There are various claims made by men’s rights advocates (MRAs) that have no basis in truth. They are ‘factoids’, items of unreliable or false information that are reported and repeated so often that they become accepted as fact. On this page, we fact-check some of the inaccurate claims routinely made by MRAs. Additions and revisions are welcome.
Men's & fathers' rights
Men’s rights advocates (MRAs) often argue that feminism portrays women as always and ever oppressed, and thus *makes* women into victims. Related to this, MRAs argue that feminist beliefs are harmful for women themselves. However, the actual evidence is that having feminist beliefs and/or a feminist identity is good for women, and that having feminist beliefs or a feminist identity has a range of positive benefits.
What are the links between masculinity, anti-feminist men’s rights, and the alt-right? There is growing recognition that far-right and white nationalist movements and ideologies are shaped by gender, and particularly by patriarchal masculinity, and that there are ideological and practical connections between far-right and ‘men’s rights’ networks and ideologies. In this XY collection, we have pulled together some recent commentaries on this. The articles are linked below. Additions are welcome.
Efforts to promote gender equality and violence prevention in workplaces and organisations often meet resistance. Resistance takes a variety of forms, from denial of the problem, to inaction, to victim-blaming, to outright attack. How should we respond to resistance and backlash? And, how can we make resistance less likely in the first place?
Across the globe, violence prevention initiatives focused on men and boys are proliferating rapidly. The new book Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention highlights effective and innovative strategies for the primary prevention of domestic violence, sexual violence, and other forms of harassment and abuse. It combines research on gender, masculinities, and violence with case studies from a wide variety of countries and settings.
Men’s rights advocates (MRAs) and anti-feminist men’s groups claim that men now are the victims in our society, of both women and feminism. MRAs claim that men’s health is a particularly important area of male disadvantage, that men’s health issues and shorter life spans are evidence of discrimination and oppression faced by men, and that women’s health receives unfair levels of attention and funding compared to men’s health. These claims are false. Instead;
Yes, large numbers of men and boys are killed and injured in war. They are sent to war largely by other men. Wars are supported more by men than women. And traditional masculinity has been central to justifications for war. It is men, not women, who have excluded women from joining men in military and combat roles. Feminist women and women’s movements have played key roles in challenging war and militarism. Finally, the overall impacts of war and conflict and their aftermath are greater for women than men.
A range of critiques and assessments of the men's rights movement have been published in recent years. This XY collection focuses on academic or scholarly critiques of men's rights and anti-feminist backlash. See below for the pieces, in PDF.
The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy has a special issue on “Fighting Feminism – Organised Opposition to Women’s Rights” (Volume 5, Number 2, 2016). The full text of all articles is available from https://www.crimejusticejournal.com/issue/view/21
Forks in the Road of Men’s Gender Politics: Men’s Rights vs Feminist Allies / Michael A Messner
State Antifeminism / Francis Dupuis-Déri
Masculist Groups in Poland: Aids of Mainstream Antifeminism / Katarzyna Wojnicka
A range of critiques and assessments of the men's rights movement have been published in recent years. While there are academic assessments and explorations of this movement and its politics and agendas and impact, here I have gathered a list of more accessible discussions. I hope they're useful.
These first items, including on 'incels', were written in the wake of the Toronto massacre in April 2018. Further items on 'incels' are further below.