A relatively recent movement, the men's rights movement (also known as the Men's Movement) seeks to develop parity for men in the law and in society. Despite what feminists would like people to believe, over the past 30 years, men have lost equality in several areas, as radical feminists have managed to rewrite the laws to their preference. Overall, the movement focuses on the following areas:

  • Custody Law Reform: Custody laws and family courts are often stacked against men. It is rare that a man will win custody over a woman, even if it is shown that the father is the better parent. In addition, there are several tactics used by women against men to make sure that they retain custody (such as getting a restraining order under false pretenses, then using them as a means to coerce) that are underhanded, if not illegal - yet if such tactics are discovered, women rarely suffer any penalty.

    Most importantly, though, is the treatment of non-custodial parents, who tend to be disproportionately male. Laws instituted regarding child support have made it difficult (if not impossible) for child support amounts to be modified down, while there are few laws protecting the non-custodial parent's right to see their children. The result has been the viewing of fathers as nothing more than walking ATMs.

    The movement seeks to make family courts fairer in their assessments of who should be granted custody, as well as get laws that penalize the aquisition of restraining orders under false pretenses (usually by making restraining orders under penalty of perjury). Most important is getting child support reform, such as a lifting of laws preventing retroactive modification of child support owed and enforcement of visitation rights.

  • Domestic Violence Reform: The movement does not disavow the existance of domestic violence - just the way that feminists represent it. The movement points out that 30 years of studies have shown that domestic violence, contrary to what feminists have made common knowledge, is equally the province of men and women as abuser. As such, laws and policies that are predominately favorable to women in regards to domestic violence need to be changed.

    The movement's goals are to make laws and policies regarding domestic violence more gender-neutral, and more fair. The policy of removing the man from the house by police on a domestic violence call is a major target, as are battered persons shelters that refuse to aid battered men. More important is education - the movement seeks to expose the truth to the public, as a way to make the current policies regarding domestic violence untenable. Finally, there is a push to discredit battered woman's syndrome as a legal defense for murder.

  • Sexual Harassment Reform: While nobody is disputing that quid pro quo sexual harassment is wrong, the movement takes issue with laws that define sexual harassment as the creation of "hostile work environments". Such laws cast a chill over the workplace, as stray comments to the wrong person may be taken as harassment, and could cost a person their job. In addition, such laws are unfair as they protect only one segment of society from a problem while allowing others to be subjected to the same problem - after all, hostility is NOT just subject to gender differences, but can be based on all sorts of differences.

    The movement seeks here to have laws that allow for nebulous and subjective definitions of sexual harassment repealed, while keeping the laws regarding quid pro quo harassment intact.

There are other points as well, such as the male right to choose, paternity law reform, and so on. For those that would say that this is just a fringe group, note that the National Organization for Women has put out an action alert trying to discredit mens' rights groups, and Canadian feminists are trying to get such groups declared hate groups. It leaves one to wonder - why would they do that if they were so wrong?

I've recieved some criticism regarding the concept of "hostile work environment" harassment. While laws may say that to substantiate such a claim requires a history of hostile comments and behavior, the fact is that the potential penalties have caused many businesses and schools to adopt policies that are much stricter than the law. So, while the de jure definition may be one thing, the de facto definition is something completely different. And the point that making "hostile work enviroments" illegal only in the case of gender is unfair is not diminished at all by this argument.