You want to see a decrease in violence towards men? Why not campaign about it? Why derail every single fucking campaign about violence against women? You do see what I’m getting at, don’t you? I mean, you don’t see Save the Whale protestors derailing anti-seal cull protests, and you don’t see anti-seal-cull protesters at whale hunts shouting “but what about the SEALS??”
How about you support us, and we’ll support you? How about instead of rubbishing this campaign, why not say “great idea girls, and something I can fully support. No woman deserves to be beaten up and raped! Incidentally, I am supporting this other campaign, about male violence, fancy joining in?”
Well, quite. Derailing feminist arguments to complain about the poor menz isn't constructive. The point of all that bitching and moaning clearly isn't to make things better for men - if it were it'd be organised somewhere besides response forms to worthy women's rights articles - but to obstruct feminist campaigns. Instead of pouring on the scorn, instead of trying to play oppression top trumps, why can't men organise themselves and their allies to resist, say, violence against men, which I think we can all acknowledge is a problem? Why can't men organise to campaign for better mental healthcare, since the 18-25 male suicide statistic is so often quoted as an example of institutional misandry? Until I see any of that, I'm afraid I'm just going to keep assuming that men attacking feminists is just...well, it's just men attacking feminists, really.
Sunny quoted me in the Guardian yesterday (the comments to that one are well worth a read), and I'm going to re-state why I believe that men need to stop acting out how threatened they feel by women's rights:
A crucial mistake that continues to be made is the fallacy that acknowledging male gender oppression somehow invalidates the whole concept behind feminism. It does not. However, across the debate sphere for decades the cry 'but men don't have it easy either!' has been taken as a direct attack on feminism – and sometimes it has even been meant as one. Otherwise perfectly intelligent commentators descend into petty fights over whose gender oppression trumps whose, not realising that everyone's gender oppression is equally valid, not understanding that the expression of someone's struggle is not an attack on everyone else's.
So yes, guys, we are challenging you. We want you to see us as complete human beings, and we want you to be as outraged by physical and sexual attacks on us as you would be by physical and sexual attacks on members of your own group. We want you to unite with us to stop violence against women, without seeing that struggle as in some fucked-up way a threat to your own self-conception as men. Yes, we want you to change. Instead of shouting us down, stand up for your own rights alongside us, as allies.
And challenge us back: I guarantee that you will not find us wanting. Because, if you think about it, we all know what it's like to feel unsafe walking home alone at night. We all know what it's like to fear male violence. We know what it's like to be physically threatened, to be scared, to be cowed by the ubiquity of male aggression, especially if we're in some way weak, or feminine, or different. And we can all take a stand against that, without getting into these silly fucking scraps over whose oppression tastes best.