Men’s Rights Campaigning

So there’s been lots of discussion on domestic violence and shelters this week and last.

I see so many comments comparing women and men’s domenstic violence and by extension the amount of beds available men and women in refuges. The fact is that there are very, very few beds available to men who are not gay.

And then the vitriol starts – against feminists as usual. Guys questioning why feminists are not doing more to ensure that there are more mens beds in refuges. Questioning why we aren’t as concerned with men’s rights as we are with womens. Questioning why we aren’t fundraising specifically for men’s refuge charities. Always with the guilty questioning.

I’ve searched and searched and searched inside my soul for an answer and the only one I’m ever able to give is a shit one. Feminism – the clue is in the name – focusses primarily on making things better for women. Yes, sometimes there is intersectionality with various men’s rights campaigns, but they are generally supported because it moves the cause of women forward.

But these guys, they seem to expect feminism to now work for them directly. It always feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth to be honest. ‘The women have organised to help themselves – now lets make them help us because they are a powerful group’. It feels slightly controlling to me actually, like we’re being guilted for helping other women. I’m entirely sure these guys don’t mean it that way, or maybe they do.

I’d love to be an ally here. I’d love to support movements that further the rights of men in situations like this. That form campaign groups and splinter groups. But where are they? Why are there no men standing up and banding together to look at things like domestic violence refuges for men? Where are the genuine campaign groups that are looking to solve these problems, so that we – as feminists – can ally alongside them? Why are they not shouting loudly? Why are they not telling the media about these problems, raising awareness, forming groups and getting organised?

Why do so many guys seem to want women to solve all their problems? We have so many problems of our own still to solve. We need help on this one guys, we need you to start the ball rolling so that we can help you gather speed.