The only thing more irritating, in the 21st century, than people overly-fixated on their own historical victimhood are people overly-fixated on their own imagined historical victimhood.
"Men's Rights Activism" (MRA) has probably always existed in one form or another, but it got supercharged by The Internet because - shocker! - there's a lot of undersexed, pathologically-aggrieved men in the anyonymous realm of web forums. The "public face" of MRA is, of course, typically presented in the context of legal arguments about fathers disenfranchised by custody hearings or the ever-dreaded boogeyman of Affirmative Action; but a short amount of web-digging exposes just how sinister the movement's thriving "base" actually is - a toxic stew of half-baked evolutionary-psych jargon, beta-male sexual-frustration and right-wing backlash against "the feminization of the culture"... the white-hot rage of a middle-aged child-support dodger filtered through the sophistication of a cootie-phobic six year-old.
My colleague Jim Sterling highlights a particularly horrifying-yet-hillarious exchange currently going down on an MRA forum involving video-games. Give it a read.
Money quote, sampled from the larger rant of the MRA forum's original poster:
"I think I have the right to ask steam and other gaming companes: WTF with the subliminal brainwashing? What now when I buy or play a game women will be doing all the ass kicking? I seen some similiar patterns on the game advertisements on television and the internet recently and want to know if anyone else is seeing the pattern?
I call bullshit on this subject. Video games are the last place for guys to hang out and now women are taking over. Why not just save us the trouble and instead of eliminating our fantasy world just throw us in work camp to provide for thier bastard children (literally speaking) while they shit all over us...wait they already do that."
That last part with the "work camps" is a pretty good primer on where the "bottom" of the MRA rabbit hole is - it's an article of faith with these folks that "feminism" is actually a conspiracy of power-hungry women to trick/seduce "real man" (read: men who buy into MRA doctrine) into impregnating them and paying child support while they and their "feminized men" (read: men who have sex more often than MRA believers) go about their mission of stealing men's high-paying jobs and "taking over" the culture; with the logical extreme being some kind of matriarchal men-as-cattle dystopia.
For me, an extra dollop of hillarity is to be found in the fact that the ENTIRETY of "Men's Rights Activism" was both predicted and parodied by, of all things, "Married With Children" over a DECADE ago. What, have we already forgotten about "NO MA'AM?"
Another take was offered by my friend and editor Susan Arendt, here.