A cultural attack on men is in progress. While a woman walks out of a movie theater imagining that she’s an ageless Wonder Woman, men are forced to trudge out of movie theaters dreaming of being only pirates, galaxy guardians, spidermen, comedians, Winston Churchills, lifeguards, boss babies, or baby drivers. This is why the Men’s Right’s Movement is more important than ever. But how can a non-man help a man? For the sake of your fathers, sons, nephews, uncles, grandfathers, priests, boys, and baby boys, here’s how to say no to this toxic masculinity war.
1. Proper Pronouns
This is just courtesy. When addressing a member of a marginalized community, literally the least you can do is address them by what they’d prefer to be addressed by. So, for members of the Men’s Rights Movement, always refer to him as him. An example of this would be, “He invited me to his place to play Cards Against Humanity with him but I’ve never met him and he just DM’d me out of the blue on Instagram after liking a bunch of three-year-old pics from my feed.”
2. Do Your Research
Educate yourself by reading up on literature that’s central to the Men’s Rights Movement. Most libraries will have multiple copies of foundational texts, like the classics Waking Up Dry: How to Stop Bedwetting In Its Tracks. Or there are online resources, like the evergreen list that every Men’s Rights Activist knows by heart: Ten Brightest Night-Lights for Under $10.
3. Be Heard
You can make a difference in an MRA’s life by signing a petition for an issue near and dear to the community’s heart, such as “We Demand Subway Sandwiches Start Selling Monster Energy Drinks” (51 signatures currently) or “We Demand Sara Answer My Texts” (1 signature currently).
4. Educate Other Women
If you and another women are alone in a scene and are talking about anything other than a man then you’ve failed the MRA ally test. If you really want to be an ally, stop your conversations about climate change, your taxes, the new season of House of Cards, the last season of House of Cards, poverty-reduction strategies, the urban housing crisis, Pogs, how chicken thighs are under-appreciated, tennis, and focus on discussing men for once. You can talk about how men have always been able to vote and how much intergenerational pressure that probably puts on them to not screw it up, or on how great he looks when he tucks in that Old Navy golf shirt.
Recognize that you, as a woman may have good intentions, but actually have no idea what life is like for a man today. The only way to really find out what it’s like to be a man is to just listen to them when they describe their lived experience. For the most part, these experiences will be completely foreign to you, because your lived experience as a woman is very different, so don’t interject, just sorta go limp and let this man explain this thing to you. This is definitely the hardest step because MRAs, silenced and ignored for so long, have a lot to say — and some of it they haven’t already said on Twitter. Listen as best you can, and don’t cry in front of him, no matter how sad it may be to hear about the gritty reboot of The Last Airbender that he’s written a TV pilot and show Bible for.
6. Take off your shoes when walking around upstairs.
Sound really travels between floors.
With these simple tips, you’re on your way to being the best friend a Men’s Rights Activist has had since those few glorious years with Dad before he married Vanessa. Because it’s no longer enough to just have that one token male friend. You might need to have a lot of male friends, and even though they may misinterpret your friendship as romantic in nature, it’s up to you to hold, caress and prop up that ego like a newborn’s neck if you want to truly support mandom.