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Mar 19 2012

#mencallmethings: “There is just no way you’re having sex”

Tweeted by @sbstl_mo in response to a tweet I made yesterday about the birth control debate:

“@GretaChristina ain’t no freakin way you need to take birth control. There is just no way you’re having sex.”

#mencallmethings

Because when I’m commenting about a question of public policy related to health care, my sexual attractiveness or lack thereof is what renders my ideas relevant or irrelevant.

And, of course, the fact that @sbstl_mo doesn’t find me sexually attractive means nobody else does or ever will.

Oh, and since the question will probably come up: Here’s the tweet this was responding to, which was something I re-tweeted (although for some reason, Twitter isn’t showing who I re-tweeted it from, and now I can’t remember):

“ATTENTION MORONS: YOU are NOT being asked to pay for my birth control … MY INSURANCE COMPANY who I pay TO INSURE ME is being TOLD to do it”

57 comments

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  1. 1
    jamessweet

    Um, have a look at the rest of his Twitter feed. Woah…

  2. 2
    jamessweet

    That previous link NSFW, by the way. Actually, I hope nobody goes through the server logs here at my work… I guess I’m naive to think I can click on a random twitter feed and not have porn appear in my browser..

  3. 3
    Flewellyn

    But of course, there’s no evidence that misogyny is used as a weapon against women to dismiss their ideas. None at all, and we should go out of our way to assume other explanations even when said evidence is staring us in the face.

  4. 4
    Emil Karlsson

    In a situation such as this, how does one separate the following two lines of thought?

    1. Man X tells me something obnoxious. I conclude that the person must have said it to me because he is a misogynist.
    2. Man X tells me something obnoxious. I conclude that the man is a jerk and it may not be directly related to my gender, so I cannot conclude that he is a misogynist.

    What features of the comment decides which line of thought to take? That is, how does one conclude “ah, that must be misogyny!” when a man tells a women something obnoxious? Maybe the man is obnoxious to both men and women? Maybe his obnoxiousness has nothing to do with the gender of the person he is being obnoxious to? How do we know?

    If you think it just has to be misogyny, then should a man directly conclude that it must be misandry when a female tells him something obnoxious? If a women had told me the same thing (let’s replace birth control pills with condoms), I would not have concluded “that must be misandry!”, but rather “Yeah, sadly that’s true :(“.

    How do we separate correlation from causation? I am not trying to belittle what the idiotic man told Greta, I just honestly want to know. I freely confess to being quite ignorant on the topic.

  5. 5
    Alyson Miers

    @Emil Karlsson, there is obnoxious, and then there is specifically gendered obnoxious. Telling a woman that her opinion is irrelevant because someone finds her unattractive is a specifically gendered insult. Ergo, misogynist.

  6. 6
    Melody

    Methinks we should separate the idea of there being sexist persons and there being sexist actions. Lets say a person calls some a woman ugly, and therefore undeserving of X. Judging a woman’s worth by her physical attraction, for instance, is a sexist action, even if the person who said it does not identify as a sexist.

    As a human being, I say really stupid things all the time. Sometimes I say things with sexist undertones without even thinking about it, without any ill intent. But when I think about, I realize I was acting on unconscious sexist assumptions. I don’t think there groups of people who are non-sexist/not-racist/ not-ablist, I think we all have the capacity to participate in actions that are sexist/racist/able-ist etc. Although some folks seem to really like participating in sexist actions.

  7. 7
    jamessweet

    @Emil: I’m not sure it really matters. Regardless of whether this person is an “equal opportunity offender” (and actually, looking at his Twitter feed, it’s a good guess he is not), any time you make a joke that reinforces misogynist attitudes, it, well, reinforces misogynist attitudes. Doesn’t really matter if you intended it that way or not.

    I ended up apologizing on Facebook not too long ago for making a joke that, while I did not at all intend for it to have racist implications, unfortunately it was unavoidable that it would be taken to be reinforcing negative stereotypes about Spanish-speaking immigrants. I absolutely did not mean it that way whatsoever, but after I said it I started to realize that probably other people would take it that way, and this was soon confirmed by other comments (both approving and disapproving of my joke).

    So I apologized. It didn’t actually really matter that I was just trying to make a pun — in the present social climate, the joke I had made both a) could be perceived as hurtful to Spanish speakers, and b) reinforced negative stereotypes about Spanish-speaking immigrants in those already inclined to those stereotypes. Regardless of my intentions, the effect was undeniably racist, and once I realize it, there was nothing to do but accept it and apologize.

    I think it’s much the same here: It’s irrelevant whether there was misogynist intent behind Scooter’s rather rude (not too mention unfunny) remark — because however he meant it, it’s still insulting to women in general (not to mention Greta in particular!), and has the effect of perpetuating misogynistic attitudes.

  8. 8
    leni

    What features of the comment decides which line of thought to take?

    The part where this guy thinks calling Greta ugly is a relevant response to her tweet.

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a comment is racist or misogynist as opposed to garden-variety jerkiness. Usually it’s really not. In this case, it’s not.

    I’d advise you to just use your common sense. This comment, in all it’s delightful forms, is intended to belittle the target for not being sexually attractive to men. What do you suppose that implies?

  9. 9
    Greta Christina

    Emil Karlsson @ #4: What Alyson Miers said @ #5. The issue isn’t that a man said something obnoxious to a woman. The issue is the specific content of what was said — belittling the ideas of a woman based on her sexual attractiveness. That is sexist.

    I think you may be making the mistake of thinking that “sexism” = “something a sexist person says or does.” By that logic — which is all too common — all we have to do is identify the sexist people. And if someone doesn’t fall into that category of “sexist person,” we don’t have to concern ourselves with whether their words or actions are sexist.

    But it’s not that simple. All of us, intentionally or not, have internalized sexist ideas and behaviors. Some of us are working to get rid of them; some of us are actively embracing them; some of us aren’t paying much attention to the question. But belittling a woman’s ideas based on her sexual attractiveness is sexist no matter who does it, and it’s still worth pointing out when it happens.

    BTW, Natalie Reed has a good post on this, Hipster Misogyny, that goes into this idea in more depth. Check it out.

  10. 10
    jamessweet

    And my story — I’d like to think, at least! — is a good example of what melodydiaz is talking about in the comment just previous.

    We should not recoil in horror from the idea that we might say or do misogynist/racist/homophobic/etc. things from time to time. It does not make you a bad person (if it did, there really wouldn’t be any good people in the world at all). The test is what you do with it: Do you acknowledge your mistakes and try to do better next time? Or do you double-down and say it’s everyone’s fault but your own, or deny that these prejudices even exist, or try to justify them somehow?

  11. 11
    ambassadorfromverdammt

    Statements can fall into multiple categories. Sexism and douchebaggery are not mutually exclusive. You can add other categories as appropriate. For example, if someone said “You’re so ugly even a [n-word] wouldn’t fuck you”, you can add racist to the description.

    Whether a statement is sexist, racist, general assholery or some combination is not dependent on who the statement was made to.

  12. 12
    Emil Karlsson

    Alright, I think I get it now. It’s the specific content that matters.

  13. 13
    richardelguru

    It’s probably just projection on #mencallmethings part, poor thing.

  14. 14
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Alright, I think I get it now. It’s the specific content that matters.

    Seems reasonable enough when you think about it, doesn’t it?

  15. 15
    eric

    The issue is the specific content of what was said — belittling the ideas of a woman based on her sexual attractiveness. That is sexist.

    Wellllll, technically it wouldn’t be sexist if the person belittled men’s opinions based on their sexual attractiveness (to women) too. But the whole point here is, in our culture the latter is incredibly rare, while belittling a woman’s opinions based on their looks is fairly common. This type of insult does not have to be one-sided in principle, but in real life it overwhelmingly is (sexist towards women). For a man, you’d have to be 800 pounds and not have showered for a week before someone’s going to attack your opinion based on your looks. For a woman, any tiny fault they can see or imagine, if they can’t see one is used by misogynists to dismiss their opinion.

  16. 16
    Gregory in Seattle

    “There is just no way you’re having sex.”

    Being a gay, middle aged, balding bear of a man, I get that a lot from the disco bunnies and gym rats. I just pull out my appointment calendar for the week and say, “Thank goodness for chasers.”

  17. 17
    Nathair

    “Being a gay, middle aged, balding bear of a man, I get that a lot”

    So much for it automatically being misogyny.

  18. 18
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Wellllll, technically it wouldn’t be sexist if the person belittled men’s opinions based on their sexual attractiveness (to women) too.

    Yes it would be, because these actions don’t occur in a vacuum.

  19. 19
    LykeX

    So, why did this guy comment? Does he need the pill? By his own standard, if you don’t need it, you don’t get to comment on it, right?

  20. 20
    leni

    Greta Christin @ #9:

    But belittling a woman’s ideas based on her sexual attractiveness is sexist no matter who does it, and it’s still worth pointing out when it happens.

    What’s so infuriating about so many of these remarks is that they don’t even address the ideas enough to be belittle them. It’s almost as if they don’t even hear the idea.

    This may be a meaningless distinction, but I couldn’t help thinking that so many of these comments aren’t in the variety of “you’re wrong because you’re ugly” or even “your statement was stupid because you’re ugly.” (Although in this case the latter was probably closer to the bc comment.)

    They’re more like “I didn’t even hear what you said because I was too busy thinking about how I could insult you.” It’s almost as if you didn’t say anything at all. Maybe I’m confusing the effect of those remarks with the cause or something, but it still seems like the short circuit occurs before the idea is even considered for belittling. And even if they actually would actually agree with what you said had they bothered to pay attention.

  21. 21
    Greta Christina

    “Being a gay, middle aged, balding bear of a man, I get that a lot”

    So much for it automatically being misogyny.

    Nathair @ #17: Wrong. There is a difference between being dismissed on the basis of your attractiveness in a nightclub, sex club, gay bar, or some other place where people are specifically going to find sexual partners… and being dismissed on the basis of your attractiveness in a conversation about public policy.

    It’s still messed up, don’t get me wrong. I could talk all day about rigid standards of attractiveness in the culture in general and in the gay male community in particular. But while the former is often influenced by sexist attitudes, it happens to pretty much anyone of any gender seeking sexual partners. The latter happens overwhelmingly to women.

  22. 22
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    And why should access to birth control be predicated on whether one is having sex?

  23. 23
    Jadehawk

    1. Man X tells me something obnoxious. I conclude that the person must have said it to me because he is a misogynist.
    2. Man X tells me something obnoxious. I conclude that the man is a jerk and it may not be directly related to my gender, so I cannot conclude that he is a misogynist.

    false dichotomy; since he’s using a misogynist trope, he can be both misogynist and a general jerk

    and in any case, his twitterfeed linked at #1 confirms beyond a shadow of doubt that the guy is misogynist slime.

  24. 24
    Jadehawk

    Maybe the man is obnoxious to both men and women?

    if he uses misogynist (including homophobic) tropes to do so, he’d still be a misogynist. d’uh.

    If you think it just has to be misogyny, then should a man directly conclude that it must be misandry when a female tells him something obnoxious?

    if she used “misandrist” tropes, then maybe. except there aren’t any, since most insults aimed at men either come from other bigoted tropes such as racism, or are misogynist tropes.

    I would not have concluded “that must be misandry!”

    that’s because”hur hur, you’re not getting laid” is a patriarchal trope (in this case, the PHMT variety), and thus misogynist rather than misandrist.

    So much for it automatically being misogyny.

    again, for the slow of uptake. joking about how someone can’t get laid is a patriarchal trope

  25. 25
    Nathair

    Wrong.

    No, I don’t think so. The problem I have is with your interpretation that this sbstl_mo clown was “belittling the ideas of a woman based on her sexual attractiveness.” I don’t think that’s the case here at all. This doofus wasn’t attempting to use your appearance to disqualify your opinion. If you’d been talking about seat belt legislation or energy policies then I would have no argument with you, the jump to opinions on sexual attractiveness would be pretty damning. But you were (albeit a little indirectly) talking about having sex and, exactly as “gym rats” and “disco bunnies” do to Gregory in Seattle, this sniggering prat was trashing you in that context.

    Yes, sbstl_mo is, in addition to being a sophomoric asshole, clearly a misogynist of the first water (as is so often the case) but we know that by checking out his twitter history, not just from that one tweet. Emil Karlsson was right to ask “How do we know” because we actually did not.

  26. 26
    Stephanie Zvan

    Actually, Nathair, if you’d really prefer to get wholly technical instead of dealing with the fact that this happens frequently enough to make it the most likely interpretation, particularly in light of the rest of the public statements by this particular asshole (and why are you doing that?), Greta was not talking about having sex. She was talking about someone else having sex. It was a retweet.

    Hopefully you can now focus on the issue at hand instead of feeling the need to act like a private defense attorney (and why are you doing that?).

  27. 27
    Greta Christina

    Nathair @ #25: ?????

    If I were commenting on seat belt legislation or energy policies, my physical appearance wouldn’t be relevant… but because I’m commenting on birth control, somehow it is? When I point out an error in a widespread understanding of the recent birth control legislation, “You’re too ugly to even be having sex, so what do you care about birth control” is in some way a relevant response, and is not an any way intended to dismiss my ideas based on my appearance? Women can talk about public issues having nothing to do with sexuality or reproduction and expect our ideas to be evaluated on their own merits… but when we comment on public issues that do have something to do with sexuality or reproduction, we’re talking about sex, so we should expect the conversation to be hijacked by people talking about whether or not we’re attractive, and shouldn’t see it as sexist?

    I am facepalming so hard, my forehead is bleeding.

  28. 28
    SallyStrange

    Seriously Nathair, since your own anecdote illustrated how people who are not conventionally attractive get to fuck a lot too, it’s rather baffling how you went from that to apparently saying that there just might be something to this idea that ugly women don’t fuck and therefore don’t need birth control and therefore shouldn’t be commenting on public policy relating to birth control.

  29. 29
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Yes, sbstl_mo is, in addition to being a sophomoric asshole, clearly a misogynist of the first water (as is so often the case) but we know that by checking out his twitter history, not just from that one tweet. Emil Karlsson was right to ask “How do we know” because we actually did not.

    “How do we KNOW there’s a fire just because there’s people screaming and smoke pouring from the windows? Maybe there’s just a rock star about to take the stage at a cigar enthusiast convention!”

  30. 30
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I am facepalming so hard, my forehead is bleeding.

    That doesn’t sound very attractive…

    *hides*

  31. 31
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Greta – Actually, I get that a lot by being an outspoken advocate for equal marriage and now that I am running for the Washington legislature. It is rather depressing, how many people in my own community think that my not being a GQ model somehow disqualifies me from public service.

    I realize that our situations are not the same. My point was just to illustrate what I do to take the wind out of their smug, self-righteous sails.

  32. 32
    beardofpants

    Hmm. That didn’t get through.

    Anyways, the quote is from @piratewench

  33. 33
    splenda

    I have to join in with the people who don’t see why “you are not having sex” should be particularly misogynist. It is an inane, obnoxious, and childish thing to say, but probably not misogynist. (Although other things the person has said could be.) As an “insult”, it applies to both men and women, and there is nothing that targets her gender specifically. “There is no way you need prophylactics, there is no way you’re having sex” is an insult that could have been used by a woman against a man. Please do not conflate misogyny and douchebaggery.

  34. 34
    Anri

    Please do not conflate misogyny and douchebaggery.

    And when we discover douchebaggery being specifically directed at women, we call it…?

    This could have been an insult by a woman used against a man. In the same way, I suppose, the first man on the moon could have been a Russian. It might have happened that way, but it didn’t.
    I’d personally rather judge the case on reality than counterfactual hypotheticals. When your premise entails something that specifically didn’t happen, you’ve reduced your chances of reaching a correct conclusion, I suspect.

  35. 35
    Greta Christina

    Anri @ #34, re splenda @ #33: Actually, it’s not just that this particular piece of douchebaggery was aimed at a particular woman. It’s that this particular form of douchebaggery is one that gets routinely aimed at women, and fairly rarely at men. And it’s that this particular form of douchebaggery is part of a larger pattern in the culture — the pattern of women being valued solely or primarily for our worth as ornaments, sex objects, or babymakers.

    Not all insults aimed at women are automatically sexist. But this one is.

  36. 36
    Anri

    Anri @ #34, re splenda @ #33: Actually, it’s not just that this particular piece of douchebaggery was aimed at a particular woman. It’s that this particular form of douchebaggery is one that gets routinely aimed at women, and fairly rarely at men. And it’s that this particular form of douchebaggery is part of a larger pattern in the culture — the pattern of women being valued solely or primarily for our worth as ornaments, sex objects, or babymakers.

    Not all insults aimed at women are automatically sexist. But this one is.

    And, of course, also part of a pattern of this particular person. Trying to factually suss out another person’s motives or attitudes, especially at several removes (such as Twitter posts), is problematic. One could always argue (and we’ve seen MRA’s do it) that the poster doesn’t really dislike women, he just dislkies people in general and expresses it at women. Or that he thinks women are just fine and is simply trolling for LULZ. Or that he really likes women, and just expresses it inappropriately (or Non-PC’ly, or whatever other weasel words are in fashion this week).
    In the end, it doesn’t matter – degrading women is degrading women, regardless of the intent. Even if we were to accept the utterly moronic idea that every single woman-basher was really a nice guy with a coarse sense of humor, we should still expose and fight what they are saying. If for no other reason that it hurts women, and the joke teller’s enjoyment actually isn’t more important than that.

    (Oh, and Greta-Fan-Squee! Imma snag your book on Kindle just as soon as I get home!)

  37. 37
    splenda

    Thank you for your replies Anri and Greta Christina.

    As for Anri’s objections, I do not find them very convincing. If you claim that douchbaggery aimed at a woman is automatically misogyny, you have to conclude that douchebaggery aimed at a man is automatically misandry, douchebaggery aimed at a persone of different ethnicity is automatically racism, douchebaggery aimed at an obese person is automatically anti-fat sentiment and so on, thus robbing the terms for all meaning they have. Misogyny is not just a term describing bad behavior targeting a woman. That would be a meaningless definition. Misogyny is a negative attitudes and behavior that target women merely because they are women, and this includes a component of intent and bias that your definition completely fails to take into account.

    As for your objections, Greta, I will agree that negative attitudes towards female reproductive health as a cultural phenomenon _is_ misogynistic, and I am willing to concede that this could be an instance of such misogyny.

    However, be careful with your assumptions about cultural biases. The “there is no way you have sex” trope is one that is almost more often targeted against men. Our culture is infused with cultural assumptions about “lonely men” and anti-social men outside stable relationships. Men that do not conform to social norms of looks, behavior and relationship status are singled out more than women as potential johns, rapists and pedophiles. Our culture is teeming with assumptions about men that “don’t have sex”, to the point where there is a cultural pressure that forces men to conform to social and sexual group think, and such pressure is to a large extent created by women. This makes me doubt your analysis. You cannot arbitrarily define a trope to be a cultural phenomenon that targets women specifically, without presenting sufficient weighty evidence that that in fact is true. Remember basic Bayesian inference rules: The set of phenomena that are found to target most women is _not_ equal to the set of phenomena that mostly target women.

  38. 38
    splenda

    (Sorry about all the spelling and grammar mistakes above, I should have error-checked the text before submitting it)

  39. 39
    Anri

    As for Anri’s objections, I do not find them very convincing. If you claim that douchbaggery aimed at a woman is automatically misogyny, you have to conclude that douchebaggery aimed at a man is automatically misandry, douchebaggery aimed at a persone of different ethnicity is automatically racism, douchebaggery aimed at an obese person is automatically anti-fat sentiment and so on, thus robbing the terms for all meaning they have. Misogyny is not just a term describing bad behavior targeting a woman. That would be a meaningless definition. Misogyny is a negative attitudes and behavior that target women merely because they are women, and this includes a component of intent and bias that your definition completely fails to take into account.

    (emphasis added)

    But I don’t think anyone here is doing that. In fact, both my post and Greta’s specifically repudiated that.

    My point is that, it’s depressingly safe to assume that a man insulting a woman might very well be misogyny. All the moreso if the subject matter is sexual in nature. Not all insults – not even all sexually-based insults – from men to women are based in misogyny, but it seems clear by this person’s history that if he’s not misogynist, he does a damn good impression. It doesn’t look like we’re knee-jerking in this case.

    It’s also worth noting that neither the post title, not the OP itself actually said anything about misogyny. The hashtag is #mencallmethings – and that’s certainly what happened here.

    As I noted in an earlier post, I really don’t care if this guy is a misogynist or not. He’s willing to publically do things that sure as hell look misogynist, and that’s enough to condemn his posts, as I see it. I can’t with certainty determine his intent. I can only see his actions.

  40. 40
    Greta Christina

    If you claim that douchbaggery aimed at a woman is automatically misogyny, you have to conclude that douchebaggery aimed at a man is automatically misandry…

    Splenda @ #37: No, no, no, no, no. That is not what I am claiming. I am not claiming that douchbaggery aimed at a woman is automatically misogyny. I’m not even claiming that insults aimed at someone’s attractiveness (of the “there is no way you’re having sex” type) happen only or even mainly to women, and are automatically misogyny.

    I am talking, very specifically, about responding to someone’s ideas — political, intellectual, artistic, etc. — by targeting their personal appearance and sexual attractiveness or lack thereof. That is the trope I’m talking about. And yes, this happens much, much more commonly to women than it does to men. And yes, it is part and parcel of the larger pattern of women being valued solely or primarily for our worth as ornaments, sex objects, or babymakers.

    Are you really trying to argue that this isn’t the case — or that this particular example of douchbaggery wasn’t an example of it?

  41. 41
    splenda

    Not all insults – not even all sexually-based insults – from men to women are based in misogyny, but it seems clear by this person’s history that if he’s not misogynist, he does a damn good impression. It doesn’t look like we’re knee-jerking in this case.

    I agree fully. However, we have raised some general points here that I’d like to comment on:

    My point is that, it’s depressingly safe to assume that a man insulting a woman might very well be misogyny.

    I am not sure if I agree with this. This stance is teeming with a priori blanket assumptions about the cultural prevalence and distribution of misogyny. As a statement about certain subpopulations of men, you might be right. I have no confidence in this being correct generally for the population of all men.

    Splenda @ #37: No, no, no, no, no. That is not what I am claiming.

    I know that. My comments in the first part of the post were for Anri.

    Are you really trying to argue that this isn’t the case

    Yes. I am challenging your assumption that this specific trope is skewed towards women, or rather – I am challenging you to meet your burden of proof by pointing me in the direction of solid evidence of your claim.

  42. 42
    Greta Christina

    Yes. I am challenging your assumption that this specific trope is skewed towards women, or rather – I am challenging you to meet your burden of proof by pointing me in the direction of solid evidence of your claim.

    splenda @ #41: You want evidence?

    LOOK AROUND YOU.

    Spend a week in any online forum: not one on feminism or progressive politics or a related topic, just a general interest forum that appeals to the general public, something like USA Today. Make a note of every time someone — either a public figure such as Hillary Clinton or Ann Coulter, or a private citizen participating in the conversation — gets their ideas dismissed based on their personal appearance. Be sure to include times when their ideas are dismissed because they’re not attractive enough, and times when their ideas are dismissed because they’re too attractive (i.e., they’re bimbos, they slept their way to the top, etc.). And take note of how many times it happens to women versus men.

  43. 43
    splenda

    But, the “JUST LOOK AROUND YOU” method is problematic on so many levels: First of all, you are relying only on personal observation here, which opens your observations up to confirmation bias, skewed sampling and skewed interpretation. I am sure there are plenty of groups and sub-societies that are misogynistic. The problem is, there are plenty of groups that conform to any given standard of behavior and misbehavior, and you cannot automatically extrapolate from these the all of society. Any rational discussion about these matters have to be approached objectively, and that means that we will not settle this by looking at the comment section of beerandtitties.com. “Just look around you” is not an evidence for the existence of God, and it is not an argument for the prevalence of misogyny.

  44. 44
    Greta Christina

    Splenda @ #43: You want harder documentation? Here. Here. Here. Here.

    And that’s just after ten minutes of half-assed Googling in the middle of a busy day. You want more — do your own Googling. This is a well-documented phenomenon, and I have way more things to do right now than do your Googling for you.

  45. 45
    Anri

    I am not sure if I agree with this. This stance is teeming with a priori blanket assumptions about the cultural prevalence and distribution of misogyny. As a statement about certain subpopulations of men, you might be right. I have no confidence in this being correct generally for the population of all men.

    Well, in this thread, we’re dealing with the subpopulation of men who are willing to make sex-related insults towards women on world-wide public fora such as Twitter. ‘Cause, yanno, that’s what we’re talking about.

    Would you care to suggest what alternate motivation you would consider more probable for this behavior? I’m not trying to shift any burden here, but do you have any coherent suggestions for a more likely motivator than dislike of women in general?

  46. 46
    splenda

    Excuse me, but the person presenting an argument is the one who has the burden of proof. It is not up to me to Google the sources you used for your argument – me asking you to provide them is something that should not be a problem to you. Neither is googling something itself a valid path to finding knowledge. I could easily google “evidence for God” and find hundreds of thousands of “studies” that would verify it. I am not able to verify the veracity, documentability, statistical significance, breadth/depth and methodology of the information that you have cited, since you have linked me to secondary sources exclusively, which do little to cast light on what hard, raw data that underlies the cultural assumptions you are presenting.
    You can easily find texts that agree with you on Google, but I would be more interested in peer-reviewed, longitudinal studies with hard statistics that do not depend on a particular brand of lit-crit-theoretical assumptions from the outset.

    Pardon my skepticism. You have my full support when it comes to the end goal of securing the equality of males and females and transgenders in society. I am just a bit skeptical when it comes to some of the methods employed in branding cultural phenomena as misogyny.

    Thank you for your time, Greta.

  47. 47
    Greta Christina

    splenda @ #46: I see. So two days after I’ve self-published my book, two days before I travel across the country to give two major talks, I should stop everything that I’m doing and spend several hours finding research that meets your criteria, because you have moved your goalposts once again.

    Forgive me if I decide that I have better things to do with my time.

  48. 48
    splenda

    Greta, I don’t see how I have moved my goalposts. I am asking for credible evidence that supports the various claims that you have made pertaining to the prevalence of certain tropes in society. I don’t see why you find it problematic that I do not like anecdotal evidence or articles from Daily Mail and msn.com as conclusive evidence, and I do not see why me pointing out that these sources are highly unscientific constitutes “moving the goalpost”. I presume that you have proper evidence for the claims you yourself make, and that you are able to elucidate precisely what that evidence is and where you get your data from.

    Let me just make it clear that I am not claiming misogyny does not exist, I fully acknowledge the existence of discrepancies between the genders that have to be eradicated.

  49. 49
    Aerik

    Oh, MRAs are such privileged baies.

    splenda already made a reddit thread, here

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/r7k3e/an_argument_with_greta_christina/

    in which he goes whining to his fellow MRAs about what a meanie Greta and her fans are for calling him out when he dismisses sexism in obviously sexist comments.

    Really splenda? You think somebody would tell a man “of course you wouldn’t need to take birth control” as if men take birth control? Really? How transparent you are.

  50. 50
    Greta Christina

    splenda @ #48: Sigh.

    The articles I linked to cited and linked to scientific studies supporting my hypothesis. The fact that you either overlooked this or willfully ignored this makes it clear that I am wasting my time with you. Thank you for sharing.

  51. 51
    splenda

    Sigh, why do I always have to defend my position as a “men’s right advocate”, when I am a MRA to the exact same extent I am a feminist. There are some issues where I personally sympathize with the MRA movement, for example the issue of alimony and custody. Do I really have to be labelled as the devil because of that?

    Greta Christina, I have problems with the kind of debate where you leave it to your discussion partner to retrace your sources for you. You are of course aware that a study cited by a tabloid or non-academic online magazine is of very limited value, and so are anecdotes of the “look around you” kind.

    I am just trying to say, let us be judicious when we deem a cultural phenomenon to be misogynistic. Many, far too many phenomena are, but many go deeper and touch on social or personal issues orthogonal to misogyny. In order to separate fact from fiction, we should strive to use an appropriately adapted scientific approach as far as possible, and not be complacent with armchair rationalizations for why certain tropes might be misogynistic and others not.

    Now, please remember that the debate has strayed away from just the tweet above. Aerik, if you reread my comments, they go further than just talking about the single tweet above. Issues have been raised that are not as black and white as you are claiming.

  52. 52
    splenda

    Oh, MRAs are such privileged baies.

    I am not sure what part of growing up in destitute conditions, losing both of my parents before the age of 12 and having a serious permanent medical condition makes me privileged. But I thank you very much for treating me like an individual, and not making any assumptions about me merely based on a group I might (loosely) be affiliated with.

  53. 53
    Aerik

    My point about you being babies (which I changed from whiners b/c it was redundant, then somehow misspelled) is that you always have to go to /r/mensrights and go “omg you gaiz, look at how I’m not winning the argument! Tell me I’m right!”

    It’s like how redditors make fun of all /r/nsfw posters as just going “tell me I’m pretty!” — that’s how you act whenever you post yourself talking somewhere else on the internetz.

    You do invasions. Somebody in /r/askreddit said something you interpreted as misandrist? Tell /r/mensrights so that 50 of you show up at once calling them a mangina!

    Fucking. Babies. You lost an argument with Greta. Deal with it.

    Yes you lost. Somebody saying “you don’t need birth control” (b/c you’re ugly) is NOT something that can be thrown at a man as well. Birth control is a female-only thing, in case nobody told you. that was definitely a one-way gendered insult. You’re talking out yer butt.

    You butt-talked, got butt-spanked, felt butt-heart, then butt-whined to r/MR. Baby.

  54. 54
    Aerik

    butt-hurt geez… lol

  55. 55
    Greta Christina

    Aerik: Please keep it civil. I don’t like personal insults in comment threads in my blogs.

    splenda: Thank you for sharing.

  56. 56
    Anri

    I am just trying to say, let us be judicious when we deem a cultural phenomenon to be misogynistic. Many, far too many phenomena are, but many go deeper and touch on social or personal issues orthogonal to misogyny. In order to separate fact from fiction, we should strive to use an appropriately adapted scientific approach as far as possible, and not be complacent with armchair rationalizations for why certain tropes might be misogynistic and others not.

    Well, I tell ya what: you sit on your hands awaiting other people delivering evidence of misogyny, while others will be out actually trying to – you know – make the world a better place for women.

    But, hey, let’s not forget that the important issue here is that you get to feel superior to both sides. (With props to XKCD.) Otherwise we might get accidentally cought up in making assumptions that will allow us to act. Can’t have that.

  57. 57
    ben

    Ugh.

    But… I find it amusing that you (re-)tweeted that shortly after (re-)posting your comment policy. Maybe he thinks you’re not having sex because you called morons morons (or at least endorsed someone who did so). People who violate GC’s comment policy _shouldn’t_ be getting any ;)

    Not bloody, I know. Just amusing. To me. At least.

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