Feminism doesn’t speak for me. Feminists often claim that they speak for all gender oppression. They claim to be true gender egalitarians, and that they’re opposed to heterosexism, transphobia, and discrimination against men, in addition to fighting against gender oppression targetted at AFAB [Assigned Female At Birth] people. They also quite commonly make the point that “men” don’t understand the oppression that women face, and that all “men” are sexist. That’s right. Every single one. So I have to ask feminists: if you’re sure that I don’t understand your oppression (and I suspect you’re right about this, at least some of the time), then how can you claim to understand mine? How can you lay claim to the territory of fighting oppression against AMAB [Assigned Male At Birth] people while simoultaneously proclaiming “men” the oppressor? How come, if you really care as much about issues affecting men (for example, domestic violence where the victim is a man), then you never use gender-neutral pronouns when discussing violence?
I recently read a pamphlet put together by an anarcha-feminist collective addressing sexism in the anarchist/radical/revolutionary movement. In virtually all of the pieces addressing violence, sexism, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment, each and every single piece focused exclusively on issues where the victim was a “woman” and the perpetrator was a “man.” This erasure of AMAB victims of sexual and domestic violence, from the anarchist side of the spectrum, no less. What can we expect from feminists who are not even interested more generally in anti-oppression causes? That erasure of AMAB victims is common in feminist circles and literature, however.
So just what about a movement to advocate for AMAB people? Do AMAB people who are victims of domestic violence deserve equal access to resources such as shelters where they and their children can be safe from a violent spouse? Do they deserve access at all? Should AMAB rape victims be given the same support that AFAB victims are, or should we keep the problem in the closet; relegated to the realm of jokes about buttrape in prisons and altar boy molestation?
Sure, we have the “MRA movement” now, but it’s hardly a movement at all. I’ve never seen them speak out about anything other than family law issues, and those aren’t my issues, nor are they the issues which I see as being most dramatically destructive in the lives of AMAB people. I’m interested in addressing my own problems and concerns and likewise creating an inclusive movement that addresses the problems and concerns of others, as well. So far, the “MRA movement” has failed to do that. It’s been a bunch of white dudes complaining and whining to eachother about their ex-wives and child custody settlements. I’m an activist, and that isn’t activism. The feminist movement has tons of gains under its belt: real tangible victories which have served to enhance the lives of AFAB people. These MRA folks have nothing to show for their blogging and whining. I want results. I want domestic violence shelters for AMAB people. I want queer men accepted by modern society – even poor urban minorities. I want to call the state out and stick it to them when they hold policies akin to the rhetoric coming out of the Westboro Baptist Church. Finally, let’s face it: the existing “MRA” circuit doesn’t talk about queer men. Which is a shame, because queer men face more oppression in daily life than most AMAB people.
Another issue worth considering is trans-women. I have come to most-often use the term AMAB when defining the specific people whom this movement seeks to represent the interests of, and that includes trans-women. Trans-women are women. Despite that fact, all too often they are ignored, dehumanized, and thrown under the bus by modern feminist movements. We seek to represent trans-women and their needs as well, as an underserved group with regard to fighting against gender oppression. As the modern feminist movement primarily/exclusively represents AFAB people, transwomen are welcome in the masculist movement.
Another goal which I have in mind is to form a broad coalition with feminists and others who oppose oppression. In order to oppose gender oppression, we should team up with those promoting the advancement of intersexed and AFAB people as well, with the ultimate goal being an egalitarian society free of all oppression.
I think the first thing we should do is to start asking the tough questions. How does the availability of resources for male victims of sexual and domestic violence affect how we are able to deal with these issues? How do sexual harassment issues affect us in school, at home, and in the work-place? How can we move towards acceptance of queer AMAB people in the way that queerness is now far more culturally acceptable for AFAB people? How does stereotypical masculinity in racial minority communities impact AMAB people in those communities who just don’t fit in? Why is sexuality a driving force for masculine self-esteem? There’re lots more, too. Lets tackle them together and begin to address the issues.
So I think that what AMAB people in general need to do is stand up and simply declare: “feminism doesn’t speak for me.” Then we need to move towards creating a masculist movement that does. I’ve got an idea for a campaign we could take on, too. As mentioned above, the FDA currently regulates blood donations. They have a regulation, in place since the 1980s, which essentially says that any AMAB person who has ever had sex with an AMAB person is banned for life from donating blood. This is an awful regulation, laced with “gay plague” thinking, put in place because of rampant homophobia. It’s an easy victory in today’s political climate, and a big victory against a homophobic federal regulation is just what out fledgling movement could use to take off! Who’s with me?
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