For some time recently, I’ve taken an interest in the MHRM. And whilst I’m getting my head around the concepts being discussed I’ve become more aware of the bigger picture of what inspires peoples activism on topics relating to what’s being discussed in those circles.
I belive there’s a misconception it there that the idea these people are talking against is feminism. When you give the whole conversation an initial examination you’ll tend to see this as the lesser nuanced debaters focus on the ideology of feminism. The reason I say it’s a misconception is after looking into this subject for a extended period of time you begin to question what it is that have given life to all of this, both the pro and anti sides of the debate. You begin to become aware of the historical interpretations of the positions held.
In order to try and articulate what I’m getting at here I’d like to reference something that Erin Pizzey wrote about in her book This way to the Revolution. Early on in this book she spoke about her initial experiences with establishing a DV victim’s refuge and some of the people she came across there and her own reasons for her initial positions of the subject of life for women in the society she lived in.
She writes that she felt the need to empower women due the social settings that, in her own experience left her alone with her children as a homemaker for extended periods of daily life. You get the feeling that she felt deeply that something was missing from her life and she saw a purpose in changing that.
Along with that, I remember watching a conversation on Youtube recently, where the two men talking discussed the impact of the small family unit as an influence on the acceptance of the ideas promoted by feminism in the 50’s and 60’s. In particular the sense of isolation that comes with that approach to family life. This is something that resonated with me as I’m a FIFO worker. Isolation ain’t a good thing for couples and families.
It would only be fair to say that life doesn’t always afford people the lifestyles they’d best profit from but this detail, as minor example, provided an aspect that did away with some of the more vitriolic postions that surround the arguments about feminism and offered a level of depth perception to what may’ve inspired the initial fodder for feminism amongst the everyday women in that period.
Without going into the detail of the individual positions being held (that’d take ages), what I’m angling on here is we don’t kill a weed by cutting off it’s flowers and thorns. We need to analyse the ideas in depth and find the truth values, however marginal they may be, in those positions. There’s a communicative value that needs to be respected there in these conversations we have.
And I know you’ll hear a lot more than what I’m touching on here in these debates but it’s the attention to the details I’m advising needs working on. It’s the truth value of an argument that validates it. It’s the evidence that’s worth the time not the narrative.
So when I see people accepting the positions without validating them I see a lack of seriousness sneaking in, either intentionally or otherwise. When I see people critiquing without exemplifying what they stand for, I see a lack of real strength in their arguments. People need to actually see what you’re describing affects them in their experience without having to adopt an ideology or a school of thought in order to change their world view. Just regurgitating ideas does not validate them.
The phrase “virtue signalling” comes to mind when I observe this level of discourse being conducted. It’s something that utterly disenfranchises those that take the time to hear you out. The feel good that comes from an echo chamber effect when your surrounded by like minds means nothing out there on the mean streets, it just tends to blind you of the experience of the “others” you may find yourself separating yourself from.
So this one goes out the people that are working to gain recognition for mens and boys issues in the face of the “feminist” position. We need to gain an in depth understanding of the subject matter, we need to be able to drive for an acceptance of the needs of these people, the historical and societal understanding of those issues and the need to be fearless in discussing them. The adage “knowledge is power” is crucial to finding your feet on this one. It’ll provide a for argument instead of just an against argument.
Think of it as a soldier knowing his or her weapons and how and when to use them.
And additionally to those of us that have accepted the feminist version of the world. There’s a bigger picture out there and it doesn’t belong to the polemicists or activists you’ll constantly see in the media and government.
We owe it to ourselves, we’re all in this one together.