the MRA story

lemme tell you about my brief flirtation with men’s rights, back in the late ’00s.

so i’m in the closet, mostly resolved that this trans thing isn’t gonna be my life, that there’s no good reason to ever come out of the closet. reddit is still a plucky little startup, an alternative to the libertarian cesspool over at digg. i just signed up, so i’m looking through the list of popular subreddits, looking for stuff to subscribe to, and find /r/mensrights. men’s rights? i didn’t know that was a thing, that’s super contrarian! i naively assumed people treated women and men basically equally and i could finally advocate for my own demographic!

they had a few issues that i thought were interesting. circumcision. custody. the message, of course, was “i’m male and i deserve more!” but it all seemed very niche to me at the time. harmless and contrarian. i don’t think i hurt anyone with it, just repeated some topics i found interesting to whoever would listen.

i wouldn’t say i grew out of it – rather, the bad press started to mount and i realized it was kind of a fucked up thing to identify with. i realized it was a lot darker than i gave it credit for.

i guess it was a demented way of trying to love who i was. i never felt as comfortable in male skin as i do in female skin. i am wearing a great dress right now and i feel fantastic. but there was a hole in my identity back then. male skin was the only skin i had, and i needed to do something with it. so much of myself has been completed by a femininity that i was convinced would never come out, and so i was looking for something to validate the identity i had. i spent all my life bored by masculinity, jealous of women, but i didn’t know what the solution was. i had privilege guilt at age twelve, jealous that there was so little that defined me, because whiteness was uninspiring and masculinity was empty for me. so flirting with men’s rights was an attempt to cure the symptom rather than the disease.

i once read a post-columbine argument that said that young white males were responding violently to not being delivered the total power they were promised, that they believed that multiculturalism was marginalizing them and they were lashing out. i don’t know what fuels cisgender MRAs. but maybe it’s partly emptiness. i didn’t know how much emptiness had been there until I started living as a woman. maybe MRAs are empty humans seeking identity in the worst possible way. allyship is not an identity, it’s a positive trait that needs an identity as foundation.

i love being a trans woman. i still have a lot of privilege, granted. but i’ve become a better ally to other marginalized demographics by filling that hole that i didn’t know was there. perhaps the best way for people to stay on the righteous path is to find and pursue passion. or maybe assholes will always be assholes.

anyway, death to cismen.