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Breaking Love and Reproductive Rights Out of the Christian Frame

I have been pleasantly surprised that the youtube comments on my speech on The Heart of Humanism at The Southern California Secular Humanism Conference are mainly addressing the topic.

We joked that now James Croft could add it to his CV that he spoke at an event with me.

We joked that now James Croft could add it to his CV that he spoke at an event with me.

Especially because I addressed how secularists need to examine where their beliefs about love in particular may be influenced by Christian culture such as ideas about purity. I used a rather pointed example by looking at the Secular Pro-Life Movement. Their stance is not categorically different from Cathy Ruse of The Family Research Council’s advice on making secular anti-choice arguments. Ruse’s Christian influence is clearly seen in her advocacy for state’s rights on marriage equality as discussed in my speech and her advocacy against buying Girl Scout cookies on the basis of their support of Planned Parenthood. Cuz unplanned parenthood is so much better, right?

One commenter though accepted the challenge to produce a secular anti-choice argument.

My concern isn’t from a Christian purity standpoint, it’s an issue of the meaning of human rights. We used to believe that people of different skin colors didn’t deserve legal protection because the ‘rights’ of rich white people were more important. I worry that abortion is not dissimilar.
It is a bit incoherent.  I also asked the humanists there what they thought of the anti-feminist canard
“I am not a feminist; I am a humanist.” We were short on time, but a few people afterwards said that the word feminist is like identifying as an atheist; it has taken on very negative associations over time.  I wish I had thought to record some responses afterwards.
Anyways, I hoped in this speech to help people see that sometimes the culture we are raised in can still affect how we see the world and prevent us from being better humanists. Just like I would like to help re-appropriate the word atheist from atheist bashers; I would like to help re-appropriate the word feminism from feminist bashers.
More important than the words themselves are the ideas that left unquestioned get in the way of progressing to a better society than the overtly Christian one we now live in today.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Monocle Smile says

    “Incoherent” is being a bit generous towards that comment. That person has no clue what rights are all about.

    If I punch you in the face, the resolution has nothing to do with whose set of rights is more important. I violated one of your rights and my rights don’t extend to include violations of your rights…and vice versa.

    Abortion, even if we grant the sloppy, simplistic idea that a zygote is a person, is about how even an actual person does NOT have the right to survive at the cost of the body of another person. A parent can’t even be forced by law to donate a kidney to save their 6-year-old child, yet the pro-life crowd acts as if the mother CAN be forced to allow something that isn’t even a person to drain their bodies and potentially kill them for nine months.

    There’s an awful lot of propaganda concerning abortion…like how protesters wave signs with the faces of babies and dead children when 98.5% of abortions occur before 20 weeks. It’s virtually tilting at windmills.

    • says

      There is more where that came from…

      So the Fetus is NOT a Human Being? What is it then?

      and this nugget of wisdom from the same person too…

      They should have thought of that before they fucked and got pregnant!

      one more…

      For the most part women are arguing for abortion rights because they don’t want children… completely disregarding the inherent responsibility they are born with, the biological ability to produce children. By your reasoning any time a family comes under hard times they can just jettison the low man on the totem pole. “Sorry, milk prices just went up… gotta make sacrifices.” Here’s a better idea: stick to education and better forms of contraception. For our group to hit this subject from even a marginally economic viewpoint is disgusting, we are talking about life here right?

      Jeez! the 1950s called and wants their judgmental attitude back.

      • EnlightenmentLiberal says

        That last bit just doesn’t make any sense. So, this person argues that women have a duty to have children because of (appeal to nature fallacy), but it’s also ok to use contraception to not have kids? What? I am so confused.

        • Monocle Smile says

          If you’re a TVTropes fan, this is what’s known as Insane Troll Logic. I’m unconvinced the commenter in question is being fully honest, but even if s/he is, it’s still Insane Troll Logic.

    • ButchKitties says

      If you’re on an organ transplant list, and a matching candidate just went brain dead in the ER, you still need permission to take that heart/lung/kidney. If that person’s advance directives say “keep me on life support even if there’s no hope I’ll wake up, I don’t want to be an organ donor” or the next of kin refuse to pull the plug, you don’t get the transplant you need to stay alive. Doctors could go to court with evidence that every part of the brain containing the personality has dissolved into fluid, that all that’s left is brain stem, that there’s a 0% chance of recovery, but five lives could be saved if the lungs, kidneys, and heart can be transplanted. It doesn’t matter.

      Apparently pregnant women should have less ownership of their bodies than we grant to people are who effectively dead, and embryos are more important than people dying on organ transplant waiting lists.

  2. L.Long says

    “…We used to believe that people of different skin colors didn’t deserve legal protection because the ‘rights’ of rich white people were more important. I worry that abortion is not dissimilar….” to which I call BS as BABIES do have the rights that even rich white people have.

    “…So the Fetus is NOT a Human Being? What is it then?…” A parasite! It may have been wanted or not but it is HUMAN when it is born, at least in this time and place. Because it was not to long ago that most cultures did not consider you human (one of the tribe) until you could survive until 12yrs (Anthro 101)

    “They should have thought of that before they fucked and got pregnant!” So I hope every person you ask says NO! Ahole!!!

  3. Jon Baker says

    I think most atheists would agree that they are humanists. Not nearly as many would dare go to the camp of feminism however. It does have a negative connotation but I believe its rightly deserved. I can think of many times were feminists show that their thought process isn’t at all skeptical. And skepticism is what I respect the most, which almost always leads to atheism as the rational conclusion. You can see many popular skeptics that think feminism is poisoning the free thinker community. Now if a feminist actually shows that she is skeptical about the world and not just get on top of her soap box to preach I will listen to her but I would’t even go as far as saying they would be in the majority. All we have to do is look at the most recent posts about how Woody Allen is guilty guilty guilty. Then they provide no evidence yet feel so strongly about their conclusion. Thats what I don’t respect

  4. says

    lol All these feminists always get in an uproar when they are shown to not understand the principles of skepticism. All you have to do is look at Thunderf00ts videos to see how they make fools out of themselves and put a stain on the skeptic movement. Trolling or Truth

    • Monocle Smile says

      There’s no need to make a substantive reply to a content-free, kindergarten-style rant. You tools are trying to get intentionally banned so you can whine about it later.

      • says

        And read my comments sweetheart. There was nothing there worthy of being banned for. Thought this was called Freethought blog? If you disagree why don’t you do what real free thinkers do and show how I’m wrong. Probably won’t happen because you are too busy calling people trolls if they question feminism.

  5. says

    Yeah. Because if they ban you for not being dogmatic that will prove my point very much indeed. Sad if you get banned for asking what has feminism contributed. Anytime I ask that all I get is silence or insults. No actual rebuttals.

      • says

        Yeah didn’t really find anything useful there at all. Not saying there aren’t women that aren’t doing good work for the skeptic community. The women on The Atheist Experience are positive examples for sure but you are gonna have to do better than some stupid wiki page about how they only helped out on women’s voting rights. Its ironic because its men that made that happen and had the best arguments against the backwards thinking of those that opposed women’s rights. Really ironic. lol And yeah I said prove me wrong because all you did was complain. Got to give evidence for your claim. But then again wouldn’t expect you to understand skepticism

  6. says

    Wow… that banner you show around 14:41 in the video does seem rather telling. “For the embryology textbook tells me so” sure sounds a lot like “For the Bible tells me so.” I’ve been trying to figure out if that was a phrase used before the documentary by that name, but am not having luck. Anyone know?

    Putting that aside, if they truly are a secular group, why on earth would you use such a phrase? Particularly since, one would think, you’d be trying to direct your message toward a less or non-religious audience. (No need to convince the more religious who mostly share the same viewpoint already.) It’s just not good marketing to use a religious sounding phrase to market to the less or non-religious. So, on the rationality of the choice of message, I conclude they must either (1) not be very good at marketing or (2) chose that message because they are religious people using secularism as a decoy.

    • Monocle Smile says

      I think it’s an appeal to their secular pro-choice brethren by taking a light-hearted jab at a common Christian tune. Being wrong about embryology is what undermines their stance, not the poster itself. This marketing strategy still might backfire, so you have a point.

  7. DevinMacGregor says

    “anti-feminist canard “I am not a feminist; I am a humanist.””

    I find that statement funny. I am an atheist. I am a secular humanist. I am a liberal. I am Pro Choice. I have said I am an humanist before and I have had someone tell me rather forcefully that I am also a feminist YET by that same logic then I am as well a men’s rights activist.

    As a liberal I am seeing an alarming trend. I am 46. I have been political since the age of 10 when I started collecting newspaper clippings of campaigns etc. I saw myself as a Lincoln/Roosevelt Republican then. I entered active duty in 1985. I missed voting for Reagan in 1984. I made the mistake of voting for Bush in 1988 but by Jan 1989 came a realization that the Republican party was no longer that party. This happened because I bought a computer game on the 1988 election that you could run as actually politicians to whom it rated or you could run yourself. It had a rather in depth questionnaire that was far more than yes or no and to my shock I was a liberal. I was left of center to be more precise or what would be called a moderate as well.

    Now anyone can use that if they want to dismiss me. I then fought the Right’s rhetoric and flat out bullshit. When the internet became available my first introduction was against white supremacists. I argued with many Christian Identists. Real fun group. Death threats whatever. Good thing at the time they knew nothing of hacking.

    As well I grew in a household to where my Mom made the money. She went to work when I was 2. My grandmother babysat. My Dad was a starving artist and the first part was his vocation as making money on his craft was not. If not for my Mom’s income we would had been in poverty. We were at best lower middle class. My Mom came from a family of girls. My Grandfather was out numbered. My Mom thought my Dad was simply being sexist. He was not actually. He was and is a juvenile diabetic. He almost died to it when he was 8 yo. His parent’s were told he might live till he was 15 and lucky if he made it to 20. I read about children like this and what parent’s tend to do. He had 8 brothers and sisters as well. My Sister confirmed from some of our Aunt’s that what I thought was true was actually true. His siblings were told to take care of him, that it was their job to protect him. They were told no teasing or retaliation against him. He did not have to do chores. They were really happy when my Mom came along because now it was no longer their responsibility. My Mom as well thought it was greatly important that I vacuum and cleaned the house ext. She is where she thought my Dad was sexist. My Mom NEVER though thought it was important that my Sister did all the guy associated chores. Nope. My Sister did all those when she started to have boys.

    My Mom complained about the glass ceiling although other women rose to ranks higher than she did. Why didn’t she? Because she did not get the required degree. I listened to her for years complain that my Dad did not go get a better paying job so she could go to school. My Mom though made enough at the time and all throughout the 1990s to get her a degree and could had gotten several. She complained about a male boss who only took at the one male adjuster but never any females. I asked her as a Supervisor there do you ever take to lunch that one male adjuster or do you just take out the females? Your boss cannot just take out A female to lunch. He has to take out several females to protect himself. And btw no she only took out the females to lunch.

    I could go on but I love my Mom and she was hypocritical in many of her stances. Some will blow that off as just my experience but I have seen the same hypocrisy from others. Not to mention use their own personal experience while ignoring whether or not a law is fair to both parties involved.

    As I said before above I am alarmed at the trend I am seeing. If one stares into the abyss too long then they may see themselves staring back at them. So as I am arguing against Right Wing sexists, racists, whatnot over my shoulder I am hearing the same form of rhetoric and it alarms me. 1st Wave and 2nd Wave Feminism made huge strides. It is this current wave that leaves me to pause. Look at above to where one gets instantly called a troll and attacked. I see that over and over again.

    Back in the late 80s and early 90s feminists I talked to had no concern over anything male related. They were only concerned with womens issues. They quite literally said start your own movement. Men did just that. I had friends get raked over by laws in the 90s. I was their ride to the court house etc. Children are also used as the smokescreen for using the law to get back at an ex. Instead of honest discourse it is usually met with personal experiences of an ex that abused them but what I said about my Mom above is typically nullified although just because an SO may have abused you is no reason for laws to be enacted that penalize men who are not being abusive, etc.

    On a liberal site I posted to for more than a year a conversation on feminism came up. I was mentioning that one of the short comings I see and what would change male/female relationships and this includes the workplace and overall society would be this overall dating/courtship that is still primarily male pursuer female pursuee. Men are still expected to ask, pick up, and pay. Older feminists will scoff at it and say well men pay because they make more. Younger feminists will scoff at it because maybe at their age bracket it is different but when you look at this you look at it from ALL ages.

    Anyway, this is getting long so let me end this with a more recent conversation that is still going on. This guy who identifies himself as a feminist makes this comment to another that he is using an archaic definition of misogyny. His arguments have been ad homs, false equivalencies, and some notion he is protecting women’s rights to change the meaning of a word to whatever they want. No one has said to him that women should be barefoot and pregnant etc but the fact that you just can’t change words to what you want them to mean without having consequences for other words. He says no one can use a dictionary argument. Putting his hypocrisy aside in how did he know the def used was archaic if he did not know the dictionary def. He has failed to grasp that misogyny and misandry are mirror words. Besides literally meaning to hate both words are simply the feminine and masculine from of hating another gender and in today’s context we can say gender discrimination is the gender neutral term. If the target of discrimination is female you say misogyny if male you said misandry. But according to him both words are completely different and you can change say the latter word to mean rainbow.

    He ignored my point in that I said we have females who identify as feminists who believe we should kill off the male population down to a very small number and believe that this would cause the end to violence in the world. I said according to your logic then anyone who says well that is a load of shit would be labeled a misogynist while none of these women would be called a misandrist since that word now means rainbow.

    Onward I said that sexism is a sexless word. If telling a female to get into the kitchen and make me a turkey pot pie is sexism so is expecting men to ask you out, pick you up, and pay for the for date.

    Onward part deux I said that racism is a raceless term (although we technically only have one race, humans) if Jim Crow laws are racist so is a Mexican owned American soccer team that is hiring only mexican soccer players.

    If you are a feminist and you do not agree with those last three then you are not an egalitarian and hence why I am a secular humanist. I have seen some feminist use the true scotsman fallacy in saying well those other people really are not feminists but most women I know do identify as being feminist. As I recognize asshole behavior from men I do as well see hypocrisy from females. I as well see this from my fellow Liberals. If I am saying I am better than this opposing side how can I do the same as they?

    • Monocle Smile says

      …whoa. I actually don’t care that it was long; it was well-structured and markedly different from the usual bricks of text. I appreciate all of it.

      The guy above was called a troll mostly because MRA types come to FTB and deliberately post paragraphs of crap for no apparent reason. Typically, their posts are vacuous with the intent to provoke. They literally troll deliberately; some attempt to get intentionally banned so they can later whine about censorship and freeze peach.

      Some of the hallmarks: kindergarten-level sentence structure and grammar, stupid slangs like “Trolling or Truth,” and the classic “PROVE ME WRONG” line. Neither of the above users fitting this description have any interest in discussion, trust me.

      Everything you object to falls under the radical feminist, or “radfem” movement. Most sane people also object to their bullshit. Yet people like the aforementioned trolls point to them and then claim anyone who labels him or herself a feminist is exactly like them…and worse.

      Some of the points you bring up are, well. anecdotal. The bit about men being “expected” to pick up and pay is an individualistic issue that has absolutely nothing to do with gender equality.

      You should probably stop conversing with that dude. Some people are stupid. Some people are just wrong. Some people are stubborn and far too type-A for their own good. It has nothing to do with feminism.

      • DevinMacGregor says

        Well that is a pretty white wash of what I said. There is no rule on length. One who requires one I do not see as worthy of any discourse. In the past I called it the postage stamp mind. Meaning if it is more than a postage stamp then they do not read it. More like sound bites and talking points is what they prefer. I see both sides doing this. And what trolling and what MRA types? I saw none of that in this thread. Are you the spokesperson for feminism? I do not speak for all men or ever most of them. How about you?

        Radfem? What is most sane people? What do you mean like no real Christian? Because I know you are not trying to give the true scotsman fallacy. I am seeing this from one liberal site to another and it is getting rather annoying. What I am seeing from one site to the next is more akin to how Creationists argue. As I tell liberal Christians when you do not counter the Conservative Christians you condone by your inaction. Blowing them off by saying they are not following the teachings of Christ is not helping. Conservatives make the same true scotsman fallacy but you NEVER see any of them hand slapping the more radical of their bunch.

        Anecdotal? Most things I hear many self proclaimed feminists bring up are anecdotal or deliberate misrepresentations of the information they are giving. As I was saying before what I would say would be blown off. When you try to talk about laws that deal with child support it is often met with hostility and often it is their own personal experiences that come into to play and not looking at the laws to see if they are actually unfair or not. I have been told by many self proclaimed feminists that they cover both mens and womens issues. Do they? Come on now. Do they?

        And not gender equality? What are you talking about? It is the basic foundation of our society. It teaches boys to be aggressive. It teaches girls to be passive. These are GENDER roles that are instilled upon us as we go from children to adults. It should not be either sides responsibility. Why do you blow it off as not worthy of gender equality? These are not my personal experiences either or JUST mine. There is a big difference between the two roles. I have been on both sides of that equation. They are completely different. The one getting asked is actually in the power position. If you are saying this is individual then so is being a construction worker or a preschool teacher. Neither then are traditional gender roles, right? Women are simply choosing not to be construction workers because they do not want to be one and not because of male privilege and the patriarchy? The same with men not being preschool teachers? And there is no stigma of men who want to be preschool teachers with them being looked at as possible pedophiles?

        I have a friend at work who is teaching her nephew to open doors for women because she thinks this teaches him to respect women. I find it rather odd because I am a child of the 70s and opening a door is neither gender but simply a curtesy one does for another. I understand she is one example but you should as well not blow that off. How many more are like her though? She sees herself as a feminist as well. I open doors for both men and women. I do not get women opening doors for me. Do you open doors for others?

        But what is gender equality to you? Women get to do whatever role they choose but men get to do the same traditional roles that men have always done? I first heard of Men’s Rights in the early 90s. One of the issues was changing the term deadbeat dad to deadbeat parent. I gave several friends rides to see these lawyers. They could not afford cars. I talked to these lawyers. None of them were about putting women back in the kitchen. They wanted the term changed because it ignored the fact that women who were supposed to be paying child support did not and the term insinuates only men don’t. My dumbass friend never pressed to get child support from his ex wife. You know that whole men’s role of protecting women. After years and years of putting him through all kinds of court this and court that she managed to get the court to reverse custody and did she return the years of never paying child support with the same kindness? Oh hell no. She fell off the wagon a few years latter but the system was not working with him as it was with his wife. Now you can blow that off as anecdotal but it is not my personal experience nor a singular incident. Hell my Mom only stayed married to my Dad because the lawyer she talked to told her she would have to pay him alimony which pissed her off. She did not think women should pay alimony. Well welcome to gender equality Mom.

        Many women think of themselves as feminists so do they not know what one actually is? Who is going to educate them on it? At least the damn toilet seat gate is not brought up. Holy crap, if a pun then yes I intended it. It was brought up a lot in the 90s. So petty and so one sided. I can give you a personal story on that one from an ages ago coworker but again that issue was not singular. It was seen by many women as something men did that was not respectful of them. You even hear some men saying it, hey guys we have women in the house put the seat down. I put the seat and the lid down. She has to lift something.

        And as far as stupid people where are they not? This is the internet, right? Yahoo is aptly named. I have the mistaken habit to read the comments more than the article because it gives me a feel of what Americans think. As of right now when both my parents are gone I am moving to Canada. But as I said I am a liberal and I counter this guy because the rest are not liberals. They are largely conservative and libertarians. Why not show them that not all liberals are like this guy. Guys like this are not just a small number. They are actually numerous on the internet and make it harder for the rest of us.

        But what is telling to me is what you did not say to me. The egalitarian part. You skipped that to just give me an apologetic reply. Those three things? Is feminism egalitarian or just out to make things better for women? Now making things better for women does not mean better for men as well. No one of either gender should be a doormat of the other. In the US, please do not give me Saudi Arabia or Pakistan etc, but what rights in the US do women not currently have that men do? And do not skip the egalitarian part.

        • says

          While I thank you for actually watching the speech you are commenting on; you are missing the point I was making.

          Tracie Harris posted about the “I’m a humanist not a feminist” (sorry edit)claim on her facebook. She pretty much nailed it.

          Yeah, I think these people aren’t really interested in identifying problems and expending any energy on fixing them. Targeting problems and then implementing specific solutions tailored to the factors that come to bear on different forms of discrimination is the way to effectively address specific issues and complaints. By keeping it broad, you pretty well ensure no targeted efforts to address specific issues (thus doing nothing or doing things destined to be less effective and efficient to “fix” any of these problems).

          It’s a bit like saying “My house needs to be updated…” but then refusing to bring in experts or specialty workers–such as plumbers and masons, because you want to focus on the whole house–not plumbing or masonry specifically.

          It’s really not a good way of addressing or fixing problems.

          • Monocle Smile says

            That’s well done by Tracie. I think of it as raging against an AIDS charity for not donating to research for every disease in existence.

          • DevinMacGregor says

            Actually my comment was based on this to which I quoted ““anti-feminist canard “I am not a feminist; I am a humanist.”” It was in the article above that you wrote.

            What I found funny was the anti feminist and canard part since in other circles I have said I am a humanist to have someone and presuming a feminist tell me that I am a feminist too to which I stated above by that logic then I am a men’s right activist as well.

            That analogy you may think nails it but it does not. Your assumption is that the so called expert is just that an expert and not a novice. The second assumption is thinking that the only problem may be the masonry or the plumbing. So which is it? Is Feminism plumbing or masonry? What about electrical? Or basic carpentry? Have you ever hired a contractor? You do understand they hire people of different disciplines. A plumber or a mason cannot do everything nor are they licensed to. But at least a plumber may be smart enough to call an electrician because that is what you are implying.

            We now have two people who just gave an apologist comment no different than I see many Creationists give. Both of which did not answer the question, is Feminism egalitarian or is it just the study of women’s issues? And to be specific is it ONLY concerned about promoting women in society and has no care at all whether or not men are being treated fairly in this exchange?

            See women’s issues is saying men are not considerate of females needs and leave the seat up. Men should lift the seat up for themselves and then put it down for women.

            Egalitarian says you put the seat where you specifically need it. It is no more disrespectful for men to leave it up than it is for women to leave it down. If men can lift it women can put it down.

            Now academia may see it different but I look at the rank and file because that measures our success not what some egghead with a cap and gown thinks. That was a lame issue that was brought up in the 80s and 90s by women and brought up A LOT. I watched a doc trying to tackle why in even the most egalitarian countries there is still this divide in the work place. It is interesting to watch the experts wrangle at it and even when some are presented with evidence to something else they refuse to look at it.

            Another one. 1985. US Army.

            Women’s issues to get more females into the military they have separate and lower requirements for females disregarding the fact that all equipment is unisex and they do not have lighter things just for a specific gender.

            The negative impact of this is that males who do not make the male minimum are kicked out of the military but their scores are still well above the female minimums. Those females are allowed to stay.

            Egalitarianism is one test for both. Not too high where it hinders women from enlisting but no longer discriminates against men.

            This is why that analogy fails. Plumbers or Masons make sure their work benefits the whole house and not just part of it.

            This is why I am a humanist and NOT a feminist OR a men’s right activist. Note the or part.

      • nathanaelnerode says

        “Everything you object to falls under the radical feminist, or “radfem” movement. Most sane people also object to their bullshit.”

        It isn’t even *proper* radical feminism, it’s derived from the insane lesbian separatist variety of radical feminism.

        Proper “radical feminism” is bell hooks, _Feminism is for everybody_. (A nice little book.) And to answer Devin:

        “But what is gender equality to you? Women get to do whatever role they choose but men get to do the same traditional roles that men have always done?

        No way in hell. Gender equality, anti-sexism, feminism — it means women *and* men get to abandon the restrictive gender roles. Anyone who doesn’t believe in this is a sexist, whether or not they call themselves a feminist.

        Radical feminism means a goal of removing the system of hierarchy, so we aren’t restricted by a system of hierarchy to specific roles, period. I’m not even sure this is possible, but that’s an accurate version of “radical feminism”.

        The lesbian separatist variety ran down a blind alley intellectually, became somewhat misandrist, underestimated how often women create hierarchies and climb them, and I’m sorry to hear that their ideas are still around.

        Regarding persistent sexism in the workplace, it’s very persistent in ways which are hard even to describe. If you go to a country like Denmark where they offer a year’s parental leave for either a mother *or* a father, you discover that a lot of the distortions are removed.

        I tend to think that the real underlying “sexism” problem is gender-essentialist thinking — looking at a gender rather than a person.

        If you look at the US Army issues, the problem with the old “male” strength standards is that the original standards were arbitrary: they were not based on actual current practice or need. And still aren’t; different parts of the Army have different strength requirements, in reality, and most of the Army isn’t foot infantry. So the “fix” wasn’t a fix at all because the standards for men are still way off from what’s appropriate.

        Meanwhile, the Army actually still has quotas limiting the number of women admitted to well under half (which is sexism of the worst sort), and is *dropping its moral and intellectual standards* for men in order to fill the large male quotas, while keeping out smart, honorable women. This is just sexism all over the place.

        But then the US Army post-WWII is not known for having any sense. This isn’t Lincoln’s army where merit mattered.

        • DevinMacGregor says

          Please stop the true scotsman fallacy. It is annoying as fuck when Christians pull this copout. Proper, real, etc are all bullshit. Steinem for example is considered both a liberal and radical feminist and she has said some fucked up things such as the LAFD who filmed its physical entrance requirements while showing on film that females could not do the basic requirements such as the standard fireman’s carrier. Gloria made a jacked up statement saying well they can just drag them on the ground as there is less smoke there. Now imagine that was your loved one being dragged and that particular firefighter could not get your loved one out of the building?

          EVERYONE is the US Army is basic foot infantry hence why a SINGLE physical requirement and why it is called BASIC training. Airborne, Rangers, Special Forces, etc all have higher physical standards and most males fail to meet these. After basic training all go to their respective AIT for their particular MOS. 11 Bravo (foot infantry) go off to infantry fighting school. All who go to that school have to meet its basic requirements or get the boot.

          Just because you are a cook does not mean your physical standards should be well can up pick up this pebble? You have two sets of standards. Basic training standards and then your MOS standards.

          Now regardless of this there should not be a female and a male standard. There should be ONE standard that both male and females have to meet whether it is basic training or MOS. It is rather sexist to boot males out of the military for failing to meet the min male physical requirements while still being higher than the female min requirements. Nice of you to skip over that. In fact technically women should have to be even more in shape than their male counterparts but that is a different bridge. They do not make different sizes of weaponry. It is a unisex weight. I was in max 5 man crews. We had to lift 180 lbs missiles and manually load then onto firing rails. For safety it was min 3 man lift. One man is required to be on deck to guide it so does not take part in the lifting. If we used the min female standards we do not have enough crew to meet safety standards.

          Army MOS eligibility is based on entrance aptitude tests. They used to be called ASVAB. Combat MOSes are typically the lowest meaning MOST will qualify. This is as well usually the highest turn over MOS because they are put at most risk. Cooks typically are not.

          For your meanwhile comment do you have anything to actually back that up? For combat MOSes again already have the LOWEST aptitude scores. What the Army will do is offer incentives such as the Army College Fund, Bonuses, etc to fill in understaffed MOSes but again these are typically combat MOSes.

          And what exactly is a moral standard? Because when I was in the Army they were starting to stop allowing thugs in. I served with murderers and rapists whose local judge told them to enlist or go to prison. They as well were a lot less Christianized when I was in but I was still denied putting atheist on my dog tags or even agnostic. When I was 19 I was as well brought up on charges of conducting witchcraft and having a coven in the barracks. The official regs is one is not allowed to form a church in the barracks and conduct services. My company commander thought the charges to be bullshit and said so to me but had to take them seriously because an NCO brought the charges. So I stood at attention while my rights were read to me and told they would be doing an investigation.

          “But what is gender equality to you? Women get to do whatever role they choose but men get to do the same traditional roles that men have always done?”

          Thank you for answering it but I wanted Monocle Smile to answer it. There are a lot of women out there who do exactly what I said. Women get to choose what they want but men are stuck in the same traditional roles. If you even try to bring this up the question gets reshaped into being one about women and the men part gets throw to the side. Or well men should start their own movement or the one here where it was saying the discrimination is done by men which again points back to the hypocrisy that feminism is not actually egalitarian and is just looking to better it for women while leaving men in the dark.

          “I tend to think that the real underlying “sexism” problem is gender-essentialist thinking — looking at a gender rather than a person.”

          I can agree with that. Not sure in how you mean it but to look at your Denmark example. I would say that it is sexist in the US for men to not get the SAME time off as women and not the crappy no pay one. Any answer of well that is men doing to men is a sexist answer. Feminism is either egalitarian or it is not and if it is egalitarian then it is looking to get men or more precisely FATHERS equal rights as the mothers when it comes to taking time off for their newborn. And btw it was in the beginning, it was for equal under the law.

          I once saw this meme on a liberal site I subscribed to. It was a picture of three people all looking over a wall. One was standing on the ground, the other on a single box, and a third on two boxes. The caption was EQUALITY. There was no context to what the boxes meant. I am taking it to mean the abandonment of opportunity equality for outcome equality which is alarming. Egalitarian would be to lower the wall down so all could stand on their own feet. This is why there is so much anger and resentment out there. It is why Liberals are struggling.

          I am PRO choice because I do not believe it is the govt role to step into this. BUT let’s not abandon reason that the only reason why SCOTUS went this way it did was because women carry to term and have the imminent threat. Long term stress is not considered at all. We are a short term society. We typically do not look down the road for the long haul. Mens traditional role has always been to carry financial burden regardless of any health issues. Second we are talking consensual not rape etc. Both individuals made the choice to have sex so that is moot. The reality is I as a male do not have any choice at all. She has the choice to legally abandon financial responsibility. I do not. She could decide to get public assistance and they will ask who the father is. If she puts this down I will get a meeting with HR who will tell me the DA’s office is garnishing my wages. And to a child I never knew existed. And to make it clear before foam leaves the corner of some people’s mouths I do not have issue with public assistance but the issue with the garnishment. I understand the means of doing it, ie limited tax revenue.

          The reactionary response is not to come down my throat as if I want Roe V Wade to be overturned but actually recognizing the reality of the situation. And no deadbeat parent or but he abandoned us emotional pleas. BUT if such a vote were ever to come my way why should I vote to keep your choice when you do not even recognize I do not have one technically? That question is for females not males.

  8. DevinMacGregor says

    “That’s well done by Tracie. I think of it as raging against an AIDS charity for not donating to research for every disease in existence.”

    That is another bad analogy. WOW. You do understand that if those who work the AIDS charity were to say but we support prostate cancer too when they do not then Houston we have a problem?

    Are you actually insinuating that no money be put into anything else? That all charity money must be focused on AIDS? You know because if we cure AIDS then no more cancer or heart disease etc?

    Because that is the argument. A) that the AIDS charity says it covers more than just AIDS so no other charity is needed and B) That is flat out not true.

    Let me know the next time the NFL has ribbons for prostate cancer because I am still waiting for the first time. It is not a rage as well. It is called awareness. My Mom has stage 4 breast cancer so it is not like I am saying we should give no research to it. It is simply awareness that we do give a hell of a lot of attention to breast cancer but a lot less to prostate cancer. When I say that it is usually met with hostility from well … alleged feminists. And it is not to say that losing a breast to any female is not tragic it is awareness that prostate cancer often leaves the patient impotent. I said often because I am aware now that procedures have finally gotten better but we still have a lot of false positives. And for this negative affect to happen to men is as well rippling in that they have to have a very strong woman who will not make it all about her.

    Which goes into the blue pill vs birth control and the mantra that they are somehow equal and it discriminates against women for not having birth control a part of health insurance. They are a false equivalence. The blue pill is sadly the short comings of our medical institutions to diagnose those men correctly. ED is the first signs of coronary disease. So instead of getting that treatment they get a boner pill and why? Because they more than likely do not have a strong woman in their life who is not making it all about her and not his medical condition.

    Feminism is either egalitarian or it is not. It either wants to fix the whole house or just be a plumber.

    • Monocle Smile says

      You really don’t have any interest in actual discussion, do you? First you bitch about my criticism of your post length when I didn’t actually criticize the length at all, now you hopelessly fuck up an analogy and whine on about anecdotes that you don’t even understand.

      Are you actually insinuating that no money be put into anything else? That all charity money must be focused on AIDS? You know because if we cure AIDS then no more cancer or heart disease etc?

      I’m not sure where you get off being this dishonest. Please stop lying about what I said. I insinuated no such thing and you’re just looking for a reason to bitch. An AIDS charity puts all of its resources towards AIDS because that’s more effective than diluting donations across a crapload of research organizations. Given Tracie’s post, this should have been obvious…and I think you understand this and are merely being intentionally disingenuous.

      Let me know the next time the NFL has ribbons for prostate cancer

      Not only is there a legitimate push for this, but men can and do get breast cancer AND the NFL is run pretty much exclusively by men. Now you just look stupid. Why do you insist on rambling on with random stories, then ridiculing me when I point out that these are just anecdotes? And why do you constantly bring up stuff from DECADES ago when that can’t possibly matter today?

      ED is the first signs of coronary disease. So instead of getting that treatment they get a boner pill and why? Because they more than likely do not have a strong woman in their life who is not making it all about her and not his medical condition.

      The medical field is ALSO heavily dominated by men, especially on panels. That last part is disturbingly sexist and the fact that you don’t grasp this is part of the problem.

      This is why that analogy fails. Plumbers or Masons make sure their work benefits the whole house and not just part of it.

      Totally wrong. Plumbers and masons typically make sure their work doesn’t DAMAGE the rest of the house. Their jobs do not entail fixing the whole damn house. This is getting increasingly shameful.

      Feminism is either egalitarian or it is not. It either wants to fix the whole house or just be a plumber.

      Either way, you’ll manage to make yourself feel superior, right? So what’s the point of answering the loaded question?

      • DevinMacGregor says

        Actually there never was a discussion was there? No, you said you do not mind the length but why mention the length at all if you do not mind it? It was actually rather condescending as if I needed your approval and blessing to post. And why are you using this attacking language of bitch and whine?

        You never brought facts at all to any discussion but anecdotes yourself and what do you mean decades old stuff? Sure it matters today because many women still expect it.

        The AIDS charity analogy was simply a bad one just as the plumber was one. The mere fact that you failed to see why speaks volumes. I never said the plumber messed things up. I said the problem may be more than plumbing and require electrical to which the plumber lacks expertise in. The same with the mason. The mason only does masonry and not electrical, carpentry, or plumbing. Again this went right over your head. Not to mention the plumber may be a novice so the quality of work may be suspect. We can switch to the economy if you prefer and I can point out the fallacy of authority in assuming that economists are the sole experts in the economy. Just anecdotal or do we actually have sufficient evidence for that to sink in for you?

        I do not look stupid at all and I never said there was no push. I said that breast cancer gets far more attention and whether men get breast cancer which is rather small or the fact of any gender make up of any profession is irrelevant to that. What is telling is that you do not admit that. Instead you attack back with I am now bitching and whining. Btw radfems say the same thing instead of just saying yes breast cancer does get a lot of attention when we virtually see none for prostate cancer. By admitting that truth what do you think you are giving up? Because I am certainly not saying breast cancer should not be funded.

        Sexist? Yes, it is sexist for women in relationships with men who have these conditions to make it all about their own sexuality. This happens to many men as women leave them because well they are no longer men in their eyes. Notice how you turned that around to say I was sexist? To you that is just anecdotal and thus well not reliable, right? Yet it is what happens to a lot of men.

        How am I making myself superior? I do not believe men or women should be doormats to each other. Men should be allowed to be preschool teachers and women construction workers without stigmas attached. Roles in the household are neither genders and we simply lack respect for the roles we choose to play. Instead we play these games of I have it worse off than you. NOW other feminists have said that feminism covers both men’s and women’s issues. Are they correct? I have not seen evidence of the former in that claim in the last almost 30 years. Why are you reluctant to answer the question? It is either egalitarian or it is not. You either believe in gender equality or you do not. I even asked you what gender equality was to you and you still avoid the question.

        Again I am a liberal and I see divisiveness in the ranks and we are polarized into my group has it worse than this other group. I see a lot of disturbing things from the camp I have identified with since 1989. The same kinds of logic being used by the Right. What if I just withdraw my support then and abstain from voting either direction? Obviously I am just whining and bitching, right? My voice really does not matter because it does not fit your preconceived paradigm. It was you that mentioned MRA types, right? I am sure you never meant that as a slam to all of them as being the same, right?

        See I get the SAME bullshit from Republicans and Libertarians when I talk of the ills of Outsourcing and Offshoring when mentioning I have not had a pay raise for 6 years straight, that my pay is only 9K more than it was in 2000, that my rent is twice what it was in 2000 and that then was a 2 bedroom to which I have a 1 bedroom now and two years ago I had a 2 bedroom and was paying almost 3 times. To them they just blow it off as anecdotal even though it is not just happening to me but all my co-workers and millions of others. But hey I am just bitching and whining, right? You do get out and talk to other people to see what experiences they have right? What does it mean when they have the same or similar experiences?

        Since I gave specific examples and you ignored them I am going to take it then that there is little difference between radfem and what kind of feminism that you support. Btw those lesser standards still apply today. I am glad that finally we will see women in actual combat units and I mean actual combat units such as infantry and not ones who lob bombs and missiles from far away. IF they lower the standard as in ONE standard then ok but if they make a separate lower standard for females only then that is bullshit. Next maybe Selective Service for both genders and not the threat only laid at men for not registering.

        This is my last post. Go at it and denounce me all your want. I was hoping for honest answers.

        • nathanaelnerode says

          “NOW other feminists have said that feminism covers both men’s and women’s issues. Are they correct? ”

          Some do. bell hooks does. I can’t claim that all feminists do. :-(

          I’m having trouble recovering the title and author of the long feminist treatise on how the biggest problem in the US for feminists is the schoolyard situation where boys are reliably brutalized if they don’t enforce gender roles.

          It was a big deal at the time, back in the late 80s / early 90s, but seems to have sunk like a stone.

          The best book I can find while currently digging is
          http://www.amazon.com/Real-Boys-Rescuing-Myths-Boyhood/dp/0805061835
          but it’s not the one I was thinking of. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the one I was thinking of.

          Another book by a fundamentally feminist author:
          http://www.amazon.com/Masterminds-Wingmen-Schoolyard-Locker-Room-Girlfriends/dp/0307986659/ref=pd_sim_b_15?ie=UTF8&refRID=1K8PYBAA0DZ7W6CKGGES

          Actually, I am getting really annoyed by my inability to find this book. I may have to ask around and see if anyone remembers it.

          This particular strain of the feminist tradition is very definitely still around, and you’ll find it in blogs and studies and individual projects…
          http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/expert-says-its-good-to-let-boys-cry/

          And there are even academic books based on actual research coming out…
          http://nyupress.org/books/book-details.aspx?bookId=11528#.Ux5rR62Vt3g

          (And yes, those authors consider themselves feminists)

          …but the tradition seems to have been rather impressively suppressed in the mainstream. I think it’s time we reverse this. I think you’re the same sort of feminist I am, and the same sort bell hooks is, and I think you’re right that we lack an organized movement.

          bell hooks wrote her book (Feminism is for everyone) because a book espousing the basic views didn’t *exist*. As a result partly of this lack of books, and partly due to pressure from the right-wingers, and partly due to the misandrists, are lots of whacked-out views masquerading as feminism.

          There are a lot of us down-to-earth gender-equality feminists around, but we don’t seem to have a functioning organized movement right now. There’s a point there. Especially since I think freeing boys and men from rigid gender roles is absolutely critical.

  9. cuervocuero says

    *sidles past the ‘share and flounce’*

    Lilandra, thanks for becoming a speaker in the atheist community. I was happy to find the above presentation on my youtube recs. Topics like abortion need serious scrubbing of the religious framing we’ve all absorbed from our societal upbringing.

    You have a lot of personal life experience and viewpoints that enrich the conversations. I certainly wish I’d been at the convention to talk about your presentation after you were so pressed for time.

    Catching up on Nones videos as I find them.

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