Updated: Aug 5, 2022
A few days back I came across a Paul Elam’s Facebook post that said, “The men's movement rejects victim identity. Feminism depends on it. Don't try to tell me that the MRM is feminism for men.”
Paul Elam is the owner of A Voice for Men (started in 2009), a for-profit limited liability corporation and online newspaper based in the United States. It is among the largest and most prominent men's rights websites. It is a proponent of the Men's Rights Movement, or "Men's Human Rights Activism". Although it’s a short message, it means a lot especially in the Indian context, considering the socio-political awareness, inclinations, outbursts and activism of general people, including associated members from the movement, and its impact on the movement.
How It Matters
To understand Paul’s comment, there are few points to ponder!
In my opinion, there are two things to look at in our movement for someone, from outside:
The Men’s Rights Movement is apolitical
The issue that we fight for and what ideology we are opposed to
Then, there are again three things to look for in our movement from inside:
Continuing to be apolitical and campaigning for NOTA, who do we inadvertently support, considering the fact that NOTA is promoted and used as a tool by few political parties after they propagate certain political narratives
Is achieving some milestone possible in our battle just by being apolitical and not opposing any political ideology?
Does the movement being apolitical mean that the ingredients of the movement are free to propagate the ideology they personally follow?
Around two thousand back Marcus Aurelius has rightly said, “What’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee”! Considering the fact that the members of the MRM very well understand the meaning and value of personal liberties being amongst the most important elements of life, this quote might be meaningful for expected apolitically political thoughts.
You are the bee and the movement is the hive!
Take it as fodder for thought! If you wish, share your views in the comments.
Personally speaking, I agree with what Paul Elam is saying!
Those who advocate for men’s rights point at leftists and feminists as the ones who perpetuate this feminist mentality of victimhood, helplessness, and cluelessness and thereby seek special status and legal privileges.
People who have a dual mindset, like left-leaning 'woke intellectuals' who have also experienced the venom of feminism or gender-biased laws, often continue being 'woke' and fail to shed their victim mentality. Just that they complain about different things in the gender sphere. Their acceptance of the inherent cruelty of leftist/feminist ideology is only because they got to taste its venom.
Such people complain about the issues that they end up supporting, invariably strengthening the base of the ideology that has actually offended them. It's incumbent upon us to have even better content and proper narratives so that the new ones do not get carried away with the thoughts and activities of those who perceive the Men's Rights Movement to be the Feminism of Men.