A Curious Case of Men’s Rights Activism – A Note on the #metoo Incident in JGU

The code of conduct of an ideal ‘bro’ includes celebrating the entitlement heterosexual men commonly share in talking about their girlfriends, hook ups and dates not in a manner that celebrates the agency of the women’s sexuality, but how she got fucked, and how he “wrecked” her pussy. That this problematic language does not invoke a rape fantasy for you, goes on to show how internalized this is in within the minds of the men that study consent in rape laws in statute books.

Five years of legal education and no change. The university space has created an odd platform for men’s rights activists appropriating the silences of women’s oppression as their own victimization. These men further eify those systems of dominance by refusing to acknowledge their whiny sense of entitlement and continue to use misogynistic language, comply with ‘bro-culture’ and slut-shame women, supposedly their friends.  When questioned, they accuse their challengers, women and their ‘queer friends’ alike, of being manipulative. At the end, everyone is a consumable object for the relentless desire to live under the illusion that he is the strongest, the mightiest, the most desirable and yes, the most violent.

What is the man’s response to their repulsive and discriminatory conduct? The whole world has ‘raped’ him. He continues to apportion blame to women for their inability to branch out of relationships that consistently paralyzed them with his abuse and neglect. The women are also considered to be at fault for discussing his filthy and reprehensible behaviour with her friends, while he perpetually shamed her, to what extent? Only his ‘bros’ can imagine. Times up, I cannot tolerate the ‘bro culture’ characterised by locker room talks and violent and rapaciously graphic nature of the language of sexual conquests.

The code of conduct of an ideal ‘bro’ includes celebrating the entitlement heterosexual men commonly share in talking about their girlfriends, hook ups and dates not in a manner that celebrates the agency of the women’s sexuality, but how she got fucked, and how he “wrecked” her pussy. That this problematic language does not invoke a rape fantasy for you, goes on to show how internalized this is in within the minds of the men that study consent in rape laws in statute books.  I am sex positive, but when descriptions of sex by men reveal violence towards women as a display of a certain kind of achievement and victory, you know he does not love you, he owns you and he celebrates that violence with his friends without thinking what it means for a woman who is already rendered paranoid and scared to express her sexuality, with the very fears you prove, countlessly.

Imagine us living in a world where lack of misogyny and violence and abuse is treated as a sign of a great man – coz he ‘treats women’ so well. As if the woman is only entitled to a man who doesn’t beat her, and should expect nothing more and live with what she has. When this is the marital, almost even acceptable standard that women are condemned to live with and the mediocrity with which they do, help me understand what is your men’s rights movement actually trying to pursue?

Wait to read more. Some have used the instrument of patriarchy to appropriate the bodies of dogs as well.  They inscribe and brand them, denigrating the #metoo movement. That you feel unapologetic, vindicated and violated for being given truth to power is symptomatic of something called  heterosexual masculinity.

Like a pastor in a church, he comes to me with a smirk at my half-awake , sleep deprived face and tells me that it was apparently a joke and that he did not think ‘it would have been blown out of proportion’ by  JGU. Ironically, as an afterthought after the AWS took action, he claims to be a victim too, being denied the opportunity to legitimize his violence on a dog, and to slander a movement that focused on silencing sexual violence. The perpetrator who did this on the dogs claims he was a victim of harassment by women and queer people, because he was a heterosexual man. Well, please allow me to explain.

HOW IS HE A VICTIM? Because the woman didn’t give him what HE wanted at the cost of her dignity and respect; being in a relationship with a controlling, domineering coward whose insecurity thrives on the subjugation of her desires, and a sense of typical male entitlement that she is to breathe, live, fuck, produce, eat and smile only for him and him alone. That’s the defences of the men’s rights movement have now proven to be an ironical act of violence upon two dogs, with attendant notions of ridiculing women’s movement because a man’s violation is more important, makes me shudder to know what kind of humans live on this planet, that thrive on feasting on the weak and the oppressed. Women and queer folks don’t brand dogs and denigrate sexually violated people, we don’t make fun of other victims of abuse, and we don’t compare whose greater violation absolves our own complicities for our subsequent conduct.

Shame on your kind on bringing the defence of men’s rights activism and blaming vulnerable people for refusing to speak your language and agreeing to your ways of being! Shame on these men and even myself for allowing them to treat me as a trophy Queer BFF that helped them sanitize their misogyny and homophobia, in the attempt that I tried to bring to their attention the fundamental mess of a person that they were, with their sob stories about trauma and betrayal that I actually bought, while they spoke the language of conquer and destroy, having and using, picking and fucking, slapping and spanking.

How are they feeling subjugated and harassed the way women and queer folks do, which does not arise from the source of what they seek to protect? How can one identify with a feminism when their own gender demands that they conventionally display their penis and their masculinity as a sign of power and domination, for them to be relevant and significant in this world? We don’t want you to cross the stoplight when it’s red, so that you can force us to have sex with you. We don’t want you to pay for dinners, as an excuse for you thinking this marks a guarantee for a “good time.” We do not want to agree with you on shit that you think makes sense, because it privileges your deep sense of apathy and ignorance, and we certainly do not believe that women in burqa are more oppressed than those in bikinis, so that they conform to your horrible standards of female objectification of the most uninformed kind. That stories of men beating their wives and women, controlling, abusing and humiliating them, and berating and stripping them to teach them a lesson, providing food and money to them as sole breadwinners are some of the many toxic stories that have passed as oral traditions for centuries as signs of masculinity and virility in men.

When such ideologies become a part of the life of a man, women are but disposable objects toward a masturbatory narcissism to oneself. ‘Dudes’ and ‘bros’ constantly ponder on what will the other ‘dude’ think, how will I describe my experiences to glorify my sexual prowess, how do I fabricate how grand and celestial her orgasm was (talk about how big I am, how much pain she was in, how I pretended to be a feminist to ‘pick’ her up, paid for her dinner and assume she likes it rough, begin sentences with bitch and end with slut etc., and worse rape and assault when she resists). The typical ‘dude-bro’, is thus constantly involved, in a conversation with himself and ‘The Big Other,’ as Lacan points out as a symbolic order that decides how women are viewed, watched, seen, felt and touched, as an extension of an exhibition of a hyper-masculine paranoia via a symbolic order that constantly watches itself under the execution of misogynistic, violent rape fantasies. When men are nice to the girls around them, then go back to the locker room spaces, and lasciviously explain every body part to their ‘dude’ friend in a frenzy, by which they commodify, objectify and dehumanize her, I feel Freud is right when he says “’Pervert is one who actualizes what a normal person fantasizes.” That men are one step away from violating a person, is nothing but an extension of thought into action. And it can arrive at any moment.

In her violation, men see their own misplaced sense of humanity which is a weak, gullible, stubborn man-child whose mother told him he could get away with anything because he was blessed with a schlong between his legs. When raised with such horrible signification beginning from home, school, university, society and the rape apologia of a world writ large – men commit the vicious act that they don’t even see it as unethical and wrong. They instead take advantage of a position where the woman will always be blamed for her own violence and for failing to be an ideal woman – not being a good mother, daughter, wife, and girlfriend.  They will simply get away acting like nothing happened, because they are men. You are a man who wants his ego to be the supreme law of the land, and femininity as allegiance to such ego. And when that doesn’t happen, you will justify your actions through your hurt, fragile masculine ego.

But the real question is, who’s the real softie; a tough woman with a spirit than won’t die, or a man who gets hurt at the slightest thought of being shown the mirror? The very language of power that you deploy seems to hide the vulnerabilities that you exploit in a woman’s violation, and it is a cowardly act that shows how small you are. Next time a person advocates for such obscure notions of Men’s rights, it’s your cue to move on and find a man who acknowledges that entitlement, and has the maturity to know the power of love and not the love of power. It’s not an easy road ahead, and we must fight to expose these realities to bring actual change. It’s Times Up!

[This post has been contributed by Karan Raj Bhatia, law student at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat]

Featured Image source: UNSW Women’s Collective.

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