Not many groups are going to draw the amount of vitriol that the MRA or Men’s Rights Advocacy has gotten. Is it fair criticism? Well that is in the eye of the beholder. However one thing is certain is that there are reasons for the criticism and likewise some of those criticisms are just blanket amounts of hatred. While some other ideologies present the idea that anything that is stereotypical about that ideology is linked to them the same thing can be claimed by the MRA persuasion.
One of the things that is often misrepresented about every MRA is that they only care about derailing feminism. Nothing could be further from the truth with a lot of those who belong to that particular rank and file. At the same time it is pretty obvious that there are those with that label who do in fact hate women, hate feminism and hate anything that is related to change. Of course with any ideology, belief or so called “struggle” there will always be those radicals. In the same way many don’t want to label themselves as a feminist due to the hatred of men displayed by many feminists is the same way some don’t want to call themselves a MRA due to the hatred that some MRAs have for women in general.
A huge misconception about MRAs is that they are the same as the PUAs or the pick up artists and even the same as MGTOW which is basically a group of men going their own way, choosing not to deal with women and choosing not to participate in society in multiple different facets. Elliot Rodger was branded a MRA by many feminists and those even on the outside looking in while not associating with either of the labels. Nothing could be further from the truth as Elliot Rodger, while he did view some Youtube videos linked to those who may sympathize with MRAs, has never shown to be a self-proposed MRA. After all just because someone views a bunch of cute kitten videos doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot also abuse cats and kittens. It does seem a little suspicious when people want to label someone something based off of what their browser history shows.
As this Mic.com snippet displays just like feminism the men’s rights movement or advocacy has some serious branding issues.
“Unfortunately, despite their activist moniker, MRAs do not generally use their networks to create meaningful change. Instead, they often parrot the same talking points on the bottom of articles about women’s issues to prove that men are, in actuality, the more oppressed gender. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes their rhetoric as “dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general.” “
To be honest that is a very accurate description of what many see come out of the MRA movement. Though if we are going to be honest here that article was incredibly biased as there wasn’t much said in there that would support the MRAs who are trying to change things for the better. Even with that said if there are radical elements and those elements, much like feminist, are louder and more vocal it really doesn’t matter how much good a movement is trying to do. Those radical voices are what a lot of people are going to hear. In turn lots of people are going to associate the MRA brand as a bunch of a misogynists who can’t get laid.
A much bigger problem with the MRA movement is the lack of attention paid to them. So often do many who sympathize with the men’s rights movement point to how so many don’t like the idea of being called a feminist. Many of them will point to Pew Research Center polls on this. However a good counterpoint to this is that at least people actually think of feminism enough to not want to be one labeled as a feminist. MRAs don’t even hit the Pew’s radar because so few of them exist and if we did an apples to apples comparison feminism would far overshadow the men’s right activist numbers.
So are MRAs a group of misogynists? Who knows? But that wild branding doesn’t prove to weaken the resolve of MRAs but only to strengthen their resolve a lot of times. Not to mention that there are many women within the MRA ranks so the constant claims of sexism are starting to die off. Most notably those like Karen Straughan who is probably the most famous woman in the MRA circles serve as proof that claims that all MRAs are amount to a bunch of sexist white men is just a strawman argument. However just because the movement has become diverse that doesn’t mean there isn’t something wrong with the picture provided.
Either way it is up to the reader to judge for themselves.