I get a lot of MRAs and MRA supporters telling me that women not being allowed to serve in the military makes them privileged and not discriminated against.
This is one of those ridiculous arguments that’s fairly easy to deal with. The whole position is based on a mix of revisionist history and twisting of social perception that takes for example, the trials of being a stay at home mom, repackages them and puts them on a pedestal of privilege.
Contrary to the opinion of the ignorant? Being a mom, especially a single caretaker, is a hard job. One you can’t quit without dire repercussions.
According to them a woman gets to have the privilege of a man taking care of her, a man who pays for a nice house with plenty of food and all the securities that come from being married to an employed man without any of the stress that men who are forced to go out into the cruel, hard world have to face!
Why these men even fight wars for these women, against their own will! True that hasn’t happened in over 35 years (of which during America has been continuously at war) but we’re sure it’s going to happen any second now!
In their minds women are regulated to the status of an older child who has been given some extra, undeserved privileges.
This is a throwback argument to a 1950s mentality with a veneer of modern day jealousy over the advances women have gained in society that these people feel came without any cost.
This includes the; “women get the best of both worlds, they get to have the privilege of being something other than a mom and they don’t have to suffer or fight for that right like men do!” version of this diatribe which is just as infantilizing of women as the happy, busy homemaker stereotype.
Whenever this childish argument comes up I present one form or another of my usual rebuttal;
“By your logic Blacks in America weren’t discriminated against as slaves, they were a privileged class. Their masters provided food, drink, a roof over their heads, a good, solid day of work to make themselves feel useful and to top all that off they gave them the ultimate privilege of denying them access to military service!
And if the slave analogy bothers you then how about a far-past Reconstruction example? Blacks during the early-mid 1900s weren’t discriminated against when they weren’t allowed to serve equally in the military. In post-slavery America this was just an undeserved black privilege, one they got without having to pay any of the costs that white men had to pay. Wouldn’t you say that’s the case?”
Usually they realize they’ve been caught out and sink into sulky silence or stomp off tossing words like “mangina” over their shoulders in the hope those insults will trickle down their backs and soothe the aching in their posteriors.
But every now and again one of them slips up and admits that yes; they really do think this way.
Of course the MRA supporter did an immediate strawman of my argument by adding the qualifier; “you don’t want to fight”.
“having no chance of being sent to fight a war you don’t want to fight is a privilege”.
I pointed out that this doesn’t actually help his case, it’s a bigoted attitude and all the equivocation in the world won’t change that but to no avail.
I left off the conversation as I’ve learned from many similar exchanges that when someone is responding from a position of emotion and not reason there’s no point in pursing the dialogue.
But it wasn’t until later that I realized that perhaps the commenter didn’t understand why this was a bigoted thing to say because just like on the topic of women’s history, he’s also ignorant of Black American history and the struggle that both of these groups have gone through in American society.
Perhaps he doesn’t know that just like with American women, African Americans struggled to get equal representation and treatment in the American military and the respect that came with that equal treatment.
If he’d known for example, about how faced with a segregated selection service process that often passed over African American candidates (based on prejudices about supposed African American inferiority), the NAACP pressured President Roosevelt to pledge that African Americans would be enlisted according to their percentage in the population.
African Americans wanted to be included equally in the selection service process, it wasn’t thrust on them unwillingly. They suffered under a yoke of discrimination and they eagerly welcomed the opportunity to prove themselves up to any task that White Men are able to perform.
This MRA supporter is so wrapped up in his own personal wants and desires that he’s willing to not just ignore the past, but change and rewrite it; just so it fits his dialogue that is designed to portray men as the ultimate victim class ever.
He can’t conceive of anyone wanting to serve in the military so therefore in his mind nobody ever wanted to serve in the military. Those who sought that service should be dismissed and ignored. With a single thought he dismisses and undermines the Black community in America by denying their past and he does the exact same thing with women.
I realized with this exchange that this attitude of selfish dismissal of the battles of others has been a continuous trend in all my interactions with the MRA community.
There are a number of issues out there that are in need of resolution that impact negatively on men as a whole and I applaud any who seek to fight and rectify those issues.
But these problems are also very specific to certain racial/ income groups and trying to elevate those problems to solely problems men face in America today by diminishing the struggles minority groups have gone through in the past and are still going through today? Not just diminishing but dismissing them or worse yet outright rewriting history?
That sort of action is taken because you feel that your group is better than other groups and guess what? That’s classic bigotry.
This attitude is prevalent in the MRA community. It is a deliberate and willful pursuit of ignorance on the part of the MRA community and as we all know, ignorance breeds contempt and contempt is a foundation for bigotry.
Armed with strawman arguments, equivocation, special pleading and a slew of other logical blunders they deny, diminish or dismiss the struggles of individual minority groups so they can claim an eminent position as the one true discriminated-against group: Men.
I think I can safely speak for minorities everywhere when I say;
“You aren’t better than us and you aren’t more important than us so please stop trying to build your movement on the backs of our struggles and achievements.”
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