Contemplating the men’s rights flounce

Last night I scored my first “proper” full-on misogynist blog comment. It was, to put it mildly, a shock to the system. While up till then I’d had the odd attempt at a sexist put-down – “no sense of humour”, “PMS”, even the word “feminist” itself – this was something else. Although not remotely on the scale of the misogynist taunts and threats I’ve seen hurled at other women on Twitter, this upset me. Thankfully some lovely tweets and comments from some lovely people soon put it right. Oh, and some wine – that helped, too.

I’m not going to write a long post about this because other women have experienced far worse and have far more revealing stories to tell. What I am going to write about is the one remaining type of sexist comment I’ve received, the one that actually amuses me. I call it the Men’s Rights Flounce.

This is how the Men’s Rights Flounce tends to work:

  1. Admit that, sure, women have been discriminated against, at some point, in some dim and distant past
  2. Claim that you used to buy into all this feminism shit and feel guilty and hate yourself for all these vague things that had sod all to do with you
  3. Announce that since you got divorced, sorry, saw the light, you now realise that it’s always been women who are using men – as cash machines, as sperm banks, as door-holder-openers – while claiming to want equality
  4. Proclaim that you are now withdrawing your manly services. You’re outta here. You don’t need no woman. So ner.
  5. Flounce (but remember to close the door behind you).

I have never know precisely how to respond to the Men’s Rights Flounce. Usually I think the polite thing is to say “bye”, and possibly “good luck”. I suspect that one is actually supposed to cling, metaphorically, to the knees of the flouncer, screaming “no! Don’t go! I’ll do all the dishes, I’ll give you the house and kids, I never really wanted the vote anyhow, just please, for the love of god, DON’T GO!” Alas, I’ve never managed to summon up the energy for all that. Besides, I have decent enough menfolk in my life already (even if they do, apparently, all secretly hate themselves).

The Men’s Rights flouncer has a strange idea of feminism to begin with. The idea that women who’ve fought for workplace equality and reproductive rights all, deep down, just want to “steal” a man’s sperm, raise his children in matriarchal isolation and live off male wages seems to me rather odd. “Ah, but that’s the contradiction”, the flouncer will say. It isn’t, though. It seems contradictory because it’s just not true (unless all women are in fact the flouncer’s ex-wife). Sure, feminism has highlighted the fact that if “traditional” women’s work – childcare, housework – remains unpaid, and if women are still expected to do most of this work, women will necessarily become dependent on the wages of men, at least to some extent. That’s a problem, though, not a feminist ideal.

The flouncer will of course then claim that women still expect men to do “manly things” – hold doors for them, open difficult jars of Dolmio, get things down from high-up shelves. Personally, I don’t have an issue with a man holding a door for me, as long as he’s okay with me holding it for him. The only problem I have with door-holding is when the person for whom the door’s being held is at that difficult in-between distance from the door – the one where you (if you’re holding it) are torn between slamming the door in his or her face or making the person half-run in an undignified manner. Or else you’re the person for whom the door is being held and you’re half-running, but also pretending not to, because you don’t want the door-holder to feel guilty for putting you under pressure. God, I hate that aspect of door holding. But it’s got bugger all to do with feminism (as for the jars and high-up shelves, well, I’ve no idea what Virginia Woolf recommended for a room of one’s own, but I’m having a footstool and some elastic bands).

While it is awful for some women to have to deal with men who fundamentally don’t like women at all, when such men make formal proclamations about their withdrawal from service to the whole of womankind, I do find it rather funny. It’s like when my three-year-old announces he’s running away from home and will never see me again, ever, because I’m mean and didn’t give him a second bag of animal biscuits (actually, it’s nothing like that, because on some level the latter can still make me rather sad). But the former – it is rather ridiculous, isn’t it? But perhaps part of the amusement comes from relief – it might be silly, but it’s a non-aggressive response. And sometimes a lack of aggression is the best we can hope for.

So leave, flouncers, leave. I’m sorry that womankind let you down. But don’t forget clean underpants.


35 thoughts on “Contemplating the men’s rights flounce

  1. Wonderful blog. I laughed out loud.
    Clementine Ford wrote something recently that touched on the same thing – patterns in the criticisms you receive as a feminist on the internet and in ‘real life’. Google ‘how to spot a misogynist’
    (Not spam I promise!)

    1. Hahahaha 😀 You Cite Clementine Ford, The Biggest Joker Feminist Every, Well bet there is also How to Spot a feminist from miles away.

  2. I have a husband whom admittedly I love deeply, but does have a tendency to patronise my womanhood. He’s very old fashioned, old skool, in his 60’s and a little bit of a, err, chauvinist pig. Well, actually, he’s a lot of one. But I do love him. Especially when he holds the door for me as I walk through it with my arms filled with his dirty washing.

    CJ x

  3. And you describe yourself as ‘humorless’ 🙂

    Don’t worry, keep doing what you are doing best. You are great, wise woman and funny as well.

    Not only womankind let flouncers down, nothing is going to change that void, and there is no need to comment on it further.

  4. actually the MRA “flounce” (sic?) reminds me of another “flounce” ive heard before…the old feminist saying “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

    seems to me that people making a choice to disengage from a voluntary interaction with the opposite sex which they find destructive or harmful to themselves, or as a means of protest against a system they find to be fraught with unnecessary and institutional difficulties should be an unremarkable event.

    i certainly wouldnt ridicule a woman for choosing not to engage in a relationship under conditions which they find to be leveraged in the favor of men.

    so im also curious as to why so many females take every opportunity to engage in ridicule and shaming language against men that make the same personal choice (the kind of choice that isnt “right” or “wrong” but merely based on personal taste or as a perceived means to ones best personal good)

    what do you think is the cause of this difference in reactions between men and women to members of the opposite sex stating that their intention to disengage from the other?

      1. So what you did was “right” but what we do is “wrong”, thats a lame logic, beside i would love to hear those words from feminists that they dont NEED men because when they do NEED them i would just give them the MIDDLE FINGER. you know what they say PAYBACK IS A BITCH.

  5. I am so sorry for you, please please, not all men have the audacity to leave ambiguously belligerent comments. As a socially conscious enlightened and empowered male feminist moderate starship captain I have to say I’M deeply OFFENDED and I’m a bigger victim than these terrible ‘flouncer’ MRAs. You shouldn’t have to endure the onslaught of vicious text on a screen One can only compare this travesty to rape. And remember, only men do that. Wonderful Goddesses such as yourself shouldn’t have to deal with negative comments it’s just not right. I say this on behalf of my gender, please forgive us.

  6. Dirty underwear? The MRA is more about changing the law to treat man and woman equal for crimes like murder, rape, mutilation etc.
    Also in my experience woman are doing very well in schools and the job market so there is no need to help woman any more to achieve equality in those areas.

  7. When all of the snarky feminist blogs have been written, there will still be the immutable fact that men can choose the women they want, and are not obliged to choose the women feminists say they *should* want, i.e. (wait for it…wait for it…) feminists.

    So enjoy your emotionally arid future and your nine cats.

    1. Not all men are MRAs, though, are they? Mind you, having thought my future would just involve my partner and our sons, I’m really looking forward to getting the cats too! Do I really get to keep nine?

      1. Well that depends where you are living, but overall being in MRA for 3 years (and i am married 😀 but not to an American women) well i say that it would take approximately 10 years for MRA to reach every men in western countries, beside why would you want to destroy a MAN’s life by taking him to the gallows (altar) be a nice feminists and seek the advice of your sisters and just play along with the sexual liberation thingy.

  8. Are you fucking kidding? Women trap men for alimony and use their kids against he fathers in courts all the time…. It’s no wonder men are opting out and avoiding marriage for the scam that it is.

    1. Yes, as I often to say to all my sad, lonely, single feminist friends, over a bottle of gin in our sad, lonely, single feminist commune, I wish we had more men like this around.

  9. why do feminists believe the men’s rights movement is purely focused on bringing things back to the 1950’s?? how self-centered! could it be men actually want equitable access to the constitution??

  10. Sadly, I have to agree with the blogger. I am an MRA and I believe that men are unfairly discriminated against in the domestic sphere – but this blogger is correct to highlight most MRA’s style. We need to stop snivelling, it just ain’t helping. Be direct, be firm, but don’t be a big crybaby.

  11. Many of us MRAs do not agree that you have been discriminated against in the past. Past discrimination is what feminists fall back on when their lies about the current time are destroyed e.g. the pay gap which is due to choices and not discrimination and the one in three women have been raped story which is an outright lie.
    For information on past discrimination, I refer you to Ernest Belfort Bax’s The Legal Subjection of Men, published in 1908.

    1. Loving some of the comments. To summarise:

      Women, you have never been oppressed, some arse in 1908 says so. It is your bad choices that makes us men, rape, beat you, perform FGM, keep all the wealth, threaten you and generally dislike you.

      If you don’t comply, well us men will, will, will…. Take away marriage. That’s what we’ll do. That’ll show you.

      Oh and if you still don’t comply you’ll live a sad and lonely life (because obviously you won’t have a kind gentle benevolent man taking care of you) with your 9 cats.

      Point proved glosswitch methinks!

      Excellent post as always!

      1. Sarcasm aside Buddy but could you prove your points above which you specified, that Men had raped, beaten and performed FGM and kept all their wealths and threaten women and disliked them.

        If all of that what you say is true then i am scratching my head HOW COME WOMEN SURVIVED ALL THAT AND CAME INTO 21st CENTURY because if having suffered all that they would have gone EXTINCT like dinosaur.

        Well what is your fear MEN LEAVING ALTAR OR YOU LIVING WITH YOUR 9 or dozen cats? Well last time i checked that feminist slogan was “Women need Men like Fish needs Bicycle” So obviously Fish doesn’t needs a bicycle so why women need men, They dont 😀 because they will always counter comment that THEY DONT NEED MEN, THEY WANT MEN. 😀 lolz that is some silly logic i tell you, but overall i suggest women and feminist alike to just stay “Strong” stay “Independent” and be loyal to Sisterhood and become a dyke (Lesbian) themselves, You dont need/want men and in old age you can have SNOOKY with you.

  12. @scallopsrgreat To consider any of the posts here as threats is to miss the point entirely. Men are not trying to get any given woman to “comply.” Men are clarifying which women are acceptable to them as partners and which are not, just as women, for example, clarify that unemployed slackers are generally unacceptable to them.

    Feminists are generally regarded as unacceptable partners.

    You’re welcome.

      1. Since you referred to a “partner” and not a spouse, don’t look now but someone close to you does find you unacceptable as anything more than a live-in..

      2. Believe it or not, it’s possible to be married without using the terminology “husband and wife”. Shocking, I know…

        Hahaha, I say feminists are losing touch with reality, but ya Husband and Wife who would want that, Well what you suggest miss glosswitch, Should marriage be gender neutered too? as lesbian’s dont like to be called “her” “she” I always write them as “it”.

    1. ‘Feminists are generally regarded as unacceptable partners.’

      This makes me wonder why I had So Many propositions of marriage!
      Must have been my chest size, hell no, I’m just more attractive than that (ok, chest size adds up or feminism doesn’t look so bad when you have something to back it up).

  13. I just love feminist blogs like this, they merely serve to further aillienate men, fuel the men’s rights movement and make men wake up and smell the coffee. It’s good to see the feminists doing their bit to enlighten men everywhere in realising how few rights they actually have. Well done girl, keep up the good work.

  14. I thought flounces were those things women used to wear underneath their dress to make their asses look bigger. I was wrong, but it’s still great you don’t wear things underneath your pants to make your asses look bigger anymore. You have really come a long way.

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