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Monday, 19 November 2012

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John Kimble

Not a bad article from Ally and well argued in places, but a few sentences did leave me a little uncomfortable. For example: "I know, you thought every day was International Men's Day (IMD)" as well as the sentence "More recently the phrase has been co-opted by the angry antifeminists of the internet as a cover for untrammelled misogyny, grievously mislabelled "men's rights"."

Perhaps the most troubling phrase of all was the use of the term "male violence" which in my experience is a phrase used almost exclusively by misandrists. I realise it was in reference to what feminists wanted, but all the above points added together don't make for the best of articles. I realise Ally probably has to do much of the above to keep in employment at the Guardian but I wish he'd tone it down a little, or at least quote phrases such as "male violence" and then state he wants all violence to end rather than, albeit perhaps inadvertently, implying that it's ok for women to be violent.

Glen Poole

This is a brilliant article to get in the generally hostile Guardian and in fairness he says:

"Feminists want an end to male violence and criminality? So do I."

He also says:

"How can we talk about the crime and violence perpetrated by men and boys while ignoring the brutality inflicted upon men and boys?"

He also knocks:

"Nod-along male feminist academics and activists who are less concerned with problems facing men than those caused by men”

He also says:

"The men's sector includes many brilliant organisations."

He concludes:

"Are we seeing the seeds of a new men's movement? The first step in solving any problem is to identify and acknowledge its existence, and International Men's Day is a very good place to start."

It's important to be sceptical an critical at times and it's also really important to stop and celebrate success and acknowledge progress and feel good about positive results

The growth of International Men's Day in the UK and a positive article in a national newspaper are things to celebrate

Time to give those that have worked hard to make this happen a pat on the back - they deserve it

Best

Glen Poole
UK Co-ordinator, International Men's Day

Frank Smith

Agreed, it was in some ways a good article, somewhat tainted by the deliberate smear that all 'antifeminist MRAs' were by nature misogynist.

It's a question of political and media power in the end. In Britain, anti feminist MRA's have no media or political power so they can happily be smeared and marginalised. By contrast feminists in the media have almost complete control over what gets said on gender issues and so the only way to get your voice heard is to ignore their track record and suck up to them as much as possible.

Pragmatism really but a bit unfair on websites such a this one when all it does is to document the worst excesses of feminism in public life and bring this to wider attention. Don't think I've ever, not once, read one statement written above the line here which could be construed as mysoginist in fact.

Groan

Having just perused the growing AMIS site in Scotland and following the IMD and National Conferences I do feel that the gathering tide is because of the involvement of organisations wanting to improve the lives of boys and men. In doing so they inevitably start to challenge the recieved wisdom of our society. Personally I think this is much more effective than hurling insults as either through nature or nurture men are very protective of girls and women. This is why the cry of "misogyny" is so effective. To often those identifying as MRA fall into a trap set for them by feminists. The working organisations brought together by the great work by glen poole and the mens network and the organisers of IMD in England challenge the current "sacred cows" through their active work to improve males' lives. As Skimmington point out in his piece on Quantas if you start out wanting to improve men's health for instance you soon find yourself with a whole set of stuff to address. So taking a cue from Glen it is a huge pat on the back for all those involved in IMD and the National Conference, even those who I might not agee with. Getting issues on the "map" is still where we are nationally.

Groan

John I too get a bit worried by "male violence". Particularly as I want to end the assumption only males can do DV or abuse. But at the same time I do have to deal with the fact that it is mainly males (and I include myself in participating in a martial sport) who have a fascination or tollerance with "violence", even if confined to sport. I think we can't point out the dishonesty of feminism in tarring all men as criminals without recognising our own demons. Of course one of those truths is that violence against women is abhored by almost all men; hence it has always been a crime. Another is women can use violence especially if they have a good expectation of it not being reciprocated, which is a fairly good expectation if they hit a man. Ally is pointing out that the moral high ground can be taken, but we have to be clear on some issues for ourselves as men too.

Frank Smith

Yes of course you are right Groan thanks for the words of wisdom. That Ally Fogg means well, so much is crystal clear. Though it is tempting to take offence at the injustice of anti-feminists cast in a negative light, after all the slights and insults highlighted on this site over the years we should not lose sight of looking for constructive solutions.

They often say that the best revenge is 'to live well'. The best revenge for us will be to ensure that men and boys are treated like human beings, so that the type of feminist who balks at the idea is made deeply uncomfortable by the fact it is happening. If that means having to accept some silly insults along the way well so be it.

Bob

Thank you very much indeed Frank. Its good to see MRAs organising and engaging in intellectual debate and as you course rightly say, over the very many years on this site we have endured insults and there have been many a to-and-fro in many MRM agendas.

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