The Great Courses

Marriage, Slavery and the Men's Rights Movement

Seth
Aug 20, 2014 at 7:49 AM
3 years ago
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On August 1st, 2014 in Alaska, I got married.  We'd lived together for several years, had already built a family and simply decided that marriage was a good fit for us.  Thanks to all who sent their congratulations and kind words, and thanks to everyone who gave our "wedding gift," a charitable contribution to a worthy, secular organization, the Foundation Beyond Belief.  This community's generosity has made the $10,000 goal a reality.

I recently saw this line from a guy in the TTA YouTube comments section: "If you are irrational enough to get married, your judgement is so suspect I wouldn't trust you to unplug my toilet. Enjoy slavery simpleton."

Then I checked his channel, and he's a self-appointed champion of the Men's Rights Movement. It begins to make sense. He doesn't merely disagree with the idea of marriage (which is a valid perspective held by many). He responds to a legitimate, long-standing and happy relationship with venom, harbors a persecution complex and very apparently has a bug up his ass about women.

While I certainly refuse to fall into the simplistic trap of overcompensation regarding complex gender issues ("Women right. Men wrong."), and even though I have on a few occasions seen man-hating trussed up in the disguise of feminism, I refuse to accept the laughable assertion that the male gender is the one that faces the lion's share of discrimination, bigotry, objectification and inequality in this world.

Are women culturally impotent, especially here in the USA? Of course not. Are there examples of favoritism shown toward women against more qualified males? Absolutely. Are their instances where a female has been unfairly favored by an individual or court system in a social or legal matter? Anyone who cares to look will find those examples, yes, just as they can find examples of religious people torturing their own children in an attempt to brand all religious people sadists. But these individual threads do not represent the pattern in the larger tapestry. 

Historically, men aren't the ones who've been locked out of the halls of power, who've been instructed by holy books and religious cultures to stay quiet, who've been relegated to servant status by their spouses, who (dating to biblical times and beyond) have been considered the spoils of war, who were only recently allowed to cast votes, who've fought to earn fair career pay, and who have often been valued for what's under their skirts inside of what's inside their minds and hearts.

This YouTube guy reminds me of the protests I hear from religious institutions when they realize they no longer have a monopoly on the masses. They wail, they cry, they chant, they protest, they play victim, and their cries grow louder as they slip toward irrelevancy.

If he's a victim, I'm Susan B. Anthony.

-Seth Andrews

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