Child Brides, Femme Pens and Misogynist Trolls: Editors’ Picks, 3/6-3/12

The Good Men Project has taken on the daunting task of introducing, unlocking and dismantling the so-called Men’s Rights Movement in a special series of posts this week. My top pick, naturally, was Amanda Marcotte’s, in which she debunks the feminist-scapegoating delusions held by so many misogynist trolls men’s rights activists (MRAs), arguing that:

When you believe that we live in a female-dominated world where straight men are the most oppressed class, it tends to make you wrong about pretty much everything.

Ladies, do you ever find yourself jotting down a phone number or writing a check and thinking to yourself, “Gee, this pen makes me feel and look so masculine!”? Just holding a traditional pen can create the unflattering illusion of man hands. It’s an embarrassing but all-too-common problem. But now there’s hope, thanks to the good people at Bic: They’ve introduced a new line of pens–Bic for Her. Finally, no more messy and expensive grocery lists written in lipstick!

Bradley Manning, who’s currently awaiting a pre-trial hearing in “maximum custody” solitary confinement at the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico (Virginia) on charges that he leaked classified information to WikiLeaks, will be forced to be nude every night for the indefinite future. But forced nudity is a breach of the Geneva Conventions. Salon has more.

The Economist has a graph depicting the devastating effect child marriage has on women’s literacy. The problem is especially prevalent in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Niger, 74 percent of women ages 20 to 24 were married before their 18th birthday, and 77 percent are illiterate.

Lindsay Beyerstein breaks down the straightforward but all-too-often misunderstood reason why private-sector workers should care about public-sector unions.

Six months after the U.S. officially ended the war in Iraq, the utterly devastating toll that the conflict took on Iraqi women and girls in particular remains largely unspoken: kidnapping, trafficking and forced prostitution, rape, a sharp rise in honor killings and economic destitution. H. Patricia Hynes and Yanar Mohammed of the the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) made the case for reparations at Truthout:

The United States owes reparations to the people of Iraq for this unsanctioned war of aggression, most of all to the women and girls who have lost their future.

In honor of this week’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Ryan O’Connell showed his solidarity with his list of 5 awful things that women have to deal with that men don’t.

From A harrowing story about a shameful miscarriage of justice. Recy Taylor is an African-American woman who was gang-raped during the Jim Crow era in Alabama. Her confessed assailants never faced any consequences. In an interview, Taylor’s brother describes the event and the toll it took on his sister and tells why he’s speaking out about it now and what he hopes to achieve by sharing her story.

Above, Clockwise: Iraqi woman and U.S. soldier in Baghdad, from Flickr user expertinfantry; young bride in India, from Flickr user lonesome:cycler, Minnesota rally in solidarity with Wisconsin union protesters, from Flickr user Fibonacci Blue; U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, from Wikimedia Commons; a pen for a man, from Flickr user wetwebwork; Wisconsin pro-workers rally, from Flickr user WxMom; young mothers at the health post of the Sam Ouandja refugee camp, from Flickr user hdptcar. All photos courtesy of CC 2.0.


  1. It is somewhat reassuring that they only included MRA articles as color in the Good Men Project, but the comments in the linked articles defending those beliefs were somewhat worrisome… these sorts of things always make me question whether I'm doing the right thing by considering feminism, if that view is really as skewed towards women as they claim…

    • What was that quote from Ghandi? something about then they fight you.

      • Robert O'Hara says:

        "First they make fun of you, then they fight you and then you win" I believe. What a wonderful place to start a disscusion about such a quote don't you think?

  2. Robert O'Hara says:

    Good luck with all that de-railin the MRM business.

  3. Just what defines a “good man”? A willingness to work, sacrifice and die for
    others, especially women? The men who died or were maimed in wars, died of heart
    attacks from overwork or ended up homeless had just as much to contribute without
    being treated as expendable pawns. Look at Pat Tillman. He gave up a million-dollar
    football career to become an Army Ranger after 9-11. Then when he was killed by
    “friendly fire” the Army lied about what happened and covered it up for publicity
    purposes. If the definition of a “good man” means this, then no thanks. We also
    don’t want to be appliances or ATMs for women unwilling to carry their own weight.
    To me REAL equality means men and women have to be willing to dump this whole
    belief system.

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