Open Letter to a Men’s Rights Activist

Life isn’t perfect. Life isn’t fair. My two-year-old brother learned that when he tried to play with his best friend, Luke’s, toy Ferrari and was refused. He cried a while, but then he noticed the huge pile of toys in front of him—ones that belonged to him, a pile far higher than Luke’s.

Men’s rights activists never learned to pay attention to the toys in front of you. You’re too busy ranting about the ones you don’t have. No one on this green earth deserves to have a pile of toys as high as yours, but to you, the 0.05% of the time you’re marginalised signals inequality. The truth is a little different: You’re resentful because inequality is slowly vanishing, so you’ve lost a lot of your privilege. Privilege is not a right. That women are tired of their lack of equality on the back of everything you have doesn’t make them misandrist. It makes you a whiner who’s less mature than my brother was that day when he quit crying over his friend’s toys—four years old, if you must know.


Let’s adapt the metaphor: In the days before women started fighting for equality, you were the kid with 490 different colour Crayolas, and your female counterparts were the kids with 10 crayons. The women’s liberation movement reshuffled those two piles to bring equilibrium, but it’s not gotten far enough to cause true equality just yet. You have 300 crayons and your female counterpart has 200. You’re outraged, not because there is inequality that favours women over men, but because there is not *enough* inequality for your liking.

You want to go back to the days when you had 490 crayons, but the fact that your stationery box is smaller than it was in those days doesn’t mean you’ve lost rights. It means you’ve lost privilege. Even so, you still have the bulk of the damned crayons, so ranting over your loss of privilege just makes you look like a toddler having a tantrum in a toy store because you didn’t get the toy Jeep to add to your massive, three storey play space.

The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it—Osho


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