(The Hofstra case has become a touchstone in the MRM community, viewed as proof that a woman will ruin five men’s lives to cover her tracks if she needs to.)
The way rape is dealt with on college campuses is another bugaboo of the MRM. “We have a problem with feminists hyper-inflating rape statistics, creating a kind of hysteria on campus over a problem that needs due attention from law enforcement,” says Paul Elam, the founder of A Voice for Men, widely considered the flagship website of the MRM.Then, you follow it up with something like this:
The site, which features essays pontificating on society’s supposed anti-male bias [emphasis mine]In the space of one sentence fragment, you have just invalidated any claim made by the owner of said website, which is portrayed as just a bunch of people "pontificating" about things that don't really exist. Neat-o, huh?
Next trick is follow it up with typical feminist black/white, all-or-nothing zero-summing:
But the far more pressing issue in terms of the way that colleges address rape accusations has to do with the institutions ignoring or mishandling cases of sexual assault. Occidental, along with a number of other elite colleges, came under federal investigation last year for precisely this. The case was brought by 37 current and former students, including several men. According to the complaint, administrators explicitly discouraged students from coming forward with sexual assault reports. This is not unique to Occidental—similar cases have arisen at the University of North Carolina and Swarthmore, among others. This kind of discouragement, shaming, and victim-blaming is exactly why we need anonymous reporting and more stringent anti-sexual assault policies, say victims’ advocates.
The MRM’s tirades and hijinks certainly don’t meaningfully add to the debate surrounding the way we handle sexual assault. But to totally ignore the issues that they raise does not further a productive conversation.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to talk about these issues in progressive or feminist circles, where discussions of sexual assault prevention can quickly degenerate into angry hyperbole and name-calling. Among progressive media circles, to suggest that sexual assault and sexual assault prevention can be less than clear-cut is to court accusations of being a rape apologist.
So unless progressives want the MRM to lead the dialogue on these issues, perhaps they should start addressing them more comprehensively and less reactively. There will almost surely be more MRM rape campaigns in the coming year, says Dean Esmay, the managing editor of A Voice for Men: “We will continue to look for ways to stir things up.” Ignoring the matters these campaigns raise risks ceding the conversation.