Extremism in any form seems to be attached to the same thinking patterns. People most opposed to each other often have more similarities than differences. This sounds ridiculous because fundamentalists on opposite sides of issues spew hate in opposite directions. People who hate Donald Trump rarely hate Bernie Sanders. Those who despise religion rarely feel the same way about atheism.
Extremists think the same way. They direct what probably feels like righteous indignation toward one villain. It’s a simplistic and naive view of reality because they consider one factor as way more relevant than any other. What they fail to realize is that almost everything is attributable to multiple factors. That’s why fighting one injustice alone sometimes does more harm than good. It shifts blame from other culprits or causes that can make the same issues worse.
Even fundamentalists make good points, and have admirable motivations. This applies to both feminists and men’s rights activists in my opinion. If you go by the dictionary definition of the word, I’m a feminist because I believe in equal rights and opportunities for men and women. But I agree with men’s rights activists’ claims that radical feminists take things too far. By the same token, I disagree with some men’s rights activists because they use their views as an excuse to hate women. Both cults of feminism and men’s rights activism appear to make a lot of good points. However, I think that misogynists and radical feminists think the same way because they take their valid concerns too far. They both use specious rationalizations that are sometimes very well thought-out, but one group just hates women, and the other hates men.
One way that feminists seem to go too far is by expecting equal outcomes for women and men, rather than just equal rights and opportunities. Although men are apparently in most positions of power, this is due to more than sexism. Women I know sometimes tell me about their experience of sexism, and I think it is still a big problem. But radical feminists have the impossible expectation of getting sexism eradicated. Ample psychological studies point to a biological drive for people thinking their own gender is superior. More importantly, some people are assholes, and no one can expect the world to be rid of them.
Another factor that feminists seem too outraged about to consider is what I learned from evolutionary psychology. This is that generally, most women and men are biologically predisposed to choose certain jobs. That’s why, even in the most socialist countries, men don’t usually choose to be nurses, and women rarely become oil drill operators.
The radical feminist concept of gender being 100% due to socialization doesn’t make sense to me either. I don’t think that I waited to grow a penis until I was sufficiently socialized. Do you know anyone who did? Biologists would like to meet them if you have. The socialization idea also seems false because studies in developmental psychology found that boys and girls choose stereotypical toys for their gender. The children in these experiments were about three months old, which means that it is almost impossible for them to have been socialized. Psychology usually just tells us generalizations, but the vast majority of boys seem to play with Transofrmers or G. I. Joes, and most girls pick barbies. When I was a child, my mom showed me how cuddle and rock with a baby doll. When she passed it to me, I dragged it across the floor and yelled, “Vroom! Vroom!”
Patriarchy appears to be misunderstood by radical feminists. They seem to think it’s some ethereal force that makes people helplessly oppress women. Most countries are run by patriarchies because there are many more men than women in governments. But that doesn’t mean that patriarchy is inherently evil. Concepts don’t control people. Matriarchy, which is the opposite of patriarchy, isn’t inherently good or bad either. If men hold most of the power, it isn’t automatically due to unfair treatment of women.
Men are not to blame for all the world’s problems. Since people are people, some are good, and some are bad, regardless of their gender or other arbitrary attributes. Both women and men are capable of being evil, angelic, or anything in between. So blaming men for every issue makes no sense, in my opinion. Having most of the power did not only mean that we caused tons of harm. It also allowed us to do a lot more than women to build societies. There are many male heroes throughout history, including most prophets, warriors, scientists and politicians. A large amount of women have done terrible things. They can be just as evil and selfish as men. Neither gender is better than the other.
I’m not a historian, but apparently, feminism began as a way to address injustices toward women. But sometimes good things can over-correct system flaws, which is probably why men’s rights activism started. Radical feminists took their changes too far in some ways. They do things like shit all over masculinity, and even talk about killing all white men and bathing in their blood! There are articles about “toxic masculinity”, as if being stereotypically manly is inherently bad. I can see how being a macho tough guy can lead to the mistreatment of women, but claiming that masculinity is toxic assumes that being manly makes you a violent asshole. There are tons of guys who watch sports, work out a lot, drink beer, insult their buddies for fun, drive trucks, and flirt with women. Most of these men are probably kind, productive members of society, especially since at least one of these traits can be attributed to the majority of us. I work out a lot and flirt with women. Does that mean I am toxically masculine?
Men’s rights activists apparently noticed that women mistreat men too. Men sometimes destroy women’s lives because they are women, but women also destroy men’s lives because they are men. Feminists are legitimately concerned about women being raped, which is in my opinion, the most terrible thing that anyone can do to another person. But they try to make it mandatory for men on college campuses to take rape prevention classes. This doesn’t sound like a good way of dissuading the sick excuses for human beings that rapists are. Do you think they would be convinced by rape prevention classes?
While rape is horrifying, men’s rights activists are righteously outraged about false rape accusations. Guilty rapists deserve the harshest punishment imaginable, in my opinion. However, men’s lives can get destroyed if they’re merely accused of this crime, even if they’re innocent. They can get ostracised from society, and career prospects can vanish. Apparently, feminists also exaggerate how often rape occurs. Even Barack Obama said that 1 in 5 women on college campuses in the U.S. get raped. But according to people like Christina Hoff Sommers, a writer, former philosophy professor and women’s rights activist, the statistic was misinterpreted. The people who conducted the study said that it should not be used that way, was a small sample size, and does not represent the majority of women. College campuses are much safer than the most dangerous places in the Western world, which are inner city areas. Higher crime rates lead to more rape. Not to mention, 1 in 5 is the rate at which women get raped in The Congo, where it is used as a weapon of war! Does it seem like women are as threatened in North America as they are in the Congo? Our first world problems pale in comparison to those in third world countries.
Another men’s rights activist concern that seems valid is divorce. I understand that some laws favour women because men sometimes don’t pay for child support. But a myriad of men’s personal accounts describe them losing everything, and getting just as mistreated as women. Some men commit suicide because they can’t afford to pay their alimony fees and/or child support! They might lose half of their assets, and have to regularly pay their ex-wife a huge amount of money, until one of them dies. That could be good if the man is rich and the woman deserves the money because she’s been mistreated. But this can happen even if the woman is working full time, has no children, and cheated on her ex-husband when they were married. At least one man had to pay the lawyers of both him and his wife while he was being subjected to this treatment. He had to pay his lawyer, and the one who was suing him.
Men’s rights activists and feminists have the same problem. Extremists take propositions too far, and blame everything on scapegoats. Misogynists think that women are the root of every problem because some women mistreat men. But that doesn’t mean that every woman is malicious and will accuse all men of rape, or be a manipulative gold digger. Radical feminists think that men are the root of every problem because some men mistreat women. But men don’t get together in our secret back room meetings to conspire about how to endlessly oppress women, wringing our hands and laughing maniacally.
That’s one of the main problems with conspiracy theorists. They assume that there is agency and collusion where there is none, which tarnishes real conspiracies when they happen. Not every man is working with other men to keep women down, and not every woman is working with other women to keep men down. Men controlling things isn’t evil, and neither is it so with women. Groups are composed of people, and there is more individual variation than that between arbitrary categories. Men and women are very different, but one man has little in common with all other men. By the same token, one woman is very different from all other women. So assuming that all women or all men are the same makes no sense. Not all women are bad, or good, and neither are men. Radical feminists basically just hate men, and misogynists hate women. They think the same way. In my opinion, people should try to find commonalities instead of painting entire groups with the same brush. The sooner we do this, the sooner humanity might stop becoming a collection of cults full of angry, dumb babies throwing temper tantrums. Neither men nor women are the real problem. Ideological thinking is the root issue.