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Sun Jan 12, 2014, 08:39 PM

Seeing The Feminist Light: An Ex-MRA Tells His Story

( this is a long post, I'm sure it's been posted before, but it's insightful)



I found myself in the all too familiar position of being a graduate struggling for meaningful work in my field. But a job opportunity arose which allowed me to move to London. On moving there I left an existing job to try and raise my own small business, while working low paid jobs to keep ends meeting. However, despite a strong start, it coincided with the recession and work became scarce. A spiral developed and living arrangements became very difficult: rising rent and cost of living, added to deteriorating health. And it was at this point I started to take notice of the MRA movement. The idea that men were unworthy deadbeats if they had little money, success or a stable career played on my mind. MRAs claimed that women wanted equality, while still demanding the perks of what I now realise are patriarchal gender roles. Women still expected men to pick up the bill, to be the breadwinner, to provide and pay for their lifestyle: to still be chivalrous. I equated that to my situation, and wrongly blamed feminism for feeling like a failure. I became annoyed that my situation was preventing me from succeeding. I became blinded and bitter and blamed things that were never to blame for my situation. I would eventually come to realise that if there was any blaming to be done, it was of patriarchal gender roles. Nothing else.

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But Then I Discovered Feminism Ė Real Feminism

So what was it that changed my beliefs so dramatically? What was the catalyst for the sudden change and realisation? Well, not an awful lot has changed in my life if honest; aside from moving back up North. Iím not a millionaire (actually, Iím still pretty much skint!), I donít have a great career or business and my life isnít suddenly wonderfully full of happiness!

But something did change in me. I started to reassess my life and why things werenít great. I didnít understand the hatred of anti-feminists or MRAs any more than I actually understood feminism itself. So I decided to start asking questions, start reading and begin to understand. I read blogs, websites, books. I asked questions on social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter. I must have come across as such a privileged fool at first, thinking he knows more about feminism then feminists! Although I wanted to learn, it was difficult for me to acknowledge privilege and recognise patriarchy. Luckily, they were patient!
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My Understanding of White Privilege Helped Me to Understand Male Privilege

The biggest catalyst of all however came when I read about male privilege. It struck a deep chord with me. As I said earlier, I am of mixed race: white and Asian. I grew up in a very white-dominated area of the country and Iíve always experienced casual racism, right from my very first days at school to recent occurrences. It was pretty bad at the beginning, but I had always considered myself fairly lucky. I had great friends around me, and Iíd always considered abuse as galvanising. However, my friends were all white English, so in some circumstances, it was difficult for them to understand what racism meant to me. Iíd always been aware of a white privilege (even if I didnít refer to it as that), buts itís difficult to explain it to some, as many are in denial. The idea that having a slur against a white person is equal to a racial slur against a non-white person is absurd (weíve recently witnessed white privilege being denied in court, as a footballer claiming being called ďan English c***Ē is just as abusive as his calling a fellow black player a ďblack c***Ē. Laughable, at best.), but deniers of white privilege use that argument. Maybe it is because they are uncomfortable with acknowledging that privilege.


http://weekwoman.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/seeing-the-feminist-light-an-ex-mra-tells-his-story/

10 replies, 1507 views

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Reply Seeing The Feminist Light: An Ex-MRA Tells His Story (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jan 2014 OP
redqueen Jan 2014 #1
ismnotwasm Jan 2014 #2
redqueen Jan 2014 #3
cinnabonbon Jan 2014 #8
KitSileya Jan 2014 #4
ismnotwasm Jan 2014 #5
KitSileya Jan 2014 #9
ismnotwasm Jan 2014 #10
redqueen Jan 2014 #6
cinnabonbon Jan 2014 #7

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:14 AM

1. Nice to see this.

Sad that here on DU I read a post where someone said that racism against Asians couldn't exist because they get more degrees or some idiotic shit like that.



They could learn a lot from this guy.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:16 AM

2. Some of the Blatant racism I've seen is incredible

I'd actually like to see a racial breakdown.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:22 AM

3. Sometimes you can guess the race of the person by what they say.

'Course, if you do that 'out loud' (actually post it) you'll get a hide - but the post with the racist bullshit will stand (of course).

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 11:54 AM

8. Me too.

At least so people would embrace some common sense, like admitting that racism is a thing, but racism against white people is not.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:36 AM

4. Is that on par with arguing that since women get more degrees than men, there's no sexism?

The funny thing is, if you look at different countries, whatever occupations that have a majority of women, or are looked upon as 'women's work', are paid a pittance. In Russia, where the majority of doctors are women, they are paid starving wages. The same with professors. The moment women manage to get what is considered a majority (and that is 33%, according to studies - men perceive crowds with 17% women as equal representation, 33% women as majority women, according to the Geena Davis Institute research) the advantages of the occupation dry up. Bachelor's degrees are becoming useless - you have to have a doctorate, at least. Women claw themselves up the ladder, and men keep drawing the ladder up, so that they stay ahead.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:59 AM

5. That's what many men think

Although We have a class issue as well as a gender issue-- always have, there are men- and women-who will tell you there is no sexism, only classism

It's simplistic bullshit of course, but anything to hang on to privilege I guess

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:31 PM

9. Yeah, but it's funny how the primarily women's occupations slide down the class scale

That's where so many of them are blind - if many women become doctors, doctors get less pay, and less status. If women get more degrees, degrees become practically worthless. It was interesting where they posted that the increase in women students happen everywhere women can freely go to school, even in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia. It has nothing to do with feminisation of the school system etc - perhaps it has something to do with the fact that girls are raised to have more self control, because boys don't meet the same push-back if they refuse to do stuff, or refuse to socialize? And until recently it hasn't mattered, as boys were given advantages (or privileges) that still put them ahead, despite their lack of self control and inability to function optimally in an environment that demands self control.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:19 PM

10. ...

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 09:41 AM

6. Yes, exactly, to everything you just said. nt

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 11:53 AM

7. Good post is good.

I've been needing to read something like this for a while now.

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