[Reblogged] Why The Men’s Rights Movement Is Garbage


The title is certainly asking for trouble, but the article makes a strong critique of the men’s rights movement in its purpose, intent and methods – especially as it fits in relation to the feminist movement.

My biggest critique is that I would be curious to see the statistics which support the facts of men’s increased exposure to homelessness and suicide, which this article concedes as being Men’s issues. I’ve heard that women more frequently attempt suicide but that men are more successful in their attempts; I also question the belief that men experience homelessness at greater rates than women. Women are in much greater poverty overall, so men being more homeless in numbers than women seems backward. (I would challenge this as a matter of visibility – women may be more likely to stay with friends or to avoid public spaces for safety or privacy reasons, making them less visible to street counts or to the certified accounts of people who walk streets downtown and notice more homeless men than women. No, I don’t believe these count as facts.)

I don’t have the statistics in front of me, but you may find some good ones as offshoots from this article.

The Belle Jar

I need to take a moment here to talk about the Men’s Rights Movement, because there seems to be some confusion. Actually, there seems to be a whole lot of confusion.

Over the past little while, I’ve had a number of people challenge me on calling out men’s rights activists (hereafter referred to as MRAs). “But men are oppressed too,” people say. “Feminism is sexist, and it teaches men that masculinity is wrong.” “Straight, white men aren’t allowed to be proud of themselves anymore.” “If you believe in equality, then you should want men to have the same type of activism as women.” “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

First of all, yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But let’s not pretend that all opinions are created equal – some are based on fact, and some are total bullshit. Like, I could tell you that I believe that vaccines…

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[First Nations’ Historical] Lack of Access to Lawyers


“Another historical obstacle for First Nations who wished to press claims was that they generally did not have access to lawyers who could bring their case to the courts if governments did not act. Until 1860, the British Crown’s appointees, and, after Confederation, the federal government, controlled First Nation spending. Further, until the 1960’s, federal “Indian agents” supervised all significant First Nation activities, including band council meetings. Federal officials regularly declined to approve the hiring of lawyers – apparently to protect First Nations from exaggerated expectations and from the payment of excessive legal fees. Indeed, in 1927, faced with rising pressure from First Nations on land claims, the federal government passed the following amendment to the Indian Act:

Every person who, without the consent of the Superintendent General … receives, solicits or requests from any Indian any payment or contribution … for the prosecution of any claim which the tribe or band of Indians … has … for the recovery of any claim or money for the benefit of the said tribe or band, shall be guilty of an offence.

This prohibition on legal representation for First Nations remained in effect until 1951.”

Word for word from Michael Coyle’s report, Addressing Aboriginal Land and Treaty Rights in Ontario: An Analysis of Past Policies and Options for the Future, page 18. Pulled from Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General.

Lack of Access to First Nation Records


“Government archives in Ontario are filled with particularized petitions by First Nations for government action to redress violations of their land and treaty rights. Today most of the issues raised in those petitions remain unresolved. One obstacle historically faced by First Nations was that the records relating to their treaties, land transactions, and trust funds were kept by the federal government. Until late in the twentieth century, First Nations had very limited access to these records. First Nation requests for information about their land dealings were often denied. Thus, in the 1830’s when the Mississaugas of New Credit, concerned about encroachments on their lands near Toronto, asked for a formal confirmation of their landholdings in order to enforce their rights, they were refused. Their Chief, an educated Methodist Minister named Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby), went so far as to petition the Queen in England. His request was ultimately denied, on the basis that the Mississaugas were not capable of handling such responsibility.

Even as recently as 1957, when the Musqueam First Nation surrendered part of their land in downtown Vancouver so that it could be leased to a golf club, the First Nation did not learn from the federal government the terms of the lease until 12 years later.”

Word for word from Michael Coyle’s report, Addressing Aboriginal Land and Treaty Rights in Ontario: An Analysis of Past Policies and Options for the Future, page 18. Pulled from Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General.