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Jun 09 2013

Women aren’t Feminists? Really?

Some people have a bizarre idea about what “Feminism” is.

From the people who routinely think Feminism is about ruling all the men to those who claim “I am a no feminist but I support women’s equality”.

I missed out on a lot of stuff over the 3 weeks I was off swanning around with my pretty lady. One of which was Facebook’s changes to content such as the writings of MRA.

So let’s field the Open Letter from AVfM about Facebook’s Anti Rape campaign and indeed the advertiser backlash (Listen, if I was advertising I wouldn’t want my name associated with people who make highly misogynist statements).

The recent Twitter campaign by WAM! to tell Facebook how to operate your social media site has caused great concern for a group of people at least as large as those who presented their complaint to you. WAM! does not speak for all women.

Of course not. Women Action Media doesn’t represent all women. If they did they would be campaigning Facebook about honour killings in Pakistan, Infant/foeticide in India and Female Genital Mutilation more than insulting content on fucking Facebook.

But here is the thing. They represent women in a part of the world where there is no honour killings to worry about. Female infants are not being smothered in their cribs. Their genitals are not being cut and clipped for some bizarre idea of aesthetics.

In the same way that the majority of my readers need not fear the lash of malaria, the women of WAM need not fear these things as much. What they do “fear” is the culture of misogyny which makes it harder for women to do the same things as men do.

I know I get readers from MRA movements here. So I will explain this as simple as possible. While women have it easy in some ways compared to men, men have it easier in more ways and in more important ways.

Let’s take a reverse sexism example. Nursing. People say that Male Nurses tend to be excellent. It’s my experience that male nurses tend to be “better” than female ones on average.

Why?

For the same reason that women in medicine in my mother’s generation were excellent. In order to stay in the club you had to be so good that no one could fault you. Men in nursing are playing in hard mode and so have to be good enough. The average and the sub par do not make it.

And that’s stupid. Just as nursing is getting more men into the field by reducing the biases towards the men in it so must real life.

Now here is the thing. There isn’t a cabal (or should I say coven?) of Nurse Matrons who meet every year to find out how to make nursing more untenable for men. There is however a majority of women who have created the norm of nursing who have made decisions with the majority of female nurses in mind who simply didn’t think about male nurses. And that centuries of female nursing protocols that discriminate against men have to be overturned. The bias isn’t planned.

The majority of the sexism we have today is not the MRA style “I hate Wimmins” but out of tradition, ignorance of effect and culture.

Do not let it fall aside that WAM! essentially used your competition to attack you.  They did not spend their precious time scouring Twitter for evidence of equal violations or, if they did, made a choice of which site there were going to attack. No one doubts that any sexism occurring on Facebook is mirrored on Twitter, they are just being asked to ignore it for political purposes. Their campaign has a hashtag, not a “like” button.

They aren’t competitors.

I don’t know what planet you live on but Facebook and Twitter actually integrate into each other.  They are not competing for the same market because the market they live in is not mutually exclusive. This isn’t McDonald’s vs Burger King. In fact the two systems are often integrated. In fact the way the two works is mutually beneficial in the same way the FTB is not a competitor to Twitter or Facebook just because they are all websites…

Yes, the sexism that occurs on Facebook also occurs on  Twitter. However Facebook advertises quite heavily and many advertisers were having their advertisements on pages that had highly misogynist content.

But Twitter followers and indeed companies there have more control over the content they are associated with.

The late Aaron Swartz said:

There is a battle going on right now. A battle to define everything that happens on the internet in terms of traditional things that the law understands… is the freedom to connect like freedom of speech or the freedom to murder? The way we answer these questions will shape the next era of our society. No, the next era of our entire planet. They’ll determine whether new technology will enhance and entrench our civil liberties or whether it will simply gut them. Will these computers we have all around us be a tool for human liberty or the most powerful tools for social control? The answers are up to us.

Freedom of Speech means absolutely nothing without responsibility of speech.

We have social norms that prevent you from saying horribly insulting things. I swear like a sailor IRL, but I cannot during my ward hours. Why? Responsibility of Speech.

The Internet at the moment has no responsibility of speech bar what the individual takes on board. The people with the responsibility of speech are those who have a vested interest in staying in “one place”.

It is well known and indisputable that current guidelines on rating content allow violence in abundance compared to the exposure of sexually oriented flesh. I see no evidence that Facebook is taking on different guidelines than the government sanctioned censorship boards. Kicking a man in the groin or outright threatening to castrate him is currently acceptable comedy to today’s standards. It’s not even called “edgy.” Jennifer Aniston recently kicked a guy in the nutsack just to get more “hits” for a Smartwater ad and not only does #Fbrape not care, they helped deliver the predicted “likes.” It is selective tunnel vision on the part of this campaign.

Yes it’s acceptable comedy in the same way that laughing at stuff that white people do is acceptable comedy.

Do you know “why”?

Because if the most misandric thing about society is laughing at simulated violence against men then your life is “Fucking Awesome”.

Because the majority of violence is perpetrated by men. The biggest kickers of testicles are possessors of testicles.

See, I was irritated by the stereotypical description of “nerds” and “fanboys”. In fact considering how many female actors have “creepy fans” this is kind of a response that a lot of them would have to these stalkers.

If WAM! dislikes the current definitions of what is PG rated vs R they need to take that up with the censorship boards who can then announce a change in guidelines to Facebook, Twitter, the film and television industries and all other concerned parties. To claim that Facebook is the generator of censorship standards is more than intellectually dishonest, it smells like a hashtag funded way make the newspapers with an easier target. Now let’s focus on their method.

I don’t understand a single thing you said there. It’s whaargarbl and believe me, it’s a lot of it.

Their method of complaining to your advertisers is even more obtuse. The only reason those adverts appeared on the page is because the person screen-capping it clicked on the link and went looking for the objectionable content. The FBrape campaign, like so many other ill constructed feminist protests that seek to make a spectacle of themselves, failed to recognize their own agency in their problem. They seem to not understand how the internet works. They present women as if we are helpless creatures that can’t resist clicking on a link or can’t get over the emotional trauma of having seen something we didn’t like. They presume women are incapable of figuring out how to block someone from our news feed.

Actually it’s more about the normalisation of misogyny.

And many advertisers saw that and realised that they have a problem. That they were tacitly being advertised through forums and areas of discussion which didn’t fit into their public image. McDonald’s don’t want to have the KKK discussing how black people like KFC and watermelon next to their advertisements on a website.

And how many people are you to block?

When you click on things you give them power. When you write about things you don’t like you give them power they didn’t have prior to your words and attention. When they went looking for bad jokes about beating women up they took the advertisers with them. The corporations complained to should actually be angry with the complainers for being so stupid as to cause their adverts appear on the page they clicked.

I don’t think Facebook’s advertisements work that way.

Facebook has a choice to make.

#FBrape (don’t forget the hashtag) is singling you out as the only social media site they worry about and telling you that they want you to censor your site in a way not demanded of anyone else and in a way that only worries about one gender. If you believe them, women should only be allowed to use Facebook while supervised.

No. They are the BIGGEST social media site out there. The site which nearly everyone belongs to. It’s not censorship, it’s responsible speech. You can still play your MRA games, you just can’t write about “bitches had it coming” when discussing rape cases like many MRA do.

If you REALLY are involved in lobbying for Men’s Rights then there is nothing censoring you. It’s just that AVfM and indeed the MRA movement are less involved in Men’s Rights and more involved in bashing women. We don’t see AVfM “fight” for more inclusive laws on domestic violence. Instead they have opposed ANY domestic violence laws.

When women were raped in India they didn’t go “That’s Terrible”, the MRAs used that to bludgeon date rape victims in western countries and claim that their rapes weren’t as traumatic as the Delhi Rape and so were unworthy of the new gold standard of rape.

If you really were in to Men’s Rights then you would be more interested in doing things that help men than simply bashing women.

They aren’t worried about the page that declares all Facebook executives should be castrated (presumably they’d cut off Sandberg’s tits if they thought about it long enough) because they are actually not worried about your future, they are only worried about justifying their own future. They are a business. This is how they pay their bills. WAM! is out of a job if they don’t find someone to pick on. Right now they’ve aimed their desperate arrow at you. That the very campaigns they launch result in the backlash postings they find so offensive is not an issue for them because it keeps them in business.

I am sorry, I was unaware of the facebook page that declares that all Facebook Executives should be castrated. Facebook makes the mechanism but doesn’t police the content except through the actions of the reader.

And I would think AVfM would think twice about pointing out how others earn their daily bread. Considering AVfM is more interested in blaming women for rape or downplaying misogyny whether it be in places like the west or indeed in India.

What do you think will happen if you let them dictate who is allowed to say, what is funny and what isn’t and simultaneously kowtow to the twitter campaign? This is not about social justice, this is about politics and there is a lot at stake.

That Facebook has tried to clean up pro-rape misogynist comments?

Oh Wailey Wailey.

Here’s the thing. Rape can be funny, it can be the punchline to a joke. Just like Boris the Soviet Love Hammer can be one too.

Unless you have been raped. Then it’s not funny any more. Your actual complain is “Why Can’t We Laugh About Rape, Why Should We Care What Rape Victims Think or Feel or Say”. Which is how they became rape victims in the first place.

It’s not social justice, it’s about taste and image. Facebook is dominated by men working in it and they probably didn’t see this as an issue. Having this brought to light meant that they are trying to fix something people have an issue with that they didn’t consider.

As I said. It doesn’t affect the MRA IF the MRA were about Men’s Rights rather than Bashing Feminism.

I don’t envy anyone at Facebook right now. We know that when women set their sights on a target they strap on their biggest asset and wield their voting power. The issue at hand is not about whether Facebook approves of misogyny, it’s about whether or not Facebook will do what feminists tell them to do. That choice is ultimately yours but you need to know that feminists are not the only women watching to see how you run your company.

So you want Facebook to allow rape jokes and mistreatment of rape victims solely to spite feminists?

You are right. “Feminists” are not the only women watching how Facebook runs. There are also women who believe that men and women are equal. There are women who were raped also watching.

Just because you don’t call yourself a feminist doesn’t mean you aren’t one.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Nepenthe

    Using Aaron Schwartz’s name to support rape advocacy? That’s… that’s just beyond wrong.

  2. 2
    Francisco Bacopa

    I had a friend who said she wasn’t a feminist. I totally flipped out on her. “Really? Your entire life was given to you by feminism. You went to graduate school? Feminism! You vote, feminism. You went to graduate school in an MSW program that was set up as an alternative to male-dominated psychology programs to train therapists? Feminism! And weren’t almost all of your professors in your MSW program women? Feminists set that shit up for you in the 60′s and 70′s. I happen to know that the building you worked in at UH wasn’t built until the late 70′s. And you’re pregnant, and you expect to be able to cut back to core clients after you have your baby while not being kicked out of your partnership in your office. You’d pretty damn well be a feminist.”

  3. 3
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Hey Francisco… how did she react?

    As to AVFM’s open letter…

    This is why caring about men’s rights made me a feminist: because it was feminists actually doing something about it. Despite the fact that feminism has no obligation to tackle the issues men face, feminists do tackle those issues, because feminism is, ultimately, about gender equality.

    There is only one right MRAs want: the right to be misogynistic douchebags who treat women like chattel (which is why I will never, ever understand how any woman can self-identify as an MRA). That’s it.

  4. 4
    DeepThought

    Well, I was with you up until the following… when you attempt to defend the indefensible.

    Jennifer Aniston recently kicked a guy in the nutsack just to get more “hits” for a Smartwater ad and not only does #Fbrape not care, they helped deliver the predicted “likes.” It is selective tunnel vision on the part of this campaign.

    Yes it’s acceptable comedy in the same way that laughing at stuff that white people do is acceptable comedy.

    No, it’s not. It’s frankly disgusting. Or do you now think rape jokes are A-OK as long as the victim is male?

    Do you know “why”?

    Do you know “why not”? It is because men have as much right to a life free from violence as women.

    Because if the most misandric thing about society is laughing at simulated violence against men then your life is “Fucking Awesome”.

    It is not “Fucking Awesome”. It is an indicator that society, in fact, doesn’t take violence against me seriously.

    Because the majority of violence is perpetrated by men. The biggest kickers of testicles are possessors of testicles.

    SO WHAT???

  5. 5
    dandelionc

    Another brilliant post that teased out things I felt or knew on some level but could not put into words. Men’s rights advocates should fight for men’s rights and not against women’s. I’ve had so many arguments where that was my point but I just couldn’t get that out because I never thought of it so succinctly. Thank you so much.

  6. 6
    Stacy

    DeepThought, rape and domestic violence against women are utterly common.

    Are you seriously in danger of some woman kicking you in the nuts?

    That’s the difference. Context.

    It is an indicator that society, in fact, doesn’t take violence against me seriously.

    Are there whole Facebook pages devoted to pictures and vids of women kicking men in the groin? Do such things happen a lot in real life?

    Or do you now think rape jokes are A-OK as long as the victim is male?

    No. Rape is a real danger for men (and, especially, boys,) as it is for women and girls.

  7. 7
    Cynickal

    I must have missed the part where Deepthought stated he was African American. Many of us are working against the systematic violence of minorities, especially the school to prison pipeline set up in the US.

  8. 8
    elena

    Salve, quando ho fatto per la prima volta un commento su questo blog ho erroneamente spuntato “notifica nuovi commenti via email”… ora purtroppo ogni volta che viene aggiunto un commento ricevo quattro email con lo stesso commento. C’è un modo per annullare questo servizio? Grazie!

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