Open Letter Defending Men’s Rights

Hi Michel

It’s a shame we had a clash on Twitter. We both threw insults at each other, however in our later tweets I felt that we both wanted fairness and kindness. It’s easy to get angry at the wrong people at times.

I loved your kind comment about Wales. You also had the guts to crack on with the conversation (we both did) even though we threw a bit of mud at each other. I actually thank you for that. The kindness people can send the harshest insults I’ve found! We both have a talent! 😉

The background to anger is good to look at. After suffering for decades with depression and anxiety, and having spent a lot of money on therapy and got into debt because of healthcare (our  healthcare system (NHS) isn’t as great as some people would like you to believe), I eventually decided to do some voluntary work. I found a friend who was also interested in voluntary work and we both set up a mental health organisation for men. Initially I had started setting up an organisation for both men and women, however I was told about the higher suicide rate in men and realised I needed to act. The idea was to get people with similar issues to all run the organisation.

The problem was that it was difficult to get funding. Hardly anyone cared about men’s issues. I met two other organisations that worked solely with men. They told me that the feminist agenda in government (even by men) means that male issues aren’t supported. At first I couldn’t believe this to be true, however it turns out that it is. That’s not to say all feminists wanted this to happen… of course not. However the radical feminists have created an environment where feminism itself can’t be criticised, and where men’s rights are sidelined and even laughed at.

I walked into a book shop earlier this year and I happened to see a book facing outwards that was entitled The End of Men. It actually hurt me to see that. Am I over-sensitive? Well we can allow offensive people to get away with hatred if we always used that excuse. All I know is that if there was a book called The End of Women it wouldn’t get published, or there would be backlash in the media if it was. However that didn’t happen in this instance. That’s because society is unconsciously unsupportive of vulnerable men. A vulnerable woman is helped, a vulnerable man is told to ‘man up’.

Please watch this video on the attitudes of the public experiencing violence from man to a woman and vice versa: It highlights the inherent sexism against men (women are obviously harmed too, however let’s not ignore the sexism against men). We need to try and improve violence against anyone.

On International Men’s Day, a university in the UK, York University, cancelled a men’s event due to pressure from feminism. The university said that it was more important that gender equality focused on the inequalities of women. Can you see the problem with that sentence? I hope you can.

I also volunteered all my time and money to help men for a year and a half (by helping run this organisation). One man we used to help killed himself. He had been depressed for his whole life (he was an elderly gentleman). His friends and family had tried helping him for years. One day he left me a voicemail saying that he had ‘had enough and couldn’t face it any more’. It was an ambiguous message, what had he had enough of? It was 3am when I saw the voicemail. (Lucky my bladder woke me up!). I decided to call the local police. They went to check on him. When they finally got to speak with himhe told them he was ok (he had tried attempting suicide many times before). Two weeks later he was dead. (Note that I didn’t know his address so couldn’t go around to his house myself).

Two weeks ago another man I knew killed himself. My friends and I, who knew him, were very upset. His funeral was on Wednesday. I didn’t attend as it would have been too upsetting (too many deaths already this year).

A female politician laughed (caught on TV) when a male politician was trying to highlight men’s issues like male suicide on International Men’s Day. If a man did the same thing he’d be sacked and there would be uproar. There was some criticism, however it looks like she’ll keep her job. Can you imagine the opposite situation? It would be intellectually dishonest to say that a man doing that would keep his job. The feminists wouldn’t stop until he was hung out to dry. And rightly so in some ways. However people aren’t interested in justice for men.

I’ve known men get beaten by women. They got laughed at my police officers. Again this is sexism. It is true that women get a hard time too, and I fully support them too. In fact I once gave a physically abused woman shelter in my rented accommodation when I was in my mid twenties. She even met her husband via me. Later on she used told me she was stupid (her self-esteem had taken a battering when living with her abuser). I helped her to realise that she was smart. She went on and got a degree in Social Science and did well for herself. I’m still proud of her to this day, as I am of anyone who overcomes their struggles to achieve something positive.

The past few weeks we had a homeless friend stay with us, as it is now winter here. His mental health deteriorated many years ago when his female partner kicked him out. She played child custody games and turned his own daughter against him. He’s a peaceful soul. An artist, musician and gardener. His mental health deteriorated over the years until eventually he had delusions and paranoia (which he didn’t have previously). He managed to get a house last week after many years so he’s no longer homeless.  It’s taken a few people many years of fighting to get him support. A woman would have got support much quicker, but he was ignored. I’ve met so many men who have become emotionally battered by bitter ex-female partners. Sadly this seems like a common game that a LOT of women play against men. The courts often see the man as the ‘baddie’ and the woman gets the children. If a man turns up one minute late to pick up his children the woman will play games in the courts, whereas most of these men want peace. It’s shocking to see. Luckily I’ve never experienced this first-hand, however seeing quite a few men in this situation has deeply affected me.

So has feminism caused problems for men? The answer is yes and no. In some ways it’s helped men become better. In other ways it has made society unfair to men by refusing to take the inequalities of men seriously.

Quite a few women who hear about international men’s day say things like “It’s International Men’s Day every day”. This gives you some indication of how powerful a delusion feminism has helped create. A delusion where men’s issues are seen as a joke or irrelevant.

I hope you can see where some of my anger comes from. Your flippant comment made me angry. It’s easy for you to say to me that  I ‘get angry easily’. However hopefully I’ve given you some background towards my emotional response towards you. It pissed me off when that feminist on Twitter accused me of a poor intellectual argument too. Some of these radical feminists on Twitter are like circling sharks, just waiting to prod men when their bigotry is challenged. I guess I should ignore these trolls, however I think it’s necessary to challenge their bigotry. Although my strategy is probably poor as people like that can’t be reasoned with it seems.

One man I know who run’s an organisation for men and women who have or are experiencing domestic violence, told me that men are rarely supported in this situation. He told me about a relationship breakdown between a man and wife who had children. She asked him to leave the house. He rang the men’s organisation and asked what he should do. The organisation told him he should stay (if we moved out he would be considered as a person who had made themselves ‘voluntarily homeless’. This means they won’t be given housing). The wife called the police and said ‘He won’t leave the house’. The police got him on the phone and said he had to leave. The organisation intervened. They asked what crime had he committed. The wife and police said no crime or threat of violence had occurred. However both the police and the wife thought it was him that should leave. Can you see a problem here? I really hope you can. I’m hoping you might start awakening to some of the problems faced by men. Maybe it’s not that bad where you live?

I also helped another homeless friend a few years ago. He had been kicked out by his female partner, even though she was the abusive one. He left and we found him suicidal in an alley. We managed to find him a campervan that we allowed him to stay in at the bottom of my friend’s gran’s garden (yes we were looking after my friend’s elderly woman at the time too). Eventually he felt mentally well again. He now has a new girlfriend and has lived with her for a couple of years. They are both very happy. I forgot to mention that when he left his original house his ex had tried to turn his children against him. At first this plan worked. It made him suicidal. Luckily he was grounded enough to not get angry at this treatment (which he had a right to do so). Eventually one of his children did come round, and bit by bit the others did too. The damage she caused was huge however. It’s always someone else that picks up the pieces.

So excuse me for getting angry on this one. I’m hoping my anecdotes challenge your stance that men’s issues are only down to government policy (I’m afraid actions of people also affect people. Being a therapist I was hoping you would know that). I am passionate about mental health and men’s rights because I have lived it. No offence to therapists, however some of us have helped heal people from a period of them feeling suicidal all the way to them getting better. This isn’t just one hour a week for ten weeks. This is REAL support. That might sound offensive however therapists rarely imagine the background support some people are getting. Often this hard work goes unnoticed.

I studied counselling myself, however the research I did about counselling knocked my confidence with the profession. Some research showed that completely untrained people did just as well at counselling someone as extremely well trained counsellors. Counsellors never like hearing this (I am someone that likes to research both sides of anything). They also rarely enjoy hearing about the Dodo Bird Verdict. Anyway, not to attack therapy too much as I feel it can be beneficial sometimes, and it’s certainly helped me and others in the past, although sometimes not. I studied MBCT, CBT, person-centred, mindfulness and some Jungian Analysis. I’ve also studied psychology for years. I would love to talk to the angry radical feminist that thought I wasn’t very intellectual. I started programming computers from the age of ten. But obviously I’m stupid. I must humour myself.

As you can see a lot of male suffering is because of complex issues, not just government policy. Which was your belief. A hugely simplistic belief.

To be fair  we should know by now that Twitter is an easy place for misunderstandings to occur. 140 characters doesn’t give the sort of background we need to talk. Hence why I sent you this message via email.

Someone I know who is a therapist went for therapy for a year. They said talking to me for 30 minutes was better than a years therapy from their therapist. That’s not to say therapy is bad, but some therapists are. I didn’t charge anything! I helped her focus in a solution-focused way (similar to solution-focused therapy). I was also very direct and honest, with as much compassion as is possible when being direct. Their therapist had been too ‘nice’ and therefore hadn’t challenged them at all. Challenging someone can be difficult, however when it’s done with genuine compassion, sometimes you need to say some direct truths. Truths that are soft enough to be heard, but hard enough to evoke change. Tough love might be a crude summary of this method.

This message has been written very quickly. So maybe it isn’t fair in places? Or maybe sloppily thought out. However it is supposed to give you some background to who I am, and why I hold certain views. I was thinking about the young man that died a couple of weeks ago today. The hospital had failed him. He had told me a week before he died that the previous music group I set up was the best group he’d ever been to. It’s a shame that the hospital didn’t care. It was a definite case of negligence, however it’s too late now. I heard a lot of complaints against the hospital.

In the end I couldn’t make a men’s organisation work. No-one would fund us. It is only recently that I’ve become angry, and rightly so. I am angry for hardly anyone taking a men’s mental health organisation seriously. I am angry with men who have been brainwashed into thinking that it’s only men who have inequality (men’s feminists take note). I am angry at the lie that feminism believes in equality for all (if you believe that then call yourself an equalist instead, surely a more honest label). At one point I think you said that statistics didn’t back up my views or am I mistaken? On the contrary statistics support my views. Statistics rarely awaken people from their brainwashing. I’m not saying you are brainwashed by the way, but a lot of people are. Indeed I would say a large percentage of men don’t take some women’s issues seriously either. So we need to challenge people on equality in general.

The problem with criticising radical feminism or the inequalities of men is that people will assume you hate women. This actually creates anxiety. Anxiety about having metaphorical rancid tomatoes pelted at you by the angry social media mob. My anxiety is played out in this message. It shows that in my personal life I have supported both men and women. It also shows that I initially thought about setting up a mental health organisation for both men and women. This form of anxiety is an indication of how society shuts down any discussion about male inequality or the damage that radical feminism does.

Based on this anxiety I want to talk about how on my computer science degree (mostly men, only three women) I remember a couple of male friends and myself trying to persuade a female student to stay on the course. She wanted to leave because she thought she was bad at the course. We told her that we struggled too. In the end quite a few men showed concern that she was leaving. I have often seen this in male oriented jobs or environments. Sadly in mostly female environments I have seen sexism from women. Men are far better than society makes out. Women should support men’s issues more, and vice versa.

I also want to defend the Computer Science Department I went too. Everyone supported each other whatever their gender or sexuality. You see computer scientists are mostly logical and rational. They aren’t going to judge you on gender. If there aren’t enough women in engineering is this down to some evil plan by a secret group of men? Radical feminism wants to infer that this is the case. My experience is that it’s the complete opposite. The women (and men) on my course were hugely supported. People with mental health issues were also hugely supported. On another computer science department at another university (which my friend went to), there was a transgender lecturer. The BBC Micro I learned to program on was created by someone who was also transgender. So let’s stop this ‘engineering and science’ is sexist myth. Being bashed when you’re the good guy is hard. Eventually anger does occur. My anger towards you should now be understood.

I’m not angry with you now. However I hope you’ve learned something. Maybe you still think I’m an arrogant prick? Maybe you still think that male inequality is only down to government policy? Maybe you live in a comfortable well off area where none of these problems occur? I read an article recently regarding a cognitive distortion some people have about poverty (or other problems). It said that people from comfortable areas can never comprehend or imagine what real poverty is like for some. I’m not saying this is the case in your life, however I am astounded why you think the views you hold. I would genuinely like to know how you came to believe such beliefs.

Equality means equality for all (with the exception of people who cause extreme harm to others). Feminism by its very name hints at equality for women. In the future people will not call themselves Men’s Rights Activists or Feminists but instead Equalists. I can’t wait for this day to arrive. Until then we will remain in a world like Animal Farm where “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
Yours sincerely
Prick of the year (I’m hoping we both have a sense of humour about our angry exchanges and name calling)
p.s. If I have misrepresented your views above I will edit this and make sure they are fairly represented. It would be great if we could enter into a positive dialog.
Edit (23rd November 2015) – I also want to add that you accusing me of hating women (false) because I am a bitter single divorced man (false) is the equivalent of when men used to accuse a feminists of being lesbians. Hopefully you can see the parallel. You appear to have dogma (obsessed with defending women’s rights) that makes you angry when people challenge the negative parts of feminism, or when someone points out the inequalities of men. Again if you feel I’ve misrepresented your views or reactions then please feel free to correct me (hopefully without anger). I can then add the amendments here.

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