What do you do when your hate group loses? When everyone rejects your ideas? When the general public rolls their eyes at you? When your gay marriage ban is overturned by the Supreme Court? When Buzzfeed tells the world about that time you pooped your pants?
You could get some therapy and try to come to terms with the mental health issues that led you to such a toxic ideology. You could throw a tantrum and threaten a boycott. Or, like a washed-up pop star, you could pack up and take your act abroad.
North-American culture, for whatever reason, is damn good at spreading itself across the world. Most of the time, this just means Mariah Carey in Nigeria or Titanic in Korea, but in a some horrifying cases, it means a surge in bigotry and violence.
Homophobia in Uganda
In case you haven’t seen that John Oliver segment, some Western anti-gay zealots have chosen to focus their evangelism on African countries like Uganda, with disastrous results.
One notorious example is Pastor Scott Lively. President of Abiding Truth Ministries and co-author of The Pink Swastika, Lively blames homosexuality for Nazism and has spent years calling for the criminalization of “the advocacy of homosexuality”. Lively frequently trots out the old paranoid belief that gays like to recruit the youth, mainly through Hollywood and universities, and that the gay community’s ultimate goal is to destroy society.
Lively is a nobody in America, but in Uganda he’s a big name. He has spent years spreading malicious attitudes about gays in Uganda. He met with Ugandan lawmakers to help draft the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, which called for homosexuality to be punishable by life imprisonment or even death. The legislation was accompanied by a rise in violence against LGBT people.
At the moment, Sexual Minorities Uganda is suing Lively for Crimes Against Humanity under the Alien Tort Statute.
Men’s Rights Activists in India
Regarding MRAs, the average American agrees with Leslie Knope: “You’re ridiculous, and men’s rights is nothing.”
Unfortunately, in India, the men’s rights movement is becoming something.
It takes a special kind of crazy to argue that women are privileged in India. But to humor any readers who might suggest that up is down, the world is flat or that India is too nice to women, here are some charts from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted by India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Men are more likely to be educated than women.
A high percentage of women in India have experienced domestic violence, including sexual violence.
Attitudes toward domestic violence are quite disturbing. About half of the population (including women) thinks that it’s okay for a man to beat his wife sometimes.
It’s so bad that even sex ratios in the population are imbalanced because many families carry out sex-selective abortions in order to have more sons. India is so hard on women that in many instances it doesn’t even allow them to exist.
And despite all this, Indian “masculinists” complain that “India is not for men,” parroting the MRA talking point that the courts are biased against men, I guess because more men go to jail than women (probably because MORE MEN COMMIT CRIMES THAN WOMEN). Also, women are allowed to wear jeans in public and for some reason that hurts men.
They also believe that a man has a right to rape his wife.
Recently, Indian MRAs attempted a bit of slacktivism on Twitter, with the awkwardly-phrased hashtag #DontMancriminate. The hashtag spread false statistics about rape (claiming that women who accuse men of rape are usually lying). These misconceptions make it harder for rape victims to find justice, thereby making it easier for rapists to get away with their crimes and rape again:
More than 70% rape cases are false , punish the women #dontmancriminate
— Mysticjoe (@jyotitiwari05) June 26, 2015
Here’s how the above poster responded when asked for a citation for her statistic:
Any sensible people who attempted to reason with the Mancriminators were rebuffed.
@secondofhername don’t make urself look weak & think u’d be harrassed, we are only trying put all of us on an equal pedestal
— Maggcom (@maggcomofficial) June 26, 2015
Yeah, HOW DARE YOU TRY TO LOOK PRETTY IN PUBLIC YOU BITCH. As we all know, it’s really oppressive to men when a woman makes herself look attractive. Giving a man a boner is so cruel. Fortunately, the hashtag was quickly overtaken by sensible people and beautiful, beautiful sarcasm:
— Gary Dunion (@garydunion) June 26, 2015
Other things men don’t have to do: Rape women Discriminate against women for jobs Mentally and physically assault women #DontMancriminate
— J (@J_Manasa) June 26, 2015
#DontMancriminate by forcing legions of men to labor 18 hours a day in the mascara mines and die of long, luscious lung cancer
— jimpjorps deluxe (@jimpjorps) June 26, 2015
But not before celebrities were drawn into terrible memes:
In a country in which half the population believes that wife-beating is okay, MRAs are whining about free drinks and eyeshadow. If Indian MRAs want to be “equal” to women, does that mean they think that men should be gang-raped with crowbars as well?
Like their Western counterparts, Indian MRAs drag out the old bit of foolishness about how small, chivalrous gestures like “reserved seats on the bus, legal provisions for women, or reserved seats in educational institutions” show that women actually have all the privilege. Men in male-dominated societies complaining about chivalry is like cutting off a woman’s legs and then complaining that she gets to use a better parking space.
Western MRAs are more than happy to enable these bizarre delusions, meeting with Indian MRAs to help them fight the rising tide of feminism in India by protesting anti-domestic violence legislation or laws that would combat marital rape. That’s what’s truly saddening about this: the fact that Indian men and women are waking up and speaking out against violence against women, and a group of Americans are trying to stop it because they’re still mad that pretty girls wouldn’t date them in high school.
By claiming that India is unfairly biased in favor of women, North American MRAs have lowered their credibility even more, from a score of 0 to -1,000,000. It illustrates beautifully that MRAs will never be happy no matter how oppressed women are. If MRAs could speak Arabic, they’d be meeting with Saudi Arabians too, complaining that women oppress the men by forcing them to chauffeur women around everywhere.
But it’s not all bad. The majority of Indian men believe that women should have some say in household decisions. These rates get better with education.
And ordinary Indian citizens are standing up to sexist bullshit, whether it’s a big issue like sexual violence or a smaller one like household chores.
And we hope they keep on doing that, despite Western MRAs’ best efforts.