An antifeminist group called Interessengemeinschaft Antifeminismus (translation: "Antifeminist Goofballs") hosted a get-together in Switzerland for men's rights activists to network and "make [their] concerns known to the public." And what are their concerns, exactly? That evil feminism is oppressing men.
About 150 activists—including 30 women—were scheduled to attend the event, held in a secret location to avoid the wrath of rowdy feminist "forces" who had protested it beforehand. Those gals just don't understand what antifeminism's all about, says Interessengemeinschaft Antifeminismus (IGAF) member Ulf Anderson:
"They believe that an antifeminist is a woman-hater. Not at all. An antifeminist is a kind of peacekeeper who wants to return things to normal. As an antifeminist I believe in true equality between a man and a woman."
Anderson explains what "true equality" means in a five-point statement:
"opposing the feminist hatred of men, valuing the nuclear family, believing in the child's rights to both its parents after a divorce or a separation, looking at the individual and not judging people by their gender, and accepting that men and women are different and counting that as assets."
OK, some of these points are good! Not judging people based on gender is great. Letting kids see both their parents after the marriage or relationship dissolves makes total sense, as long as both parents are safe and not abusive. And yes, men and women are different, no doubt about it (as long as "different" doesn't involve superior/inferior arguments about skills, intelligence, or emotional stability). But this business about feminists hating men is such an old, tired argument, that it's kind of pathetic to see these folks rehashing it. And unfortunately, it taints the potential wisdom of the group's other sensible platform points by framing the discussion in a woman-bashing light.
A Swede, Anderson apparently founded a father's rights group called PappaRättsGruppen after not being able to see his daughter for six years following his divorce from the child's mom. He blames "feminist" social workers for his situation, and sounds like he's stewing in some serious bitterness juice—so much so that he "cites radical feminist organisations who call for men to be grounded at home after 9pm or bear placards calling for 'male slaughter, female supremacy.'" Sure, some women do harbor extreme anti-male views. But these are few and far between. And an organization that "grounds" men? Unless Sweden has some sort of mom's union that parents adults long after they leave the house, that sounds a little farfetched.
Sadly, it seems no one has filed a follow-up report to tell us how things went at IGAF's conference. But they probably sat around eating chocolates and bitching about women. Which would be kind of ironic, yes?
Just add IGAF's historic event to the list of other antifeminist/mens' rights initiatives, which we've seen emerge in the U.S. and Great Britain, Canada, and now India—where men's rights groups have been celebrating a recent court decision that says women can no longer demand "maintenance" from their male partners. Men are not cash machines, ladies! They aren't doormats, either—they are people. Of course, most feminists have never really argued otherwise, which makes these antifeminist efforts all the more unnecessary.