Written by William Rhys Wortham
Over the past few years the classic “war between the sexes” rose to new heights with more protests and feverish defending from both sides. One side screams that they are oppressed and the other cries even louder. Then nothing happens and it comes up a few years later, oh freaking joy. So, this decade, the Men’s Rights Activists have fully formed and bemoan about everything possible in this documentary.
I’ve always failed to see the blatant hatred for this group. They are not any different than the feminists, when you think about it. One person gets hurt and then swears off the opposite sex, or they think they need to take action in order to fix something. It’s odd that they don’t both wake up and realize the real enemy: terrible people. Cruelty knows no sex, age, race, or class. Their tragedies aren’t mutually exclusive! If they joined forces they might be able to find more workable solutions rather than jump to conclusions and fussing.
Sometimes it surprises me that a documentary needs to be made for some people to understand an opposing view. Most groups are very blunt about their needs. MRAs needs spell them out for you, just like many non-profit organizations. What they are about shouldn’t be perplexing. It’s easy to reach negative stereotypes of any group, including feminists, but denying peoples basic human needs, and understanding, is asinine. With that having been said this documentary did put most feminists in a bad light, because they ignored everything MRAs were saying at all the protests or issues brought up in the interviews. I’ll give them credit that some might not have been well informed. Regardless, they continually jumped to negative stereotypes that had nothing to do with the issues raised.
There were repeat times when MRAs would cite why they were angry and then interviewed feminists who relied off of old rhetoric, that wouldn’t be applicable to most modern people. Two feminists continually deferred to men being intimidated by women in the work place and they feared losing power. Its queer considering most issues that were talked about were about men being physically, sexually, socially, and financially abused. Two instances brought up involved a woman who blatantly baited their partner into having a child and told him that they would use the child against him. Also, I don’t know about any of you but the only people I’ve known that were distressed about “losing power” were politicians or psychopaths, and sometimes there isn’t that much of a difference between the two. Most relationships, of any kind, should be built upon communication, commitment, and compromise, not who’s ‘wearing the pants’, sane people realize this.
Eventually a feminist would bring up white nationalism seemingly out of nowhere. I don’t see how the MRAs are a white nationalist movement when it’s the name is MENS Rights Activists, not White Men Only Rights Activities. On top of that nowhere in their guidelines does it say they are about white supremacy. It’s a weak analysis and I would have appreciated if they applied themselves to doing some research.
Despite all the good points there was a lot that confused me about this documentary. They mentioned the death statistics for men during war and the work place; well there are only two choices, men and women. What do you expect? There isn’t much of a sample size, so it’s one or the other! Then it brings up Warren Farrel who mentions a social concept behind men sacrificing themselves (i.e. being sent off to war) to save women. This is a basic part of sociology, there is always a sacrifice to protect, and save, a civil society, I’m not sure what he expects. I don’t expect the average 5’2” woman to go up against a 6’5” enemy behind enemy lines. It should tell you something when 85% of women FAIL combat training. No offense to women, but it’s about the safety of everyone and during war times the military will need the best of the best. This brashness will exclude many physically inept men as well. Why they complain about ‘dying’ for their women and children is overly dramatic, when to quote George S. Patton “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”
Eventually they threw in one of the crazier feminists named Jackson Katz. Some his theories are so obtuse it makes me wonder if he’s mentally ill. One of his worst theories is that horror films encourage men to murder women. It blatantly removes any kind of notion that men have a sense of self control, empathy, nor any kind of sense of right or wrong. Why they included someone as deluded as him, that didn’t add anything to the conversation, is beyond me.
It eventually seeped into global politics and they brought up Boko Haram. They mentioned a group who kidnapped boys, murdered them, and then groan about how the global news media didn’t report on it heavily. I’m not sure why the information is considered so shocking considering they don’t recognize where their news is coming from. Bad things happen in 3rd world countries. Yes, it should be a concern, but it should be less impactful considering the environment breeds heinous acts like these nearly all the time. They will not have the same values, or laws, in third world countries as they do in first world ones. You can’t expect to find good things in bad places.
The film concludes with a very stern message that men don’t have it so easy. The research was there and fleshed out, so I doubt it leaves much to the imagination. It does leave room for debate, considering there were many things left out, but its interesting nonetheless. I’d say see it if you are clueless about these issues or are just interested in what someone else says. If you hate politics, or the war between the sexes, then skip it.