If you’ve spent any amount of time discussing
politics with just about anyone, you’ve likely come across the argument known as a
Whataboutism. Even if you’ve never heard of the term, you know what it is. Usually
it has very little to do with the original topic and just aims to derail the conversation.
Oh, you want to fill that pothole? Well what about fixing the sidewalks on my street? Oh,
so you care about [terrible tragedy]? Well I didn’t see you complaining during [other
unrelated terrible tragedy]. You’ve heard these arguments before and they’re somewhat
easy to spot. But what do you do when the counterargument seems to directly contradict
whatever it is you’re advocating for… Oh, so you made a video about Feminism? Well,
what about Men’s Rights? This video was brought to you by CuriosityStream.
Men and women are biologically and psychologically different. I don’t know any serious person
who disputes that. And while you can’t say that men or women are better overall, you
can say that when it comes to specific categories, on average. Like upper body strength, pain
tolerance, or color perception. Because of those inherent differences, men and women
have taken on different roles in our society. These societal gender roles have made men
and women culturally different as well. Much like the biological and psychological differences,
you can’t say that men or women are culturally better overall. But again, you can say it
when it comes to specific categories. Over the last century, women have been trying
to break out of those traditional gender roles with a good deal of success. They aren’t
quite there yet, but I already made a video about that. Instead, this video is about men,
who’ve been watching women successfully getting out of their roles and saying – hey,
we want out of our traditional gender roles too.
These men are typically known as Men’s Rights Activists, or MRAs, they’re part of the
broader Manosphere and they’ve become pretty popular in recent decades for reasons we’ll
get to later. A few years ago, they released a documentary called The Red Pill. Named after
the red pill in the Matrix, which makes you wake up and see the horrible reality of the
world, as opposed to the blue pill, which is feminism in this case. If you go to the
doctor and ask for the blue pill, you’re going to get something very different. In
the movie, they say that one of the defining characteristics of men’s role in society
is the concept of Male Disposability. Every society that survived, survived based
on its ability to trade its sons to be disposable. Disposable in war as warriors, disposable
in work as firefighters, as workers on oil rigs and so on, coal miners.
Male Disposability is the idea that men are seen as less valuable and therefore disposable
for the betterment or preservation of society. Which is why men account for most deaths in
the workplace. The film makes it a point to mention how many
people died on the job and what percentage of those deaths were men. In 2017, it actually
increased to 5147 workplace fatalities, 92.5% of which were men. Just to put that into perspective,
that’s more casualties than the entire Iraq War, all seven years, put together… every
year. So, this is a genuine problem worth talking about.
The most dangerous profession when it comes to how many deaths there are per worker is
fishermen. If you ever watched Deadliest Catch, you’d know that. But the most dangerous
job, when it comes to absolute numbers, is truck driver with almost a thousand deaths
in 2017… more than the next ten professions combined. Why aren’t these the jobs we talk
about when discussing Male Disposability? The Red Pill mentioned coal miners, oil drillers,
and firefighters – even the watch commercial responding to Gillette uses firefighters when
quoting the same statistic. Only 35 firefighters died on the job in 2017, don’t get me wrong,
I wish it was zero, but these aren’t the guys dying by the hundreds – these are.
Why aren’t truck drivers the face of Male Disposability? Because they aren’t heroic,
even when discussing the plight of men dying in the workforce, we want to be seen as hypermasculine
and heroic. There’s nothing heroic about this. Truck drivers are seen as some of the
lowest people in society because… you know those Gatorade bottles you see thrown out
on the side of the highway? Yeah, those aren’t filled with Gatorade. Disgusting!
So instead, they go with firefighter, which I find interesting, because that profession
in particular is one that women have been trying to get into for decades. But have been
kept out of for… reasons. Probably because we all imagine women as these little 90-pound
frail objects but… If Zarya wants to be a firefighter, I say let her.
But we’re the ones dying… and we die for you guys.
You don’t get to say that we’re the ones dying and we’re doing it for you… in jobs
you want but you can’t have because… they’re ours. Women want those dangerous jobs. And
as long as they are kept out of them, we as men don’t get to complain that we’re stuck
with them. Take the military, for example. Women have
always been in the US military in a support role – nurses, administration, that sort
of stuff. But they’ve been begging to be in combat for decades. The Secretary of Defense
finally opened up combat roles to women in 2013, and they started filling them in 2016.
Much to the chagrin of male politicians. So whenever you’re shown these statistics,
keep in mind that women weren’t allowed in combat during any of these conflicts – despite
wanting to be. Whenever we talk about the military in the scope of men’s rights, we
inevitably end up talking about the draft. Officially known as the Selective Service
System. Every male in the United States is required to register for Selective Service
between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, not doing so is a federal crime that will
haunt you forever. Luckily, you may have done so without remembering. I filled out a card
at the post office, I remember it being a big deal, but you might have done it by just
checking a box on your FAFSA – the form you fill out when requesting financial aid
for college. Or, if you have a driver’s license in any of the yellow states you were
automatically registered. The draft is somewhat of a non-argument for
several reasons, the most obvious is that it really hasn’t affected you. You had to
fill out a form or check a box once. We haven’t used the draft since 1973, we’ve been an
all-volunteer force since then, meaning that it hasn’t affected anyone born after 1956.
If you’re not collecting Social Security, the draft isn’t something you’ve ever
had to worry about. And the draft is so historically unpopular that it would take Red Dawn happening
for us to ever use it again, and I have a feeling that if that were to happen, we’d
suddenly be okay with the draft. But you know, it still might, some day.
Men feel that this is unfair, since they have to sign up for the draft and women don’t.
But actually, that’s about to change. One of the main arguments against women being
part of the draft was that they weren’t allowed in combat, since that changed in 2016,
Congress set up a commission to re-evaluate the Selective Service System. Whether that
means including women or abolishing it entirely. There was also a recent court case that ruled
that an all-male draft is unconstitutional on the basis of that 2016 combat role change.
But since Congress was already set up a commission, that decision didn’t carry much weight.
But there are a number of other ways that men are disadvantaged that Men’s Rights
Activists often cite. Some more legitimate than others.
Men are dropping out of higher education at very alarming rates. We’re down to 38% now,
of college students are men, and it’s dropping rapidly.
It was actually 43.3% in 2017 and isn’t dropping rapidly, in fact, it’s been increasing
since 2005 and is projected to stay the same for the next ten years. Women first became
the majority of college students in 1979. But he is right that there’s a difference
in college graduation rates, among women who start a bachelor’s degree program, 62.1%
of them actually finish, while only 56.1% of men do. It’s not that big of a difference,
but still a difference. You’ll also hear that boys drop out of high
school 30 or 40% more than girls. Which is true, but that’s relative to girls. In 2016,
the nation-wide high school dropout rate was 7.1% for boys and 5.1% for girls, which are
actually near-historic lows. In 1979, it was 15% and 14.2%, so, trending down. But a 2%
difference doesn’t really sound like much of a crisis, so, seven is 140% of five, which
gives us a 40% relative difference. You see this relative risk trick all over the place.
There is a small difference, but I’m not sure I would say something as dramatic as
“boys are languishing academically while girls are prospering.”
Boys are languishing academically while girls are prospering.
While men are slightly behind in the education system, they’re well ahead when it comes
to prison system. Men are sentenced to 63% more prison time
for the same crime as women. That’s actually true and pretty much indisputable.
Of all men in America, one in nine have, are, or will eventually spend time in prison. Among
women, it’s only one in fifty-six. This might lead you to believe that men commit
crimes more often than women… which is statistically true. But even when a woman is convicted,
her punishment is far more lenient. They are twice as likely to receive no jail time than
a man, and if they do, say they’re sentenced to ten years, a man convicted of the same
crime will get sixteen years. And if he’s a black man, he’ll get twenty. Criminal
justice reform, and especially prison reform, is something I’ve been pushing for for a
long time and I’ve never really considered it a male issue, it’s usually a race issue.
But I can see why they include it in the list. Other indisputable statistics that MRAs often
cite when discussing the difference between men and women have to do with healthcare outcomes.
On average, women live seven years longer than men. We spend more on female healthcare,
mostly because they just happen to go to the doctor more often. Women have more regular
healthcare needs. Breast cancer and prostate cancer kill people at similar rates, but breast
cancer gets a lot more funding, which mostly comes down to marketing. If prostate cancer
had something similar to a pink ribbon or a yellow wristband, I’m sure that could
change. Prostate cancer actually has a ribbon – but you probably didn’t know that. Men
aren’t encouraged to go to the doctor regularly like women, even when they’re sick or injured,
they’re told to suck it up or rub some dirt on it. Which leads to worsening physical and
mental health problems… Four of five suicides are men.
That was true when he said it, but it’s actually closer to 3 out of 4 now, because
female suicide has been increasing. Strangely enough, women attempt suicide more often than
men. For every three men that commit suicide, five women attempt. And only one succeeds.
Men successfully commit suicide more than women because men choose more violent methods
like jumping off of things or guns. Firearms account for just over half of all suicides.
Women tend to choose less violent methods like drug overdoses or cutting, which have
a very low probability of success. This is a valid issue, because as I said, men are
far less likely to seek help. We live in a society that looks down on men who ask for
help, so maintaining that pride drives men to things like suicide, drug and alcohol addiction,
and homelessness. Is a man… disposable? Is a man… broken?
I like this one because they’re putting their thumb on the scale a bit… single homeless.
So if you’re married and homeless or have a child and homeless, you don’t count. In
truth, men are 60.2% of all homeless people In homeless shelters, 55.4% are men, which
is actually pretty even – but when it comes to actually living out on the street, 70.3%
are men. Again, men don’t like asking for help. And now that I’ve mentioned shelters,
I’m going to have to talk about domestic violence…
As of 2016, there’s only a single domestic violence shelter for men. My initial reaction
was that there needed to be thousands more women’s shelters because that many more
women are being battered. But as it turns out, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be victims
of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
If you’re alarm bells and red flags aren’t going off, they should be. That statistic
is true; however, the definition of physical violence in that survey includes literally
any form of physical violence. From pushing, to slapping, to throwing something at you.
From the infographic attached to that same source, women are far more likely to be afraid,
far more likely to be concerned for their safety, and far more likely to develop PTSD.
Why is that, if just as many men are victims? Because when we look at physical violence
that actually results in injury, it’s one in seven women and one in twenty-five men.
This is from her 2010 source, link below. For every man that needed to go to a hospital
as a result of domestic violence, five women did, for every man that needed housing services
in order to get away from domestic violence, six women did. The Red Pill tries to portray
this as some both sides in equal numbers issue, but it just isn’t.
Domestic violence shelters were first set up in the 60s and 70s, when many women didn’t
have access to a job or money. They had no resources and nowhere to go if they were in
danger. Men, on the other hand, could go to a hotel, or a friend’s house, or even a
bar if they needed to get away. Not the healthiest options, but still options. But now, there
are domestic violence shelters all over the country which provide a place for women and
men to go. That’s right, I said and men. The domestic violence shelter she says is
the only one for men is not the only one for men. It’s just the only one that serves
only men. According to her source, nearly half a million male victims used housing services
as a result of intimate partner violence – where did they all go? Some domestic violence shelters
are for women only, but almost every domestic violence shelter will help male victims either
by housing them directly or by putting them in a hotel, free of charge. There absolutely
should be more domestic violence shelters for men – but framing it as if there’s
only one is a lie. The Red Pill is about understanding that men
and women, like everything else in life is a mixed bag, you’ve got victims and perpetrators
on both sides of the fence. That’s true, but it’s not even close to
being 50-50. While we’re on the subject of men being the victims of violence, men
can also be the victims of rape. In fact, men can be raped by women. And we should call
it rape, not an affair, when it happens. MRAs and The Red Pill again try to portray this
as a both sides are victims in equal numbers issue, when it isn’t. Not even close. From
the same source she got her one in four men physical violence statistic, one in five women
will be raped in their lifetime, while one in seventy-one men will. For every male victim,
there are fourteen female victims. That’s an order of magnitude difference and accounts
for female on male and male on male sexual violence.
But really, when men are concerned about rape, their biggest concern is being falsely accused.
Many in the Manosphere believe that 40 or 50% of all rape allegations are false and
that women are lying. And they get that number from one discredited study.
When a woman reports a rape, sometimes there isn’t enough information or evidence to
prosecute, sometimes the woman changes her mind about pressing charges, and sometimes
the guy is found not guilty. All of those added up is where they got that number. If
you go to the police to report that your bike was stolen, and they don’t find enough evidence
to pursue it – that doesn’t change the fact that your bike was stolen. That is not
a false allegation. Numerous studies have been done on this and all of them have found
that false rape allegations occur between 2 and 10% of the time, with the largest study
finding 6.8%. Meaning the woman is only making it up 6.8% of the time. Believe it or not,
but that’s actually pretty consistent with the false allegation rate for just about every
crime. Including bicycle theft. In fact, parsing out the numbers, as a man, you are more likely
to be the victim of a rape than you are to be falsely accused of a rape. It does happen
and it’s awful, but it’s also very, very rare.
Men often feel like they have no choice when it comes to conceiving a child. Once the woman
is pregnant, all decisions are left to her. Which makes sense on multiple levels, biologically
and evolutionarily she has to invest much more and has much more to lose. But it also
makes legal sense. It’s scary to think that a woman’s reproductive choices would be
at the mercy of a man, whether he wants the child or not. Which is why the Supreme Court
said that shouldn’t be the case. You know what would solve a lot of these issues and
level the reproductive playing field? If men had access to a birth control pill. That’s
what started second wave Feminism, after all. But paternity traps and even false allegations
and domestic violence really only seem to come up during particularly messy divorces.
There is no question that the family court system is biased against men. The divorce
rate in the United States rose sharply during the 70s and 80s, but has been holding at 40-50%
for the last few decades. Half of all marriages end in divorce, whether it’s your first
or third. Dividing assets during a divorce is a messy
process, anything you earned or bought while you were together is technically both of yours,
so things get divided 50-50. Which is usually a raw deal for the man, who was the primary
breadwinner. But that’s historically, in the decades since the women’s liberation
movement, women have become the primary breadwinner in 40% of households. So dividing assets is
becoming more equitable – but alimony and custody, still favor women.
Alimony, or spousal support, was an idea from back in the day when women’s only job was
to be a housewife. After a divorce, they’d go onto the job market for the first time
ever with no marketable skills. So if you wanted to divorce a woman, you had to financially
help her until she could get a job. But now that women are more independent, you’d think
that alimony would be phased out or at least, very rare. And compared to forty years ago,
it is. Women are only awarded alimony in 10% of divorces today strangely enough, men are
awarded alimony 3% of the time. Spousal support is based on who gets paid more, and typically,
men still get paid more. But men often get the short end of the stick
during a divorce when it comes to child custody. Unlike dividing monetary assets, dividing
children is… somewhat more difficult. These numbers were accurate for the time,
the more recent numbers are 80.4% for women and 19.6% for men. However, they are missing
vital context. In 1986, women were given sole custody 80% of the time, by 1994 it had dropped
to 74%. In 2008, women only got sole custody 42% of the time. So why does that census number
still say 80-something percent? Because you have legal custody of a child until they’re
twenty in some states – depending on if they’re still in school If you got custody
in 1994, you could still have custody for the purposes of those 2015 numbers. So yes,
currently, 80% of custodial parents are mothers, but the family court system and social norms
have changed and it’s going to take a decade or two for the census numbers to reflect that.
Joint custody is actually the norm now. 27% of the time custody is split 50-50 between
mother and father and 18% of the time it’s some uneven balance. Sole custody going to
the father has remained pretty much unchanged since the 80s. But here’s the kicker, the
thing the Red Pill never mentions: 91% of custody decisions are made without involving
the family court system at all. And 51% of the time, the father just lets the mother
have custody. The family court system truly is biased against
men, I mean there’s just no question about it.
There’s no doubt that there have been some men who get screwed by court decisions and
custody cases. The unfairness in the family courts, the unfairness
in the way child support is so often structured. Remember, only 9% of cases go to family court.
But child support is a rather contentious issue and is often cited as one of the main
ways men are disadvantaged. And it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that’s been changing
too. Child support depends on a number of factors including how custody is split and
who makes more money. It is still possible in joint custody situations. But of women
who have sole custody, 52.3% also get child support, of men it’s only 31.4%. Since men
tend to earn more, that makes sense. Interesting side note, we’re all familiar with the term
“deadbeat dad’ for a father who is delinquent on child support. 25.4% of men who are supposed
to pay child support… don’t. But among women who are supposed to pay child support,
32% of them don’t. So “deadbeat moms” are actually more common as a percentage.
It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that divorce is the primary recruitment tool for Men’s
Rights Activist groups. Many men’s rights activists come into being
men’s rights activists as a result of getting a divorce wanting to be equally involved with
children and realizing that women have the right to children and men have to fight for
children. Again, I think it’s important to point out
that the vast majority of divorces and custody disputes don’t end up in family court, but
it is safe to assume that when they do, men tend to lose. So what is the feminist response
to the current state of divorce? You should all know who this is, she’s the go-to thumbnail
for anti-feminist youtube, she goes by the name Big Red and she is very loud and obnoxious.
But look past the tone in her voice and listen to what she’s actually saying.
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children, the assumption that women
are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy!
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat
the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over
professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their traditional marriages
end. Why didn’t the MRAs stop her right then
and say “hey, we actually agree with you, let’s do something about it?” I realize
the tone is an issue, but outside of that. None of the things I’ve talked about in
this video are actually against feminism, in fact a lot of the time, they’re parallel
issues. Why aren’t MRAs and Feminists working together? You know what would solve a lot
of the issues that men’s rights groups and feminists are working to solve? An Equal Rights
Amendment that makes men and women equal under the law. It was squashed in the 70s because
anti-feminists wanted to keep divorce and custody unequal and women out of the military
and the draft. Why aren’t MRAs pushing for that legislation?
The common trope is that MRAs aren’t actually trying to change anything, they just hate
women… What you’ll hear is that we hate women.
You’ll hear that it’s a backlash against women’s rights.
That’s somewhat difficult to argue against, since MRAs didn’t exist until the 80s, it’s
clearly a direct response to Feminism. But MRAs are just part of a larger picture – known
as the Manosphere. Just as Feminism is not a single monolith that agrees on everything,
there are several groups within the Manosphere that don’t always get along.
First, you have the men’s rights activists that care about equality in divorce and male
disposability – legitimate issues discussed in this video. But then you have the incels
– short for involuntarily celibate – men who are unsuccessful in their dating lives
and blame women and feminism for it. Sometimes violently. Then there are the voluntarily
celibate – or “Volcels” more often called MGTOW for “Men Going Their Own Way.” These
are men who don’t like women and don’t want women. And on the flip side, there are
the pick-up artists, who don’t like or respect women, but still very much want them, even
to the point of tricking them. There are other factions, some of which are
even creepier, not all MRAs like them being around, but when one of the leaders of the
men’s right movement says stuff like this… If men made the rules to benefit men at the
expense of women, here are some of the ways the world- here are some of the ways the world
would look like. We would make rules that every woman would be sexual with us whenever
we would like. And that the women who are very young, maybe 13 or 14 would be very interested
in us. It’s kind of hard to deny that they are
on this list. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there is a significant overlap
between the Manosphere and white nationalist groups. Not every MRA is in the alt-right,
but some are. The point is, whenever there’s a men’s rally, these guys show up too…
While these guys try to say that they don’t hate women – they just hate feminism.
Feminists aren’t the only problem, the problems didn’t start with feminism. So when I start
criticizing feminism, I want you to know that you’re just part of the problem.
It’s so hard to convince people to look at men’s right activism and support it without
first allowing them to at least escape the stranglehold that feminism has on their minds.
When men’s rights groups bring up the issues that are important to them and present their
information, they don’t bring up any serious solutions. Instead, they just conclude that
therefore, Feminism is wrong. The Red Pill seems to be more about downplaying and dismissing
women’s issues than anything else – a way to delegitimize feminism as a whole. It’s
an evil ideology that brainwashes people. Are you conflating feminism, which is an ideology,
with women, which is a demographic of society? Ideologies and -isms aren’t inherently bad.
Capitalism is an ideology. Men’s rights groups appear to be more of a coping mechanism
for men who feel defensive against or even victimized by feminism. If men were looking
for end-goal solutions, they would see feminists as allies. A big hang up for many in the men’s
rights movement seems to be the language – why is the bad thing patriarchy and the force
for good feminism? If it’s about equality, why don’t you call it Egalitarianism? You
have to look past the surface-level language that was developed back when it was objectively
true fifty years ago. You might even find that it’s applicable to men’s issues.
The fact that men are always suspected of being the aggressors in a rape, that female
teachers never rape their male students, and prison rape is always a punchline. That’s
all part of Rape Culture. When people automatically think that men are capable, they’re more
likely to listen to and believe you, but when you actually need help, they’re less likely
to offer it because you’re supposed to be capable. That’s the downside to Male Privilege.
The fact that you’re supposed to man up and not be a p**sy, never show emotion and
not cry like a b**ch. That’s Toxic Masculinity. That hypermasculine pride is what leads men
to never go to the doctor when they need to, or end up homelessness, or with drug and alcohol
addiction, and eventually suicide. Patriarchy doesn’t only oppress women. Not only does
it expect women to be in subservient roles, it expects men to be in dominant ones. Whether
you want to be or not. It expects you to be the breadwinner of the family and to be willing
to sacrifice your life for your country or work in some heroic masculine profession.
Like being a firefighter, or coal miner, or a knight in medieval times. Which you can
learn more about by going to curiositystream.com/knowingbetter. CuriosityStream is a subscription streaming
service that offers over 2400 documentaries and nonfiction titles from some of the world’s
best filmmakers that you can access across multiple platforms. Take a look at this series
about Knights, so you can play out that male power fantasy of chivalry and honor. A time
when fair maidens swooned over men and nobody complained about the possibility of being
drafted into their feudal lord’s army. You can get access to their entire library for
as little as 2.99 a month, but if you head over to curiositystream.com/knowingbetter
and use the promo code knowingbetter, you can have the privilege of getting your first
month completely free. You’ll also be supporting the channel when you do.
None of the issues that men’s rights groups advocate for contradict feminism. None of
the points that the watch commercial makes are actually a response to Gillette, instead
it’s just a list of ways men have it bad. We see the good in men. This all seems to
be one giant Whataboutism. Oh, you want to close the gender pay gap? Well, what about
male suicide rates? What about workplace fatalities? What about them? We can work on all of that.
Men being the victims of domestic violence is an issue and there should be more funding
for male shelters. But that doesn’t mean we need to take away from women’s shelters.
This isn’t a zero-sum game, we can do both. The conclusion shouldn’t be therefore your
original point was wrong, it should be therefore, we should work together, because now, you
know better. I’d like to give a shout out to my newest
Golden Fork patron, Qemmuel (Kem-you-el). If you’d like your name added to this list
of activists, or shouted out during my Q&A video next month, head on over to patreon.com/knowingbetter.
I’ll be at Vidcon next month, so be sure to stop by and say hello. Don’t forget to
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