This community might be harmful

This community sends “All lives matter” vibes. I understand that there are issues with how men are treated and there is nothing wrong with talking about it, but it does seem a little bit like a distraction from feminism issues. Women are objectively under a lot bigger threat and talking about women rights more makes a lot more sense. Of course, mentioning how men are treated is also useful, but dedicating a whole community to exactly this part of the problem seems a bit problematic. It would be more useful for it to be about general issues of gender roles or something like that, this way it seems like it is targeting feminism.

Furthermore, I heard that unionbusting companies now are starting to focus on feminism, racial inclusion and etc. Because it makes everyone uncomfortable and devides people by some arbitary characteristics. That makes people less likely to unite in their common interests, because it is percieved that their interests are very different, which is not the case.

sbv ,

Can you point at posts that give those vibes?

From the “about”:

Non-masculine perspectives are incredibly important in making sure that that the lived experiences of others are present in discussions on masculinity, but please remember that this is a space to discuss issues pertaining to men and masc individuals; be kind, open-minded, and take care that you aren’t talking over men expressing their own lived experiences.

The post before this one is about protecting our sons from right-wing radicalization.

From what I’ve seen, the mod(s) have taken pains to make this not an aLl LiVe MaTtEr sub.

half_built_pyramids ,

+1, op is bait

TotallyHuman ,

Three options:

  1. Don’t talk about issues unique to men
  2. Do so in feminist spaces, since this is ultimately a patriarchy / gender role issue
  3. Talk about them in a dedicated space

1 results in suicide and men going over to alt-right nonsense. 2 results in the womens’ spaces being invaded. 3, run effectively, gives men a space to talk without either squashing feminist discourse or jumping into the 4chan/incel cesspool.

TheFriar ,

You know humans are thinking about multiple issues at once, right? Not to mention, this is a companion movement to the feminism movement, because it’s about stripping away the harmful, outwardly violent and angry parts of male culture. Culture tells men to bottle it, ignore it, don’t feel it, be a man, be dominant, etc. a healthy dose of, “hey, feel what you feel, be healthy, be kind. That’s manly too.” is nothing but helpful to the progress of women’s rights.

How much of feminism is hurt by more sensitive men? None. Opposite. Feminism is helped by men who are told it’s okay to be in touch with your feelings, to be empathetic, to be caring and kind. Because feminism is held back more by angry men and misunderstanding men—and frankly, women who misunderstand feminism—than any movement helping men be okay with themselves. Men who aren’t threatened by stronger women but are actually supportive of that…is not a bad thing for feminism. Like…at all.

reverendsteveii ,

Lemmy has this neat new feature you might not be familiar with: to register your disapproval of a post, comment or community, flick your right thumb sharply upward.

BCsven ,

Oh wait up, somebody telling us [men] not to focus on their issues, on a site made to talk abouy how man are told/groomed to not talk about their issues and should hide their emotions. Tone deaf much. Had you read any discussions in here you would see it is not anti women, but a safe space for guys.

gapbetweenus ,

Dudes, come on - don’t feed the obvious troll.

anarchost ,

OP’s post history is full of concern trolling. Previously, it was trying to stir divisiveness regarding voting. Now it’s trying to stir divisiveness regarding this community.

OP says

I simply reply to the sentiment I see on this platform

But I really don’t believe them.

wise_pancake ,

I disagree with you, and I think you need to be specific if you find things problematic.

I do appreciate how you’ve shared your concern though, it’s not accusatory or needlessly confrontational, or calling this group names.

I think we do need to have communities like this, one because we can try to help more than just the most disadvantaged groups, and two because men suffering in silence are fodder for problematic ideologies to take root.

I don’t think this is like “all lives matter”. This group is not a reaction group to feminism, or a contrasting take, or an “us too” group. The guidelines are that discussion should be intersectional, and the discussions I’ve seen are more humanist than masculinist (is that a term?).

PP_BOY_ , avatar

Username does NOT check out

fracture ,

if you want to talk about women’s issues, why don’t you go to communities dedicated to that? we’re not taking away from them; we’re also feminist. we’re allied, and it’s important to have a space for men to talk about, from a feminist perspective, how the patriarchy impacts them

i don’t understand why you think space on lemmy is somehow limited?

nor do i see how your second paragraph is relevant at all

it seems like you view this community as a stereotypical MRA/MGTOW kind of place, which it definitely isn’t. and getting rid of it would leave it so men looking to talk about their issues only have those shitty places to go. that would only lead more men down the alt right rabbit hole

there’s enough space on the internet for everyone

Blamemeta , (edited )

This kind of thinking is why MRAs succeed where Mens Lib fail. Mens Lib is all about men’s rights through a feminist lens, but feminism does not give a single shit about men. Even just having a space for mens issue leads to posts like this, which downplay and even try to silence men who try to talk about their issues.

And no, it is not harmful to talk about mens issues. We can have many different places all focusing on different things. Like a cat sub focusing on cats, and a dog sub focusing on dogs. A dog sub existing does not mean the cat sub is any less valid, it’s just a place about dogs.


And for the record, MRAs and Mens Lib are fighting for the same things. It’s a good goal. The only real difference is men’s lib burdens themselves with a feminist perspective, which does not help, and as this post shows, hurts.

anarchost ,

When MRAs believe in a positive goal, it is almost certainly reached via a terrible thought process. Praising an MRA for coming to a good ethical decision is like praising Two-Face.

Which MRA thinkers have affected meaningful change for men, without throwing women under the bus in the process?

Blamemeta ,

I’ll go google for a list if you answer a couple questions.

What is the thought process, and why is it terrible? Do you really think its a zero sum game?

anarchost ,

First, let me define my terms. When I talk about MRAs, I talk about the ones in the broader online manosphere:

The manosphere is a heterogeneous group of online communities that includes men’s-rights activists (MRAs), incels (involuntary celibates), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), pick-up artists (PUAs), and fathers’ rights groups. Some groups within the manosphere have adversarial relationships with one another… subgroups such as MRAs and PUAs “exaggerate their differences in displays of infight posturing, in spite of the fact that their philosophies are almost identical”.

What is their thought process:

Journalist Caitlin Dewey argues that the main tenets of the manosphere can be reduced to (1) the corruption of modern society by feminism, in violation of inherent sex differences between men and women; and (2) the ability of men to save society or achieve sexual prowess by adopting a hyper-masculine role and forcing women to submit to them.

Do you really think its a zero sum game:

I don’t, but they do. The above Wikipedia article cites its sources, in case you don’t believe me.

Why it is terrible:

If the MRA movement believes men’s rights and women’s rights are a zero-sum game, then it’s a terrible movement right? I think we agree on that.

Blamemeta , (edited )

Okay, I dont strictly agree with those terms, that MRAs are part of the “manosphere”. Im sure you could probably find assholes who do hate women, but you can also find feminists who hate men, and feminism as a whole doesnt hate men. Thats just a case of wikipedia being absolute trash when it comes to politics.

In any case, I owe you a list. Google is giving me grief and only shows stuff from like splc and various other feminist groups. I did find this, but its not much.…

Edit: but I can see why youd be opposed to mras if you did think MRAs were part of the manosphere. I would be too.

anarchost ,

Based on your Reddit link, I would say that my Wikipedia link identifies the same group as you did. Of course, I’m not going to hold you to the opinions of individual shitty people within a group as long as that group doesn’t choose them or those particular positions as representative of the group.

I’m also not going to hold you as a representative of the group either. If you’re unfamiliar enough with them to not be able to rattle off a couple names (and not just withholding them out of spite) then I imagine you aren’t particularly committed to the movement as it exists, anyway. You can feel free to say “well fuck them” if you feel like it.

With that out of the way, allow me to tear into the largest and lowest hanging fruit. From your source:


Not really. There are a growing number of official advocacy groups that lobby for men’s issues, but they are scattered and focused on specific issues. Some advocacy groups include: A Voice For Men, The Community Of The Wrongly Accused, Fathers and Families, Media Radar.

I remember A Voice For Men because it is one of the worst groups that could represent men’s rights, period. With one of the most reprehensible people as its founder. From Wikipedia and extensively sourced:

In early 2011, AVFM created the website Register-Her, a wiki page that initially listed the names, addresses, and other personal information of women convicted of murdering or raping men.

So a doxxing website exclusively targeted at women, but at least they only targeted actual felons, right?


Later, the site’s operators expanded the registry include women they judged guilty of “false rape accusations” or “anti-male bigotry”. They also began publishing personal information about women who participated in protests against the men’s rights movement (MRM), who mocked the MRM on social media, or who publicly supported feminism. [Website owner Paul] Elam said that there would no longer be “any place to hide on the internet” for “lying bitches”. The site was closed for a time, but restored at different web address (at least, until February 18, 2020).

Paul Elam himself:

…argued women who allow men to buy them drinks or drunkenly kiss men “ARE NOT ASKING TO BE RAPED. They are freaking begging for it. Damn near demanding it.”

Blamemeta ,

You got it spot on, I’m not a MRA, Im honestly not very familar with the goings on. I just see them on /all and /popular from time to time, and thats when I glance at the front page on their respective subs.

Everytime I glance at the mens rights sub, its about the issues men face, and overcoming them, or solving them, or just talking about the issues. Uplifting men in general.

Everytime at glance at the mens lib, its a bunch of posts about how men are the real monsters, how men should be more feminine, how men are sexist without knowing it, how men are the oppressors, how men are to blame for their issues, how masculinity is toxic, etc etc.

Notably menslib fills their sub with the weird kind of feminism, and has no room left for overcoming mens issues or helping men in general.

And yes, like many groups, mras arent exactly coherent. Theres definitely some assholes among them, same as feminism, same as mens lib, Im sure. Hell, a few suffragettes went on to become OG fascists. Every large group of humans has assholes. That does not mean the group is bad, just that theyre human.

You really have to go with what they say and do as a whole, and make your own judgement. The klan was bad. The suffragettes were good. That sort of thing. I cant convince you of anything, this is an internet argument, but maybe give the sub a chance. And definitely stay away from A voice for men, fucking christ.

anarchost ,

Well, that’s why I asked about the figureheads that you believed were correct in the movement. Anybody can stumble in and be accidentally correct or incorrect, but the issue with the men’s rights advocates as a whole is that their ideology springs from people like Paul Elam and his organization. They were the number one group in your link.

It’s important to start from a solid basis, and that’s where feminism starts from the right place and anti-feminism starts from absolutely the wrong one.

anarchost ,

I do appreciate your edit with the confirmation that you are here in good faith, BTW. 😁

jadero ,

The only real difference is men’s lib burdens themselves with a feminist perspective, which does not help, and as this post shows, hurts.

At risk of getting out of context, I (cis male) did not become aware of the systems that were damaging me until I started studying feminism. Whatever a “men’s liberation movement” looks like, it is so young and inexperienced that it would be well served to examine and learn from feminist ideologies and perspectives.

Many of the power structures that feminists have identified as being damaging to women in general are also damaging to men in general.

Many of the power structures that favour men in general are damaging to women in general. As we grow and develop, we should be striving to tear down those structures that are harmful to others, rather than further entrench them as if in battle or in a zero sum game.

I’m not aware of any modern feminist ideologies or initiatives that present a danger to men, but if there are any, they should be called out by both feminists and “masculinists” in the same way that both feminists and masculinists should be calling out any masculinist ideologies and initiatives that present a danger to women.

Modern intersectional feminism has grappled with the inclusion of women who have been “othered”. We should be trying to learn from that and avoid making the same mistakes.

In the end, we all have to figure out our place in the world, and that cannot be done without considering our relationships to the power structures and each other. At present, that looks like it’s necessary to have feminism and masculinism as separate movements, not as enemies, but as collaborators and intersectional movements. Biology, including the fact that sex and gender are spectra with bimodal distributions, may always mean that they remain at least somewhat separate even as shared goals are achieved.

TootSweet ,

Yeah, I get it. It’s a really difficult line to ride saying “men aren’t doing well” while also avoiding a) comparing the magnitude of men’s issues to the magnitude of womens’ issues b) minimizing women’s issues, c) blaming women, and d) generally coming off as a men’s rights douchebag.

I think it’s fair to say that as toxic and objectively horrible as the men’s rights movement is, there’s a need (in, almost exclusively, men) that it’s filling. And it’s a need that the left isn’t filling.

I think to the extent that this community puts men and everyone else on opposite sides, it needs improvement. But to the extent that its focus is men and everyone else against patriarchy (which oppresses everyone at the behest of the 0.1%), it fills a much-needed niche.

I can’t say I haven’t heard a thing or two here and there that made me cringe a bit and think there was a hint of “part of the problem” in the “part of the solution.” But “men’s liberation” is definitely a direct response to and in opposition to the men’s rights movement and in my mind an overall positive.

Plus, I think part of how the patriarchy is oppressing men in particular is by making/keeping it socially unacceptable for men to discuss their issues. And communities like this one are part of the solution to that issue in particular.

All that said, I haven’t been keeping up with this community quite as much lately as I have in the past. So if it’s taken a bad turn, I guess it may well be problematic.

NoLifeKing ,

No. Go away.

jeffw ,

I’m an ardent feminist, but I’m not generally going to discuss issues impacting men in feminist spaces. There’s a HUGE difference between men’s lib and MRAs, who are very problematic.

olivebranch OP ,

Why not? You can simply say that sexism is harmful to everyone and that regardless of gender, our interests are the same on this. I don’t think most will have and issue with that and if they do, it can start a useful discussion. That being said, I have a bit of problem with an overly focus on women rights over general human rights, but I do understand the connection and can talk about both in both spaces.

jeffw ,

Because, if we really must compare apples and oranges, women are harmed more. You complain about this community sounding like “all lives matter,” but then you say we shouldn’t talk about women’s oppression, just human oppression. That sounds like you’re “all lives matter”-ing this topic.

toasteecup ,

Because everyone deserves a space to talk about a thing and only that thing.

Feel free to try out that idea by discussing issues facing nontrans people in a trans community focuses on issues they face.

wise_pancake ,

I think it would be perceived as taking over a space to go to a feminist space to discuss primarily male issues.

anarchost ,

This post was definitely bait, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate reading this comment of yours in particular, because it gave me something to think about.

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