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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day; celebrate it by standing up for women's rights.

Happy Father's Day.

It seems that there are those out there who would tell us that there is nothing to be happy about at all. Who would claim that fathers should be up in arms. Militant. Standing up for the apparently declining rights of men in the face of the onslaught of feminism and discrimination, by women, against men.

Thus we find that relic of the "Iron John", "male bonding" days of 1990's reaction, Lionel Tiger, coming recently to Toronto to support the launch of yet another idiotic campaign to fight the rise of the supposed "misandry" and "obstacles" faced by men.

But maybe, in celebration of Father's Day, it is time to call out these frauds and bigots. To call out the obvious imbecility of statements like this, that appeared in The National Post, that claim to show that the current state of "maleness" consists of a world: which schoolboys are drugged with Ritalin to make them behave like girls; university-aged men have lost long-standing mating systems in the name of sexual liberation; universities themselves wholeheartedly embrace feminist victimology; and the worst is assumed about any adult man who ends up in family court, or is accused of domestic violence.

These claims, as well as many others by the reactionary opponents of feminism, the Men's Rights "Movement" and a variety of other half-baked far right wing journalists or politicians, are truly easy to refute. Many of them I have already refuted right here on rabble. There is no truth to them at all and they do not withstand even the slightest serious scrutiny.  They require a level of credulity and willful stupidity that is almost beneath contempt.

Sadly, though, they are not held solely by "men's rights" reactionaries. From lefties (mostly male) dismissing allegations of sexual assault within the left or against "heroes" like Julian Assange, to the near daily cries of "sexism" against men that one sees all over the internet, this idea that somehow, somewhere, discrimination against and intolerance towards men really, honestly, truly, does exist, is surprisingly widespread.

And it is totally false.

There is no such thing as "sexism" against men in any legitimate sense of the term. It simply does not exist. For Sexism to have meaning as an idea, it has to be a systemic issue, and there is no systemic discrimination against men. The notion that sexism against men is possible is an invention of those opposed to feminism. "Misandry" is a lie.

Yes, there are many men who, due to issues of class, race or marginalization, have suffered terrible injustices. But no men, anywhere, in any country, anywhere in the world, suffer systemic discrimination due to the fact that they are men.

Nor do men suffer the daily trolling, violent, angry, belittling online hate speech that famous women,women who post about women's issues, women who make comments on posts, or women who are, simply, women and "guilty" of being women on the internet suffer. Always. In virtually every online context.

As a father of three children, I, of course, love Father's Day. Despite the nonsense of the so-called "Men's Rights" types, my kids all come home with things that were made in class, in the school,  celebrating me as a father and fathers in general.

Yet it is hard to celebrate knowing the realities of rape culture, fathers who either eschew or are angry about their obligations, the fact that women are far more likely to be poor in Canada, and the fact that so many dismiss or denigrate mothers, especially single mothers.

I think I would enjoy the day far more if the reality of women's oppression was broadly recognized by fathers and men generally and if I was not certain that so many men will spend Father's Day hating women including the mothers of their own children.

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