I’m seeing more and more of two particular groups butting heads, and it baffles me. Feminists and men’s rights advocates both claim to want equality, yet they continue to pound each other in the public arena. You’d think that two groups with a common goal would work together and be a stronger force toward that end, but the exact opposite is happening.
I frequently see people in both camps using underhanded tactics, throwing around insults, minimizing the other group’s problems, etc. How hard is it to say, “My group has problems. Your group has different problems. Let’s work on all these problems”?
Instead, one group will ridicule the other whenever they bring to light the issues they face. They’ll attempt to change the focus of the conversation back on to them by saying, “Well my group has to deal with this problem and that problem, so you have no right to complain.” How is this any different than telling a rape victim, “You should shut up about all that; there are people starving to death or dying because they don’t have access to clean water”? That’d be a really nasty approach, yet self-proclaimed advocates of equality use it all the time. Playing the “who’s more oppressed” game benefits no one. It only alienates people. Trying to one-up others is not the best way to work towards equality.
Or they’ll paint an entire demographic group as being the problem, which is horribly ironic considering they claim to want equality. I’ve seen this tactic on both sides of the aisle as well. Is it any wonder that people get defensive when you get offensive? It’s a natural reaction. Attacking people who have done nothing wrong is only creating a new set of victims. And potentially a new set of enemies. It’s counterproductive and immoral.
Or they’ll flat-out deny that problems exist despite evidence to the contrary. Men’s rights advocates will deny that male privilege exists. And feminists will deny that female privilege exists. The simple fact is that both groups are getting screwed over in different ways. Just because those ways are different shouldn’t negate anyone else’s struggles. Do the people who are trying to eliminate pancreatic cancer get in fights with those who are working on renal cancer? Do people battling to end hunger deride those working against domestic violence?
It’s not much different than the troubles in Ireland: Catholics and Protestants murdering each other, killing innocent non-combatants. Yet both groups claim to be all about Christianity. And they’re doing something very un-Christlike.
There are a ton of problems in the world that are worth fighting. Why not work on those problems, rather than attacking those who are also working on them? We’re on a battlefield, facing the enemy called inequality. If we lose focus on that enemy and keep fighting each other, we lose the battle without the enemy ever lifting a finger.