The most insidious version of Mens Rights Activism is a classic example of smarm. In other words, it’s bullshit. It couches itself in a façade of reasonableness that can easily entice people, and it sets itself up in such a way that any criticism, no matter how valid, is painted as antagonism or negativity. The less insidious form just reads like a white supremacist manifesto. Those guys are so convinced of their righteousness that they don’t even bother to hide their misogyny. That makes them easier to spot, and that’s why the first group is in some ways even more dangerous.
Honestly, you can probably find examples from the past of me parroting the views of the subtle MRA tract. They often convey humanist ideals, they claim that feminism just divides us further and we should look at how things apply to all people. They point out that many of the same discriminations and injustices are perpetrated against men so only discussing them in terms of women is further marginalizing those male victims. And they are quick to point out that not all men are guilty of the things being pointed out.
On the surface this all seems rational, but that’s where they get you. This is all used to undermine and gaslight feminism, to keep the discussion focused on men, and to marginalize subjects and perspectives that are primarily a concern of women or people that do not fit gender norms. The humanistic ideals they claim to be concerned with are just a cover for continued misogyny, and a way to get unsuspecting, good-hearted people to help them. Again, there are likely people that support the public MRA agenda that do so with an honest desire to help humanity, but I sincerely believe that the spearheads of the movement are reactionaries afraid of losing their position of privilege.
To figure out their true agenda there are a couple of key areas to look at. Are they painting feminists as an enemy, or they actually targeting the patriarchy? Are they looking at specific points and making sure that the concerns of men are addressed as well, or are they looking at the overall picture of imposed gender roles? Are they steadfastly stuck in their own personal experiences, or are they acknowledging that there are a variety of valid life experiences outside of the ones that men have? Examinations like these will lead to the truth of whether they are just out to help themselves or whether they are actually trying to help society overall.
Stay vigilant, nothing is as dangerous as hate spread under the guise of logic and compassion.