I Was a Men’s Rights Activist
As Told to MEL

I would like to correct the top highlighted point that the men’s movement has always been about men’s rights groups being anti-feminist…

This is not correct and the use of “always” tends to point to poor information. San Francisco has long had a strong counter culture presence. Including nearly 30 years of men’s groups that don’t fall into the anti-feminist trap. The direct action movement that opposed nuclear issues in California embraced feminist values — even in the face of some of the most radical feminist communities in the country. This first era pro-feminist men definitely didn’t get very far simply because the gay culture was even too scary for most feminist men back in the early 1980’s when the movement was at its peak. Some associate this period with Robert Bly, a poet who promoted leaderless men’s groups — which actually got a bit of public attention.

But yes, there has been a bit of healthy men’s work over time, contrary to the claim made here. The anti-nuclear movement that spurred this actually started using consensus process as a way to empower women, which continues to be an important tool to counter the patriarchal majoritarian structures that enforce power like Robert’s Rules etc.

Healthy relationships with women today should not be based on lying. Our society’s biggest problem is that men forgot a long time ago that their first steps of independence all were based upon having to lie to mom. Those lies never stopped and only get worse over time. Most men forget about this or even think of why our male dominated western religions blame original sin on women. Maybe Dinerstein is correct in suggesting that the original sin comes when our newborns have no one to blame but mom when they come out of the womb and into an imperfect world run by male dominated capitalism.

Having sat in on a rape therapy session of a women who’d been raped repeatedly by her own family — and what the damages were to her didn’t require years of slow reevaluation of where the core problem is. If nearly 1 in 2 women have have experienced forced sexual relations during their life, something that only a very few men ever experience — its very easy for society to hide the negative impacts.

Not everyone in society, especially the feminist movement gets a phD in Sociology. Our culture is still pretty much in the dark ages when it comes to human rights of any kind and of course this goes for this issue in spades world wide. So an angry woman who has been wronged and not received justice will have a skewed sense of justice tending toward revenge that could very easily fall into identity based political counter measures.

So for example, in California where feminist culture has gotten a strong hold on the legal system there is evidence of male minorities being trapped into a biased child support system that in turn results in an out of control backlash against women. I watched as a Latino Lawyer lost his job and his ability to stand on his own due to failed mediation systems that were completely biased.

All is not well.

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