Why Courage Is Important for MRAs
Courage is an important life skill but not all possess it. Also, one who is working as an MRA is working against the mainstream thoughts and hence s/he needs more courage to start activism for men and also to continue as an MRA.
In this perspective, in general, your gender doesn’t matter but men who identify themselves as heterosexual males need more courage to continue their activism. There are several factors behind that, but the main factor is prevailing sexism against the heterosexual males. So, it is important that MRAs understand what is courage and how courage is different from recklessness and how to sustain courage in most difficult circumstances.
Courage Is Not Recklessness
At the outset let me warn every MRA that often men mistake courage as recklessness, and they think hurling choicest abuses or being very vocal against feminism is courage and right activism. This is a big problem with men, as men, in general, are willing to take more risks, but they don’t take risks at the right time and in the right manner. Also, these men may shout a lot in internal meetings, Whatsapp groups or any other closed groups, while it is needed the most, in open forums, to the authorities or in debates they get intimidated easily.
Some male MRAs’ reckless behaviour lands them in soup and then other MRAs lose courage. In my experience in MRM. whenever it was needed to file cases against feminists or fight it out with them in the right forums, most MRAs back off. They may tell you a lot of big things in private meetings, but when it comes to actual action they lose courage.
The problem is not so much with Female MRAs because they can anytime switch over to Feminism, or equalist activism. Even they get abused by both males and females, but they can still lodge police complaints and teach the abuser a lesson. Male MRAs can’t, and hence they lose courage faster. Over and above this, male MRAs have fear of losing their job or getting affected in their business.
So, to maintain courage and follow one’s life’s principles is very important without being reckless and getting into trouble.
One of the important factors to keep your courage and dedication for Men’s Rights activism is to keep an open mind and think positively.
Now, this is also very dangerous to think positive always and be completely detached from reality. For example, if I think Men’s Rights content will be mainstream in another 2-years time, I will fail myself. While I think positively that TMF will continue to make a positive impact in the society and more people will start feeling the need for Men’s Rights, it is still a far cry for us. But that doesn’t deter me from being positive about my writing and keep the hope alive.
While your intention of working in favour of Men’s Rights may be right and just, but still you may not reach your goal easily. It is a big deterrent for any activist to continue activism. In my initial days of activism, standing with a men’s rights banner or a placard in hand in the middle of a busy road was a scary thing. Any content against women or in favour of men’s rights was by default considered as a crime and people looked down upon us. Being a highly educated person myself, it was not only embarrassing but shameful (lol). But not today.
The result that some of us and many more before us did this heroic act of willingly branding themselves as a potential culprit, helped us challenge our boundaries of fear. It only developed courage to continue in activism. The reason you see such activism not happening nowadays in India, is MRAs got frustrated by the continuous inaction by the policy makers and they got ‘busy’ with their personal life. Some got married and even more ‘busy’.
Most MRAs didn’t want to challenge themselves and accept new challenges in activism and hence they lost motivation for MRM. The result is a dying MRM.
It is important that as MRAs you remember your values. These are values as a human being first and then as an MRA. In this perspective, it is important that MRAs are very clear in their objective and they don’t forget their values.
Now this is also confusing for MRAs. When you talk about values, most male MRAs get trapped in feminist agenda and start activism against rape or dowry. Because that is what their value system tells them. Problem is in that activism, MRAs end up supporting feminist cause and working for them. Like they did while promoting the feminist propaganda movie Section 375. (See how). So, where should MRAs draw the boundary?
This is where proper training as MRAs is important. MRAs in such critical situation should stay mum or not say anything if they find nothing to talk in favour of MRM when an untoward situation breaks out. For example, after the Nirbhaya rape in 2012, many MRAs got actively engaged in organizing and participating in feminist rallies against rape and for death penalty of the Delhi rapists. Problem is they didn’t understand what kind of damage they were creating for themselves. They also didn’t understand how feminist NGOs paid by foreign powers and different terrorist organizations were organizing those protests to create and continue unrest in India.
So, it becomes extremely important MRAs get properly trained in MR activism and understand MR values before even they start activism. Otherwise, there will be only negative activism that will harm the movement.
Many MRAs when they first start activism are so agitated (because of false cases and no easy remedy) that they forget to relax. They think they need quick and easy remedy to their problem, and once that happens their activism stops. As a result, they become stressed out easily and develop fear and frustration.
So, it is important to relax and to master courage these are a few tips that can help you as an MRA.
- Self-Observation – Take note of your behaviour to others and to different situations. It is important your evaluation is impartial. Courage doesn’t mean unnecessary show-off, unnecessary abuses and rude behaviour. So, self-observation and evaluation are important.
- Listen to your heart – This is important so that you understand what qualities and shortcomings you have. Work on weaknesses and take advantage of your strengths. You may discover some great qualities in you that you would have otherwise not observed.
- Meditate – India taught meditation to the world and now we ourselves don’t practice this. MRAs need to compulsorily meditate every morning for at least one hour to keep their calm and have a focussed approach. Meditation and Pranayam will also help you upkeep your mental health and general physical health.
- Spend time alone – men are very much outgoing. They love to party. But when you are an activist especially for Men’s Rights, you need to continuously introspect and listen to your inner voice. This time alone will give you enough time to think about your activism and personal life as well.
- Make quicker decisions – Practice making quicker decisions and evaluate the outcome. This will help you overcome unnecessary fear and will make you a sharp thinker. This is a very important skill for an MRA and is very useful in debates, discussions, online fights etc. This also develops one’s courage. This is very useful in one’s personal life as well.
The Art of non-attachment
As Lord Krishna said in SriMadbhagat Geeta – “do your work but detach yourself from the outcome”, because the outcome is in the hands of Lord Krishna. It doesn’t mean that you will do anything and everything that comes to your mind and call that activism. So, the catch here is you need to think through each activism you take up for Men’s Rights, and then try your best to get favourable results. However, when the result is not as intended, analyse the impact and don’t get frustrated or excited about it. That may frustrate you further and demotivate you from trying better the next time.
The key to this non-attachment theory is to keep trying with best intentions and keeping tweaking the way you try to achieve your goal. In my activist life, I have participated in many different types of activism but not all were designed well. Also, I didn’t like everything I did, I found a lot of shortfalls and tried to educate the team about doing better next time. However, everyone in the team should think through this to attain better goal. You can start with yourself as an individual.
Evolution is a continuous process
Understand that one normal peace loving, law abiding citizen can’t transform into an activist in one day. There is a long drawn sustainable process involved. If you look into Men’s Rights Movement, you will find almost everyone was a feminist in their early life and transformed into an MRA after learning or experiencing the gender bias in the society.
This evolution to become a courageous MRA, can be well planned as well. You can set up your plan in this way –
- Mental Evolution – Focus on thoughts that support your changed thought process. Learn more about MRM, read article on MR blogs like TMF and evaluate for yourself if Men’s Rights is justified. Once you can develop a lot of good arguments in favour of your men’s rights journey, you will be able to follow your courageous journey easily.
- Emotional Evolution – You need to develop good emotional intelligence to understand not only about yourself and other MRAs, but also to understand other feminists. This will give you a better perspective about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ that will support your courageous journey into a seasoned MRA.
- Physical Evolution – Being in sound health and becoming free of any illness helps you in focusing towards your goal and taking sound decisions. It also helps you in doing more work and doing better quality work.
- Intellectual Evolution – When you want to debate with anyone or challenge existing norms, you need to learn a lot of different things. In fact, knowledge is that one parameter that can boost your courage to the maximum possible extent. To delve into this journey, however, you need to have sound health and sound mental condition. You also need to study and understand feminist theories first to even understand your reasons to fight against it.
- Spiritual Evolution – Spiritual practices boost your mental health and bring the much needed peace that makes your mind calm. A calm mind helps you think better, detach you from the frustration of less outcome and improve your courage to fight on.
It is important that you become a fighter in your life to support MRM. This is because MRM is against mainstream thought. Like you see on TMF, we need to not only learn a lot about different subjects but also voice them out at the right time and in the right forum. Courage may help you grow as an MRA, but you need to be patient as well. Not everything will happen in one day. That is why an MRA needs to develop his courage map properly.
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