pleasures for the good of others. In the microlending programs common in developing nations it is often observed that men spend their money on alcohol and prostitutes while women spend the money on their family and business. The Grameen Bank prefers to lend to women for precisely that reason.

Health care

This topic needs several pages to be covered fully but again I would point at the gender binary. Men are taught to stoically endure instead of seeking help. This is not conducive to illness prevention. Women’s health care is so well looked after that thousands die each year from illegal abortion and thousands more have their genitals mutilated.

Suicide

More men commit suicide than women. More women suffer from depression and attempt to commit suicide than men. Men are far more likely to commit murder suicides and to choose messy methods of suicide.

Smaller Life Expectancy

I assume this is something else genetic or involving unknown factors, like the fact that more male children die early. Maybe if women got better health care and had to do less of world labour this difference would be even more pronounced.

Aboriginal Australians

Men

More die at birth in early childhood.

Are not likely to be aborted or killed at birth because of their genitals. Do not have to give birth in dangerous situations

More are unemployed

Do a third of world labor for ninety percent of income

Less involvement in education, lower grades

More attention paid to them in class than their female counterparts

More are homeless

More are homeless

More are incarcerated

More are incarcerated

More suffer from alcohol and drug addiction

More suffer from alcohol and drug addiction

More suffer and die from preventable diseases

More likely to die from preventable diseases, do not have their genitals mutilated or unwanted pregnancies.

More commit suicide

Are less likely to be depressed than women

Smaller life expectancy

Smaller life expectancy

So, I have two questions for the MRAs. First of all, if you care so much about the impacts of the gender binary why aren’t you helping feminists? Secondly, do you fact pick on purpose or do you get someone else to do it for you?

Fact picking should become a profession, like gerrymandering. These MRAs are amateurs.

ETA: As noted by Beppie in comments, the difference in life expectancy between Aboriginal Australians and the rest of the population is measured in decades. Oxfam is running a campaign called Close the Gap.

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Responses

  1. What a bunch of idiots.

    They don’t want equality. They want full control.

    To compare themsleves to Aborigines is a fucking insult.
    They have not 1 bloody clue how tough Aborigines have it, and how easy they do in comparison.
    John Butler Trio is going off in my head right now.

  2. Thanks for this– I had many of the same thoughts myself. Particularly in terms of education, I think it’s a matter of “a woman has to work twice as hard to be thought half as good”. We get somewhat higher grades and we are somewhat more likely to complete university, yet somehow we’re still underrepresented in the upper eschalons of politics, business, etc– basically all the institutions that wield power. And even staying away from those areas, it’s far easier for men to make a living wage in trades that don’t require university education, simply because women who go into these fields are often confronted with such high levels of misogyny (not to mention the way that girls are pretty much socialised from birth to simply see this things as Not An Option).

    The smaller life expectancy really gets to me too, simply as far as scale is concerned. I mean, men, on average, might live a few years less than women, but for Aboriginal Australians its a matter of DECADES.

  3. I just wanted to say that I love reading your blog. I think this post is sooo true. You systematically destroy each argument…nice. MRAs are so threatened by anyone fighting for equality because then they wouldn’t get to be top dog. If this is how they complain when they do have power, imagine how it would be if they were actually marginalized.

  4. Emilie, I think your assessment of the MRAs is correct. They would have to be idiots to believe the crap they spout.

    Beppie, your point about trades is important. All the women I know who have dropped out of high school have a lower paying job (hairdressing etc) than the man who dropped out, assaulted someone and is addicted to ice (plumbing).
    The life expectancy stastistic was just bogus. Indigenous Australians have to contend with issues concerning racism and geographical isolation when it comes to healthcare. Men are seen as the default body, women’s problems are deviant. You can’t compare the two groups.

    Thanks amso! MRAs seem to be unable to comprehend the difference between having their privilege eroded and being oppressed.

  5. Nice demolition of the MRA arguments Hellon. I am currently looking into to the ‘boys education crisis’ stuff and came upon an interesting analysis which basically said, ‘sure female enrollments in uni out number males, but if nursing and teaching were taught elsewhere (as was the situation until the 70’s) then university campuses would still be male dominated. “Women’s Work?”

  6. I’m beginning to think that the MRA movement is an elaborately constructed satire. At least that’s what I’d like to think, because the alternative, that people really are this effing stupid, is far too frightening.

  7. Just in today’s SMH: Self Harm Increasing at Alarming Rate among Girls http://www.smh.com.au/news/health/selfharm-increasing-among-girls/2008/09/23/1221935641141.html. According to this article, girls are admitted to hospital as the result of self-harm at a rate THREE TIMES that of boys. The article attributes this to “increasing academic pressure, even on high-achieving girls… undermining their self-esteem at a vulnerable age.” I think it would have been more accurate to say that girls are taught to hate themselves in a myriad of ways– academic achievement might be one area through which this self-loathing is channelled, but how about the way that girls are taught that their value lies in their ability to be fuckbots (but not sluts!), but at the same time, they’d better not complain about sexism, because if they do, they’re asking for special treatment, and if they don’t manage to achieve the same as the boys in their class in terms of business or politics, or in any other career, that’s all because they can’t hack it, not because of any other factors (and oh yeah, they should probably pop out a couple of kids at some stage too, or they’re selfish bitches, and if they do, then they can’t complain when men get ahead of them career-wise, because they chose it, and it’s just a natural part of being a nuturing-caring woman, dontchaknow?)

    Damn, this makes me mad. :/

  8. Thanks Ray. Yeah, it is interesting how many of the teachers are female, I wonder if we compared male to female ratios with average salaries what we’d see. I’ve watched male teachers be groomed for head teaching positions while talented female teachers are expected to spend their lifes “in the ranks.”

    Crank, I’ve previously postulated that they live in a different universe to our own. That MRAs are that stupid (or that vindictive) is frightening.

    Beppie, I saw that article. “Increasing academic pressure” my ass. Teenage girls are taught to hate their bodies, and if anything, their minds if they are too intelligent. Much mad making material.

  9. Gah, Hellon! These men make me want to risk splinters by playing the world’s tiniest violin for them! MRA’s are much the same world over, it appears.

  10. How very shocking for the menz to discover that the very social destruction that they have visited on others has had a deleterious effect on they own asses. Shocking, I say!


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