Tuesday, 17 December 2013

How our children are betrayed from one generation to the next

In a rather succinct book, Erin Pizzey gave the world a simple message that should have changed our society for the better. I will never forget the breathtaking sense of clarity I felt as I read its very first page. Her book was called “Prone to Violence”, and in it she documents her experience of running the first ever domestic violence refuge, Chiswick Women's Aid, which she founded in 1971.

What she wrote seemed incredible to me at the time, but today it seems incredible that it wasn't obvious before that moment. Indeed, I find incredible that it isn't immediately obvious to everyone. I realise now, of course, that the reason for this is that our cultural narrative blinds us to the truth, and we must cut through this first.

It was my involvement with the men's human rights movement which caused me to read Erin's book and to seek her out personally. Later, it became clear that we shared an ability to view society from an outside perspective, and she and I became good friends as a result. If it surprises you that the woman who set up the first shelter for “battered women” should want to associate herself with men's human rights, then perhaps that's an indication that you need to question the things you've always been told.

In my case, I guess I could say that it was Sharon Osbourne, the celebrity, who caused me to question things with the degree of seriousness required to jolt me out of my oblivious state. I won't be thanking her for it, however.

A few years ago, I stumbled across a clip of a US television show, “The Talk”, which Sharon Osbourne co-hosts. In this clip, Osbourne ridiculed a man over his horrific mutilation and torture at the hands of his psychotic wife – a woman he had been attempting to divorce. As Osbourne mocked his suffering, her fellow co-hosts, all women, laughed along with the audience, which appeared to be all female.

I felt sick at the spectical.

I recognised on an emotional level that what I was watching was very wrong — these women were unable to see this man as a human being. History has shown us time and time again that once we stop thinking of a group of people as human, it becomes acceptable for society to target them. It was the apparent acceptability of Osbourne's behaviour that disturbed me most and, from that moment on, I began to take on new perspectives and new priorities.

Erin initially opened her refuge for battered wives. What she found, however, was that the abusive behaviour she encountered was often mutual between partners, and that men and boys were equally the targets of violence. Her shelter took in boys, and she often enlisted the help of men to look after her women and children, many of whom had never known good decent men. She also tried desperately to open a shelter for abused men but found that while offers of money for women were forthcoming, no one wanted to help adult males.

Most significantly, however, Erin was perhaps the first to truly appreciate how family violence and abuse is generational in nature, rather than gender based. Both men and women can be equally abusive in their personal relationships, and the significant factor in this is their childhood, not their gender. This is what she wrote about in “Prone to Violence”, and its message stood in stark contrast to that of the feminist movement of the 1970s which viewed men as the ones who were responsible for all violence, and that such behaviour is intrinsic to them. This is the belief among many within feminism as well as those outside of it, likely due to the influence of feminist thought, some 40 years later.

Consequently, upon trying to bring her perspective to a wider audience, Erin found herself subject to a campaign of threats and violence, including bomb threats against her family. Gender ideologues, using intimidation against her publisher, were successful in having “Prone to Violence” removed from the shelves. Eventually, Erin fled the country in 1981 after feminists managed to take control of the very organisation she had founded.

What remains of Chiswick Women's Aid today is known as Refuge, the UK national charity. Feminist ideology is now mainstream, and whenever we hear about domestic violence in the media, we are always told that it is “gender violence”, or “violence against women and girls”.

This is a tragedy for us all.

Erin Pizzey was the first person to understand the true nature of generational abuse — that whenever you encounter a damaged or destructive adult, you are almost certainly looking at a battered or emotionally abused child who has simply grown up. In the UK, we express anguish over Baby Peter whose mother, along with her boyfriend, tortured him to death. However, had Peter survived and played out his own childhood trauma in adulthood, society would have a viewed him as a monster — seeing only his abusive behavior as beginning and ending with him. In reality, abuse rarely begins or ends with one person, or with one generation.

This is not about “bad men” or “bad women”; it is about how we treat children. Each generation replays their learned pattern of behaviour to their own children, and the cycle continues. Erin's work was prevented from ever reaching the full light of day, however, and she often recounts a remark a prison governor once made to her. “Every abused child is a point on my pension,” she was told.

Once you grasp the true nature of generational abuse, you are only a step away from realising that if we could ever start to eradicate generational abuse effectively, we could transform the lives of future generations of children. What's more, we would also empty the prisons in the process.

We cannot allow Erin's legacy to remain buried.

Abuse within families and between intimate partners has always been with us. I can trace abusive behaviour within my own family back to my great grandmother. I suspect that it doesn't stop there, that it would go back centuries — an echo from times when life was hard, short, and cheap.

The lesson that Erin Pizzey gave the world in “Prone to Violence” is that things do not have to continue like this — if we could stop the echo of abuse from reverberating forward into future generations, we could transform human society forever.


Written by
Andy Thomas

Follow: @AndyManMRA


Notes.

* The Talk, CBS, July 2011.

** Baby Peter (Peter Connelly) was a 17-month-old British boy who died in London after suffering more than fifty injuries, including a broken spine, at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend.

This article was updated for style and clarity on December 23, 2013.


Further Information.

Ideology to Inclusion, a talk by Erin Pizzey. Sacremento, 2008.
http://youtu.be/oCw9LdrSnbI

Erin's book, “Prone to Violence” is available as “used” from Amazon. See also Erin's most recent work, “This Way to the Revolution”.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Returned TV Series - Are all men sex killers, perverts and batterers?

I started watching The Returned (Les Revenants) on DVD recently. It's a spooky French TV series, written by Fabrice Gobert. The story concept is just too good to resist — dead people inexplicably begin to turn up in an alpine village and, with no recollection of their death, try to carry on with family life as if nothing had happened.

How cool is that?

The Returned - Channel 4

It started brilliantly enough when a young girl, who had died in a motor accident several years ealier, walks into her family home and goes up to her room (which had been kept by her mother as a shrine) as if nothing had happened. The moment of bizarre reunion between the girl, her mother and, now much older, twin sister had the hairs on my neck standing upright.

I don't speak French, but I have no problem with subtitles and love cinema from around the world.

But by the fifth episode, however, I had turned off and wasn't going to watch any more.

Why?

The fifth episode is when I realised that, almost without exception, every male character is typecast as one of the following:

  • Serial sex killer
  • Pervert
  • Wife batterer
  • Child batterer
  • Abusive thug
  • Peeping tom

The one exception being, up to the point where I turned off at least, a seven year old boy called "Victor". (Although, it had been touch and go in the series as to whether this boy was really a sadistic killer or not.) Remember - little boys don't stay little — past the age of 15 or so, they are "fair game".

In contrast, the female characters in The Returned are portrayed, without exception, as brave heroines who are victims of male violence.

This kind of gender-stereotyping is old now, but toxic nevertheless.

While adult males with healthy childhoods may be able to "brush it off", young minds can't. It is dehumanising poison for any young boy to be made to behold himself through a prism of shame and perversion during his formative years.

I no longer tolerate anti-male propaganda. Nor should you.


Written by
Andy Thomas

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Why are men going their own way when it comes to relationships?

Everywhere, men are stepping back when it comes to romantic commitment. Many young men are simply indifferent to the idea, some are afraid, while others are angry and have this bitter message for the opposite sex — "We don't know you; we don't need you, and we don't want you."

* * *

In 1970, more than 94 percent of women in the UK were either married or had been married by the time they were 40 years old. Since then, marriage rates have plummeted, and over all age groups, married couples are now in the minority. The decline of marriage is a popular topic of discussion in the media with many commentators putting it down to changing lifestyles and freedoms for women. Indeed, there is a general consensus that young women are putting careers ahead of relationships, and as a result, the number of marriages taking place per year has almost halved over recent decades.



For much of the last 40 years or so, it is undeniably true that women have been postponing both marriage and childbirth. I would argue, however, that there is now a new phenomenon taking place, one that is a harbinger of radical change for the relationship between men and women. In the years to come, it will be men, not women, who will be the ones driving down marriage and birth rates.

Men are beginning to recognise their appalling vulnerability when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex, and they are individually waking up to the ridiculous risks they face. Almost 70 per cent of divorces are now initiated by women, and typically it is the man who stands to lose everything — his children, his home, his future income and his reputation. With suicide being the biggest killer of young men in the UK, and with those experiencing relationship breakdown being at the highest risk, he also stands to lose his life. In response, many men are now avoiding long-term commitment, or are simply turning their backs on relationships with women altogether.

Recent national crime surveys show that men account for 40 per cent of those who suffer domestic abuse. Many believe the true figure to be higher because men under-report the abuse against them. Male victims know that they face, not just ridicule, but the risk of being falsely labelled as the perpetrator by both the police and female support agencies.

Young men, especially, have internalised the appalling message that whenever two drunken people have sex, one of them is a rapist.

American psychologist, Dr Helen Smith, agrees and argues that men in the west are both consciously and unconsciously "going on strike". In her recent book, "Men on Strike", she describes how young men have internalised society's negativity towards them and are, not only avoiding marriage and fatherhood, but are also dropping out of higher education and leaving the workforce at astonishing rates.

Where married men and father figures where once viewed with respect, they are now presented as buffoons in the media, and new generations of males are simply refusing to relate to such negative stereotyping. As a result, young men are rejecting traditional gender roles, giving rise to the metrosexual male — urban heterosexual men who prioritise themselves and their lifestyle above other commitments. Such men are decidedly single.

If we want a glimpse of what the future may hold, we only need to look to Japan where those who reject their traditional masculine role are referred to as "grass eaters" or "herbivore men". These men are not just decidedly single, but they show little or no interest in sexual relations. With a staggering 70% of young Japanese men identifying themselves in this way, they have become a cultural and economic phenomenon, not to mention, a major target for advertisers. They are also considered the significant factor in the plummeting Japanese birth rate, and are blamed for many a single woman's solitude.

Irrespective of whether men are reacting consciously, having become aware of their own vulnerability in adulthood, or unconsciously, having already internalised the negativity towards by adolescence, most are doing so on an individual basis. There is, however, a growing counter-culture of males who collectively define themselves to be "Men Going Their Own Way", or "mig-tow", a pronunciation of the acronym "MGTOW". These are men who positively identify in their refusal to commit romantically to women. Many MGTOWs would disagree with Helen Smith's metaphor of men "being on strike", but would prefer to claim that they have simply "left the building" and are not coming back.

Geoff is a typical young man who identifies himself as a MGTOW. At the age of 23, he tells me that he was trapped in an abusive relationship with someone who was, in his words, out to destroy him. He explains that what really affected him was how he had believed, all along, that it was his role as a man to make his girlfriend happy. Therefore, he had always felt that whatever was wrong in the relationship was, somehow, his fault.

Several years later, however, he began to find websites where other men had similar stories to tell and he realised, for the first time, that he wasn't alone in his feelings or experiences. Looking back, he recalls how amazed he felt to see the things he had been secretly wondering openly voiced by other men. "It was if all those tiny nuggets of dissent that I'd carefully tucked away for fear of being seen as a sexist were suddenly validated," he says. He adds, "I realised that I didn't have to apologise for being male."

MGTOWs can be seen as an off-shoot of a wider men's movement, which also encompasses egalitarian and traditionalist sub-groups. Whereas traditionalists argue for a return to family values, egalitarians accept that the profound cultural changes of recent times mark an end for the traditional sex roles. For egalitarians, the toothpaste is already out of the tube and there is no putting it back. Indeed, many would not want to. Members of all groups claim that, contrary to popular perception, it is men who are the ones being disadvantaged and marginalised in society, not women.

Now, I'm going to let you into a big secret here, one that hasn't yet reached mainstream consciousness — outside of the MGTOW groups, a significant proportion of those in the men's human rights movement are, in fact, women. I would estimate that women account for around 20% of those active in the movement, falling evenly between traditionalist and egalitarian camps.

MGTOWs are separatists, however. They represent a collective rejection by men of the traditional relationship with women and, in some cases, of women themselves. While they typically claim to be indifferent towards women, I personally sense a strong under-current of anger (they regard "nice guys" and "good men" as fools). Outsiders typically see them as misogynistic. I, myself, used feel this way toward them, but my view has changed somewhat over time.

I now recognise that our tendency to see male dissent as misogynistic is nothing other than a symptom of our cultural inability to acknowledge the pain and suffering of adult men, even when it is laid out bare before our eyes. It might seem appropriate to dismiss MGTOWs as a bunch of angry misfits, but to do so would be a grave injustice. If, instead, you are willing to look through their anger, you will see men who have had their children stripped from them by the family courts, or men who have had their lives ruined by abusive partners and false allegations. Among their number, you will also find the children abused by their mothers who, knowing nothing except what it means to be rejected and disbelieved, have now grown up into damaged adults.

These are men who have long since given up waiting for somebody to care about them.


Moreover, I have come to appreciate that MGTOW-ism embodies a coherent ideology — one which is diametrically opposed to that of the radical feminists of the 1960s and one which will be extremely compelling to many a disenfranchised male. Their philosophy is based largely on the writings of Esther Vilar (yes, a woman) and her 1971 book, The Manipulated Man. In this, she describes how women coldly manipulate men for their own ends, and while some of it may be patent nonsense, I sense that many a man will find profound identification within its pages. Those who read it, having first been suitably broken at the hands of a woman, may forever look upon all women with dark eyes.

Just like an iceberg, most of which lies hidden beneath, there is a great body of disenfranchised males out there. With no voice, and no one to represent their interests, they lie invisible just beneath the surface of society. If you were to put Esther Vilar's book into their hands, I surmise that it may cause many to radically re-evaluate their world and their place in it.

No one controls MGTOWs. There is no central website, no leader and no particular plan. In any case, men are individually "going their own way" whether they realise it or not, and whether women like it or not.

Men never retaliated in the gender war that was declared upon them on behalf of all women, everywhere, by the radical feminists of the 1960s. Instead, slowly at first, they simply began to walk away. One of the few rays of hope is that it will be women themselves who, in increasing numbers, give their support to the wider men's human rights movement, thus providing an alternative to "men going their own way".

If allowed to continue to its miserable end-game, however, I solemnly predict that the gender war will be a war that all women, everywhere, will eventually come to bitterly regret.

Written by
Andy Thomas
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Follow Me: @AndyManMRA


Sources

1. Marriages in England and Wales, 2010. Office for National Statistics
2. http://www.thecalmzone.net/help/issues/suicide/
3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbivore_men

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Open Letter to Peter J Reilly, White Knight to Cathy Brennan

Peter J. Reilly is a US accountant who claims to have extensive experience of taxation and dealings with "high net worth individuals". He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, and believing himself to be a white knight in shining armour, has just stepped up to defend the honour of Radfem organiser, Cathy Brennan. He is also a man who has very suddenly become aware that he is standing in the middle of a minefield, and doesn't know what to say or do next. Let's help him to decide!

Dear Mr. Reilly,

I am writing to you about your article on Forbes.com (link below) in which you describe your recent interview with Cathy Brennan, one of the organisers of Radfem 2013.

Peter J Reilly Interviews Cathy Brennan on Radfem

In your article, you openly admit that you don't really understand the issues involved, but step up to offer Cathy Brennan your support because you claim that radical feminists deserve respect. You also state that MRAs are the only people who refuse to acknowledge that radical feminists "have a worthwhile viewpoint" because they don't like to have "nasty things said about them." Furthermore, you say yourself that your analysis of the situation is that of an idiot. I suspect you were attempting to be disingenuous here, however, I am going to agree with you on your last point.


Last year, the Conway Hall convention centre in London rejected Radfem's 2012 booking citing the UK equality law after protest by transgender activists. Radfems typically refer to themselves as "TERFs", or trans-exclusionary radical feminists. In other words, they do not recognise male-to-female transgender individuals as women, and their 2012 event was advertised as being open only to "women-born women". Cathy Brennan, herself, has a documented history of espousing hate toward transgender women, see below.




Until February 2013, Cathy Brennan owned and ran a website called the "Radical Hub" (aka "Radfem Hub"). This served as a collective blog for her cause, and the articles it carried discussed gendercide and the genetic modification of males, as exemplified by Vliet Tiptree (aka. Pamela O’Shaughnessy, an author of crime novels from California) in her article titled, Radical Feminism Enters the 21st Century. Other posters called for the killing of baby boys at birth (see below) while still others argued that they should be deliberately denied care or nurture.




Men's human rights activists kept a dossier of articles, posts and screen-shots. They are too numerous to include here, but allow me to provide a quote, below, by Danielle Pynnonen, a child care worker who identifies herself as a Radfem organiser on Mumsnet under the handle "allectoTauniallectospoison".



Most radfems campaign against any funding or recognition for male victims of domestic violence and abuse, insisting that domestic violence is suffered exclusively by women. Almost all argue that children should have no rights to a relationship with their father. Over the last few months, radical feminists have violently demonstrated in Toronto, Melbourne and Paris, in one case abusing attendees and threatening speakers at a conference on tackling male suicide.

The London Irish Centre, the original planned venue for 2013, rejected Radfem's booking earlier this year after a protest by MRA London. As the organiser of this protest, I can attest to the fact that it was peaceful, without incident and ended with a cordial conversation with the centre's director. As you are aware, Radfem 2013 found a new home at the Camden Centre, who chose to ignore UK equality law and flout their obligation under the "No Delegation" clause of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Mr. Reilly, you accuse us of trying to shut-down Radfem 2013 so that, as you put it, "our ears won’t burn while they say nasty things about us." On the contrary, we have used the controversy as a means of exposing these bigots and their ideology, and we make no apology for this.

At the time, I discussed the merits of trying to insist that I attend the Radfem 2013 event myself with Erin Pizzey, patron of MRA London and founder of the first ever women's domestic violence refuge in 1971. We decided that it would not be safe to do so even if, in the unlikely event, we were granted admission. Erin had previously been the subject of death threats and had fled the country in 1980s after being forced out of her organisation by radical feminists. Furthermore, shortly after the London Irish Centre protest, which took place months before the event itself, MRA London members were subject of an anonymous complaint to the police over alleged violent behaviour, an allegation even the director of the centre refuted.

You may believe yourself to be chivalrous and virtuous in your support for Cathy Brennan. You should not, however, expect anybody to respect you for this. Radfem members are, in fact, fully-fledged human beings, not weak helpless women in need of your protection. As such, they should be accountable for their own views and actions, just like everybody else. Furthermore, I can tell you now that they don't regard chivalrous men, such as yourself, as noble or virtuous — but only as useful "idiots".

It angers me immensely, when wealthy male "idiots", confusing their social privilege (or entrepreneurism) with feminist notions of gender privilege, believe that their sense of guilt can be relieved by "stepping up" in order to push down those under-privileged males beneath them. (Erin, herself, notes that she had no difficulty in soliciting donations from wealthy men to support women's refuges, but when she tried to open one for male victims, they suddenly stopped caring.)

Outside your circle of "high net worth individuals", there is a sea of broken men out there. Certain outdated notions of chivalry, combined with years of negative stereotyping by gender ideologues, means that society is utterly blind to their suffering. Indeed, I could fill a book with it, but let me say that where society refuses to let women fail, the choice facing many men today is often one of suicide or homelessness.

Here in the UK, according to the charity CALM, it is suicide that is the biggest killer of young men, not accidents or illness. Likewise, it is men who make up the overwhelming majority of the homeless and rough sleepers. And yet, when do you hear the issue of "homeless men" ever being addressed? Whenever male suffering is at issue, men are hidden behind gender-neutral terms such "the homeless", "homeless people" and "rough sleepers".

Mr. Reilly, let me ask you, how do you think such men end up being homeless? I'll give you a clue — the primary cause is not recession, but domestic violence. Homeless men are the dirty secret that society refuses to acknowledge, they are the human overflow of male targeted abuse and childhood neglect — the little boys who were once denied care and nurture.

What people are now starting realise is that, when their little boys grow up, society will no longer see them as human beings, but as "just men" — utilitarian providers lacking in human worth and legitimate targets for social hostility and discrimination. While your wealth may protect you, if the wheels ever came off your own life, you will discover just how little intrinsic human value you have in this society as a male. For example, when a man is physically attacked, abused, and even horrifically mutilated, he is not seen as a human being in need of care, but as a source of fun and ridicule. Where do you think this will end if people like you continue to give credence to the ideologies of people like Brennan?

We in the men's human rights movement are not a bunch of angry misogynists, but are simply trying to improve society's negative stereotypical view of males, so that boys growing up today won't have to face a dystopian future.

Mr Reilly, you have no idea what have blundered into, have you? Maybe you should just close your eyes and go back to helping "high net worth individuals" avoid paying tax.

Yours sincerely

Andy Thomas

PS. Anyone needing tax advice, can find Peter J. Reilly's blog here.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

We are the radicals now

Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" is a book which has our name on it. After all, the Men's Human Rights Movement is, in reality, the most radical movement ever in the history of the human species. Andy Thomas explains...

I groan inwardly whenever somebody pushes a book at me, and insists: "You must read this!"

The thing is, after reading Steve Moxon's "The Woman Racket", I was smashed as a going human concern. It isn't healthy to keep focusing on "the problem" without sight of "the solution", and I now feel a little reluctant to expose myself to further crushing analysis of how bad "the problem" is.

With that in mind, I'd like to introduce a particular book, and urge you to read this! But trust me; this one speaks of the "the solution", rather than "the problem".

Rules for Radicals, by Saul D. Alinsky, was first published in 1972. Having been extensively used as activist handbook by various left-wing and environmental groups, the impact of this book have been far reaching, although many outside political and PR circles may not have heard of it. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the sheer bloody effectiveness of Alinsky's counsel has made him an unpopular figure to those on the Right.

Alinsky began his professional life as an organiser for the Congress of Industrial Relations in the US. What he learned about union strategies in industrial disputes, he applied later in his work as a community organiser in the black ghettoes of Chicago and Oakland. Shortly before his death in 1972, he distilled his experiences and insights into a relatively short and accessible book. While not quite a step-by-step instruction manual, Rules for Radicals provides inspiration and, more usefully, strategy and tactics for anyone involved in direct, but non-violent, activism.

The opening page of the book begins...
"What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be."
Alinsky goes on to present a distinctly Marxist approach that is rooted in a world-view of perpetual conflict between the "Haves" and the "Have-Nots" of life. The book's overriding purpose is to empower the Have-Nots, and when I first read it, I was struck by its potential applicability to our own struggle. For example, when contemplating injustice and the often perplexing lack of male response to egregious attacks upon their identity and human worth, I am often reminded of some of Alinsky's observations, including these two:
"...if people feel they don't have power to change a bad situation, then they do not think about it."
And:
"Remember, too, that a powerless people will not be purposefully curious about life, and they then cease being alive."
For anyone who has attempted to communicate the male human rights issue to those who prefer to turn away, these sentiments must feel rather apt.

I grew up in a working town in the time of its transition from a centre of coal mining and manufacturing to one of unemployment and welfare dependency. My father was a union representative who stood in picket lines as they were charged by police (or as he claims, by soldiers in police uniforms without identity numbers). While my early memories of politics were coloured by TV news of "Militant", the extreme wing of the labour party in the 1980s, I sometimes wonder if I had been a young man in the early 20th century, would I have been an active member in the British Labour Movement back then? I also contemplate the parallel between that thought and the here and now of the early 21st century — a time in which I have somehow found myself to be a member of the Men's Human Rights Movement. It seems that I have always been a bit of a radical, and somewhat unfashionable.

This is the thing — the landscape in which we live out our lives has always been in flux. Our universe is one of perpetual change and conflict between opposing forces. Perhaps the single attribute that has made Marxism so enduring is that, by teaching its followers to view life through a prism of eternal conflict, it embraces change.

As described by Alinsky, the Haves of life fear change because they have nowhere to go but down. Whereas life's Have-Nots, with nowhere to go but up, have no such fear. If we see his words in the context of own movement as being a harbinger of change, I think he describes our experiences rather well:
"Religious, economic, social, political, and legal tracts endlessly attack all revolutionary ideas and action for change as immoral, fallacious and against God, country, and mother. These literary sedations by the status quo include the threat that, since all such movements are unpatriotic, subversive, spawned in hell and reptilian in their creeping insidiousness, dire punishments will be meted out to their supporters. All great revolutions, including Christianity, the various reformations, democracy, capitalism, and socialism, have suffered these epithets in the times of their birth."

Today's feminist revolutionaries may think they are radical, but they are nothing of the sort — they are simply fashionable. They represent more of the same; it is we who represent meaningful change.

Because effective organisation of people is essential to bring about change, the key player in Rules for Radicals is what Alinsky's refers to as "the organiser". An organiser is not so much a local leader, but more a creative thinker who's initial task is to "stir up dissatisfaction and discontent", and to "provide a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations." The organiser's job description does not, in fact, appear to be a particularly appealing one, especially in the early days, as Alinsky explains:
"In the early days the organizer moves out front in any situation of risk where the power of the establishment can get someone's job, call in an overdue payment, or any other form of retaliation, partly because these dangers would cause many local people to back off from conflict. Here the organizer serves as a protective shield: if anything goes wrong it is all his fault, he has the responsibility. If they are successful all credit goes to the local people."
And:
"The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a "dangerous enemy."
Nevertheless, reward comes if the organiser is successful...
"The organizer's job is to begin to build confidence and hope in the idea of organization and thus in the people themselves: to win limited victories, each which will build confidence and the feeling that 'if we can do so much with what we have now just think what we will be able to do when we get big and strong.'"
However, I do wonder if Alinsky saw the construction of mass power organisations more of an end in its own right, rather than simply a means to advance a just cause. He, himself, says:
"One of the great problems in the beginning of an organization is, often, that the people do not know what they want."
Thus, one of the key roles of the organiser is help the people to know what they want by identifying the "enemy" for them. Or, as he puts things:
"Before men can act an issue must be polarized. Men will act only when are convinced that their cause is 100 per cent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 per cent on the side of the devil."
Many of us in the Men's Human Rights Movement, myself included, have no previous background in activism, protest or social politics. Most of us have started out from nowhere and are here simply because we have woken up to the tide of injustice that threatens to engulf us. But what to do? How often have we seen wounded men on forums complain bitterly of injustice, as if simply talking about the problem is actually doing something about the problem? Nobody is going to read their comments, recognise their plight, and put things right for them.

Nobody is coming to save them.

Endless rhetorical debate about "the problem", without reference to "the solution", is nothing other than emotional masturbation. What I am suggesting to anyone who might consider themselves an activist is that a good place to go for inspiration would be Alinsky specifically because he counsels on how to be a "realistic radical", rather than a "rhetorical one".

I warn, however, that with Rules for Radicals there also comes a sickening awareness of how its tactics have been deployed against the men and boys from the 1960s onwards, and I found the sheer bloody cynicism of it all overwhelming. As I turned its pages, it dawned on me that the entire male gender had, in effect, been identified as "the enemy" in order to "polarize the issue" and, thus, create conflict were none existed previously.

You see, back in the 1960s, those subscribing to Marxist ideology had a problem — the lives of the working classes were being transformed by higher wages and property ownership, and the old Marxist model of an oppressed proletariat and a wealthy bourgeoisie was in danger of breaking down. A possible solution, at least to some women on the left, was to re-purpose Marxist theory in the context of a gender war rather than a conflict between social classes defined by property ownership. The players were thus changed, but game went on. In fact, patriarchy theory was never anything other than a pseudo-scientific construct manufactured by Kate Millet and her ilk to give a veneer of credibility to the idea that men and women were, and have always been, at war with each other.

In the hour when I first understood, the sense of betrayal was profound.

Nevertheless, it proves nothing if not how Marxist thinking embraces change. The irony now, of course, is that it is men and boys who are the Have-Nots of western society, both in terms of social empowerment and wealth ownership. However, I'm not so sure that I would go as far as to claim that all women represent the Haves. Instead, I would argue that feminism has not universally benefited women at all, especially when you start to consider the hidden implications for them (a modest home in the UK now requires two full-time incomes to pay the mortgage). However, there are a subset of women with disproportionate influence who have been feminism's prime benefactors — they are the feminist academics and public sector elite — the bourgeoisie of our age.

Times have changed since Alinsky's penned his influential work, and some of the more hands-on tactics he suggests may not be so appropriate today. For example, one particularly delightful tactic is, what he lovingly refers to as, a "shit-in" (as opposed to a "sit-in"). This is where a handful of protesters occupy all available toilet cubicles at crowded public event and absolutely refuse to come out. The resulting distress of the crowd is a great cause of mayhem, apparently.

The sky turns darker, however, when Alinksy tackles ethics and how "the end justifies the use of almost any means." On this issue, I can't help but wonder whether his use of the word "almost" was a conscious addition to keep his book on the right-side of the line that separates riot from direct action. I doubt he cared that much for the distinction himself and, because of this, I think that we in the Men's Human Rights Movement would do well to remember the following instead:

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." - Friedrich Nietzsche

I recommend Alinsky, not for ethical guidance, but for pragmatic inspiration. His book is, after all, mostly about communication, strategy and tactics. It's also a book about change — not only how to effect change, but how to live with and thrive in a climate of change. In the end, we must follow our own moral compass. It is our prerogative to take from Rules for Radicals what we find useful, and disregard what we find unacceptable.

Human society has rested on the back of male disposability ever since the time of Lucy*, and what we in the Men's Human Rights Movement represent is the beginning of the end of that and the start of a new era for our species. We are not just radical, we are in every sense the most radical thinking movement in the history of human society.

This article was first published on MRA London.

Andy Thomas
Copright 2013. All rights reserved.


Notes. Summary of Alinsky's Tactics
  • 1. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
  • 2. Never go outside the expertise of your people.
  • 3. Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
  • 4. Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
  • 5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
  • 6. A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
  • 7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
  • 8. Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
  • 9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  • 10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
  • 11. If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
  • 12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
  • 13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
* Lucy (Australopithecus)

NCDV's Steve Conner — "Drag him away"

Last year, a small UK non-governmental outfit launched a particularly distasteful attack on half the human population. Their campaign took the form of a huge interactive billboard at Euston Station. It was called "Drag Him Away", and here it is:



The billboard showed looped footage of a man hectoring a passive woman. Although no actual crime was depicted, passers-by were invited to interact with the billboard using their mobile phone in order to see the man "dragged away". The organisation behind it, the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV), is headed by a barrister called Steve Conner.

As a teenager, I recall how I was filled with so much shame after learning about how "men rape and abuse women", that I wrote into a women's magazine to apologise on behalf of my entire gender. I believed myself to be the "one good man", and felt an overwhelming obligation to stand up to these "other men", thus letting the world know that I wasn't one of them. While I watched the video of NCDV's stunt, I was reminded of this as I contemplated how dehumanising it it must be for a young boy or teenager to look up and behold himself through this prism of shame and guilt. Like I once did, many will simply disassociate themselves from their gender, rather than to see "Drag Him Away" for what it is — an opportunistic attack on their human identity by a professional NGO keen to raise its profile in a misandric state culture.

A "Drag Her Away" campaign, one in which people are invited to dispense justice to a female abuser, would never fly of course. It would widely be perceived as an unacceptable attack on women in general and would come in for fierce criticism (no funding would ever be made available for such a campaign in any case). However, NCDV's campaign was not targeted women, but at men — and this in today's society makes it acceptable, normal, even virtuous. What could possibly be wrong with protecting women from abusive men, many would ask?

By the late 1930s, having for years been painted as devious money lenders who were unclean and sub-human, German society reached the stage that social hostility against Jewish people had become normalised. We like to delude ourselves that we have consigned such things to history and, today, a billboard featuring a "Drag the Jew Away" campaign, one in which an archetypal Jewish figure is shown hectoring a passive Aryan, would be seen exactly for what it is — disgusting propaganda belonging in a 1930s Nazi film reel, not 21st century Britain. The lesson we have utterly failed to learn, however, is that in the time of its happening, all prejudice is seen as acceptable, normal, even virtuous.

In the here and now of today's "enlightened" society, after years of ideologically motivated campaigning, it is males who have been painted as perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence, and dominant oppressors.[1]

In reality, long standing cultural reasons and the legitimate fear of being wrongly identified as an abuser have always inhibited men in reporting domestic violence against them. However, government crime surveys, such as the BCS in the UK,[2] and its equivalent CDC Intimate Partner Violence Survey in the US,[3] are now presenting a picture of approximate parity between the sexes. Additionally, research increasingly shows that the majority of inter-partner violence is mutual, i.e. the violence and verbal abuse goes both ways, and where it is unilateral, the initiators of such violence are overwhelmingly women.[4] Within the government and non-governmental agencies of the west, however, domestic violence has been defined as "gender violence" or, increasingly, "violence against women and girls". (See the 2011 UK government policy paper, A call to end violence against women and girls.)

This is the great delusion of our age, and to continue to define inter-partner violence as "gender based" is to propagate the myth that one gender is responsible for perpetrating violence against the other, while disregarding and rendering invisible the suffering of millions of boys and adult men. Whether it be physical, verbal or sexual, the origins of abuse lie in early childhood, not in any intrinsic deficiency in males.

Both men and women can be equally abusive in their relationships, and the environments they create for their children is the significant factor in understanding abusive behaviour — for behaviour learned in early childhood, when the child's brain is in flux and the personality in formation, is carried forward into adult relationships.[5] As an abused child grows up, early emotional damage goes to define his or her default emotional responses and thinking patterns in adulthood. It is a cycle stretching back generations, and the reality is so simple that it should be self-evident. Only now, however, are MRI scans being used for the first time to reveal the damage in the brains of abused children.[6]

The problem is not gender-based — it is inter-generational. And the solution to it lies, not in curing some intrinsic male defect, but in our treatment of children. There is no reason why men and boys, therefore, should continue to wear society's garland of shame.

Now, to be fair, NCDV's stated aim is to provide a free legal service, both to the police and to individual "clients", in order to obtain emergency injunctions against alleged perpetrators of abuse. I do not condemn NCDV in this, but recognise that in those cases where domestic violence is uni-directional, or largely so, such a facility would be invaluable. Nor is it lost me that the language used throughout the NCDV website is gender-neutral, and NCDV states that its service is open to "anyone", not just women. Their use of visual communication on the other hand, as expressed by their website imagery and past campaign videos, is strongly stereotyped and hard-hitting. Previous NCDV campaign videos, which include this and this, exclusively depict men as abusers and women as victims.

It is with the sheer ugliness of "Drag Him Away", however, that I take particular issue. I have to question the commitment to due process on display here, when NCDV's own media campaign so clearly gives the message that any man can now be "dragged away" on the basis of a mobile phone text or mobile app. It represents more than NCDV's contribution to the negative stereotyping of males — it takes the whole thing to the next level.

I solemnly predict that the day will come when the accumulative fallout of years of anti-male propaganda won't stay confined to "other men", but will be felt by your son, your brother and your father. Every mother of a son should realise that when he grows up, society will increasingly view him with suspicion and contempt, and in a culture where guilt is assumed by default, virtue of his gender, the only thing preventing any man from being "dragged away" is the absence of an allegation. Many men would have some legitimacy in claiming that we have reached such a point already. One day perhaps, even NCDV's Steve Conner may realise that for himself when society fails to make sufficient distinction between him, or someone he cares about, and the "other man" in his interactive billboard.

Additional Information. NCDV ceased being a UK national charity in February 2012, and became a private limited company, "The Centre For Domestic Violence Ltd", registered no. 07917926. At the time of writing, Companies House lists this company as active but with a "proposal to strike off". The company's annual return appears to be four months overdue.

This article was first published on MRA London.

Written by
Andy Thomas

References
1. For a related discussion, see Neil Lyndon, Big Sister's Memorial: The Legacy of Germaine Greer
2. The British Crime Survey (BCS) for 2010/11 reported that 5% of men and 7% of women had experienced domestic abuse in the year prior to the survey. See: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hosb0212/hosb0212?view=Binary
3. The American CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey for 2011 reported that 5.0% of men and 5.9% of women reported experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. See: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf
4. Graphic generated by SAVE was based on a US study by Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling. Rates of Bidirectional Versus Unidirectional Intimate Partner Violence Across Samples, Sexual Orientations, and Race/Ethnicities: A Comprehensive Review. Partner Abuse Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012.
5. Erin Pizzey, 1982. Prone to Violence. ISBN 978-0600205517
6. Eamon McCrory, 2011. See: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/1112/111205-maltreated-children-fMRI-study

A female monster and a hidden sufferer?

I want you to watch the footage below and make a mental note of what you see taking place. Stop reading here, until after you have watched the video.



There are a number of things happening in this. Did you spot them all?

The woman in the video is clearly a monster. Her behaviour is disgusting and violent; the issue of where the young man should or should not put the refuse is irrelevant. What's more, if he were to lift a finger to defend himself and she picked up the phone to the police as a result, the consequences for him could be severe.

That was the obvious bit.

Then there's the guy with the camera, who thinks it's amusing — until she comes after him that is, at which point the footage ends abruptly. The original up-loader put the video under the "comedy" category and describes it in the low-bar as "highly funny." This says a lot about society's perceptions of male targeted aggression.

But did you spot who is, potentially, the real victim in all of this?

The guy in the blue top — his role in trying to restrain and calm the woman was largely incidental, but he is almost certainly her husband or partner.

While it's not possible to know for certain on the strength of this video alone, I would strongly suspect that he has, in fact, endured a living hell for decades at her hands. Look again at how delicately he attempts to intervene — he is afraid to antagonise her.

A man like this could be in a dire position. His only options would be live in misery or try to escape and lose his home. But at his age, with his parents gone, where would he go and how would he live?

Moreover, wider society will not easily recognise him as the victim in this — did you? For him, there are few options, and they are dwindling...

Duluth Model: Helps men to stop battering women
Recent UK trials with Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) have facilitated the immediate removal of those accused of abusive behaviour without need of evidence. An accusation alone suffices, and police are trained to see men only as abusers, not suffers. For example, the title of the 2011 UK government policy paper, "A Call to end violence against women and girls" says it all.

It is an incarnation of the Duluth Model of domestic violence, if ever there was one.

The Duluth Model is a standard intervention approach used throughout the world and is based directly on feminist "patriarchy theory," i.e. that men, such as the man with the blue shirt in video, oppress women. As such, it focuses solely on teaching men not to be batterers.

If that wasn't enough, men, especially those of older generations, are culturally conditioned to believe that should be able to sort out their own problems, thus isolating themselves.

In reality, an innocent man trapped in a relationship with a manipulative and malicious woman would be uniquely powerless. His life would be lived on the edge of a knife in which the threat of a phone call to the police over some perceived wrong or slight would be an ever present reality. If he attempted to flee, the police could be weaponised against him, especially if past allegations had established a track record of his purported behaviour. If, having been abused for years, he snapped and resorted to physical violence himself — that would only condemn him.

If you heap abuse on a man, while denying him the ability to respond, then you are killing that man.

I wonder just how many men, who are primary abuse sufferers, are made to undergo Duluth based "education" programmes each year in order to "teach them not to batter?" In such cases, the effect would be utterly dehumanising — the state would be perpetrating psychological abuse against the abused.

Further viewing: Women Abusing Men In Public — and how society views them. This article was first published on MRA London.

Written by
Andy Thomas

Friday, 18 January 2013

Who taught you to hate yourself?

I have no words of my own I could possibly use to express myself more eloquently than the following few lines taken from the work of an unknown poet:

Men my age are all the same
They hate themselves & feel ashamed
For what they are & cannot change

Little heads filled up with lies
Raised only to apologize
For thousand-year conspiracies
In gender-studies histories

These words, written by L. Byron [1], had a profound effect on me when I first read them. Although I chose to use them as the opening to my latest video production, I ultimately wanted to take a different approach to communicating the men's rights issue than simply documenting yet more injustices to men and boys in society.

In the video, below, I am attempting to showcase—without compromise to the feminist narrative—the positive traits of men and those aptitudes which are typically male. I do hope you like it.


Direct Link: http://youtu.be/64nFPc93idc

Although it was not my intention at the outset, I took inspiration from the words of Malcom X and used them to help define the message I wanted to convey. I make no apology for this. His legacy is a checkered one and, according to many, his philosophy was one of racism, black supremacy, and violence. I can't justify many of the views he preached and don't intend to try, but I would like to give you this quote [2], which were his words shortly before his death in 1965:

I realized racism isn't just a black and white problem. It's brought bloodbaths to about every nation on earth at one time or another.

Brother, remember the time that white college girl came into the restaurant—the one who wanted to help the [Black] Muslims and the whites get together—and I told her there wasn't a ghost of a chance and she went away crying? Well, I've lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then—like all [Black] Muslims—I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man's entitled to make a fool of himself if he's ready to pay the cost. It cost me 12 years.

That was a bad scene, brother. The sickness and madness of those days—I'm glad to be free of them.

In fact, toward the end of his life, Malcolm X retracted and apologised for many of his preachings. I've learned for myself that many people are unable to do this; many would rather defend their delusion than face reality. In the end, Malcolm X was willing to own his mistakes and admit them. He paid for that with his life.

He was a radical, but I say he was also a humanitarian who lived in extreme times in history. And whatever you think of some of his earlier views, to a people used to accepting low human worth, his message was a hugely powerful one, as demonstrated by the following extract from a speech in Los Angeles in 1962:

Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the color of your skin, to such extent that you bleach to get like the white man? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lip? Who taught you to hate yourself, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to—so much so that you don't want to be around each other? No... Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.

Malcolm X helped to demolish the negative stereotyping of black people, ultimately equipping them with the tools with which to build their own perception of self-worth.

Is it possible that we could do this for ourselves? Is it possible that we can start to believe in ourselves once more?

This is so important and so worthwhile because the systematic negative stereotyping of males is no longer restricted to adult men, but is now common place in the classroom. Our feminised education system, and wider society, teaches young boys that all the good things in the world are about women, and all the bad things are about them. Many boys, especially those lacking fathers, have come to understand that this world has no place for them. Their natural path is to drop out and fall into drugs, gangs, isolation, alcoholism and suicide.

I knew a man recently, an alcoholic, who's only ambition was to own a large screen TV. While visiting him at home, I commented on why he had a rag hanging from the letter box of his front door. He explained that it was flapping in the wind and he had stuffed a rag in there to try and silence it. A moment or two later, he added, "I've been calling the council for months and months to come out and fix it, but they never do."

Naturally, I asked him why he didn't just fix it himself, and the wounded and confused look he gave me in reply told me a great deal about his upbringing. I withdrew myself from his company, while he continued to spend his days in front of the TV, drinking cider from a plastic bottle, hoping that someone would come and save him.

Then one day, I saw social services clearing out his house. I don't know what happened to him.

Likewise, many men who find themselves in desperate situations, often in connection with family courts, cling to the hope that if only people could see what was happening to them—if only everyone knew just how bad things were—somebody will be outraged and something will be done. What they fail to grasp, but we've come to understand, is that society does not care about men.

No one is coming to save them.

No one is coming to save us. The pendulum is not going to swing back unless we are prepared to swing it. It's up to ourselves to do the saving.

In my own way, this is the message I'm trying to convey in the video. I wanted to produce something that tells us about ourselves—something that reminds us all, myself included, just what it is that we really are, and not what we have been told all our lives.

A man's life has never been about privilege; it's historically been about hard-work, responsibility and sacrifice. It's also historically been about providing for and protecting women and children. We are not useless, stupid, brutish oafs and emotional reptiles.

Far from it...

It was the toil of men—that of our fathers and grandfathers—that built the industry, the railways, the water and sewage systems that lifted millions, if not billions, out of subsistence level poverty. It is typically the male sex that is willing to shoulder the risk and endure the suffering necessary to push back human boundaries for the benefit of others. It is typically the male left-brain psyche that is the inventive one, the one to gaze at the heavens and to have the inclination to go there.

Young boys deserve a better future than that of a sperm donor and a walking cash machine, only to be cast aside when of no more use. They are human beings, not the pack animals of the human race.

No schoolboy should ever have to sit in class while his teacher makes him feel responsible for all the wrongs perpetrated throughout history, or makes him feel worthless and inadequate, or tells him that his gender harms the other and that women will need protecting from him when he gets older. This should be seen for what it is, nothing other than an ideologue abusing her position as a teacher in order to deliver dehumanising classroom propaganda to children. That's misandry, miss!

We need to drive a positive dialogue about males, not just one of injustice and suffering. We must teach men and boys the truth about themselves if they are ever build their own identity free of feminism's stigmatising invective.

Reference
1. Feminists Killed Kurt Cobain, L. Byron. TriggerAlert.BlogSpot.com
2. Parks, Gordon, "Malcolm X: The Minutes of Our Last Meeting", Clarke, p.122

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Dawn Raid Music - Now that's Entertainment!

We already know the answer to the following question. When is it OK to celebrate gratuitous sexual violence, mutilation and torture? When the victim is male, of course, and the topic of Lorena Bobbitt's sexual mutilation of her sleeping husband has been dealt with previously by Peter Lloyd and John the Other.

What I want to do here, however, is to expose the repugnant prejudice masquerading as morality in the form of Dawn Raid Entertainment, the music label behind Aaradhna's new song "Lorena Bobbitt".

Here's a screen-grab and a link to the official video on YouTube:


Aaradhna - Lorena Bobbitt (Official Music Video)

In this, Aaradhna is the archetypical "woman scorned" taking out what is presented as a justifiable revenge for some perceived infidelity. The horrific suffering that would ensue in reality, and indeed did for Lorena Bobbitt's husband, is skipped over and the video ends with the heroic Aaradhna being driven away in the back of police car.

Bullshit!

The reality is that this is nothing other a portrayal of a sadistic and psychotic woman inflicting sexually motivated domestic violence on a helpless man. And society's moral acceptance of this must be brought to book.

In history, past persecutions of identifiably separate groups were always seen as morally acceptable during the time it was happening. This is what allowed such things to happen. In Nazi Germany, the eradication of the Jewish Problem was seen by many as righteous, and in earlier times, slave plantation owners attended church and preached God.

Today, men are seen as the problem. They are portrayed in the media as lacking in unique personality, and their only human worth is that which can be achieved in relation to a woman. It is, therefore, possible to depict their suffering as, not only acceptable, but as morally just. We are on the edge of an abyss with this. At the time of writing, the top comment on the official Aaradhna "Lorena Bobbitt" music video was that by female poster calling herself "856MiiSsiinqYhUuJaZz", and reads:

"To all them unfaithful men out there! This is what yous are gonna get hah! Loveeee this, Aaradhna your amazing!!"

I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to personally remind Aaradhnaben Jayantilal Patel (aka " Aaradhna"), Dawn Raid Entertainment and, indeed, the whole fucking world, that men and boys are unique human beings, with feelings, capable of both suffering and independent thought. They are not the property of women such as Lorena Bobbitt or entitled princesses such as Miss 856-whatever. They are, in fact, free to associate and have sexual relationships with whomever they so choose, and should be able to do so without fear of grotesque sexually motivated violence. Any woman who feels that she is entitled to enact this kind of sadism and violence, simply because she feels unhappy with her relationship, is nothing but a depraved monster, and should be seen as such.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

If you can't support us, then get out of our way

I have recently be able to resolve a personal dilemma I had been wrestling with for sometime. The solution isn't one I particularly like, but it is necessary nevertheless.

When I took my first faltering steps in the MRM, I initially spent time on various forums where I often found myself appalled by the childish attitudes on display. From the start, I knew in my heart that here was something that I could truly believe in, but at one point, I almost walked away from the whole men's thing in dismay. I'm glad I didn't, because it has ultimately proved to be a positive and liberating experience. And I now believe in it more than ever.

However, that there are so many who were emotionally harmed as vulnerable children is not lost on me. There is a sea of lost and damaged men out there. I know; I was one of those and I have the physical scars to prove it.

So my dilemma has always been how to respond to those who represent a "car crash" for us all—those who would selfishly, unintentionally perhaps, derail everything we stand for with their outpouring of misogynistic, self pitying, attention seeking on public forums. Such people are a gift to the feminist media who will triumphantly hold them up as typically examples of men's rights supporters, especially as we begin to make inroads into the mainstream press.

I have realised, however, that the answer to my own dilemma lay in how the moderators of AVfM's forum deal with such people. I must confess that, at first, I thought the moderators were being unnecessarily heavy-handed. However, I have come to think differently and I now completely support AVfM's policy on dealing with would-be trolls.

I only wish there was a better way because I stand for all men and boys. I will also stand for women who have been genuinely subject to injustice and for women who want to be treated as responsible adults rather than spoilt children. But ultimately, what I do I do for the future generations of boys who will one day become men. I put this above all else and, if necessary, I will stand against anyone who represents a threat to this.

I have personally put everything I have into this endeavour—my time and effort, my financial resources, my heart, my soul. I have nothing to gain other than the experience of engaging in life again and my own salvation. So, you see, it is everything and, believe me, I will fight to protect it whatever the cost to myself. I will not see my efforts and the efforts of others splashed to the four winds by selfish and irresponsible behaviour, no matter how damaged some individuals may be.

What we are doing here is more than just some kind of campaign or awareness raising. We are building an alternative culture—a culture fit for the 21st century and a better future for all. And I say that this is something truly worth fighting for. Its organic nature means that it will eventually take on a life of its own and will become difficult for anyone to stop. But until that happens, unless we can effectively deal with those who will hold us back, even if they are suffering human beings, we will forever be condemned to wring our hands while exclaiming, "But what can we do?"

And future generations of boys will be lost.

So with that, I say that if you can't support us in a constructive and positive fashion, if you can't put others before your own ego, if you can't look inside yourself with honesty, if you are not prepared to take responsibility for your own behaviour, if all you can do is to criticise the efforts of others while contributing nothing yourself, then get the fuck out of our way. We will not stop for you.