Ah, Arizona. Land of the desert, home of…men’s rights?
Apparently so, according to a group at ASU. The Men’s Rights Movement Group (MRMG) led by (wait for iiiiiiiiit) Zach Morris, has started a group “to offer an alternative to feminist party line dogma, open up people’s minds to knowledge-base outside the normal conventions of society in lieu of gender and feminist ideological doctrine, allow that it may better serve men, boys, and their own self-image; promote a more male-friendly environment, institution, and world by correcting destructive and false self-serving feminist propaganda and speaking against societal and institutional forms of misandry.”
Um, what? May be a tad confusing if you’re three beers deep. But I’m okay with this. I get the gist. I nod with deep agreement. I love the First Amendment. At night I whisper sweet nothings in its ear, so it’s no surprise that I completely agree that men – any group– should be able to start their own cause. I’m cool-balls-to-the-wall down with that.
But reading on, what I’m not cool with is their poster of “Privileges and rights that ONLY WOMEN get in society”. Reading this sent me on a tailspin of instant fuming.
I hate this poster of rights.
The poster that launched a thousand boners.
My mini rant:
These are not rights we have. They are perhaps expectations that we as females keep in the back of our mind when we go on dates or get married or live our lives, but they are not rights. It is not a “right” that I am paid for on a date. Sure, it’s nice for the guy to pay. And hell yes, I’ll admit, I expect it. If I put on my best heels and butt-wrenching thong, I’d like dinner to be paid for. But I do not think I’ve “earned” it. That he owes it to me to pay. Again, the right to reproduction is not a right, but it’s more of a biological truth. Men cannot birth children. Don’t like that Zach Morris, call up God or Darwin or your choice of creator, and take it up with them. And everyone should have the right to shelter from abuse. It’s not limited to just females.
After reading this story, I immediately fired off an email to my cousin. Because she is the Gallant to my Goofus, I knew she’d want to launch into a much more articulate rant than I could form [see above mini-rant].
I am taking this story from the fine, fine site Jezebel.com. To read the entire article click here. Then read her guest blog commentary below.
Rantiest Rant of All Rants: Zach Morris is Kind of an A-Hole by KM
I told you I’d have more to say about this, didn’t I, Ju?
First problem: The group claims that women have NEVER been systematically oppressed. Obviously, MRMg’s president, Zach Morris (*snicker* Is the group’s treasurer named Screech?) doesn’t watch or read the news much. If he did, he’d know that in Saudi Arabia, women are still not allowed to drive cars. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, when a woman is raped, her family is expected to kill her to restore honor to their family. In most of the Middle East, the penalty for a woman committing adultery is stoning to death, and when a woman tries to leave an abusive marriage, the husband’s family is allowed to cut off her nose and ears. And even here in our own country, women make only 88 cents to every dollar that a man makes when performing the same job. And regardless how you feel about birth control and abortion, I’m pretty sure you can agree that our right to decide what is best for our own bodies has been oppressed (and is being threatened every day by a little group called anti-choicers). I wholeheartedly believe that when a 60 year old male senator from Kansas votes to pass a law that restricts my ability to make choices for myself about my own reproductive system, I am being oppressed.
And I don’t think it’s even necessary to delve into the long history of oppression women have suffered at the hands of men to make my point (ie. Being denied the right to own land, to vote, to hold public office, to be a doctor, to be a lawyer, to be educated, to receive a fair trial in 1692 Salem, to learn to read, to smoke cigarettes in public, to work, to wear pants, my God!).
Secondly, let’s discuss the MRMg’s list of “privileges and rights that only women get in society.” All typos and grammatical errors aside (you lost all credibility based on this alone, Morris), the list makes no sense. Since when is the ability to reproduce a “privilege” that women enjoy? I can’t speak for other couples, but my husband and I haven’t yet addressed the “if we decide to have kids, who gets to carry them to term?” discussion. Call us old fashioned, but we just have this understanding that as the woman, I will be the one to birth our children. After all, men are BIOLOGICALLY UNABLE to enjoy this “privilege,” so maybe it’s not really a privilege at all? Seriously, Morris. This argument is like saying, “I hate men because they have the privilege to pee standing up and grow lots of body hair. It’s just not fair that I’ll never be able to enjoy this privilege.” As for the rest of this ridiculous list, there are a LOT of women in this country alone who can take care of themselves, who have a lot of respect for men, who will always have a sense of humor, who hate special or preferential treatment, and who were brought up by parents who were hoping for a son. On top of all that, I’m fairly certain that women don’t have the “right to parenting.” But, should Zach Morris ever reproduce, I pray that his wife insists that raising their children IS a woman’s right, if only to shelter their offspring from the influences of her backwards, misogynistic husband.
Next, let’s review the inaccuracies in the MRMg’s website statement. Maybe the Morris clan has an illustrious history of promoting equality between the sexes (although Zachary’s behavior seems to suggest otherwise). Maybe his great grandfather marched with the suffragists and his father was good friends with Gloria Steinem in college. In that case, I can see why Zach would hate those damned feminists labeling all men as oppressors of women. Of course that’s not fair, when his own family has been nothing but hospitable to women kind! Poor Zach. Do you feel bad for him yet? Moving on… MRMg’s statement goes on to say that while men were out busting their asses every day on the wild frontier, women were coddled because they were forced to stay home and raise the children. Obviously, Mr. Morris has never read the historically accurate chronicles of life on the prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I seem to remember that when Pa went hunting, Ma and the girls were left to fight off the natives, robbers and wildlife that threatened their homestead daily. And I don’t recall Ma ever spent her days by the fireplace, reading books and eating bonbons. Ma was out in the fields, harvesting food for the winter or planting crops in the spring, acting as doctor, nurse, or midwife in dire situations, protecting and molding her children into strong adults, and all the while, being a “lady.” In addition, Zach, my dear boy, you forget that in those days, a man had the CHOICE to have and to provide for a family, while many women were not given any other option in life.
Now, as much as it sickens me to admit, Zach has a point. Even though he uses the term “feminism” incorrectly time and time again (It means EQUALITY, not PREFERENCE, people! Dictionaries are marvelous devices!), I understand his frustration with the preferential treatment of certain groups in the university realm. When affirmative action was established in the US, it was intended to prevent discrimination against minority groups. Today, it has become the basis for diversity quotas that many colleges employ to keep the male to female ratio around 50/50 and to boost minority cultures on campus. I believe that university admissions boards should never consider an applicant’s gender or race when reviewing applications. In my opinion, colleges should select the best and the brightest, regardless of what they look like or where they come from. Affirmative action among establishments of higher learning sends the message skin color and gender really do matter, even though those same universities preach equality among students. This is a completely unfair practice. Just because a student is male, does that mean he didn’t study as hard as a woman for the same grade? Just because a person is Caucasian, does that mean he or she was blessed with opportunities not afforded to anyone else? So, yes, Zach, I see your point on this one. However, a woman getting preferential treatment over a man based solely on sex, like in this instance, is not feminism, nor does this illustrate the “feminist ideology.” Feminism is about equality, and as a feminist, I do not support this unfair practice.
Another thing I can see past is Mr. Morris’ aversion to the concept of a women’s college. I’ve never understood that. Even at my alma mater, the University of Denver, there is a whole separate (and beautifully designed) building for the women’s college, as well as a separate list of course offerings. How is it even different than the regular school? I need help on this one. That said, Zach demonstrates his ignorance best when he says there aren’t any college groups or gender focus courses for men. See Zach, until women’s studies appeared on the educational radar, all classes were de facto men’s studies classes. Do you want to take a men’s history course? Sign up for History 101. It’s that easy! American and world history generally focuses on history from the white male perspective. Why else would there be a need for women’s studies, black history courses, Asian studies, and the like? As for the accusation that Zach’s campus lacks an organization promoting all things male, I can only assume the kid isn’t a member of a fraternity.
I implore you, Zach Morris and the MRMg, before you start throwing around dangerous and disgusting statements like, “…much of feminism is built on top of falsities and half truths in order to manipulate, women, men and society,” please, pick up a history textbook and watch some MSNBC. Hell, at least scan Huffington Post or catch a half hour of local news! Educate yourself, is all I’m saying. Then you won’t be such an easy target for people like me who understand how a dictionary works and read Little House on the Prairie in third grade.