Saturday, 14 May 2016

Blaise's Opinion: Where is the MRA support for the petition to get victims of female perpetrators equally recognised by UK Law?

Update 28/09/2016: new petition has been launched - let's get this one debated in parliament!
Caveat: These are the thoughts and ramblings of Blaise Wilson, they do not represent the EgaFem Community as a whole. They are often poorly researched and highly biased. They are useful to start a discussion on a topic. Comments, debate, evidence for and against, and feedback are welcome.

This wasn’t meant to be a feminist putting down the MRAs, but started life as a genuine question from an individual who has personally invested a lot of time and effort into something and questioning where else I can get ideas from, provide support too, and maybe provide a few links to those who wish to avoid something tainted with ‘feminism’.

But I got a bit frustrated when I started researching and asked twitter “Where is the MRA support for this petition?” - NEW PETITION! - hopefully the MRA community will show more support this time round!

You see, when I was asked by Dan Stretton, the writer of the petition, if EgaFem would support it I said ‘yes.’ I expected EgaFem to bring a Feminist twist on how this impacts women to the large body of MRA voices I expected to be trumpeting this petition, with videos and articles and well rounded arguments! After all it is the first petition on this topic I’ve seen get more than 300 signatures.

But after a whole series of article and a video, totalling over 100 hours of my own hard work I was left wondering – where is this huge MRA voice I was meant to be joining?

I was supposed to add my little voice and help bring a few feminists with me. For a petition asking for genuine equality and giving women equal responsibility to men I wasn’t expecting many, if any, feminists other than EgaFem to support this petition. But I was really counting on the MRA’s to really push this.

The last thing I expected was to be the only one putting in any time and effort into promoting this petition!

So I did some digging and as of the end of April 2016 I found two confirmed MRA articles/videos. One is a short article by Justice for Men and Boys (J4MB):

And the other, an off the cuff video by DrRanodmerCam of the Honey Badgers called ‘The Long Hall’

I am grateful they supported and took the time to share this petition. And to everyone who has tweeted or retweeted the petition - Thank you!

But… still… after all the time and effort I’d invested I was still very disappointed by the lack of effort MRAs had put in. J4MB's short article was a whole TWO paragraphs long with no arguments, citations or reasoning to why this is important.

I figured I must have missed something, so I sent out my tweet.

And was I got back was laughably terrible.

I received a few moans that feminism hasn’t pulled its weight – as if that’s some kind of excuse for MRA’s not making much effort. Especially as demanding equal responsibility to men isn’t really a traditional feminist call (EgaFem aren’t traditional feminists) but protecting male victims of female perpetrators certainly lands clearly within the MRA remit.

Then they tried showing examples of a few comments. One in the comments of A Voice For Men – not in the article itself but in the comments! And Lauren Southern’s comment on a closed Facebook group was used as an example of MRA support despite the fact that Lauren Southern is not a self-identified MRA, and a comment is great – better than nothing! But I was looking for a bit of time, effort and exploring the topic. Explaining why the petition is important and addressing some of the myths about it. You know, kinda like the articles I’ve written.

I was told I should have ‘looked harder’… in a closed Facebook group that I can’t use google to search through. The point of advertising and spreading a message is to get as many people to access it as possible, not hide it away.


Also, Lauren points out that feminists aren’t supporting this petition. I don’t really expect her to have seen EgaFem, we’re new and small – but we seem to have put the most effort into supporting this so far!

The final hilarious farce of this whole endeavour I had TWO different people quote EgaFem to me as ‘evidence’ of MRA support!! Seriously?! Firstly I WROTE those articles (hence my moaning that no one else seems to be writing much!), secondly how is that evidence of MRA support when EgaFem is clearly a feminist website! That actually demonstrates the opposite!

The sad thing is this isn’t the only time I’ve seen MRA’s claim others, including feminist, work as their own. In trying to prove me ‘wrong’ and provide evidence of MRA support, they actually demonstrated just how little time and effort MRA bodies, especially the large sites such as A Voice for Men, have put into this petition. And it is heartbreaking.

This all ended with being told I should have asked them to do their job of supporting men!

The saddest thing of all was the two people (one on facebook) who said that MRAs are small and weak and shouldn’t bother trying to help men, before going on to blame feminism for oppressing the MRAs and bullying them.

Now this isn’t from a self-identified MRA, but an Anti-Feminist. But actions like this certainly aren’t helping get the message out there and helping real victims.

This is my original advert for the petition. I’m not very good with Inkscape, but I spent a few hours yelling at the programme and putting it together and I was very pleased with it. I made this.

And someone took the time and effort to deface it and removed the link to the petition that could actually raise awareness and make a difference!

So with so much of my personal time and effort invested into the petition, the perceived lack of MRA support, and the defacing of my picture is it any wonder I’m getting a bit emotional and frustrated!

Hope I was wrong, I hope I just didn’t spot things. If anyone sees anything, please share it with me!

Did I mention I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this petition? Did I? Well I don’t want it wasted. Regardless of your ideology be it MRA or other, please feel free to cannibalize the articles I’ve written, edit them to your perspective (e.g. make it more MRA friendly rather than the feminist lens), use the references and reuse anything you need, including the picture.

Here is a really handy one page summary I wrote, not linked to the EgaFem website to spread about if you don’t feel comfortable linking to a Feminist website. Again, please edit it and repost as you see fit.

I look forward to seeing my work remastered on AVFM and other MRA websites - will be fun for me to spot my wording and see what edits they make.

As for the suggestion MRAs concentrate more on bashing feminism than helping men, I need to do more research to say one way or another. I will state my bias now though – I have defended MRAs from other feminists asserting this several times. But in light of the evidence I’ve seen and the quick glance at some MRA websites now I’m not so sure. I really want that assertion to be unfounded but I will go where the evidence leads.

This whole fiasco has sparked something new though. I always intended EgaFem to be part of a bigger Egalitarian community and work with MRAs. After this disappointment, and having been attacked several times and seen the hate some MRAs have towards Feminists, and vice versa, I worry there is too much of a gulf between the two side, and definitely not enough trust.

So, I would like to introduce EgaFem’s brother – EgaMRA:

Links to the rest of the articles on the petition:
Gendered Equality of Opportunity:
Definition of UK rape law:
Campaign Info:
Impact on Reports:
Denial of Women’s Impact and Agency:
Response to the GovUK Reply:

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