ode to a Men’s Rights Activist

the-independent-valentines-illustrationContent warning: violence, sexism

Leader said, “Love will destroy you, brother, victims we destroy will copy our style and destroy us if we remove our boot, brother, so keep suffocating them, keep on suffocating them, brother, as you are a victim of losing preference in the revolution.”

He could write an essay in four hours. He was well-intentioned. He helped family and friends. The Group appropriated his well-intentioned-ness by scaring him. His resulting fear turned from insecurity to anger in a real way, turning the spoon of his well-intentioned-ness into a blade.

       Men are the real victims! he yelled, outside the abortion clinic.

The Group was composed of the uncomfortable turned angry: people who felt that something was wrong, and who, once aware of their complicity in the problem, put all of their effort in placing blame on others, with terrified violence.

His ex-girlfriend, Samantha, saw him on the Morning News, holding the placard, and felt better about her post-him life as an ex. 

That was the thing: the Leader didn’t care about the reputations of the followers, once destroyed: the Group needed their bodies to survive.

When his theories were questioned – about victims being responsible for being attacked, not the structure of the war he paid the social cost, not the Group. 

When he blamed women for violence against women, he paid the social cost.

His father, after seeing him on the Evening Report, stopped answering his texts.

Empowered by these reactions, he considered his family and friends out-of-touch, reinforcing his ego to insulate his loneliness. 

Reading an assignment to discredit, he came upon the realization that the system was to blame, and that all victims were the expected cause of the system, regardless of gender. He unfollowed and left the Facebook Group. He unfriended the friends.

Once noticing they had been deleted, members of the group sent insecure turned vicious messages, feeling less valued by him. Threats, and personal insults, barks of a dog who bites out of discomfort. 

Love, kryptonite to the Group, was deemed by the structure of war to be possible only by women in public, and by men in private spaces, where they were only to open up to women in their romantic relationships, like free therapists.

Love, they saw, united the victims of patriarchy – who would go on suffering violent oppression and being invisibilized whether or not members of the Group went on yelling their support. The Group was the person who kicked someone in the ribs when they were already being held down.  

word by Liam Lachance

colour by Strautniekas

From the author: “Passionate men, mislead by fear into the MRA movement, are extremely valuable allies in the fight against systemic violence: they feel that something is wrong, and try to do something about it. Men’s Right’s Activism- like those who espouse reverse racism – fails in its inability to consider that violence against any person for reasons of gender is the result of patriarchy, and that arguing against any movement of victims is exactly what keeps patriarchy alive and well.”  

Author: Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com

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