2015 – the year for less reading, less typing, more DOING?

A donor recently asked me what developments I’d like to see in the MHRM in 2015, which gave me food for thought.

I’d like the people who are concerned about men’s rights and confine their activities to reading and typing – engaging in online discussion forums, commenting on articles on MHR websites, writing to newspapers, writing to political representatives etc. – to make 2015 the year in which they read and type less, and DO more. As someone who spends a lot of time reading and writing about men’s issues, I include myself in their number.

How many hours a week do you typically devote to reading and typing about men’s issues? Multiply that by 52, and you have the annual hours you’re committing to those activities. What if, in 2015 and beyond, you spend that time DOING rather than reading and typing? Your contribution to the struggle for men’s human rights would surely increase by a very large factor. There will remain a huge number of people still limiting themselves to reading and typing, so your departure from their number won’t be missed.

You need to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of the men and boys whose human rights are being relentlessly assaulted by the actions and inactions of the state.

A few suggestions on what you might do in 2015:

SPEND LESS TIME RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL
Recently the Labour party announced plans to introduce legislation requiring companies to publish their ‘gender pay gaps’. Discussions in the media centred on feminist narratives, and received little challenge. I’ve been interviewed on the subject on BBC radio several times in recent months, but I’d sooner gnaw off a foot without the benefit of anaesthetic than write any more about the subject. Intelligent people, when exposed to our arguments, realise they have merit, and that feminists are liars. Our challenge is surely to direct intelligent people to our materials, rather than endlessly re-writing them.

SPEND LESS TIME ENGAGING WITH FEMINIST NARRATIVES
In the five years I’ve been interested in gender politics, I haven’t encountered a single feminist able or willing to engage in a rational discussion, and I don’t imagine I ever shall. A substantial proportion of feminist narratives are designed with one aim in mind – to incense MRAs to the point that they waste time and energy refuting them. Those refutations have an enormous ‘opportunity cost’ – the time and energy which could be better spent engaging with people who are currently unfamiliar with our arguments.

We need to be far less reactive, and far more proactive.

SPEND LESS TIME WRITING TO POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES
Though it pains me to say this, I think people who engage in this activity are wasting their time. If anyone knows of a case of an MP or peer doing anything substantive in terms of men’s issues – other than speaking in a debate, which failed to impact on legislation – after receiving a communication from a member of the public, would they please let me know?

SPEND LESS TIME WRITING TO NEWSPAPERS AND MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS
The BBC is so institutionally anti-male and feminist-driven, that you may as well try to derail a high-speed rain by throwing tennis balls at it, as get the BBC to recognize a legitimate complaint on men’s issues. A Newsnight programme on Intimate Partner Violence featured only the customary ‘male perpetrator / female victim’ paradigm. We wrote a lengthy and detailed formal complaint outlining 50+ breaches of the BBC’s editorial guidelines. It was treated with utter contempt, as were our appeals.

AWARENESS BUILDING
I don’t anticipate the mainstream media becoming sympathetic to men’s rights issues in the foreseeable future, although I was recently interviewed for two hours by a major international news magazine on the topic of male suicide. I don’t expect many of my points will make it into the final article, but hope springs eternal.

Time spent in men’s rights forums does little or nothing to build awareness among the general public. There’s already plenty of material on websites such as AVfM and J4MB for members of the public to become very well informed about assaults on men’s rights, the evil nature of feminism, and so much more. The key awareness building challenge is to get people with little or no understanding of these matters to visit such websites. So, how might you do that? Some suggestions:

– Distribute leaflets door-to-door, at busy airports, rail stations, bus stations, city and town centres… In some of these places you’ll be giving reading material to bored people with time on their hands. Distribute just 300 leaflets a day, and by the end of the year you’ll have introduced 100,000+ people to the assaults facing men and boys. If 100 AVfM supporters in North America were to engage in this activity, 10 MILLION people would be made aware of the MHRM and AVfM in the course of just one year.

– Affix small posters to public signs etc., as Dan Perrins does with AVfM posters.

– Never miss an opportunity to talk to friends, family, and complete strangers about men’s rights. We recently got a new supporter after I engaged with him in conversation in my gym (yes, I go to a gym regularly, I know that will surprise many…).

PRACTICAL SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE RUNNING ORGANIZATIONS AND WEBSITES
J4MB is fortunate in having the support of a number of professionals and retired professionals who offer their time and expertise at no charge. We had substantial contributions to our recently-published general election manifesto. If there’s a website or organization you wish to support in a practical way, why not contact them to establish what support they’re looking for? Even if you don’t currently have the required skill set, maybe you could acquire it, perhaps online. Some possible areas:

– Fundraising
– Photography
– Video and audio recording and editing
– Graphic design
– Financial management / accounting
– Writing documents, proofreading, copy-editing
– IT, social media
– Marketing
– General administration
– Public speaking
– Public relations, dealing with the media…

FINANCIALLY SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS AND WEBSITES
I was impressed with the arguments put forward by Angry Harry in a recent AVfM podcast. J4MB would simply not exist without donors, nor AVfM as the remarkable asset it is to the MHRM. I make a modest personal donation to AVfM every month, and at J4MB we’re very grateful for regular monthly sums. Given that the core of our strategy is contesting general elections, which are held every five years in the UK, monthly donations are invaluable for helping us build a ‘war chest’. Just £10 per month would give us £600 towards our campaign costs for 2020. You can make a donation towards our campaign costs for the 2015 general election here. Thank you.

Will 2015 be the year in which YOU read and type less about men’s rights, and DO more? I do hope so, and with that thought, I wish you compliments of the season, and a happy New Year.

Onwards and upwards…

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Really couldn’t agree much more with this, really well thought out and almost exactly the same conclusions I reached a wile back too. Engaging with most feminists is a complete waste of time (unless it’s actually in person and results in a viral video) though you also quite rightly note that we shouldn’t spend to much time in men’s rights forums either (though contributing important content is a worthwhile exception to that rule).

    I also agree it’s a waste of time to engage with most politicians, though again there are some exceptions. For example it can be worth contacting your local MP because they’re got a duty to respond and work on your behalf. Probably still a waste of time in most cases, but there are a small number of decent MPs, so anyone lucky enough to have decent political representation really needs to take advantage of it. At the very least, it can be an eye opener for an MP to meet someone from the real world. For example when a young MRA met with William Hauge a few years ago I think it was quite a shock for him to have to consider an issue such as MGM. For thoe unlucky enough to have a misandrist feminist MP I imagine it would be tremendous fun to attend one of their surgeries and point out all the sexism against men that’s enshrined in our laws.

    It’s completely true that the BBC complaints process is a joke, but they’re are other solutions. Instead of complaining to a faceless and bureaucratic organisation with a broken complaints process, it’s instead better to address the person responsible for blatant bias. We pay their salary, so send them an email, the BBC email format is firstnameDOTlastname@bbc.co.uk

    In terms of posters and leaflets, it does seem to be the case that the former is by far the better option. For one thing it’s going to be significantly less dangerous and it’s clear that multiple activists have huge and repeated successes across the globe with poster campaigns.

    Can i suggest you submit this to AVFM Mike? I think these points really need to be understood by everyone in our movement. I’ll certainly be posting this to Reddit too. It’s a really well written and comprehensive guide to the do”s and do nots of activism, however there important “do not” mising which is as follows:

    Do not link/promote hateful feminist websites or misandrist clickbait. Instead, use an archiving site or just take a screenshot of the offending content. The likes of the Guardian get huge numbers of hits from writing deliberately offensive and inflammatory articles about men and it only encourages them and improves their website rank when we link to such content and thus is gives them ad revenue.

  • Hi Mike
    I’d agree up to a point, though this is such a vital topic I just want to throw in my two penneth worth.
    I think engaging with the radical sort can be quite interesting as it can be useful to see what they will come back with. Essentially it’s good practice / rehearsal if one is going onto the media at some stage, as the arguments are always the same. For example, they (or even ‘progressive’ men on the Left) will come up with “Oh but women have had it bad for centuries or millennia”, the responses are of course “that two wrongs don’t make a right”, or “I don’t want to pay for the sins of my grandfather’s bosses!” or “Mick the miner had it as bad as Molly the milkmaid, there were 200k deaths in coalmines in the UK” – etc.
    Similarly, some MPs – especially if in public and with a couple of people also raising the MRA perspective – may have to re-set their tone and content a little; much more importantly there may be some in the audience who will align and even join up with your thinking.
    The MHRA forums can yield up some good stats, and of course news on ‘legislation that’s coming your way’, though the ‘keyboard warrior’ in my view needs to take a good look at themselves given the years they’ve spent in front of the screen whilst the radfem steamroller outside in the real world just keeps on trucking. So, yes, time to leave the screen alone in 2015, unless being (literally) constructive in some way.
    Forming very small groups with local people could be hugely effective, carefully sifting through the keyboard warriors and damaged dads/immature lads (apologies, I’ve found they don’t make the best reasonable activists), just two or three mature articulate adults is quite sufficient provided you’re prepared to go out practically and reasonable as a team to present the MHRA argument.

    Mike – thanks for all you do and think we all hope improve our active track record of supporting men’s human rights in 2015.