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Sep 15 2011

Attack of the male-blaming biases

Tom Martin tells us about the tragic misandrist sexism at LSE and in feminism generally.

…a close analysis of the core texts shows all the old, male-blaming biases are still there.

Patriarchy theory – the idea that men typically “dominate” women – is omnipresent, when research shows women tend to boss men interpersonally.

That’s an idiosyncratic and wrong definition of patriarchy. Patriarchy is a system, not a description. It’s a system by which men have authority by right and women are subordinate. It’s not about what happens “typically”; it’s about what it supposed to happen: it’s a web of laws, customs and traditions.

Texts highlight misogyny but never misandry, its anti-male equivalent – despite research finding that women verbalise four times more misandry than men do misogyny. And the core texts highlight violence against women only, despite decades of research showing that women are more likely to initiate domestic violence.

Again: misogyny is not just about what happens in conversation (what women “verbalise” more than men do), it’s about systems, culture, norms, laws, hiring patterns, the media. As for violence…please. Whatever women initiate, men are not the gender most at risk from domestic violence.

…discussions about actual men’s issues are generally absent across curricula.

Except for the fact that human issues have always been taken to be men’s issues and men play a vastly disproportionate part in dealing with them, so that discussions about those issues are male-dominated by a huge margin. It’s fatuous to pretend otherwise.

In a world which verbalises four times more sexism against men than it does against women, it’s high time gender studies set a better example, so we all might emulate it.

I call bullshit on that particular “statistic.”

151 comments

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  1. 1
    julian

    I get the distinct feelings Mr. Martin may have chosen this course hoping to become a martyr.

  2. 2
    James Sweet

    research finding that women verbalise four times more misandry than men do misogyny.

    I bet if you tallied up how many jokes black comedians made about white people vs. how many jokes white comedians made about black people, you’d find a similar imbalance. It would not surprise me if this extended to regular old conversation from regular people. This is because it’s more socially acceptable for a person of color to complain about mistreatment from whites than it is for the reverse.

    And… is Tom Martin going to take this and then argue with a straight face that reverse racism is a much more serious problem than “regular” racism? That really, it’s institutional anti-white bias that is the problem? I dare him too.

    I sympathize very slightly with Tom’s ambition for equality-above-all-else, but the best I could say about is that it’s historically naive. You don’t have one group fuck another group in the ass for millenia, and then fix it in a decade by having everyone just treat each other equally — humans don’t work that way. Hidden biases persist. Overcoming past oppression is a long and messy process, and thinking that those members of the group which historically did the oppressing (even if in

  3. 3
    James Sweet

    research finding that women verbalise four times more misandry than men do misogyny.

    I bet if you tallied up how many jokes black comedians made about white people vs. how many jokes white comedians made about black people, you’d find a similar imbalance. It would not surprise me if this extended to regular old conversation from regular people. This is because it’s more socially acceptable for a person of color to complain about mistreatment from whites than it is for the reverse.

    And… is Tom Martin going to take this and then argue with a straight face that reverse racism is a much more serious problem than “regular” racism? That really, it’s institutional anti-white bias that is the problem? I dare him to.

    I sympathize very slightly with Tom’s ambition for equality-above-all-else, but the best I could say about is that it’s historically naive. You don’t have one group fuck another group in the ass for millenia, and then fix it in a decade by having everyone just treat each other equally — humans don’t work that way. Hidden biases persist. Overcoming past oppression is a long and messy process, and thinking that those members of the group which historically did the oppressing (even if individual members are not necessarily responsible) are going to just sail through without having to express some humility and possible even be unfairly targeted with sticks and sto- er, uh, occasional unkind words… well, like I say: hopelessly naive. And also whiny.

  4. 4
    Fin

    I have it sooooo tough as a men, all these women, all the time, oppressing me sooooo hard.

    As an aside, I just read the paper that Youtube video is based upon, and it does not say what Tom Martin or the Youtube video says it says.

    It states that in non-reciprocal violent relationships, approximately 70% of the time it is the women who are violent. Which sounds like the women are more violent, except, 49.7% of violent relationships were characterised as reciprocally violent, which actually means that only in 35% of cases was it the women initiating violence. Also discussed, was that regardless of whether or not the women were the aggressor or the victim, or both, they tended to blame themselves more than the men – which, as a lot of this was based on self-reporting, would probably skew the statistics quite a lot.

    Sure, domestic violence happens against men, and that’s bad, but fluffing around and wilfully misunderstanding statistics (which is the only way I can describe what’s been done by that Youtube video), actually makes the problem more difficult to deal with.

    It’s also quite amusing how hard it is from some people to stop and think and look at things from the other person’s point of view with regards to gender issues; all it takes is to ask yourself the question “How would I like it if that was being done to me?” After that, whoever it is being done to becomes irrelevant. It’s a kind of small scale Veil of Ignorance approach, that generally speaking, 3 year olds can grasp, so it bemuses me why adults have such a hard time with it.

  5. 5
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    And the core texts highlight violence against women only, despite decades of research showing that women are more likely to initiate domestic violence.

    Yep, she slapped him in the face (wrong, nevertheless) and then he broke her nose and cheekbone. Makes totally even.
    Next time my daughter hits me I’ll just slam her head into the wall. She asked for it.*

    *For the sake of avoiding misunderstandings:
    I’m not saying that women are like children and men like adults. But gender bimorphism means that men are on average considerably stronger than women. So if you have so much more power, you also have the responsibility to avoid harm to others.

  6. 6
    Stacy Kennedy

    research finding that women verbalise four times more misandry than men do misogyny

    Not that I want to give too much credence to anything cited by Tom, but–

    There’s this billboard near my apartment.

    It shows a brand of paper towel with the words, “Good for training dogs and husbands.”

    Offensive to men, right?

    Well, it is (IMO). But notice what it’s saying about women. It reinforces the notion that women are in charge of housekeeping. The woman’s job, in this little ad’s world, is to pick up after messy ol’ dogs and men, or to train them to not be so messy. Either way, her responsibility.

    The ad is affirming gender norms that negatively affect women–while being mildly misandrous.

    I’ll bet a lot of “misandry” in everyday conversation is like that. “Men are pigs!” (meaning, they don’t pick up after themselves, said with indulgent chuckle). “Men are sluts!” (meaning, they can’t help being promiscuous–and since they “can’t help it,” their promiscuity is acceptable, while women’s is shamed.)

    tl;dr: Words that express “misandry” can reinforce social structures that benefit men.

  7. 7
    ginmar

    95% of the people who write that crap are men, but the guys who complain about it seem to think that women secretly write this stuff because….because….it’s a secret fantasy of women to wait hand and foot on commercial-land hubbies? Yeah, while leering at yogurt?

    Also, how am I supposed to take seriously any dude who calls himself “The Happy Misogynist”? Isn’t that same dewd who thought women were being unfair with their incredibly high standards of manscaping, including outrageous demands that men their asses? Enough to remove any, er, taint?

  8. 8
    hermionesotter

    The problem with “male rights” movements, along with other causes such as anti-PC, is that there is almost always a hidden agenda behind the mask of equality, free speech, etc., which seeks to restore privilege to those who are losing it due to equal opportunities laws and social progress. Note how Martin’s comments about ‘misandry’ are interspersed with outrageous and quite frightening claims, as Ophelia has shown:

    He also believes that men are the “victims” of prostitution, that women “volunteer” into sex trafficking and that women’s “hysterical” fear of rape damages equality.

    it seems to me that such campaigns play on ignorance in the Western world, where there just might be people of both genders who in their individual lives have experienced either equality or women around them getting the upper hand. What exposes Martin’s argument is awareness of what is really going on, both in the West and in other parts of the world, and knowledge of history. As others have already mentioned, women’s lack of access until very recently to the vote, property, education and bodily rights are solid, undeniable historical fact. But more to the point is what still happens in the present. Cue brainstorm…

    Quiverfull
    Anti-abortionists
    ‘If you don’t want to be raped, don’t dress like a slut’
    Witch-hunts (Africa and Latin America)
    Widow persecution (rural India)
    FGM
    Acid in the face for attending school
    Stoning
    Saudi Arabia (a category unto itself)

    And the knowledge that there is so much more. Female privilege? Get real.

  9. 9
    Susannah

    And the core texts highlight violence against women only, despite decades of research showing that women are more likely to initiate domestic violence.

    Yes, I remember that: the “she made me do it” excuse. She disagreed, she pushed him away, she nagged, she yelled at him, she “held her mouth wrong” (to quote my ex). Maybe she even hauled off and slapped his face.

    Poor maligned guys, so weak, so spineless that they can’t stop fighting back. And is it their fault that they’re so often bigger and have bigger muscles?

  10. 10
    contentedreader

    If that’s his definition of ‘patriarchy,’ I think I know why he failed. (hint: it isn’t because he has a penis. it’s because he doesn’t understand the basics of his subject.)

  11. 11
    Luna_the_cat

    @contentedreader — the impression I got was not that he failed; he wasn’t there long enough for that. From what I saw, he only stuck with the course for six weeks.

  12. 12
    aspidoscelis
    Patriarchy theory – the idea that men typically “dominate” women – is omnipresent, when research shows women tend to boss men interpersonally.

    That’s an idiosyncratic and wrong definition of patriarchy. Patriarchy is a system, not a description. It’s a system by which men have authority by right and women are subordinate. It’s not about what happens “typically”; it’s about what it supposed to happen: it’s a web of laws, customs and traditions.

    So, basically… “patriarchy” is non-empirical. What actually happens in society doesn’t falsify it.

  13. 13
    Grace

    When I got my head bashed in repeatedly which caused whiplash, a inflammed and slipped intervebral disc in my neck, a bloody nose and chronic migraines that I still suffer from, I was told by my family, including my mom, that it was my fault for being ‘difficult.’ He says he did it in ‘self-defense.’ (He had to defend himself from my bitchiness, poor guy.) And when I eventually brought the authorities in when he started to get violent again, the cop said I was being a bitch because I was angry at the person who beat my head in. He told me to hold my tongue, but didn’t tell my male family member to do the same.
    I know it’s an anecdote, but it is not something unusual. I have many female friends who were molested and/or raped who were told it was all their fault by their family and friends and school counselors.

    Those victim-feminist must have brainwashed me to think I had the right to not to have my skull used as a speed bag.

  14. 14
    julian

    So, basically… “patriarchy” is non-empirical

    How so? I’m pretty sure everything OB listed could be tested or at least examined. It would just be attitudes, accepted norms and history being looked at.

  15. 15
    julian

    Those victim-feminist must have brainwashed me to think I had the right to not to have my skull used as a speed bag.

    I’m sorry for what you suffered. And I’m sorry the ‘feminist are hysterical’ crowd is full of obnoxious spineless assholes.

    My own apersonal observation.

    Most of the men I work with are very proud of the ‘if you’re gonna act like a man, Imma treat you like one’ philosophy they have towards spousal abuse. Most feel something like a slap in the face warrants being slammed against the wall and being hurled to the ground. Because they’d do this to another man they think this makes them better than feminists. There’s no sense of proportion, damage or context with any of them.

    In fact, when you do try to put things in perspective or explain why that kind of abuse really is abuse they turn into Mr. Martin here making absurd claims of society being in on some feminist conspiracy and that you (the one trying to insert a little reason) or some brainwashed PC warrior. They cite everything from police laughing at male victims of abuse (Ha! you got beat by a girl) to women insisting on job equality but refusing to pay for a date (this always hits like such a non sequitar I don’t know how to respond) as examples of women ruling men.

    The attempt at discussion about spousal abuse is quickly forgotten as they go off the rails.

    That’s, of course, my experience but it’s experience in a male dominated workplace doing what’s widely considered a man’s job. I don’t offer this as evidence really, so much as noting what kind of people default to Mr Martin’s style.

  16. 16
    Grace

    @julian
    That thinking is so bizarre. Do most men really go around just beating the crap out of each other?? I haven’t seen it. The person who beat me wouldn’t think of doing the same thing to any of his male relatives or friends. Is that just because they can fight back?

    There was recently a popular hashtag on Twitter called #Reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend, and when a few men said it’s never OK to beat a woman one guy responded “so women should be equal in every way… Then we should treat them as a delicacy? When you can vote?” (I think he meant delicate, but you get the point). Another one said “I don’t know how you even tweeted that with all your shining armour on.”

    So, we got the vote therefore we can’t complain about being beat up? Not being beat up is some sort of special treatment or an example “special rights”?

    I was told by a fellow atheist man recently that “there are no feminists in a housefire.” I didn’t understand what one had to do with another at first. Is that like ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’? If women want political and socio-economic equality we have to give up expecting basic human decency from men? Does that mean elderly men have to give up their human rights and the right to vote when they start to need help getting out of a housefire?

    Just bizarre.

  17. 17
    julian

    So, we got the vote therefore we can’t complain about being beat up? Not being beat up is some sort of special treatment or an example “special rights”?

    A big contributor to this might be how a lot of men are taught to respond to perceived slights or offenses. If someone ‘steals’ your girlfriend beat them up, if someone insults you beat them up, if someone hits you beat them up, ectectect.

    We can’t (and that’s a damn good thing) but we still have that expectation of what’s ‘supposed’ to happen to people who offend us. Sort of how we expect a woman to take care of house cleaning while we earn a paycheck.

    I was told by a fellow atheist man recently that “there are no feminists in a housefire.”

    Ack!

    I hate that kind of gibberish. Doesn’t even make sense and your acquaintance no doubt thinks it terribly witty.

  18. 18
    SallyStrange

    There’s no chivalry in a housefire either.

  19. 19
    Bruce Gorton

    On the violence issue – this is actually a point on which I side with MRAs to some extent.

    Note I am not saying that the bulk of domestic violence is men getting beaten up by wives here when I say this, and I am not saying hitting women is okay either:

    Spousal abuse by the female partner is considered okay in a lot of entertainment media.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbuseIsOkayWhenItIsFemaleOnMale

    And frankly that is something I oppose. Spousal abuse isn’t wrong because the abused party is a woman, it is wrong because it is spousal abuse.

  20. 20
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I wished people (yes, men and women alike) would stop thinking about “chivalry” and start thinking about human decency instead.
    You know, a system in which those who are fortunate in an area don’t abuse this and instead use their advantage to help those who are less fortunate in that area.

    Those whose hands are free hold the door for those whose hands are full. Those who are unlikely to be raped and beaten up extend this curtesy by not raping or beating up other people.

    Because the “argument from equality” shows where chivalry goes wrong. Those guys never learned why it is wrong to beat up a woman (or anybody else). They learned that it’s a rule you follow because women are weaker.

    Of course, we all know that the more patriarchal they become, the more likely they are to make exceptions for beating up women…

  21. 21
    Dave

    The whole ‘It’s OK when girls hit people’ thing is an interesting example of just how convoluted sexist cultural tropes can be. Because of course the essential reason why ‘it’s OK’ is that A) a ‘girl’ can’t hit hard enough to do any damage within that frame of reference, and B) a ‘real’ man ought to be able to take a slap from a ‘girl’ without blinking. Therefore it’s funny when she tries to hurt him… because she can’t!! HOHOHO…

    This sits on top of a general social context in which women have traditionally not been trained to use their strength, especially upper-body strength, effectively ['you throw like a girl'...]; whereas the majority of men generally learn those skills as teenagers, if not earlier. So what has some basis in biological differences is then reinforced as a general social perception [One that is changing in this generation, of course, with the rise of active fitness as a goal for both sexes.]

    Since in reality women are quite capable of doing serious physical damage, and coupling it with crippling emotional abuse, just the way a man can, it’s all quite sad, really – but the root of it still lies in a construction of women as weak and incapable.

  22. 22
    Bruce Gorton

    Dave

    I think it is one of the ways patriarchy hurts (In this case literally) everybody. While the harms to women are greater as it stands – there are ways that it harms men too.

    It strikes me that the whole argument goes a bit like this:

    Woman: I earn a fair chunk less than you for doing the same work, I can be the leading expert in my field but the voice of expertise will still be a baritone and my skills treated as some freakish exception, if I express myself on anything in any manner the least bit assertive I will be called a bitch and if I ask you to not hit on me you will accuse me of being an anti-sex bitch no matter what I have done in the past.

    There is a fair chunk of society that believes my place is essentially as a slave to a husband, who if I fight with in public will be called less of a man for being unable to “handle” me like I am some sort of disobedient pet.

    Man: But I have issues too therefore sexism isn’t real. Neener. Neener. Neener.

  23. 23
    Zur Luria

    Don’t you people think maybe the gender studies scene is a bit biased?

    For example, I’m a student in the Hebrew university. Our gender studies curriculum has plenty of courses about women and feminism, but none, not one, about men.

  24. 24
    Bernard Bumner

    Our gender studies curriculum has plenty of courses about women and feminism, but none, not one, about men.

    They are able to discuss the gender roles of women and feminism in society without reference to men and male gender roles? Impressive.

    According to your reckoning, they also appear to have missed any analysis of transgender or sexuality. That would also be an egregious omission for any modern Gender Studies course.

  25. 25
    MyaR

    Our gender studies curriculum has plenty of courses about women and feminism, but none, not one, about men.

    So, Hebrew University in Jerusalem? I don’t read Hebrew, and the English page for the Gender Studies program is from 2005, but there are these courses listed (out of a total of 9 courses, by the way): “Human Dignity and Honour, Men and Women in Israel” and “Wedding – Jewish Commitment Transactions”. Both of those include men. So, yeah, you’re lying.

  26. 26
    ginmar

    Our gender studies curriculum has plenty of courses about women and feminism, but none, not one, about men.

    Why do people keep saying this?

    I mean, with the whole uni system devoted to men, mens’ history, mens’ politics, mens’ idea of government…the whole university is mens’ studies, but because it’s not called that, it’s somehow unfair? Or is it the fact that it’s named “World History” or “American History” or whatever just not good enough?

  27. 27
    ginmar

    Since when is “TV Tropes” considered to be a reliable source when it comes to gender research and crime?

    And how come these oh-so-concerned folks who worry about men never, ever, once mention male-on-male violence? The fact that they focus on the minor injuries inflicted by a tiny minority of women against a small group of men instead of the serious, horrifying, bone-breaking, miscarriage-inducing, death-causing injuries inflicted by men on women in particular, and people in general says it all. They don’t care about men, per se. They care about tit for tat and muddying the waters. They don’t want to help men. They want to discredit women.

  28. 28
    Ophelia Benson

    and if I ask you to not hit on me you will accuse me of being an anti-sex bitch no matter what I have done in the past.

    On a good day. On a not so good day it will be anti-sex cunt. We know this; we’ve seen it.

  29. 29
    ginmar

    I just got told that I was not a combat vet, but he was, I was just a loudmouth bitch who who was angry because I couldn’t be as good as a man.

    It really does seem like a desire to be left alone—-to just be ignored—-is as threatening to some of these guys as anything. You’d think, if we were quite as loathsome as these comments indicate, that they’d want to be as far away from us as possible, that ignoring us and not hitting on us and other things of that nature would be just the thing they wanted.

  30. 30
    Ophelia Benson

    Well the trouble is they want both – they want access to the slot between the legs but they also want to ignore everything else. This is a terrible quandary.

  31. 31
    Ophelia Benson

    (To be clear – by “they” I mean the “they” that ginmar described – not men in general.)

    (Which points to an irony of sorts. It’s a myth that feminists “hate men” – but we certainly do hate men who hate women. Men of the Tom Martin type don’t do their own gender any favors.)

  32. 32
    ginmar

    As a feminist, it’s possible to get branded as a man hater when one…. demands more from men and refuses to accept their own ridiculously low standards. Oh, men can’t do this or that or too bad, that’s just the way it is, men will never change. There’s an endless litany of excuses.

    Only with regard to women, though. Only with women and things related to marriage, children, stuff like that, like sphere.

    It’s hard not to be cynical.

  33. 33
    Bruce Gorton

    ginmar

    Since I was talking about how such crime is portrayed in popular entertainment – and it has a nice big honking selection of examples.

  34. 34
    Bernard Bumner

    The fact that they focus on the minor injuries inflicted by a tiny minority of women against a small group of men instead of the serious, horrifying, bone-breaking, miscarriage-inducing, death-causing injuries inflicted by men on women in particular, and people in general says it all.

    Whilst I agree with your general point, I would advise some caution in your phrasing.

    I’m not sure there is any need to potentially trivialise female-on-male domestic violence, it is a serious issue for a not insignificant number of individuals, even if men in general can be very confident that they are unlikely to fall victim. There are some very good reasons to sometimes particularly focus on serious female-on-male domestic violence; it probably is under reported because of toxic masculinity, support services are particularly patchy, and so on.

    However, any discussion of the relatively uncommon problem that is female-on-male domestic abuse certainly doesn’t need to be at the cost of acknowledging and tackling the much more prevalent male-on-female and male-on-male domestic abuse. MRAs do the victims of domestic violence a disservice because they try to focus on (heterosexual) male victims to the exclusion of other victims. They exploit the stories of individual male victims in order to claim victimhood on behalf of men in general.

    I would hope that people who have a better understanding the issues than MRAs wouldn’t feel any need to scorn genuine victims of female-on-male violence in order to attack the fallacy that men generally have suffered victimization equal to that of women.

  35. 35
    ginmar

    The problem is, as I pointed out, that such issues are almost never brought up, nor attacked in any constructive way outside of discussions about male violence. They don’t care. They just want to muddy the waters and change the subject. In fact, MRAs have tried to close domestic violence shelters—which they have no connection to beyond their opposition to them—-when for very good reasons they cannot admit adult males to the same shelter as battered women and children. Such shelters do in fact offer vouchers, but the solution is to add specific shelters rather than close ones that treat only women, which is exactly what MRAs have tried to do—close womens’ shelters. The gay community has done an awful lot of work on the issue of DV, for example, and will in some cases offer advice and assistance if it is possible and requested. Such requests as far as I can tell never come. Added to this the fact that MRAs have opened or funded no shelters at all, and the picture that emerges is not of people seeking justice or fairness—-but dominance and control.

    Male DV victims of women seldom report anything on the magnitude of what women experience, and their response to it is often very different as well. A case can be made that due to MRAs so determinedly poisoning the well, in fact, that male-on-female partner violence and female-on-male partner violence are so different in every particular that they ought to be treated as separate issues. (Funny things happen when you have topics devoted to mens’ issues, however, while forbidding feminist bashing: the commenting tends to dribble or stop entirely.) This is, after all, the movement that led to the ‘discovery’ of PAS, which by definition cannot apply to men.

    Bruce, I refuse to take seriously any piece which seems to blame women for all these social constructs—and which includes the fake—but highly revealing—use of ‘misandry’. TV Tropes tends to use that word a lot, while ignoring that the entertainment industry is dominated by men—who write the majority of the things they complain about. This is similar to the chubby hubby TV ads and shows that MRAs like to whine about. Such ads show a man being waited on hand and foot by an attractive spouse, while the guy gets to lol aroundbeing waited on and then on top of it complaining that the dude is unattractive. Whose fantasy is that? Because I sure know that when I dream up scenarios, waiting on an unkempt guy who pretends he can’t locate either the treadmill, vacuum, or garbage can—-at the very least—does not rank up there.

    When men write these tropes, and blame it on misandry, it’s so many layers of misogyny that it’s kind of scary.

    I especially like the part where they cited the notoriously reprehensible 24 of how men were suffering….from what, exactly? Being used by male writers to show how evil women are?

  36. 36
    Bruce Gorton

    ginmar

    Bruce, I refuse to take seriously any piece which seems to blame women for all these social constructs.

    It doesn’t.

    But not only should a man’s body be Made of Iron, his mind ought to be as well. In fact, men are supposed to feel no emotion. At all. Well… okay rage, fury and anger are acceptable. But sadness? It’s for pussies! With this assumption of complete insensitivity, men are supposed to shrug off and ignore any psychological abuse dealt to them, especially when it’s done by a woman, no matter how degrading and insulting it may be. Because it doesn’t count. Sure, the woman will be seen as a cantankerous bitch. But a “real man” is not a victim, especially NOT a woman’s. It’s Unmanly.

    That is talking about macho culture – the issue originates in what patriarchy demands of men and those demands were originally largely set by other men. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful to men or isn’t an issue in entertainment media.

    The exact same social cues that have it so that men are supposed to be more successful in business than their wives are the exact same social cues that lead to the abuse that particular page is talking about.

    Patriarchy harms everyone. It is against everyone because it splits the genders in horrific ways that are just not supportable. Misandry and misogeny are two faces of the same coin – and neither is restricted from the gender they oppose.

    You get women who are misogenist, and a lot of men who are misandrous because this is how basic patriarchal concepts perpetuate where we see each other as genders with gender roles rather than people.

    We even gender our emotions.

    And that is not to say that one gender isn’t generally favoured over the other, it isn’t to say there is no such thing as male privilege.

    But there are harms in that system that apply to everyone, and thus it is in everyone’s interest to put an end to patriarchy. Part of that is ending the stigmatisation of men who are the victims of spousal abuse. Entertainment media is perpetuating that stigma.

    Now as to shelters – I think there possibly is a need for men’s shelters. Not as great a need as for women’s shelters given the lower risk a man has of being abused in such a manner and the fact that men are socialised into greater economic mobility, but the same basic emotional needs that women who have been subject to abuse have are present in men who have been subject to abuse.

  37. 37
    Zur Luria

    I’m not lying, but I may have been misunderstood.

    Here’s a link to a list of the courses offered here:
    http://sites.huji.ac.il/htph/shnaton/index.php
    The names of the courses appear in English as well as Hebrew.
    I suspect you could get a similar list from any other major university.

    Most of the courses are about topics that are relevant for both man and women. There is also a course about queer theory, which includes all sorts of genders, I assume. There are also many courses that focus specifically on women and feminism. However, all I wanted to say is that there is a marked absence of courses that focus specifically on men and men’s issues.

  38. 38
    Ophelia Benson

    Most of the courses are about topics that are relevant for both man and women.

    Ahhhh no that won’t do. Those courses “about topics that are relevant for both man and women” have until quite recently been all about men, not women, however “relevant” they may have been for women (and in fact they’re made a good deal less relevant than they might be by being all about men). Many of those courses are still mostly about men. That’s one reason there is a good deal less need for courses that focus specifically on men and men’s issues.

  39. 39
    ginmar

    Bruce, I’d point out how you ignored the fact that even in the piece that you quoted they used the word pussy, and they used misandry elsewhere in it. Nope. “Misandry” is not a valid term or concept, and it explicitly blames women for mens’ ills, and invalidates criticism of men as being bigotry equal to that suffered by….the people preyed upon by men. Furthermore, as a whole, the site repeatedly uses the word. The very concept is based on women-blaming.

    I understand what you’re trying to say, but once the concept of “misandry” is brought up, it becomes so suspect that I want to see more than self-referential cites.

    Also, you have apparently ignored the oft-cited fact that those cultural tropes come from in a field that is overwhelmingly dominated by men, not to mention the fact that if you see something unflattering to men, it’s often used as a smokescreen for a message delivered to women: Stop resisting, girls, there’s no hope, this is all you’ll get. I believe I mentioned those things, though it might have been in a different comment.

    You did not address my comments on MRAs attacking women and womens’ shelters, either.

  40. 40
    Kiwi Sauce

    Here in NZ, we have had MRAs complain about the fact there were women’s refuges but not men’s refuges. The related fact that women organised the women’s refuges, which are not funded by government, seems to escape their “reasoning”. MRAS please note: We women aren’t stopping you from organising your own refuge system; there is no bloody sexism going on here. Apparently they felt that someone else should set up an equivalent system for men, and at one point the spokesman seemed to be pointing the finger at the women’s refuge movement as being the organisation that should be setting them up.

    /facepalm.

    The sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

    Question: the content that Tom Martin posts here is strongly suggestive of an ulterior motive of taking that course at LSE, i.e. that he set himself up for being offended and suing. Could the posts be used by LSE for defence in the case?

  41. 41
    ginmar

    Kiwi, I always tell guys like that to clean up their own house, seeing as how they’re actually telling women to create a house for them. Getting an MRA to acknowledge the fact that women built their own shelters is quite the challenge.

  42. 42
    Bruce Gorton

    Note I have been patient, and I have been relatively nice up until this point. Now I am irritated.

    First of all did you pay any attention at all to what the article was saying by the use of the word pussy? What message it was trying to get across maybe?

    Nope. “Misandry” is not a valid term or concept, and it explicitly blames women for mens’ ills, and invalidates criticism of men as being bigotry equal to that suffered by….the people preyed upon by men. Furthermore, as a whole, the site repeatedly uses the word. The very concept is based on women-blaming.

    Just because you disagree with a word doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Further you are ascribing a meaning to my words that just doesn’t exist. I do not say it is “okay for men to prey on women” I say “It is not okay for anybody to prey on anybody, and victims of abuse should not be stigmatised.” There is a frigging difference.

    Also, you have apparently ignored the oft-cited fact that those cultural tropes come from in a field that is overwhelmingly dominated by men

    So Ann Coulter saying women shouldn’t have the right to vote isn’t sexist? She is after all a woman.

    And yeah I didn’t ignore this issue I dealt explicitly with it: You get women who are misogenist, and a lot of men who are misandrous. In other words the main gender of the industry is irrelevant.

    it’s often used as a smokescreen for a message delivered to women: Stop resisting, girls, there’s no hope, this is all you’ll get.

    Go read my comment to Dave at 6:01am. It was the point I was driving at in that post. I don’t deal with it because I happen to agree with you on this being a problem.

    That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a legitimate issue in how entertainment media handles cases where men are subject to abuse. Whether it is men or women writing the scripts is irrelevant, it is doing harm.

    I am not denying that there are horrific cases of male on female violence out there, I am not denying that this is far more common than the inverse – but you know what? It isn’t generally a feature in award winning sitcoms. Nor should it be.

    As to shelters – I disagree with closing them which I figured you could get from my last paragraph. I just think MRAs, if they really care about the issue of battered men, should open a few of their own rather than trying to close others down. I think in fact that there is actually a need for a few, with some willingness to learn from women’s shelters given that they have dealt with similar issues for longer.

    Instead of trying to close those shelters, those MRAs should have been trying to learn from them. This doesn’t always happen because often MRAs are less about men’s rights and more about men’s privilege, which means trying to deal with issues such as the one we are discussing ends up that much more difficult.

  43. 43
    Ophelia Benson

    Kiwi – your final question is very interesting. I hope so!

  44. 44
    Ophelia Benson

    Bruce – prepare to be irritated at me too. I don’t like that TV Tropes article either. It sounds too MRAish and hostile, to me.

    And ginmar didn’t say the word “misandry” doesn’t exist; she said it’s not valid. I take that to mean it’s a tendentious nonce word.

  45. 45
    Ophelia Benson

    I looked it up in the Concise Oxford Dictionary. Not there. Misogynist yes, misandrist no. This probably confirms my suspiciion: that it’s a recent coinage in reaction to feminism.

  46. 46
    ginmar

    Ann Coulter? One notoriously vile member of a notoriously vile political party, and that invalidates….what, precisely? I’m profoundly underwhelmed.

    Misandry is, in a word, bullshit. It’s like the charge of reverse racism: no such thing. That site is loaded with it, and it leeches into topics. To the extent that it is used by MRAs, it is always used to blame women for causing men all sorts of harm (always horribly exaggerated if not outright invented) and it’s nothing but a transparent attempt to equalize mens’ discrimination against women with womens’ rebellion against a sexist culture that oppresses them.

    Whenever somebody says that ‘it’s irrelevant whether men or women’ you know that, in fact, it is relevant, if you had any doubt at all. Far greater numbers of women are subjected to abuse by men than vice versa. If I had two victims, one of which suffered a broken leg and the other of whom suffered a sprain, should I treat both injuries equally? If I had ten of the first group and one in the second group….which one should I address? The first group is all women, the second consists of one man. And it doesn’t take place in a vacuum.

    Men write those scripts. One can’t exactly claim that men are suffering like women when the worst thing they’re subjected to in advertising is being portrayed as ugly schlubs who are nonetheless entitled to a hot wife who uncomplainingly does the housework. Spin that one all you want, but the guy comes out on top, and one has to wonder if the underlying message is the more important one: “Just shut up and do the housework already, lady, because there’s no hope and no escape, and no respect either.”

    That women ‘abusing’ men in TV or whatever is considered okay is not a slap at abused men; it’s a very MRA-style attempt to make female violence seem way more prevalent than it is. It’s villainizing women. And again; it’s not some kind of sly sadistic female swipe at men; it’s men—who make up the majority of those writing these horrible shows—-trying to make women look bad and evil. Again. And again. And constantly. It’s only irrelevant if you don’t want to solve the problem. It’s very similar to the way female teachers who molest boys—never girls, it seems—-are big news, but men who molest girls are relegated to the back pages, with the added sexist bonus of the girl being slut shamed as well.

    If men want to build shelters, the questions remain, not a lot of evasion and obfuscation but this:

    1. If they want them, why don’t they build the damned things already? After all, the longer they waste time whining about those evil women, the longer some guy is doing without shelter.
    2. Why do so many MRAs seem to think women owe them these shelters? Notice how many shelters were built for women by men: none. Women had to fight to build their shelters. MRAs have yet to build one shelter in this country, and I’ve had to try and find one for a friend.

    I re-iterate my point earlier: MRAs have so poisoned the well with regard to studies of domestic violence that the two (male versus female, female versus male) cannot be discussed side-by-side within the same discussion, but must be regarded as separate topics. Women suffer so much more serious abuse, for such a longer duration, and with so little hope of justice that it amounts to minimization to compare their situation(s) with what allegedly battered men suffer from women. You can blame that ‘allegedly’ on MRAs who have made it a point to interrupt pretty much every discussioin about domestic violence to minimize mens’ violence against women—which they often blame on women—-to womens’ far less common violence against men. To follow that up, they have lied, distorted facts, cited terribly flawed studies, and for people who allegedly care so much about men, they either have no interest in gay men, or are actively hostile to them and their community’s shelters as well. So much for helping men.

    By the way, when you issue a disclaimer like, “I’m not saying….” and then devote all of your time arguing points on behalf of the privileged, well….it shows which one you’re more interested in.

  47. 47
    Bruce Gorton

    Ophelia Benson

    Okay lets accept for the sake of argument that the article was written by MRAs.

    Lets say a sitcom came out and one of the running gags was the husband hitting his wife. Not badly enough to hospitalise her or anything, but it was constant feature.

    And on the one occasion that husband was called on this by the wife he slammed her into a book-case. And the audience cheered.

    This wouldn’t be acceptable would it?

    So why was it acceptable when the scenario was gender flipped and the show was “Everybody loves Raymond”?

    It is a men’s rights issue, it is a way men are victimised that women are not really – and it is one of the few issues I agree with men’s rights activists on. I mean the right to not get the shit beaten out of you and then laughed at for it? That is pretty fundamental.

    But because this is an issue of men’s rights the issue is written off. And raising it, complete with a fairly long list of examples, is considered “MRAish and hostile.”

    Of course it is MRAish – it is a rights issue which really does specifically target and harm men, and of course it is hostile because it is describing something pretty damn shitty about society as it stands.

    Your articles on the Quiverful movement and their abuse of their daughters are hostile and I am sure there are people who if I linked them to those they would say they were “feminist” – but that doesn’t make anything you raised any less valid.

    And I am pretty sure if people said that movement was so small that really why are you raising this? You would eat them alive and I would be amongst those passing the ketchup.

    Heck the accomodationists constantly call outspoken atheists out for being “angry.” It doesn’t make anything we say on that issue less valid.

  48. 48
    Ophelia Benson

    Bruce I’ve never seen “Everybody Loves Raymond” so I can’t address that. Speaking more broadly, I’ve never seen anything like your hypothetical, so I can’t really address that either, at least not as something that is actually happening and is therefore a real issue. Your “fairly long list of examples” is all stuff I haven’t seen, so I can’t know that it is an issue. I don’t know that there is any “issue which really does specifically target and harm men” here. I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve never seen anything that fits the description, so I can’t share the sense that it’s terrifically common and urgent. You seem to want me to agree with you that it’s terrible and worrying, but I don’t know that – and it seems not very credible.

  49. 49
    maureen.brian

    Pure coincidence, of course, but this rather spirited piece just popped up on the Guardian website. I say no more.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/16/coalition-smacked-down-women-message

  50. 50
    Grace

    @Bruce Gorton

    The genders have been flipped. I have insomnia and I’m frequently up late night watching things like reruns of I Love Lucy, and a few nights ago Ricky throws Lucy over his knee and started to beat her on her behind. And this is a comedy.

    But this is TV. In the real world women get blamed for being beaten and are considered bitches if they talk back to or push around their boyfriends/husbands, let alone hit them.

    I know there are men who are abused in gay relationships and sometimes in straight relationships and of course that is completely WRONG, but the real instituional backing of violence against women is something that men don’t have to deal with.
    The number one cause of injury to women is in the U.S., the number one reason for Emergency Room visits, is men’s fists.

    Why was Ophelia’s article on Quiverful “hostile”? Hostile to whom? And feminist is a bad word to you?

  51. 51
    Ophelia Benson

    Now – did this really happen?

    And on the one occasion that husband was called on this by the wife he slammed her into a book-case. And the audience cheered.

    Is that something that happened with the genders flipped on “Everybody Loves Raymond?”

    What are we talking about here? Did the wife make a habit of slapping him on the arm or something? Was she really hitting him, as in serious hitting, or was it the kind of feeble hitting that women do in sitcoms, that (as someone has already pointed out) just portrays women as feeble rather than batterers? It was a sitcom after all – surely she wasn’t hitting him for real. So once he protested and then she – what? “Slammed him into a bookcase” the way a man could slam a woman into a bookcase? And the audience cheered?

    My credulity is groaning under the strain.

    Who were the writers on that show? Were they all women? What exactly are we talking about?

  52. 52
    Bruce Gorton

    Ophelia

    Miriam Webster has the first known use of the word “misandry” at 1909 – and the definition is a straightforward “hatred of men.”

    Onto ginmar

    Ann Coulter? One notoriously vile member of a notoriously vile political party, and that invalidates….what, precisely? I’m profoundly underwhelmed.

    And I am profoundly unsurprised. My point was that one can hate a gender while belonging to it. In other words misandrist attitudes being spread by men doesn’t stop them being misandrist.

    Misandry is, in a word, bullshit. It’s like the charge of reverse racism: no such thing.

    I agree that there is no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is still racism whoever the given target race is. That Julius Malema likes to talk about how all whites are thieves, and sing songs about shooting whites, makes him a racist, not a reverse racist.

    But you see, misogyny isn’t the gender issues equivalent to racism. The gender issues equivalent is sexism. Misogyny is a hatred of women, not a hatred of a gender. So an equivalent term for a hatred of men, is kind of called for simply for linquistic precision.

    To the extent that it is used by MRAs, it is always used to blame women for causing men all sorts of harm (always horribly exaggerated if not outright invented) and it’s nothing but a transparent attempt to equalize mens’ discrimination against women with womens’ rebellion against a sexist culture that oppresses them.

    So you are saying that women beating on men is okay?

    Whenever somebody says that ‘it’s irrelevant whether men or women’ you know that, in fact, it is relevant, if you had any doubt at all.

    So in other words if a man gets beaten up you really do think it is okay – if the assailant was a woman. You think this makes a huge difference to the acceptability of beating people up.

    Far greater numbers of women are subjected to abuse by men than vice versa.

    The vast majority of households in America do not circumcise their daughters. Does this make it any less of an issue in those cases where families do?

    Far greater numbers of women are subjected to abuse by men than vice versa.

    No arguments here.

    If I had two victims, one of which suffered a broken leg and the other of whom suffered a sprain, should I treat both injuries equally?

    Should you not treat the sprain at all? Should you prevent anybody else treating the sprain?

    If I had ten of the first group and one in the second group….which one should I address?

    Your paving probably. Again – should that sprain be ignored perpetually? And again, if anybody were to take notice and try and treat that sprain, would you call them assholes for it?

    Men write those scripts. One can’t exactly claim that men are suffering like women when the worst thing they’re subjected to in advertising is being portrayed as ugly schlubs who are nonetheless entitled to a hot wife who uncomplainingly does the housework.

    So this makes beating up on the guy and selling the message of “if you complain you are a wussy” okay then?

    Spin that one all you want, but the guy comes out on top, and one has to wonder if the underlying message is the more important one: “Just shut up and do the housework already, lady, because there’s no hope and no escape, and no respect either.”

    Actually the underlying message is enforcing patriarchal norms, which as we have established I already view as harmful. Sitcoms use misandry and misogyny to do this.

    That women ‘abusing’ men in TV or whatever is considered okay is not a slap at abused men; it’s a very MRA-style attempt to make female violence seem way more prevalent than it is.

    No, it is to point out that it causes a unique social problem for men due to the social stigma it breeds. It has nothing to do with prevalence.

    And again; it’s not some kind of sly sadistic female swipe at men; it’s men—who make up the majority of those writing these horrible shows—-trying to make women look bad and evil.

    No, it is men trying to pander to an audience because often violence=power. That is why the canned laugh track is so often set to cheer. The violence is portrayed as either funny – or downright commendable.

    Again. And again. And constantly. It’s only irrelevant if you don’t want to solve the problem.

    I disagree.

    It’s very similar to the way female teachers who molest boys—never girls, it seems—-are big news, but men who molest girls are relegated to the back pages, with the added sexist bonus of the girl being slut shamed as well.

    Actually that is because men are expected to be more likely to molest. The public image of a peadophile is a strange man. News biases towards reporting the unusual. It is why people perceive crime to be at an all time high, when really it is at all time lows. Also, you should ask Ophelia about Jeremy Stangroom on this issue.

    1. If they want them, why don’t they build the damned things already? After all, the longer they waste time whining about those evil women, the longer some guy is doing without shelter.

    There are actually a few shelters. The issue is making it recognised that there is a need for them.

    2. Why do so many MRAs seem to think women owe them these shelters?

    Because it is not their aim to get those shelters. For a lot of MRAs the actual rights of battered men aren’t important. What is important to them is that they oppose feminism. If the shelter opened up its doors to them, they would still be against them because the shelters would still exist. These MRAs are about privilege not rights.

    I re-iterate my point earlier: MRAs have so poisoned the well with regard to studies of domestic violence that the two (male versus female, female versus male) cannot be discussed side-by-side within the same discussion, but must be regarded as separate topics.

    They are both however topics deserving of attention.

    Women suffer so much more serious abuse, for such a longer duration, and with so little hope of justice that it amounts to minimization to compare their situation(s) with what allegedly battered men suffer from women.

    One of the issues quoted on that page is the comedian Titus talking about how when he got battered and phoned the police – they arrested him. I am not so sure in the cases where abuse happens (And we’re not talking prevalence here we’re talking about when it actually happens) that it isn’t just as serious.

    To follow that up, they have lied, distorted facts, cited terribly flawed studies, and for people who allegedly care so much about men, they either have no interest in gay men, or are actively hostile to them and their community’s shelters as well. So much for helping men.

    As I said earlier. A lot of MRAs aren’t really about rights.

    By the way, when you issue a disclaimer like, “I’m not saying….” and then devote all of your time arguing points on behalf of the privileged, well….it shows which one you’re more interested in.

    So you are against nuance then? When I say I am not arguing XYZ it is not simply a disclaimer but a point of agreement.

  53. 53
    Bruce Gorton

    Ophelia Benson

    The episode was “Bad Moon Rising”

    And she has over the series elbowed him in the balls, hit him repeatedly, grabbed his nipple and twisted it, poked him in the kidney, bent his finger behind his back, hit him hard enough in the leg to make him fall, elbowed him in the eye once…

    And I just realised there was a point at which I watched way too much TV.

    But it seriously was a running gag which was played up for laughs throughout.

  54. 54
    ginmar

    I came across this: So you are saying that women beating on men is okay?

    and went…..Yeah. That’s EXACTLY what I was saying! You caught me! Totally! I’d do it myself!

    I do like how you tried to equalize circumscision—something babies go through—-with genital mutilation—which is what girls go through, and I realized: I’m not going to bother with this shit tonight. Suffice to say, there are few explanations for how you can go from what I said to what you asked me and none of them are good.

    Or logical.

  55. 55
    Ophelia Benson

    Bruce – ok, well it sounds unpleasant. I think I would dislike it if I saw it. I have always disliked the old Hollywood convention by which it was fine for a woman to hit a man in the face as hard as she could merely because he said something she didn’t like, always secure in the knowledge that he wouldn’t do the same. From that point of view, yes, a woman beating up on a man while knowing he won’t do the same is disgusting…but whose idea was it? Were the writers all women? Was the violence a woman’s idea?

    It doesn’t sound like a very good stick to beat feminism with. I think people shouldn’t hit each other; yes that includes women.

    I still find the way Margo bosses Jerry around in “Good Neighbours” funny…Am I a bad person?

  56. 56
    ginmar

    Those conventions were a concession when women had a lot less power than they do now. Once women began to openly agitate for named, explicit rights—the same as men had—-there was a lot of men going, “Well, you wanted equality, you got it.” This was used as the excuse for just being nasty. Apparently men all treat one another horribly and brutally, but treat women like delicate flowers. I scarcely need point out that I highly doubt this.

    I don’t think the scenario that Bruce described is an accurate summing up of the show, given the exaggerated nature of some of his remarks to me: “Are you saying you’re okay with women beating men?” Yes, of course, that’s a perfectly reasonable response.

  57. 57
    ginmar

    And I checked out the episode online.

    Looks like Bruce left out a key part of the episode. It blames the wife’s bad mood on her ‘womanly problems’ and describes the husband as settling in for a long couple of days.

    Yeah. Not sexist at all.

  58. 58
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh FFS. That’s just the longstanding pattern of Horror-wife and Victim-husband. Honestly, Bruce!

  59. 59
    ginmar

    And then there’s three credited male writers, all men. Now what does it mean when it’s men who are writing these over-the-top bitchy female characters who do such outrageous things? What could it possibly mean?

    Writing credits
    (in alphabetical order)
    Tom Caltabiano writer
    Ray Romano writer
    Philip Rosenthal creator

  60. 60
    Bruce Gorton

    Ophelia Benson

    The writers are mostly men, writing to try and appeal to a female audience, as well as trying to subvert expectations I suppose. The thing is, is it trivialises instances where men are on the receiving end of abuse.

    So it doesn’t really matter that it was written for a given audience because the problem isn’t it promotes violence so much as it trivialises it.

    And I think a big chunk of that is to sell gender roles.

    That is what I was trying to get across with misandry and misogyny being part of the same basic thing.It is about how these elements are used to enforce gender roles.

    They are used as the stick to force people into conformity. One of the things that reading feminist blogs and arguing with feminists has taught me is that the best fighters for the rights of men in similar situations are feminists.

    Because feminism is not about women’s rights, but about human rights. They are rights and duties which apply to all of us, the basic decency owed to all of us. Without feminism we are not even half of what we should be. When Jeremy Stangroom was defending a female teacher for molesting a male child – feminists stood against him and said “This was statutory rape.”

    And all too often the people claiming to stand for men’s rights are actually simply standing in the way, raising issues not because they want these issues solved, but because they want to prevent solutions.

    I mean the silly thing is I agree with ginmar on her take on sitcoms too. They really do have that as part of what they sell and it really is a problem. It needs solving because it is all part of the same rotten edifice.

    That men has social issues too isn’t an argument against dealing with the social issues of women, but all the more reason for us to solve those issues.

  61. 61
    Bruce Gorton

    ginmar says:

    And he is expected to take it, along with all the other violence his wife unleashes on him in other episodes without that excuse.

  62. 62
    ginmar

    Let’s ignore that it’s classic misogyny to villainize women. Just what I want to see, along with those ever-so-charming female stereotypes that they’re selling. Try and spin that any way you like, but these are men, writing period jokes and making the hubbie a victim.

    I do like a guy charging in and claiming feminism isn’t about women, it’s about humans. We don’t even get to have our own movement.

    I like how what gets left out is how male writers are making women into the bad using sexist stereotypes that turn them into vicious, hormonal harpies, but it’s men who are the victims.

  63. 63
    ginmar

    You’re really desperate to avoid addressing the fact that these male writers are attacking the female characters, aren’t you?

    Jig’s up.

  64. 64
    ginmar

    “They are both topics deserving of discussion.”

    You’re sidestepping so hard and so fast you’re practically doing the hokey pokey, Bruce.

  65. 65
    julian

    @Bruce

    Maybe if you picked a different show where the wife beats the husband. Everybody Loves Raymond is a terrible example. The entire show is an attempt to reinforce 1950s style roles for all family members and giving ‘men’ a voice. That’s why all the attempts by Debra to get out of the house fail and she always has to come back to Ray. And Frank and Marie despite being two truly terrible parents are still given the love of their children and presented as carrying some wisdom unattainable by their children.

    I’m not saying the trope doesn’t exist just that this is a really bad example.

  66. 66
    Tom Martin

    This article comes across as one which is dug in. The university’s own defense justifies its use of ‘patriarchy’ as a theory which helps to highlight ‘men’s power’ over women inter-personally as well as structurally. Nothing about what is ‘supposed to happen’ i.e. the symbolic – but about what the core texts biassedly allege happens, which doesn’t on this planet.

    ‘Patriarchy’ is a loaded sexist term. Call it ‘stupiarchy’, or ‘whoriarchy’, but don’t blame men with the ‘rule of the father’ literal definition it’s loaded with.

    ‘Traditional gender roles’ yes, but not ‘men’s faultiarchy’.

    Yes, misandry is about more than just verbalisations too. If we want to measure all manifestations of misandry v misogyny, then you really think men are the privileged sex who face the least hate, or just the ‘supposed’ privileged sex? Get Real! It’s like I’ve wandered into a bar, and it turns out to be one of those clipjoints.

    Again, on men’s issues forums, your in the realm of the symbolic – ‘by men, for men’ – get real. That is a strategic frame, not an acknowledgment of reality. An all male parliamen voted for exceptionally chivalrous laws, to protect women from the rigours of war and work and accountability.

    As for the misandry quote, I am going to the British Library again today to dig out the facts, for a radio interview coming up on A Voice for Men on Tuesday.

    And you want to call BS on me? ‘Supposed BS’? or the real thing?

    The general public are not as stupid as you might ‘suppose’ either.

    Come in victim-feminism, You’re time is up. Rather than just paddling round in circles, someone actually has somewhere to go with the boat, and it’s with you or without you.

  67. 67
    Grace

    Right Tom,‘whoriarchy’is not a misogynist term at all. But you’re not playing the victim.

  68. 68
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Wow, Tom, I appreciate how overtly you’ve descended into babbling incoherence. It’s funny. I wonder – would anyone go this far for parody? Or is Tom actually this pathetic?

  69. 69
    Grace

    Classical Cipher, he’s the really the real-victim of the fake victim-feminists.

  70. 70
    Bruce Gorton

    julian

    That is part of my point – misogyny and misandry are generally present in exactly the same shows. They portray the genders as being at war with each other in order to enforce the same basic social pecking order.

    Another example would be one episode of How I Met Your Mother that is mentioned on that TV Tropes page.

    A woman beats the main character up (Admittedly he did act badly towards her) and the reaction is to laugh at him for being beaten up by a girl. Not for getting his just deserts but for being beaten up by a girl.

    The misogyny is clear – a woman trained as a martial artist beating up a guy who is not is treated in universe as being an inversion of usual power roles. Her own abilities come second to her gender.

    But at the same time the misandry is clear because of how it treats him as being considered “less of a man” by his friends and kids for it – sending the message out that if a guy finds himself in a similar situation he shouldn’t expect any sympathy.

    It is two sides of the same coin.

  71. 71
    Bruce Gorton

    Let’s ignore that it’s classic misogyny to villainize women. Just what I want to see, along with those ever-so-charming female stereotypes that they’re selling. Try and spin that any way you like, but these are men, writing period jokes and making the hubbie a victim.

    In a manner which illustrates than any real world man in a similar situation is simply going to get laughed at.

    I do like a guy charging in and claiming feminism isn’t about women, it’s about humans. We don’t even get to have our own movement.

    So are you saying feminism isn’t primarily about equality between the genders?

    I like how what gets left out is how male writers are making women into the bad using sexist stereotypes that turn them into vicious, hormonal harpies, but it’s men who are the victims.

    And I like how you seem to refuse to be willing to admit that this might have negative consequences for men, or be willing to admit that I have consistently pointed to the root cause of the problem being enforcing patriarchal norms.

  72. 72
    Kiwi Sauce

    @Bruce and @Tom

    Could you both go and look up the definition of “cherry picking” to see why we appear to be ignoring your “arguments”. The plural of anecdote is not data.

    I am a feminist. I want and expect quality. I don’t want men to experience what women go through, and have gone through for centuries, and I would like domestic violence to just stop. At least in my country, if the partner won’t press charges out of fear, the police will. That was after decades of the police not attending domestic violence incidents because “it’s just a domestic”. And we finally got rid of the stupid notion that prostitutes and wives can’t be raped.

  73. 73
    Bruce Gorton

    Kiwi Sauce:

    And we finally got rid of the stupid notion that prostitutes and wives can’t be raped.

    And there needs to be more done to get rid of the idea that men can’t be battered – or that such battering is funny/harmless.

    http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/help-for-battered-men

  74. 74
    Kiwi Sauce

    @Tom

    True, however to point out the elephant in the room, the main cause of interpersonal injuries to men, is other men.

    I haven’t read anyone here arguing that men aren’t battered, or that battering anyone – men, women, or children – is funny or harmless. Thanks for equating your strawman non sequitur with two groups who have experienced a few centuries of rape not defined as rape, your concern is appropriately noted.

  75. 75
    Kiwi Sauce

    Gah,

    I meant @Bruce.

  76. 76
    Tom Martin

    To use the term ‘whoriarchy’ to describe tradition gender roles, might seem unpalatable to most, but being a prostitute is a choice.

    Where as with the term ‘patriarchy’ it is blaming ‘The father’ – all fathers which a hard category to escape if a man wants to reproduce.

    How much does a prostitution ethic contribute to inequality in those countries with the most antiquated gender roles?

    A lot.

    - the countries deemed the most ‘patriarchal’ also have the least amount of female economic activity (apart from among the poorest sections of those societies where women do work, albeit reluctantly).

    And of course, being a kept housewife, the old ideal, is a form of prostitution.

    So, problematizing whoriarchies does not blame The Mother, rather The Whore – which is a career choice, or lack there of, not a person.

    Yes, there are barriers for women in certain professions in certain countries – and for those to be overcome, will take a few more women giving up the game, or rising up, off the couch, to demand equality.

    And a few more men realizing that whoriarchy is a more accurate description than ‘patriarchy’ and not something they want to aspire to or be a part of, symbolically, or on any other level.

    Very few women will admit their prostitution ethic – and will therefore distance themselves from association with it – perhaps by getting another job.

    Prostitutes do not prosper, nor men who go with prostitutes, so it has a deterrent level for both sexes.

  77. 77
    Tom Martin

    Yes Kiwi, but most of women’s violence is against men, while most of men’s violence is against men – so in a gender debate, it is particularly biased to ignore the main victims of women’s violence.

    Perhaps if females hit males a little less, males would not only hit females less, but also, hit males less too.

    This goes into corporal punishment for children too.

    Women do kill more children than men do indicating women are more violent to children than men.

    So, there are a few elephants in the room when it comes to domestic violence – not one.

  78. 78
  79. 79
  80. 80
    Bruce Gorton

    Tom Martin

    You don’t really understand what makes your term not work. Lets walk through it shall we?

    To use the term ‘whoriarchy’ to describe tradition gender roles, might seem unpalatable to most, but being a prostitute is a choice.

    Keep this in mind.

    the countries deemed the most ‘patriarchal’ also have the least amount of female economic activity (apart from among the poorest sections of those societies where women do work, albeit reluctantly).

    The countries with the least gender equality frequently have laws which make it virtually impossible for women to work.

    For example, Saudi Arabia has a ban on women driving. Afghanistan has a situation where girls trying to get an education get acid thrown in their faces.

    Even in South Africa child brides are an under-reported issue – where rural and highly traditional Xhosa communities have been known to sell their daughters into marriage.

    Further you have examples like the Quiverful movement in America – where young girls are raised with threats of violence and social shunning into not attaining their full potential educations.

    And yet you call this whoriarchy and proclaim “Whore is a career choice”!?

    Seriously?

  81. 81
    Ophelia Benson

    To use the term ‘whoriarchy’ to describe tradition gender roles, might seem unpalatable to most, but being a prostitute is a choice. Where as with the term ‘patriarchy’ it is blaming ‘The father’

    No. The suffix “archy” doesn’t translate “bad” – it means power, rule. Patriarchy is rule by fathers, as distinct from both matriarchy and equality. There’s no such thing as “whoriarchy.”

    (Yes, I know it’s absurd to argue with Tom Martin as if he’s acting and writing in good faith.)

  82. 82
    Ophelia Benson

    (Cross-posted with Bruce.)

  83. 83
    Bruce Gorton

    Tom Martin

    For every one real issue we have with current society. For every one genuine complaint men have with patriarchy.

    Women have ten.

    My whole argument about violence and the media? About the status of male victims in these cases?

    It is only through hard work in which the women doing the hard work were utterly demonised in ways that makes the hostility here to MRA look like a flipping kintergarten nap-time, for it to be recognised in most of the world (Note it is not a universal recognition) that a married woman has the right to say no to her husband.

    We have real issues, but lets not pretend there is parity here. The victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women.

    While men in that situation do have less in the way of resources to turn to and that is a problem because victims being ignored is always a problem – the only reason women have those better resources is because women had so much a greater a need for these resources that they got off their duffs and created them.

    Men have a long history of greater social mobility than women because women have been forcibly excluded from the various points in the market where men have made a lot of money. You see it in universities where the majority of professors are men, you see it in media, in the arts, and in finance.

    I may agree with MRA on the one issue of violence in popular entertainment, but lets not kid ourselves on that making anything “even.” It just gives us more reason to change all of those other things that aren’t because none of it is good for any of us.

  84. 84
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Bruce, I don’t think you agree with the MRAs. :) This is a compliment to you.
    What’s happening is more like this: climate scientists and science denialists both see rising global temperatures. Climate scientists look at the empirical evidence of global warming and, taking into account other evidence, conclude that global climate change is due to anthropogenic factors. Science denialists look at the empirical evidence of global warming and blame it on sunspots or some shit.
    Similarly, you and Tom Martin both see (along with everybody else) empirical evidence that women being violent toward men isn’t taken seriously. You, taking into account other evidence, conclude that the patriarchy and a fucked up gender culture are responsible for this. Tom Martin looks at it and blames teh evil wimminz oppressing teh Menz.

  85. 85
    Bruce Gorton

    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Thankyou.

  86. 86
    Tom Martin

    Orphelia,

    Even if whoriarchy is interpreted as whore rule or whore power, the word whore is so disgusting, with such negative connotations for either sex involved in prostitution –

    and from my experience, women in so-called ‘patriarchies’ do not buy for one minute that men in any way rule. It is the men of these traditionally gender-rolled countries who are actually most keen to reject the traditional gender roles (contrary to the stereotype that brown men are dominant and controlling).

    So whoriarchy might do in some discourse, to target and encourage men – to stop facilitating women’s pristitution ethic where present.

    How do men do that? Stop giving women money and gifts.

    Do men need to rise up? No, if they stop giving women money and gifts, women will rise up, and demand full equality of opportunity in the workforce where it doesn’t already exist.

    And looking at female economic activity levels around the world, we know women could do with rising up, one way or another.

    Saudi Arabia for example is an advanced country, with a highly educated population. Scientists there were able to separate conjoined twins – both surviving, but scientists have so far been unable to separate Saudi Arabian women’s asses from the couch.

    Whoriarchy might be a good word for it.

  87. 87
    Ophelia Benson

    Tom Martin…yes I see what you mean. I never thought of it that way. Do tell us more.

  88. 88
    maureen.brian

    Tom Martin,

    A friend of mine who died recently married, decades before, into a family in what is now Malawi.

    That family is definitely matrilocal in that husbands come IN rather than wives going OUT. The figure of moral authority in the extended family was when he married and is now the most senior woman and social authority passes as one woman dies to the next most senior. No fighting about who that is, the hierarchy is understood. Which suggests to me that not long ago that family was fully matriarchal.

    Now, matrilocal and matriarchal are technical terms, as is patriarchy. If you don’t understand these words then pop across and see Greg Laden who would explain at the drop of a hat.

    Believe me no-one – not me, not any feminist I’ve met, certainly not the LSE, is going to waste time inventing long words just to distress you. No-one has that much time to waste.

    Do, please, get a grip.

  89. 89
    Kiwi Sauce

    Bruce @79
    We are talking cross-purposes, and I’m going to address your post by saying that we’re agreeing. The sooner all violence can be stopped, including sexual assault, the happier a place the world will be for many more people.

    Tom @77
    When in a hole, stop digging. You’re either a liar, or you’re so self-deluded that you’re in a psychosis. Those “facts” you list in that post go so far against the history of the published academic knowledge base, that academic citations are required – and not just one citation either (remember the cherry picking issue). Put up or STFU.

  90. 90
    ginmar

    I’m going to say this flat out, because frankly, equivocation like, “All violence is bad,” conceals the problem.

    Women are subjected to severe, life-ending violence at the hands of men. This is still ignored in many cases as a problem, or is blamed on victim precipitation.

    MRAs like to shout about women abusing men. As can be seen from some of the comments here, they’re not above making crap up to prove it. They use this topic to stifle conversation about the far more common and severe problem of women being attacked by men, and for years, they have dominated conversations like this by shutting down all mention of violence against women by men in order to talk only about violence against men. As you can see, they’ll quote completely disreputable sources in an effort to make their points—and ignore that the real purpose of many of these discussions about alleged female violence is merely to make women look bad.

    This is a fairly standards reaction to any overwhelming case of discrimination and oppression. Racist whites whine about reverse racism. Why are we so eager to accept that type of argument when the subject is women?

  91. 91
  92. 92
    Greg Laden

    Tom Martin [66]:

    This article comes across as one which is dug in. The university’s own defense justifies its use of ‘patriarchy’ as a theory which helps to highlight ‘men’s power’ over women inter-personally as well as structurally. Nothing about what is ‘supposed to happen’ i.e. the symbolic – but about what the core texts biassedly allege happens, which doesn’t on this planet.

    Tom, that is not how it works at all in a University. There is no such thing as a University Masters program in the liberal arts or humanities that looks only at the structural or empirical features of a core concept, and patriarchy is clearly a core concept in gender studies. The University level treatment would clearly be at several levels including the symbolic levels, meaning-generation, historical, personal-developmental, various other ultimate and proximate levels, and with a hardy sprinkling of nuance.

    If you are the same Tom Martin who is suing the school, I think the case could be dismissed on the grounds that you were not ready for a graduate level treatment of the subject and thus misunderstood.

  93. 93
    Greg Laden

    Tom: Women do kill more children than men do indicating women are more violent to children than men.

    I’d like to know what data you are using.

    Infanticide is generally considered the killing of kids 5 or younger. Most kids in the US, for instance, (and this is pretty much the same for Canada and the US) are killed by parents. Both parents participate in this almost equally, but in fact, men seem to do it somewhat more often. And, a large percentage of the time, the male “parent” is not the genetic father.

    When non-parents kill these kids, the majority are male acquaintances of the household in which the child lives.

    On top of this, the vast majority of victims of infanticide generally are girls. Those are baby women.

    If you are in fact the Tom who is suing the master program for repressing you, I’d say that they would have a good case arguing against you on the basis of the fact that you have a hard time understanding basic data and data analsyis, and therefore might not actually have a valid opinion of what was happening around you.

  94. 94
    Tom Martin

    Infanticide statistic are an extremely muddy area – where political correctness and chivalry probably masks the true extent of murders. Cot deaths at the hands of mothers may be over-egged because its easier for us to accept – and harder to prove murder.

    There are no definitive stats, so for you to claim you have them, sounds a bit suspicious to me.

    Anyway, in terms of the elephants in the room, female violence is one that gender studies degrees choose not to see.

  95. 95
    Ophelia Benson

    Are the elephants all named Harvey?

  96. 96
    ginmar

    As if there wasn’t enough evidence against him, Martin uses “political correctness” and “chivalry” to explain why women are often punished for a variety of things that aren’t in fact murder; in Women Who Kill author Ann Jones makes a good case that many women were executed for infanticide—-the fathers of course mostly went free—–were innocent. There were laws in place that punished bastardy, and when women turned to concealing pregnancy and birth, new laws were passed which made concealing bastard children a capital crime. There was no way out for women, and of course many of them were rape victims, but then as now nobody listened and nobody cared. The default assumption was that women were whores anyway—-and I see Martin buys into that kind of sexism.

  97. 97
    Grace

    “This is a fairly standards reaction to any overwhelming case of discrimination and oppression. Racist whites whine about reverse racism. Why are we so eager to accept that type of argument when the subject is women?”

    MRAs are like the White Aryan Resistance or neo-Nazi movements, but women aren’t important enough for that to be recognized.

    There are more serious issues out there.

  98. 98
    Greg Laden

    ,—-
    | Even if whoriarchy is interpreted
    | as whore rule or whore power,
    | the word whore is so disgusting,
    | with such negative connotations
    | for either sex involved in
    | prostitution –
    `—-

    Tom, that’s kind of a sexist, misogynist thing to say. You should consider taking a women’s study course or something to broaden your thinking and become more self aware and politically knowledgeable.

    ,—-
    | and from my experience, women
    | in so-called ‘patriarchies’
    | do not buy for one minute that
    | men in any way rule.
    `—-

    I’m curious. As an anthropologist, I’ve read in detail about dozens of cultures, but I’ve only been able to live for extended periods of time (from several months to several years) with three, and during that time only learned two languages as opposed to the five or so being spoken locally. Most anthropologists have this problem … our knowledge extends beyond our experience, but then we have methodological approaches to a) using that broader knowledge in an effective way and b) not allowing the biases that come along with our experiences affect our thinking as much as they might were we not condos of them.

    So, I guess, what I’m wondering is, how many different ‘patriarchies’ did you spend significant time in and learning about, and have you taken very many classes in the ethnographic methods?

    ,—-
    | It is the men of these traditionally
    | gender-rolled countries who are
    | actually most keen to reject
    | the traditional gender roles ‘
    | (contrary to the stereotype
    | that brown men are dominant
    | and controlling).
    `—-

    Fascinating. I’ll bet that’s true. It isn’t really contrary to the stereotype, though. It’s more like, men get to do what they want somewhat more than women do.

    ,—-
    | How do men do that?
    | Stop giving women money
    | and gifts.
    `—-

    I only give gifts two other people who typically also give gifts.

    Regarding the terms patri- matri- -local -archal … They are combine to make a somewhat over-simplistic set of label’s, and you have to include -lineal in there as well.

    Almost all societies tend to be matri- patri- or uxori- local. This means that after marriage, the married couple if heterosexual move ultimately with male’s female’s or either’s residence group. (How one defines a residence group varies, but it is often, say, a village.)

    Lineality applies to the transfer of both clan or totemic naming or rights as well as wealth, … and pay attention because this is why there are women’s studies departments and not so much men’s studies departments … matrilineality and patrilineality are not symmetrical. Patrilineal system act as you would expect … naming, rights, and property go through the male line. In matrilineality, the matriline is used instead, but the wealth is not owned or passed on to women most of the time, but rather, “mother’s brother.”

    Patriarchy and matriarchy are terms that have to do with power relations only. A patriarchal society is one in which power is passed from men to men (not in a lineage .. that depends on lineality).

    The most patriarchal societies are often matrilineal. The reason for this has to do with paternity. Roughly speaking, patriarchy is linked to bellicosity or “fierceness” and these are often linked to shifting male residence or crusading. In these cases, males and females are explicitly unavailable to each other sexually within a marriage. A man thus traces his lineage though his sister (who is often a half sister for obvious reasons).

    There are no matriarchies.

  99. 99
    ginmar

    Grace, I just wish they’d be honest about it. “One man getting a harsh word = how many women raped, murdered, and beaten, cuz they totally asked for it”? That’s something else men don’t have to deal with; the automatic assumption that unless you’re properly humble and apologetic and submissive, any bad treatment or response you get is totally appropriate. Women are automatically assumed guilty; men are assumed to be innocent, even—often—after being proven guilty.

  100. 100
    Greg Laden

    Infanticide statistic are an extremely muddy area

    When you were misquoting them they were simply facts. When you were summarily corrected they became muddy.

    Actually, you are wrong. Yes, there is significant flux between “homicide” and “accident” and I’ll be that would bring more females into the stats, but we actually know about the accidents (numericaly) and in US, Canadian and UK data it would not change the balance.

    There are no definitive stats, so for you to claim you have them, sounds a bit suspicious to me.

    Aside from the note I just made, actually, it’s fairly definitive because, as my BFF’s Martin Daly and Margo Wilson pointed out in their numerous publications in this area, in the US, Canada and similar countries, homicides are the best investigated and most definitive of crime stats. I’m sorry you find my stats definitive. This is an area of research of mine, and there is plenty of literature. I’d bet that had you not dropped out of your masters program during the first semester you would have come cross this literature.

    Female violence and female sexual abuse of children are very much understudied in gender studies programs. But if they were included and studied intensively it would not change much. But I agree with you that they should be. Just don’t expect that if they are, there would suddenly be similar amounts of stuff to study in some sort of bad behavior gender balance scale. That would be a delusion.

  101. 101
    Greg Laden

    ” I’m sorry you find my stats definitive” should be “not definitive”

  102. 102
    Tom Martin

    Ophelia,

    Let’s reverse things for a minute:

    Give some man all your hard-earned money.

    Every week, dog. He will stay at home, but never forget, he moved to your house and has taken your last name, so you are the boss – but do what he says, otherwise you won’t get any sex (and he’s very good at it, satisfying you every time – but you can’t satisfy him – so he hates you – he should never have married for money – his dark little secret).

    Also, before you propose marriage to him, you better propose a marriage gift, and it better be a big one, because he’s not cheap
    - and there are other women offering him gifts too.

    Does it sound like a whoriarchy now?

    In Gender Trouble, Judith Butler mentions that patriarchy theory doesn’t travel.

    And I saw a pan arab nation study on women’s attitudes, mentioning that nowhere do gender issues feature among their concerns. They like having husbands for wage-slaves. It’s the men who need to realise
    they’re being used, and I find Muslim men are much more receptive to gender equality discourse on these types of straight-talking terms than the women.

    The women don’t want to give up the sitting down game, but if men stop giving them money and gifts, the women will be forced to fight to get other doors open in the workforce.

    How many Saudi women got punished the other month for flouting the driving ban? I don’t actually know, someone please tell me.

    It is not a crime in Islamic societies, for a man to go on strike, witholding money and gifts. He will be sitting in his house, or at work, breaking no laws.

    You see what happens to a Western man when he publicly stands up fro equality in education for men’s equality issues. Imagine what would happen in an Islamic country.

    Men sit down, and the women will rise up to feed themselves.

    God will not stop them, nor any of his minions, because in whoriarchies, men do what women say – women are gods (and how’s that working out for them?)

  103. 103
    Luna_the_cat

    Why yes, I’m quite positive that all those women in Afghanistan who have been killed or maimed for trying to go to school were really in favour of spending their lives as uneducated slaves of their men, and were secretly grateful that the men-folk accepted the pressure from …uh, who, I’m not quite sure… to come and punish them for taking steps outside that role. O_o

    And it’s only illegal for Saudi women to drive because, uh, they demanded it, right?

    Tom Martin, your true colours are showing. Also, I think there is a demonstrable level of mental instability and delusion here.

  104. 104
    Bruce Gorton

    Grace

    That glee ad – I was not aware of. It is sick and should be stopped – just as the “Too pretty for math” shirts should be halted completely.

    I apologise for my ignorance.

  105. 105
    ginmar

    Bruce, here’s a movie for you, full of horrifying violence against men by women.

    It’s called “Airheads.” The protagonist’s girlfriend slaps him, kicks him, threatens him. I’m sure you’ll tell us how appalling that is. Problem is, within two or three scenes of that, one guy is slapping another around. How come MRAs ignore the whole thing?

    The problem with your approach—and your viewpoint—-is that there’s even more violence against men by men. In citing crap like Everybody Loves Raymond—which is the TV equivalent of this—-you’re ignoring the ‘violence’ in the whole thing, that it’s comedy, and more importantly, you pretend that men aren’t slapping men around and that it’s all big laughs. In comedies like ELR, men slapping one another upside the head is played for laughs but when MRAs whine about it….they leave out all mention that men are slapping other men around, and that men write this crap.

    Leaving that out destroys the argument. Frankly, I still don’t see why people don’t just dismiss MRAs out of hand. When they’re not lying by editing citations out of all context—as in the “Everybody Loves Raymond” exercise above—-they’re using stereotypes that nobody would accept if they were applied to any other population group.

  106. 106
    Bruce Gorton

    ginmar: Allow me to point something out to you here:

    First of all getting beaten up by another man doesn’t have a stigma attached to it. You don’t get men not laying charges of assault in those cases because they feel ashamed of getting hit.

    Second, I have consistently agreed that misogyny is part of the root of the problem. I have not denied this despite how much you would dearly have loved me to.

    Third: You made the following argument –

    If I had two victims, one of which suffered a broken leg and the other of whom suffered a sprain, should I treat both injuries equally?

    Considering we are talking about a situation where men are being assaulted by their female spouses, this analogy is fucking stupid. The correct analogy would be two cases of people having broken legs. They should both get treatment because they are both suffering from the same damn thing.

    Even in the sprain example – should the sprain victim never get treatment even after the broken leg victim has her leg placed in a caste? Your answer appears to be “yes.”

    Now lets take the ten versus one example – where you have ten people with broken legs, and one person with a broken leg. Should that one person not have their leg tended to because he happens to be male and the other ten are all female?

    And while we are on the subject of these broken legs shouldn’t we be looking at what is causing them in the first place?

    While I have since conceded that I was sadly wrong on the state of media portrayals of violence against women, I do not think I am wrong to disagree with your double standard on this issue.

    I do not believe feminists need to do anything differently to what they are doing at present. In tackling misogyny the other side of the issue is being automatically attacked at the same time. In general the exact same shows that have these messages also have incredibly harmful misogynist messages.

    The two are not mutually exclusive but generally go together in order to reaffirm gender norms. To point out the additional harms these shows do isn’t an argument against feminism but an argument against these shows.

    You have extrapolated what I am saying as to it being the fault of women. I never said that it was. I place the blame for this on our fucked up gender culture – as Classical Cipher noted in comment 84.

    That this gender culture is largely the fault of men – is a given as patriarchy is about male power, but doesn’t mean that it isn’t harmful to men in certain circumstances.

  107. 107
    ginmar

    You don’t know anything about the realities of domestic violence at all. Protest all you want, hokey pokey all you want, but the facts are these:

    1. You once again strenuously my point and changed the subject, because it destroyed your case and yet again:

    2. For all your disclaimers you are still ignoring women and the disclaimer is not fooling anyone and:

    3. You cannot, no matter how much you claim, make a mouse into a whale.

    Women are getting their legs broken, men are getting sprains, and for all that you try and inflate it, women being hit by men is only an issue because guys make more of it—-as you do—than they do violence by men against women. In real life, as at least one woman here has said to you, any act by a woman is seen as justifying any act undertaken by a man against her after that, up to and including felony assault.

    You have obvious tells. You protest, but you do exactly what you say you’re not. You avoid what proves you wrong. You devote reams and reams of obfuscation to something you claim you understand is less frequent than what you say you understand is more serious—and we’re not supposed to notice. You got caught omitting so much and such important information that it was tantamount to lying.

    I’m bored otherwise I’d check out the way I did last night. And it’s not like you’re discussing the subject: you keep re-asserting your case—which is specious no matter where you go—and refusing to address what people actually say, though when cornered you tend to get offensive: “You’re saying it’s okay for women to beat up men?!”

    You can’t fool people the way you’re fooling yourself. I’m the only one who continues and you’re failing to live up to my standards. Knock off the games—which, by the way, discredit what you think is your argument—-or I’ll ignore you as well.

  108. 108
    Bruce Gorton

    ginmar

    Maybe you should stop looking for “tells” and start looking at what I am actually writing. You know, hearing me out on what my case actually is before trying to dismantle it.

  109. 109
    ginmar

    You avoid anything that demolishes your case. That’s utterly hypocritical of you.

    Have fun yapping and fapping at yourself.

  110. 110
    Bruce Gorton

    1. You once again strenuously my point and changed the subject, because it destroyed your case and yet again:

    No, this is the subject.

    2. For all your disclaimers you are still ignoring women and the disclaimer is not fooling anyone and:

    You mean like the way I ignored Grace when she proved me wrong?

    3. You cannot, no matter how much you claim, make a mouse into a whale.

    About a quarter of US HIV infections are women. Should issues which effect women with HIV thus not be considered? Should we say “ah, that is a mouse, lets not make a whale of it” when it comes to women who suffer from HIV?

    Women are getting their legs broken, men are getting sprains, and for all that you try and inflate it, women being hit by men is only an issue because guys make more of it—-as you do—than they do violence by men against women.

    I assume you did not mean that sentence to come out quite like that. In terms of prevalence men hitting women is by far the greater problem. In terms of individual incidents (In other words, when it actually happens) it is pretty much the same problem whether it is a man hitting a woman or a woman hitting a man.

    In both cases it is wrong, people are getting their legs broken and the person being hit should not be seen as deserving derision for it. That it is largely men that deride men who are beaten up by women doesn’t change the fact that it shouldn’t be happening.

    In real life, as at least one woman here has said to you, any act by a woman is seen as justifying any act undertaken by a man against her after that, up to and including felony assault.

    And I fully agree that this is wrong. That doesn’t make the trivialisation of male abuse victims any more right though does it?

    You have obvious tells.

    So that is where the smell of straw is coming from. How about instead of trying to read me for tells, you just try to understand what I am saying?

  111. 111
    Ophelia Benson

    Well I don’t understand what you’re saying, Bruce. If a woman breaks a man’s leg (short of self-defense) that’s a bad thing. Is there really an issue of people saying it’s not a bad thing? I don’t get it. Assault is bad; it’s a crime. I don’t see the closed door that you’re pushing on.

  112. 112
    Bruce Gorton

    Okay lets summarise: From my POV:

    My argument is basically people shouldn’t be laughed at for suffering abuse, coupled with an observation of how female on male physical abuse is used as a source of comedy.

    I view this as misandrist because of its negative consequences for men in RL who suffer such abuse. This abuse is as we have all established, generally tied to misogynist roots as well.

    My contention is the main driver in this is patriarchy. In other words, male power mythology.

    My position has changed since the start of this argument as shall be reflected on what I think we have agreement on.

    It is agreed that:

    Most of the writers who write this stuff are men, writing for mixed audiences. Their writing also includes strong misogynist messages, and these are morally wrong.

    Such as for example that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond being based off of old and very sexist PMS jokes.

    Men who suffer abuse at the hands of women, are a small minority of abuse victims.

    Grace proved me wrong on it being an issue of violent abuse in not being trivialised when it was male on female. I was completely incorrect on that.

    Men’s rights activists often try to use the idea of equivalent harm as a means of not having to deal with harm being done to women. This is illogical and stupid.

    Points of disagreement:

    I do not think we can say such abuse is less severe in nature when it happens to men than when it happens to women.

    Nor do I agree that men who suffer abuse should be ignored as if they were sprain victims demanding attention from a doctor treating broken legs.

    I do not accept the argument that lower prevalence should mean no attention is paid to this issue.

    I think there is a place for MRA in instances where such abuse is trivialised. I do not think there is much room for MRA in much of anything else.

  113. 113
    Bruce Gorton

    Eh, coding when wrong on that last post

    @Ophelia Benson

    It is what I am getting out of what ginmar is saying with her broken leg analogy – that when it is female-on-male it is less serious than when it is male-on-female, and thus shouldn’t be considered an issue.

    It is not a message I am getting out of what anybody else is saying here.

  114. 114
    Bruce Gorton

    http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/male_abuse.htm

    I am not too sure on this as a source – so if the data is bullshit, please say.

  115. 115
    ginmar

    People have been saying bullshit to you for some time now.

    And your ‘expert’ is a divorce attorney who heads some MRA organization. So in other words…..Remember the bullshit about Everybody loves Raymond?

  116. 116
    Luna_the_cat

    @ginmar

    Ya know, I really don’t think that Bruce is the enemy.

  117. 117
    ginmar

    That’s a very passive aggressive thing to say, Luna.

  118. 118
    Luna_the_cat

    It was meant as a gentle statement that I do not agree with your responses or assesment of the discussion, ginmar. I do think you’ve gone a little OTT in some of your responses to him. I genuinely get the impression that he wants to discuss this in good faith, and I do not get the impression that you think this — you are certainly responding to him as if you don’t.

  119. 119
    Raging Bee

    and from my experience, women in so-called ‘patriarchies’ do not buy for one minute that men in any way rule. It is the men of these traditionally gender-rolled countries who are actually most keen to reject the traditional gender roles (contrary to the stereotype that brown men are dominant and controlling).

    This paragraph isn’t even coherent. Does this Tom Martin guy have ANY clue what he’s talking about? What “experience” leads him to the conclusions he’s stated here? And if men in patriarchal societies really want to change their roles, why don’t they?

    Oh, and Bruce? You started out sounding level and credible (relative to other MRAs at least, which isn’t really saying much); but when ginmar said:

    To the extent that it is used by MRAs, it is always used to blame women for causing men all sorts of harm (always horribly exaggerated if not outright invented) and it’s nothing but a transparent attempt to equalize mens’ discrimination against women with womens’ rebellion against a sexist culture that oppresses them.

    …and you replied:

    So you are saying that women beating on men is okay?

    …you pretty much shot your credibility to Hell by so blatantly misrepresenting what he/she said. You didn’t just exaggerate, you LIED. And I, for one, see no reason to waste time trying to reason with such a blatant liar.

  120. 120
    ginmar

    Luna, you find it necessary to clutch your pearls over me but not over Bruce. That says it all for me. You can go waste your time clutching them over somebody else.

  121. 121
    Tom Martin

    Raging bull says…

    if men in patriarchal societies really want to change their roles, why don’t they?

    Firstly, they serve ‘god’ who tells them to be ‘patriarchal’ – the system is enforced by religious police, religious laws, and the culture (looks like it’s made up of men too, but they are all mere servants of ‘god’.

    God isn’t real though, so we have to analyse which group of humans serves the other in these ‘patriarchies’. It is the men who are wage-slaves, serving women who stay at home, on the couch, eating bon-bons, and getting very fat.

    Men haven’t change their roles, because 1) They are pacified with the line that they are ‘patriarchs’ and so unthinkingly go along with it.

    2) Males are genetically predisposed to acts of chivalry, so they need to be trained to be egalitarian – and the religion and women train them to do the opposite – and put them off gender equality by making out men will lose by it.

    3) ‘Patriarchy’ sounds appealing to some men as an ambition, therefore
    some may actually be striving for it – and in their confusion, seek to be the top dog, and one of the few men at the top of the male dominance hierarchy who appear to be benefiting from traditional gender roles (but not really because the higher up the male hierarchy we go, the more likely these men’s wives are going to be economically inactive whores).

    So, call ‘patriarchy’ whoriarchy – and no person would want to aspire to it.

    If men rise up, against their religion, and against serving women, they’ll get shot.

    If men learn to sit down, and stop giving women money and gifts, then women will be forced to rise up, won’t get shot quite as much – and will demand equality of opportunity. Then low and behold, ‘god’ will grant this requirement.

  122. 122
    Raging Bee

    …women who stay at home, on the couch, eating bon-bons, and getting very fat.

    In Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Which patriarchal countries are you talking about here?

    Also, I asked you on which “experience” you were basing your claims, and you specified none. This just reinforces my earlier conclusion that you have no clue what you’re talking about.

    2) Males are genetically predisposed to acts of chivalry…

    Men have a genetic predisposition that prevents them from questioning a social order even when said order robs and oppresses them all their lives? That’s gotta be the most ridiculous “it’s in their genes” explanation I’ve ever heard. It’s also kinda racist to say that whole ethnic groups have a genetic defect that prevents them from thinking for themselves, as we white men routinely do.

  123. 123
    Grace

    “It is the men who are wage-slaves, serving women who stay at home, on the couch, eating bon-bons, and getting very fat.”

    Yep, that’s totally what women do. The laundry, cooking, cleaning the toilets, scrubbing grease and grime, doing the dishes, the 100% childcare gets done by the fairies that fly out of my butt.

    Is this part the ‘comedy’ part?

    Tom keeps using the incredibly vicious, woman-hating term “whore” and he is the feminist here? This word that gets women murdered, disappeared, turned into so much disposable human garbage by ‘decent’ society?

    “So, call ‘patriarchy’ whoriarchy – and no person would want to aspire to it.”

    No, it just shows you for the woman-hating sociopath you are.

  124. 124
    Tom Martin

    Grace,

    You’re using a NAWALT argument: ‘Not all women are like that’, a code grey anti-male shaming tactic:

    Charge of Overgeneralization (Code Gray)

    Discussion: The target is accused of making generalizations or supporting unwarranted stereotypes about women. Examples:

    “I’m not like that!”
    “Stop generalizing!”
    “That’s a sexist stereotype!”
    Response: One may point out that feminists and many other women make generalizations about men. Quotations from feminists, for example, can be easily obtained to prove this point. Also, one should note that pointing to a trend is not the same as overgeneralizing. Although not all women may have a certain characteristic, a significant amount of them might.

    Of course in the case of female economic activity rates, we do know that Muslim women are the laziest, in the UK, and the world – a generalization based upon data.

    Remember, I don’t hate women, but I do hate religions encouraging women to be nothing more than prostitutes and scrubbers with their lives. That’s not the sort of encouragement women need.

  125. 125
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh Tom…if you don’t realize you do hate women you’re really in a bad way.

  126. 126
    Tom Martin

    Ophelia says,

    “Oh Tom…if you don’t realize you do hate women you’re really in a bad way.”

    To which I say…

    I don’t normally hate women, Ophelia.

    Ophelia was using a code black anti-male shaming tactic:

    Charge of Misogyny (Code Black)

    Discussion: The target is accused of displaying some form of unwarranted malice to a particular woman or to women in general. Examples:

    “You misogynist creep!”
    “Why do you hate women?”
    “Do you love your mother?”
    “You are insensitive to the plight of women.”
    “You are mean-spirited.”
    “You view women as doormats.”
    “You want to roll back the rights of women!!”
    “You are going to make me cry.”
    Response: One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are “not a zero-sum game”). One may also ask the accuser how do they account for women who agree with the target’s viewpoints. The Code Black shaming tactic often integrates the logical fallacies of “argumentum ad misericordiam” (viz., argumentation based on pity for women) and/or “argumentum in terrorem” (viz., arousing fear about what the target wants to do to women).

    Marc Rudov (The No Nonsense Man) has a good answer to a code black. He says “I don’t hate women, but little girls occupying adult female bodies.”

  127. 127
    Grace

    No Tom, that’s called a dose of reality.

    (Quick, make up a code for that!)

  128. 128
    Ophelia Benson

    Tom – seriously, try to talk sense for just a second – do you really think it makes sense for you to talk all this drivel about “anti-male shaming tactics” when you keep talking about skanky whorish women and the like?

    Now here’s an irony for you: at the end of your previous comment you said

    “I do hate religions encouraging women to be nothing more than prostitutes and scrubbers with their lives.”

    So do I! In fact I’ve co-written a book on the subject. And yet nobody’s ever called me a misogynist. That’s ironic, isn’t it.

  129. 129
    Tom Martin

    Grace,

    As a rule, women and men use these anti-male shaming tactics at the very point they’re losing the argument. It’s because they can’t think of anything better to say, don’t want to acknowledge defeat, and so turn a defeated argument into a personal attack. They may or may not be conscious of it, but at the very point they try the anti-male shaming, they’ve lost.

    Now, look at the opening sentence of Jonathan Dean’s Guardian article, where he tries to dismiss my claim that gender studies has a misandry problem:

    Feminism makes some men very scared,
    others very angry. Tom Martin, who is
    taking legal action against the London
    School of Economics, risks being seen
    as falling into both of these categories.

    Dean’s opener, deploys a code yellow: ‘Tom’s scared’, followed by
    a code red ‘Tom’s angry’. Straight away, Jonathan Dean inadvertently admits defeat. And that was the best LSE’s Gender Institute could offer up?

    To recap:

    Charge of Cowardice (Code Yellow)

    Discussion: The target is accused of having an unjustifiable fear of interaction with women. Examples:

    “You need to get over your fear.”
    “Step up and take a chance like a man!”
    “You’re afraid of a strong woman!”
    Response: It is important to remember that there is a difference between bravery and stupidity. The only risks that reasonable people dare to take are calculated risks. One weighs the likely costs and benefits of said risks. As it is, some men are finding out that many women fail a cost-benefit analysis.

    and…

    Charge of Irascibility (Code Red)

    Discussion: The target is accused of having anger management issues. Whatever negative emotions he has are assumed to be unjustifiable. Examples:

    “You’re bitter!”
    “You need to get over your anger at women.”
    “You are so negative!”
    Response: Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice. It is important to remember that passive acceptance of evil is not a virtue.

  130. 130
    Grace

    No, Tom. I never used any “anti-male” tactics, let alone any shaming tactics. Like a religious fundamentalist, you think any criticism of your unsupported assertions is off-limits. You present an argument that you never back up with any real data. Show me the data that proves Muslim women are the laziest women, in the UK, and the world. A very simple request. Back up your assertions with real data. You keep dodging any request for actual evidence for your assertions.

    “Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.” Why yes, this is true. Yet when women express legitmate anger at global systemic violence and oppression that’s been going on for over 5,000+ years and still continues, you vilify them as “victim-feminists.” We are shamed by you and you’re fellow MRAs/misogynists into silence.
    And you don’t see the irony that virtually very post you’ve shared here and everywhere else on the internt is essentially Tom Is A Victim.

    Have you ever heard the phrase, “with friends like you, who needs enemies”? You keep saying basically, “I’m a feminist, now shut up you whores.” That doesn’t sound like someone on the side of feminism and equality. It sounds like hatred to me.

    When I took you to task for using the term “whore” I wasn’t defending anyone by saying I or other women aren’t “whores” I was saying there is NO SUCH THING AS a “whore.” Just like there is no such thing as a Black man or woman who is a Ni**er.
    Wh**e is a hateful term used to dehumanize women, to vilify women’s sexuality (wh**e includes women who are sexually active in any way, not just impoverished women and girls who have to trade sex for money. It also includes women who have been raped, just ask those lazy Muslim women!) and to justify violence and hatred against us.

    But continue to play the victim if that floats your boat. I don’t care what you have to say, you have proven yourself dishonest and hateful over and over. I don’t care to indulge your nonsense anymore.

  131. 131
    Tom Martin

    Grace,

    I’m busy, but if you are curious, then google economic activity women uk religions, and you’ll see muslim women are by far the laziest. In 2007, 75% of UK Muslim women economically inactive. Not even a part time job. Also, you can get world figures too, by country – The Gender Development Index. You’ll see that Saudi women are the laziest, on $2500 to men’s $20,000 average salary from recollection, and apparently, women’s numbers are only as high as that because foreign women who are employed as cleaners, nurses and maids, bump up the truly pathetic figures.

    I agree with you, it is totally wrong, to call a slut a whore.

    Sluts good, whoring – bad.

    I have already explained, it is mainly other women who call promiscuous women ‘whores’ and that they do this to shame sluts out of giving sex away for free – in order to keep the prices high. It’s an attempt at price fixing.

    Whoring has nothing to do with women’s sexuality. There is nothing sexy about whoring. Whores get high rates of pelvic block, (like ‘blue balls’ in men) because they don’t have orgasms whilst whoring. It leads to strained blood vessels and pain in the whole pelvic area.

    Stop conflating prostitution with sex.

    One is acting, the other one shouldn’t be.

    ‘Whore’ is not a term to ‘dehumanize women’ when I use it. It is a term to problematize the choice of prostitution.

    You infer that only poor women do it, or are forced into it in some sense – but the book called Temporarily Yours, makes clear that in the decade up to 2008, one of unparallelled economic opportunity and prosperity for women, prostitution levels nevertheless increased.

    Time to RENOUNCE prostitution in all its forms.

  132. 132
    Grace

    “I agree with you, it is totally wrong, to call a slut a whore.

    Sluts good, whoring – bad.”

    Wow, you are one evil fuck aren’t you. No there is no such thing as a sl*t or a wh**e or any other of endless derogatory terms for female sexuality. Way to twist my words. Are you aware that women who are raped are blamed for their own assaults because they were “acting like sl*ts”? By cops, by their own families, by the whole fucking society. No, of course not, because you’ve never been a woman. This is just a big joke to you.

    “It is a term to problematize the choice of prostitution.” Gee, no one knew prostitution was a problem until you showed up. But the problem is with the demand, not with the women who are in prostitution. Drug addiction and homelessness and poverty are the main reasons women turn to prostitution to survive. Also the demand is so HIGH, the supply will never be met just by poor women alone. But that’s not the problem to you. It’s that women are using their hooch to manipulate the poor men who are helpless under it’s power. Because every one knows how glamorous it is to be so subhuman the police will laugh at you if you were beaten or raped on the job (but prostitutes can’t be raped, right?) Or murdered. NHI, as the cops in my country would say.

    Not working outside the home at a paying job does not constitute NOT WORKING. Women’s domestic work and childcare is non-work to you? As a child raised in a traditional home, my dad got to come home to a hot meal and tv after eight hours, my mom’s work was ALL DAY LONG, and thankless I might add.

    You are obviously just trying to bait me now, so kindly go fuck yourself. You are a pathetic excuse for a human being.

  133. 133
    Luna_the_cat

    @ginmar #120:

    …Heh, and you have just used a gender slur to lash back at me “clutching my pearls”, really. Therefore, you have no credibility.

    See, I can play too. :)

    I see Bruce as being rather more teachable and honest than most MRAs, but continuing to interact with people by ignoring all the good-faith bits is pointless; and although he’s returned a few non-sequitors, by far the person throwing the most insults here (aside from Tom Martin, who is truly in an obnoxious little class all by himself) is you. Sad fact is, I’m both female and feminist and overall on your side, and even I’m having a hard time staying sympathetic to you. Note: this is not “tone trolling”, this is a simple statement of fact about my reactions to the discussion. Regardless of your opinion of whether people’s reactions are valid or not, I can make a statement of fact about my own reactions, and you should be aware that this is what your behaviour is invoking. I’d like to see it be productive, and I expected better, from what I’d seen in the past. And I’m no saint or perfect debater or anything like that, but really, why are you spending your spite on allies?

    As for Tom, he has problems. I have no objection to letting him continue to spread his opinion in writing for all to see, but I just don’t see him as able to learn anything different than his own current hatefulness, contempt and prejudice, which is sad, but doesn’t leave me with any sympathy at all. I mean, the fact that women in many Arabic countries are deliberately denied education, free movement outside the home, or the ability to interact freely with the opposite gender even to the point of TALKING to them — by law — and this is taken by him to be part of a system that they want and use to be “lazy”….well, there is a word for this, it rhymes with “lazy”, but it starts with “cr-”.

    I look forward to seeing what happens with his case. I think it ought to be vastly amusing.

  134. 134
    Bernard Bumner

    I simply cannot take any of this seriously; the colour-coded laundry list of debate-ending accusations, the indiscriminate use of obviously sexist language, the racism, the incoherent arguments which seem to exist for no reason other than to offend.

    This Tom Martin is both a boor and a bore. His own words should be sufficient to convince any intelligent observer that he has nothing valuable to contribute.

    He is a sad, lazy caricature.

  135. 135
    Luna_the_cat

    @Bernard –

    Yes, but he is a sad, lazy caricature doing his best to be high profile and suing a university.

    If he’s going to volunteer to expose himself like this, might as well use him as a teaching example.

  136. 136
    Bernard Bumner

    Oh, don’t let me stop anybody having their fun. I’m just not sure that there is sufficient substance to his invective rambling to allow the genuinely knowledgeable commenters to really show off their prowess. They will easily make mincemeat of his words, which are already a rather pulpy mess to begin with.

  137. 137
    Raging Bee

    I have already explained, it is mainly other women who call promiscuous women ‘whores’…

    I’ve heard plenty of men do the same. Your “explanation” doesn’t square with observable reality.

    Whores get high rates of pelvic block, (like ‘blue balls’ in men)…

    Yeah — like “blue balls” in men, “pelvic block” is pure fiction. If you knew anything at all about the sex trade (and gave a shit, which you clearly don’t), you’d know that “pelvic block” is the LEAST of a sex-worker’s health concerns.

    Tom, your stupidity is downright insulting to all of us. As a man trying to understand the whole battle-of-the-sexes thing, I’m embarrassed to hear you trying to pretend to be standing up for my interests. You’re out of your depth here; go back to bed.

  138. 138
    Ophelia Benson

    Golly.

  139. 139
    Raging Bee

    I figure now’s a good time to add a few ramblings of my own about men’s legitimate concerns WRT patriarchy and women’s interests…

    First, it seems to me that the “men’s rights” movement is dominated by men with little education, and no learned ability to manage their emotions when faced with extremely hurtful events such as dating humiliation, divorce, or marital failure. As a result, they end up being wrong even when they’re right, even when they’re talking about real harm done to men by women.

    These poor sods also end up being easily manipulated and used by the people who REALLY ARE responsible for much of the hurt they’re feeling: “leaders,” employers, religious authoritarians, and other powerful people (mostly, but not all, men), who make both men and women powerless, and then keep the powerless divided against each other so they won’t unite against the powerful. Feminists and other progressive factions have been trying to change this entrenched injustice ever since the founding of the USA (and, yes, earlier); and that is why the powerful reactionaries are so eager to incite as much hatred against feminists (real and imagined) as they can.

    The powerful are good at cheating, exploiting and breaking people by the millions, then inducing them to blame some arbitrarily-chosen “other” for their plight: Jews, gays, atheists, immigrants, “welfare queens,” or, in this case, women who supposedly force men to work away their lives while living at ease and contributing nothing. It’s pure fiction (as is the caricature of feminists out to castrate all of us manly men); but it’s a fiction that powerless men are tempted to embrace because that’s the only way they can feel they have any power to fight the injustices that plague their lives. The alternative, of course, is to fight the powerful people who really are at fault for their suffering — but those guys have guns, and it’s much safer just to beat up one’s own wife (or a Jew or a queer) instead. So when the powerful need to protect their power and dodge responsibility for their actions, they will always find plenty of poor, poorly-educated sods eager to follow their misdirection — and conditioned to do so by economic needs and social conditioning.

    And yes, women have very often been used by the powerful as tools to keep other men powerless. Sometimes women can be blamed for consenting to be so used; but other times it’s obvious the patriarchal society had given them no other options. (If your wife sits around eating bon-bons and getting fat on a couch, do you really think that’s what she aspires to do? My then-wife was in a similar position for awhile (laid off), and she FUCKING HATED it, and was desperate to get a job, accomplish things, and get the blood flowing again. Based on that, and what I’ve read and heard from other sources, I’m sure most idle women are idle because they’re FORCED to be, not because they enjoy or knowingly choose it.

    Contrary to the longstanding caricature, feminists really do tend to care about men’s interests, and understand that all the “misandry” exists within a greater context of women reacting to oppression and misogyny. (If a woman is physically abusive, chances are she learned it from men.) And some of them, at least, do understand that sexism, abuse and misogyny have to be fought along with other injustices with which they are closely connected. (And besides, they like men and want to live with them, not without them.) This is why it is liberals and progressives who can be trusted to fight the injustices done to men — not woman-hating right-wingers.

    People like Tom are not part of the solution; they’re part of the problem. Knowingly or not, they’re urging both men and women to attack the very feminists and progresives who have been trying to right the wrongs that are causing their suffering.

  140. 140
    ginmar

    I’m impressed, Luna, that you try and turn your what?—second or third attempt to sidestep questions about your nifty little double standard into something that bounces back at me. Oh, wait, that’s right. I’m not. You defended Bruce and all his lies, and then took that passive aggressive jab.

    Clutch those pearls, babe. Help, help, are you being oppressed.

  141. 141
    Raging Bee

    ginmar: I think you’re being too harsh on Luna. All Luna said was “I genuinely get the impression that [Bruce] wants to discuss this in good faith…” She may be dead wrong on this point, but she was not, by any stretch, defending any of what Bruce actualy said; nor did she even say it was at all defensible. At least give her credit for trying to give Bruce an opportunity to prove her right or wrong.

    (Also, give Bruce credit for at least sounding more coherent and honest than Tom — and most of the other MRAs I’ve encountered.)

  142. 142
    ginmar

    She said Bruce is not the enemy. Apparently you have to be as offensive as Tom to garner any response. Instead, accepting lower grade crap like that is precisely why we get assholes like TM. We let them get away with whining about misandry and other crap, and nobody called them on it.

  143. 143
    Raging Bee

    By “not the enemy,” I suspect she meant “someone who might be more susceptible to friendly persuasion than most other MRAs;” not “we shouldn’t respond to him.” She certainly responded to at least some of teh MRA nonsense in her first comment. Also, I’ve heard from her elsewhere, and she shows no sign of being at all sympathetic to that crowd.

    Like I said before, Luna may be wrong, and/or I may be wrong in my interpretation of what she meant; but accusing her of sympathizing with any of the MRA crowd is unsupported and un-called-for.

  144. 144
    ginmar

    Once some dude whips out ‘misandry’ and gets caught omitting key facts—as Bruce was, several times—why bother?

    Oh, and thanks for accusing me of accusing her of something. Whatever. I’m not going to bother with her or you again.

  145. 145
    Tom Martin

    I’m reminded of that saying ‘women’s anger is the weathervane of truth’ –

    So personally, I’m going to develop whoriarchy theory et al -

    This Muslim spring looks like it’s going to end in a hoary old squelch-landing if most of the women stay rooted to the couch as usual.

    They’re never going to kick the religion out unless they learn to kick their women out the door to get a job.

    Stop giving women money and gifts.

    And stop placating victim-female dogma in academic curricula.

    Read your university regulations carefully, and if the they infringe them against men, litigate.

  146. 146
    Ophelia Benson

    Right. Carry on forbidding women to work or leave the house without a male relative, but “stop giving them money” – and watch your children starve. Good plan.

    You would do well in the Taliban, Mr Martin. You would pass laws that make it impossible for women to work or get medical treatment, and then shrug when they starved to death or died of treatable diseases.

  147. 147
    Raging Bee

    Seriously, Tom? You really think people like the Taliban stay in power because men don’t stop giving gifts to women? Seriously?

    Here’s a better idea: stop giving right-wing politicians and religious “leaders” money and gifts.

    Read your university regulations carefully, and if the they infringe them against men, litigate.

    Here’s a better idea: read the textbooks instead.

  148. 148
    Raging Bee

    Tom, I left a rather lengthy ramble above, which was (IMO at least) quite sympathetic to the cause you claim to support. Teh fact that you completely ignored it says a good bit about your priorities.

  149. 149
    im

    I mean, with the whole uni system devoted to men, mens’ history, mens’ politics, mens’ idea of government…the whole university is mens’ studies, but because it’s not called that, it’s somehow unfair? Or is it the fact that it’s named “World History” or “American History” or whatever just not good enough?

    Yeah, it’s not good enough.

    I get EXTREMELY frustrated by this argument.
    First, the (patriarchal) way that masculinity and maleness is treated by default means that people often fail to even examine it all that much. There is strong evidence, for example, that the stereotype of hetero male sexuality as simplistic and trigger-based is completely, utterly wrong.

    Meanwhile a lot of those probably are not gendered even though they were and still partly are dominated by men. I doubt that women in general (as opposed to radical feminists or the women having the progressiveness that usually comes of fighting oppression) would have different ideas of government or politics. I would even bet that history would look fairly similar if all societies had been reasonably egalitarian with respect to gender.

    I DO NOT WANT MEN TO BE THE DEFAULT FOR EVERYONE. It harms me even as it harms others.

    A glorious new era awaits, and I want it to consciously care about me, not just blearily give me my due.

  150. 150
    im

    Oh, also? I AM REALLY FUCKING TIRED of all this language about how feminists care about actual misogyny … as long as it can be seen in terms of a side-effect of patriarchy or also being harmful to women. You are not the sole arbiters of gender theory. You are just the people who need it more urgently than we do.

  151. 151
    im

    oops I meant actual misandry

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