Have you ever spoken to a friend about why they broke up with somebody, and then also spoken to the person they broke up with, only to get two completely different stories?
As I personally straddle the middle-ground between feminism and the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) it is a question that I’m often reminded of. Whenever I read about the two gender equality ideoligies, one of the things I find interesting is that both of them often take issue with most of the same things, but from completely different perspectives.
The reason that this often reminds me of a couple that breaks up is that, if instead of picking a side, you speak to both people, you’ll often find that neither of them is wrong about the cause of the breakup. However as both are telling their stories from the perspective of sides, their presentation is biased and more truth can be found in the middle than on either side.
“Everything seems one-sided, if you only explore one side.”
If you’re anything like me, if there is a woman in your life that you love completely, that you would do anything for… the first time you read about the issues, the history, the statistics presented by feminism—you will be incited to a rare form of righteous anger that will make you want to don a sword and armour and run screaming into the streets to destroy the oppressors of women—even if that meant you personally might be part of the face of patriarchy. It just meant that your mission was to kill the beast from the inside.
But if you then took the time to read a little bit about the history of men, the issues, the statistics presented by the Men’s Rights Movement, you would drop that sword, throw down your shield, and collapse in a weeping heap for the suffering of your own gender.
Nothing is ever one sided.
There is a logical fallacy that is presented by both the Feminist and Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) perspective and it is the idea that the following statement is true:
“Because I can prove that things are bad for my gender, I have proven that things for the opposite gender, are good.”
In actual fact, the only thing that proving that things are bad for your gender does, is prove that things are bad for your gender. If you read both about feminism and the Men’s Rights Movement you will come to this sad, gnawing truth: History and gender role has been kind to none of us, and it’s still happening.
I don’t deal well with just passively letting things happen to the people I love. The enforcement of outdated gender role creates symptoms that we identify as gender inequality, then we attack that symptom instead of it’s cause. That inequality is happening on some level to every person I have loved, do love, and ever will love. It’s happening to your loved ones too.
When I speak to feminists and Men’s Rights Activists, they are hurt, frustrated, angry—and with good reason! None of these people feel the way they do without cause, those feelings are valid. Unfortunately, the only thing anger generates is anger. Anger is incredibly useful in starting a movement, but it is very rarely successful in bringing to fruition the goals of that movement. Somewhere the cycle must move from anger, to resolution, if a solution is to be presented. Which is why I personally came to the decision to throw away my sword and shield. I came to a realistion that it’s not enough to fightinequality; I need to kill it with kindness, and kindness stems from understanding.
If you’re an MRA or a Feminist, why not see what the other side is struggling to overcome by reading the other team’s bible (see books at the top of this site). The worst that can happen is you wasted your time reading a book, alternatively you could get some real insight into what the other team is struggling with and why it matters. Imagine what you could achieve if instead of attacking each other, you attacked gender and equality issues, together.