« Action in different kinds of courts | Main | Thursday Short Poem: Goerner's "Redemption" »

March 30, 2005

Comments

craichead

Well I guess I'd say that you're quite wrong about MRA's. I think most are not angry at the group "women" in general, though of course some are. It's like feminism: you've got your McKinnons and your Hugo's. Most of the MRA's I've interacted with are more angry at the culture of artificial class distinctions and a government that seems to have so far outgrown its original intent. In my opinion most of the problems that exist around marriage and divorce -- including the ongoing public debate around same sex marriages -- wouldn't exist if the government wasn't in the business of issuing and regulating marriage "licenses."

Also, don't let your particular experiences colr your view of the divorce industry. The fact that there were no children involved is HUGE. That's where the most basic infringement of personal rights occurs I'd say.

Second, divorce law can be as fair as any in the case where each spouse is on fairly equal economic footing in terms of mutual investments, career and actual and potential income. In those cases it's usually sell it and divide up the loot.

BTW Hugo, is the purpose of this post mainly to increase your hits per minute? Cause there's gonna be a flood coming I'll bet.

Amos

Three divorces? Hardly an impressive resume for a churchgoer. Seems a product of the "everything and everyone is disposable" philosophy. Marriage a little difficult??....heck, trade it in on another newer model. I'm being judgemental, I know, not because it matters to me how many times you've personally been married but.....should someone with that abysmal a track record be a leader and mentor to a church youth group? What does it say to them???? That's not a role model I'd like for my kids.

Hugo

Craichead, the only reason I was riffing on my own experiences is because of the suggestion by some MRAs (not all) that divorce and its attendant financial consequences would inevitably change my thinking. I am not suggesting my experience is universal, merely that my pro-feminism is rooted in both theory and my own experience.

Amos, it all depends on whether you believe in regeneration or not, doesn't it? If you don't, then how we lived pre-conversion ought to permanently disqualify you from exercising leadership. If you do believe in conversion, then those who sinned greatly cannot be barred from ministry. Think Paul. Think David.

The church is for sinners, not saints. And young people who are struggling have a hard time relating to those who are not plainspoken about the depths of their own brokenness.

John Sloas

Hugo--Thanks for sharing your story--it takes courage. It seems you are becoming a new creation. My hat is off to you.

Amos

Hugo - A good, fair answer to my question! I've got to rethink my role model stance. Thanks.

rainbow

I am sick about hearing about divorce is a two way street. A. unilateral divorces rule in the U.S. B. how is the other spouse reponsible for one spouse who choses to take drugs, beat the other spouse, cheat on the other spouse, decide to change (or recognize) gender or sexual preference, or decides monogamy and/or responsibility, or working is not their cup of tea. and don't give me you should have seen it coming. How? with a crystal ball?

stanton

Hugo: Your observations about men who frequent the "angry MRA" groups is probably generally accurate, though I question some of your conclusions.

Craichead is correct that it is the way the system handles the children of divorcing parents that produces the bitterness. I am twice divorced - once without children (painful, but a learning experience, like yours) and then again with four children. The second divorce was the real eye-opener. The bias against fathers in the system was staggering - I will spare you the details. Yet, painful and costly as it was to me, my suffering was trivial compared to the price my children paid, and continue to pay as adults... and may well pay for the rest of their lives. The lawyers and my ex were the immediate beneficiaries of this system. The long-term beneficiaries have been the therapists that my children see. I was a temporary victim. My children themselves were the ones crushed under the wheel of this Kafka-esque system.

Despite all of this, I join you in saying that "none of my divorces made me angry at women." It is common to see feminists, when accused of hating men, respond by declaring that their righteous indignation at outrageous injustice does not translate to male hatred. Yet it is rare to find the feminist that can see the irony of their making parallel accusations against "MRAs". Can you see it, Hugo? Yes, I am an MRA, and I LOVE women. ALL of them. I even love the Solanases and Dworkins who consider me a rapist and wish to cut me up. All of this, and I fight for justice for men. And there is NO contradiction here at all.

You said, "When I became convinced that it was I who was the architect of my own adversity, and not my wives, I took the first key step towards healing and growing up."

This is useful up to a point, but you would agree, I know, that sometimes a person is overwhelmed by a system that is stacked against him - or her. You have expressed, as an article of faith, that western society is dominated by male privilege that places women at a disadvantage. Is it also true that women are architects of their own adversity, not men? Might that be the first key step for women in healing and growing up? Or does this apply only to men? (I don't buy this 100% myself. I believe that there are real social injustices that must be opposed. You believe this too, Hugo, but men seem to be beyond the pale of your concern, except as miscreants to be reformed in the "correct" image.)

I believe you are taking the correct approach to the abusive email you receive. However, I urge you to have compassion for the writers, because their anger and pain are often genuine. You once stated that you will not judge the righteous anger of women. I ask you to extend the same mercy to men.

Hugo

I hear you, Stanton. It's with great restraint that I haven't posted some of the hate mail, verbatim, on my blog -- with author's email and name attached. It's because I do understand that the pain is genuine, even if I think the anger is generally misdirected.

I do agree that women must take responsibility for their own decision-making. Many women make stunningly poor choices, choices that may be in response to societal pressures but which are their choices nonetheless.

Mark

I hear you, Stanton. It's with great restraint that I haven't posted some of the hate mail, verbatim, on my blog -- with author's email and name attached. It's because I do understand that the pain is genuine, even if I think the anger is generally misdirected.

Considering the generally anti-male stance you adopt here, I'm guessing your restraint is based more on your concern from the various legal liabilities that could result from such unauthorized postings.

Mark

Hugo

Hah. Mark, I know American libel law well enough to know that posting the contents of an email on my blog is not going to result in successful litigation.

Given my personal track record in many areas, I think it's safe to say that I haven't had much fear of being sued. :-)

Mark

Hah. Mark, I know American libel law well enough to know that posting the contents of an email on my blog is not going to result in successful litigation.

Who said anything about libel law?

Amanda

Uh, there is exactly no law protecting hateful emails people send out. However, for anyone reading this who is prone to do this, there are laws about threatening and harassment to think of before you start sending off nasty emails.

Jeff

I think there's really two generations of this (I'm generalizing from my time on alt.romance here),

The older generation got caught by the changes feminism brought - they'd grown up with the image of man as breadwinner, but simply being a provider was no longer sufficient to sustain a marriage.

The younger generation seems to have gotten sucked in via the "nice guy" phenomenon - they're unsatisfied with their dating lives, as many people are in their twenties and thirties, and they've got this older generation telling them it's all women's fault, which is a more appealing message than admitting personal fault or bad luck.

Trish Wilson

Fathers' rights activists often claim that they don't hate women, but their own posts, hate mail, and articles speak otherwise. See this link:

Fathers Rights Activists: In Their Own Words

It's interesting that they blame feminists for not getting custody of their children when the modern feminist movement really hasn't done much in family law. Some individual feminists have, and domestic violence groups are heavily involved in divorce reform, but not the mainstream feminist movement. Not getting your way in your divorce and custody case does not necessarily mean that the courts are stacked against you.

Trish Wilson

I second what Amanda wrote. You can't be sued for libel if you post hate mail. However, harassment by e-mail is another story entirely.

craichead

Something that you may find interesting, Hugo, is that there is a fairly large contingent of MRA's who started out as men who actively supported feminism. Both in lip service and in activities like "Take Back the Night."

For many of them there is a feeling of betrayal around feminism and what it's resulted in today. But again I'd say that pretty much across the board for these people is not a generalized anger against women as it is a gteneralized anger at government and what seems today like misdirected liberalism.

Trish Wilson

Hugo, in light of your post, I think you might find this post of mine of interest:

Hyper-Masculinity and the Fathers' Rights Movement

J.J.B

Hugo,
Good luck to you and your fiancee. You certainly deserve to be happy this time. What a trooper!! To divorce three times, and still be willing to try again, I commend you! I can't say I would ever be willing to do it again given your situation.

Trish Wilson

I don't think that a large number of MRAs started out in the feminist movement. You're more likely to find them in the evangelical movement than feminism. Men who take part in "Take Back The Night" rallies are more likely to be pro-feminist and sometimes gay, and they don't condone the masculinist men's rights movement.

craichead

"It's interesting that they blame feminists for not getting custody of their children when the modern feminist movement really hasn't done much in family law. Some individual feminists have, and domestic violence groups are heavily involved in divorce reform, but not the mainstream feminist movement. Not getting your way in your divorce and custody case does not necessarily mean that the courts are stacked against you."

Up is down!

Love is hate!

Freedom is slavery!

Don't look behind the curtain!

craichead

"I don't think that a large number of MRAs started out in the feminist movement. You're more likely to find them in the evangelical movement than feminism. Men who take part in "Take Back The Night" rallies are more likely to be pro-feminist and sometimes gay, and they don't condone the masculinist men's rights movement."

That's your opinion. All I have to go by is what I've personally experienced on a day to day basis which apparently is less reliable than your unbiased and objective opinion.

craichead

Trish,

Here's a good essay. You should check it out if you're not familiar with it. It's one of my favorites. I probably read it almost once a month.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

craichead

Incidentally, in all my interaciton with MRA's, I've never met a single one who came from the evangelical movement.

Caitriona

> But again I'd say that pretty much across the board for these people is not a
> generalized anger against women as it is a gteneralized anger at government and what
> seems today like misdirected liberalism.


craichead,

To be quite honest, in all my experiences with people working in equality issues and in peace and justice issues, I don't recall meeting anyone who's told me he's working with the MRAs. My only known interaction with MRAs has been those such as here on this board.

It is my hope that the reactions to women having a different POV than theirs isn't typically what I've seen here. My having a different perspective based on different life experiences doesn't make me a "man hater," such as has been stated by a couple of the posters when I disagreed with them.

AAMOF, my entire life, most of my friends have been male, along the "Manly Man" and "Jock" categories. (That's the kind you typically run into in rural areas, when you work in factories, and when you participate in athletics.) I don't understand the stereotypical "Girly Girl" very well and the bewilderment is mutual, so they're not the ones with whom I normally spend time.

I know that my perspectives are totally different than those of most people. But that doesn't mean I hate anyone due to those differences of perspective. It's sad that too many people think that different = hate.

Caitriona

> To divorce three times, and still be willing to try again, I commend you! I can't say > I would ever be willing to do it again given your situation.


JJB,

Ours is my husband's FIFTH marriage and my second. As Hugo said, it is important to learn from the previous marriages. Yes, my husband's first 4 wives left him, for various reasons. But he finally took the time to look at himself and see where his own contributions where to the problems in those marriages, just as I've taken the time to look at my contributions to my own failed marriage.

We both have made a commitment to be honest with ourselves about our contribution to any interaction and to look at WHY we react the way we do to things. We've both done a lot of growing in the past 6 years, and we each were already working on making changes before we met nearly 6 years ago. It's a long, hard, difficult process, but in our experience, it's worth every bit of effort.

Hugo, I can't recommend Dr. Ed Wheat's writings highly enough. Love-Life for Every Married Couple is a great help. I mentioned this book in church one day, and a retired Mennonite pastor who was visiting told me that he'd used Dr. Wheat's material with great success when doing pre-marital and marriage counseling.

The other night, my husband handed me Elmo Stoll's Give Me This Mountain, turned a section of the Family Togetherness Unit - The Miracle of Communicating. (He gave it to me to read for the couples communcation workshop I'm doing in 2 weeks.) I'm also going through Dr. Carlfred Broderick's Couples: How to Confront Problems and Maintain Loving Relationships. It has some great tips on working through issues that come up when a couple each has a different "script" of how things are "supposed" to work.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Regular reads

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004