Some thoughts on Dr. Helen Smith and the Shortcomings of MRAs

I wish to offer some general impressions of Dr. Helen Smith with her newly released book Men on Strike. Smith seems to be presenting herself as an MRA (Men’s Rights Activist) even using the term coined by MRAs “White Knight” to describe conservative or “chivalrous” men. Smith being an MRA is quite interesting considering Smith’s high profile; her Men on Strike book even got favorable mention on the Rush Limbaugh show and Smith was then interviewed for Rush Limbaugh’s newsletter. This is mighty big publicity for an MRA. Helen Smith and her book have also been featured on Fox News. In addition to Helen Smith Suzanne Venker is another high profile person who has been saying things friendly to “men’s rights.” Even the legendary Phyllis Schlafly is known to sound like an MRA now and then.

The key characteristic of an MRA is the denial of male responsibility. This is why I am not an MRA, why I am opposed to the MRAs, because MRAs deny and refuse male responsibility. In general I agree with everything MRAs say about feminism but that is not going to make me support MRAs because a healthy society can only be based on male responsibility. Men are the foundation of society, not women. Male duty and male responsibility is the bedrock that everything else is built upon. Male duty and male responsibility comes first.

I have heard Helen Smith refer to herself as a libertarian. This fits with the MRA mentality. There is a strong streak of libertarianism among MRAs. MRAs are also very atheistic. You don’t see MRAs at all in highly religious environments; MRAs are a particularly secular phenomenon. Libertarianism and atheism fits with the MRA proclivity to be male focused above all else and to shun responsibility. Libertarianism is about denying responsibility and obligation towards others while atheism is about denying objective truth and objective moral standards that one is bound by whether you like it or not. Both of these tendencies are typical for MRAs. MRAs are also not community focused. Religious communities tend to be community focused meaning they will not fall into the trap of only caring about men.

Are society and the culture as it stands unfair to men? Definitely. Are men avoiding marriage in large numbers due to societal and legal prejudices against men? Almost certainly. What is the solution to this problem? The solution is male authority and male responsibility based on men asserting their rightful role in society. The rightful role of men is both leader and authority figure as well as provider and protector. Men asserting their rightful role in society has to include both assertion of authority and acceptance of responsibility and burden; indeed the assertion of authority is explicitly for the purpose of allowing men to provide for and protect women. The ultimate male purpose is to provide for and protect women; the means to achieve this end is male authority.

One thing I don’t like about Dr. Helen Smith’s overall approach is that she seems to have this attitude that society has become unfair to men. In the past women had the raw end of the deal but now “equality” has gone too far and men are the persecuted and discriminated against sex now. Society should be made to be “more fair” to men, men need to start asserting their interests as men more, and in the future after men reclaim their dignity and voice as men and cultural attitudes and laws become more fair towards men then society might be able to achieve a more happy equilibrium between the sexes and ultimately have fairness and equality between men and women at long last.

What’s wrong with this way of thinking is that it assumes there is some kind of “equality” out there to be had and that such an “equality” is desirable in the first place. There is no equality between men and women; there never was and there never can be. The social model that comes closest to equality is patriarchy because patriarchy values both men’s and women’s strengths and makes accommodations for the needs and interests of both men and women. When people in modern discourse talk about “equality” however they seem to have something else in mind. When feminists say “equality” they mean female supremacy. When MRAs say “equality” they mean male supremacy. This is the problem with the modern concept of equality between the sexes. Since there is no natural equality between the sexes any effort to impose “equality” on men and women is completely artificial meaning that “equality” has no objective standard of reality to be measured by. This then means that “equality” is purely in the eye of the beholder and “equality” is then used to justify whatever selfish power grabs the advocate for “equality” wants for themselves. This is how feminist gender equality morphs into female supremacy and MRA style gender equality morphs into male supremacy.

The entire idea of gender equality is fallacious and should be thrown out. Instead there are masculine privileges that men are entitled to and feminine privileges that women are entitled to; these masculine and feminine privileges being the essence of traditional gender roles or patriarchy.

I think in some ways this whole MRA phenomenon is an effort to fix a broken system that can’t be fixed. The “broken system” I am referring to here being the whole concept of gender equality, personal freedom and individual choice, each individual pursuing their own self-interest in cooperation with a romantic partner of like mind and similar life goals formulating a relationship together according to whatever the two parties agree upon among themselves. This whole idea of everyone being their own individual entity going through life forming unions of mutual cooperation and mutual purpose, as long as the relationship is satisfying to both parties, with the underlying ethic that each party is of approximately equal power and therefore neither party is “oppressing” the other; this whole idea of human affairs doesn’t work. It doesn’t work and it can’t work. It can’t work because it is based on selfishness; it is not based on a higher purpose or divine mission. It also can’t work because it ignores the differences between men and women as well as placing children in a second tier status where the child’s needs are peripheral and dependent upon adult preferences.

MRAs are not radical; they want to fiddle around the edges of the social system as it currently exists to make things “more fair.” MRAs are still within the overall libertarian gender equality mindset that feminists pioneered in the first place. MRAs are not a rebellion against feminism; they are instead an extension of feminism. They think making things “fair for men” will somehow bring the social system as it is back into alignment. The thing is the current social system is not “out of alignment” or “unbalanced;” the current social system’s underlying premises are foundationally corrupt. Selfishness and gender equality can never make a social system work; the only foundation possible for a durable social system is male authority in obedience to God.


Men on Strike

Dr. Helen Smith – PJ Media

About Jesse Powell TFA

Anti-Feminist, MRA, Pro-Traditional Women's Rights Traditional Family Activist (TFA)
This entry was posted in Gender Politics Analysis and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Some thoughts on Dr. Helen Smith and the Shortcomings of MRAs

  1. Judithann Campbell says:

    Reblogged this on Why I Am Not A Feminist.

  2. David M. Green says:

    Reblogged this on Autumn Leaves and commented:
    RE: The key characteristic of an MRA is the denial of male responsibility. This is why I am not an MRA, why I am opposed to the MRAs, because MRAs deny and refuse male responsibility.
    To put it bluntly men are tired of being taking advantage of, demonized, financially raped and emotionally abused and are asserting their God given right to say no! As a man who has been married for 32 plus yrs to the say woman even I can’t in good conscience recommend marriage to my son or anyone else of his generation. Had I known that on behalf of the feminists that the state would put a fully loaded gun against my temple in the hand of my wife, with her finger on the trigger and the hammer cocked back – I would never have married.

    RE: Religious communities tend to be community focused meaning they will not fall into the trap of only caring about men.
    Not true as religious communities tend to enforce a narrow minded form of conformity and treat men as disposable objects instead of as an individual to be respected.

    RE: In the past women had the raw end of the deal but now “equality” has gone too far and men are the persecuted and discriminated against sex now.

    Wrong again women were always protected and had their role based on biology just as men did while men especially those in the ,lower classes had it far worse.

    RE: The ultimate male purpose is to provide for and protect women; the means to achieve this end is male authority.
    Not Any MORE! Our society intentionally with both malice and forethought tore up this contract when it embraced feminism and approved the war against men.

    Note: Comment edited by Jesse Powell

  3. Jesse Powell TWRA says:

    Just to clarify things; the statement “In the past women had the raw end of the deal but now “equality” has gone too far and men are the persecuted and discriminated against sex now.” was not meant to communicate my interpretation of things. The statement was me paraphrasing the type of argument Helen Smith and some others friendly to the men’s rights position make. I first paraphrased the argument Dr. Helen Smith is making and then refuted it.

    I am not saying women had the “raw end of the deal” before, others say that however. The patriarchy of the past was fair to both men and women in my view. Most importantly the patriarchy of the past put children first.

  4. The Radical One says:

    Thank you Jesse. I think both sexes are being hurt badly just in different ways because this whole equality thing is stupid. But I really don’t know how MRAs have much of a case when women are being forced into combat, being the family breadwinners in nearly half the families, are having babies without any security at all. The mothers have immediate responsibilities yet the father gets rights any time. But our society doesn’t think having babies is a responsibility so nobody talks about that. In a world of free birth control nobody cares about women anymore. If nearly 70% of all married women are in the workforce and 40% of them out earn their husbands where exactly is the justification for these men saying that they are getting screwed over? And what makes them think they should have abortion rights when they don’t even want to marry and support the mother? If they want things to equal out then they should man up and take on their responsibilities, this includes leading their families, doing something to change the foundation our laws are built upon today and actually marrying. Besides, if they are freaked about divorce they should seek traditional women because, statistically speaking, they have fewer divorces.

    Now my husband would have justification to say he was screwed if I left without justification because he has paid for our house and land and everything we need( how many of these whiny MRAs can truly say that?). But the married men who live around me? No way. Their wives are as much breadwinners as them and they carried the burdens of multiple pregnancies on top of it.

  5. mamaziller says:

    Male duty and male responsibility is the bedrock that everything else is built upon– this is so true. To me, I am not and MRA for the same reasons as you but I am more of an MRA than a feminist. MRAs are trying to fix the mess that feminism created I just wish they would see that culturally they are creating an even bigger mess. Some of the things that they are doing is positive like reinforcing that no one should define masculinity in absolute terms. But both MRAs and feminists need to come to terms with reality.

    The reality is that men and women are different and therefore the only form of equality that makes sense is equality of value. Equality with respect to roles, leadership and opportunity etc. does not make sense as we are simply not the same. However people should have the right to peacefully make these choices if they wish to.

    Also thanks for the comment at returnofkings. And to David Green you are right men are being taken advantage of by the state but that is NOT the fault of traditionalist. I agree with MRAs in all things besides their need to bash traditionalism as if it unfair to them. This is misguided. Men are being screwed by the state because feminists want the good parts of traditionalism/patriarchy like child-support, male protection, male work AND the good parts of liberalism like independence, leadership position, sexual freedom.

    Legally we have given women all good things from a liberal point of view and so MRAs want to take away all the legal rights that women had that were good from a traditional point of view and in that respect they are right, I agree with that. However culturally the fact still remains that many people and society on a whole does benefit from the traditional model and since it is NOT the fault of the traditionalist that feminists got their way with everything they have asked for please stop bashing us!

    It is liberals who encouraged feminists, liberals who gave them all their rights, traditional minded people do not want it both ways. We do not want sexual freedom, or independence or female leadership, or more women working or any of that. The issue for men is that men are being screwed because women have it both ways, we have the good from both the patriarchy and the liberal society and traditionalist do not want that so MRA needs to not bash us.

    The MRAs are the mirror image of feminists in this respect as they claim to be about choice yet they bash traditionalism and chivalry; what about those who choose traditionalism????

    Sorry for the rant Jesse and thanks for the comment on returnofthekings.. I hope you are great! Have a nice week!!

  6. Anonymous age 71 says:

    You made that up about White Knights being chivalrous men. White Knights are men who run to defend the honor of women who have none. Which is most women today in the USA.

  7. As far as “White Knights” being “chivalrous men;” I am paraphrasing Dr. Helen Smith when I characterize White Knights that way. It is Helen Smith who talks about White Knights letting their chivalrous impulses take control or words to that effect. I’m not the one trying to craft a definition for “White Knight;” “White Knight” used in this context is a term and a concept popularized by the MRAs.

    As far as Chivalry is concerned; in terms of how I define Chivalry; all women are entitled to Chivalry whether they are honorable or not. I just want to make that clear.

  8. Shadowman says:

    Sorry. But I gotta say, I don’t believe in Patriarchy OR Matriarchy.
    Let’s all just be HUMAN and move on, huh?
    This “Gender war” is giving me a headache…!

    • mamaziller says:

      If it is really giving you a headache you have come to the right place. We hate the gender wars as well and just want to end it. The past was the past.. another time, another place, it is complicated and open to interpretation.

      We also want to end the gender wars. what is your take on gender issues? how should things be?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s