Paul Elam, founder of “A Voice for Men,” characterizes feminism not as a movement for women’s rights, but as a war on men. He writes:
In the men’s rights community… we have long lamented the cruel and destructive war that has been waged against men and boys for the past half century. We’ve shouted endlessly at a deaf world that we were on the path to destruction, and we have watched our predictions of men being reduced to indentured servants to a malicious matriarchy come true, even as society continues to dismiss and humiliate us for speaking. (Elam, quoted in Kimmel, 116-117)
In this statement (and in countless others), Elam emphasizes the persecution of men in an increasingly “gynocentric” — and “misandrist” — world. Regarding this persecution narrative, Alice E. Marwick and Robyn Caplan write:
By saying “You’re not the victim, I’m the victim!” the MRA [men’s rights activist] . . . is able to adopt a defensible position as the suffering victim, turning feminist (or queer, or anti-racist) activism on its head and re-framing it as oppressive. This then justifies harassment as a defense mechanism to protect men against loathsome feminists out to oppress them. It is unsurprising that the MRM pioneered and engages in weaponized harassment, given the centrality of the victim narrative to their ideology. (Marwick and Caplan, 554)
Do you agree that the virulence of men’s rights activists’ attacks on feminists (and queer and anti-racist activists) can be explained by their feelings of victimhood or persecution? Why or why not?