Deconstructing Men’s Rights Activism


I think that Cracked said it best, on their report on Men’s Rights Activism, when they said “Men’s Rights Activism began as the natural response of American males to the growing threat of feminism, in much the same way that burning your house down is the natural response to the threat of ghosts. In both cases, a better solution would be to walk away and let a less emotionally fragile man deal with the situation.”

The Men’s Rights Movements is actually quite a few fractured groups of men fighting against that horrible act of women asking to be treated as equals, or as MRAs actually put it “Those uppity bitches wanting to take what’s mine!” Yes, I’ve actually had someone use that line, sad though it may be.

On their face, they appear to be addressing real world problems such as….wait…hold one….nevermind. None of their issues are issues, and many are just horrible soapboxes to be on. Let’s take a look.

Child Custody

They are often on about how custody battles are always in the favor of the mother, and men never get the chance. They even use lack of custody to justify not paying child support.

In reality, men far less often even ask for custody. When they do, and push for it, they very often get it.


They claim that men are discriminated against in divorce hearings, for being male. Given the realities of custody, that men far less often ask for it, and our societal standards of women as caregivers for children, when you figure in time and expense of caring for children, women tend to end up far worse off, financially, in divorce results.


They actually believe that men are oppressed in education, thanks to feminism. I’m not even sure what to say about this. It’s so not based in reality that it’s not even wrong. It’s just bizarre. How often do we hear that males are far better for STEM fields than females? How many athletic scholarships are there for males as opposed to females? Such a silly assertion.

The Criminalization of Marital Rape

This one’s great. They’re angry because feminists want to make marital rape illegal. Rape has to do with consent. If there is no consent, then it is rape. It doesn’t matter if the person is your spouse. Marriage does not give you universal rights over someone’s body. Even the thought of that blows my mind. If this is really a sticking point for you, if you are angry because you should have the right to do what you want to your wife at any time, you need to check yourself in for a mental health evaluation. You aren’t well.

Farrell 1

There’s a pretty large list of other topics, but they are so silly they aren’t even worth mentioning. Let’s look, now, at the leaders of the movement. It seems that, at least according to Wikipedia, a whole lot of their “causes” come from Warren Farrell. He’s a big name in the movement, and a very loud anti-feminism voice. So, we’ll start with him.

Warren Farrell

Wikipedia says that “He is now recognized as one of the most important figures in the modern men’s movement.” In fact, he used to be a feminist, and on the board of NoW.

According to Farrell, “Everything went well until the mid-seventies when NOW came out against the presumption of joint custody [of children following divorces]. I couldn’t believe the people I thought were pioneers in equality were saying that women should have the first option to have children or not to have children—that children should not have equal rights to their dad.”

So wait…his problem, his big overriding issue, that drove him from feminist to rampant misogynist, and building a movement against feminism, was…..joint custody.


Since then, he’s written books and campaigned against feminism, and build the men’s rights movement quite a bit.

Oh, but he gets better.

In 1977, he was interviewed in Penthouse Magazine about…incest. It seems he fully supports the idea. Here’s what he had to say.

“When I get my most glowing positive cases, 6 out of 200, the incest is part of the family’s open, sensual style of life, wherein sex is an outgrowth of warmth and affection. It is more likely that the father has good sex with his wife, and his wife is likely to know and approve — and in one or two cases to join in.”


“First, because millions of people who are now refraining from touching, holding, and genitally caressing their children, when that is really a part of a caring, loving expression, are repressing the sexuality of a lot of children and themselves. Maybe this needs repressing, and maybe it doesn’t. My book should at least begin the exploration.”

Oh, and also…

“Second, I’m finding that thousands of people in therapy for incest are being told, in essence , that their lives have been ruined by incest. In fact, their lives have not generally been affected as much by the incest as by the overall atmosphere. My book should help therapists put incest in perspective.”

And even…

“Incest is like a magnifying glass, in some circumstances it magnifies the beauty of the relationship…”

And finally…

“Since the father otherwise extends very little attention to his daughter, his sexual advances may be one of the few pleasant experiences she has with him.”

Let’s not forget, this man is one of the founders and a well regarded icon of the Men’s Rights Movement. This is the foundation of the movement itself. That speaks volumes.

Paul Elam

This is the current big name in Men’s Rights Activism, and runs A Voice for Men. He can be quoted saying “they are stupid (and often arrogant) enough to walk though [sic] life with the equivalent of a [sic] I’M A STUPID, CONNIVING BITCH – PLEASE RAPE ME neon sign glowing above their empty little narcissistic heads.”

More recently, he attempted to hold a conference in Detroit, but after lying about death threats to the hotel they were being hosted at, it appears the hotel dropped them and they had to find another venue…which they also lied about.

He’s also quoted here, “feminism, consumer products, psychology, media, advertising, politics and social custom [have] all merged into one Great Big Bitch Machine; [and] the modern female psyche is nothing more than a product of that machine.”

W.F. Price

W.F. Price runs The Good Men Project. The project itself is nowhere near as horrible as the rest, but he can be quote here, commented on the death of a 22 year old.

“Four years of college buys women precious little time in the mating market. … I’d guess … about exactly as much time as it takes for them to complete it, because their pool of future mates tends to go through the same process … That’s to say that she has her best shot to land a good match up to perhaps 25.”

And here…

The problem with young women today is that they internalize this “anything is possible” attitude and don’t lose it until it really is too late for many of them. They think they can do better at 30 than at 22, which, in most cases, is simply wrong. Some might say that family and men are not a priority for these girls, but women for whom this is really true throughout life are an insignificant minority. In fact, most women are holding out precisely because they think they can get a better man later, perhaps when they have a better job and work with more powerful men.

But these girls are not going to change fundamentally, and in their early 20s are at the peak of their beauty while still retaining an innocent charm. Nothing about their looks or personality is going to make them more appealing at 30 than at 22, and the men available to them are not going to get any better, either….

The point is that neither men nor women change fundamentally past a certain point, and the same guys young women have available in their early 20s are generally the same guys that will be available at 30, only they will be older and, due to marriage, there will be far fewer of them.”

And then…

“Time tends to accelerate past a certain age, and the 25-year old woman soon finds herself 30, and then 35, and at that point she’s got precious little of it left. Perhaps at 22 she was laughing about the “comical” notion that it could ever be too late, but after a certain point it is no longer comedy, but tragedy, and her laughter turns to tears.”

And finally…

“[M]en do age better than women. I looked around at the women and they all just looked old to me. I could not imagine myself with any of them. They had lost whatever charm they had and I found attractive the last time I had seen them. Almost all of the men that were there with their spouses were with younger women. …

As for the women specifically, while they all seemed old, I noted that the happiest of the lot talked about their family. Some of them were married, some of them divorced, but in both cases they talked about their kids. They were clearly the most fulfilled. Many of the other women than I knew had pursued consuming careers were not at the reunion. Those that were, and who did not have children, had a whiff of pain on their faces. They seemed to be looking around and suddenly forced to face the consequences of their choices.”

Sadly, these aren’t his only horrible comments. There are so many more.



Now, let’s look at the actions of the Men’s Rights Activists recently, to see what their intentions look like.

False Rape Reporting

In December of last year, Men’s Rights Activists on Reddit found out that Occidental College has an online form for rape reporting. Making the assumption that this was used to falsely report rape, regardless of actual reality, they started spamming it with false rape reports, in an effort to discredit women who are actually…reporting…rape….

Canada MRA Lectures

The MRA has, a couple of times, held lectures at the University of Toronto, that speak vehemently against Feminism. They spouted righteous indignance against the Feminist protests of these lectures, calling out the militancy of protesting them.

Praise of Marc Lepine

A couple years ago, an MRA blogger came out (with a lot of support) praising Marc Lepine. In 1989, Marc Lepine, at  École Polytechnique in Montreal, killed 28 people in the name of fighting Feminism.

Fake Death Threats

The MRA group planning the Detroit rally lied about death threats to raise an extra $25k for their rally. They claimed to need it for security. They have yet to prove those threats.


Now, I’d say that everything above speaks volumes about the movement. I assure you, however, that the members are worse. Here are some examples, taken from MRA sites, pages, and groups:

8 10 11

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Many more can be found here, at The Real Face of Men’s Rights Activism

Now, given all of this, it should be pretty clear that the Men’s Rights Movement isn’t designed or run with any noble or moral cause. It’s there to attack women and attack feminists, while glorifying its leaders.

And THAT is worth fighting against.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

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8 thoughts on “Deconstructing Men’s Rights Activism

  1. War on drugs

    Black men are often on about how plea bargains are always in the favor of the prosecutor, and black men never get the chance at a fair trial with an adequate public defender. They even use complaints of coercion and long jail sentences to justify fleeing.

    In reality, black men far less often even ask for a trial. When they do, and push for it, they very often get it.

    Okay Robert, please tell me why so many people in society accept unfair plea bargains when they have a right to a trial? Why it’s documented how many people who are factually innocent accept plea bargains that sentence them to prison, and admit to felonies.

    I assume your answer is that these people are almost certainly guilty.

    It couldn’t be expense of a trial, stress of a trial, lawyer shenanigans, and an enormous chance of losing.

    You are quite wrong on almost all of your conclusions. Your essay while long, shows very little research into exploring what men’s rights movement folks actually have to say for themselves.

    That so many men do not ask for custody is evidence that men know they cannot get custody unless they are willing to go through very long, arduous trials that exhaust everyone, and that they likely cannot afford in the first place.

    Yours is not a rational way to explore any subject.

    • That’s a terrible strawman, trying to tie it to racism like that. If you’re serious about discussion, that’s far from the way to do it.

      Now, I’ve linked sources all through the post. How about you back up your claims with actual evidence?

      THAT is the rational way to explore a subject.

      • I believe the point Jay is making is that men are told by their lawyers during divorces that if they push for custody, they will most likely lose due to court bias… UNLESS they can prove the mother is unfit (IE she is a drug addict, abusive etc), in which case they will go ahead with the legal fight for custody. This is why when men do fight, they win more often, but they usually don’t fight.

  2. Also, I’m mindblown at how often that picture from yourscenesucks is reblogged to represent MRA’s. I don’t think ska music or rudeboys have ever had any ties to the MRM. In fact, the band tshirt the guy is wearing (Operation Ivy) was from Berkley and I’m pretty sure espoused pro feminist views.

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