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

Really interesting read, and I’m sorry a lot of the comments are so spiteful and attack you as a person. You were courageous to put this out there. I think in the area of gender politics, some people are so convinced of the correctness of their beliefs (whether feminist or MRA) that they cannot tolerate others who think differently from them, or who may be at a different point along their journey. This is a great pity.

I’ve always identified with feminism insofar as I thought it was about promoting greater gender equality, and men and women learning to question and challenge the assumptions that underpin gender. However, my interest in it became much stronger once I had kids, because I’m white, straight, middle class, and had pretty egalitarian-minded parents, and I didn’t really experience a whole lot of discrimination pre-parenthood. However, there’s no getting away from gender and heteronormativity once you become pregnant (or for men if their partner gets pregnant) and that’s when I really started thinking about stuff more deeply. At the same time, I don’t agree with every feminist thing I read, and I’m very interested in men’s experiences of gender as well.

My point is that I’ve doubtless said some ignorant stuff in my time, but what I’ve valued — and still do — is the chance to talk things through in a constructive manner with people who have had different views from me, and who understand that people can change. All this bluster and outrage is so unproductive because usually it just cements one’s thinking and makes one even less open to other ideas — and once that happens, discussions become even less interesting because there is no possibility of movement.

So — you may not agree with Edwin, you may have issues with how he told his story, but it’s his story and in writing it, he is the one who dared to go into the arena. As far as I can see the rest of us are just sitting on the sidelines. So, rather than throwing stones, far better to do as some have and put our egos / self-righteousness aside and try to engage constructively with what he has written.