Gonzo, first, thanks for making the effort of an actual reply, instead of the condescending bullshit you put out to me the first time you came here. For this reply, I will do a point-by-point:
Rather than do a point by point, I'll just address some generalities. Let's tackle the pregnancy thing first. I disagree. Not because it isn't a good idea, but because you already have it. If you are pregnant, and I punch you, and cause a miscarriage, I'm going to be charged with murder. Even if you don't miscarry, I can damn well guarantee I will get no plea bargain, and will probably be beaten up in jail. Daily. I oppose making anyone a protected class because of two things: First, it makes them a protected class. Second because it then gives that protected class license. License to be as bad as they wanna be, and be shielded by the law for it. You probably don't feel that such a thing would be a problem because *you* would never do it. Alicia, most women aren't you - matter of fact, every other woman in the world isn't you. You take any human being, any class of people, and put them in a position where they don't have to observe the rules of common decency, and grant them legal protection, and you are asking for trouble. You will have women who will, upon becoming pregnant, provoke fights, stir up trouble, and hide behind their big belly. On top of that, a whole rash of victim lawsuits will commence, with women far and wide claiming "stress in the womb from emotional abuse" caused all manner of real or imagined problems.
I am not saying to make them a special protected class, Gonzo. I know laws are in place already. I am simply saying that, in the pursuit of true fairness and justice, this special recognition should be considered, as it is only women who can be pregnant, and that pregnant women are vulnerable in this state. Your reply above actually almost sounds like you want it to be legal to beat on a pregnant woman; at least those who go starting fights. And how many pregnant women do you know who go starting fights? Many wouldn't take the risk that someone may actually hit them back. And even if they did try to goad anyone into fighting them, it doesn't mean that the other person has to fight back. Someone may try to goad you into fighting, but you are still the one who decides if and when your fist starts to swing.
Now, as for blindness, you've made a nice and sweeping general statement. And it stops there. No specific - or even semi-specific - instances are given. Later on you talk about anger at all women, but with few exceptions, comments about "women" in general are grousing of the "Pygmalion" type (I.E. Rex Harrison singing "Why can't a woman be more like a man?") The truly vituperative comments are directed at feminists as a rule, and even then many still differentiate between feminists and feminazis. Sure, you have the scattered misogynists here - we've also had some outright feminists, racists, and bigots.
The problem I have had in the past in giving specifics is that the more masculist (and here I mean the angry male counterpart of feminazis.) types will always find some way to refute it. The masculists will deny it, they will say it was misunderstood or taken out of context, or some other such tactic which is a deliberate effort meant to divert and obfuscate from the statements that I am making. I decided that I will simply have to trust that you gents have the intelligence and the open-mindedness to see these things for yourselves. I could just walk out instead of saying that there's a problem, but then you won't know that there's a problem (and then you'll say "Why don't these women tell us that there's a problem?"). When women start posting here less and less, it should be a sign that they aren't feeling welcome here. Such a sign should be evident enough for the more observant men in here that women aren't feeling welcome. Some women like me persist anyway, despite the unfriendly and sometimes even hostile environment that arises, because we are trying to reach the more observant and open-minded gents in here. It sometimes feels like a foolish, futile hope, but hope is eternal.
The difference is, unlike MS, they aren't automatically squelched in the name of political correctness, and in many cases it is acceded that blind squirrels though they be, a nut is occasionally found by them. If a general statement is made, often it is booed, or debated, or the worst possible result, ignored as unworthy of comment. Witness many of the Amber's! later posts - days would go by as it was dropped without comment, bumped only by herself. Let the ignorant talk. We know where they are and what they are doing then. To mirror image the feminists we would silence those who dare step outside of conventionally accepted consensus for fear they might make a cogent argument. Thus far I've yet to see a SCUM Manifesto, or anything approaching it, arise from the Men's Movement. And remember, Valerie Solanas is a folk heroine among womyn (wimmin, whatever the PC term they are using to avoid being contaminated with the -men suffix these days). Raging misogynists are either so fringe they die out after a while, or so terribly tongue in cheek that to not laugh with them is possible only with puckered-anus PC types.
You haven't seen men get to that point, because they haven't... yet. It's what I'm hoping to prevent, as it will do no one any good to have two fanatical gender-based activist groups going at it and screwing up society and the legal system for the rest of us. That's a world that I would rather not come to pass.
As for the old "Aren't men's rights just human rights after all?"
I don't see Eskimos being denied access to their children because they are eskimos. I see it happening to men.
I don't see Hindus being deprived of due process because they are Hindus. I do, however, see it happening to men.
I don't see a epidemic of false accusations happening to Koreans because they are Koreans. I do see it happening to men.
The last time I saw a black with the old "Buckwheat wig" playing Step-and-Fetch-it was in a movie from the thirties, and many times these days such films are edited to remove such stereotypes. Though I do often see men portrayed as clueless losers and worthless slobs.
When did I mention Eskimos, Hindus, or Koreans or racial stereotypes of blacks? And when did I say "Aren't men's rights just human rights after all?" Criticize me for something I actually said, don't put words in my mouth and criticize me for something I didn't say.
It's men I see being browbeaten into signing confessions before they are granted the proverbial "fair trial followed by a first class hanging." It's men I see hauled away in an ambulance with honey-pie having not a scratch because of "Arrest the man" policies. It's men I see with restraining orders still hanging over them even though they have proven them falsely obtained - and proving yourself innocent was never something that was supposed to happen in the good old US of A.
I don't know your backstory, AGM, but - if you don't have a divorced husband who you have become involved in his getting screwed by the courts finding youself unable to make ends meet with a current family (or even start one) because of being imputed income far beyond his ability to earn; If you aren't the sister of a much loved brother serving time for something he can prove he didn't do - but never got his day in court because it got deemed "administrative"; if you aren't the mother of a man who is near or has already taken his own life because the hope of his heart - his children - have been stolen from him; If you're not visiting your father or some other relative in jail because he was flasely accused of a rape or other assault he could not possibly have committed - if you aren't one of these, then you are a statistical aberration.
You want a backstory? Fair enough, as you weren't here when I had first given it. Let me tell you about my uncle. He can be a real nice, funny guy. He always treated me very nice. As a husband to his 3 wives, though, he was an asshole. He was never physically abusive, but he was verbally abusive. He would curse at his wives out loud, sometimes for the silliest things, calling them names and lecturing them like 3 year olds. In front of family, no less! I was embarrassed for the wives. However, one of the wives decided to take revenge, and accused him of sexually abusing their daughter, who was about 7 at the time. It was an outright lie, but he made it easy to believe because family and coworkers (they were both police officers) knew of his terrible treatment of his wife. He was embarrassed and humiliated in front of coworkers, and worse, he was denied visitation of his daughter. And for a lie. He may have been and asshole, but he didn't deserve being accused of something that he was not. That opened my eyes to how evil women can be, and how manipulative and scheming they can get. Ever since then, I don't outright believe claims of child abuse, as it is SO easy to claim, and can be SO difficult to prove. My cousin, meanwhile, got screwed twice, for not only was she denied a male presence in her life, she was raised by a lousy mother. Not even a teen, and she was skipping school and was out late with older boys whom had no business being with her. Her mother had no control over her, and barely a year after the divorce, she shuttled her to her father, my uncle, the "alleged" child molester. By this time, though, my cousin was already a problem child, beyond discipline. That woman's lie hurt not only my uncle, but their daughter. And all for a stupid act of revenge. Yea, Gonzo, I have seen the ugly side of both men and women. I'm no fool as to how bad each can get.
That's not a bad thing, but a general statement that is quite fair to make is that unless they are bitten by the legal bias against men in family and domestic type courts in some way, the very vast and overwhelming majority of women never say boo.
We're pressing for laws to require a rebuttable presumption of joint custody For just one example) because as of right now -
Look, to be honest, there isn't a law on the books that prescribes bias against men. No Law exists that says "The word of the woman shall not be overturned except by the testimony of four men" or "No court shall exists where custody is not granted in 19 out of every twenty cases to the female, even if unfit." The laws, as written, are gender blind.
They're not applied that way. Administratibve procedures are written that way in family agencies. Agendas are used in hiring and promotion within those agencies. Precedents exist, precedents that disenfranchise men in their families. The legal system has shown itself to be unwilling or too lazy to reform, to start enforcing the laws, thus, we advocate enactment of laws which will hold their feet to the fire.
Back in the seventies we were assured that the pendulum would swing back. We heard it in the eighties, we heard it in the nineties, and we are hearing it now. The pendulum is not swinging back. It's not even slowing down. Before he was shown the door, Grey Davis enacted legislation so despicable and hateful that had blacks been the target of it, there would have been rioting in the streets. The only Men's Commision to exist, in New Hampshire, has been bitterly and stridently opposed, and as we speak the NOW is doing their damndest to put pressure on Washing ton to Dissolve it (Go to NOW.ORG. Don't take my word for it)
I've seen the divorce wars and custody wars up close and personal. It's ugly, yes.
I don't get involved with women. Not because I hate them, but because I can't take the risk. My neighbors, upon hearing raised and indistinct voices (Which could be just drunken singing) can call the police and demand I be hauled off for DV. Zero Tolerance - sorry, we're just doing our jobs. CSS can decide I'm a threat because I'm a male, solely on the word of some sour old bag of shit who doesn't think I'm a fit father for the most spurious of reasons. Guess what? If I don't leave, if mom doesn't go along - she gets the kids taken from her. Channel 13 in indianapolis (WTHR) recently did a report where a woman was told by a judge if she didn't put the screws to her ex, the judge would force a hearing, rule against her and put the screws to HER.
I get told all the time "Pete, you're losing the chance for a good woman by not trusting women." Hell, Alicia, over half of what I don't trust is the system. I love my country, but I loathe and fear my government. I've spent the price of a nice house and a couple cars on trying to just enforce the minimum of my rights as a father. I've been bankrupted because an ex-wife disappeared to Florida, and ran up bills I got stuck with. I got rid of her in 1998, and I'm still feeling the effects of that divorce - and that is the one I "won."
That is what I saw happen to my uncle, and it's why I want fairness and justice. I can't tell you why women are the way they are, as each woman is different, but feminism is to blame for much of the injustice that is out there, I am well aware of that. Like I said, I saw it for myself and what it did to my uncle. Fortunately, he never spent any prison time, as his ex later dropped the charges, but the damage was done.
You've grown up probably steeped in the lie of "Male Privilege" but I will be damned if I have heard anyone articulate so much as one. I could browbeat you with the list of female privileges. And you'd probably get damned annoyed because you would never do that to anyone. And quite probabhly YOU wouldn't. But I'd be dependant on your good graces not to do so, because if you falsely accused me of rape, molestation, or harassment I'd be presumed guilty, and even if I proved myself innocent, I'd still be looked at as "guilty of something." Even if I proved perjury, you'd never be charged, or suffer consequence one. If we ever got married and had kids, divorced, and you kept them from me, you'd be turned into a feminist icon, have Lifetime Movies (Moment of Truth Movie: Stay away from MY kids! The Aliciagomavs Story...) made about you, and probably never have to pay for an attorney to defend you, or be forced to do anything. Hell, NOW was going to take up a collection for Andrea Yates, and stopped only because it was to far even for them to go, but to this day Dave Yates is made out to be some kind of monster.
One thing to remember is that feminists did not gain these "victories" overnight; it came bit by bit until it was everywhere. Dismantling the injustices that have been put in place likewise will not happen overnight. The cause of fairness and justice must be won a convert at a time. That's the most effective way. It has to build and build until it can no longer be denied. But you have to do this right, you have to win converts, and not make more enemies.
I've never seen so much as one comment more supportive than "Poor Bastard. There but for the grace of God go I" or "Damned amazing there isn't more of it sometimes" when a man goes off the deep end, but you know, we MRA's aren't marching in the streets demanding they be released.
So - turning into Feminists? We aren't even close.
Let me add one more thing here. I am not at all saying that men's anger over the treatment they've been getting by the legal system isn't justified. Far from it. You have a right to be angry. However, my criticism is towards using that anger in productive ways, and NOT in destructive, self-defeating ways; especially in ways that will make enemies out of potential female allies. Whether you admit it or not, whether you believe it or not, the cause of justice and fairness for men needs female allies. The longer men go on without recognizing that delays that much longer the day when true fairness and justice arrives. Men can change things for the better if they want, but they have to work at it (and I know that they have been working on it). There is simply no other way. Air those stories, protest those laws and bills, do whatever it takes, but realize that this won't happen overnight, and realize that you can't do it without female allies. We also have eyes and ears, and we can tell right from wrong and we can be persuaded to do the right thing (sweeping generalizations here, of course). But we've also seen the ugly side of men, and we need better assurances that this movement is a true effort for justice and fairness, and not simply a revenge movement against the opposite gender. Keep directing that anger in the wrong way and you won't turn into feminists, but into their male, masculist counterparts. And that's not a compliment.