MHRA stands for ‘mens human right activism’ or ‘mens human rights activist’. It’s an acronym that the community is going to encounter more and more often in the media. Another commonly used term is ‘Mens Rights Activist’ or MRA.
As with feminism, the non/anti-feminist sector has a number of discernible groups within it as shown in the diagram below. MHRA’s/MRA’s represent just one of these. Another significant subset of the mens movement is known as MGTOW (Men going their own way).
I once thought the Mens Rights Movement consisted of guys running naked together in the forest, or weird stuff like that. Maybe it was once upon a time, but back in those days I wasn’t paying much attention as I still thought that feminists had a valid point. Now, many years later, I can appreciate the chasm between the cuddly all-inclusive (we’re only interested in equality!) variety of feminism that’s presented in the mainstream media, and what the self-appointed leaders of this insidious movement are actually saying and doing.
The feminist/media portrayal of those people interested involved with mens rights is very much based on an image of ill-tempered, right-wing, portly and socially-inept white middle-aged men. In actual fact there is enormous diversity amongst MRA with regards to age, gender, and the political and religious viewpoints that are held. There is also a major division between the ‘trad-cons’ (traditional conservatives) and the those that believe that men need to create a new social construct based on egalitarian principles. This article by Dean Esmay discusses the tradcon perspective.
Interestingly, many MRA initially identified as feminists but then became disillusioned due to the hypocrisy and corruption of that movement. Warren Farrell was a high-flier in the feminist movement before becoming a pioneer and leading light in the mens rights movement, here he talks about certain aspects of this transition.
Both this discussion, and this article, are about the relationship between the Mens Rights movement and feminism and whether it is feasible to have a foot in each camp. This feminist blog post asks the same question (see also interesting comments about domestic violence late in the readers comments section). This reddit discussion, on the other hand, looks at how feminist women stifle input from men who join their movement.
The MHR movement involves men and women who are committed to taking action to address the hypocrisy, deceit, and increasingly anti-male bigotry of current day feminism. Yes, I said men AND women. One of the refreshing things about most mens rights organisations and web sites is that ideas and input by women are welcomed and encouraged.
These two reddit discussion threads concern women who are sympathetic to the mens rights cause (thread 1 and thread 2), with both containing quite a number of interesting comments. This is a great article (August 2014) about women who are active in the mens rights movement, and here’s another.
Here is a BBC radio interview with Karen Straughan (September 2014), and here is a July 2015 video by Karen entitled ‘Why do MRA’s attack feminism?‘ Here is a video by a founding member of the Honey Badger Brigade which notes some of the differences between feminism and the men’s rights movement.
This article in Salon, on the other hand, does a hatchet-job on them, as does this article from Amanda Marcotte. But more on feminist views regarding MRA in other posts in this blog.
If you are new to the subject then this article entitled ‘An Introduction to the Men’s Rights Movement‘ (21 March 2015) is a good place to start. I would also recommend that you take a look at The Illustrated Empathy Gap web site.
There are also a number of other articles listed below concerning what the men’s movement is all about, and there are also many relevant web sites detailed on this page within my blog.
Yes to men’s rights (provided it never actually happens) (20 May 2014)
Women of the mens rights movement (video) (23 July 2014)
This article advises that CAFE Canada was subject to exclusion from the 2014 Pride Parade. Clearly feminist elements within the LGBT community applied pressure due to CAFE’s activities in advocating for men and boys.
This is a fabulous rebuttal (by Victor Zen) of a young feminist’s complaint that she felt threatened by the creation of a men’s rights advocacy group at her university. And here is a follow-up post by Victor.
One of the standard taunts of the feminist movement is that MHRA organisations are “hate groups”. They largely pin this claim on a statement made by an organisation known as the ‘Southern Poverty Law Centre’. Read this article by that organisation, and as always, be sure to look at the readers comments. Too bad, too sad, that the FBI recently distanced themselves from the SPLC.
In actual fact, mens rights groups have an exemplary record in relation to using non-violent means to make their point. Indeed in one recent situation, various branches of the men’s rights movement raised a reward in order to try to find a person who was alleged to have attacked a Canadian feminist. Various feminist groups were approached to match this amount, but chose not to do so.
Many men in western countries believe that their only choice is between celibacy and submitting to the gynocentric strictures of the society in which they live. For these folks an epiphany can occur via exposure to life within another different culture, and I think this is evident in some of the material links to this post about cross-cultural marriages.
The issue of why many men are having difficulty appreciating the social changes that are seeing mens position in society being increasingly eroded, is addressed in this article. The other related factors slowing the growth of men’s rights activism are media bias, and feminist tactics such as shaming, censorship and disruption which have been reasonably effective in stifling open and organised group dissent up to this point in time.
ICMI20: Eccentrik Hat – “Why Men Need Help And Why Feminism Won’t Help Them” – YouTube (18 November 2020)
Why do so few MRAs engage in practical (offline) activism? by Jim Buchanan (26 August 2019)
Cognitive Distortion in Thinking About Gender Issues: Gamma Bias and the Gender Distortion Matrix (2 March 2019) Contains many links to further relevant sources
State of the Manosphere 2018, by Rollo Tomassi
Can we discuss gender issues rationally? Yes, if we can stop gamma bias, by Martin Seager and Dr John Barry (4 December 2018)
Is it time for #HeToo to ‘save the males’? (6 August 2018)
When did “angry men” become political pariahs? (26 October 2017) by Corrine Barraclough
It doesn’t look like anything to me: Confronting Willful Blindness Against Men’s Issues (14 May 2017)
To Feminists with Love, by Steve Brule (video)
The Forces on Men, by Tom Golden (31 January 2017) Video
The Important Achievements of the Men’s Rights Movement (9 October 2016)
The new gender agenda – A TedX talk by Glen Poole
Centuries of oppression (30 May 2016) Yes, that’s right, a post about that endlessly-repeated claim that men have had the upper-hand since time began.
A non-feminist FAQ (6 August 2016)
‘The men’s rights movement: A smart, necessary counterweight to man-hating feminism‘ (2 August 2016)
The Red Pill: the movie about men that feminists didn’t want you to see (12 November 2015)
Why do MRA’s attack feminism? (7 July 2015) A video by Karen Straughan
A reader’s comprehensive comment on men’s rights, from the Telegraph (July 2014) Reddit mensrights discussion thread
Louder Than Words: What Modern Feminism Has Actually Achieved (3 June 2015)
Innocent until proven guilty. Unless you are a man (10 May 2015) Australia
National Coalition for Men successes (May 2015) USA and here is a further list on North American successes for the men’s rights movement
Has Britain become hostile to blokes? (March 2015) BBC video
Is Finding Equality Just as Difficult for Boys in the Current Climate? (16 March 2015)
The most important difference between Men’s Rights and Feminism (11 March 2015)
Men’s rights movement: why it is so controversial? (19 February 2015) The article is rubbish but the reader’s comments informative
Are Men’s Rights Activists Misogynistic Pricks? (28 November 2014)
A Recent Manosphere Tactic: Fighting Fire with Fire (16 November 2014) Reddit mensrights discussion thread about calling out the hypocrisy of feminists and other SJW
Catering to men’s rights is not the point of feminism (15 October 2014)
Get your grubby male hands off my equal rights (20 April 2014)
Why so few men protest anti-male sexism (Or: Why men fear women) (23 January 2012)
What is the ‘Lace Curtain’? by Warren Farrell (1999) with Part 2 here
“We care about men as human doings, not as human beings. We care about him as an individual like I care about the individual parts of my car – I care about its problems only when it’s causing me problems. Or I care about prevention only when lack of prevention will cause me problems. Even when a man’s problems are affecting his ability to be a protector, we often refer to his problems from the perspective of the problems they create for a woman (he cheated on her; he got drunk and hit her). Which is why the other men who make the front pages are the villains who are causing us problems.
In brief, men’s lives count only to the degree they are heroes who perform for us or save us, or villains who disturb our peace. Women’s lives count more for their own sake…a woman’s pain is every talk show.”
Not all is great in the world of men: a reference book of men’s issues
How can you be an anti-feminist? Do you not believe in equality? I have come across many lists like this, showing mens disadvantage in key areas, but never one this detailed.
http://www.womenagainstmen.com/about and http://www.womenagainstmen.com/media/feminism-is-a-hate-group.html
http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminism-seeks-rights-without-responsibilities/ (Some historical context to the contemporary mens rights movement)
Men’s Rights Market (pro-MRA & anti-feminism merchandise)
If you wish to keep abreast of men’s rights issues then a very good source to monitor is the reddit subgroup on mens rights. A few examples of the hundreds of discussion threads there are shown below:
Also have a look at this brief article which provides quite a reasonable middle-of-the-road discussion that includes good readers comments with links to further supporting information.