On Saturday, February 6th 2016, Return of Kings attempted to organize a “worldwide” meet-up (Edmonton included) to “start regular events that ‘serve men in a way that internet sites do not.’ Roosh V has dismissed the criticisms that they are designed to "strategize" how to target women” (BBC). Amongst that, these meet-ups made explicit the exclusion of women, trans people, and homosexuals. But as expected, these meetings were cancelled due to counter-protests, backlash, and criticism – of which I am about to partake in.
With this, I encourage people to look at what is brewing in our society, something encouraged and fed by the echo chamber of mass society where many people get absorbed on the reproduction of the conditions emplaced for oppressive social structures. To be more specific, the entitlement of the supporters of men's rights activism, "legalization of rape," and reproducers of ideological/colonial violence who are attempting to make a claim on social capital. What this means is that the position of MRA’s – particularly the currently highlighted “Return of Kings” group ran by the infamous pick-up artist, Roosh V – looks to legitimize their claim to keep power over the dominant discourses and spaces for conversation surrounding a variety of issues and practices, most notably sexuality, gender, and race. In other words, they seek to establish themselves as the universal subject of concern for discourse, with all other accounts, experiences, and subjects displaced as other or alien; and yet in other words, to enclose and exhaust the terms of discourse through terms in which other participants in society are seen as non-participants, or reduced to passive objects, as people with no stakes in the formation of the society – MRA’s host a project whose end is to disable all conditions necessary for community.
It only suffices to say that the very possibility of such a meet-up like the ones meant to occur on February 6th, or even these views represented in such a meet-up or elsewhere, represent something unnerving about the content of our ideological anxieties. Namely that there are people who hold these alienating beliefs; and not only that, for they act in accordance to such alienating beliefs, thus instituting alienating acts.
At the end of the day, I think the central concern of these self-proclaimed "neo-masculinists" is to employ subjection - to keep everyone under the universalized gaze of masculinity as the arbiter of discourse and as the subject of the person in society – whereas the feminist, queer, and post-colonial endeavor concerns itself with establishing the emancipation necessary to readjust the ground for social conversation by taking in consideration their intersections – ultimately, aiming at creating a safer space where the terms of social formation can be negotiated without the absolute universalization of a subject as dominant or oppressive in discourse. Thus, the claim over social capital between these two “factions” is very distinct in that "neo-masculinism" seeks for domination of the terms of discourse, to make themselves absolute and unambiguous about their claims of want under a natural guise – the usual deterministic claim of “I cannot help but want this, and you are there to give it to me”. Whereas feminist, queer, and post-colonial claims over social capital are as simple as having the opportunity to be (emancipated) and have room for conversation in regards to their intersections. "Neo-masculinism" makes a claim of property ownership and entitlement over those who seek to emancipate from those terms of subjection in which they are made into objects of socio-economic capital.