AGs behaving badly »« We did forgive them from the very start

What’s so wrong with men beating up women, really?

I’d never heard of “GirlWritesWhat” until a few days ago when I saw a video of hers in which she accused “FTB” – on the basis of absolutely nothing – of filing a fake DMCA complaint on her in order to force her to reveal her address. A couple of days later I saw a second video of hers in which she again blamed FTB for a DMCA complaint on the basis of nothing whatever.

So now there’s David Futrelle pointing out where she says a good word for domestic violence.

Oy.

Yesterday, we took a look at Ferdinand Bardamu’s manosphere manifesto “The Necessity of Domestic Violence,” a thoroughly despicable piece of writing that concludes:

Women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.

I was a little surprised to see GirlWritesWhat, the blabby FeMRA video blogger who’s captured the hearts of Reddit’s Men’s Rights crowd, step into the conversation with something of a defense of Bardamu’s noxious views. After reading Bardamu’s manifesto – the one advocating that men “terrorize” their women to make them behave – GWW blithely concluded:

I don’t really find too much in the article that strikes me as seriously ethically questionable.

Oy.

Comments

  1. Michael De Dora says

    Weird — I just stumbled onto her videos the other day myself. I guess through the whole FTB thing. I watched a couple and posted on Twitter than I was confused. Very, very confused.

  2. Hypatia's Daughter says

    But…but… I thought these guys wanted women to be more like chimps – well, mindless animals – whose sole function is to be bed and bred and be domestic workhorses. Actually, I think chimps are smarter than their ideal woman.

  3. says

    I’m confused.

    I am utterly, completely, and totally confused.

    I’m probably betraying some kind of personal sexism deep down in asking this, but… why the fuck would a woman defend that piece of shit Ferdinand’s work? Why would there be a woman like GirlWritesWhat? I really am sorry for asking, but I can’t help it.

    I’m honestly flabbergasted. And lost. I just don’t get it.

  4. R Holmes says

    What strikes me about her view is that it seems to betray a pretty shoddy opinion of men. Better for a man to slap a woman every now and then rather than bottle things up and then beat her half to death when he finally explodes? What – so men lack the humanity and self-control necessary to eschew violence altogether?

    Or perhaps she does believe that men are capable of controlling themselves; she just doesn’t think they should have to.

  5. says

    On a tangential note, I find it interesting that this guy, whose blog, according to Futrelle, “combined elements of PUA, Men’s Rights activism and “Human Biological Diversity” style racism” choose the nickname “Ferdinand Bardamu”. It comes from a classic French novel whose writer, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, became infamous for being a rabid anti-Semite.

  6. GordonWillis says

    OK. It takes ALL sorts to make a world. This is proof. It’s a really horrible world. There must be some sort of explanation for all this wilful spite, but I haven’t the faintest idea what it is.

  7. EllenBeth Wachs says

    I have had the unfortunate luck of being subjected to her videos for a long while thanks to my MRA stalker. She confused me at first. Now, I realize she is the one that is very confused and misguided.

  8. GordonWillis says

    @R Holmes #5

    That’s a thought. Do you think it could be some sort of defence mechanism? Or she really does think that women ought to knuckle under and “take it”? Masochistic inversion of Kirbyism?

  9. Beatrice says

    I used to be confused by women spouting this kind of anti-woman hate. Not any more. See, she can’t possibly put herself in the shoes of those women who have been subjected to domestic violence, because she’s not that kind of woman. Where that kind of woman is a weakling, possibly a feminist, someone who needs a man to correct her behavior. These chill girls don’t need that. They’re beyond being mere women (bonus points if you say that with enough disgust), they’re better than that.

    /cynical

  10. GordonWillis says

    After MaunaLoona’s extraordinary remarks about violence as justified “correction” and the usual trope about how women cheat on their husbands and profit from the divorce, David Futrelle says:

    Lots of MRAs like to pretend that they care about male victims of domestic violence. But the Men’s Rights movement hasn’t done shit for them. And here, I think, is why: too many MRAs are less interested in helping male victims of domestic violence than they are in providing excuses and justifications for male abusers.

    This is food for thought. It’s true about MRAs, as far as I can tell, and it’s true about the anti-FtB bunch.

    As a matter of fact, in my experience the people who care about the rights of men as human beings are feminists.

  11. says

    @NateHevens

    Just my opinion: Both online and in the real world, whenever the topic of rape or domestic violence comes up (unless it is an exclusively feminist safe space), there are women who always pop up to defend or excuse the perpetrator and blame the victim, oftentimes even more vigorously than some of the men. I think there are a couple reasons for this.

    1) If I can find why the victim was at fault, it won’t happen to me. She wasn’t raped because we live in a culture that encourages and excuses rapists, she wasn’t raped because she happened to encounter a rapist (both things you can never fully control), she was raped because she was wearing a short skirt/drinking/out alone at night/accepted a ride home/let a guy into her apartment/didn’t fight or say no loud enough/didn’t take self-defense classes/kissed or otherwise aroused him/*insert literally anything else about her behavior pre-rape*.

    If a woman is abused by her partner, it’s her fault for not leaving/coming back/threatening to leave (and take his kids/make him pay child support and/or alimony)/not being financially independent/being too independent so the man feels emasculated/instigating it by bad behavior/letting him get away with bad behavior/being too submissive/not being submissive enough/*insert literally anything else about her behavior before being abused*.

    And even though a lot of these rationalizations are contradictory and therefore impossible to follow entirely, it’s more comforting to think that you can control something that is ultimately entirely out of your control. You don’t drink. You would never stay with a guy who abused you. So you’ll never have to worry about that happening to you. (This is also why women who have been raped or abused themselves often blame themselves…if you can only figure out what caused it, it won’t ever happen again.)

    2) Women are human beings, which means that we’re all flawed (some more than others). And a lot of people like feeling superior. A lot of us want to be accepted. For some, it’s more important than solidarity (“sisterhood”) or even basic empathy. It doesn’t help that women are encouraged from birth, practically, to compete with each other for guys (just look at popular entertainment), like sex is a dwindling resource we have to hoard. Some women spout these attitudes because it makes them feel better about themselves; they really believe what they’re saying. Some women don’t believe this shit at all, but they say it because it makes them one of the “chill girls”, it sets them apart from those icky feminists, it gets them approval from (the lowest form of) guys. Plus, a lot of women are raised in environments (conservative Christianity, for one) that teach this toxic mess, and they can’t help but absorb it.

    (Incidentally, I also think this partially explains all those anti-choice women.)

    *Insert disclaimer about how men are raped and abused, too. Also, false allegations about rape and abuse are Very Bad.*

  12. Beauzeaux says

    I’m surprised she hasn’t gotten a job at Fox News. She’s the ideal republican for all the reasons Beatrice cites.

  13. Silo Mowbray says

    Years ago on a talk radio show the host and his guests were discussing relationships and how they can go sour. A female caller phoned in and after some commentary where she seemed to imply that sometimes women “are asking for it”, the host said: “Wait, are you saying you approve of your husband beating you?”

    There was a pause on the line, and the female caller replied: “We call it ‘conditioning.'”

    I was listening while I was driving and I am pretty I nearly went right the fuck off the highway when I heard that.

    I really, really wish I could find a recording of this somewhere. I don’t even recall the name of the talk show. Conditioning. We like to call it conditioning. What the actual fuck.

  14. Beatrice says

    Conditioning is definitely a part of it. That woman has apparently been conditioned quite well to excuse the abuse she’s suffering.

  15. GordonWillis says

    Thanks, EEB. Useful stuff to think about. I was wondering about slave mentality:

    Fear of abuse
    Accepting the values of the owners
    Suppression of personal aspirations
    Learning to put up with harsh treatment, lack of freedom and of dignity
    Resignation as a virtue

  16. karmakin says

    It’s simply anti-feminism. Nothing more, nothing less. Because not beating people up is seen as a feminist thing, it’s something that has to be opposed root and branch.

    Actually root and branch is a very important social/intellectual concept that gets ignored all too often. It’s not something we should do, ideally, but sometimes you don’t really have a choice in the matter. Needless to say that I think that going all root and branch oppositional on feminism is entirely groundless, but quite frankly, that’s where we are right now.

  17. GordonWillis says

    Should add to #16
    Rationalisation of social condition, acceptance of fundamental “rightness” of their lot and the privilege of the owner class.
    .
    “Conditioning” could well come in here, Beatrice, but it’s to a high degree self-induced.
    .
    Assuming this track is the right one, would this (karmakin):

    It’s simply anti-feminism. Nothing more, nothing less. Because not beating people up is seen as a feminist thing, it’s something that has to be opposed root and branch.

    be the owners fighting a rebellion?

  18. Leni says

    @ EEB- I agree. I also suspect that underlying it is the assumption- or perhaps desperate hope- that the universe is just. Bad things don’t happen to good people, therefore there must be a reason. Barring that, it’s part of God’s mysterious “plan”.

    I’ve seen GirlWritesWhat posts before on reddit. I attempted debating her once, but she’s more or less immune to rational arguments. Debating her is like watching her have a conversation with herself. She’s not quick enough to do the Gish gallup sort of thing, but she definitely has the endurance to repeat herself endlessly.

    And that “conditioning” thing is beyond creepy.

  19. bubba707 says

    I volunteer labor at a womens shelter, you know, fixing the plumbing, patching the roof, and seeing shit like this just makes me sick.

  20. says

    @GordonWillis

    There is an absolutely atrocious Victorian girl’s series called “Elsie Disnmore” that is very popular with the patriarchal Christian set. All of the homeschooled girls at my church read them, with the encouragement of our parents. The main character is an impossibly beautiful, pious, and rich southern heiress on a plantation with a lot of slaves. She was held up as the perfect example of Christian girlhood: obedient to a fault, patient, long-suffering, kind, generous, etc. On top of just terrible writing, they are some of the most racist books I’ve ever read. As a kid, though, very sheltered and very white, I didn’t really understand how disgusting the portayal of African-Americans was in the books. Probably the worst was just how much all the slaves on her plantations loved and adored her, and how she was shown as the perfect Christian woman because she taught her slaves about Jesus and was “kind” to them. (I mean, yeah, they were still slaves, but she wouldn’t let the overseer flog them and she let them touch her hand, and what more could you want, right? *GAG*) Really, there’s so much sick stuff in those books that it would take a book series of its own to point it all out.

    But even as a ignorant, racist kid, there was one scene that really upset me, and has always stuck in my head because of how disturbing it was. During the war, the family gets word that Lincoln freed the slaves. When Elsie’s “beloved mammy” finds out, she bursts into tears and sobs (in terrible dialect, of course) that she doesn’t want freedom, she loves Elsie, she doesn’t ever want to leave her and can’t handle the thought of another person serving Elsie or her children. Now, we’ve previously learned in the story that Aunt Chloe had her husband and children sold away from her (but, of course, Elsie’s wonderous generosity is shown by buying her husband and one living grandchild back for her). Sick, sick shit. (And this is what they are giving little kids to read, holding Elsie up as the perfect example of a Christian girl.)

    ANYWAY, all that set-up to say…when I hear some women talk, all I can see is this image in my mind. Not that I think Aunt Chloe is an accurate example of slave women (OMG NO), but I think that there are a lot of women who for whatever reason have internalized misogyny to such an extent that they don’t want equality. They don’t want feminists fighting for their rights. They don’t want the laws to change. They are clinging to the patriarchy, sobbing that they don’t want freedom, begging not to be sent away, begging to be allowed to keep serving. And I don’t see a solution, really, because you can change the laws all you want and there will still be women who want to live as though nothing has changed. I don’t understand it. It really upsets me.

    But mostly, at this point, I feel deep pity rather than anger.

  21. ManUpManDown says

    I suppose I should realize that it will likely not make a difference to many here who seem predisposed to believe the worst about GWW or MRAs generally, but consider reading this Reddit thread in which GWW and other MRAs deal with this issue.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/yfb2l/girlwriteswhat_says_women_instigate_domestic/

    I am continuously amazed at how some feminists can blind themselves to everything about MRAs except that which confirms the simplistic caricature of them in which said feminists are so emotionally invested. Indeed, on the very thread noted above, the alleged MRAs making obnoxious comments were 2 or 3 in number. Other MRAs (both women and men, including myself) were calling out those few like MaunaLoona who made such stupid remarks . . . remarks, I will add, just as stupid as those of GordonWillis when he states that, as far as he can tell, we MRAs are primarily interested in providing excuses for abusers. For Pete’s sake.

  22. Beatrice says

    ManUpManDown,

    I’m judging GirlWritesWhat by her words, not anyone else’s. And what I’ve read from her is vile.

  23. says

    Hey Mr Down did you miss the part where I said I’d never heard of her until I saw that video? I had no clue that she was a Men’s Rights type, but I saw and heard her make an incredibly obnoxious and baseless accusation against the blog network I belong to, with great confidence and rage – it was right after that that she concluded with “you fucking cowards.”

    It was the opposite of predisposition.

  24. says

    I am continuously amazed at how some feminists can blind themselves to everything about MRAs except that which confirms the simplistic caricature of them in which said feminists are so emotionally invested.

    And the Southern Poverty Law Center is run by feminists, right?

    Men’s Rights Movement Spreads False Claims about Women

    Misogynists in the men’s and fathers’ rights movements have developed a set of claims about women to support their depictions of them as violent liars and manipulators of men. Some suggest that women attack men, even sexually, just as much as men attack women. Others claim that vast numbers of reported rapes of women, as much as half or even more, are fabrications designed to destroy men they don’t like or to gain the upper hand in contested custody cases. What follows is a brief look at some of these claims and what the best science really shows.

    Misogyny: The Sites

    The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general. Although some of the sites make an attempt at civility and try to back their arguments with facts, they are almost all thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express…

    Alcuin

    Boycott American Women

    The Counter Feminist

    The False Rape Society

    In Mala Fide

    MarkyMark’s Thoughts

    MensActivism

    Reddit: Mens Rights

    RooshV

    SAVE Services

    The Spearhead

    A Voice for Men

    Do you get information about MRAs from any sites that are NOT officially listed as hate sites? If so, please do let us know. And the SPLC as well.

  25. smhll says

    1) If I can find why the victim was at fault, it won’t happen to me.

    I believe this is the thesis of Rabbi Kushner’s (?) book titled When Bad Things Happen To Good People. The book is at least 40 years old, so there may be research that has followed on the concept.

  26. dougal445 says

    i’ve only seen a few GWW vids, and i’m unable to pursue the one mentioned here until after the weekend, but from what I’ve seen her general gyst is as follows:
    Male and female ‘roles’ are all tied up with personal ‘agency’ which have evolved due to survival /reproductive pressures. In this day where these pressures do not actually apply beyond our social construct. For true female equaliy we need to change these ‘agency roles’, but the problem with the radical femist line is that it actually plays to / amplifies these ‘agency roles’. GWW seemed to make a well informed and reasonable arguement,
    i’ve yet to see this video tho.

  27. says

    the problem with the radical femist line is that it actually plays to / amplifies these ‘agency roles’.

    Which would be an interesting criticism, if the following two conditions were met:

    1. She were addressing actual radical feminists (the term has a meaning and a definition)

    and

    2. These were radical feminists who actually did “play to/amplify these ‘agency roles.'”

    I see no evidence that either of these conditions are met when she’s addressing FT bloggers.

  28. says

    EEB @ #12, that’s a fascinating idea worth exploring, I think.

    Leni @ #19… is GirlWritesWhat a believer? I was under the impression that she was an atheist.

    ManUpManDown at #22… thank you for that link. It was an interesting read, to say the least. It is nice to know that very few of you think violence is actually okay. Also… yeah, women can be abusive, too. Have you seen anyone here deny that men can be abused? Men most certainly can be abused… and raped. No one is arguing against that.

    Do you want to know why I personally have trouble with people (men especially) who call themselves “Men’s Rights Activists”?

    Because the whole concept is fucking stupid. What rights are you losing? You’re men. Throughout human history, it has largely (and mainly) been men giving out those rights. When you are part of the more socially and politically powerful gender, why the fuck would you “fight” for rights you will never be in danger of losing?

    The whole idea sounds exactly like those Christians who claim to persecuted. The most powerful religion in the world being persecuted?

    Yeah.

    No.

    Same goes for this whole “Men’s Rights Activist” thing. And it’s even worse if you’re white. The only thing needed to complete the trifecta at that point is Christian. Have you considered being a White Christian Men’s Rights Activist?

    I doubt you have, because I think you’re a hell of a lot more intelligent than that. But hopefully bringing up the concept of “White Christian Men’s Rights Activists” shows you why I think the whole idea of “Men’s Rights Activists” is so absurd. When you’re in the political/social majority, you don’t need to fight for your rights. You’re the only one who rights are guaranteed to stay safe and secure for as long as you remain the political/social majority… which seems like it’s gonna be for a very long time still.

    Are there women who hate men? Women who want to subjugate men? Women who feel they’re superior to men?

    Yes.

    But they’re as much Feminists as you are.

    And yes, I’m fully aware that some divorce courts tend to favor women regardless of the reasons for the divorce, and that men can get the short stick in custody battles. I’m fully aware that there are women who can be emotionally abusive to men. I’m fully aware that women can cheat on men, and instigate them, and all of that.

    And guess what?

    I’m not the only one here who gets that. In fact, I’d say that the vast majority of the Feminists and their allies here on FtB and over at Skepchicks will acknowledge those things as problems that need to be dealt with.

    And you want to know something else? As someone who allies himself with the Feminist movement, I fully and completely support any and all efforts to try and change this. Divorce courts should be more fair, favoring the person who is at fault (if anyone is at fault, and the reason for the divorce isn’t simply a clash of personality, in which case neither should be favored and both treated exactly the same), regardless of whether it’s the man or the woman.

    Child custody battles should also be more fair, because sometimes the man was a better father than the woman was a mother, and maybe the kids themselves should be allowed to decide, because what if they want their father and not their mother? And in cases like this, it should be the woman paying child support.

    And then, there are cases where it’s the woman who was a better mother, the children obviously love and prefer their mother, and so she should get the kids and the man should pay child support.

    But I honestly don’t think any of that is antithetical to Feminism, because Feminism is about equality, not subjugation. Feminism is egalitarian.

    And it is so because Feminism’s enemy, the Patriarchy, is as dangerous to men as it is to women.

    Husbands are stupid oafs who can’t do anything right. Big boys don’t cry. Men can’t be raped. Men can’t be abused by a woman. A manly man loses his virginity in middle school, has 6-pack abs, drinks beer, plays and watches sports, and shaves (bully to all the men who don’t fit this mold).

    These are stereotypes, and while they may not sound as bad as some of the ones given to women, they carry with them their own weight and baggage.

    You should read this article, ManUpManDown. It’d do you good.

    And stop worrying about “men’s rights”. Seriously. You’re not losing your rights as a man. In fact, take a really good look around reality. You’re rights as a man are quite safe and comfortable up there in their high tower of power and privilege.

    Men and men’s rights are safe. So what are you fighting for?

  29. 'Tis Himself says

    Here’s a quote from the reddit thread ManUpManDown linked to in #22

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but a good summary of what you’re saying is “Violence isn’t right but a slap here and there is better than the guy taking all of her nagging and exploding in such a way that he beats her within an inch of her life”.

    GirlWritesWhat response:

    That’s pretty much it. I also think it would be good for women to take boxing or karate or some other form of training, not only because it helps you be more confident in your ability to defend yourself against muggings and stuff like that, but that would demonstrate to women that getting hit isn’t going to break them into little pieces. Women aren’t made out of spun glass, and allowing them to believe they are does them no favors.

    A slap here and there is NOT alright, no matter who does it.

  30. GordonWillis says

    Well, ManUpManDown, I’ve just read the whole pitiful blog.

    To begin with, I think that this, from the post, is entirely consistent with my surmises.

    A man I know who has experience with men in abusive
    relationships would get his clients to answer a questionare. Things like, “after the violence, did you have sex?” “If so, how would you rate the sex?” 100% of men in reciprocally abusive relationships said “yes” to the first, and “scorching” to the second.

    He also posited that the much-quoted cycle of violence–the build-up, the explosion, the honeymoon period–correlates with foreplay, orgasm and post-coital bliss.

    These are men in abusive relationships.

    Erin Pizzey called it “consensual violence”, and said in the main, that was the type she’d see at her shelter. It is also the type that results in the most severe injuries in women, surprise surprise, likely because our “never EVER hit a woman” mentality has those men waiting until they completely lose control of their emotions before giving their women what they’re demanding.

    So do the women ask for it, and the poor men have to struggle with themselves, which of course is just too hard? What is meant by “demanding”? I mean, how do they “ask for it”?

    She also says that

    The DV in Sleeping with the Enemy is the most rare form out there, half as common as “matriarchal terrorism”, and injuries are typically less severe. It’s seriously foolish to treat all cases like the most rare type, and refuse to address women’s instigation and participation in violence.

    Your “reasonable” commenters seem to accept all this, pious assertions that violence is always wrong notwithstanding. GWW, despite her disclaimers, is giving support to those who wish to justify their own violence by asserting the role of victims in encouraging violence against them. There’s a major disconnect in thinking.

  31. Leni says

    @ Nate, I don’t know if she is a believer or not. I didn’t mean to imply that we were debating creationism with the Gish comment. I just mean that her debate style isn’t very, um, nimble and used Gish as a counterpoint.

  32. says

    but the problem with the radical femist line is that it actually plays to / amplifies these ‘agency roles’.

    Huh?

    Does she (or do you – maybe you paraphrased wrong) think difference feminism is radical feminism?

    It isn’t.

    If all she’s saying is that difference feminism sucks, I agree with her. That still doesn’t make her baseless assertions about FTB ok.

  33. dougal445 says

    sallystrange@31
    well alright, we can quuble over what we mean by ‘radical feminism’ but apart from that, suggest you watch some more of her videos then.

  34. Beatrice says

    Apart from that (where we pretend you made a tiny little insignificant mistake instead of showing that you pretty much have no idea what feminism is), did you notice where GWW finds violence a perfectly acceptable part of a relationship?
    I would love to see how you can defend that.

  35. S Mukherjee says

    She’s doing this so that she’ll look ‘cool’ to the boys, who maybe will let her play in their treehouse. But what she doesn’t realise is that sooner or later they will kick her out of their treehouse anyway.

  36. GordonWillis says

    EEB. Thanks ever so much for that. There was a whole sick genre of literary filth that extolled the virtues of submission on the best Christian principles. Christians nowadays make much of their concern for human rights and the dignity of life, but the story hasn’t really changed, and at any point the tide might turn and they’ll be claiming once again that slavery is a part of God’s natural order. “Natural” seems a big word in their theological armoury. I notice that though slavery has improved, the rights and dignity of women are still heavily under attack, and this miserable blog under discussion is just another sorry example.

    I think that there are a lot of women who for whatever reason have internalized misogyny to such an extent that they don’t want equality. They don’t want feminists fighting for their rights. They don’t want the laws to change. They are clinging to the patriarchy, sobbing that they don’t want freedom, begging not to be sent away, begging to be allowed to keep serving. And I don’t see a solution, really, because you can change the laws all you want and there will still be women who want to live as though nothing has changed. I don’t understand it. It really upsets me.

    But mostly, at this point, I feel deep pity rather than anger.

    They’ve bought the package, it’s what they know, it explains the world. Oppression is deeply insidious. And as to changing it, part of the problem is the mess of sentimental opinion that claims “they say they want it that way, they’re happy, we have no right to make changes, it would be authoritarian blah blah”, regardless of how it enslaves women who actually want to escape, and regardless of any obligation to society to seek general improvement. Our whole multicultural/postmodernist mentality is causing Western society to disintegrate into self-interested factions. And you’re right: it is to be pitied. It’s sad, sick and sorry. It’s also bloody stupid.

  37. karmakin says

    What you’re actually talking about there is the Just World Fallacy. It’s an absurdly common thing, unfortunately, and it’s a big explanation for how both hard theistic religion and Libertarianism (surprise, surprise) are able to bypass reality.

    I think Ophelia really hits it on the head there…I do think that people like GWW think that we’re all a bunch of difference feminists, or non-egalitarian feminists, and as they consider themselves egalitarians, they then oppose feminists and feminism, or at least the kind around here, root and branch. That’s my experience coming from other forms, at least.

    I don’t think that’s accurate or true, of course, but I do think that we could do a better job of communicating this.

  38. says

    karmakin, a better job how? I don’t bear the slightest resemblance to a difference feminist. I don’t drivel about women being more warm and empathetic than men, I don’t say women prefer to co-operate rather than argue, I don’t say women have fluffy pink brains so they can’t do science or logic.

    It would take real stupidity to mistake me for a difference feminist, or at least such total cluelessness that awareness of difference feminism would seem to be ruled out.

  39. says

    well alright, we can quuble over what we mean by ‘radical feminism’ but apart from that, suggest you watch some more of her videos then.

    No fucking thank you. She comes recommended by someone who’s too stupid to know what feminism is, and has been shown to be an apologist for violence within intimate relationships.

    This is NOT a strong case for me spending ANY time listening to her.

  40. Beatrice says

    I don’t think that’s accurate or true, of course, but I do think that we could do a better job of communicating this.

    I don’t see how we are not communicating that adequately. Anyone arguing in good faith needs to take one look at what feminists are talking about and it will be obvious that we are in fact not against men or wanting a non-egalitarian society with us on top.

    How many times do the words “feminism, the radical notion that women are people” need to be repeated until the message sticks?

  41. GordonWillis says

    I think we communicate pretty well. They just don’t like the message. The first time I became aware of the existence of MRAs was in some discussion in which I made most of NateHevens points, and was very surprised that they were not acceptable. The agenda was simply to put women in the wrong. I had not met this before. But of course, if you want to keep someone down, you can always play the “what-about-me” card, and that — maintaining control — seems to me to be the point of the exercise.

  42. Leni says

    I don’t think that’s accurate or true, of course, but I do think that we could do a better job of communicating this.

    I suppose there’s always room for improvement, but these people are having conversations with the feminists in their heads. I seriously doubt that hand-wringing over this, in this case, would be productive. They simply aren’t listening. They could read the blogs here themselves (ugh although I hope they don’t) and figure it out with the smallest bit of effort. They don’t bother though, because that isn’t the conversation they want to have. And of course it’s easier to claim victory over the feminists that exist in their imaginations.

  43. karmakin says

    Actually Ophelia, I think you do a wonderful job, as do most others most of the time. But I do see from time to time some things that I think really do send the wrong message. Just as an example, I’d retire the use of the term “mansplaining”, being it a directly gendered term, as well as behavior that’s done not only by both genders, but in topics relating to women’s rights or feminism on a more tangental basis (For example, I think that Fincke’s whole thing with comment policies ended up being a whole lot of it. Probably not the BEST example but it’s what comes to mind as being relevant).

    But use of a term like that really would imply in someone who is on the fence that we’re much less egalitarian than we actually are. At least that’s my experience.

  44. ManUpManDown says

    Sorry, not sure what happened with the formatting and absence of quotes. Here’s an amended version:

    Hello Sally and Ophelia,

    “I note you have not addressed the SLPC’s classification of the blog you posted, MensRights Reddit, as a misogynist hate sire. Does this not bother you?”

    No, it does not bother me. To the extent the SPLC has “listed” the sub-reddit as a “hate site,” in the same way we normally think of such formal “listings”—which it is not obvious it has—it bothers me not. As a liberal, I used to have great respect for the SPLC; until I realized that, far from just narrowing their gaze to true “hate groups,” they simply target groups/sites for disagreeing with the standard left-wing narrative of history and social reality (again, I say this as a center-left democrat).

    Don’t take my word for it (and I’m sure you won’t): just look at some of the very sites Ophelia so proudly listed (as if to say “whatdoya think about them apples, eh – score!). Shall we?

    Certainly, some things quoted in the list are fairly deemed misogynistic. But they are the exception. That is, even if we take the SPLC’s squibs at face value, most of the sites they list do not appear misogynistic, unless we define the term broadly as feminists are apt to do.

    Take this entry:

    “MensActivism

    This website tracks news and information about men’s issues from around the world, with a focus on activism — and outrage. Par for the course are lurid headlines like this one: “Pakistani wife kills, cooks husband for lusting over daughter.” The site also runs stories like the one it headlined “Australia: Girl, 13, charged after taxi knife attack” that involve no abuse accusations, but are merely meant to undermine what the site claims is “the myth that women are less violent than men.”

    Par for the course are links to REAL news stories about men being injured by women. In fact, the Pakistan story was linked at the site because, in the original article, the author seemed to dismiss the wife’s acts based on social custom, which would have been highly unlikely were it the man who killed the woman—THOSE “customs” are “barbaric.”

    http://www.examiner.com/article/zainab-bibi-pakistani-wife-kills-cooks-husband-for-lusting-over-daughter

    Ironically, the very thing SPLC faults the site for actually does a great job of justifying the site’s very existence. So, help me out here; I am not sure I understand what is supposed to be misogynistic about the references to these new stories. Or is it that “outrage” is involved? Are men allowed to be outraged over what they (including myself) believe is society’s general dismissal of violence by women toward men? Help me see the light. I mean, does the SPLC claim the news stories were false, or that the editors at MensActivism included a comment along the lines of “kill all bitches and let’s grab some beers” or some such? No.

    Let’s move on to the sub-reddit, then:

    “Reddit: Mens Rights
    A “subreddit” of the user-generated news site Reddit, this forum describes itself as a “place for people who feel that men are currently being disadvantaged by society.” While it presents itself as a home for men seeking equality, it is notable for the anger it shows toward any program designed to help women. It also trafficks in various conspiracy theories. “Kloo2yoo,” identified as a site moderator, writes that there is “undeniable proof” of an international feminist conspiracy involving the United Nations, the Obama Administration and others, aimed at demonizing men.”

    Let me ask you something. Do you think that if I surfed feminist-friendly sites long enough I would find something cooky? Something? By somebody?

    And I love the use of language here: “it is notable for the anger it shows toward any program designed to help women.” “Notable?” What do they mean by that? Notable to who? Feminists? The SPLC? Do they mean those comments that simply stand out for their sheer provocativeness, and are thus nuggets for folks like you to confirm what you already want to believe about a group that is far more diverse and complex than you wish to realize? Like some MRAs jump on fringe feminist comments as evidence of how screwed up ALL of feminism is (picking up on the irony yet?) If so, show me a thread on under-water basket weaving and I’ll show you a “hate site” with “notable” material.

    I, unlike you presumably, frequent the sub-reddit. I see some misogyny. But a vast majority of what I see are progressive men who seek genuine equality with women, and reject feminism because the actions of feminists do not parallel their stated intent. In this sense, us equalist MRAs see ourselves as MORE progressive than feminists. Distinctions; you know, like the difference between “difference feminists” and other types (irony alert again).

    Tell me; if these were feminists sites expressing “outrage” over real victimization of women or contained an occasional comment insulting toward men, would you consider them to be categorically “hate sites,” to be “listed by SPLC?” That’s what I thought; and THAT is one reason why the MRM is growing. Indeed, Ophelia, your comparison to white-supremacy sites makes this point beautifully for me so I need go no further.

    And the other link is to a SPLC page simply refuting statistical factual assertions by MR groups; what in the hell is that supposed to prove? Do you not see that by linking to crap like this you actually discredit the very source you rely on?

  45. says

    Proudly? List? White-supremacy sites? What are you talking about? You keep using my name but you must mean someone else, or maybe several other people.

    And less of the condescension, please. I’m off now so I think I’ll put you in moderation until I get back, because I don’t want more snippiness while I’m not around.

  46. markbrown says

    @ManUpManDown

    MensActivism is a site that seeks to promote the fallacies that men suffer violence at the hands of women as much as the reverse, and that misandry is as prevalent as misogyny. As the SPLC points out, these claims are untrue, though various MRAs will try to misrepresent the evidence to try to prove otherwise.

    The purpose of the site is clearly to incite anger at women/feminists through misrepresenting data. The SPLC very rightly labels it a hate-site.

    As for where you claim the SPLC is wrong where it refutes the statistical claims made by the MRM… please feel free to share the evidence that backs up your claims.

    Also, I too would love to see your response to what NateHevens wrote.

  47. Smhll says

    @57

    Yes. MRAs like to quote the stats that women hit men much more than we would expect, but they curiously always elides the stats on who kills whom.

  48. says

    This may be a little off-topic, but on the subject of why there are anti-feminist/MRA women:

    I know that I’m supposed to loudly denounce Andrea Dworkin, go *booo* *hisss* whenever her name comes up, and loudly declare “SHE DOESN’T REPRESENT US!” if I wanna be a good third-wave feminist. But, whatever, I’m gonna step out on this limb…

    Dworkin’s book Right-Wing Women explains anti-feminist women better than any book I’ve read (Susan Faludi’s Backlash comes close). Are there things in the book I disagree with? Yes, of course; feminism isn’t a religion and we don’t have infalible popes or inerrant holy books. But Right-Wing Women is absolutely brilliant, probably my favorite book of hers. If I started quoting favorite parts, I’d never stop, so I suggest people just read the whole thing. At the very least, even if you’re put off by some of her strong rhetoric, it’ll make you think.

    It was written in the early 80’s (right after abortion was legalized, but before marital rape was criminalized), so yeah, it’s a little dated. However, unfortunately, it’s still quite relevent, and speaking as a someone who grew up in a patriarchal religious family (with a very right-wing mother, who has happily become much more liberal and feminist over time), I think she does a fabulous job of explaining the reasons why some women defend patriarchy so strongly.

  49. julian says

    Men’s Eights Activism is just entitled bigots hoping to stay entitled. Feminism has its issues (many. Trans misogyny, tolerance of “cultural practices”, devaluation of “stay at home” type women) but it has and continues to be largely advanced and pushed by people fighting against an unjust system. That’s the difference between the two.

    And, hell, people have walked away from feminism because of those issues. Womanism was born (from what I understand) of black feminist being tired of their concerns as black women dismissed.

  50. Me says

    This OP and the thread is a group of people of the feminist religion making false claims against GWW relating to DV.

  51. says

    I remember that at primary school, the bullies always had a bunch of younger hangers on, who would join in attacks in exchange for protection. With hindsight, I suspect they were kids who didn’t feel safe any other way.

    Just sayin’.

  52. callistacat says

    We need a Men’s Rights Movement as much as we need an Heterosexual Rights Movement.

    I mean, think about it, you *never* hear about heterosexual rights, do you? What about us??
    It’s always gay rights, lesbian rights, trans rights. If we don’t have an Heterosexual Rights Movement then YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN EQUALITYYYYYYY!!!!

    @Me Those were direct quotes. And feminism isn’t a religion.

  53. GordonWillis says

    I’m so sick of this stupid selfishness. There is nothing wrong with standing up against injustice of every kind, including examples of injustices against men. That’s what rational people do. What I really can’t stand is the fact that there are those who seem to believe that they (men) won’t get justice unless they create a movement to oppose feminism. What the hell is the point of that? The point can only be that they fear that granting equal rights to women in every aspect of life will deprive them. And they are right: it will deprive them of authority over women. They’ll have to learn how to live as fellow human beings rather than as “men” with some particularly special identity. Just imagine how it could be to live in a fully liberated world, when “men” and “women” and “gays” and “lesbians” and “transgender” people are just varieties of human.

  54. says

    And they are right: it will deprive them of authority over women.

    And yet why would they want it? It’s not actually that great, being A Superior By Birth. It’s irksome, and kind of shameful.

  55. GordonWillis says

    And yet why would they want it? It’s not actually that great, being A Superior By Birth. It’s irksome, and kind of shameful.

    Dunno. Maybe it’s a habit. There’s definitely “I want so I can have” somewhere in the mix.

  56. 'Tis Himself says

    It’s not actually that great, being A Superior By Birth. It’s irksome, and kind of shameful.

    There are some people who need to know they’re not at the bottom of the heap. “I may be poor and downtrodden and stuck in a meaningless job but at least I ain’t a woman!”

  57. GordonWillis says

    Perhaps lacking authority over women means that women will have authority over men, which is too shameful to contemplate, and there will be more and more laws making it hard for men to be their “natural selves”. Or something. Maybe they just don’t “get” what equality means.

  58. GordonWillis says

    Oh well, alright. Think of all the things a poor downtrodden stuck-in-a-meaningless-job person could be very happy not to be, for example:

    a) a form of plasmodium
    b) Prince Philip
    c) a vacuum cleaner
    d) a man

    The choice is endless.

  59. says

    Perhaps lacking authority over women means that women will have authority over men, which is too shameful to contemplate, and there will be more and more laws making it hard for men to be their “natural selves”. Or something. Maybe they just don’t “get” what equality means.

    I, for one, welcome our Feminist overlords.

    On a serious note, I’ve always wondered what a truly matriarchal society would look like. Are there any analogues in history to speak of?

    At all?

  60. GordonWillis says

    No, no archies. I am a dis-archy-ist. No matri, no patri, no hier, no oli, not even a poly. I would like to help make democracy work

  61. markbrown says

    @realmramarmoset

    My apologies, you are correct. The SPLC article does not explicitly call MensActivism a hate-site. It merely lists it among a group of “woman-hating sites” that are “thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express”. My mistake.

  62. dirigible says

    “So, help me out here; I am not sure I understand what is supposed to be misogynistic about the references to these new stories.”

    The fact that statistically speaking violence against women is more harmful but the references are trying to foreground harm done by women.

    You are trying to treat outliers as the median.

    “But a vast majority of what I see are progressive men who seek genuine equality with women”

    I don’t see why my fellow mens feel they need a special movement dedicated to them giving up their privilege in order to achieve genuine equality with women. That’s feminism.

    But of course that’s not what MRAs are about.

    They are seeking to maintain or extend their privilege against the gains made by feminism, gains that also benefit men.

    That is not progressive, genuine, or equality in any way.

  63. says

    GWW, despite her disclaimers, is giving support to those who wish to justify their own violence by asserting the role of victims in encouraging violence against them.

    You know, to this day my mother tells the story how I made her beat me with a stick by putting my hands over my buttocks when she was angry with me because it made it look like I was beaten often.

    Me

    This OP and the thread is a group of people of the feminist religion making false claims against GWW relating to DV.

    So, tell us, how are we making false claims about her by actually quoting what she says?
    Oh, I know, evidence, us bullies…

    ++++
    Just for the record: TF really likes GWW and thinks that she explains it all.

  64. says

    There’s another reason that just occurred to me:
    These women think that the shit they get is not due to misogyny, but because those other women are so bad.
    GWW has this idea that women only have being pretty, and they’re never working until that fails and then they desperately try “to ellbow their way into men’s spaces” and that’s why women aren’t valued in the workspace.
    Or when Abbie Smith thinks that her stalker complaints weren’t taken serious because women like Rebecca dare to point out minor things.

  65. GordonWillis says

    @#53 ManUpManDown

    Are men allowed to be outraged over what they (including myself) believe is society’s general dismissal of violence by women toward men?

    Er, Ah! Well. You see, “society” (your word) “dismisses” women’s violence against men because men do, because men have this culture of being strong and dominating “weak” women and because women are brainless and overemotional and not responsible for their actions. This “society” which “discriminates against” men is the one which men have created for this reason — their “culture”, their will to power — and now that it has backfired on men thoughtful people are being battered by all these infantile complaints about how it’s just so not fair boo hoo.

    Feminism predicts that if you deny women full responsibility and independence this is the kind of thing that will happen (and which will in turn be used to promote and excuse further repression). So if you want justice for men, join the feminists.

  66. GordonWillis says

    You know, to this day my mother tells the story how I made her beat me with a stick by putting my hands over my buttocks when she was angry with me because it made it look like I was beaten often.

    Bloody hell, Giliell. Maybe she’s (not) saying that when she saw your learnt reaction she couldn’t face the revelation that she had caused it, and had to punish you for that.

  67. says

    Gordon Willis

    Bloody hell, Giliell. Maybe she’s (not) saying that when she saw your learnt reaction she couldn’t face the revelation that she had caused it, and had to punish you for that.

    You’re very charitable with her ;)
    No, sadly the thing is that she pathologized me early as, although her favourite, also her most trublesome kid. I needed a good spanking every once in a while to behave. Was ist getting time again for me to be spanked?
    The worst thing isn’t what happened to my butt. It was never that hard or that regular, but what happened to my head. Until very recently I accepted her story. I accepted this whole version of me that needed to be controlled, checked, couldn’t be trusted, was troublesome.
    From where I stand now I can definetly understand the woman who calls it “conditioning”. I would not have defended the corporal punishment, but I would have agreed with her ideas about me.

  68. GordonWillis says

    @ Giliell.

    She set it up herself. Unfortunately I have met that sort of thing once too often, and I have seen the terrible things it does to forming minds. I sincerely hope that where you stand now is a happy and free place to be.

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