Long Reads Pick of the Week: Are You Man Enough for the Men’s Rights Movement?

Since I spend so much time reading long-form non-fiction online, I’m going to link to my favourite one every week for anyone who’s interested in similar reading.

A growing army of pissed-off activists are convinced that the male species is profoundly endangered by our feminized society. They say it’s a woman’s world now—that women have the upper hand in sex, in universities, in custody battles. And don’t even get them started on all those bogus rape cases. It’s enough to make a certain kind of man join a revolution.

This article reports from the movement’s first national gathering and meets the true believers who want you to fight for your right to patriarchy. The views expressed by the attendees would have been funny had they not been so disturbing.

Albert Calabrese believes the age of consent should be 12 years old.

Albert Calabrese believes the age of consent should be 12 years old.

“Women gone insane with the power of the pussy pass” is how Elam describes the movement’s raison d’être in an essay called “When Is It OK to Punch Your Wife?” Another one of his provocations. Elam’s white, but he identifies with Malcolm X; he believes he needs to shock society to be heard. He says his talk of “the business end of a right hook” and women who are “freaking begging” to be raped is simply his version of Malcolm’s “by any means necessary.” To wit: Elam’s proposal to make October “Bash a Violent Bitch Month,” in which men should take the women who abuse them “by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.”

The night winds on, with discussion of rape and the smothering of penises, the sorrows of false accusations and the narcissism of young girls. A sore point for Factory, who has two daughters, who, like young women everywhere, he says, compete for the most exaggerated rape claim. It is, he says, a status thing. When one of his daughters came home one night and said she’d been raped, he said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Sitting with us, he hikes his voice up to a falsetto in imitation: ” ‘Oh, I just got raped.’ ” He laughs. There’s a moment of silence. A bridge too far? “I told her if she pressed charges, I’d disown her.”

Elam, whose attention has drifted, grins through his beard. “That’s good fathering,” he says.

Factory loves his children. He would have reacted differently if it had been what he in theory considers a legitimate claim, but—”if you don’t have videotape or forensic, a whole lot of bruises, I don’t give a fuck.”

Are You Man Enough for the Men’s Rights Movement? by Jeff Sharlet, GQ Magazine

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