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[In Brief] Do Feminists Care About Men’s Issues? (A handy list!)

Men’s rights activists (MRAs) would have you believe that feminism is sexist against men because feminists don’t care about issues that affect men, such as restrictive gender roles, circumcision, sexual violence against men, the military draft, and custody rights.

That always seemed like a strange argument to me because, as a female feminist, I care about these issues quite a lot, and so do all of my feminist friends of all genders.

But of course, that’s circumstantial evidence. So I decided to make this list of articles about men’s issues written by feminists. Most of these aren’t some sort of niche feminists, either–the articles on this list come from well-known outlets like Feministing, Feministe, RH Reality Check, and Alas, A Blog.

(A note: it took me and two friends about fifteen minutes to make this list over two pages long. That should speak for itself.)

I’ve also compiled it into a Google Doc, which you can access here. I will keep updating it!

Hopefully others will find this useful in countering MRAs who claim that feminists just don’t care about men.

Comments

  1. says

    Do you believe that female politicians should be able to vote on government restrictions on prostate care? As I see it, unless one takes the libertarian position that government should not be involved in medicine in the first place, the right of consenting adults to allow other adults to do things their bodies, then will inevitably violate the rights of both men and women to control their bodies. The fact that feminists would even talk about “women’s rights” in the first place instead of just human rights is a good indication that feminists have betrayed the classical liberal tradition in exchange for group rights and petty self-interest.

    • says

      No, I don’t believe they should be able to do that, although you’d have to provide a specific example of politicians (female or otherwise) voting on “restrictions on prostate care” (what does that mean, exactly? Restricting it how?) for me to be able to tell you for sure.

      As for your silly derailment about “women’s rights” versus “human rights,” that’s beyond the scope of this post, which was intended for one purpose and one purpose only: to show that feminists do care about issues that affect only men and not women.

      • says

        To the best of my knowledge every female politician in both parties believes in using government to regulate medicine and do not carve out any special exemptions for prostate exams. What restrictions do you believe the government should be able to place on abortion? If you say that women should only be allowed to receive abortions from licensed physicians for their own safety, I am sure the pro-life camp will gladly take your standard and place “literacy test” standards to make it that no doctor is qualified to offer abortions.
        I am sorry if you found my statement silly, but as a male classical liberal I cannot take modern post J. S. Mill feminists like you seriously as allies until you at least understand why using terms like “women’s rights” might be a problem. Being able to simply dismiss others as “silly” may feel good, but it does nothing to help one work with others. Give me a reason to place abortion as a high priority particularly when many of my political goals may be achieved by making a deal with religious fundamentalists at the price of banning abortion.

        • says

          Citations, please, re: prostate exams.

          “What restrictions do you believe the government should be able to place on abortion?”

          Only enough to ensure that the procedure is performed safely and that nobody is ever pressured into (or out of, for that matter) an abortion. I don’t really have an issue with banning late-term abortions, but other feminists do, so you’d have to ask someone else about that. I have no opinion on that issue (yet).

          “If you say that women should only be allowed to receive abortions from licensed physicians for their own safety, I am sure the pro-life camp will gladly take your standard and place “literacy test” standards to make it that no doctor is qualified to offer abortions.”

          Um, so, the pro-life camp shouldn’t be able to do that? Duh. We already have “standards” for being qualified to provide abortions. It’s called being a board-certified OB/GYN.

          “as a male classical liberal I cannot take modern post J. S. Mill feminists like you seriously as allies”

          How do you know what kind of feminist I am? Please let me know where you get your mind-reading skills from. Also, I’m sorry to say that everyone these days is post-J.S. Mill, seeing as he is no longer alive.

          “Give me a reason to place abortion as a high priority particularly when many of my political goals may be achieved by making a deal with religious fundamentalists at the price of banning abortion.”

          If you need to be “given a reason,” we have nothing to discuss here. The reason should be that you have a conscience.

          • BlackHumor says

            You know, you can just respond in the classic SRS “yeah well you’re a poopyhead” sort of fashion. It’s much more fun, and it’s got about the same chance of getting through to him to boot.

            (Also, anyone who brings up John Stuart Mill in a discussion of modern politics should be ignored outright. I like John Stuart Mill, but even I have to say, dude is very very DEAD.)

          • says

            Not fair. I have not called anyone stupid. Politics is all about long dead people. Why do you believe that the constitution is important if it was written by dead white dudes?

          • says

            Because it was written for the purpose of being the backbone of our government. So of course the constitution is important. But it would be silly to refer to people as “post-Jeffersonian” as if anybody isn’t.

          • says

            As it should have been clear I was talking about ideas not chronology. By your logic everyone should be viewed as a post imperialist because we are after the age of imperialism.

          • says

            Not really. We may be after the “age” of imperialism, but imperialism itself is alive and well even today. Just look at the United States’ constant intervention in the Middle East, for the sake of its oil supply.

          • says

            You seem to be defending the concept of women’s rights. This makes you post J. S. Mill in the sense that you are no longer operating within classical liberal universalism. That is not mind reading. As you are willing to support late term abortions it seems that I am actually more pro-choice than you are. :p Neither of us are likely to gain our dream legal systems in our lifetimes. We are both forced to make deals with others to stop the government from doing certain immoral things at the price of letting them do others. Something that might be considered killing a human being will take a back seat to allowing the government to initiate force. So in exchange for agreeing to ban late-term abortion, which even you support, we agree to eliminate tariffs or get rid of the departments of education and homeland security.

          • says

            Money is property, which is an extension of the body. There is no difference between them. Anyway you are the one who supports late-term abortion not me. I am just might be willing to not fight that battle if it gets me something else that is important such as the right to property, something that is in the constitution.

          • says

            Um, no. Those are not the same thing. I have been sexually assaulted and I have also been robbed. I can assure you those did not feel the same way to me, at all.

          • says

            The principle is the same. Neither of them exists in the abstract, but only in degrees. So a given act of sexual assault can be worse than act of robbery. But being kicked out of one’s home and to be left starving in the streets can be worse than being touched in a way that was out of line. The proof is that many women give in to sexual harassment precisely because they fear for their jobs.

          • says

            There you go again. You can offer me no scientific, historical or analytical argument against me so you simply fall back on questioning my intelligence. Personal experiance is one of the weakest arguments you can offer. It does not allow you to universalize.

          • says

            What do you want evidence for? You haven’t offered any, either. Your claim that there’s no difference between money and one’s body also has no argument behind it. In fact, it is directly contradicted by physical reality.

          • says

            There is an analytical argument. Personal rights require a concept of property. I own my body therefore you cannot force me to not smoke pot or pray to certain gods. If you do then you break all sense of social contract and are subject to Hobbesian warfare. If we accept this then it follows that humans can own other things through their labor and extend their social contract to those things. Thus an attack on property would break the same social contract as an attack on the body. They both serve to put people into situations where Hobbesian warfare becomes rational. The more rational Hobbesian warfare becomes, the worse the action must be judged.

          • says

            And explain again why taking your money is not okay, but forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term is okay. Why would you throw that woman’s rights under the bus for your own?

          • says

            I do not think that either of them are ok. Why are you willing to throw my property under the bus for the sake of an abortion. I am simply willing to allow other people to throw women under the bus. I can live with this, because we see so many feminists willing on principle to support taking my tax dollars in order to fund abortions. Are you willing to admit that it is wrong for tax dollars to be used to fund abortions. I am willing to agree on principle that it is wrong for the goverment to oppose abortion. Of course there is not a lot I think the government should be allowed to do.

          • says

            >Why are you willing to throw my property under the bus for the sake of an abortion. I am simply willing to allow other people to throw women under the bus. I can live with this, because we see so many feminists willing on principle to support taking my tax dollars in order to fund abortions.

            Oh god this is unreal, I am dying of laughter. YOU PESKY WOMEN GETTING RAPED AND STUFF AND THEN USING MY MONEY TO GET RID OF YOUR BABIES, WHY DON’T YOU GO DIE OR SOMETHING?!?!?!

          • says

            Do you deny that I have a moral right to shoot people trying to rob me? It does not matter if they are starving. If you want bread you can ask for it nicely. If you need money for an abortion you can ask for it. If you try to steal it then we are back to Hobbesian warfare.

          • says

            Well it is you people who started it. Naturally, while it may be morally ok for me to kill people who actively try to make me pay taxes against my will, I am willing to use peaceful means to demonstrate my moral superiority against those who use force.

          • says

            Actually, that’s not morally okay at all, just as killing abortion providers is not okay no matter how much one disagrees with abortion.

            I sincerely hope that you do not own a gun and do not live anywhere near me or my family.

          • says

            I have nothing against private abortion providers. They are no worse than pimps or drug dealers, people I may disagree with personally, but do me no physical harm.

          • says

            Collecting taxes is not force. Also, if we still had tax collectors, they’re not the ones that make the law, so murdering them would be a tad bit cruel, no?

          • says

            I never said kill the tax collectors. They are only a small part of the machine. Practice non-violence and the first person to use physical force, such as the policeman who lays a finger on me, gives up their moral right to life. Not that I intend to take advantage of that fact, because I believe in practicing non-violence until I have no other options.

          • says

            Yeah, “you people” had better stop mooching off of we, the atlases, who produce everything and deserve to consume all that we please. One day REASON will convince you to stop being poor and female and non-white and maybe you can all stop stealing all our resources.

          • says

            I have nothing against poor people, females or non-whites. Many of my relatives and ancestors were poor, female and non-white. I do object to people who use force even if they are wealthy white men.

          • says

            What is so delusional about their being charity organizations? For that matter if a starving person asked me for bread I would give it. Last I checked I am not a delusion. You are denying Cogito ergo sum. Now that is delusional.

          • says

            First of all, the primary goal is to get government to stop restricting abortion to begin with, not to fund it.

            Second, an abortion costs much less than raising a child. People pay for their own abortions (or their private insurance pays) unless they are very poor. Would you rather that poor person had the baby and took welfare payments for 18 years to be able to raise the child? That’s a LOT more of your tax dollars.

            Or, I suppose we could have a society in which poor people simply starve to death. Perhaps you prefer that.

          • says

            Welfare is also theft. I have no intention of simply sitting back and letting people die. I am willing to give charity to people who are starving.

          • says

            It’s nice that you’re so charitable! Congratulations, you get a cookie. Not everyone is, though, and I don’t think you and other charitable folks make enough to feed all of the country’s poor, even before taxes.

          • says

            Well then go try using force (and accept the consequences of Hobbesian warfare) against those people who do not give charity and leave me alone. I wish to live in peace and practice free market capitalism with all of my brothers and sisters in the human race.

          • says

            “Thus an attack on property would break the same social contract as an attack on the body.”

            Would you argue that if I took a sledgehammer and smashed your stereo to bits or your car, that it would feel the same way (or have the same repercussions on your functioning and health, both mental and physical) as if I took a sledgehammer and applied it with the same force to your femur?

            Even though a social contract applies to both your car and your femur (and smashing either is a crime), the violation of the social contract has quite a different effect and is of quite a different magnitude in each case.

          • says

            Hitting my hand with a baseball bat will cause me less damage and therefore less reason to strike back than the same baseball bat swing to the face. Yet they are both attacks on the body. I apply the same standard. I would react more if you spilled hot coffee on my laptop than I would if you dropped it on me. So my property can be dearer than even my body.

          • says

            “I would react more if you spilled hot coffee on my laptop than I would if you dropped it on me. So my property can be dearer than even my body.”

            Oh sure. I mean, I’d rather break a fingernail than break my laptop. Your reaction would depend in large part on the extent of damage done to your body or threat to its integrity. Spilling hot coffee on yourself is sometimes damaging, but other times easy to recover from depending on where the burning liquid hit. Your reaction (and fears you have for you body) would change with the extent of the damage or threat of damage, I’d imagine. Would you prefer a sledgehammer to your arm or to your laptop, for instance? Regardless, you might agree that the social contract is being violated in different ways, in each case? Arm smashed vs. laptop smashed? Would you wish for each violation to be punished to the same extent by law? (You spoke of applying “equal standards” – does that also mean equivalent punishments by law?)

            Likewise, you’d like to pretend that all assaults on the body are the same (baseball bat to face vs. hand), because they all amount to an assault on the body. You say you apply an “equal standard”. A non-lethal punch to the face for example is quite unpleasant and may indeed cause quite a bit of damage (or not, depending on the punch), but is still a different experience – and has quite different repercussions (physical, mental, and social) on the lives of victims – than people than getting raped. (Seriously. Don’t just take my word for it. Read accounts by victims and studies done on crime victims in the aftermath of attacks.) Or would you treat them all as the same violation? Would you have the laws punishing each violation of the social contract be the same? (The same sentencing, etc.)?

            I also wonder how you would answer the following: You have the chance to successfully intervene and put a stop to one of two crimes (and to make the question more straightforward I’ll say that in either case you can intervene anonymously, it will succeed, and you won’t receive bodily harm or further loss of property). One crime involves the theft of your laptop, the other involves a rape being perpetrated on a stranger (it can be a person of any age/race/gender – you just don’t know them). You can stop only one of those crimes successfully. Which would merit your intervention?

          • says

            Both the laptop and the body need to be punished on the same “eye for an eye” principle. Following the rabbinic interpretation of this verse, this means that one pays the value for each. In some cases the punishment might be greater for bodily damage and in others for property damage. This is all assuming that all parties accept the social contract that underlies this system. When this is not the case we are left with Hobbesian warfare. I would thus be justified in shooting a neo-Nazi who spills coffee on me. Yes there is a psychological element to rape. That being said, since there is no means of empirically placing a value on it, it cannot be legally relevant. Similarly I would argue that Kate Middleton has no grounds to sue a magazine for printing topless photos of her, despite the very real psychological harm done. If she was a model who posed nude for a living then she would have a case as the value of pictures of her, which came from her personal investment in her body, would decline, robbing her of her rightly earned property.
            I would be inclined to try to stop the rape on the assumption that if we were to hold an auction for my crime fighting services the rape victim would pay more. Despite the fact that I would not be paid, the theoretical money indicates a greater utility for stopping the rape.

          • says

            “I would be inclined to try to stop the rape on the assumption that if we were to hold an auction for my crime fighting services the rape victim would pay more. Despite the fact that I would not be paid, the theoretical money indicates a greater utility for stopping the rape.”

            Are you sure of that? I mean, what if there were a few police officers lined up for the auction as well? Your crime-fighting value is diminished in comparison since they routinely fight crime, whereas your intervention might have been a fluke. (And remember, I said your intervention in saving the victim was anonymous – your value as a crime fighter would remain unknown to the world at large and would not be factored into the calculations of anyone at your auction, not even the victim you saved.) Regardless, the amount of money you’re paid for your crime fighting services in your auction might still be less than the cost of that laptop you lost – particularly if you forgot to back up the laptop and there’s valuable work on there (amazing medical research data or a novel that could make you millions). Maybe you got lucky that one time saving the victim (it was a fluke, as I said), but your skills and value to society are really with what you can do with the laptop and not your crime fighting abilities. Consider also that if an auction were to be held, the victim bidding on you might be too poor to pay you much (not enough to replace the value of the laptop and its contents), or may be ungrateful to you. You never know; people are complicated, and not everyone you help out will value you. You’re willing to lose an actual valuable laptop just for “theoretical money” that might very well amount to a pittance in comparison?

            (Or can it be that you’d rather not see a human being hurt than a valuable machine? Conscience twinging? Nah, it’s all gotta come down to quantitative costs…) Speaking of which, there are ways of measuring the cost of psychological harm such as lost productivity and psychiatrict/psychological services in aid of recovery, if you want to boil down psychological cost only to material cost.

            Lastly, assuming each act resulted in the same amount of physical damage, would you require a rapist (of anyone – man/woman/child) vs. a person who punched someone in the face to face the exact same legal penalties? (We’ll assume for this example that there’s no empirical way of measuring psychological harm – or if there is, that the person who was punched in the face has signed up for the same amount of therapy.)

          • says

            The theoretical auction serves as a heuristic device to establish the principle that these are both measurable forms of physical harm and how they might be measured. It does not matter whether I will actually get paid or that anyone knows that I was the crime favor. The auction is for being protected from a given harm. Thus it is up to the value of the harm. It is certainly possible under certain circumstances that the laptop might be more valuable. A professional prostitute in a libertarian society would be able to sue a rapist in the same way that a shopkeeper can sue a shoplifter. The value of a cheap prostitute might be less than a laptop. Thus there might be less value in coming to her rescue. It does not matter that the laptop is a machine; it is owned by a person, who would be harmed by its loss. The owner of the laptop is of equal value to the rape victim. Both the rape victim and a person punched should be compensated for the physical damage. If one wishes to use common law to establish a general fee for what people would pay to avoid pain and other forms of psychological harm that would be fine. Keep in mind that the real issue is buying off the victim that they still accept the social contract and do not turn to Hobbesian warfare. Fathers and feminists are free to ally themselves as the party skin rapists alive, but that would open them up to counterattacks by the rest of society.

          • says

            “It is certainly possible under certain circumstances that the laptop might be more valuable…”

            I do wonder what you’d actually do in the middle of such a situation (laptop vs. person getting raped… or a building’s burning and you have one chance to save your awesome laptop or someone who’s trapped… maybe it’s your 79 year old relative who has dementia, and what empirical value would he have when compared to a really useful laptop?). Would it be easy to make that decision on the fly, according to your scheme in which only certain kinds of value are factored (or only certain things can be valued).

            “The value of a cheap prostitute might be less than a laptop.”

            Beautiful words indeed. Because of course the only thing a prostitute loses – and society loses – when she’s raped is her fee.

            Provided that a law was passed sanctioning such a penalty scheme, would you accept a system where a rapist would just need to keep paying victims a certain amount of monetary value for damages (and can avoid jail and repeat offend as many times as they want if they can fork over the money after?). How about murder – there could be a law saying that you can kill someone and not face jail time as long as you pay their families or the government some fee for their murder (the fees would be on a scale perhaps – astronomical for some individuals and less so for others depending on their estimated value to society). Would that be acceptable, provided the law was passed according to the accepted rules of law-making?

            Anyway, have you read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin? Reading your replies reminded me of that story.

          • says

            Obviously an elderly relative would have value to me. If nothing else it is useful to present myself as the sort of person who would save relatives over my laptop. (I may not in fact be this coldblooded, but it is a useful heuristic as you have no reason to assume I am anything else.) I place human life, though not necessarily their chastity, above laptops. A “Most Dangerous Game” sort of person, hunting for sport could be dealt with by placing him outside the social contract. Keep in mind the purpose of penalties is that they serve as a halfway measure to punish people within the social contract. Say a person gets drunk and kills someone in a car accident. According to strict social contract justice that man’s life belongs to the rest of society, who are free to torture him to death. By submitting to the justice of the social contract’s legal system, our drunk driver supports the social contract and in return the social contract shows him mercy by granting him a lesser penalty such as a large fine or years in prison. The victim’s family, as part of the social contract, is forbidden from pursuing revenge and the driver’s family also agrees not to avenge him. A person who kills for the fun of it shows that he is not part of the social contract as does anyone who supports him. Thus they can all be subjected to the full brutality of Hobbesian warfare.

          • says

            “A person who kills for the fun of it shows that he is not part of the social contract as does anyone who supports him.”

            But I gave you a hypothetical society where such individuals can be part of the contract, provided they pay a penalty laid down by a law, with victims worth different amounts depending on how much value they have to society [we'll say that many people will be worth trillions of dollars (virtually unaffordable), but quite a few will also be priced at less]. (Also, where did I say the killing was done only for fun? There are all kinds of motives for wanting to kill someone.) Why would it be bad then, so long as it was lawful? Anyway there wouldn’t be Hobbesian warfare because the victim’s family would be paid, and they’d have to accept that halfway measure as part of the social contract. If the killer is within a price range they can afford, then they can murder him/her of course, but otherwise they’ll be sent to jail if they do.

            You also didn’t say whether such a penalty system would be acceptable for rapists if they had sufficient funds to repeatedly rape. In fact the only thing you allude to in your post about rape is “chastity,” which isn’t the main issue with rape (though I suppose many people try to turn it into the main issue, to the great detriment of victims).

            “Obviously an elderly relative would have value to me. If nothing else it is useful to present myself as the sort of person who would save relatives over my laptop.”

            Why obviously? I say by your way of thinking, in certain circumstances if you choose to save your old relative from a burning building over a laptop – a laptop (we’ll go back to an earlier comment) that might have something greatly useful to society such as your amazing medical research findings – that you have done a great disservice to society, by your way of thinking. What’s one old man, when millions can benefit from what’s on your laptop, in terms of heath and longer life.

            And if nothing else, isn’t it useful to present yourself as the sort of person who’d save someone from rape over your laptop? Even a “cheap prostitute”? Though I guess enough people dehumanize “cheap prostitutes” that they wouldn’t mind in that case, not even if it wasn’t rape, but if she was in a burning building dying.

            [I see below that you've been banned... regardless I'll put this comment up, given that I already wrote it...]

          • says

            Welp, I was reading through this and was just about to tell you that you’re a champ, but you won’t get a response.

            Sorry for cutting off an interesting argument, but I’m not going to allow commenters to come on here and police my tone and language. You’re welcome to continue the discussion over on the little ranty post he made on his blog about me, though. :P

    • says

      You’re totally right about the fact that the liberal tradition never talks about women’s rights, but always about human rights. Few exceptions exist, J.S. Mill comes to mind. Liberal individualism provides us with no tools for analyzing group oppression, since it is sorely lacking in group ontologies to begin with. That’s why in order to make sense of group oppression, you either have to make ad hoc additions to liberalism, such as feminism or anti-racist liberalism, or abandon liberalism altogether. I chose the second, others choose the first, but in neither case is a departure from “the classical liberal tradition” any kind of proof that we are wrong. We’ve simply moved on from the 18th century. If you’d rather stay with the original, Herrenvolk liberalism, that’s fine, but don’t pretend that you’re somehow more enlightened that us because of it.

      • says

        Since I do not recognize the concept of group rights, I feel no reason to compromise on my liberalism to allow for it. Groups are simply fictions created by individuals, which do exist. My argument is against your first kind of modern liberalism on the grounds that I am more constant than they are and are thus in a better position to argue for liberalism against conservatives. I have no problem with non-liberals. It just may be that they offer me no way to negotiate leaving me with no other option but Hobbesian warfare.

  2. Titfortat says

    Considering Feminism isnt a monolith there are many feminists who dont give a shit about Men’s issues. Just as there are many feminists who do. I think it depends on the person talking and their level of compassion or ideology.

      • Titfortat says

        You have your moments, just like other feminists I know. Sometimes enlightened, other times, not so much. ;)

          • Titfortat says

            @Miriam

            Its the truth, which is true for all of us. Sometimes were bang on and other times not so much. One reason I put smiley faces is so that you know when Im smiling in a nice and playful way, though it is your choice if you wish to be offended by my comments even if they are not intended that way.

          • says

            I’m not “offended.” Titfortat. But your comment was nonetheless condescending, in my opinion. I dislike condescension very much, so I’d advise you not to use it if you wish for your comments to be approved.

          • Titfortat says

            If pointing out that I think your ideas are sometimes misguided is condescending then do as you see fit. :(

          • says

            It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it.

            Also, when you see ideas of mine that are condescending, you can debate them. But going on a post you seem to agree with and then reminding me that other posts of mine are “misguided” is a backhanded compliment.

          • Titfortat says

            Actually I can both compliment you and point out that I dont think youre always right. They are not mutually exclusive. The truth is, and this is why I somewhat frequent your blog, I think you are a bright well spoken young woman. I also think some of your ideas are full of shit. I may have a different style of communication than you but that is probably because my life experience is probably considerably different than yours. Its all good even when youre about to ban or moderate me. :)

  3. Amido says

    If feminists care about men’s rights issus, then why do feminists constantly attack, smear, demonise, and attempt to silence the men’s rights movement? Surely they should support it? But they don’t, because feminism is only interested in promoting an idea of females as victims and males as oppressors (aka patriarchy theory), so raising awareness of the blatant fact that makes are discriminated against in law, in family court, in health, in the media, and in education, detracts from this primary goal.

    I am sure I can find more links of feminists attacking the idea of human rights for men, then you small selection of articles which seem supportive. The NOW, for example, is expressedly opposed to equal parenting rights for fathers – yet you still linked them here!

      • says

        Wow, it’s like debating with factcheckme, all LOLs and calling someone an MRA. Only difference is no reference to your opponents’ genital morphology and no use of the phrase male-identified to silence feminists who critique your stance.

    • BlackHumor says

      The “men’s rights movement” is a bunch of reactionary trolls. It is not actually a rights movement at all, it’s just a bunch of dudes who hate women and want to pretend they’re oppressed.

      • Titfortat says

        @Blackhumor

        Now there is an enlightened comment. Like feminism, Mens issues are not expressed as a Monolith.

      • says

        Warren Farrell is not a reactionary troll. I’ll take MRAs like him over cis feminist heroines like Raymond, Daly, Greer, Bindel, Jeffreys, Rich and whatever other exterminationist/apartheidists you want to worship as soooo inspirational! next.

        • BlackHumor says

          Warren Farrell, really? Even besides all the outright false things he’s spewed, he’s got really fucking creepy views on rape and incest.

          • says

            Ah, you’re gonna cite a thirty-five-year-old Penthouse interview next, well done. Let’s talk about the stuff he’s had time to proctor and publish, and compare it to the stuff that the leading lights of the second wave have, instead of one out-of-context never-repeated interview. But please, let’s compare Warren Farrell’s offending words:

            “Girls are much more influenced by the dictates of society and are more willing to take on sexual guilt.”

            “In a society where men are powerful and exploitive and insensitive to women’s feelings, which is reinforced by female adaptiveness and a daughter’s lack of power, data like these can be used as an excuse for the continuation and magnification of that exploitation. When I consider that, I almost don’t want to write the book.”

            “. . . because millions of people who are now refraining from touching, holding, and genitally caressing their children, when that is really a part of a caring, loving expression, are repressing the sexuality of a lot of children and themselves. Maybe this needs repressing, and maybe it doesn’t. My book should at least begin the exploration.”

            Hmm… seems to me he says that while he wants to discuss how nurturing touch is important to all forms of a child’s development, including sexuality. I had an English teacher who said the same thing. She was talking about how some Victorian mothers had been told not to touch their children, and at least one (I can’t recall, I think she was the mother of some writer) would wait until she thought her children were asleep and then caress and hold them. Oh, also it’s pretty clear that he explicitly doesn’t want his work to be used as justification for incest and rape… but whatever, that’s totes worse than:

            “All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves …. Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive.”

            -Janice Raymond

            “[Transition is] …a practice in which persons who do not adhere to the correctly gendered practices that have been placed upon the biological sex are considered to have something called Gender Identity Disorder and they’re expected to cross over into the other sex. Not criticize the gendered system as it exists, because that’s unthinkable but to make some kind of “journey” by mutilating their bodies and taking dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives in order to supposedly represent the opposite sex.”

            -Sheila Jeffreys, arguing in favour of outlawing transition medicine, which would kill about 465 out of 100,000 trans people every year.

            So yeah, I like his skeletons better than the second-wave’s.

  4. DLZdl says

    What a shock. You banned the only guy taking you seriously enough to be civil.

    Anyway, you should participate in the debate coming up in Vancouver, if anyone near there can make it. We’re having a hell of a time trying to get feminists to show.

  5. says

    You know what? No. On that list, we have Amanda Marcotte, who I think you’ll agree, is not inconsiderable in terms of feminist credibility, claiming that it’s way more likely that sleeping boyfriend is faking a rape to abuse his girlfriend.

    You do not get to pretend that we’ve gotten over this shit, especially when so many of us will totes agree that someone being forced to penetrate is rape, but then dispute the numbers when, including those rapes, men (or CAMAB people, I don’t trust the CDC to not be cissexist here) make up 50% of American rape victims and women (or more likely, CAFAB people) make up 40% of perpetrators. Then they rely on the greater propensity of men to not report their rapes AS RAPES (sexism can be internalized, last time I checked) and pretend it’s closer to a 10-1 ratio than a 1-1 ratio.

    Then in your list we have policing of masculinity, which is just as superficial and sexist as policing of femininity. Oh! And also no mention of the Workplace-Related Death Gap, and the 43,000 American men lost every year to that. No mention of the sentencing discount, of course. No mention of the death gap generally, and how when you look at societies that don’t differentiate in terms of resources, like cloistered orders, that gap nearly disappears.

    Basically, unidirectional, overwhelmingly cis, feminists, only want to talk about ‘mens issues’ when it lets them talk about the issues they already wanted to talk about, but in a condescending, patronizing, way that goes: “See? Now shouldn’t you stop being a potential rapist/upholding patriarchy/whatever I’ve decided to blame less than half the electorate for?”

    I’m a feminist and seeing patronizing lists like this makes me ashamed to say it.

    • John D says

      Hi Valerie,

      I applaud your ability and wisdom to stand up for all: something feminism promised but never delivered.

      However, as much as I like your stance I have to point out that US workplace fatalities are only about 5000/year. This typically works out to be around 4800 men and 200 women.

      Unless you’re looking at something beyond just workplace fatalities (like blacklung or injuries).

  6. dumbguyscene28 says

    Hey, some of the articles you link to in your list, are just what you say, concern for, and support of rights for men and women coming from feminists.

    The way these lists are canonically used, and is used here by you http://brutereason.net/2012/09/20/in-brief-do-feminists-care-about-mens-issues-a-handy-list/#comment-4306 is not to support men but to undermine MRA groups.

    So the whole thing rings hollow.

    If you look back to the civil rights movements forward you should be able to see the difference between:

    1960:

    A1. Blacks: we want civil rights. We support the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    A2. Concerned Whites: We are the best friends of negroes but we don’t understand why they support violence, and why they all can’t be like that nice Mr. King, Jr. We ask negroes to stop marching and picketing, we are busy working for the rights of all men in Congress.

    A3. Freedom Riders, SPLC: Support our friends and listen to them. We stand beside them and will lay down our lives in ditches to help them.

    1970:

    B1. Women: we want civil rights. We support Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Valerie Solanas, Simone de Beauvoir, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Reddy, Shulamith Firestone, Germaine Greer, Mary Daly

    B2. Concerned men: We are the best friends of women but we don’t understand why they support violence, and why they all can’t be like that nice Ms. Reddy. We ask women to stop marching and picketing, we are busy working for the rights of all people in Congress.

    B3. ACLU: Support our friends and listen to them. We stand beside them and will lay down our lives in ditches to help them.

    1980:

    C1: The disabled: we want civil rights. We want equal employment and services. Pass the ADA

    C2: Concerned businessmen and concerned religions: We are the best friends of the disabled but we don’t understand why they support violence, and why they all can’t be like that nice Mr. Ironside or Christopher Reeves. We ask the disabled to stop marching and picketing, we are busy working for the rights of all people in Congress.

    C3: ACLU, 2nd Wave Feminists: Support our friends and listen to them. We stand beside them and will lay down our lives in ditches to help them.

    1990:

    D1: Gays: we want civil rights. We want to end discrimination. We want to marry. We want to come out. We want to join the military. We want to stop bullying. We want an end to sodomy laws. We want an end to AIDS.

    D2: Concerned heterosexuals: We are the best friends of the gays, but we don’t understand why they support violence, why they ACT UP, and why they all can’t be like that nice Mr. Mercury or Mr. Milk (such a tragedy!). We ask gays to stop marching and picketing, we are busy working for the rights of all people in Congress.

    D3: ACLU, 3rd Wave Feminists: Support our friends and listen to them. We stand beside them and will lay down our lives in ditches to help them.

    D4: 2nd Wave Feminists: Woah! Not so fast there. Gays are trying to appropriate our culture. Transmen are a danger.

    2000:

    E1: Mens rights: we want civil rights, we want fairness in family court, we want a rebuttable presumption of joint shared custody, we want visitation enforced, we want false accusations of rape taken seriously and reduced in number, we want mandatory dna testing of all newborns, we want child services to respect and search out the fathers of babies put up for adoption, we want paternity fraud take seriously, we want boys to have equal chances at school, and not to be drugged when they act like boys, we want domestic violence to end but we also want it recognized that women are often as violent as men and initiate that violence, we want an end to circumcision, we want misandry recognized and discussed and stopped.

    E2: Concerned 2nd wave and 3rd wave gender feminists: We are the best friends of the men, really, we are, here’s a list of all the things we do for women in the name of men, but patriarchy is really really bad, false rapes do not occur, the courts are biased in favor of men, women live longer than men showing how society oppresses us even longer because men get to die young and avoid that oppression, women and children are the chief victims of war, fathers rights activists don’t want to see their kids they just want to end alimony and support, mandatory dna testing is not in the best interest of the child and neither is ending paternity fraud, BUT REALLY, there is no such thing as misandry, and we are the best friends of men, not those asshole pro-rape pedophile wife abusing MRAs.

    E3: Equity Feminists: Support our friends and listen to them. We stand beside them and will lay down our lives in ditches to help them.

    Miriam, thank you for your list, which group are you in?

    • dumbguyscene28 says

      Just to make it clear, what I have learned from the civil rights movements for minorities, women, gays, and the disabled is that it is imperialistic, arrogant, patriarchal, mis-appropriation to tell a group

      a) They are not oppressed
      b) What their issues *should* be
      c) What their issues *should not* be
      d) That their leaders are terrible
      e) Who their leaders should be
      f) What groups are their natural leaders
      g) That their histories and stories are not relevant, or not interpreted properly, and that you have better stories and interpretations for them
      h) That you who are not in their group are their best friends, and they cannot even recognize who their best friends are
      i) Woah, calm down, no need to get angry
      j) We are working for your rights, you have no reason to be upset at how long it takes
      k) We know better than you what your needs are

      Miriam, is that the lesson you’ve received from the experience of the civil rights movement?

      Reading my comments, does that change your position on the list you’ve created, or the authors or blogs that you’ve linked to?

    • dumbguyscene28 says

      After reading some of Valerie Keefe’s materials let me add into my timeline the fight for the rights of the transgendered, F1, F2, and F3. I am not sure where they fit on the timeline, and I am not certain of the totality of the groups supporting them, but I hope I live a life of F3.

      • says

        Forgive me for my pedantry but ‘transgendered’ is not a word. Trans/transgender/transsexual being an adjective, its use as a noun treats transness as an action, something that happens to someone, when it is simply something into which one arrives after crossing the veil of ignorance. (Rawls reference for those of you not paying attention)

        • dumbguyscene28 says

          Trans/transgender/transsexual being an adjective, its use as a noun treats transness as an action, something that happens to someone, when it is simply something into which one arrives after crossing the veil of ignorance

          Hi, so I believe I understand what you are saying differentiating beingness with action, but I don’t have the understanding to operationalize it. Sometimes I need to coffee poured directly on my brain.

          What are the preferable nouns?

          Would you help with an example, and perhaps rewrite my clumsy sentence?

          • says

            The preferred nouns are, as always, woman, man, person, etc. The preferred adjective is trans. Transgender and transsexual are getting into Venn diagram territory, but roughly Transgender refers to persistent identification or presentation at variance with one’s assigned sex, Trans refers to persistent identification at variance with one’s assigned sex, and Transsexual refers to use of or a desire to make use of technology, regardless of complexity, simplicity, or availability, to change the way one’s body is gendered, at variance with one’s assigned sex, either by oneself or by others, but typically both.

            Hope that helps.

        • dumbguyscene28 says

          Thank you. I had to go to wikipedia and learn something. I stand corrected and better informed.

  7. says

    The comments thread you call attention to at the very first link on your list features one of the most prominent feminists on the Internet announcing, on the basis of god-knows-what other than her belief that a man making a hand gesture communicates consent as strongly and clearly as a woman saying “Hell, yeah, fuck me” (probably combined with the usual acceptance of traditional assumptions about men being unfeeling fuck-machines), that a man who claims to feel violated and uncomfortable after his girlfriend had sex with him while he was unconscious is probably- “100 to 1000 times more likely,” no less- just making things up as a way to emotionally abuse his girlfriend. Concerns about male pain, suffering, vulnerability, bodily autonomy, personal boundaries, sexual consent? Just .a bunch of nonsense an evil man makes up to torment a poor innocent woman.

    Thanks for opening your list with an item that so wonderfully illustrates just how mainline feminism “cares” about men’s issues. Amanda Marcotte- certainly no “niche feminist”- says it much better than I could.

  8. dumbguyscene28 says

    a minor nit, this link

    “Atheist man arrested for blasphemy: http://skepchick.org/2012/09/another-atheist-arrested-sign-this-petition/

    Seemingly has absolutely nothing to do either with feminism or with mens rights.

    Men are not saying, “we are subject to systematic oppression because our atheist men are being arrested”, and Feminists are not saying, “we stand up with our men, arrested for their male atheism.”

    What is happening is that an atheist is saying, stop arresting atheism.

    So in the name of intellectual honesty, you should remove that one from your list (or explain it further.)

      • dumbguyscene28 says

        “Oh, please” isn’t actually a response unless it is followed by a justification or rebuttal.

        Labeling me as an MRA seems to be your way of claiming that MRAs are not intellectually honest or that I in particular am not.

        I would think a reply from you would be along the lines of:

        1) You’re correct, and I have removed it
        2) You’re incorrect, and here’s why

        • ToubaboKoomi says

          MRA’s are NOT intellectually honest. They push patriarchy under the guise of “equality.” Fuck ‘em. Even the name. “Men’s Rights”. Implying that somehow white, straight men aren’t the standard by which “rights” are judged in the first place.

          As far as your statement, it’s an example of feminists standing up for a man, something which many MRA’s claim never happens.

          • says

            As far as your statement, it’s an example of feminists standing up for a man, something which many MRA’s claim never happens.

            Really? As a feminist who spends a bit of time in the MRAsphere, I want you to give me some links, especially from people who produce more elaborate content than angry dismissive comments written at a 4th grade level. You know: The equivalent of the people who laugh when Sharon Osbourne says that mutilating genitalia is funny.

          • dumbguyscene28 says

            “it’s an example of feminists standing up for a man, something which many MRA’s claim never happens.”

            1. I need a citation for this. I’ve seen plenty of well known fathers and mens rights activists discussing the good of feminism and acknowledging when feminists stand up for men. So I think it’s a straw argument.

            2. And still, this is not an example of a feminist standing up for a men’s rights. It is an example of an atheist standing up for an atheist’s rights. Would skepchick’s support have changed regardless of the sex of the atheist in question? Did skepchick support this person specifically because of that person’s sex, or did the support come through because of that person’s atheism?

  9. dumbguyscene28 says

    “Men don’t deserve the word “creep”:http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2011/01/02/men-dont-deserve-the-word-creep/

    While Thorn is absolutely 100%, no 1000% correct in this analysis, I also fail to see how this fits your list.

    Is Thorn’s position a majority opinion in contemporary Feminism? Will I encounter feminists holding up placards marching to stop creep shaming?

    You and I are both Jewish, I think we both are aware of the maxim, two Jews, three opinions (supposedly said by David Ben Gurion). The same is pretty similar with feminists, right? For every X, you can find a feminist that thinks X is empowering and another that finds X is oppressive,

    Has Thorn’s opinion had much or any impact on creep shaming? Was it reblogged, retumbled, make any sort of head way?

  10. dumbguyscene28 says

    By the way, while I don’t intend this as an ad hominem attack on Barry Deutsch, amptoons, are you aware of his history of selling the domain name amptoons to pornographers and exploiting the feminist traffic his site receives as a way to game google search algorithms to earn money?

    If you research it, you’ll find many feminists in 2006 excoriated this “pimping” and exploitation of feminists and rape victims.

    Here is the feministe thread on it: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2006/10/11/bad-ideas/

    You can find out more googling amptoons pornography domain name

    I would just be cautious about anything written at the amptoons site, it is not necessarily pro feminism, pro men, or pro people, it is often just pro barry deutschism.

  11. dumbguyscene28 says

    I have to say I am disappointed you chose to respond to what I described as a minor nit, but that you chose not to respond to what I believe is an important objection to this list of yours

    http://brutereason.net/2012/09/20/in-brief-do-feminists-care-about-mens-issues-a-handy-list/#comment-4314

    That is that the common feminist argument that feminists are better advocates for mens than mens rights groups are, and that mens rights groups should stfu is classically seen as arrogant, imperialistic, appropriating, patriarchal and nonsensical. And it has mostly been used as a way to silence and stall the progression of civil rights.

    I do wish you would respond to that argument, I am very curious and would love to see an honest discussion of that.

  12. says

    i can’t believe how patient you are, miriam.

    also, psa for some folks up-thread: lots of women have prostates and lots of men have uteri (intersex people and trans* people exist! ta-da!). i hate it when the whole “women’s right to choose” thing gets dragged out; do trans guys not get to choose? what about dfab nonbinary folks?

    anyway, sweet post, miriam. bookmarked!

    • says

      Actually, almost all women have prostates. It’s the same gland, used to be called the Skene’s gland until they realized that was like giving a woman’s tricep a different name. It’s just that testosterone makes it bigger and succeptible to cancer, so unless you’ve got PCOS, or a very knowledgeable girlfriend, your prostate will almost certainly never come up.

          • says

            ok. for the record, i don’t think gendered defaults (or racial defaults, etc.) are cool. i’m not going to take offense and get all pissed off, though, because it’s not a huge deal. :)

          • says

            Point taken, and agreed with. I just do it to mix things up now and again, especially when it works to break a bit of normativity. It’s more a rhetorical flourish than a political standard. Besides, if I used singular they all the time, my usual preference, I might be making that particular group of non-binary people default. :P

          • says

            i think i get where you’re coming from; i used to pretend to assume unknown people were women until proven otherwise. it can be a pretty effective way to start an interesting conversation, so i really can’t complain too much.

            “Besides, if I used singular they all the time, my usual preference, I might be making that particular group of non-binary people default.”

            this is interesting. some people use singular “they” to signify nonbinary-ness and some people use singular “they” to “level the playing field,” so to speak. it’s a really interesting topic.

            i mean, i use singular “they” to signify MY nonbinary-ness, but i also use singular “they” to indicate that the person’s gender is irrelevant to the topic at hand or to indicate that i’m unsure of their gender. (other things, too.) i think it might depend on whether i’m referring to a person of known gender or to people in general.

            i love talking about this stuff! seriously, yay!

    • dumbguyscene28 says

      Miriam,

      Intriguingly you can read this Greta Christina column and hear it echo my arguments about appropriation, condescension, arrogance, and imperialism of feminist claims that they are the real mens rights movement, and the intellectually dishonest mras are disreputable charlatans no one should listen to.

      http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/09/how-sexism-hurts-men-undateable.html

      Slightly modified:

      If you were to read an argument, written by a man, giving women advice on how to turn themselves into acceptable feminists

      – an argument consistently advising women to adhere to a rigid, narrow window of traditional societal behavior if they hope to find and keep their civil rights — what would be your reaction?

      Would your feminist sensibilities be horrified? Would you be writing angry letters to the publisher, or posting angry rants about it on the Internet? Would you mock it as a hilariously campy example of ’50s and ’60s social propaganda… and be shocked to realize it had actually been published this year?

      So what would you think of an argument written by feminists, giving men advice on how to turn themselves into acceptable advocates of mens rights… which consistently advises men to adhere to a rigid, narrow window of feminist beliefs and behaviors if they hope to find and keep their civiil rights?

  13. dumbguyscene28 says

    “Men’s rights activists (MRAs) would have you believe that feminism is sexist against men because feminists don’t care about issues that affect men, such as restrictive gender roles, circumcision, sexual violence against men, the military draft, and custody rights.

    That always seemed like a strange argument to me because, as a female feminist, I care about these issues quite a lot, and so do all of my feminist friends of all genders.”

    I absolutely encourage you,to visit glennsacks.com and read his old columns. Or put fathersandfamilies on your rss list and read Robert Franklin.

    These are men that advocate for parents rights, regardless of whether they are male or female, straight or LGBTQIA.

    It would be hard to read what they write and claim these men:

    Don’t fight against restrictive gender roles for men or women, don’t fight against genital mutilation for any child, don’t fight against domestic violence committed against anyone, and don’t fight against rape committed against anyone.

    And I am truly seriously about the above. Like Warren Farrell, my experience with almost all fathers rights activists and most mens rights activists is that they all fight against these things and more, and many came from the ranks of feminism, and many acknowledge the good things feminism has brought.

    So I am always confused that these people, Glenn Sacks in particular, are denounced as sexists, or even as rape apologists, or abusers that want to legalize rape or domestic violence.

    So you provide a list of what you believe are feminists advocating for mens rights, and I provide two authors that often discuss and advocate for rights that would help women, and discuss specific cases of women having those rights suppressed even as their typical oevre is to right about those rights in the context of fathers.

    I am not sure your argument thus convinces me that feminists care about mens rights, or that my argument should convince you that mens rights activists care about womens rights.

    Why?

    Because of what I think of as the Kael Nixon fallacy.

    “I don’t know how he won. No one I know voted for him.”

    Even as you easily create a list of times when you believe that feminists have stood for mens rights, well, the truth is that the vast majority of our experience as men is that feminists are not standing for mens rights, and worse, they actively get in the way to block them.

    Does this link http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2011/05/male-victims.html stand to help male domestic violence victims as you claim it does, or does it stand to defend feminism from the claim that feminists don’t care about male domestic violence victims?

    The form of argument it takes is:

    1. Yes, this is a real problem
    2. Feminists far too often do ignore it [yay for that acknowledgment]
    3. Mens Rights Activists are too busy yelling B* C* W* in their mothers basement [which now nicely attacks men, mens rightsers, and emasculates them, and attacks their movement, and basically is just ad hominem -- the mens movement does lots of advocacy work, and effective too, to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence against men]
    3. Then Greta creates a straw man argument that most of the time this discussion is a what about the men derailment [but that's not true, all Greta needs to do is *visit* and read the Glenn Sacks and Robert Franklin and many of the mens rights blogs]
    4.Then Greta has another straw argument that “Scott Sexist” acts like domestic violence is 50/50 which really just is not true of any fathers or mens rights activist. The claim from them is not that it’s 50/50 but that it is very significant, from 30% to 50% of DV is initiated by women, and that yes, since men are physically stronger that women are almost certainly hurt more than men, but that men are hurt very badly, and that yes, societal gender roles make it very difficult for a man to report or to get support.
    5. But watch as Greta makes an explicit “but what about the womenz” argument: “Violence against men deserves more attention than it currently gets, but violence against women does as well.”

    And finally, she turns it all into a nice “The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too” argument.

    So is that post of hers really examining the problems of domestic violence against men, and maybe advocating to stop it?

    No, that post is defending Feminism’s ignoring the problem and that post is blaming that on men.

    Back to the Kael Nixon fallacy, no one voted for Nixon, how then did he get elected?

    When feminists (or any group) ignore/deflect/refuse to acknowledge their own history or their own context, we get many posts from feminists like yours:

    “Yeah, I hate it when feminists do that, but I am not taking responsibility, because that’s not my brand of feminism and no feminists I know or promote act that way. (Often used when discussing feminists problems regarding the rights of transexuals)”

    Look, as a newish member of the mens rights movement, I can tell you why I am often leery of mens rights blogs — often a lot of them have a clear history of making misogynist statements.

    If I see them, I call out against them. And I realize it does me no good to ignore these statements, or pretend they do not exist.

    It is not intellectually honest, and it does nothing to bring two groups, feminists and the mens movement together.

    I have a lot of advice to give feminists, and I see a lot of the mens movement eager to give feminists advice, and advocate for and against women’s issues in the same way as feminists, but I will not pretend that I am, or the men’s movement is the best friends of women fighting for equality.

    And I will not tell feminists that because there are sometimes blog posts that argue for feminist positions that therefore I am shocked, shocked that anyone would think that the mens movement would oppose feminist positions.

    Hey, I’ve gone down your list. In general I think many of those entries are very problematical in terms of your claim. I also think the list as a whole doesn’t do much to advance your argument that men should not consider feminists to be wonderful promoters of mens rights.

    Sorry this grew so long

  14. dumbguyscene28 says

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/09/19/is-it-rape-if-you-dont-mean-for-it-to-be-rape/

    It’s truly amazing this link could be put on a list of links that indicate where feminists support men.

    The whole thesis of this thread was to deny a man’s experience of rape and deny that a woman raped him.

    The thread has spectacular examples of feminists that have numerous occasions brought forward the “rape checklist” and the RAINN definitions that sex with someone sleeping is rape, and then shows those same feminists explaining why the rape of a man didn’t occur.

    Where it was Jill Filopovic, Amanda Marcotte, or Lindsay Berenstein, we have prominent feminists erasing rape when that rape is of a man.

    HOW DOES THAT THREAD DEMONSTRATE FEMINIST’S SUPPORT OF MEN? WHY IS THAT THREAD ON YOUR LIST?

    It is because “female gaze”?

  15. says

    Do these men’s rights folks post on sexism against both men and women? Or do they have a double standard? They don’t have to, but women better post on both.

    • says

      Yeah… well, it’s not like you’re gonna go disprove that narrative you just pulled out of your butt by reading progressive MRA blogs or Warren Farrell or anything, but yes. I’m a feminist, and I can attest that plenty of MRAs do write about women’s issues, and address intersectionality not just in passing.

      There are also MRAs who don’t treat trans women as honourary women. (Something I note comes up in the cisfemisphere frequently), there have been no prominent MRAs who are paid to speak that have called for the denial of medicine to trans people, the erasure of trans women in women’s and lesbian spaces, or defined a trans woman’s expression of sexuality as ‘rapey’. MRAs often manage to talk about what women want in relationships without pathologizing their actions as “putting sex in a machine and expecting things.” I’ve yet to see an MRA invent so condescending, femmephobic, and neurotypicalist a phrase as Nice Guy Syndrome too…

      I have seen a right-wing MRA accuse trans people of only bringing up cissexism to try to shut up men, and also, one did argue that trans people should stop demanding attention while the greater issues of sexual liberation are still being fought… so hey, at least they have those two things in common with cis unidirectionalist feminist behavior.

  16. Sara says

    Can I please have links to the MRA blogs you read? All I see is insults like “mangina” (obviously transphobic), hatred for feminism, and a whole bunch of weird, difficult to understand things about cock carousels and how it’s bad to have daughters. I really want to the good MRAs, as a man who would like to support both (non transphobic) feminism and a legitamite men’s rights movement (as sort of pincer movement on gender, if you will)

    • says

      Thing is, Sara, there’ve been a lot of burned bridges. That would be like trying to find trans radfems… you can, but even most third-wave feminists find their output suspect. Just like with the second-wave and those in the third-wave that give them a pass, and trans women, don’t expect feminism to get a pass.

      (Also, mangina, while cisessentialist in construction, is more a bit more complicated than that… it’s in response to dudebros who insinuated themselves into cisessentialist feminist spaces, and manages to simultaneously be femmephobic and misandristic… basically insinuating a man is trying to score by aping just enough magazine-cover third-wave talking points to get entre…. I’m not a fan of the term either, but I’ve not seen it used in a transmisogynistic manner)

      You want MRAs to ally with you? Good. I do too. But expect that they’ll disagree with you on some things, and expect to agree or at least dialogue non-dismissively with them on some core points:

      1. We erase a fucktonne of male victims of rape (and CAMAB victims of rape) and female perpetrators of rape

      2. The workplace-related death gap, the overtime gap, the elemental exposure gap, etc. All get erased in discussion of the death gap. If you’re going to blame men for creating an environment where 83% of workplace-related fatalities (that’s about 43,000 extra men than women per year), are men, then you’ve done so in ignorance of safety-oriented unions, and women making up a majority of the electorate since 1964.

      3. Our justice system relies on a lot of sexist assumptions about fitness of a parent, danger of an offender, veracity of a victim’s account, and exacerbates and reinforces those assumptions by maintaining social attitudes that make men less likely to report assault, sexual and aggravated, of any level of severity, even those assaults that should require medical attention. Of adults who were sexually assaulted as children, 64% of cis women describe what happened to be a sexual assault. 16% of men do. So if you can’t manage to be horrified that someone who was raped at thirteen (and thirteen-year-olds cannot consent, nor can one retroactively consent to what happened to oneself at thirteen) is made to pay child support to maintain his rapist’s child, you probably won’t get very far with MRAs.

      4. Recognize, and here’s something you can do for your trans sisters too, so we’re not erased until the day we finally come out: It’s not female presentation that brings femmephobic abuse. It’s femmephobia, and that femmephobia intersects with cissexist norms, so if you think femininity is policed and derided in female-presenting people, you should try having the exact same attitudes, mannerisms, and speaking style, and then present male. Don’t worry, I’ll be there to pull you out of the trash can, and teach you which way to look at your nails so you won’t get abused (actually happened to me).

      You should be concerned about what’s directed at cis men, if for no other reason than because a disproportionate amount of it happens to trans women (intersectionality again), and in a way that keeps many of us closeted. When someone is told to shut up, they’re taking too much space, and that silencing is followed by gendering someone as their presentation, they’re going to be more likely to focus any gender angst they have outwards, instead of being able to go on questioning who they are… but you don’t need to hear about my college years…

      5. Don’t compare Western men to non-Western women, when making the case for the rights of Western women. Just don’t. If you’re going to dismiss US circumcision of boys (and some girls, there’s another reminder, don’t erase trans people before they identify as such) then don’t compare that to what happens in Burundi or Cameroon or Afghanistan. There’s a lot of repression in those places that flows from economic privation. Compare Western circumcision to Western infantile clitoroplasty… even if it weakens your argument.

      6. You’re going to have to drop the idea that straight cis men unidirectionally oppress straight cis women. That doesn’t mean there’s not choking clouds of institutionalized misogyny right now, but it’s not the only sexism in town, nor, is it really clearly the most prominent… it’s just the one you see most, because, well, you’ve trained yourself to see it. There’s a lot of confirmation bias in ciscentric feminism, and a lot of trans women learn to use that model, because, well, among other things, cis privilege means never having your gender questioned when you disagree with predominant feminist theory. My favorite example comes from a job I had, working overnights, where I had to say no to a lot of people.

      I transitioned ‘in boymode’, which means I didn’t change a stitch of clothing as I transitioned, just took spironolactone until people started gendering me female. After that happened, the usual pleading-to-venom cycle went, “Can you help me sweetheart?” or dear or some other slotting form of address designed to gain my acquiescence, trying to make me be ‘nice’. Followed by calling me a fat bitch or cunt. Before I was gendered female, it was, “Can you help me buddy?” or pal, or some other slotting form of address designed to remind me that real men don’t let bureaucracy get in the way of being functional and potent… then when I had to say no again, they called me a fat prick, sometimes made reference to my lack of sexual prowess, etc… So what we saw was classism: Customers expecting service… but cloaked in sexist language.

      7. Finally: Expect a lot of groping about. There’s no MRA canon.

      Well, there’s Warren Farrell, but we’ve seen the impressive amount of effort expended in taking a thirty-five year old interview out of context… but seriously. There’s Spreading Misandry but that’s not really a work of theory… there’s Cocksure but that’s not really MRA stuff… just Richler taking the piss out of identity politics. While man may have got the default pronoun and been considered the default citizen in most works of the enlightenment canon, they were meant to be universal, and largely remain that way, further, those that don’t, didn’t anticipate the extension of citizenship to the female-presenting, a change which occurred roughly 100 years ago, and, like those voting Republican now, was not a solely male exercise.

      My point is that MRAs don’t have universal positions on questions like abortion, not because they don’t buy the idea of personal bodily autonomy, but because they’re trying to reconcile a system of child rearing where one party has all the rights as to deciding when to commence a pregnancy (Mississippi excluded, but again, that exception’s not relevant to most of the Western world. See Rule 5), and the other bears all the responsibility for that decision (Save for a physical risk which is lower than that of taking low-dose aspirin for a year). They don’t have universal positions on women in combat roles, either, because, well… they note that a lot of feminists haven’t been chomping at the bit to equalize casualty rates. (I have, but it’s not high up on my list of priorities). They’ll disagree a lot, because, frankly, there’s not the intellectual uniformity that comes from having a canon and an academic discipline, where one may not have to follow the party line, but one will definitely have to reconcile one’s positions with the party line…

      I think, actually, that’s where a bit of unidirectional-feminist ire at MRAs comes from… they expect MRAs to be like feminists, but they aren’t yet. The MRM grew up in the internet… the people preceded the books, and it’s not like you could get a university to help them write the books (though men are an abject minority of undergrads now) because the backlash would be more than any progressive university would want to bear. There’s not the same MRM party line that there is for feminists… there’s not the same level of intellectual coherence, and factionalism, and clearly identifiable intellectual tendencies… so when someone hears someone who calls themselves an MRA say something really disgusting, it’s not like we can slot them with the MRM equivalent of Mary Daly or Sheila Jeffreys.

      You know how mad third-wavers get when someone quotes Daly or Jeffreys or Bindel, or Raymond at them, and the response is, “Most feminists aren’t like that”? Yeah… that’s the bind into which MRAs are put… only difference is, nobody in the MRM gets paid to be their noxious equivalent of a prescriptivist, trans-exterminationist, gender fascist, and moderate MRAs don’t come together as a community to mourn the loss of their Dalys… MRAs don’t have a death toll to celebrate, as Raymond did, when she got her work made into Reagan Administration policy… but I digress. They have no professional academics, no canon, and thus, there’s not the same handful of factions to point to… everyone’s a free agent in the MRM, and recognizing that is important.

      • says

        I said:
        “The workplace-related death gap, the overtime gap, the elemental exposure gap, etc. All get erased in discussion of the death gap.”

        I meant to say:

        “The workplace-related death gap, the overtime gap, the elemental exposure gap, etc. All get erased in discussion of the wage gap.”

        I said:

        “We erase a fucktonne of male victims of rape (and CAMAB victims of rape) and female perpetrators of rape”

        I meant to say: “We erase a fucktonne of male victims of rape (and CAMAB victims of rape) and female perpetrators of rape(and CAFAB perpetrators of rape)

        Sorry about that.

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