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Malestrom: Ten reasons why (some) men are so angry

Another week, more putrid pongs wafting from the trenches of the online gender wars. I started the week doing a little BBC breakfast TV thing alongside Laura Bates of the Everyday Sexism project. Laura explained why she started the project and described its success and impact over the past year; I explained why I fully support what they do and that I’d like men to acknowledge the problems and be part of the solutions. It was all very friendly, and neither of us disagreed on a word from the other.  A few hours later Laura tweeted. “Wonder if [Ally Fogg] who I spoke with on BBC this morning has had as many “stupid bitch” comments/emails as I have since….”  The answer, of course, was no. I had received precisely none. Not so much as a token “dick.”

On Tuesday I read Lindy West’s Jezebel piece which recounted the stomach-churning responses she’d received after arguing against rape jokes as a lazy vein of comedy.  Then yesterday Rebecca Watson shared the latest volleys from a two-year barrage of hate and abuse. Now it is Thursday morning. If I were to look, I do not doubt I would find another example of it starting all over with someone else. Meanwhile, across the internet, pretty much every feminist article or blog on a high-profile platform, irrespective of its truth or merit, will attract either a smattering or a deluge of abuse, mockery, fury and hate. The broad realm of the manosphere will publish yet more screeds about the iniquity of women and the evil of feminism.

Among the more common search terms that brings people to my blog are phrases like “angry men” “why men are angry” or sometimes the almost plaintive “why are men so angry?” I believe it is an important question, and one to which my thoughts keep returning. This week has prompted me to begin a series of posts that I have been considering for some time. There is no doubt that many men are angry, and specifically they are angry with feminism and/or women. But why?

Let me be clear that I realise there are many expressions of hate and anger in the world, and especially online. Many women are angry with men or other women (including feminists), many men are angry with other men, many people are angry with politics, religion, the economic system or whatever. The extent and causes of those angers are perfectly legitimate topics, but they are not what I am interested in at the moment.  This series will be about men’s anger with feminism and I make no apologies for that.

There is no single answer to the question above. In trying to make sense of the broad tide, I’ve so far narrowed it down to ten discrete strands of male anger, and I plan to discuss each of them in a separate post. Of course any one man may be angry for several (even all) of the reasons listed, and they will often interact, but I would argue that one could be angry for any one of those reasons without sharing any of the others. I also make no distinctions (yet) between legitimate and illegitimate anger, whether or not complaints are reasonable and justified, and whether they should be dismissed, challenged or attended to. That will come in due course.

For now, I’d be really interested to know from readers whether you think this list is comprehensive? Are there other possible reasons for anger that I’ve missed? Which do you think are the most significant? Are any of the reasons I suggest completely spurious? (In other words, would you deny that anyone, anywhere falls into such a category?) Should any be merged together (ie, do they describe exactly the same thing?)

If you’ve ever been angry with feminists, which categories would you recognise yourself in? If you’ve been on the receiving end of male anger, where do you mostly attribute it? Depending upon your comments and feedback, I may revise the schedule or add to the list as appropriate. To get the conversation started, here are my ten suggestions for possible reasons why some men are so angry. Please help me think them through.

 

  1. Compassion and concern? – From fathers’ rights to men as victims of violence and abuse; from educational underachievement to economic redundancy to judicial policies to men’s physical and mental health, there are many real causes for anger about male gender-specific issues. The real question, perhaps, is not whether men should be angry, but who we should be angry with.
  2. The feminist stranglehold? It is often argued that by controlling the reins of gender issues, feminism actively works against the gender-specific interests of men and prevents issues like those outlined above being adequately addressed.   Is this true or fair?
  3. Backlash – political and social conservatism?Some people are conservative and reactionary. They think society was better as it was than as it is, and are resistant to further social change. That applies to gender roles more than anything. Is hostility to feminism because it represents a challenge to the existing social and political order, and specifically to male privilege?
  4. Misogyny? There is no escaping the fact that some men simply hate women or hold them in contempt.  Is anti-feminism always misogyny, as Dworkin argued? How truly endemic is misogyny online and in society?
  5. Bitterness? There’s a cruel stereotype of the antifeminist keyboard warrior as a bitter geek, unlucky in love, sitting in his underwear in his mum’s basement complaining about the friend zone.  Is it fair? Is it relevant?
  6. Men as success objects? – Many complaints from men address issues like hypergamy. There is a palpable resentment at being expected to be the higher earner, provider etc in an era of female economic independence. Are complaints about men as “success objects” justified?  
  7. Someone on the internet is wrong? – Anyone who expresses an opinion must be prepared to be told “I think you are wrong” by others. It may be on a point of verifiable fact, or it may be a rational argument, but if we accept the possibility that feminists can sometimes be wrong about things, we must accept the corollary of disagreement and argument, which may often breed anger.   
  8. Imps and trolls? Some people like to make mischief. Some people like to be rude, threatening or downright cruel. How much online abuse is truly heartfelt and how much is disingenuous trolling, and ultimately does it matter, given the impacts on the victim?
  9. Bruised egos and male identity pride? Human beings take pride in their collective identities. For some it is nationalism or sports tribalism, religion or race, for many it is gender. Is feminism taken as a personal attack that makes men bristle?
  10. You’re not the boss of me now? People don’t like being told what to do, and since much feminism is perceived to be focussed on personal behaviour (do this, don’t do that) there is a kneejerk hostility. Could it be true that men particularly don’t like being told what to do by women?

Blue touch paper lit, standing well back, over to you for now.

Comments

  1. Ally Fogg says

    by the way folks, I have, as promised, switched off nesting in the comments. If you want to argue with someone else, please use their name and comment number in the old fashioned way, thanks!)

  2. angharad says

    A challenge to one’s identity perhaps? Eg if you regard yourself as progressive and tolerant and then someone points out an aspect of your behaviour as sexist/racist/whatever you might react angrily.

  3. Dunc says

    I’m not sure about #7 and #8 – not because I don’t think they’re real issues, but because there’s no obvious connection to feminism or gender issues, and therefore they don’t seem to explain the wildly disproportionate amount of abuse women writers seem to get.

    I’d also add “Displacement”… It’s kind of similar to #1, in that it relates to legitimate grievances, but not necessarily anything gender-related. There’s a lot to be angry about in the world… But when people are angry about things they feel powerless to affect, they often displace that anger onto more convenient targets – for example, if someone has issues with their boss, they’ll often end up taking it out on their spouse or their kids, because it’s much safer than actually trying to tackle the real issue. Internet feminists are a pretty safe target.

  4. says

    I think you might add lied to by Patriarchy. This seems to be behind a lot of the nice guy whines. If you follow all the rules, (not the ones I approve of about loving your neighbour and not being a dick) but those other ones, the put women on a pedestal, dont express your emotions, be strong, work hard, women are not only not flocking to your door but actively blaming you for being part of the problem.

  5. says

    Gender stereotyping. This always makes me cross. Men are not all the same.

    But then my anger is directed at instances of gender stereotyping – wherever they arise and whoever they’re from (which sometimes includes some feminists) – rather than at feminism. So maybe it’s not directly applicable here.

  6. doublereed says

    Machismo?

    Whenever I’ve seen men talkand objectify about women, it never seems to be about the woman as much as it is about signaling to other men that they are super hetero. There’s something masculine about “putting women in their place,” and I get the impression that they find the idea incredibly satisfying.

  7. Freddie B says

    A good piece and a strong list.

    The list could perhaps be improved by a more consistent identification of root cause, eg. ‘imps and trolls’ – in my view the remote, ‘protective’ nature of tech is a key element here. Arguably men feel able to shout online as they remain distant from the object of their attentions.

    You have possibly missed something, too – psychology. Not sure how best to capture it, but if we make the assumption that a reasonable proportion of the men in question are, say, 35-65, then they (er, we) are bang smack in the middle of a seismic cultural change that they were not brought up or educated to expect. We were raised in a world of patriarchal narratives and role models that the world today no longer validates. Many of us like yourself have had little trouble adapting to this, but clearly many lack the necessary psychology to make the shift. I’m no psychologist, but I know that undesired or unexpected change causes stress which, if not resolved, can only mount.

    The double whammy here is that men who fit this profile are (to make a wild generalisation) probably also going to lack the ability to talk through this issue in a helpful way with other men. How many times have you witnessed men, together, touch upon issues such as these only to deal with them through coarse humour, flippancy or complete irrelevance?

  8. Dunc says

    Oh, just thought of another one, which can be summed up as “If it’s not about you, it’s not about you” – lots of people (especially on the internet) seem to have difficulty telling the difference between general statements and universal statements, especially when they relate to something they strongly identify with. Thus, any statement which is not larded down with qualifiers (and often those that are) gets interpreted as a universal – “men do X” becomes “all men do X”. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  9. tynk says

    I have recently had a long conversation with a friend about this. He knew I was a feminist and had this anti-feminist mind set. After a while it boiled down to, “I am always being yelled at for doing something wrong, but never told what/why/how it is wrong.”

    It seems there can be a building of frustration where men may want to be better, but simply do not know how and are afraid to ask.

  10. Schala says

    If I was a man, and would be part of this

    Meanwhile, across the internet, pretty much every feminist article or blog on a high-profile platform, irrespective of its truth or merit, will attract either a smattering or a deluge of abuse, mockery, fury and hate. The broad realm of the manosphere will publish yet more screeds about the iniquity of women and the evil of feminism.

    Then it would be 1, 2, and 6.

    I don’t think the others are even relevant.

    2 is very related to 1. Sometimes 2 works against 1 (ie rape, DV, child custody), and we get people trying to start male DV shelters killing themselves out of despair of being ignored by a government who does NOTHING at all for them, claims there is no need, and does so often from the counsel of other people who receive that funding (feminists at the government level, other shelters who actually receive govt funding (but only for women), and etc).

  11. Ally Fogg says

    @Everyone

    Really, really interesting comments everyone, thanks.

    I’ll resist the temptation to jump on each one just yet, prefer to see what (if any patterns emerge)

  12. brucegee1962 says

    Back when I was single, I built up a fair amount of resentment towards women; I’d say in retrospect it was mostly number 5. “I’m such a wonderful person; how come women don’t appreciate the wonderfulness that is me?” I would think. But after I met a wonderful partner and got married, those feelings went away entirely.

    I just think that, if you make a Venn diagram of MRAs and men in committed, trusting relationships, the area of interlap would be a tiny sliver. Stereotyped opinions about women cannot survive contact with an actual woman.

  13. Soarer says

    Good article Ally, as usual. First, let me say that I utterly condemn the sort of attacks you describe, whoever makes them and whatever their target. Secondly, everyone should be equally respected – men and women and other genders, black and white, gay and straight, religious and atheist, young and old etc. etc.

    I guess, as a man in a ‘dangerous’ age group (according to Freddie B Post 7) being 58 (today!) that I simply don’t feel in any way responsible for the 3.5bn or so other people who also happen to have external genitalia. I know I don’t rape, don’t whistle, don’t abuse, don’t use violence, don’t belittle. What on earth has someone else doing any of those things to do with me?

    I also have no time for claims of competitive discrimination (you might prefer the term intersectionality). I may have had parents who fell into the traditional roles, but I thankfully progressed to understanding everyone was essentially the same – in that they are all just people – without going through any phase of us vs them, which seems to be the normal mode of expression everywhere today.

    Finally I think people in general need to take more responsibility for themselves. Some feminists complain that the media oppresses them – well ignore it then. You don’t have to do what other people tell you to do. If your chosen male partner won’t help around the house – find another one, or live alone.

    All relationships are compromises. No-one gets everything they want. Stop demanding change and look to see if you need to change yourself.

    In other words, a bit more self-reflection would help. Stop telling other people where they are wrong (individually or as a group) and start looking at your own attitudes, to see if they are what is making you angry and unhappy.

  14. Schala says

    I just think that, if you make a Venn diagram of MRAs and men in committed, trusting relationships, the area of interlap would be a tiny sliver. Stereotyped opinions about women cannot survive contact with an actual woman.

    And I bet you most MRAs are or have been committed with a woman. And been burned, badly.

    And they likely saw firsthand how unfair the law was against them in those times when they counted on fairness (DV, child custody, being suspected/convicted of crimes).

  15. Soarer says

    Oh dear – now I am also in another dangerous group, according to brucegee1962 Post 13, in that I am a man not in a committed, trusting relationship! I clearly need to monitor myself extremely carefully. I’ll set up CCTV and see if I can catch myself out :)

    It boils down to this. A certain proportion of humanity are dickheads. Some are men, some are women, some are straight, some are gay, some are white, some are black, some are left, some are right, some are religious, some are atheist, some are young, some are old.

    If we need a movement at all, what we need is an anti-dickhead movement. Anything else is a distraction.

  16. Copyleft says

    Perhaps, after a lifetime of being told how wrong and bad they are based solely on their gender, and how they have a duty to ‘man up’ and serve women’s interests, some men actually have the temerity to not only refuse this alleged duty, but to resent the demand?

  17. Adiabat says

    11. Dislike of poor quality of scholarship and research being used to influence government and change society

    is definitely a common one. Tied into this may be:

    12. Sick of dodgy statistics being pushed to support even more dodgy feminist theory

    People get annoyed by bad science. Hell, there’s an entire website called Bad Science which is aimed at people who get annoyed at bad science.

    I’m reticent about “imps and trolls” being one. Obviously they exist, the Sarkessian affair being a main example, but I wonder how much is actually created by the default hostility many feminists have (with some notable exceptions) and the dismissive and flawed arguments they use. I’m reluctant to lump these “manufactured trolls”, who are men who genuinely have a problem with feminism but get frustrated/annoyed by those they are trying to talk to, with trolls who are just trying to upset people. I guess this can be summed up as:

    13. Feminists can be rather annoying to talk to

    (I’m am honestly being serious with that one, not trolling. For example replying to someone who has just crafted a well reasoned argument with no more than “Check your Privilege” is really, really annoying. As well as extremely rude.)

  18. redpesto says

    Jemima101 (@4): I think you might add lied to by Patriarchy. This seems to be behind a lot of the nice guy whines. If you follow all the rules, (not the ones I approve of about loving your neighbour and not being a dick) but those other ones, the put women on a pedestal, dont express your emotions, be strong, work hard, women are not only not flocking to your door but actively blaming you for being part of the problem.

    ‘Loving your neighbour and not being a dick’ are pretty good rules for anyone. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know whether following ‘the rules of feminism’ (so to speak) works either – though you might just get criticised less.

  19. redpesto says

    adiabat (@18) Sick of dodgy statistics being pushed to support even more dodgy feminist theory

    That’s why I have a copy of Dr Brooke Magnanti’s The Sex Myth: it does for dodgy sex research what ‘Bad Science’ did for the ‘Awful Poo Lady.’

  20. Jacob Schmidt says

    Adiabat

    Obviously they exist, the Sarkessian affair being a main example, but I wonder how much is actually created by the default hostility many feminists have (with some notable exceptions) and the dismissive and flawed arguments they use.

    None. Being a troll is ones own personal failing, and is not the responsibility of feminists (dismissively hostile or otherwise).

    Soarer

    If we need a movement at all, what we need is an anti-dickhead movement. Anything else is a distraction.

    This strikes me as incredibly naive. Who defines ‘dickhead’? The KKK think we’re all dickheads (at least, I hope they do).

  21. redpesto says

    A few initial thoughts re. the list:

    1 – Compassion and concern? You’re right in the examples you highlight but men being told ‘blame the patriarchy’ may not be much more useful than men blaming women.

    2 – The feminist stranglehold? It’s difficult to reconcile the ‘feminism is for everyone, honest’ argument with ‘feminism is a movement of women, for women, about women’. If the only time ‘men’ appear in such a debate is when they cause problems (for women) rather than having problems (as men), why would men engage with such a movement without good and very specific reason(s)? Ally, you’ve been on the receiving end more than once of what happens when men go ‘off-message’ or try to talk about men as men (see the response of some feminists to Benatar’s The Second Sexism): ‘wrong, because male’ is one way of ensuring the focus remains on women.

    3 – Backlash – political and social conservatism? That’s not an argument; it’s a ‘given’ that there are conservatives and those hostile to (political) change. On the other hand, the ‘backlash’ has been a trope of feminist argument for over 20 years since Fauldi’s book of that title, as it’s the only way to get people out to protest and regardless of whatever changes have taken place in the meantime.

    4 – Misogyny? See ‘Backlash’ above. As for Dworkin, seeing any criticism of feminism as ‘misogyny’ means she wins every agrument before it starts. Unfortunately it also means that feminism cannot be criticised by anyone (even other feminists), ever. It’s hard to engage with a movement that thinks along those lines, especially in response to anything said by men.

    5 – Bitterness? The stereotype of the bitter geek in his underwear is just a variant of ‘u r a feminst coz u cant get liad’ (sic)

    I’ll have a think about the other five later.

  22. Adiabat says

    Jason Schmidt: “Being a troll is ones own personal failing, and is not the responsibility of feminists (dismissively hostile or otherwise).”

    Are you seriously arguing that the social environment, or “troll culture”, of many feminist sites are not to blame the prevalence of socially unacceptable behaviour, or that there is no need for those who contribute to that environment to make efforts to minimise such “culture”?

    And are you arguing that the responsibility is that of the perpetrator alone, and people who may contribute to an environment which increases the prevalence of said perpetrators bear no responsibility at all in discouraging the perpetuation of that environment?

  23. redpesto says

    adiabat (re. The Sex Myth) – I’ve skim-read a fair bit of it: I strongly recommend you get a copy.

  24. says

    1 and 2 may be expanded with the converse: several anti feminists I deal with constantly complain about how feminism is reverse sexism and unfair, the most common (but not only) example being tirades against affirmative action, and therefore women who advocate unfair policies are sexists too and deserve everything they get, especially because they are hypocrites for denouncing and being mean to male sexists, and so on and so forth.

    Anger is thus a reaction to perceived hypocrisy; but this is quickly merged with anger that women are exercising power over men. In the workplace this manifests as, e.g., male underlings bad mouthing and complaining about female bosses but not male ones, and inventing excuses for why that’s not sexism (a narrative is invented to justify believing she must really be more awful than the male boss who in reality acts exactly the same way etc.); in public discourse this manifests as, e.g., women telling men they can’t make rape jokes and men getting angry at being told what to do by a woman (which ties back into your number 10). Feminist theory would peg this as someone said above, system justification behavior, and as rage against equality taking away their privileges. On system justification theory there are some good summary posts on our own Crommunist’s blog.

    Crommunist also has some posts on his own theory that there are two paradigms of worldview, one in which the world is believed to be fundamentally fair and the other that it is not, and both sides have completely different beliefs about how the world actually works, and each side gets angry when the other side bursts its bubble with assertions that would be insanely obviously false in the context of the other worldview. In that model, men who attack women verbally are angry because women keep acting like the men need to fix things when in fact women should just get over it, and the best way they come up with to communicate that is to harass and demean the woman until she stops talking ( thus, outraged that a woman suggested the world is unfair and men have to be more fair, the men attempt to prove her wrong by proving her right by being monumentally unfair to her … And it would seem they totally don’t get the self-defeating irony in that, otherwise they wouldn’t do it ).

    Not sure where that might fit in your list. Probably already somewhere in there. The key thing to ask is why men think that response is okay to throw at a woman, but much less so to a man. And here I think the issue is less to do with anger and more to do with actual latent sexism. Because men get just as angry at other men as they do at women, but extend a level of respect and honor to men (even when bad mouthing them) that they never feel inclined to extend to women. Just look at how men express their anger against other men and compare it to how they express their anger to women, and you’ll see the difference is not degree or persistence of loathing, but simply what one deems an appropriate way to express and act on it.

  25. Jacob Schmidt says

    Are you seriously arguing that the social environment, or “troll culture”, of many feminist sites are not to blame the prevalence of socially unacceptable behaviour, or that there is no need for those who contribute to that environment to make efforts to minimise such “culture”?

    And are you arguing that the responsibility is that of the perpetrator alone, and people who may contribute to an environment which increases the prevalence of said perpetrators bear no responsibility at all in discouraging the perpetuation of that environment?

    I’m gonna go with “no”.

  26. DeepThought says

    Just speaking from personal experience. I’m feminist, insofar as I agree with overall goals of equality between the sexes. This doesn’t mean some individual feminists aren’t immune from criticism insofar as they claim to be in favor of “dismantling patriarchy”, but in reality are just fine with maintaining those aspects of patriarchy which benefit themselves, or women as a whole. This makes them not advocates for social justice, but mere crass opportunists and hypocrites. Or, that some individual feminists aren’t immune from criticism insofar as they dishonestly deny that there actually are some aspects of patriarchy which disadvantage men due to the fact that patriarchy is in favor of strict gender roles for both sexes.

    So, I want to know if you will distinguish between “angry at feminism” (which I am not) and “angry at some feminists” (which I am). I’m also angry at patriarchy, for many of the same reasons. From my personal experience:

    1. There is definitely systemic anti-male bias on many issues as you mentioned. The (dishonest) retort of some feminists is that this can’t be “sexist’ because women don’t have power relative to men. This misses the point that power is not uniformly distributed among men and as such powerful men can be biased against less powerful men precisely because they are men when they do not conform to patriarchal gender norms and thus is real sexism because it is power + prejudice.

    2. It’s not fair to put it this way, because patriarchy, and not feminism, still holds most of the reins on gender issues. But it is also not fair to pretend that patriarchy speaks for men, and all men, and therefore (progressive) men already “have a voice” on gender issues, and feminists need pay them no heed.

    3. Well some people are reactionary, to be sure. A good part of my anger is against them, as described above.

    4. Anti-feminism is misogyny when anti-feminism is strictly defined as resistance to gender equality and conformist gender roles. (However, as an aside, it is also misandry.) However, “anti-feminism” is often hypocritically used by individual feminists when men argue against their goals of maintaining patriarchy insofar as it benefits them (e.g. NOW’s fight against joint custody).

    5. It’s neither fair nor relevant. It’s an effort to distract from the actual debate, when one is argued into a corner. It’s the flip side of “feminists are all ugly and unattractive”.

    6. Yes such complaints are justified, but they can (by definition) only be made against individual women, not feminism as a whole.

    7. Yes, but again you seem to be conflating anger towards an individual feminist or group of feminists with feminism as a whole.

    8. This one doesn’t seem to be relevant to the question of why the anger exists in the first place. I’d probably recommend deleting this one.

    9. For many, undoubtedly yes. They have no “male identity” other than what patriarchy has constructed for them. Therefore they take the attack on patriarchy by feminism personally. (Note though this is also an explanation for female opposition to feminism.)

    10. Similar to 9) where the patriarchal role is for the man to be “the boss”. Still there is also some hypocrisy among some feminists where the misdoings of men are shouted to the hills but the misdoings of women are shoved under the rug (because, you see, she can be excused to the patriarchal society we live in but he can’t – or worse, patriarchal attitudes are the very ones used by feminists to excuse the behavior. E.g. double standards for sexual contact between high school teachers and students dependent on the genders of both.)

  27. maudell says

    I’m not a man, so take this with a grain of salt. In my life, men who are angry with the feminist discourse fall into a slightly different category (perhaps an offshoot of 5 and 9).

    Men (or people in general) who spent a significant part of their life buying a ‘I must be a doormat to respect women’ type of feminism. I don’t know if this is prevalent in Western culture overall, but I see this in Canada. There are men who just want to be good people, and they assume that means putting women on a pedestal, thinking of women as poor little delicate flowers, etc. Like the “sensitive new age guy” phenomenon. They think you should never disagree with a women or state your needs to a woman. They feel guilty for being sexually attracted to women (and women are often put off by that kind of attitude, and “why do women only love assholes” resentment ensues).

    Then at some point they realize this position is ridiculous. They have been denying their own individuality in the process of trying to be a respectful person, and aren’t being appreciated for who they are. I think many of us have had similar reactions about one thing or another. For example, religion. The most fervent atheists are often those who were devout fundamentalists. They feel cheated, they feel deceived, they feel like they wasted a good part of their life on this lie. It doesn’t matter whether it was an actual lie or not. The perception matters. These people are often reacting harshly towards people they feel are buying the ‘lie’, and can be quite nasty towards them (i.e. ‘mangina’).

    I’m not putting a judgement value on this reaction, but that is what I observe to be a cause to anger against feminism. I think it is based on a very specific version of feminism (I’m tempted to say ‘straw feminist’, but it would be a bit of a ‘no true scotsman’ fallacy), but feminism in general takes the hit. I’m not sure if it already belongs in one of the 10 categories, though.

  28. Paul B says

    Ally

    Do women want the best of both worlds rather than true equality with men. Discuss.

    In my subjective opinion based on experiences both irl and online it would appear that many women want the former rather than the latter.I’d be interested to hear what your thoughts are on that.

  29. Jacob Schmidt says

    Maudell

    I don’t know if this is prevalent in Western culture overall, but I see this in Canada. There are men who just want to be good people, and they assume that means putting women on a pedestal, thinking of women as poor little delicate flowers, etc. Like the “sensitive new age guy” phenomenon. They think you should never disagree with a women or state your needs to a woman. They feel guilty for being sexually attracted to women (and women are often put off by that kind of attitude, and “why do women only love assholes” resentment ensues).

    You think men feel guilty for feeling lust towards women in Canada? I’d really like to know how you got that impression. Speaking as a male Canadian, we’re pretty open about our sexual attraction to women; sometimes a little to open. And I see plenty of blatant sexism and harrassment towards women; women don’t seem to be on much of a pedestal.

    DeepThought

    The (dishonest) retort of some feminists is that this can’t be “sexist’ because women don’t have power relative to men. This misses the point that power is not uniformly distributed among men and as such powerful men can be biased against less powerful men precisely because they are men when they do not conform to patriarchal gender norms and thus is real sexism because it is power + prejudice.

    I think you’re the one who missed the point. You’re using an example of men being sexist to men to combat the idea that women can’t be sexist to men (sexist being defined as “power+prejudice”).

    I don’t agree with that position, however. As far as I’m concerned, if your prejudice is backed by the current culture, then your prejudice is not on it’s own; it’s being reinforced by everyone else’s.

    However, “anti-feminism” is often hypocritically used by individual feminists when men argue against their goals of maintaining patriarchy insofar as it benefits them (e.g. NOW’s fight against joint custody).

    I’ve heard this claimed a few times, but no one seems to bother giving a link or source (well, one person did; the source didn’t say what they thoughth it said). Could you show me where NOW said this?

    With regards to the OP, I think a significant part of the indignation and anger is based on a simplistic understanding of the issues at hand. We’re raised (or at least I was) to believe in fairness and equality, and that gender shouldn’t be an issue. A lot of people seem to simplify this to “gender isn’t an issue; sexism is over”. From this idea they view feminists as inherently sexist against men. Being raised to think sexism is bad (but taught very little about how sexism actually works), they lash out indiscriminatly at feminists.

  30. DeepThought says

    @31:

    I think you’re the one who missed the point. You’re using an example of men being sexist to men to combat the idea that women can’t be sexist to men (sexist being defined as “power+prejudice”).

    Please read more carefully. I said there was systemic anti-male bias in these arenas. I didn’t say women were the cause of it. Just the opposite in fact. I was disagreeing with the statement “there is no sexism against men” not the statement “these are not instances of female sexism against men”.

    However, as an aside, I disagree with the blanket statement that women can’t be sexist to men, because although they may not have power in society as a whole, there are subspaces in society where they may in fact hold significant power (E.g. a woman-owned business with majority female employees). However the instances that Ally cited are not of that nature and this isn’t relevant to the discussion as a whole.

    I don’t agree with that position, however. As far as I’m concerned, if your prejudice is backed by the current culture, then your prejudice is not on it’s own; it’s being reinforced by everyone else’s.

    I’m sorry but could you clarify exactly which position you are disagreeing with?

    I’ve heard this claimed a few times, but no one seems to bother giving a link or source (well, one person did; the source didn’t say what they thoughth it said). Could you show me where NOW said this?

    Sure here’s a link: http://www.nownys.org/domesticrel.html

    NOW-New York State Supports:

    Legislation to require that custody be awarded to the primary caregiver.

    NOW-New York State Opposes:
    Any legislation that requires judges to consider joint custody over the objections of either parent.

  31. thascius says

    Something you’ve touched on in other posts though I didn’t really see it in the list of 10-economic dislocation. Most men who aren’t in the top 1% are finding themselves working harder and harder for less and less reward. (Women too of course but we’re looking at male anger.) This feeds into the narrative of “How can you possibly call me privileged when my life sucks?” For people who feel they are threatened with losing what little they have, hearing the message “you don’t deserve it anyway” (even if that wasn’t what the speaker intended) could be infuriating.

  32. Ally Fogg says

    Right, some fantastic comments thanks. A few brief reactions. Lots of what you say is excellent but are things I’m already considering in one way or another, so if I don’t reply to you it doesn’t mean I’m not taking it on board.

    angharad (2)

    Brilliant point. Might incorporate that into No9.

    dunc (3)

    I know what you mean about #7 & #8, but I think they need to be there because I think they do explain a lot of the phenomenon, even though they are not unique to this. Agree with you about displacement, I think that will be a factor in several of the other categories, but ultimately it leaves the question, of all the things one could displace anger upon, why pick feminism?

    Jemima101 (4)

    Another brilliant point. Think it might fit under “bitterness”, perhaps, which should probably be something like “bitterness, disillusionment and self-loathing”. But as a cause of disillusionment that is a really neat way of expressing it and hadn’t thought of it in those terms before.

    tynk (9)

    That’s a really interesting story about your friend, and I’ve heard similar, but it is one that I struggle to get my head around. I never struggle to find out what/why/how feminists think is wrong! I wonder if it comes down to a refusal to listen and hear?

    Richard Carrier (26)

    Brilliant post. I think systems justication is really important to this (thanks also dunc, of course). My initial thought was that this was a factor in other categories but I’m now wondering it does deserve one to itself. I’d been thinking in terms of defending privilege, but it is not quite the same thing, I agree. I remember Crommunist’s blogs on this and I’ll go back and look again.

    Maudell (29)

    Really interesting. It’s notable that one of the most famous antifeminist men, Warren Farrell, started out as a fervent male feminist. Let me think on that one too!

    Keep ‘em coming folks!

  33. bugmaster says

    I am a straight white male, FWIW. I personally dislike the tactics some modern feminists have chosen to achieve their goals, despite agreeing with most of the goals.

    As far as I can tell, the main goal is to raise the social status of women relative to men, who currently enjoy too much status. There are several policies that have been proposed in order to achieve this goal; so far, so good. The problem I have is with the tendency to aggressively attack any man (or, indeed, any woman) who disagrees with these policies, equating such disagreement to disagreement with the goal. In other words, either you support policies A, B, and C, or you’re a hateful bigot who must be destroyed so that women can finally break free of the patriarchy that holds them in chains.

    Being a man, I am obviously biased and privileged, but I still don’t believe that destruction of the patriarchy is the only goal that’s worth thinking about. After the patriarchy is destroyed, we should still have a society that values mutual respect, reasonable discourse, and, most importantly, critical thinking. Without these values, the brave new world won’t be all that much better than the old one.

  34. Danny Gibbs says

    Just wanted to say this bit about 4:

    Is anti-feminism always misogyny, as Dworkin argued?
    No because I think that argument is based on a blanket presumption that feminism equals equality so if you are against feminism (parts of it all it or whatever) that means you are against women. And frankly I think that’s pretty dishonest. Yes there are strains of anti feminism that are based in misogyny but I think its a bit to broad to start telling people they are either feminists or bigots.

  35. Danny Gibbs says

    I just think that, if you make a Venn diagram of MRAs and men in committed, trusting relationships, the area of interlap would be a tiny sliver. Stereotyped opinions about women cannot survive contact with an actual woman.

    Or their contact with real women actually proved that some of those stereotypes (or at least parts of them) actually hold true and there is some larger issue going on?

    I’m sure that

  36. Sasori says

    First, I am not sure if prominent women get more hate than prominent men who are famous for being provocative
    (I don’t wish to bruise your ego Ally but you are hardly as well known as the everyday sexism lady), but rather, the hate is of a different character. In the various internet dramas and kerfuffles I’ve seen over the years, it’s not clear that prominent women are worse off. I also think that internet feminism is not exempt and has a large section of trolls and people who write unthinking hate just like any other community on the internet.

    As well as the categories listed above, I think that a lot of the anger against feminists in the media caused by ‘triggering’ not the PTSD reaction but a violent emotional reaction to viewing media. Many (most) feminist articles in their elucidation of the suffering and troubles of women (unintentionally or intentionally) frame women’s pain as somehow a unique and isolated phenomenon. This, as well as concepts like ‘male privilege’ vs ‘benevolent sexism’ etc etc provoke a violent inflamed response. A lot of men live crappy lives and have experienced real pain, some of the reaction is a flailing emotional, way of saying “What about me, I suffer aswell you are erasing my suffering” or “I object to being misrepresented.”

    I don’t think that feminists hate men. But I think it is fairly obvious that a significant number of feminists (on the internet and in newspaper opinion columns etc) find it incredibly hard to have anything resembling empathy for ‘men’ (not boyfriends husbands friends etc) and that ‘men’ are framed as the enemy generally and often psychopathic and demonized versions of real life men populate feminist articles etc. I think that this (as well as collective guilt for the crimes of some men) is also a vector for emotional reactions; a large section of men view feminism as ‘the enemy’ because a large section of (prominent) feminists view ‘men’ as ‘the enemy.’ There is also the chance to say something mean to somebody who you think has said something mean to you and is on the ‘other team’.
    There is a lot of hate generally, people are seeing their lives get worse and old financial and social certainties crumble, I imagine it is galling to see often rich privileged ladies talk about the troubles of mostly middle class ladies, I don’t know.

    There are a fair few conservatives and reactionaries, but, In my experience gender reactionaries are often paper tigers and have their female equivalents, it’s only on the internet that they appear a dangerous social force in this respect.

    I also think that constantly writing articles about what prominent feminists write articles about (as well as the sanctimony that often pervades social justice writing), causes trolls to think that they have thin skins and are easy targets for low effort trolling. There is also the problem of people pre-loading with hate on various blogs and jumping onto twitter, comment sections etc.

    I think that the nice guy reason used by some commenters above is somewhat true (there was a great article by a male feminist a while ago called something like ‘feminism and male sissies’ or something). That internet (and real life in my experience) feminism attracts men who are shy or ill-at-ease with conventional masculinity and have an affinity with women, various negative experiences that these men have, ( and maybe the inability of most feminists to elucidate that women perpetuate the gender system aswell) causes them to become apostates from their old personae and this philosophy, as they feel betrayed by the message that they were given and often somewhat resentful of women.

    This also happens without feminism (though it has a slightly different character). A good example is 4Chan’s /r9k/ board, which used to be a ‘women love assholes’ haven but now is more ‘lets be the alphas (assholes) then we’ll get girlfriends’

    There is a great talk by Noam Chomsky about Joe Stack the man who flew his plane into the IRS office and I would also recommend Mark Aims book, ‘Going Postal’ (that I’m in the process of reading) for the socio economic factors involved in this, as well as attempting some empathy with people who have unpalatable political views.

    There’s loads of other stuff but I don’t want to weigh everybody down with my text bricks.

  37. Horseradish says

    I can’t talk for all men and I don’t think I ever get angry. I’m a very patient person. But if I extrapolate from something that I find upsetting I can imagine other men probably do get angered by this:

    Men as the enemy. In some strains of radical feminism this takes on a particularly ugly complexion where women are encouraged to withdraw from men as a political statement. The idea that one could be bad or wrong just by dint of one’s gender is horrifying. It percolates and pops out in other places. For example “men should stop raping.” I agree with this, though when it’s said directly to individuals, like “you men should stop raping” it becomes more like “all men are potential rapists”. I could even identify a prominent sex positive and men-friendly feminist who published a status along the lines of “men in their 20s are horrible”. This kind of stuff would be misogyny if it was said about women. It’s all nonsense, it’s a generalisation and yet rarely gets challenged. And the few people who do challenge this stuff often get attacked.

    Feminist social media bullying. This is especially common among the younger folk on Twitter and Tumblr. People align themselves with certain camps – in my stream it seems to be the yummy mummy conservative feminists; the radical feminist hard liners; the progressive queer left wingers. Each camp will stick up for its own kind. Some welcome men more readily than others. But nearly all will be quick to attack men with a snarky dismissive comment, which can have the effect of alienating men who align with feminist views and would otherwise consider themselves allies. In my opinion the progressive queer left wingers are among the worst for sticking rigidly to a code of dogma, spread virally through Tumblr and blogs, which claim that a “straight white dude” or a cis guy is basically the lowest form of life with the highest privilege and scoring lowest on the oppression bingo. To question this is to ask “whatabouttehmenz”, with some people paradoxically told to “man up” instead of complaining. It’s okay for women feminists to lecture men online but when men do the same it’s “mansplaining”. It’s difficult to have a serious debate about areas in which some or all men do face oppression because the chances of being accused dismissively of being an “MRA” or being told to check one’s privilege are fairly high. To use feminist language men get “silenced” or “erased” by this mob online bullying, which assumes that a man always has power and therefore always deserves to be shouted down. To me that is a terrible shame because the goal should be equality and mutual empathy and support, not a gender essentialist position or a gender war. I actually want to be a good ally to women and feminists, but I feel like unless I toe the party line, saying the right things and omitting the wrong things, I’ll get leapt on.

  38. Ian Jade says

    I don’t have the brainpower to critique those examples right now, but I’d guess if you can think of it, somebody, somewhere is angry about it.
    The reasons I tend to get angry at feminists are similar to some of your points – I’ll let you file them as you like:

    Privilege. The term gets thrown around a lot, and although it ought not to be used as a silencing tactic, it often is. Many women (and other less empowered minorities) treat their lack of privilege as a conversational trump card to ensure their opinion is the only one that gets heard. More worryingly, it is hard to disagree with someone from a position of privilege without looking like an overbearing, patronising idiot (something I tend to get called a lot). The next stage up from this is to use the lack-of-privilege defence to excuse precisely the same bad behaviour the “feminist” has objected to in others.

    A very few people go further, and read every incident or every interaction they have in the worst, most biased way, and then wail about how awful the world is, with its hidden, systemic sexism (racism, homo/bi-phobia whatever). While of course people are going to have their own unique reactions to everyday life based on their previous experiences, it seems some women are determined to brand every man a sexist, whatever his actual intent was. This deliberate twisting of events makes me very angry.

    Some feminists are quick to stereotype and generalise, which they should KNOW is going to annoy people. I’ll accept any category I happen to fall into, so long as that’s what is really under discussion. Using “People Who Are This” when they really mean “People Who Do That” is just lazy shorthand. I belong to a lot of categories that supposedly give me some kind of privilege, but attributing any kind of behaviour to me, based on a check-box? Just wrong. Being told what you are (or aren’t!) is even more offensive than being told what to do.

    Some feminists are impossible to engage with. Seriously. Not long back I had a disturbing run-in with someone on Twitter using the @EverydaySexism TL to post and comment. Someone happened to suggest that, while unpleasant or sexual, the last few posts tagged “sexism” actually weren’t. They just happened to women, and were reported (as above) in the worst light. When I commented that actually he had a point, one “feminist” accused me repeatedly of being anti-feminist, a saboteur, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I tried to make my case for objectivity, but was taunted, made to jump through hoops (a longer explanation was requested, which I wrote only to have it ignored, unread) and all in all left me with the impression that I was arguing with a swivel-eyed loon. This got me VERY angry, very quickly. To try to communicate only to have the other person stick their fingers in their ears is disrespectful and a waste of time.

    I believe in equality, smoothing the privilege gradient so far as that is possible, and treating people with respect. I’m having a hard time finding a feminist who would say the same.

  39. says

    So many men have “missed the boat” and are only just realising it.

    While vast numbers of men, as you point out, have seen feminism as the bane of their lives, in reality it has been eschewed by many women.

    But at the same time increasing numbers of women have taken advantage of the increasingly equal education and training opportunities that are now available to them. This has resulted in more women in all the professions and management. In some they are now or are approaching a majority.

    So while men opposed to “feminism” have seen this as the source of their problems, women in general have quietly demonstrated that in the all important workplace, they are as good as any man and better than most.

    Maybe you need to modify your number 6. Men as success objects?

  40. Sans sanity says

    I could be wrong, but the way number ten finishes seems to suggest that not liking being told what to do by feminists is likely to be a result of not liking to be told what to do by women. In my experience anger at feminists for “telling me what to do” is more likely to come from not liking to be told what to do by anyone.

  41. says

    @42 – and just to reinforce the point, from today’s Comment is Free:

    “With women making up nearly half the workforce and more than half of all college graduates, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we now make up 40% of breadwinners in the United States.”

    from:

    “The rise of ‘breadwinner moms’ is less a win for equality than it looks –
    Women are the main earner in 40% of households, but America’s total lack of family-friendly policy means reality is not so rosy” by Jill Filipovic

    Of course there’s a sting in the tail.

  42. Jebedee says

    In answer to the question, I’ve been at least annoyed with individual feminists when I’ve perceived them as using clearly invalid reasoning, or other shady argumentative tactics. Particularly when I get the impression that they are aware, or at the very least ought to be aware, of the problem with what they are doing, but carry on regardless.

    But that’s pretty generic – bad arguments annoy me, and I don’t think I take more of a negative view when they come from female as opposed to male feminists. So if the question is why people would have a such a gender bias, I’m only speculating, but perhaps it’s partly that a given feminist position will generally seem more self-interested coming from a woman, so if people think it’s a bad position, they’ll be especially peeved by someone who seems to be adopting it for more selfish reasons.

  43. Jacob Schmidt says

    I didn’t say women were the cause of it. Just the opposite in fact. I was disagreeing with the statement “there is no sexism against men” not the statement “these are not instances of female sexism against men”.

    This is what you said: “There is definitely systemic anti-male bias on many issues as you mentioned. The (dishonest) retort of some feminists is that this can’t be “sexist’ because women don’t have power relative to men.

    The idea that women don’t have power relative to men is to combat the idea that women are the source of sexism against men. If you’re not arguing about that, then the “women don’t have power” argument isn’t relevant.

    I’m sorry but could you clarify exactly which position you are disagreeing with?

    The idea that women can’t be sexist towards men.

  44. Lucy says

    I think it’s a good list. I’d add a couple more.

    My first observation is that some of the abuse women get online isn’t anger so much as bullying and may not even be done that consciously.

    I spent part of my schooling at a boys’ school, the girls were harassed and insulted if they had large breasts or if they had small breasts, but particular ire was reserved for girls they deemed ugly, square, nerdy or otherwise “unfuckable”. They were not only shunned and verbally abused with inventive but cruel nicknames and deconstructions of their appearance and personality, but objects were thrown at them, doors slammed in their faces, they were stalked and taunted, pushed down small staircases, belongings stolen, humiliated in graffiti on walls or blackboards. There seemed to be a genuine desire to destroy or drive theses girls out of sight.

    I see the same process at work amongst adult men in the work environment, much more subdued and subtle, but plain women still get the cold shoulder and treated with less respect, more harshly in meetings, don’t get the offers of help with heavy luggage, or lifts, doors opened, etc. On a few occasions I’ve seen grown men humiliate women by drawing horrible pictures of them, etc.

    I’ve thought about it a lot over the years, and have come to the conclusion that it’s kind of primeval, some kind of evolved pack behaviour. I’ve notived that a lot of men are only nice to women if they present a sexual opportunity, and they don’t bother with those who don’t. Women who are unattractive seem to actually offend some men.

    I think feminists to a lot of men are unattractive, sometimes physically, but possibly because they exhibit intelligence, personality traits and opinions that take them out of the mating pot for a lot of men. They react by either trying to assert their sexual superiority (with rape jokes and threats) or they demean them so they can convince themselves and other men that this woman is one of the discarded.

    ———

    My second observation is that critics of feminism often say they don’t think women play fair. I often hear variations on this theme, from the ludicrous,”if women want to be treated equally then I should be allowed to punch them in the face like I can a man”, to the banal, “women don’t want to be equal, they want to be more than equal”, to the more imaginative, “how come women don’t fight to be sewage workers?” Or “women weren’t unequal in the past, they were an aristocracy served by men”. It’s kind of related to the, “you can’t even open a door for a woman these days”. I don’t know how much of this resentment is genuinely felt, how much is down to ignorance, how much is just acting out or is just a tactic. I suspect some men feel conflicted about the traditional requirement to be chivalrous to women and the modern requirement of treating them as equal and it throws up these kinds of confusions and therefore frustrations.


    Just as an aside, I think as with any complex political theory, there will be those who thoroughlyunderstandit, and a wider group who only get what they see in popular culture. So there is an unfortunate strand amongst women who don’t necessarily really understand feminism terribly well themselves who believe feminism acting entitled or being obnoxious which doesn’t do the cause many favours and these may well be the “feminists” that the less informed men are coming up against in day to day life.

  45. Soarer says

    @Bitethehand Post 47

    I would like to see an end to these shameless, gratuitously sexist pieces and the slut-shaming of women for behaviours men are rarely criticised for. I live in hope.

    from – ‘Slut-shaming Kate Winslet exposes sexist double standard applied to women’ by Zoe Margolis

    I’m not sure what point you are making here. Most men couldn’t care less about the romantic attachments of Kate Winslett.

    But in condemning “this sexist double standard,” Margolis omits to mention that the authors of these pieces are almost invariably women. As are the presumed readers – not to mention the “middle class mothers” making snide remarks on Facebook. The underlying feminist assumption is not simply that women are oppressed, but that women are oppressed by men and by the phallocentric, hegemonic structures (aka “the patriarchy”) by which men have always ensured their dominance. I don’t imagine that most men care two hoots about Kate Winslet’s private life.

    Why do women enjoy slut-shaming Kate Winslet?

    I suspect men don’t like to be blamed for things which they are not doing, is all.

  46. Horseradish says

    I think Ally and Zoe are both right to identify that women are more likely to bear the brunt of nasty attacks based on their opinion or their sexual activity than men are. Personally I’m embarrassed and upset when I think that women receive spiteful hate mail to their dating profiles or in response to a fair and balanced blog entry they have written. I wonder where the guys who send in this stuff are coming from, because they don’t resemble any men I know.

    I think in a few of the comments above there’s a lot of conflation of women in general with feminists, and also conflation of some men being angry in general….with some men being angry with women or feminism. Maybe I’m even to blame for getting those signals mixed up a bit. But these are all different issues. What I think is totally unacceptable is taking out one’s anger (with life, with society, with one’s lot) on a woman. On any woman. Or indeed on any man.

    And I think any culture that encourages bullying, whether of men or women, is degrading to all of us and should be stamped out.

  47. Lucy says

    Richard

    “Because men get just as angry at other men as they do at women, but extend a level of respect and honor to men (even when bad mouthing them) that they never feel inclined to extend to women. Just look at how men express their anger against other men and compare it to how they express their anger to women, and you’ll see the difference is not degree or persistence of loathing, but simply what one deems an appropriate way to express and act on it.”

    I remember once reading in FHM an interview with a man who’d been badly mauled be a bear and lost his whole face including his eyes. If that article had been in a woman’s magazine it would have been sympathetic and concerned, in FHM it was a comedy piece. I’m in two minds about which is the more appropriate approach giben this was a rufty tufty guy who seemed to be in on the joke. I do think that some/a lot of men are naturally quite callous, in a way that shocks and upsets women because they operate differently. Perhaps some of the ill treatment by men of women is just this callousness, maybe it is sometimes pushed further with women because they get an unexpected rise from them.

    However some of it is because in women, men have found a victim who’s not going to be able to retailiate physically. It’s the same reason women get a harder time on the roads from road rage guys, and why an guy feels confident about calling women sexist names in the street knowing she can’t retaliate in kind because she’s scared of the physical confrontation.

  48. John Morales says

    bugmaster @35

    As far as I can tell, the main goal is to raise the social status of women relative to men, who currently enjoy too much status.

    Huh.

    As I interpret it, the main goal is for society to discontinue using gender as a basis for imputing social status to anyone.

  49. John Morales says

    [erratum]

    As I interpret it, the main goal is for society to discontinue using gender as a basis for imputing social status to anyone.

  50. bugmaster says

    John Morales @52

    I think these are two separate goals that are often, though not always, congruent. Naturally, making gender irrelevant to status will accomplish the first goal as well. However, there are policies that can accomplish the first goal without solving the second; e.g. Affirmative Action, Women’s Shelters, Women’s Studies classes, etc.

    I don’t have a problem with all, or even with most, such policies. What I do have a problem with is the policy of splitting the world into “allies” (who wholeheartedly agree with everything you say) and “misogynists” (everyone else). This leaves no room for debate, critical evaluation of the effectiveness of one’s policies, and even basic mutual respect.

    At the risk of sounding like a misogynist, I’d like to claim that some goals are more important than feminism; and creating a society where respect is paramount and critical thinking is the norm is pretty close to the top of that list. That said, I do acknowledge that this is not strictly necessary if all you want to do is to diminish the male privilege as quickly as possible.

  51. Adiabat says

    Jacob Schmidt: “I’m gonna go with “no”.”

    Fine. Then could you explain why your reaction to me linking the prevalence of the trolling that feminists receive to the culture of feminist sites is the exact opposite reaction you have to the concept of “Rape Culture”? Can you explain why your initial response to me is practically identical to the responses many people make who disagree with “rape culture”?

    The reason my previous post to you was worded that way was that you seem to be holding two vastly different value systems with regards to the responsibilities of those who propagate attitudes and practices that normalize and increase the prevalence of unwanted behavior and I am curious as to how you reconcile those viewpoints. I apologize if my post seemed assholish, sometimes my writing style comes off that way (and of course sometimes I’m genuinely being an asshole – just not this time).

  52. Soarer says

    @55 Bitethehand

    Double standards?

    The quote was ‘sexist double standards’. Are you saying its not sexist, on the grounds that its almost exclusively women who are doing it to other women?

    In which case, we agree.

  53. thetalkingstove says

    Some feminists are impossible to engage with. Seriously. Not long back I had a disturbing run-in with someone on Twitter using the @EverydaySexism TL to post and comment. Someone happened to suggest that, while unpleasant or sexual, the last few posts tagged “sexism” actually weren’t. They just happened to women, and were reported (as above) in the worst light. When I commented that actually he had a point, one “feminist” accused me repeatedly of being anti-feminist, a saboteur, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Well, perhaps you could consider the situation of this person.

    When women say ‘hey, this is sexist’, they are *constantly* getting told that no, actually, it is not, stop complaining.
    I don’t think that’s a controversial statement.

    I will believe you that something on the @EverydaySexism feed was not technically sexism. I’ve seen a few examples of that. But pointing it out achieves…what? You’re just adding to the constant barrage of ‘That’s not sexist! That’s not sexist!’ that women get when they try and lift a rock on their experiences.

    So you’re right, and it wasn’t sexist. Great, that’s one example down, 999 to go.
    Did you respond to all the other examples that *were* sexist, giving sympathy and encouragement, or did you only respond to nitpick on one particular example?

    If someone gets angry with you, it’s not necessarily because of you. Straws, camels backs, etc.

  54. says

    Re: the slut-shaming of Kate Winslet. If I didn’t follow the Heresiarch’s blog I’d have had no idea that a handful of spiteful female newspaper columnists were saying these things. The slut-shaming of Tiger Woods and John Terry were much more high-profile and widespread.

    The fact is, we have a hair-trigger for offences against women and barely notice worse offences against men. Which was considered the more serious gender issue in the media in the summer of 2011: “Elevatorgate” (man attempts to chat up Rebecca Watson at a conference, is rebuffed) or Catherine Kieu Becker cutting off her husband’s penis because he wanted a divorce? And which, when it was discussed at all, was treated as comedy?

    For that matter, when British soccer commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys made a sexist joke about the first women to officiate at a professional match, claiming women were incapable of understanding the offside rule, they both lost their jobs. None of the panelists on the Talk who laughed approvingly at Catherine Kieu Becker’s crime lost theirs, not even after the first attempt at an apology when Sharon Osborne couldn’t read a prepared statement with a straight face.

    Do women receive more abuse online than men? I doubt it. They receive more sympathy when they do, so they publicise it. The only study I know of that compares the sexes in how much abuse they get is this Swedish one that found that male journalists were slightly more likely to receive abuse or threats than female ones. Meanwhile, we have a case of a female student activist at the University of Wyoming who allegedly made an anonymous rape threat against herself on Facebook (and, it turns out, has previous for threatening a man with a firearm. That man had fired her from a job at a radio station, but she apparently still manages to work in radio).

    It’s the damsel in distress reflex. If something upsets, discomfits or threatens a woman, it’s everybody’s responsibility to oppose it. If something upsets, discomfits or threatens a man, he should just man up and deal with it. If feminists were serious about dismantling traditional gender roles, they’d be opposing this. Instead, they make endless use of it, against shared parenting proposals, against people trying to set up men’s issues groups in universities, against free speech on campus, against opponents within the sceptic movement.

  55. John Morales says

    Patrick Brown @59,

    I don’t have a problem with all, or even with most, such policies. What I do have a problem with is the policy of splitting the world into “allies” (who wholeheartedly agree with everything you say) and “misogynists” (everyone else). This leaves no room for debate, critical evaluation of the effectiveness of one’s policies, and even basic mutual respect.

    You sure you’re not misrepresenting the claim that to do nothing is to tacitly perpetuate the status quo?

  56. Ian Sudbery says

    I think that 9 has to be a large part of it, coupled with the fact that men do just get angrier about stuff in general. Whether its higher levels of testosterone, or that fact that we learn early on in the playground that he who shouts the loudest (or makes the worst threats) generally wins, aggression is seen as the natural way to win a dispute.

    It is natural to adopt a defensive position against any perceived criticism. I know I do it in my work all the time. Once a man perceives that an argument might be about them, they are likely to feel defensive, especially if they think of themselves as a good person (doesn’t everyone?). So they feel angry and resentful. This is likely to impair there ability to understand and discuss something in a purely objective manner. This will come across in any interactions they have: They are starting to become the very thing they resented being accused of in the first place. So next time they hear a criticism, they are even more likely to assume that they are being accused of something, which will make them even more angry and defensive. Thus a positive feedback is set up, with the man in question becoming more and more angry at each step. At some point, even if they weren’t the subject of the original criticism, they do become the very thing they resented feeling accused of in the first place.

  57. Adiabat says

    thetalkingstove: The topic is why do men get angry with feminists. The fact that Ian Jade got the responses he did rather than your calm and reasoned response is a reason why men get angry with feminists. And the responses he got aren’t atypical.

    It’s Troll Culture!

  58. Ally Fogg says

    @PatrickBrown (59)

    Re: the slut-shaming of Kate Winslet. If I didn’t follow the Heresiarch’s blog I’d have had no idea that a handful of spiteful female newspaper columnists were saying these things. The slut-shaming of Tiger Woods and John Terry were much more high-profile and widespread.

    Not really comparable. Woods and Terry were hauled over the coals for extra-marital affairs which hurt other people – their wives, the families of those they had affairs with etc.

    I’m no fan of gossip in any circumstances, and I’m not really any more interested in those stories than the Winslett one (none of my business) but the key point about Winslett is that she had done nothing to hurt anyone that we know of.

    There’s a Liverpool footballer called Raheem Sterling who had three different kids by three different mothers by the age of 16, when he was picked for England. See how many tut-tutting morality comment pieces you can find about him? Coz I can’t find any.

    For that matter, when British soccer commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys made a sexist joke about the first women to officiate at a professional match

    that’s a bit of a misrepresentation, as I recall. The scandal erupted when they made comments – not jokes, but pretty gross sexist remarks in front of colleagues at work, but then when footage of that came to light so too did a whole bunch of other past offences including sexually harassing female colleagues.

    On the other hand, I agree with you that heads should have rolled over the Sharon Osbourne thing, but it is not really like-for-like comparison – different stations, different countries, different circumstances.

    Jeremy Clarkson never lost his job for joking about murdering prostitutes, in contrast.

    Do women receive more abuse online than men? I doubt it.

    Take it from me, male journalists and bloggers get loads of abuse. Maybe just as much as women, across the board. But that Swedish study doesn’t distinguish between all female journalists (most of whom will cover local news, lost cats, council meetings, restaurant reviews or whatever) and specifically feminist activists and bloggers.

    I know lots of male and lots of female writers, bloggers, journalists. All of us receive abuse and the occasional expressed wish that we should die a horrible death or catch cancer. It goes with the territory. However I have zero doubt that avowedly feminist polemicists and activists receive a volume, intensity and flavour of abuse and hatred that is way off the scale of the rest of us. The kind of thing I linked to from Rebecca Watson or Lindy West is something I have never faced in years of writing and blogging about this stuff and never expect to, because it virtually never happens to men (unless we’re black, Muslim or gay, where different dynamics come in).

    Meanwhile, we have a case of a female student activist at the University of Wyoming who allegedly made an anonymous rape threat against herself on Facebook (and, it turns out, has previous for threatening a man with a firearm. That man had fired her from a job at a radio station, but she apparently still manages to work in radio).

    Not sure I get the relevance of that. Someone sock-puppeted on a Facebook page, presumably for attention. She got caught and prosecuted for wasting police time. Are you suggesting that those tweets on Lindy West’s timeline or Anita Sarkeesian’s Youtube videos are all fabrications for attention? If not, what’s your point?

  59. Ally Fogg says

    By the way folks, if you haven’t seen it, Jim Norton, the comedian who was debating with Lindy West about rape jokes where it all began, wrote a really good thing on xojane which is kind of relevant to this discussion.

    Twitter is a great tool, but one of the problems is that many people have no idea how to get their point across in 140 characters intelligently, so they immediately revert to “FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!”. (I know this because I’ve reverted to it often). People are afraid someone will respond with something smarter, so they just say something horrible in an effort to be heard. And that desire to be heard, to weigh in, is powerful. So, when people feel like no one is listening, they say something barbaric and vicious which is impossible to ignore.

  60. Copyleft says

    Maudell @29 gives an excellent summary of a very common scenario (perhaps more common than many women are aware) that can lead to one form of male resentment and anger. As does Ian Jade @41.

    But Jebedee @45 makes a point that’s especially relevant to skeptics: the attitude that bad arguments should get a pass if they’re feminist is specifically irritating to many folks who prize rationality. Demands for evidence, for example, should never be off-limits or condemned as unfair in certain topics–they should appear everywhere, in any type of discussion.

  61. Copyleft says

    Ally @64: Is it possible that some women have had less exposure to abuse and indifference specifically because of their status as women? Sometimes I encounter women who have apparently never once been told “Shut up, nobody cares.” For most men, that’s an attitude so common and everyday as to go unmentioned and unnoticed.

  62. Lucy says

    Let’s not underestimate the part played by legislation in all this.

    Many types of online hate speech are illegal (those that are motivated by race, nationality, sexuality, disability, religion. But one type isn’t: that motivated by gender/sex.

    I sometimes wonder whether women are copping some of the hatred and anger that can’t be expressed against these other groups. With the added benefit that women can’t in general pose much of a counter-threat.

  63. Lucy says

    I also think that little girls and boys grow up thinking it’s okay to hate and shun or tease one another (horrible smelly boys, girl germs, kiss chase, tying girls plaits to the desk, girls beating up boys). Born out of a time in life when girls frequently are bigger and stronger than boys. There is a mutual understanding that this is just play fighting and even a kind of childish flirting. When they get older men may forget that they’re no longer the same size as women or enjoying a subservient role in life and that what they may consider tit for tat jesting takes on a new character.

  64. Freja says

    I don’t think it’s feminism specifically, I think it’s women in general. Women who write about controversial political subjects just get more of it, and women who write about controversial political subjects specifically centred around them being women (i.e. female feminists) get the worst. And I agree with Lucy that often, it’s just plain bullying. John Scalzi has a great post about it.

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/08/31/the-sort-of-crap-i-dont-get/

  65. Paul B says

    @59 Paddy Brown

    Do women receive more abuse online than men? I doubt it. They receive more sympathy when they do, so they publicise it

    If my admittedly limited online life is anything to go by i’d say the sexes were equally guilty when it comes to dishing out abuse. However as in real life there’s a double standard which as you say gets women more sympathy and which some women are extremely adept at exploiting – and i’m sure men would be the same if they could get away with it.

    Double standards which favour men are viewed as being problematic in feminist discourse whereas those which favour women rarely if ever get a mention.And that’s one reason why i feel we need an open and honest debate about what we mean by gender equality in this country. For at present the gender equality debate is firmly weighted in favour of addressing the inequalities that women can undoubtedly experience whilst ignoring those experienced by men. Which perhaps explains why growing numbers of men are getting pissed off.For at present the gender equality debate largely views women as being either victims or paragons of virtue whilst men are routinely demonised .And that’s not an accurate reflection on the way most men and women are in real life.It’s more complex than that.

  66. Schala says

    I spent part of my schooling at a boys’ school, the girls were harassed and insulted if they had large breasts or if they had small breasts, but particular ire was reserved for girls they deemed ugly, square, nerdy or otherwise “unfuckable”.

    A boy’s school…so how come there were girls to be bullied?

    Either it’s
    1) A co-ed school (and thus totally not a boy’s school)
    2) Only the staff was female, and teachers (who are adults) and such were judged and punished for being “unfuckable” by boys 4-17 years old.
    3) This is the school of a “boy you know”, or your son, or some such.

    Which is it?

    I heard female-on-female bullying is also not all that rosy.

    And I know firsthand that male-on-male bullying is just as bad as what you listed. Girls are not singled out.

  67. Lucy says

    @Schala

    A boys’ school that took in girls in the 6th form.

    Girl-on-girl bullying isn’t rosy, but it’s not as bad as the boy-on-girl kind and anyway we’re talking about male anger here not female anger.

  68. Schala says

    >Girl-on-girl bullying isn’t rosy, but it’s not as bad as the boy-on-girl kind and anyway we’re talking about male anger here not female anger.

    Regardless of the truth of the matter, this will be the response. By the patriarchy, by conservatives, by feminists, by white knights and even by most male bullies.

    Maybe the victims of female bullying disagree though.

  69. Paul B says

    @72 ammendment.

    If my admittedly limited online life is anything to go by i’d say the sexes were equally guilty when it comes to dishing out abuse.

    Meant to say. : –

    ”If my admittedly limited online life is anything to go by i’d say the sexes were equally guilty when it comes to dishing out abuse and as likely as each other to be on the receiving end of it..

  70. Schala says

    Girl-on-girl bullying has led girls to suicide even here in Canada.

    Bullying works this way:

    Many guys will bully the “lesser” guys on the hierarchy, most guys even if they don’t do it, won’t interfere or intervene. The edict on “don’t hit girls” (which is enforced mostly by boys) ensures that few boys even dare to hit girls ever (Nelson, Jimbo, and the two others in the Simpsons wouldn’t dare to hit a girl, even a female bully, but the female bully had no such problem bullying “male nerds”).

    I guess that bullying on the girl-on-girl works in a similar way. Bully the “lesser” on the hierarchy. And slut-shaming applies here, since it signifies sexual desperation to many.

    Girl-on-boy bullying, physical or psychological, is not condemned.

    Boy-on-girl bullying, at least the physical kind (although boys tend to use psychological bullying less) is condemned heavily.

    From what I hear, the boy bullying is mostly physical, and if there is psychological bullying on top, it’s part of the physical – it’s intimidation, fear (usually justified) of being beaten some more and the likes.

    From what I hear, the girl bullying is mostly psychological, I can’t know about wether there is physical bullying on top (except when done on weaker boys – since I was the target of such a bully pre-transition, when seen as male). It’s about ruining the reputation, self-esteem and “breaking” the spirit of the victim.

    Both type could cause social anxiety.

    In all cases, fighting back, unless you demonstrate clearly you’re an equal fighter/bully, is unlikely to stop it (fight and get beaten, and you just riled them up more). Telling on them is unlikely to change things, as the staff think they are powerless to stop it, or that you provoked it (regardless of facts). Parents will also be ineffective. So the only option is to either modify your behavior so as to avoid opportunities of bullying (sometimes can involve being more conformist), or to tough it out until you get out from that school in some years.

    I chose the tough it out. I have social anxiety nowadays, whenever in public. Irrational fear of mostly children and teenagers of both sexes, and a bit of adults. Doesn’t work if I know them personally and trust them.

  71. Paul B says

    @ 74 Lucy

    Girl-on-girl bullying isn’t rosy, but it’s not as bad as the boy-on-girl kind and anyway we’re talking about male anger here not female anger.

    I know this thread is about male anger but out of interest what do you base your above statement on ? This country has a problem of bullying both in the world of adults and children and females are every bit as guilty as males although they may be less upfront in their approach. Back in 2001 For instance Ofsted published a report in 2001 which stated that girls are actually more guilty than boys of subjecting others to psychological and emotional bullying which can have as devastating effect on the victims as more upfront types of bullying. And it stated that neither parents nor teachers were doing enough to challenge girls about this.Additionally bullying by women in the workplace is as big a problem as bullying by men with one significant difference. Male bullies are generally more even-handed insofar as they’re as likely to target other men as they are women. Female bullies on the other hand are more likely to target other women. Possibly explains why surveys repeatedly show that given the choice most women prefer to work for male bosses.

  72. Lucy says

    “Boy-on-girl bullying, at least the physical kind (although boys tend to use psychological bullying less) is condemned heavily.”

    I’d disagree, boys frequently gang-bully girls, I’ve seen it in numerous places. True it won’t tend to be as physical, they won’t generally punch girls for example, but they’ll push and jostle them and spit at them and throw stones at them, trip them up, tread on the backs of shoes and elbow them as they go past in the corridor, and accidentally spill things on them and the like. But their additional favoured tactics are ganging up and verbal bullying, cornering the victim to torment her and humiliation, this is every bit as psychological as the girl-on-girl kind, although perhaps boys aren’t quite so self-aware about their own tactics as girls are. But it mirrors what goes on online with gangs of boys and men rounding on a single isolated female victim.

    The reason I say girl-on-girl bullying isn’t so bad, I do think girls have more empathy, they’ll be vicious but there comes a point when they know enough is enough. And when teachers intervene then I think they are more amenable to stopping. Boys will just carry on.

  73. Adiabat says

    Lucy (80): What’s weird is that if you swap “boys” and “girls” around in your post you get what I would describe are the methods girls use to bully. Especially the bullying in groups thing and not stopping when enough is enough. They’ll keep pushing until their target is absolutely destroyed. Boys will often just have a punch up and are mates afterwards.

  74. Lucy says

    @Adiabat

    “Boys will often just have a punch up and are mates afterwards.”

    Yes, boys will do this *with each other*, not when they are bullying girls; then it’s a whole different dynamic. Think the film, Carrie.

    Another thing that occurs to me now is that when bullying boys physically or verbally bully girls they tend to do it anonymously, they will leave anonymous pictures and graffiti, they will make a noise or trip her up when she’s not looking and then melt into their crowd, throw things at her from the back of the class and so on. They don’t like her to know who’s doing it, but they do want their mates to know. With girl bullies pre-cyber bullying at least, it was the opposite, the girls want a victim to know who’s top dog, they’ll stare at her and make a show of whispering to friends about her. I think this bears some resemblance to how things play out online, female bullies tend to have a name and work independently, male ones tend to be anonymous and work in a gang.

  75. mas528 says

    @lucy , 48.

    They were not only shunned and verbally abused with inventive but cruel nicknames and deconstructions of their appearance and personality, but objects were thrown at them, doors slammed in their faces, they were stalked and taunted, pushed down small staircases, belongings stolen, humiliated in graffiti on walls or blackboards. There seemed to be a genuine desire to destroy or drive theses girls out of sight.

    Derail here, or semi-derail.
    Since I, a straight white male got all of that and worse/ Kicked, punched, stripped, held down naked on the ground so people could take turns kicking me.- both boys and girls. How how about late night telephone calls that my parents would be killed, and my pets if I told anyone.

    I know that some other kids got that treatment too, but we could not commiserate because we were afraid of being seen with each other.

    My anger did not manifest until my experience was completely and utterly dismisses by first,. Dan Savage and then by the Master <Strike?RaceSex Feminists. None of them care? Fine.

  76. says

    Adiabat @81:

    Boys will often just have a punch up and are mates afterwards.

    Not always. I suffered severe psychological bullying from boys in primary school, and like Schala it left me with social anxiety. It’s still there, but I’ve learned to cope with it.

    This problem with psychological bullying is it’s completely deniable. You cumulatively wind your victim up til they snap, and respond in a way that’s completely proportional to the ongoing campaign, but totally out of proportion to the immediate provocation – at which point the bullies say “we didn’t do anything” and the victim gets in trouble. Rinse and repeat. The victim gets further and further ground down, and unlike physical bullying, the bullies rarely suffer any consequences.

  77. Adiabat says

    Lucy (82): Again I would say the opposite. It is girls who prefer the deniability. They want to appear innocent when they’ve driven their victim either to break down or lash out. And they are really good at it. This is how they use the local authority, such as teachers, parents, police etc, to continue their bullying for them. They rely on the “virtuous” female gender role and “Patriarchal” chivalry to get their way.

    You also see this dynamic in the feminist campaigns to use the “Patriarchy” to bully men by passing various “natural aggressor” laws where men are automatically arrested with regards to domestic violence, even if they are the victim, and refuse men access to their children after divorce. It’s what enables women to claim they were the real victim just after they shoot their sleeping partners in the back.

    Not that boys are little angels mind you. There’s plenty to criticise there. The main thing in their bullying of girls who aren’t typically attractive is that the girls in effect lose most of their “female” status. They become as ‘fair game’ as other boys, in effect they receive the same bullying as ‘weak boys’, the nerds and geeks. The one exception may be that the societal norm of “don’t hit girls” is so strong that unattractive girls may still get a pass on the worst of the physical violence ‘weak boys’ will get.

  78. Adiabat says

    Patrick: Crossposted there. I agree with the “Not always”. I made a distinction in my post above with ‘weak boys’. Note that I don’t use the qualifier ‘weak’ as a value judgement, but rather to reference how the bullies themselves view their victims.

    Love to continue this but Ive gotta go. I’ll no doubt respond to any replies eventually.

  79. Horseradish says

    Schala – I went to a boys’ prep school that took a few girls. Maybe it says something about the private school system and about gender bias that even with a few dozen girls the school called itself a boys’ school.

  80. Schala says

    Schala – I went to a boys’ prep school that took a few girls. Maybe it says something about the private school system and about gender bias that even with a few dozen girls the school called itself a boys’ school.

    Tell me about it, I keep hearing about (female) nurses and (female) child educators, in a non-100% female sector (nursing and daycares), as if it was 100%.

    This is in French, where male is gender-neutral, and female is gender-specific, on top.

    It would be like having “school” (can have just boys, co-ed, mostly boys, mostly girls, etc), and “girl’s school” (no boys ever).

    Except that grammatically, people take the statements about nurses being mostly/only female and daycare workers being the same as not only descriptive (no men there), but as prescriptive (women’s work).

  81. Sasori says

    re: Raheem Sterling, a quick google yielded a few somewhat tut-tuting, gossipy articles about how ‘he’s a dad at 17′ etc (none in major broadsheets that I could find), some hilarious speculation about how many kids he has
    and this article… http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/raheem-sterling-interview-the-liverpool-starlet-1528167

    where he says he only has one (this could be out of date though).
    This was discussed on the Guardian Football Weekly podcast a while ago (along with Gabriel Agbonlahor iirc), and while there was a bit of a moral air and tut-tutting, it was done in a tongue in cheek way. I remember somebody making a joke about how the future England team might be populated exclusively by the progeny of Sterling etc. I also remember reading pieces on Mick Jagger and other middle aged lotharios that were similar, perhaps a reason there isn’t a direct equivalent is that there is no ‘men’s section’ of papers where people discuss things like this. I could imagine a direct equivalent of that article in a Telegraph version of the Good Men Project, say, and I’ve seen very similar articles in ‘The Voice’ and other middle class Afro Carribean media.

    re the OP, I agree that another factor in the problem is people taking internet hyperbole and trolling as read and not indicative of ingroup/outgroup relationships, incoherent reactions to misrepresentation etc and (often mild IRL) disgruntlement.

  82. jacobletoile says

    I suspect the answer is confusion. If I may make a generalization about feminism that i have seen, it is largely about trying to change behavior. The specific behaviors can be more or less clear and highly dependent on the individual feminist.

    Most people who have dogs are really terrible trainers. The standard response, based on the people I have known and interacted with is to punish what you don’t like and take for granted what you do like. Simply smacking a dog for jumping up in greeting is a perfect example. When you are trying to establish an acceptable behavior patern with a dog, the most important thing is to first make sure the dog understands the behavior that is expected of it. You teach the expected behavior first, and when the dog understands what is expected then you can work on eliminating unwanted behavior. If you simply punish all bad behavior you end up with a whole range of unplesent responses from fear to resentment to anger to avoidance.

    Sound familiar? Much of the feminist response I have seen centers around harsher, or gentler phraseings of “your wrong and here’s why”. So what. . . Most people are not intentionally jerks, unless the unacceptable behavior is replaced the criticism is not productive. It may be argued that it is not my responsibility to teach you how to behave, ie “you don’t get cookies for being a decent human being” but if you punish a behavior without working to instill another you have no controll of what behaivor you get.

    I summary, I suspect that a significant portion of the hostility to feminists and feminism stems from being punished for inapropriate behaivor, and not knowing what apropriate behaivor is.l

  83. says

    Ally @64

    Woods and Terry were hauled over the coals for extra-marital affairs which hurt other people – their wives, the families of those they had affairs with etc.

    In Terry’s case, the affair is still only alleged. God knows it’s a wrench to stick up for him, but he’s always denied it, and so has the women he allegedly had an affair with, who was not subject to any of the same treatment in the press; neither was Ryan Gigg’s sister-in-law, neither are the women involved in tabloid kiss-and-tells. Dominque Strauss-Kahn was almost unanimously assumed to be guilty by the whole left because of his unconventional sex-life. Public judgementalism over the private lives of others doesn’t all go one way, and slut-shaming of women is the only aspect of this that has people arguing against it.

    Jeremy Clarkson never lost his job for joking about murdering prostitutes, in contrast.

    To my knowledge he’s never made a loke about a specific murder – his prostitute-murder jokes are about stereotyping lorry drivers, which nobody cares about.

    that’s a bit of a misrepresentation, as I recall. The scandal erupted when they made comments – not jokes, but pretty gross sexist remarks in front of colleagues at work, but then when footage of that came to light so too did a whole bunch of other past offences including sexually harassing female colleagues.

    Involving Gray, but not Keys, as I recall – that was entirely about the crack about women not understanding the offside rule. Which was, undeniably, a sexist joke.

    Not sure I get the relevance of that. Someone sock-puppeted on a Facebook page, presumably for attention. She got caught and prosecuted for wasting police time. Are you suggesting that those tweets on Lindy West’s timeline or Anita Sarkeesian’s Youtube videos are all fabrications for attention? If not, what’s your point?

    My point is that the damsel-in-distress reflex can be, and sometimes is, knowingly abused – and regarding her past conviction, that female criminals often don’t see the same sort of consequences that their male counterparts do, another aspect of traditional gender roles that feminists don’t complain about. Perhaps I should have been clearer.

  84. Copyleft says

    Jacobletoile @91: What about the curious notion that women get to tell men what is and is not “appropriate behavior,” while men should certainly never have that same privilege in reverse? (Imagine the cries of “arrogant, mansplaining patriarchal oppression!” if a man tried to tell women how their behavior was wrong and how to correct it.)

  85. Freja says

    93 Copyleft:

    Women most certainly should have a huge say in what is and is not appropriate behaviour towards women, even when that behaviour is men’s. The idea that men can just decide among themselves what they think is fair and unfair to subject women to, and then go ahead and do it with no consequences, is…. well, I wouldn’t actually call it misogynist, since that would require actually seeing women as relevant (albeit hated) entities, but it’s certainly not right.

    If a man treats a woman in a way she doesn’t want to be treated, he can explain why he doesn’t think she should have the right to avoid said treatment, why he thought she didn’t mind, why so many other women like the treatment that it’s ridiculous to let this one woman set the standard, or any other explanation or combination of explanations for his behaviour he wants. Just like everybody else when their behaviour is criticised. What he shouldn’t get to say is “I’m a man, therefore no one who is a woman has a right to criticise my behaviour”.

  86. Freja says

    Patrick Brown @92

    The reason the women weren’t subject to the same criticism is already stated in your post. You refer to them as “the women he allegedly had an affair with”, “ Ryan Gigg’s sister-in-law”, and “the women involved in tabloid kiss-and-tell”. In contrast, all your male examples are mentioned by name. That tells me that either you believe that women, even prominent and famous women, are irrelevant except for their relationship with men, or these women weren’t in the public eye to begin with. I’m guessing the latter, because even as someone who doesn’t tabloids, I keep hearing about Kristen Stewart allegedly cheating (on someone she isn’t even married to).

    I think you’re being disingenuous with your examples, trying to use them to justify your opinion, rather than basing your opinion on them. Maybe you don’t mean to be, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why you would first take two completely different situations (seriously, there are tons of poly/kinky/slutty/open relationship-types of people who nonetheless finds cheating morally repugnant) and portray them as identical, and when it’s pointed out to you, just claim that what you were really upset about the whole time was that the media doesn’t take the same interest in unnamed women as in celebrity men.

  87. bugmaster says

    John Morales @60:

    You sure you’re not misrepresenting the claim that to do nothing is to tacitly perpetuate the status quo?

    I’m not sure how this relates to what I said; can you elaborate ?

  88. N4M says

    Please add to the list ‘Churnalism’, or the ‘Flat Earth News’ approach to informing the masses.

    Nick Davies gives a fantastic talk on this here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbd3RQBkprw , where he cites a study by Cardiff Uni School of Journalism. This apparently showed that around 54% of ‘serious’ broadsheet news coverage had been lifted pretty much directly from the work of PR lobbyists.

    Of course, when it comes to reporting ‘gender issues’, we all know what that means: press releases from groups like Rosa or the Women’s Business Council’ get presented as serious news items, which are supposed to be taken on trust by the public.

    To be fair, the newspaper which Ally writes for, The Guardian, is quite upstanding in this regard: they will publish thirty of forty pieces of news coverage and commentary, based on the ideas and propaganda from the lobby that wants to abolish prison for women and replace it with counselling. Then, when many of these reforms have been secured, and have already gone through, they will allow one solitary piece from Ally, saying that it might ideally have been better if such reforms were extended to men, even though that’s clearly never going to happen.

    What’s always missing from such a piece is an open and honest admission of how corrupt the media have become, when they encourage politicians to pursue a course of action which they have already embarked upon, rather than holding them up to proper independent scrutiny.

    The trouble is that, in so many areas of life, we see this happening again and again: only last week, the Women’s Business Council published a report saying how many millions more would be added to the economy if we got more women in to work. Inevitably, the Observer reproduced these ideas, near word for word, as if they were some kind of Gospel Truth. (Interestingly, the same sort of thing would never be said of men, even though their unemployment rates are higher!)

    Unfortunately, I’m also inclined to agree with Nick Davies, when he says that this state of news dissemination is probably something we just can’t change. To use his analogy, it is rather like a patient in the last stages of terminal cancer: a doctor can make a diagnosis and describe the symptoms, but the disease has taken hold so strongly that very little can be done. Sadly, I believe that this is where we are in the cultural landscape of Britain today.

  89. Copyleft says

    Freja @94: That sounds fine… so why is it that whenever men presume to say what behaviors in -women- they find unacceptable, they’re met with “HOW DARE YOU”? The notion of a man declaring what female behavior he will and will not stand for is brandished as proof of entitlement/privilege/misogyny/buzzword of your choice.

    Seems like a double standard to me, but then I’m just a man, I don’t know any better….

  90. Freja says

    Copyleft @ 98: You will have to give me some actual examples. Most of the gendered criticism I see from men is not about women’s behaviour towards them, but something which doesn’t concern them at all (such as a woman being slutty). Just like you might be frustrated about alleged feminists talking about all the things men do wrong without giving actual suggestions about how to do it right, I and other women find it increasingly frustrating to be bombarded with vague criticisms that are impossible to address, such as the frequent “You don’t want equality, you only want all the advantages” or “You never accept criticism”, withoit specific examples of this alleged behaviour.

  91. Ginkgo says

    Freja @ 99 “Copyleft @ 98: You will have to give me some actual examples”

    The whole exhibitionist Slutwalk thing was in response to a man presuming to lecture women on their behavior.

  92. Freja says

    Exactly, being slutty. Which was the example I gave of something which isn’t a behaviour of women towards men. You could argue that it was sound advice, but first you would have to find some credible studies showing that not dressing like a slut could actually decrease the risk of rape, and then argue why asking women to limit themselves in this way is in any way different than telling people to, say, not dress like goths in order to not be assaulted, or avoid disclosing their status as atheist.

    In short, it wasn’t about a man telling women what to do, it was about what he was telling them not to do, and why. He didn’t argue that the behaviour was destructive/threatening/demeaning/unpleasant to men (and if it is, please tell me why), he argued (without proof) that men were going to assault women if women didn’t uphold a certain dress code and women shouldn’t refrain from dressing this way because it was morally wrong or bad for men, but in order to protect themselves. Seriously, you can’t just find any example of man being rebuked for saying something to women, and a woman being defended for saying something to men, and then conclude that what was said was identical.

    Also, you mentioned JudgyBitch and have praised A Voice for Men that she writes for earlier, so I have to ask what you think about her assertion that the victim in the Steubenville rape case deserved it for being a whore?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2013/03/21/big-red-steubenville-whores/

    Judging by your endorsement of her and the site, and your attitude towards the police officer, I guess you agree that women being slutty is like an assault or harassment of men, but do you really think rape is the appropriate punishment? And why exactly do you feel it’s OK to link to JudgyBitch and AVFM as being legitimate social activists with reasonable opinions, while you seem to find even the slightest case of feminists/non-MRA women criticising (some) men to be a huge injustice?

  93. Ally Fogg says

    I’m trying to stay out of the various debates here, but can’t let this past

    Gingko (88)

    You’re not seriously linking to that JudgyBitch page as a serious commentary on anything, are you?

    I mean, come on.

  94. SteveF says

    I think on some level, equality to some men means that women too should bear the brunt of the negative aspects of patriarchy (for men) and bristle at the idea of women avoiding them.

    So, for example, if someone sends you nasty emails you don’t go on the internet and whine about it looking for sympathy. You ‘take it like a man’ and go about your business.

    If someone makes rude comments to you walking down the street and it bothers you, toughen up.

    (And so on.)

    I think many men see things this way because of the perception that the way equality for women will be achieved is by taking things away from men. So, they reason, in order for true equality to be achieved, women must have the same things taken away that patriarchy has taken from men.

    That’s a false logic, of course.

  95. jacobletoile says

    Copyleft @ 93. Who said anything about women. I said feminists. We define appropriate behavior for each other all the time. Some people have decided that they want to change some of societies behaviors with regard to societies view of women. This has generated a ton of resentment, I postulated on why, from a behavioral perspective.

  96. Ginkgo says

    Freja @ 101,

    “In short, it wasn’t about a man telling women what to do, it was about what he was telling them not to do, and why. ”

    Well by that standard most of women’s policing of men’s behavior is unaccepatable too.

    “He didn’t argue that the behaviour was destructive/threatening/demeaning/unpleasant to men (and if it is, please tell me why), he argued (without proof) that men were going to assault women if women didn’t uphold a certain dress code and women shouldn’t refrain from dressing this way because it was morally wrong or bad for men, but in order to protect themselves. Seriously, you can’t just find any example of man being rebuked for saying something to women, and a woman being defended for saying something to men, and then conclude that what was said was identical.”

    I am not going to defend anything at all about anything that policeman said or did. His entire coment was repreensible, every aspect of it. if he had said something about concealed carry as a way ot prevent rape, I might have been willing to support at least the principle. Even then i wouldn’t support that though.

    “Also, you mentioned JudgyBitch and have praised A Voice for Men that she writes for earlier, so I have to ask what you think about her assertion that the victim in the Steubenville rape case deserved it for being a whore?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2013/03/21/big-red-steubenville-whores/

    I think it’s a false assertion because I think she despises white women enough – with good reason; she lives in the US after all – that that is probably what motivated her completely unaccpetable reamrks.

    Judging by your endorsement of her and the site, and your attitude towards the police officer, I guess you agree that women being slutty is like an assault or harassment of men, but do you really think rape is the appropriate punishment?”

    Rape is abominable and never justified. Period.

    Sexual displays – verbal or visual – are a form of sexual harrassment if they are unwanted, and on a public street that is pretty much guaranteed.

  97. Ginkgo says

    Ally @ 101 “Gingko (88)

    You’re not seriously linking to that JudgyBitch page as a serious commentary on anything, are you?
    I mean, come on.”

    Ad hominem? Even Sady Doyle or Melissa McEwan or Amanda Marcotte have something to say worth listening to now and again. She’s way off base a lot of the time. But in this post does she have a point or not?

  98. DeepThought says

    @46:

    “This is what you said: “There is definitely systemic anti-male bias on many issues as you mentioned. The (dishonest) retort of some feminists is that this can’t be “sexist’ because women don’t have power relative to men.”

    The idea that women don’t have power relative to men is to combat the idea that women are the source of sexism against men. If you’re not arguing about that, then the “women don’t have power” argument isn’t relevant.

    No, the idea that women don’t have power relative to men (which is true on the whole) is dishonestly used (by some feminists) to combat that there is sexism against men, period. The issue is not whether women are the source of that sexism, since men can be and are sexist against other men, and in these issues this is where the sexism arises. Yes it’s true some feminists correctly state “patriarchy hurts men too” but their analysis of why it hurts men too are always going to miss the mark if the power dynamics of class privilege are left out of the discussion.

    @80:

    The reason I say girl-on-girl bullying isn’t so bad, I do think girls have more empathy, they’ll be vicious but there comes a point when they know enough is enough.

    Yeah, you see, this is why so many of us are pissed off. Generalizations based on gender are perfectly fine if they favor women (e.g. women have more empathetic, are more nurturing, etc.), but absolutely horrible if they favor men (e.g. men are better at math). And this because… MEN HAVE THE POWER so who cares.

  99. Freja says

    Ginko @ 105,

    Well by that standard most of women’s policing of men’s behavior is unaccepatable too.

    Again, examples. There are men making requirements about women’s behaviour and women making requirements about men’s behaviour (and people doing it to their own sex, though it’s less relevant here). You seem to be arguing that feminists are making requirements about men’s behaviour, but wont accept instances of men making requirements about women’s behaviour, and your example is…. a man making demands that we all agree women should oppose?

    Seriously, is there any way for feminists to actually win here? Either accept everything men say even when it’s blatantly misogynistic, or stop talking about men’s behaviour at all. That’s not much of a choice.

    I am not going to defend anything at all about anything that policeman said or did. His entire coment was repreensible, every aspect of it. if he had said something about concealed carry as a way ot prevent rape, I might have been willing to support at least the principle. Even then i wouldn’t support that though.

    Then why bring it up? You agree that this is something one could easily criticise without believing that no man have the right to make any criticism of any woman. Heck, you criticise it yourself (even if your focus has been on branding SlutWalks as exhibitionist). So how exactly it is a valid example?

    Women who get flak for criticising men usually focus on things men actually do to women, whether or not you agree that the behaviour merits criticism. Sluttiness isn’t something women to do men. Usually, the women who are sluts are perfectly content to go and be sluts in their own corner, while the men who attack women for sluttiness are usually in a different corner not having sex at all. The men are not forced by female sluts to be sluts themselves (though they often choose to be).

    I think it’s a false assertion because I think she despises white women enough – with good reason; she lives in the US after all – that that is probably what motivated her completely unaccpetable reamrks.

    So you think it’s OK to just despise white women on principle? And that it’s important for us to understand that her statements were inspired by hatred specifically? And that it’s OK to call the site she writes for as leading the fight for equality, or whatever you said the first time you praised AVFM? If you’re willing to overlook those kinds of statements and still link to the sites and praise the participants, just because they sometimes have a point, I believe you need to rethink your judgemental attitude towards feminism.

    Sexual displays – verbal or visual – are a form of sexual harrassment if they are unwanted, and on a public street that is pretty much guaranteed.

    And yet when feminists say the same thing, they’re told that women shouldn’t have any say in how men treat them unless they accept everything men tell them to do, lest they be hypocrites. Which was what you suggested when you brought up the slut-shaming police officer.

    If you or anyone else really think there’s a double standard of women getting to tell men what to do while men aren’t allowed the same, I’m willing to listen. But that requires examples. Actual examples of women policing men’s behaviour in an unfair way and getting support for it, and men making reasonable requests of women and being brushed aside because no man should ever tell a woman what to do. Not examples of women making requests you agree with and men making requests you disagree with, with the implication that women should either support both or neither.

  100. Lucy says

    What’s a slut? And how does one dress?

    Is this just a nasty insult/veiled threat thrown at one half of the human race for being one half of sexual reproduction?

    Like “trash”, is it at heart a comment on manmade fabrics?

  101. Lucy says

    @DeepThought

    “Generalizations based on gender are perfectly fine if they favor women (e.g. women have more empathetic, are more nurturing, etc.), but absolutely horrible if they favor men (e.g. men are better at math). And this because… MEN HAVE THE POWER so who cares.”

    Personally I’m fine with generalisations, as long as they are true and as long as they are worded accurately and as long as they change as the data does and as long as they aren’t used to determine people’s opportunities. I think it’s highly impractical to treat billions of people as individuals.

    So in that vein, I don’t know if women are more nurturing, I’m not even sure what nurturing means, it sounds lie a description of good mothering so is likely to be self-fulfilling. But there are various studies indicating men have less empathy, and particularly for women (although other studies disagree of course). As far as I’m concerned, there is an empathy deficit among all men, based on my own experience, i woud go along with the theory that autism is an extreme form of maleness. i think this explains a lot of the problems in communication between men and women, as well as male behaviour and interests, from the mass media they consume, to the language they use, to their resistance to acknowledging the harm it does. Sure thoughtful men intellectually get why certain behaviour is illogical or harmful, and they can imagine how they might feel to be on the receiving end of it, but asking them to imagine how a woman might feel and you’ll never get the complete picture.

    As for maths, maybe men are better at it than women on a bell curve, but that leaves room for some women being better at it than some men, so it’s different to the empathy example. Incidentally I suspect men are better at male maths because I also suspect that there’s a female kind that has not yet found its outlet.

  102. John Morales says

    bugmaster @96:

    John Morales @60:

    You sure you’re not misrepresenting the claim that to do nothing is to tacitly perpetuate the status quo?

    I’m not sure how this relates to what I said; can you elaborate ?

    Sure. It is the closest I’ve seen in real-life to what you perceive, to wit:

    What I do have a problem with is the policy of splitting the world into “allies” (who wholeheartedly agree with everything you say) and “misogynists” (everyone else).

    Your purported feminist policy is (ahem) not one I’ve ever encountered — so I was suggesting you either are indulging is extreme hyperbole or else misrepresenting an actual position held by feminists.

  103. bugmaster says

    As far as I’m concerned, there is an empathy deficit among all men, based on my own experience, i woud go along with the theory that autism is an extreme form of maleness

    This IMO is a very strong claim. If it were true, we’d expect autistic men to vastly outnumber autistic women. As far as I know, though, this is not the case, and it is even not at all clear whether autistic men truly do outnumber autistic women by any margin. I’m not a doctor, though, so I could be wrong.

  104. smrnda says

    I could possibly add that issues about racism can end up being somewhat analogous, at least here in the States. While in school (both high school and college) if racism came up in a class, there were always a contingent of white students who would roll their eyes and then sit sullenly with a glazed-over expression, and who, if asked , would just say that minorities were whining and always playing the ‘race card.’

    Part of this was misinterpreting what was actually said – no class taught that ALL white people were immensely privileged in every way, but people often just don’t have much interest in other people’s problems. I think that’s unfortunate and I also think it’s kind of just part of human nature, not a response grounded in any sort of intellectual or political agenda. Perhaps part of the issue is that we don’t spend as much time talking about things like class privilege, which would be relevant to a decent sized contingent of white people and, if we’re looking at gender based issues, men as well. It’s not that there isn’t any discussion of class privilege, but a person who only occasionally encounters social justice discussions is likely to run across topics on gender, race, or sexual orientation much more often. I don’t really fault the social justice folks for this since turning every discussion of every social justice issue into a 101 level with a bunch of caveats like ‘men are hurt by patriarchy too’ every sentence isn’t reasonable.

    On generalizations based on gender, I try to avoid them since actually know very few men who fit the male stereotype, though given what I observe in the world, there must be men who fit it. I also can’t really be sure that women are say, more nurturing with kids, and the more I observe parents and children I come to either doubt it or wonder if it’s confirmation bias. It isn’t like I don’t see women in public smack little kids around and scream and yell over completely age-appropriate behaviors. I see men who are actually quite nurturing with kids, which leads me to suspect that we’re really looking at are people doing what they’re taught – if you tell men that it’s acceptable to be clueless with kids, don’t be surprised when it becomes a point of pride to have no clue how to deal with kids. If you tell fathers their role is to be ‘disciplinarians’ you get a particular style of parenting.

    On anger, if we tell men that anger is a proper, masculine emotion, they’ll be angry all the time.

    On policing men’s behavior, the only things I’ve ever heard about are things that women state they would prefer men *not to do.* Women do not like men sexually harassing them in public, don’t like to be hit on after we’ve made it clear we want to be left alone, things like that. It’s more ‘please do not do X.”

    When *certain men* (not all and perhaps not even more than small minority) complain about women, it’s usually, rather than asking women to refrain from certain behaviors (clothes policing aside) demanding that they do certain things. Sort of the “you should welcome my sexually explicit comments about your body in public” sort of expectations, which is really not equivalent at all.

    With things like mathematics (I’m female and a mathematician) seriously, most people are not very good at mathematics, so comparing the mathematical abilities of the average man and the average woman appear pointless. If we look at people who get encouraged to actually do advanced mathematics, its clear that women can do quite well and that the STEM fields become more welcoming more women will be in them. Part of this is that I think its wrong to think of ‘mathematical ability’ as some kind of static aspect of a person. I feel its much more an ability which gets cultivated over time and which requires encouragement. There are far more women in these programs now than when I went to school just a short decade ago.

  105. bugmaster says

    Your purported feminist policy is (ahem) not one I’ve ever encountered — so I was suggesting you either are indulging is extreme hyperbole or else misrepresenting an actual position held by feminists.

    Ah, I see, thanks for clarifying.

    Firstly, I think there’s a great deal of difference between saying “Policy X does not adequately address goal Y”, and saying, “goal Y is invalid and should not be addressed at all”. Secondly, I did mention that I have a problem with the “either you’re with us or you’re a misogynist” attitude specifically; I did not claim that all (or even most) feminists endorse it.

    That said, though, consider the recent scandals regarding the WIS keynote speech, or Donglegate, or harassment policies for conferences. In all these cases you can find plenty of feminist comments to the extent of, “only a misogynist would disagree with how we want to handle this situation”. For another example, consider the debates on Camels With Hammers regarding civility. We are at the point now where saying “guys, treat each other with respect” is considered (by some) to be the same as saying, “women, shut up when the men are talking”.

    I do understand why this tactic was chosen: it works, and it’s reasonably easy to implement. But it’s sort of like the social equivalent of strip mining: the long-term costs outweigh the benefits.

  106. John Morales says

    bugmaster,

    Firstly, I think there’s a great deal of difference between saying “Policy X does not adequately address goal Y”, and saying, “goal Y is invalid and should not be addressed at all”. Secondly, I did mention that I have a problem with the “either you’re with us or you’re a misogynist” attitude specifically; I did not claim that all (or even most) feminists endorse it.

    To your first, sure but so what; to your second, you claimed it was a policy in the context of illustrating what women do that you find problematic — in the same category as “Affirmative Action, Women’s Shelters, Women’s Studies classes, etc.”.

    That said, though, consider the recent scandals regarding the WIS keynote speech, or Donglegate, or harassment policies for conferences. In all these cases you can find plenty of feminist comments to the extent of, “only a misogynist would disagree with how we want to handle this situation”.

    What you originally wrote was “the policy of splitting the world into “allies” (who wholeheartedly agree with everything you say) and “misogynists” (everyone else)”; but fine, care to adduce but three of these plentitude of cases?

    (Should be easy do, given it’s policy, right?)

    I do understand why this tactic was chosen: it works, and it’s reasonably easy to implement. But it’s sort of like the social equivalent of strip mining: the long-term costs outweigh the benefits.

    Ironically, so is your tactic of misrepresentation.

  107. maudell says

    @Jacob Schmidt

    Sorry for the late reply, and for the length of my comment, I just want to clarify my thoughts. No, I don’t think Canadian men feel guilty about their sexuality at all. I think there is a small subset of men who feel cheated after having followed a certain type of feminism. Sexuality is part of the mix, and some of them have told me they felt male sexuality was shameful under that perspective. You may have heard of a piece at XX Slate last week written by a feminist stay-at-home dad who couldn’t reconcile lust and respect of women and wrote about trying to imagine women in burqas to keep his feminist cred. Of course, the piece was satire, but the writer said the idea was based on a feeling he really has. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about. I’m not putting a value judgement on it, I’m not saying they’re correct or incorrect, but while this is something many men have told me, I’m pretty sure they represent a small minority of men.

    As I wrote, I can’t speak for men, so I’m not saying I absolutely know this is how they feel, I might be tone deft to certain subtleties when they relay their experience to me. Since I identify as a feminist, I am always curious when men who are close to me cringe at the word. I found we usually use different definitions. At first, I thought they were ‘straw feministing’, but after researching what they were talking about, it appears to me that they are reacting to a current that is real. So I don’t think I can say that it’s not ‘real’ feminism.

    Ally was asking for an exhaustive list of reasons men might resent feminism. I don’t think all men resent feminism for the same reason. Some men (not a statistically significant amount, probably about 20 men) have told me their experience of a version of this story (usually, the part about putting women on a pedestal is more important than the part about male sexuality). My fiancé is one of them. He used to defer to women to the point not taking his own needs into account. He thought that’s what he had to do to be a decent guy. After years of frustration (it’s not a gender thing; when you don’t respect yourself people tend to not respect you), he found the ‘manosphere’. He got into Roissy and the likes for a few months before realizing they were a hateful bunch (misogyny *and* racism!) He was lucky enough to have great women in his life, so he couldn’t reconcile the basic MRA/PUA creed with them. But he has told me many times that he could have ended up cheering for A Voice for Men or the likes. He thinks his anger was misdirected. Still, it was real anger/resentment.

    I hope this clarifies. I am in no way trying to say “men are like abc because of xyz”. Just relaying what I have heard around me. I mentioned Canada because many known MRAs and FeMRAs live here, and I can’t speak for other places I’m not familiar with. I don’t know how prevalent it is, but I’ve heard this story from Prairie men, West Coast men and French-Canadian men. That’s all. Sorry if I was unclear and I sounded like I was speaking for men in general.

  108. mildlymagnificent says

    OK. Back to topic. Ally was talking about/ asking why he and many other men who write or speak publicly about issues of gender don’t get the deluge of rape threats and death threats and vile personal insults that the women involved do, even when they were co-presenting on any given day. If men’s and women’s views on such things were regarded equally, then men should get some portion of this stuff, and they don’t.

    Talking about your own or other men’s perceptions of feminism doesn’t explain, let alone excuse, these torrents of angry filth. Nor does it address Ally’s 10 possible aspects of this particular kind of anger.

    Number 8. I’d change this to “Imps, trolls and bullies”. Just like imps and trolls, bullies don’t usually bully because of personally felt anger. They’re usually using these tactics to maintain, or create, position in their (possibly imaginary) heirarchical ranking. They use the language and other tactics of anger, but it really is tactical rather than a deeply felt personal emotion.

    If you want to keep it down to ten topics only, there must be some way to incorporate economic powerlessness into Number 9’s “Bruised egos” classification. My own suspicion is that in a thriving economy with ample job and promotion prospects for more blue and white collar workers, both men and women would be doing well. In those circumstances, fewer people would feel that they were being edged out of jobs, power or status by any other group. Their frustration and anger threshold would be a lot higher and they’d be more emotionally resilient or robust. In a weakened economy with tenuous job security, people are much more willing to find someone, anyone, to lash out at to blame for their precarious position rather than think it through in large social or political or economic terms. (Think of the increase in anti-immigrant and racist sentiment driven by the “they’re taking our jobs/prosperity from us” notion. If there were jobs aplenty for the taking, this wouldn’t be an argument worth a moment’s hearing.)

  109. HSA says

    There are basically three strains of anti-feminism out there.
    1. True Misogyny. People who simply hate women and general.
    2. Traditionalists. Those who want to return to the 1950s social order or earlier.
    3. Anti-traditionalists. This includes most MRAs, as well as those (like me) who identify as humanist/egalitarian instead of feminist.

    Real misogyny (hatred of women) appears to be very rare when properly defined (as is real misandry). For example while someone saying that women in general deserve to be raped and murdered is doubtless hatred of women, saying that women shouldn’t be allowed in STEM fields–while sexist and wrong–isn’t. I think real misogyny is best treated as a mental health problem, not a political one, because true misogynist will likely never be numerous enough to have much influence in a democratic society.
    Traditionalist appear to be mostly fundamentalist of one stripe or another who want all of society to have to follow their religion. The best way for feminism to deal with them is support of secularism and skeptical atheism (which I suspect the vast majority of those commenting here already do). Fundamentalist Christianity appears on its way out in the 1st world, and while fundamentalist Islam is currently on the rise in Europe, I find it unlikely it will ever gain a political majority (and if it does, the problem will likely be self correcting). Bottom line, traditionalist anti-feminism can and will be dealt with without any change in strategy.
    At this point it is worth considering the differences between traditionalist anti-feminism and anti-traditionalist anti-feminism. Feminists, this is important: You can argue against the 1950s social order as much as you want to. Debunk it completely, leave not a single premise intact. You won’t convert an anti-traditionalist. Why? Because they agree that the 1950s were bad. They don’t think that women should be subservient to men, but your position isn’t the only alternative. The only reason the fundamentalist and MRAs are attacking feminism instead of each other is because they see feminism as a bigger threat right now. It is highly instructive to recall the origin of the MRM. It did not come from the church, but from feminism[1]. Yes, the MRM and feminism share a common ideological ancestor as late as the 1970s.
    Anti-traditionalist anti-feminists are further dived into two categories: MRAs and humanists/egalitarians. The MRM is an identity-politics movement which often shows symptoms of having contracted a unfortunate strain of collectivism. Humanist/egalitarians are harder to pin down, but generally think that:
    1. People should be treated the same whether male or female (assuming the same situation).
    2. Modern mainstream feminism is in conflict with 1.

    While MRAs and humanist/egalitarians differ as to what should be done, they are extremely similar in their reasons for being anti-feminist. They believe:
    1. Modern mainstream feminism is dogmatic at best and cult like at worst.
    2. Modern mainstream feminism is often sexist against men.

    I will elaborate, but please keep in mind that I am attempting to explain these beliefs, not necessarily justify them. Therefore, I will not offer as many citation as I normally would.
    In an earlier comment on this blog, I referenced a fallacy known as the brine shrimp gambit. This “arguement” proceeds as follows.
    1. Assume that claim A is identical to some obvious and uncontroversial ethical position B. Alternatively, simply define C as B and then switch mid argument to defining C as A.
    2. (Optional) Make an argument that B leads inexorably to A. It doesn’t matter how good the argument is, or even if you actually make it, as you won’t be relying on it anyway.
    3. When someone claims not-A, accuse them of believing not-B. If they point out that your attempts to link A and B are questionable at best, just repeat the accusation.
    4. Say “This person believes not-B, which is ethically wrong. Therefore his arguments for not-A are incorrect. Therefore, A”.
    5. (Optional) Censor any argument for not-A as being anti-B. Better yet, censor everything but the arguments against A that really are anti-B.
    6. Repeat.

    The often repeated definition of feminism as “the belief that women are people and should have equal rights” contains exactly one “is” claim and one “ought” claim: that women are sentient members of the species homo-sapian and should be treated equally. Note that this doesn’t tell you what exactly would constitute equality, or what should be done to achieve that noble aim. Any feminist who truly believed that definition would have to concede that any practical opinion they held had nothing to do with feminism, but was instead justified though other means, if at all. Unfortunately, this often means getting one’s ideas falsified, so feminist instead switch between this and another definition of feminism: “what I believe about gender politics”. Some feminist go further, believing that their positions must be accepted as axiomatic. A prime example being feminist theory [2]. Still others refuse to allow their ideas to be falsified, instead chalking up any counter example to “benevolent sexism” and “patriarchy hurts men too.” Any belief system that can look at a situation where the primary victims are male (and where victimized because they were male) and the beneficiaries often female and conclude that it support the idea that women are oppressed could not be falsified by any conceivable evidence, up to and including the “final solution” like scenario that the most crazy MRAs believe in. Why is falsifiability so important? Because Bayes theorem and some basic algebra show that a event that can’t be show to be less likely by any event can’t be shown to be more likely by any event either, and is therefore both a bare assertion and useless for all practical purposes. (Proof omitted for space. I’ll post it if asked).
    As for feminism being sexist, the first and most obvious example would be feminism ignoring men’s issues in favor of women’s issues, even when the men’s issue is far more pressing. For example, elevatorgate isn’t more important than even 5-10% of domestic violence (that’s feminism’s estimate, many if not most papers show it’s closer to 50%), yet virtually the only time mainstream feminism pays any attention to male IPV victims is to minimize the problem or claim it isn’t their fault.
    But not only does feminism ignore men’s issues, it often actively contributes to them. Every anti-domestic violence campaign that portrays only female perpetrators and male victims supports the perception that men tend to be more evil than women, which is partially responsible for public apathy towards male IPV victims. Every “men can stop rape” poster fuels the belief that men rape and women are raped, which means less support for male victims of female rapists (to say nothing of the victim-blaming of male victims). And every time you minimize level of false rape allegations and argue for reduced (or reversed) burden of proof in rape cases, you insure that any female rapist has a way of insuring that her victim won’t report her if he knows what’s good for him. Also, tender-years doctrine (the children always going to the mother in case of divorce), was invented by a feminist [3].

    How can feminist engage with anti-traditionalist anti-feminists? I admit I am biased in their favor, being one myself, but this also makes me uniquely qualified to comment on your best tactics. From my perspective, our host Ally follows close to the optimum strategy:
    -Actually be open to debate. Don’t censor unless absolutely necessary.
    -Don’t call names. Simply accusing me of misogyny for disagreeing with you won’t do much to help your cause.
    -Be willing to admit that some feminist were not only wrong about gender issues, but bigoted to the point of misandry. It is often difficult to get feminist to admit that any man-hating feminist ever existed. I’ve seen real human beings who honestly believed the bigotry they were spouting refereed to as straw feminists.
    -Be open to the possibility that your hypothesis may be false.
    I will engage with anyone who is intellectually honest, respects free expression, and is committed to reality above ideology. Fail to meet those very basic standards, and I will write you off as an ideologue who I will probably ignore and possibly mock in some form you don’t control.
    One strategy that you shouldn’t follow is the one you currently are. Polling shows why: ~80% of the US population believes in gender equality, but only ~20% identify as feminists. Less than that actually support your more controversial ideas. Yes, this can be partially blamed on conservative smears, but it can also be blamed on the fact that many of you appear to value “safe spaces” above open debate and when you do argue in public, it often consists of calling everyone else bigots. It also doesn’t help that you appear to think that the late second wave never actually happened. Like apologetics, your methods only seem convincing to believers, and often drive fence-sitters away. This bears repeating: you are driving people away from feminism.
    As the quote says, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but this is not what a ship is built for.” Similarly you probably won’t be offended or triggered in a safe space, the rest of the world will ignore you just as you ignore it. Actually, its worse than that: not only will you not achieve anything, but with no moderating force, those inside an echo chamber gradually become more and more extreme, which insures that they will never achieve their objectives Thus, a safe space is a harbor that is constantly in motion away from your goal.

    Bellow are my thoughts on Ally’s list and whether or not each item applies to me:
    1. Lack of compassion: Yep, that’s something I’m concerned about. Who should men be angry at? No one, as anger, like other emotions, tends to interfere with ones ability to rationally solve problems. Who should they/we blame? Traditionalist for causing the problems in the first place, and feminists for ignore the issue (or adding to it) while pretending to be about helping everyone.
    2. The feminist strangle hold: Yes, I think this is a problem.
    3. Conservative backlash: Not even a little. As I said earlier, I’m an egalitarian. I certainly don’t think women should be kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen or anything like that. I’d much rather we could agree on this so as to be able to watch each others backs while taking on the the traditionalists.
    4. Misogyny: I certainly don’t think so. I do my level best to ignore gender when making all decisions (with the exception of sexual/romantic attraction). If I can blind myself to someones gender, I do.
    5. Bitterness over virginity: Well, I am a virgin, and although I’m by no means asexual, I am extremely awkward and have concluded there is no way to play the dating “game” both ethically and well, so I am unlikely to be able to have any committed romantic relationship. Casual hookups would require me to be considerably more out-going than I ever will, and increase the odds of pregnancy, STDs or, which I considerable intolerable. Prostitution is illegal where I live. TL:DR: I’m a virgin, likely to die a virgin, but I’m not bitter. If it’s anyone’s fault it’s mine. Is the fact that some anti-feminists are doubtless both virgins and bitter relevant when attacking anti-feminism? No. I could (and have) come up with irrational reasons to become a feminist that are just as insulting. I don’t do so publicly because a particular person arriving at a conclusion by irrational means doesn’t necessarily mean said conclusions are false, but other might think so and I’m committed to reality first and foremost. Besides, what would you do with this information, if true? Get a bunch of feminist women to sleep with the bitter, virginal anti-femininsts? Provide them with prostitutes? I really don’t see either one ending well for anybody.
    6. Men as Success Objects Yes this would defiantly annoy me, but I think I can explain slightly better than you did. “Authority and responsibility must be equal — else a balancing takes place as surely as current flows between points of unequal potential. To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy.” That’s a quote from Robert Heilen’s Starship troopers (I don’t agree with everything in the book, but that line is pure gold). It illustrates my basic point quite well. I have no submissive streak, so I don’t want to be taken care of by anyone in exchange for obedience. Similarly, I also don’t want complete authority over anyone, even If I also have to be responsible for them. But my least favorite outcomes are those in which I am responsible for the actions of one who I have no control over, or where someone else must be responsible for my freely chosen actions.
    7. Someone is wrong on the internet: Yes, but IRL too. Then the feminist who agree with the Person Who is Wrong on the Internet (PWiWotI) call me a bigot for challenging them, and the feminist who disagree with the PWiWotI call her/him a “straw-feminist” despite clear evidence that they are real and believe every word.
    8. Trolls: I think I’ve figured out how to make feminist upset way more effectively than this. Plus, I’m not sure if anger is an emotion I’d attribute to mischief making trolls. Something like “glee” is.
    9. Male identity pride: I’m not proud of my gender (what it is is irreverent). I was born who I am, and can’t change it easily. That said, seeing people attacked for who they are upsets me. The term “damaged by testosterone” (Greg Laden) comes to mind.
    10. Your not the boss of me: I like to think I don’t mind someone suggesting I alter my behavior. What I mind is arguments by fiat and accusations of bigotry for failure to comply with their every demand.
    In conclusion, anti-feminism (like feminism) isn’t a monolith, and the best ways to deal with the only type of anti-feminist that isn’t already shrinking as a demographic or irrelevant is what Ally is doing here: free enquiry and approaching the debate with good faith.
    Apologies for the monster comment. I am apparently incapable of writing anything short.
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men's_rights_movement#History
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theory
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tender_years_doctrine

  110. Soarer says

    @110 Lucy

    As for maths, maybe men are better at it than women on a bell curve, but that leaves room for some women being better at it than some men, so it’s different to the empathy example. Incidentally I suspect men are better at male maths because I also suspect that there’s a female kind that has not yet found its outlet.

    Hmm. So, you believe “there is an empathy deficit among all men, based on my own experience”. I accept your experience, but you seem unaware of the possibility of confirmation bias. On what basis do you assert that ‘maths ability’ can be on a bell curve, but empathy can’t?

    On what basis other than wishful thinking do you assert that there is a ‘male’ maths and a, so far completely unknown, ‘female’ maths?

    Women who are good at maths, and there are many, just not as many as men, do the same maths as men do.

    I think the simplest explanation, which you have argued against with no evidence, is that both empathy and maths ability are on bell curves.

    This is a good example of the the kind of thinking which is annoying – not because it is ‘against’ men, but because it is irrational. Asserting something on absolutely no evidence, based on a prejudice in favour of women.

    For the avoidance of doubt, making generalisations to the detriment of women, based on assertions with no evidence, would be just as irrational and therefore annoying.

  111. DeepThought says

    @110:

    Frankly, Lucy, fuck you. You’re Exhibit A of the hypocritical feminist we’re railing against. You’re as blind to your own female privilege as many men are to their male privilege. You demand, as a feminist, the respect that women are fully human. We demand the exact same thing in return. You may not have the power that (some) men have had to enforce your worldview on the rest of society but this doesn’t change the fact you’re a despicable bigot.

    So that there is no misunderstanding, let me state the point:

    YOU THINK THAT MEN ARE, INTRINSICALLY, LESS EMPATHETIC THAN WOMEN. AND THEREFORE, BY IMPLICATION, INTRINSICALLY LESS MORAL. YOU ARE A DESPICABLE BIGOT.

    Personally I’m fine with generalisations, as long as they are true and as long as they are worded accurately and as long as they change as the data does and as long as they aren’t used to determine people’s opportunities. I think it’s highly impractical to treat billions of people as individuals.

    Yeah, but none of your generalizations meet this criteria, but that doesn’t bother you, although it would if the generalizations were directed against any group other than men.

    So in that vein, I don’t know if women are more nurturing, I’m not even sure what nurturing means, it sounds lie a description of good mothering so is likely to be self-fulfilling.

    Riiiiight. You don’t even realize you’ve elevated “mothering” over “fathering” or “parenting”. Why are these (by definition) less “nurturing”?

    But there are various studies indicating men have less empathy, and particularly for women (although other studies disagree of course).

    Riiiight. And there are “various studies” indicating blacks have less intelligence. Now I’m sure you’ll quickly find the problems with these studies, but not nearly so quickly when the target is men.

    As far as I’m concerned, there is an empathy deficit among all men, based on my own experience,

    Riiight. You’re a despicable bigot. Again, fuck you.

    i woud go along with the theory that autism is an extreme form of maleness.

    Because it agrees with your bigotry, not because there is really strong scientific evidence in support (there isn’t).

    i think this explains a lot of the problems in communication between men and women, as well as male behaviour and interests, from the mass media they consume, to the language they use, to their resistance to acknowledging the harm it does.

    Riiight. Women are of course rarely responsible themselves for problems in communication. And there are generic “problems” with “male behavior and interests”, and the “mass media” they prefer, and the “language” they prefer (but never with female behavior and interests, and their preferences in media and language).

    Sure thoughtful men intellectually get why certain behaviour is illogical or harmful, and they can imagine how they might feel to be on the receiving end of it, but asking them to imagine how a woman might feel and you’ll never get the complete picture.

    And you know this because… well you just do.

    As for maths, maybe men are better at it than women on a bell curve, but that leaves room for some women being better at it than some men, so it’s different to the empathy example.

    No it isn’t you fucking bigot, who cannot accept that maybe an individual man may be more empathetic than an individual woman.

    Incidentally I suspect men are better at male maths because I also suspect that there’s a female kind that has not yet found its outlet.

    Riiight. When you find the “Female calculus” please let me know.

  112. bugmaster says

    To your first, sure but so what; to your second, you claimed it was a policy in the context of illustrating what women do that you find problematic — in the same category as “Affirmative Action, Women’s Shelters, Women’s Studies classes, etc.”.

    Sorry, I think you misunderstood my posts. I made several separate points, some of which you conflated. Let me see if I can re-word them more clearly.

    1). One of the goals of feminism is to raise the social status of women relative to that of men. This goal can be reached without totally dismantling gender (though obviously dismantling gender will accomplish the goal, as well).

    2). For example, Affirmative Action etc. are policies that implement (1) in this way. I personally have no problem with most such policies (though some men probably do).

    3). It is possible to agree on a goal without agreeing on a strategy to reach that goal. To use a trivial example, if my goal is to get $1000 richer, I could put in extra hours at work, or I could go out and rob people. If I chose the latter approach, and you tried to talk me out of it, this does not automatically imply that you want me to remain $1000 poorer than I otherwise would be.

    4). Some — not all ! — feminists act as though (3) is false. Their goal is something similar to (1), and they believe that any opposition to their proposed strategies in achieving it is equivalent to opposing the goal in principle. For examples, see some of the recent controversies regarding Donglegate, the WIS keynote, the debate over civility at CwH, etc.

    5). The strategy described in (4) makes me angry, because it is harmful in the long term. I believe that certain values, such as mutual respect and critical thinking, are more important than even feminism, and (4) destroys these values even while it does accomplish (1).

    Does this make sense ? I want to reply to the rest of your comment as well, but I want to make sure we’re on the same page, first.

  113. John Morales says

    bugmaster @121,

    Does this make sense ? I want to reply to the rest of your comment as well, but I want to make sure we’re on the same page, first.

    Well, it’s lucid enough; thing is, I disagree:

    1). One of the goals of feminism is to raise the social status of women relative to that of men. This goal can be reached without totally dismantling gender (though obviously dismantling gender will accomplish the goal, as well).

    I noted above (@52→53) what I consider its goal to be, whenceupon you agreed but claimed that there were multiple goals, not just a goal.

    2). For example, Affirmative Action etc. are policies that implement (1) in this way. I personally have no problem with most such policies (though some men probably do).

    Well, that’s a structural change that in practice leads to sociocultural change, and it’s fairly characterised as policy.

    3). It is possible to agree on a goal without agreeing on a strategy to reach that goal. To use a trivial example, if my goal is to get $1000 richer, I could put in extra hours at work, or I could go out and rob people. If I chose the latter approach, and you tried to talk me out of it, this does not automatically imply that you want me to remain $1000 poorer than I otherwise would be.

    This is where your inferential chain breaks down, because your premise is mistaken when you take the method as the goal.

    4). Some — not all ! — feminists act as though (3) is false. Their goal is something similar to (1), and they believe that any opposition to their proposed strategies in achieving it is equivalent to opposing the goal in principle. For examples, see some of the recent controversies regarding Donglegate, the WIS keynote, the debate over civility at CwH, etc.

    Ditto, with the observation that (a) you should beware the fallacy of division and (b) you have yet to adduce any examples of either 1 or 3.

    5). The strategy described in (4) makes me angry, because it is harmful in the long term. I believe that certain values, such as mutual respect and critical thinking, are more important than even feminism, and (4) destroys these values even while it does accomplish (1).

    Presumably it makes you angry because you believe what you perceive individual feminists to be doing you impute to feminism as an ideology and as a movement.

    As far as the relative degree of importance of any given values goes, there is no obvious reason that compromise is required between the ones you have hitherto mentioned.

    I put it to you that your anger towards feminism either as a movement or as an ideology is based on a misrepresentation of feminism’s goals and of assuming the whole must share the properties of the parts.

    (Critical thinking must also apply to one’s belief basis)

  114. mildlymagnificent says

    deepthought

    Frankly, Lucy, fuck you. You’re Exhibit A of the hypocritical feminist we’re railing against. You’re as blind to your own female privilege as many men are to their male privilege.

    Not quite. Lucy’s position is one version of the “essentialist” arguments that many women, and some feminists, argue.

    It’s not so much hypocrisy as the reverse of the same coin played by far too many anti-feminists that men and women are “essentially” different and therefore should confine themselves to certain roles and activities and not others. Strangely enough, these prescriptions and restrictions seem to be that the roles and activities in question should match the particular person’s ideas and preferences about what these “essential” qualities and attributes happen to be.

  115. Freja says

    mildlymagnificent

    Not quite. Lucy’s position is one version of the “essentialist” arguments that many women, and some feminists, argue.

    It’s not so much hypocrisy as the reverse of the same coin played by far too many anti-feminists that men and women are “essentially” different and therefore should confine themselves to certain roles and activities and not others. Strangely enough, these prescriptions and restrictions seem to be that the roles and activities in question should match the particular person’s ideas and preferences about what these “essential” qualities and attributes happen to be.

    Exactly. While I don’t agree with Lucy (about men or about autism), her argument is really just the flip side of the tired old “women are emotional and men are rational/women are nurturers and men are providers”. I’ve seen plenty of that on MRA sites, they just choose to focus on a different aspect and throw in “Women are backstabbing manipulators and men are honest and fair” for good measure. For some reason, we’re still supposed to listen to them.

    I’d even argue that it’s worse, because we’re supposed to listen to the people who say these things specifically (such as JudgeBitch being linked to on this thread), and read the sites where they are contributors without being judgemental. If a single commentor on a single blog is enough to make you jump up and go “Gotcha!”, while explaining your decision to oppose all of feminism as a whole, this would probably be an excellent opportunity to understand why feminists are so hostile to anti-feminists

  116. Ally Fogg says

    WOOP WOOP, STIFF TALKING TO KLAXON

    Deepthought (120)

    If I could point you towards my “comments on comments” at the top of the page, in my book, your post at 120 tramples over two or three of them.

    Reminder to all readers, phrases like “fuck you” and “you hypocritical bigot” do not advance the argument or make you look any better.

    As it happens I profoundly disagree with the point it was replying to, but language like that doesn’t help anyone.

    I won’t delete the comment although I (following my usual policy) I’ll say to Lucy that I’m happy to do so if she requests it and apologise that you’ve been spoken to in that way here.

    As you were folks.

  117. says

    Okay nope, so

    @Ally, no it’s okay thank you, DeepThought’s comment (and screen name) sort of illustrates my point.

    @anyone calling me an Essentialist and telling one another what my opinion is.

    Yes I believe men and women are essentially different, not necessarily in the ways that we believe they are because socialisation is obviously also a powerful factor, but there are differences (in general). But it does not logically follow from that that there should be a gender caste system of roles; an equal argument can be made for ensuring equal representation in every role, and changes to the roles on offer as a result of this. This is in effect, the mainstay of the affirmative action movement.

    As to the autism point, this theory appears to be news to some commenters here and they may want to look into Baron-Cohen. It’s a theory that rings true for me based on my experience and based on the findings in other sex empathy studies, particularly those that look at the prevalence of and male tolerance for female pain on screen in torture porn and horror films.

  118. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m not so sure about the Baron-Cohen autism stuff. It might turn out to be the case, but I’d like to see several more research projects by other teams using other criteria with enough total subject numbers to give more comprehensive and persuasive results.

    But apart from that, I’m inclined to the view that the autism brain being an overly “male” brain is a very poor description of whatever the neurology might eventually be shown to be. Mainly because I’m unconvinced about a “male brain” in the first place.

    Most importantly, I’m convinced that this is a side issue for arguments about feminism generally, and even more so as an explanatory mechanism for vile online bullying behaviour in particular.

  119. Sasori says

    /Lucy
    as (I think) a staunch feminist, What do you think of the arguments against Baron Cohen’s gender essentialism by Cordela Fine and Lise Elliot. There is afaict a big debate between evolutionary psychologists and Cordelia Fine, but I haven’t seen all that much about Elliot’s book. I am not sure who to believe (although I think Elliot is more persuasive), but the most interesting thing for me in that debate, is that it showed that both sides don’t know to a high degree of certainty what’s going on, like a double KO.

    re the OP, I’ve just read Rebecca Watson’s page of hate, I don’t doubt that it would be horrible to have people saying all that stuff to you, but it is quite a lot less extreme than I imagined it to be from the way people talk about it. Most of them seem to be standard troll youtube comments by teenagers and people with juvenile sensibilities that I’ve seen on any number of videos, interesting.

    Also number 10. You’re not the boss of me now?
    I think that the sanctimony and arguments regularly made from a position of absolute moral authority are also a factor in angry comments. When you are directly say or imply that you are morally better, or hold people to very high standards of conduct, it will provoke a reaction when people find examples (of which I think there are quite a few from modern feminist commentators) that you are less than perfect yourself. I think that the shaming language used to ‘get heard’ by feminists is also a factor in angry reactions.
    iirc (I’m not saying these things are morally equivalent) this phenomenon was a factor in the creation of second wave feminism by women involved in civil rights and other movements in the past.

  120. Freja says

    @ 118 HSA

    Sorry for not quoting the whole thing, but it was (as you said) very long. Let me know if I take something out of context.

    For example while someone saying that women in general deserve to be raped and murdered is doubtless hatred of women, saying that women shouldn’t be allowed in STEM fields–while sexist and wrong–isn’t.

    Just out of curiosity, how about someone thinking women in general deserve to be raped and killed if they enter STEM fields? Because of how the sexes work (related to each other, can’t reproduce without each other, etc.), it’s extremely unlikely that someone would ever go as far as believing one sex should be exterminated. And in the case of men, even the ones who don’t view women as people don’t want female extermination, they want female subjugation and possible female suffering. This is why anti-feminist fantasies about a world without women almost always include fembots to take over the role of women in serving men, while actual women die out. Is that not hatred?

    Hatred of a sex, especially if that sex is women it seems, usually hinge on splitting them in two, with the ‘good’ to be loved and the ‘bad’ to be punished. But in real life, we see that there is often no way out for women subjected to this not-misogyny. For instance, in some places, women who fight off men who try to rape them can receive capital punishment, but so can women who ‘let’ the rape happen. How About Ginko claiming that JudgyBitch’s comments about how a rape victim deserved it was probably motivated by her despising white women? If she had just come out and said she thought white women deserved to be raped, I think you’d agree it was hatred, but is justifying crimes against a specific white woman because you despise white women in general really that much better?

    Or as you’ve probably heard, in the case of Marc Lépine (incidentally, googling him to check that I got the facts right gave me “Marc Lépine is a feminist hero”, from the always classy A Voice for Men), he killed women, and only women, indiscriminately. His official reasoning was that they were feminist and engineers, but not only does a witness account state that one of the women specifically told him she was not a feminist, one of the women killed was also a nursing student. Misogyny is just not that simple. It’s all well and good to make some theoretical academic distinction like you do, but I doubt it matters much for the women being killed for being women.

    Fundamentalist Christianity appears on its way out in the 1st world, and while fundamentalist Islam is currently on the rise in Europe, I find it unlikely it will ever gain a political majority (and if it does, the problem will likely be self correcting).

    I think you underestimate the impact. Abortion laws are tightened all over the US, and the Christians are still finding new and innovative ways of keeping abortion access and birth control away from women. Islam is on the rise in many parts of the world, not just Europe. One of the downsides of the Arab Spring is a rise of Islamism, where women experience their rights being slowly corroded. The US is absolutely fine with allying with countries where women can’t vote (Saudi Arabia) or have to sit in the back of the buss (Israel), with the latter even being praised, decades after the apartheid of South Africa was condemned. Brushing all this aside in favour of fighting feminists, because they use mean words and sometimes want space for themselves, doesn’t seem very balanced to me.

    At this point it is worth considering the differences between traditionalist anti-feminism and anti-traditionalist anti-feminism. Feminists, this is important: You can argue against the 1950s social order as much as you want to. Debunk it completely, leave not a single premise intact. You won’t convert an anti-traditionalist. Why? Because they agree that the 1950s were bad. They don’t think that women should be subservient to men, but your position isn’t the only alternative. The only reason the fundamentalist and MRAs are attacking feminism instead of each other is because they see feminism as a bigger threat right now.

    I don’t agree that they believe the 50s were bad. Take the JudgyBitch statement I highlighted in post 101, about the Steubenville rape victim being a whore who deserved it. JB is an MRA, and a contributor to one of the most prominent (and according to many, most moderate) MRA sites in existence. And that attitude is extremely 50s. It’s not the only one either, whether from JB or others. GirlWritesWhat, who has many MRA followers, has made the point that men are intrinsically better providers, while women have more reproductive value, and therefore, the natural system is and has always been women trading sexual favours in exchange for food they’re unable to get for themselves. Replace “evolutionary psychology” with “God’s will” and “sexual favours” with “marriage”, and this is the 50s in a nutshell. Then there’s all the stuff about “feminisation of society”, “men aren’t allowed to be men”, “women invading male spaces”, etc., ect..

    MRA spaces are often pretty open to contradictory statements, as long as the statements attack women or feminism. But acknowledging only one side (the side talking about breaking down gender roles) without acknowledging the other (the one about inborn differences and lamenting the loss of the older gender roles), isn’t a fair criticism of feminism, let alone an excuse to make the kind of abusive attacks on women that Ally’s post was about.

    Anti-traditionalist anti-feminists are further dived into two categories: MRAs and humanists/egalitarians. The MRM is an identity-politics movement which often shows symptoms of having contracted a unfortunate strain of collectivism. Humanist/egalitarians are harder to pin down, but generally think that:
    1. People should be treated the same whether male or female (assuming the same situation).
    2. Modern mainstream feminism is in conflict with 1.

    There are plenty of feminists who identify as egalitarian. There is no contradiction between being an egalitarian and being involved in specific movements in favour of equality, be it women’s rights, LGBT rights, civil rights, ect.. It is true that saying you’re an egalitarian doesn’t mean other people have to agree. For instance, I don’t think you are egalitarian. I believe you hold men and women to different standards, even if you claim (and probably believe) that you don’t. In the same way, I can accept that you don’t believe many feminists are egalitarian. But egalitarian is a value judgement. It’s akin to saying that you’re in favour of truth (with the implication that your opponent is in favour of lies). Setting up egalitarianism/truth as being opposed to feminism doesn’t jive with you believing that claims of misogyny (another value judgement) is name calling.

    Anyway, as I said above, that is simply not true of MRAs. Plenty of them believe in inborn gender differences and double standards. The difference is that this is not acknowledged. Ginko feels perfectly fine linking to an MRA who believe punishing girls for being ‘whores’ by sticking objects into their vagina without consent, sexually humiliate them, and possibly sodomising them, is merely ‘stupid’, and that putting men in jail for this is a travesty against justice, and who believes that 13 year old girls who agree to get into a car with an older, wealthier man are whores who exploit the man more than he exploits them.

    Ginko doesn’t feel the need to explain that JB has some very non-egalitarian, not to say hateful and morally reprehensible, attitudes, but that in this instance, she actually has a point. Ginko doesn’t feel the need to justify linking to AVFM by explaining that he of course doesn’t support the site as a whole. In fact, maybe Ginko actually do support the site as a whole, but still expect people to respect him and not be hostile to him, the way he’s hostile towards feminists. He even thinks people shouldn’t be blamed for despising women (at least not as long as those women are white).

    The same with you. You feel confident to assert that MRAs per definition are against 50s gender roles, despite MRA endorsements of those very same roles. You don’t feel you have to prove that MRAs like JB isn’t actually applying a sexist double standards but is really in favour of equal treatment (such as by finding examples of her accusing 14 year old alter boys of being whores who take advantage of priests, or claiming the victims in the Penn State scandal got what they deserved), you can just assert with absolute confidence that arguing against old gender roles is hopeless because MRAs don’t actually believe in them.

    The MRM is covered in teflon. Everything slides off. AVFM trying to ruin the professional lives of women who disagree with them by setting up a register, made to look like an official sex-offender register, and threatening to put them on if they don’t comply (yay free speech!). Posters at the Spearhead arguing in favour of cutting out little girls’ vocal cords, raping single mothers as punishment, and replacing women with subservient robots. Artistry Against Misandry posting online stories about subjugating women and violently gang raping the female rebels who aren’t killed off. GWW making gender essentialist arguments and being praised by MRAs. JB calling women and underage girls whores and saying it doesn’t count when they’re raped because they were asking for it. Ginko excusing her by saying she can’t be blamed for despising white women.

    This is the MRA. And the reason feminists can’t communicate with these people is supposedly because they can’t understand that believing single mothers are an abomination, that women should act like good little ladies if they want bodily integrity, that men are made to provide and women to rear children, that sex is something women do to get men to provide for them, etc., ect.. is actually an anti-traditionalist attitude that is the exact opposite of how gender-roles were in the 50s?

    In an earlier comment on this blog, I referenced a fallacy known as the brine shrimp gambit. This “arguement” proceeds as follows.
    1. Assume that claim A is identical to some obvious and uncontroversial ethical position B. Alternatively, simply define C as B and then switch mid argument to defining C as A.

    Have you read “Spreading Misandry”? It’s something of an MRA bible in certain circles, and the main argument consists of comparing feminism and single mothers with everything from Jim Crow to the persecution of Jews. This really isn’t something unique, or even typical, for feminism compared to other movements. The difference, as I’ve said before, is that women/feminists are held to higher standards and collectively blamed, while books like that are allowed to slide under the radar, painting the conflict as one of sinful feminists vs. blameless anti-feminists. Feminists are not justified in anger over books like that, but we need whole thread off anti-feminist male anger being taken seriously, even when it’s expressed in comments like “stupid bitch” and death/rape threats.

    Any feminist who truly believed that definition would have to concede that any practical opinion they held had nothing to do with feminism, but was instead justified though other means, if at all.

    You can say that about any movement. Scepticism is broadly defined as questioning alleged facts and basing your opinion on proof, and yet there are tons of different ways to go about that. Hence the conflicts about whether scepticism should stick to arguing against gods and UFOs, or should branch out to social issues. Again, nothing unique to feminism, just unique in how feminists (and female feminists in particular) seems to be the only ones getting blamed for it.

    Still others refuse to allow their ideas to be falsified, instead chalking up any counter example to “benevolent sexism” and “patriarchy hurts men too.”

    Those are real concepts. For instance, one study found that men’s benevolent attitudes towards women correlated with justifying rape of women. As I said in the beginning, most sexism is done by splitting people up in good and bad, and by supporting seemingly equal (but different) roles for the sexes. The Whore would hardly be considered a valid concept without the Madonna.

    In regards to “patriarchy hurts men too”, there are extremely clear examples of this throughout history, and in the modern world. Just now, in Pakistan, a young man has been murdered because he, his brothers, and his father, refused to kill his 13 year old sister, because she accused 4 men of raping her. In the US, the ‘hacker’ who helped publicise some of the evidence in the Steubenville rape case has recently been arrested, and might get a harsher sentence than the rapists. And those are just the most direct examples.

    I agree that you can argue that specific examples don’t fit the pattern, but I wouldn’t dismiss the phenomenon outright.

    As for feminism being sexist, the first and most obvious example would be feminism ignoring men’s issues in favor of women’s issues

    Really? Muslim women are getting killed all over the world because of religion, and Richard Dawkins is arguing against public prayer in school. Women are getting killed by their male partners and ex partners, but you want to argue non-lethal domestic violence instead. Global warming threatens the entire eco-system, and yet some people are signing petitions to avoid having ugly buildings spoil their neighbourhood. Human beings are suffering, but some people focus on animals instead. You get the ideal. Miri has some excellent posts saying it better than me:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason/2013/04/22/shit-people-say-to-people-who-care-about-shit/
    (second last claim)

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason/2013/05/23/its-not-about-gender/

    For example, elevatorgate isn’t more important than even 5-10% of domestic violence

    And women are being threatened with rape, torture, and murder, has their appearance judged as if valid for their arguments, and are continuously being told they’re genetically inferior and belong in subservient positions, frequently by the anti-feminists you’re trying to lecture feminists how to appeal to. And yet, as can be seen later in your post, you still think it’s important to bring up that claims about misogyny and bigotry is name-calling. Again, you seem to make demands of feminism that you don’t make about others.

  121. Freja says

    @ 118 HSA – continued

    Every anti-domestic violence campaign that portrays only female perpetrators and male victims supports the perception that men tend to be more evil than women, which is partially responsible for public apathy towards male IPV victims.

    I actually agree that we need more diverse campaigns. However, when anti-feminists show the same disregard towards male victims of domestic violence as they accuse feminists of, frequently make claims about the greater strength of men and how women are at men’s mercy, glorify hyper-masculine characters like everything played by Chuck Norris, without campaigning for more media displays of male vulnerability, and then suddenly claim that the reason they’re hostile to feminists (and more hostile to women than men) is because feminism is not out there fighting the battle for them…. well, it’s hard to take as an argument in good faith.

    And every time you minimize level of false rape allegations and argue for reduced (or reversed) burden of proof in rape cases, you insure that any female rapist has a way of insuring that her victim won’t report her if he knows what’s good for him.

    How so? Men are even more likely to be met with disbelief because they’re often not subjected to heavy physical violence, and often get erections. By campaigning for the ideas that heavy physical struggle shouldn’t be necessary to prove rape and flirting and physical shows of arousal don’t equal consent, you’re benefiting men in the long run, because those are some of the primary arguments against the notion that men can get raped. And the exaggerated suspicion of false allegations is a huge problem. Not only does it prevent victims from coming forward, it also prevents them from getting support outside the legal system, and even sometimes result in false convictions of false accusations, caused by the police assuming the accuser must be lying.

    Also, tender-years doctrine (the children always going to the mother in case of divorce), was invented by a feminist

    Really? You want to argue that because a feminist changed a sexist law into a different sexist law that made more sense (after all, women were almost universally the primary caretaker at the time) over a century ago, at a time where a gender neutral was probably an impossibility,this is a black mark against feminism? But all the stuff contemporary anti-feminists did, such as opposing women’s right to vote and to bodily integrity, throwing women in jail and torturing them for disagreeing, arguing for women’s inborn physical, mental, and moral inferiority, is not something which should reflect badly on anti-feminists like you?

    How can feminist engage with anti-traditionalist anti-feminists? I admit I am biased in their favor, being one myself, but this also makes me uniquely qualified to comment on your best tactics. From my perspective, our host Ally follows close to the optimum strategy:
    -Actually be open to debate. Don’t censor unless absolutely necessary.

    Sorry to be impolite here, but bollocks. You are on an atheist site where religious people are frequently banned for proselyting, because people come here for an atheist viewpoint. Just because some people set aside spaces with certain ground rules, because they want to discuss some issues among themselves, or seek advice from like minded individuals (e.g. “my father is a Christian/anti-feminist, how do I get along with him?” probably isn’t answered very well by people who believe she should just convert/get back in the kitchen), without having to take the same old debate about the existence of god or the equality of women, or don’t want to get flooded with spam mail about how they’ll all go to hell or deserve to get raped. That’s not censorship.

    -Don’t call names. Simply accusing me of misogyny for disagreeing with you won’t do much to help your cause.

    Says the guy who just told all feminists that they weren’t egalitarian, because egalitarians are a subset of anti-feminists. Again, the standards you hold feminism to are impossible, and completely hypocritical considering your standards for everyone else (especially yourself).

    -Be willing to admit that some feminist were not only wrong about gender issues, but bigoted to the point of misandry.

    What’s the point? Do you make a big deal out of assuring everyone that even though you’re an anti-feminist, you’re not actually like the overwhelming majority of anti-feminists, who were bigoted to the point of misogyny? Do you make sure the feminists you’re talking know that you acknowledge that, in their battle against the cancer that is feminism, anti-feminists have made huge mistakes (such as opposing the vast majority of feminist goals, which they know claim they’ve always agreed with)? That you understand that feminists are angry because of the injustices committed against them by anti-feminists? That, even though the current debate is about anti-feminist anger at women, you think feminist anger is a topic well worth exploring, and you would love to hear feminists’ reasons for why they lash out, and get their advice on what to say and how to behave to not invoke that anger? Do you speak out against bigoted anti-feminists when they’re brought up (such as JudgyBitch) so feminists can see that you aren’t just holding them to different standards and looking for excuses to criticise feminist women?

    The answer to all of the above is “no”. Think about that. You’re supposed to show feminists how it’s done. You’re supposed to be the rational and reasonable one, who hold everyone to the same standards, unlike the emotional prejudged women feminists who has it all wrong.

    I know you probably wont take this in (you talked a lot about you being rational, and in my experience, there are no people harder to shake out of their emotional bias than people who believe they do a better job than most of being rational), but I think you should really consider why all the things that bother you about feminism doesn’t bother you as much when male-dominated groups do it. I’ve never heard a black person, not even anti-racist/civil rights/social justice types, make a point of denouncing the Black Panthers or Nation of Islam. I’ve never heard anyone set that as a condition before we could go on to talk about racism. “Playing the race card”, sure, white people love to play that one, but the existence of hateful and bigoted fractions claiming to fight for black people’s rights is simply not used to dismiss the whole issue.

    It is for women though. I cannot begin to count the times I’ve seen a feminist debate, or simply women discussing sexism, be interrupted by one of more guys joining specifically to say “Andrea Dworkin/Valerie Solanas/[insert name of feminist from more than a half a century ago]”, and demand that the women stop what they were doing in order to address it. It’s used to divert attention away from current subjects, to swell on past sins, even when completely irrelevant to the original topic. And ironically, anti-feminists are quick to talk about sexism which originated a long time ago as being completely irrelevant, and complain about guilt by association.

    It’s not only a derail, but also often a power play, demanding women to apologise for the things other women did to gain equal rights. And I’m saying “women” instead of “feminists” for a reason. Recall you bringing up the brine shrimp gambit. Women are frequently subjected to something similar when bringing up an issue affecting women:

    1: Observe that feminists have said something similar.
    2: Conclude that the woman is a feminist.
    3: Dig up every piece of dirt on feminism and associate her with it.
    4: Make the conversation about the sins of feminism, not the actual issue brought up.

    There’s nothing to do about it, because objecting to the turn of conversation will get her accused of what you just accused feminists off, as will saying “yeah, I don’t agree with those feminists, now can we get back on topic?”, and delving deeper into it will ensure that her original point is never discussed, because anti-feminists, in my experience, will never tire of finding faults with feminism or alleged feminism. So if you want to know why it’s hard for you to get feminists to “admit” the existence of man-hating feminists, you’re providing the answer yourself by acting as if there is anything to “admit” in the first place.

    Believe me, when you’re not playing “gotcha! with feminists (e.g. acting as if the existence of bigoted feminists is an especially black mark against them, or refusing to acknowledge that those feminists were often subjected to stronger hate than what they dealt out), a good deal of them take the existence of hateful feminists as a fact. They’re just not very interested in talking about it with you, because anti-feminists aren’t exactly known for engaging with women in good faith.

    it can also be blamed on the fact that many of you appear to value “safe spaces” above open debate and when you do argue in public

    Wait a minute… You say “when you do argue in public”. So feminists argue in public, right? Then what’s the problem? Again, most people on the site you’re on have no problem banning people who want to argue for the existence of a god. Feminists sites are no different, except that they’re getting bombarded with more spam and hatemail than even most atheist sites. Why are women the only ones who aren’t allowed to set a space aside and discuss women’s issues? And why does it offend you so much? Seriously, why is it that anti-feminists are so outraged at the idea that women (if they fight hard enough) get to have somewhere to go where people aren’t arguing why raping them is OK, or dismissing religious bigotry against women as largely irrelevant while blaming them for not spending their time on less pressing men’s issues?

    And why all the harassment and hatred of individual feminists and private blogs, while I rarely see initiatives that could actually achieve something, aimed at government institutions or activist groups who do more than talk (let me suggest: official initiatives against military draft for men only, petitions to get a campaign against rape made gender-neutral, a petition to get Sharon Osborne fired the next time she acts stupid, fundraising for men’s shelters, petitions against circumcision of minors, increased male parental leave, support for initiatives to support LGBT rights, etc.)?

    you probably won’t be offended or triggered in a safe space, the rest of the world will ignore you just as you ignore it.

    Actually, the whole problem is that those spaces aren’t ignored. They should be. There are plenty of spaces I ignore because they’re for people who are not like me to talk about things I have no interest in. When they cross the line, I’ll remark on it and criticise it, often in other spaces, but that doesn’t mean I think the spaces themselves should be closed, nor forced to be open to people like me. I have been threatened with a ban if I didn’t comply with the policies of a site, and while I have no respect for the site or its inhabitant, I nonetheless respect their right to ban me (if I hadn’t left before). I find it extremely petty to be offended over the fact that not everyone wants to play with you all the time.

    3. Conservative backlash: Not even a little. As I said earlier, I’m an egalitarian. I certainly don’t think women should be kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen or anything like that. I’d much rather we could agree on this so as to be able to watch each others backs while taking on the the traditionalists.

    That would be easy, if the world was like you see it. But that’s where we disagree. I do not believe that MRAs despise 50s gender roles, and I have given plenty of examples of why. I also don’t believe that feminist anger is something women should just get over with, while anti-feminist anger against women is something we need to address in detail, to find out why feminists brought it on themselves. I don’t believe we should ignore the very real sexism among contemporary anti-feminists, while making it a point to mention things done by a feminist over a century ago and demand that feminists “admit” all sorts of past sins.

    I do not believe religious bigotry against women is trivial and will go away by itself. I do not believe that it is wrong to focus on the issues that touches you most personally, are most immediate, or that you are in the best position to address, not even if there are other, bigger, problems out there. And I especially don’t believe in chastising feminists for focussing on ‘small’ issues, while at the same time dismissing religious bigotry which kills women, in favour of talking about non-lethal violence against men. Or posting on a site where people who want to argue for the existence of a god after often banned on principle, while complaining that anti-feminists aren’t allowed in each and every feminist space.

    Is the fact that some anti-feminists are doubtless both virgins and bitter relevant when attacking anti-feminism? No.

    It is when so many anti-feminist complaints are about women refusing to have sex with some men. When Warren Farrell, possibly the most prominent modern anti-feminist, argues that it is oppressive that men aren’t allowed to ignore it when women say “no” to sex, this is a big deal.

  122. Freja says

    @127 Lucy

    Baron-Cohen is good at getting funding for his research because he’s controversial and appeals to the “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” crowd, and thus ensures good publicity. His recognition is considerably smaller among people who actually work with autism. They’ll use some of his studies, because he gets more funding to do them, but the theory itself isn’t broadly accepted, and with good reason.

    Also, there’s a serious difference between saying you believe that there are gender differences which manifest themselves in averages, and arguing that a whole sex has a universal defect. Granted, if you said something similar about women on most men’s sites, you’d probably be met with broad agreement, but I think we should try to aim for higher standards here.

    So far, there is no proof of your theory, and plenty of proof that men exhibit empathic behaviour. And from personal experience, men most definitely can show empathy, and plenty of it. A lot of times, it seems to depend on shared experience. One of my friends exhibited a rapid growth in certain kinds of empathy after struggling with mental illness, but it’s still impossible for him to take MRAs seriously, because the stuff they claim is everywhere has never happened to him.

  123. Schala says

    Is this just a nasty insult/veiled threat thrown at one half of the human race for being one half of sexual reproduction?

    I think it’s mostly about women being considered desirable and able to “show off their bodies” in ways forbidden for men. There might be resentment caused there, especially when said group demands the right to have the full spectrum of choices allowed at all times consequence-less, when this is far from the case with men.

    Most men can’t dress however they like and walk in the street free of physical or sexual assault.

    In an ideal world, maybe they could. But no one is advocating more clothing and expressive options for men in terms of appearance. They have an extremely narrow range of options, deviation from them means remaining celibate and getting beaten up, very often.

    The threshold to remaining celibate and getting beaten up in female attire is much more narrower.

    Note: There is always a possibility they would find someone actually liking them for their style, but it’s just extremely less likely than otherwise.

    The punk green-mohawked (rest shaved) girl with long leg hair who wears army gear with outlandish make-up (clownish to most) is probably along that.

    A guy (male-identified) in a dress (and who doesn’t dress that way secretly, but publicly of course), regardless of hair length or style, regardless of shaven legs or face or not, regardless of shoes, is along that.

  124. Schala says

    As far as I’m concerned, there is an empathy deficit among all men, based on my own experience, i woud go along with the theory that autism is an extreme form of maleness.

    Likely very wrong on both counts.

    The empathy deficit you might observe is based on being SHOWN less empathy.

    After being told “suck it up, like a man” and “man up” ever so often, you either develop a thick skin, or develop extreme depression and die.

    Depending on your life experience and how much shit you lived through, your empathy is likely to fluctuate. The more you feel others care about you without ulterior motive, the more incentive for you to care about others in this same way. The less you feel others care about you without ulterior motive, the less incentive for you to care about others in this same way. Incentive isn’t absolute. You could have a very selfless personality, and it would take a lifetime of shit to make you cynical (while people step all over you repeatedly and tell you it’s your fault for letting them).

    I’m one of those cynical-by-experience people. Thankfully, I have this principle, do not do harm to others you would not want done to yourself. And in this I include most intentional harms (rushing to claim a monster in a game, which I wouldn’t want to be the ‘loser’ on, isn’t intentional harm – a fist to the face, even in self-defense, is intentional harm). I don’t need to think about wether the other is deserving of it. They’re human, they deserve it.

    That’s one of the “deficits” of mild autism (formerly known as asperger syndrome) – treating everyone fairly, even after bad experiences. Normal people start treating those people who shat on them more badly or less courteously. Austism causes people to treat them just as fairly as before, perhaps in the (often vain) hope that the malefactor will change their behavior, or simply as a guiding principle not worth arguing against (it’s not for self-preservation, so who cares if I give the same airtime to the bully).

    Baron-Cohen decided that male-brain is what is the average-for-men. While female-brain is what is the average-for-women. There is considerable overlap. A Venn diagram would have a huge overlap in the middle, a bell curve would have two incredibly-overlapping bell curves.

    In short, it means nothing, unlike BSTc stuff about the seat of sex identity. Which is not averagely gendered, but absolutely gendered (there are some in/near the middle, but they’re a minority, not half the people like with Baron-Cohen).

    If you believe Baron-Cohen, then you believe women are less good at spatial awareness and parking cars, while men are less good with interacting with people. The biological difference (if it exists) is minor. The socialized difference is bigger. Driving well is considered a marker of masculinity (so an incentive for men to do better or try harder). Not so for feminity. Working well with people is considered a marker of feminity (so an incentive for women to do better or try garder). Not so for masculinity.

  125. Schala says

    “I don’t need to think about wether the other is deserving of it. They’re human, they deserve it.”

    By this I mean, they deserve the principle applied to them, not any harm.

    Empathy is a means of selectively applying this principle. And it often leads to less harms to women and to children, possibly for biological reasons about neoteny (ie childlike features). The same way people want to harm kittens less than adult cats.

  126. says

    I’ll make one point I’ve made several times before on other sites. Whether or not women show more empathy than men (and I doubt that), empathy itself is not a virtue. Empathy is only awareness of another’s feelings. It’s not concern for another’s feelings – that’s sympathy, or compassion. It takes as much empathy to be cruel – to know exactly what will hurt someone the most – as it does to be compassionate.

  127. Jacob Schmidt says

    @Maudell

    At first, I thought they were ‘straw feministing’, but after researching what they were talking about, it appears to me that they are reacting to a current that is real. So I don’t think I can say that it’s not ‘real’ feminism.

    I generally say that sort of feminism isn’t representative; the “straw man” aspect comes when you generalize all feminism that way.

    Could you direct me to feminists who follow this current?

    Some men (not a statistically significant amount, probably about 20 men) have told me their experience of a version of this story (usually, the part about putting women on a pedestal is more important than the part about male sexuality). My fiancé is one of them. He used to defer to women to the point not taking his own needs into account. He thought that’s what he had to do to be a decent guy.

    Are you sure this isn’t based on his own misunderstanding of feminism? I mean, treating women with self destructive deference and putting them on a pedestal seems quite opposed to any sort of feminism I’ve encountered (since it’s very similar, if not the same, as objectification).

    I hope this clarifies. I am in no way trying to say “men are like abc because of xyz”. Just relaying what I have heard around me. I mentioned Canada because many known MRAs and FeMRAs live here, and I can’t speak for other places I’m not familiar with. I don’t know how prevalent it is, but I’ve heard this story from Prairie men, West Coast men and French-Canadian men. That’s all. Sorry if I was unclear and I sounded like I was speaking for men in general.

    Thanks for the detailed reply. What you’re saying is interesting, and much clearer.

    @Patrick Brown

    It takes as much empathy to be cruel – to know exactly what will hurt someone the most – as it does to be compassionate.

    Empathy has the connotation of compassion. When discussing this stereotype, the connotation is observed: “We all know the stereotype: Women are better than men at taking other people’s perspectives, feeling their pain, and experiencing compassion for them. Surveys of men and women suggest there’s some truth to that assumption.

  128. bugmaster says

    John Morales @122:

    I noted above (@52→53) what I consider its goal to be, whenceupon you agreed but claimed that there were multiple goals, not just a goal.

    Fair enough; though I do believe that at least some feminists consider the goal of raising the social status of women to be quite important, at least in the short term. For example, as far as I can tell, this is the explicit aim of the original Atheism+ movement: to create more “safe spaces” for women specifically, online and elsewhere. I personally think this is a good idea, and a useful sub-goal on the way toward building a gender-neutral society. As you said:

    Well, [Affirmative Action, etc.] a structural change that in practice leads to sociocultural change, and it’s fairly characterised as policy.

    We may disagree on which policies are effective and which aren’t, but it looks like we agree in principle.

    This is where your inferential chain breaks down, because your premise is mistaken when you take the method as the goal.

    Right ! That’s exactly what I was saying ! If you tell me, “No, Bugmaster, robbing people is a really bad idea”, and I reply with, “So, you want me to remain poor, do you ? Why do you hate me so much ?”, then I’m in the wrong.

    you have yet to adduce any examples of either 1 or 3.

    I was under the impression that I did just that. For example, consider the responses to the Donglegate controversy, and especially the reactions to Amanda Blum’s article. For another example, consider the discussion of civility (spread across multiple posts) on Camels With Hammers, where several posters essentially say, “some topics are off the table for discussion, and questioning them marks you as a bigot, and thus the only valid response is to shout obscenities at you until you go away”. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about.

    Presumably it makes you angry because you believe what you perceive individual feminists to be doing you impute to feminism as an ideology and as a movement.

    As far as I know, there’s no Feminist Pope (Popette ?); nor are there any 100% certified True Scotsmen. When multiple people calls themselves feminists and do something that I dislike, in the name of feminism; then I can only conclude that there’s a branch of feminism that endorses doing stuff I dislike.

    As far as the relative degree of importance of any given values goes, there is no obvious reason that compromise is required between the ones you have hitherto mentioned.

    That is not entirely true. If your only goal was to raise the social status of women relative to that of men, then creating a highly hostile environment is a perfectly rational strategy. It’s relatively easy (compared to the alternatives), and it is effective. Obviously, other strategies also exist.

    I put it to you that your anger towards feminism either as a movement or as an ideology is based on a misrepresentation of feminism’s goals and of assuming the whole must share the properties of the parts.

    I have stated multiple times, practically in each post, that my problem is not with feminism as a whole (I don’t even know if such a thing exists in any meaningful way), but with whichever sub-branches of it do the specific things that I dislike.

  129. Witt says

    Really interesting; thanks.

    I’d add a few more:

    – Lack of historical context/knowledge. I’ve interacted with men who seem to honestly believe that federal funding for domestic violence services is something that just magically materialized into being. They don’t understand that it took decades of organizing and effort and self-funded work by activists. And so when they say “But there need to be services for X!” and you say to them, “Great idea. I totally agree. What are you willing to to do to help make that happen?” you get crickets.

    Another example: I’ve had men say with great frustration, “Why isn’t there a Violence Against MEN Act?!” Now, granted this is an easy mistake to make, because the name Violence Against Women Act is misleading. But it does tend to point up that people who are really, really angry about something have often not done the merest 5-second Google search to see if the thing they are angry about is actually true. (For the record, and for any non-US readers, the Violence Against Women Act applies equally to men and to women.)

    – Resolutely individualistic worldview. Just recently I heard a man speaking on a panel about race relations. His whole approach (and it was a calm, measured one, not particularly combative at all) was that we can only deal with the here and now. This is where we are, and we can’t change the past, etc. etc.

    Now the thing is, I think he *honestly believed* what he was saying. I think he has no concept of the idea that being able to start from the “here and now” is a PRIVILEGE that his straight, white, Anglo, Christian self has — and that other people who attempt to navigate the world that way are often quickly and painfully slammed back by a reminder that they don’t belong, that the dominant culture already makes assumptions about them based on how they look, etc.

  130. Schala says

    Empathy has the connotation of compassion. When discussing this stereotype, the connotation is observed: “We all know the stereotype: Women are better than men at taking other people’s perspectives, feeling their pain, and experiencing compassion for them. Surveys of men and women suggest there’s some truth to that assumption.“

    It wrongfully has that connotation, but it’s always about the perception, not the action done about it.

    The perception is what asperger syndrome people lack. The compassion they do not. The sympathy they do not. People with asperger syndrome can easily be the MOST compassionate people ever, but all you hear about is that they lack empathy, and this makes them more suitable to be serial killers.

  131. Schala says

    (For the record, and for any non-US readers, the Violence Against Women Act applies equally to men and to women.)

    And sleeping under bridges applies equally to the poor and rich.

    The difference is VAWA does NOTHING AT ALL for male victims of DV. It made up programs to combat male batterers (and only MALE batterers), based on faulty (and stupid) notions that violence is tied to maleness and a (almost biological) hatred of women. Finances zero shelters for male victims.

    I’ve interacted with men who seem to honestly believe that federal funding for domestic violence services is something that just magically materialized into being.

    It came from patriarchy’s “sympathy for women” tool of control. That’s not exactly something women did. That’s something imposed on women from without, which is considered sometimes harmful, sometimes beneficial to women, and hardly ever fought when it is the latter (such as in sentencing disparity).

    And so when they say “But there need to be services for X!” and you say to them, “Great idea. I totally agree. What are you willing to to do to help make that happen?” you get crickets.

    Then tell DV shelters and feminist organizations to:

    1) stop minimizing male victims of DV and attacking CTC-based studies
    2) stop making male=evil/perp and female=angelic/victim campaigns as if its the only possibility
    3) stop saying male victims of DV don’t fear their perpetrator or don’t have financial needs, or don’t need help for their children, when they’re victims
    4) stop portraying it as a male/maleness/masculinity/macho/uniquely-male-control-thirst thing, kill the Duluth model

    Maybe someone who controls money on top will then agree they can be victims sometimes.

  132. Witt says

    142: I guess we’ve had radically different experiences of DV services. The agencies I’m familiar with provide legal services, counseling, crime victim compensation assistance, court accompaniment etc. to male as well as female victims. (Some of those male victims have opposite-sex abusive partners, while others have same-sex.)

    Here’s an example of a VAWA provision: The VAWA self-petition for the battered immigrant spouse of a US citizen or green-card holder. This self-petition provision allows an immigrant to apply for his/her own immigration status, regardless of whether an abusive spouse is refusing to file for them. Note that the language is gender-neutral: http://www.uscis.gov/batteredspouseschildrenandparents

  133. DeepThought says

    @123:

    Not quite. Lucy’s position is one version of the “essentialist” arguments that many women, and some feminists, argue.

    It’s not so much hypocrisy as the reverse of the same coin played by far too many anti-feminists that men and women are “essentially” different and therefore should confine themselves to certain roles and activities and not others.

    It is hypocrisy when feminists like Lucy rail against the coin played by anti-feminists but then play the flip side themselves. Feminists are hypocritical if they are in favor in freeing only women, but not men, from traditional gender roles.

    @124:

    Exactly. While I don’t agree with Lucy (about men or about autism), her argument is really just the flip side of the tired old “women are emotional and men are rational/women are nurturers and men are providers”. I’ve seen plenty of that on MRA sites, they just choose to focus on a different aspect and throw in “Women are backstabbing manipulators and men are honest and fair” for good measure. For some reason, we’re still supposed to listen to them.

    I’m not an MRA and don’t listen to MRAs. That does not mean any argument made by a feminist is ipso facto better. In this case Lucy’s is just as bad.

    @125:

    If I could point you towards my “comments on comments” at the top of the page, in my book, your post at 120 tramples over two or three of them.

    Ally, I apologize. It won’t happen again. There are other blogs on this website where language like what I used is par for the course. But this is your blog and I will follow your rules. One question though: do you see a statement like “men intrinsically have an empathy deficit” as misandric?

    @127:

    Yes I believe men and women are essentially different, not necessarily in the ways that we believe they are because socialisation is obviously also a powerful factor, but there are differences (in general).

    Any evidence for this besides your “belief”? Be aware that a difference on average is not the same as an essential difference. Even if some of that difference can be shown to be innate (and the research is FAR from showing that at this point) it is hardly “essential” if the bell curves highly overlap.

    But it does not logically follow from that that there should be a gender caste system of roles; an equal argument can be made for ensuring equal representation in every role, and changes to the roles on offer as a result of this. This is in effect, the mainstay of the affirmative action movement.

    Which, according to this argument, is hypocritical, because there never is any consideration of roles where men are underrepresented. It’s just fine if >80% of custodial parents are women, but not fine if >80% of CEOs are men. There is very limited consideration of families where the man, in fact, does not have the power, and can in fact be abused by a woman to the point where he needs societal assistance.

    As to the autism point, this theory appears to be news to some commenters here and they may want to look into Baron-Cohen. It’s a theory that rings true for me based on my experience and based on the findings in other sex empathy studies, particularly those that look at the prevalence of and male tolerance for female pain on screen in torture porn and horror films.

    I’m quite familiar with Baron-Cohen. He is not accepted, by any means, as an authority. Nor is there much empirical data to back him up. What findings in other sex empathy studies have to do with autism isn’t clear to me. But bring them up if you like. Be sure to have a control condition of female tolerance for male pain on screen if you wish to have anything resembling a valid point.

  134. Paul says

    The majority of both sexes are basically decent and whilst it seems like stating the bleedin’ obvious i think it should be remembered in any debate about gender. And certainly men should resist the temptation of demonising and ridiculing ALL women in the same way that rad fems have historically got away with demonising and ridiculing ALL men. For two wrongs don’t make a right.

    There are double standards which can and do favour both sexes and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.The adage that ”boys will be boys” has historically been used to ”excuse” all sorts of unacceptable behaviour from males and feminists have been quite right to challenge that.But equality between the sexes cuts both ways in my opinion and men have an absolute right to challenge double standards which favour women. There are for instance women who think it’s a female perogative to be patronising, taunting ,.sexist,abusive and belittling to men .And who are quick to complain if men give them a taste of their own medicine. For in any gender equal society what gives women any right to special consideration ?

    Males are also routinely told by both sexes to ”man up ” and ” be a man” yet are females ever told to ”woman up ” and ” be a woman ”.? Of course they’re not which is another double standard. A few years ago i remember reading about a man who took his female boss to an Employment Tribunal for bullying him and he won his case . Yet journalists of both sexes belittled him and made out he was somehow lacking in the masculinity department. And that’s another example of a double standard which favours women.For i doubt those same journalists would have belittled a woman who was bullied by her male boss.

    Likewise men who are the victims of domestic violence at the hands of abusive women are not taken as seriously as women who are the victims of domestic violence at the hands of abusive men. Fathers who are either marginalised or excluded from their childrens lives are somehow seen as being ”less deserving” than the mothers who are in most cases the primary carers-by choice- of the children. These are just a few of the double standards which favour women. And i could give many many more examples.

    In a gender equal society women are not entitled to any special consideration solely on account of being female. And those who argue that women are equal but different should rightly be challenged if that translates to giving women the best of both worlds. For having the best of both worlds can never be viewed the same as having equality.

  135. Donna Gratehouse says

    #5 is bullshit. There’s nothing wrong with geeks and no reason they can’t get girlfriends. The guy bleating about being friendzoned are just whiny entitled pricks which is why women don’t like them.

  136. Jacob Schmidt says

    Schala

    It wrongfully has that connotation, but it’s always about the perception, not the action done about it.

    How can something wrongfully have a connotation? The whole point of a connotation is that it isn’t part of the literal definition; there is no “wrong”, only “often implied.”

    The sympathy they do not. People with asperger syndrome can easily be the MOST compassionate people ever, but all you hear about is that they lack empathy, and this makes them more suitable to be serial killers.

    Methinks you’re thinking of psychopaths (who can be very empathetic but lack compassion (or, more precisely, remorse)). Those with aspergers tend to get stereotyped as “socially awkward weirdos” or “assholes who don’t care”.

  137. Iamcuriousblue says

    Freya @132 writes:

    “It is for women though. I cannot begin to count the times I’ve seen a feminist debate, or simply women discussing sexism, be interrupted by one of more guys joining specifically to say “Andrea Dworkin/Valerie Solanas/[insert name of feminist from more than a half a century ago]”, and demand that the women stop what they were doing in order to address it. It’s used to divert attention away from current subjects, to swell on past sins, even when completely irrelevant to the original topic.”

    Sorry, but these are not “in the past” problems with the feminist movement – there’s a very strong “radical feminist” and radfem-friendly faction of feminism, especially in countries like the UK and Nordic states, where it is the majority tendency. And both in the US and internationally, it is extremely influential in driving some irrational, retrograde policies toward pornography and the sex industry. I think if you were to poll sex worker activists and ask them where they get some of their most hateful, destructive, and defamatory pushback, much of that is from self-described feminists, not always “radfems”, who nonetheless have fully bought into the Dworkin/MacKinnon line on sex work.

    Not to mention the outright transphobia of the most hardcore group of radfems – it’s still very much present (check the Twitter hashtage #radfem2013 sometime), although decreasing in influence. Still, as described above, much of old school radfem ideology minus the transphobia is still very much alive. One can see it in groups like the Ada Initiative, which seeks to ban all presentations on sex-related topics from any meeting with a tech or “geek” focus – sex-positive feminist Violet Blue was one of the many targets of that censorship campaign, and that’s one supported by contemporary “third wave” types, not just “TERFs”.

    Thanks for bringing up what is actually one of my biggest issues with feminism’s bullish defenders, namely, promulgation of the claim that any problems with feminism have been dealt with and are now largely a thing of the past. If only that were true.

  138. Iamcuriousblue says

    I’ll outline where many of my feminist-critical attitudes (not, as some would see it, anti-feminist) come from, and how they relate to your categories, as well as one that doesn’t make your list.

    Not mentioned, but my main reason – Feminism as a totalizing ideology, and too often a dogmatic and authoritarian one. I have a problem with grand ideologies and dogmas, and take an anti-authoritarian outlook in general. I’m an atheist and critical of religion not only because I find the idea of God and the supernatural to not agree with the facts about the universe, but also because it constitutes a totalizing and unquestioned system of obedience to fixed ideas. The thing is, there are many secular ideologies that reject the supernatural, but still fall into dogma and authoritarianism – Marx-Leninism is the classic example, and I’m just old enough to remember when that was a dominant ideology in the “social justice” Left. These days, it is all-too-common that the worst ideologues on the political Left are those that identify strongly and aggressively as feminists. Not all feminists mind you, but a significant subset. They largely inhabit the niche left behind by the decline of Leninism on the left and spout much the same rhetoric – a hostility to “individualism”, an anti-libertarianism that too often crosses over into a hostility to civil liberties, and a general attitude that if you’re not 100% down with their ideology, you’re The Enemy. Needless to say, I don’t care how righteous the cause is, that attitude is toxic.

    At this point, I’ll probably hear the inevitable response that feminism is pluralistic, that it simply means “viewing women as human beings” or “seeing women as equal to men”. I find this argument disingenuous, since most serious people in arguments around gender believe this already. The specific points come with arguments toward more arguable feminist positions, such as the policing of privilege, questionable ideas about “sexual objectification”, and the like. Such stances do not automatically spring from the mere idea of regarding women as equal members of the human race, and in fact constitute goalpost-shifting when “feminism is the view that women are human” is used as an argument for more specific claims of some version of feminist ideology.

    #2 – The feminist stranglehold I’d say I’m in agreement with that framework. Related to the above – I don’t think feminism (and specifically, the narrow version that largely predominates in blogosphere feminism) should have a monopoly on discourse around gender. I’m not an anti-feminist in the sense that I want to push feminism out of such discourse, however, I would like to see a discourse around gender that’s a hell of a lot more pluralistic than it is now. The polarized “feminist vs MRA” mentality is going exactly nowhere.

    I’ll sink #1 into a subset of #2, since I think the kind of concerns for men’s issues listed under #1 would be better addressed via pluralistic dialogue about gender issues.

    #3 Backlash – political or social conservatism Nope, I think the opposite. (Though I will cop to a defense of classical social liberalism against what looks to me to simply be radicalism for its own sake, but I don’t see anything unprogressive about that.) The tendencies in feminism I find most objectionable are ones I see as socially conservative. Old-school “radical feminism” with its basically right-wing views on sexuality, the sex industry, transgender, and the like are the epitome of this. However, in reply to those who would simply “blame it on the TERFs”, I see a lot of the same crap in contemporary feminism, often viewing personal behavior, especially sexual behavior, through a largely moralistic lens, in a way that other progressive ideologies, such as LBGT liberation, thankfully manage to avoid. The reasons given by groups like the Ada Initiative for demanding zero tolerance for sexuality-related presentations at tech and “geek” conferences – that “survivors” can’t handle it, and that any indication of openness to sex in a mixed space will act as license for men to harass women, is based on some of the most pessimistic and reactionary views of gender imaginable. I oppose such ideas from a strong socially liberal point of view.

    #10 You’re not the boss of me now? I’ll cop to that one, but I’d come back with “What’s wrong with that?” Why should anybody kowtow to arbitrary and unearned authority? In fact, I would say that the kind of dislike of petty authoritarianism was what initially spurred the growth of Second-Wave feminism back in the 60’s – much of it was fueled by men automatically having authority in relation to women, and women resenting the hell out of it. Unfortunately, many of these women slipped into a petty authoritarianism of their own, and you could point to that as having much to do with the spurring of the Third Wave, and I think there are problems with this in current feminism, even with the knowledge of what brought on the previous “waves” of feminism. There is an unfortunate assumption that reaction to an authoritarian style is merely pushback against women, which wrongfully assumes bossy and authoritarian behavior on the part of men would get a pass in the same situation. I don’t think it does, and I personally loathe men who behave this way – why should I treat women any differently?

    More generally, I’d have to say that if a major concern of the feminist movement really is “do this, don’t do that” and generally micromanaging personal behavior, it might be time to rethink political goals, focusing on systematic and political concerns and putting a lid the moralism. Focus on the latter is what makes the Religious Right so totally fucked-up, and don’t think a “progressive” moralist movement fares much better. Actually, #10 is looking a lot like a subset of my main critique, “feminism is too-often authoritarian ideology”.

    I should add that I wouldn’t exclusives frame the above as “men’s anger at feminism”, because I’ve talked to plenty of women who have the same problems with feminism as I’ve outlined above.

    As to other reasons, #4 and #8 I think are motivators to a subset of anti-feminists, no getting around that. Some men (and some women too) are indeed motivated simply by misogyny, but the blanket accusation of “misogyny” toward anyone who opposes some or another aspect of the “Feminism 101” party line is wholly off base. Not to be underestimated is #8, the troll factor – I think anybody who says anything controversial on the internet will inevitably attract trolls and haters, as well as sincere critics. I know I have. I’m even willing to believe that women in general get shittier and more personal attacks on average, based on what I’ve heard from my female counterparts in blogging. (Though I’ll note that some of the most vicious attacks on women come from other women, and often from self-identified feminists.) However, what I don’t buy is the idea that feminism on the whole is particularly singled out for a more virulent and dangerous kind of online trolling than similar controversial ideas. #7, the “someone on the internet is wrong” point is indeed a strong factor – as I said, put an idea out on the internet and you’ll get your share of sincere critics, or people who are misunderstanding your point (perhaps because you’ve failed to present it as well as you thought you had), as well as haters and trolls. The often-used dismissals – “concern troll” and “jaqing off” really doesn’t do the sincere critics justice.

    I think the juxtaposition of #5 and #6 is interesting. The framing of critics as “losers” (usually based on no actual personal knowledge of the critic) is based on the idea that men should achieve a certain amount of financial and relationship success by the time they’re adults, and that such success would somehow foster a more positive attitude toward feminism. Not only are the assumptions here wrongful for obvious reasons, the class and relationship-status bias is pretty disgusting as well.

  139. Soarer says

    @ Iamcuriousblue – Post 149

    As a fellow social liberal, I agree with your well-written post. I also dislike any kind of authoritarianism, whatever its source, and I believe this is the basis for much of my criticism of some feminist tropes, as well as most of Marxist ideology.

    I think this plays into something discussed above, which is that whilst we can (pretty much) all agree on the desirability of equality of opportunity, we might well sincerely disagree on the steps needed to achieve it, where it has not already been achieved.

    I am particularly puzzled by some feminists views on prostitution, and the sex industry generally. I would have thought that the primary aim would be the protection and support of the people involved, so as to reduce and hopefully eliminate trafficking and violence towards sex workers. The attempt to drive sex work underground makes this more difficult to achieve.

    Again, for the avoidance of doubt, I do not use the service of sex workers personally so I have no personal motivation. I only want to see them treated like human beings, not criminals. I feel the need to say this as this is the sort of criticism of my position I have encountered in the past.

  140. says

    Jacob Schmidt @138

    Empathy has the connotation of compassion.

    In the way it’s popularly understood, yes. That’s because it flatters women, who are popularly believed to be the more empathetic sex. But it’s only half the picture. I repeat, empathy is as much behind cruelty as it is compassion.

    Plus, of course, we’re used to the kind of “empathy” men are usually shown by feminists: “shut up and listen”, “cry me a river”.

    Iamcuriousblue @149/Soarer @150 on sex work: my estrangement from feminism (I used to consider myself a feminist) largely goes back to a series of murders of prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006. It seemed to me then, and seems to me now, obvious that prostitutes are particularly vulnerable to psychos and abusers because they work outside the law, and the only way to make them safer was to bring them within the stockade as it were – legalise and regulate. The feminist response, in the press and the then Labour government, was to advocate pushing prostitution even further outside the law by making it illegal to pay for sex (it was then only illegal for either the prostitute or the punter to solicit for paid-for sex), making sex work even more dangerous for the sake of knowing who to blame. Ideology first, women’s lives second.

    On a l’ésprit d’éscalier note, I posted above (comment 92) about the damsel in distress reflex being deliberately abused for political reasons, and I’ve since thought of some examples that should be familiar here. Elevatorgate. Donglegate. Surly Amy at TAM.

  141. mildlymagnificent says

    empathy is as much behind cruelty as it is compassion.

    It’s also what makes some people good at selling. Finding people’s hot buttons or weak points in order to make a sale might not be cruel, but it’s sometimes morally dodgy.

    Patrick Brown.

    my estrangement from feminism ,,, The feminist response, in the press and the then Labour government, was to advocate pushing prostitution even further outside the law …

    I’m not sure that that’s not simply part of the local version of feminism. I’ve always held the view that sex work itself should be licensed (appropriately) and regulated (and preferably unionised). I have a big soft spot for Australia’s Scarlet Alliance. They do good work. http://www.scarletalliance.org.au/who/

  142. says

    mildlymagnificent @153

    It’s also what makes some people good at selling.

    Good point. I’d generally consider selling to be morally neutral.

    I’m not sure that that’s not simply part of the local version of feminism.

    It seems to be Scandinavian in origin, and is spreading from there. It’s definitely the version of feminism that is favoured by governments and media of the left, which makes it feminism-with-power. There are also pro-sex-worker groups in the UK, but they don’t have the ear of government or the media the way the Fawcett Society and their ilk do.

  143. Arakiba says

    Men who are misogynists are angry at women for the same reason white Southerners are angry at black people. They see them as inferiors who are getting too uppity.

  144. Freja says

    @ 148 Iamcuriousblue

    Sorry, but these are not “in the past” problems with the feminist movement

    How can feminists who’re dead not be a past problem? They don’t exist any more. That’s like arguing that modern communists are evil because of Stalin or that Texas is a slave state because of events before/during the civil war. If the ideas of Stalin and the confederacy are still alive (which they seem to very much be), there will be actual living people expressing actual contemporary opinions for you to criticise.

    But do you really think the guys who like to troll feminist boards actually know anything about what they’re criticising, except for those few past names and talking points picked up on anti-feminist parts of the web? You yourself have to ignore the content of my post (dead feminists) to focus on things not mentioned in my post (living feminists), in order to give your argument a shred of merit.

    there’s a very strong “radical feminist” and radfem-friendly faction of feminism [examples that have been repeated again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again everywhere where people know enough about feminism to care (which means almost exclusively feminist sites, because everyone else will just mention dead feminists)]

    Really? You think this is news? And you actually think it must be news because feminists try to hide it, rather than because people like HSA (whom I was responding to) doesn’t care enough to actually criticise feminism for something which happens now?

    He brought up a feminist who died in 1877. That’s 136 years ago. Well over a century ago. And that was just when she died. The sexist stuff he thinks is worth bringing up happened in 1839. 174 years ago. He thought it was relevant to explain that some woman who was a feminist did something sexist in response to something more sexist 174 years ago. This is apparently relevant to him in explaining why he oppose feminism and why he thinks feminists ought to change. Because of something whih happened in 1839.

    I get that this is not what you’re talking about, because that would be stupid. But this is what I’m talking about, because I’m responding to HSA, and thus, this is also what you respond to. What feminists do now is pretty irrelevant to whether or not they need to talk to anti-feminists about what happened in the past.

    For example, the vast majority of what HSA’s anti-feminist predecessors did was sexist at best, cruel and monstrous at most. From denying women the right to vote, torturing them via force-feeding, campaigning to keep most rape legitimised, proclaiming women’s inherent inferiority, campaigning for workplace discrimination, making death and rape threats, etc.., they really have a shitty track record. But I was responding to HSA (not you, him. About his arguments, not the arguments you want to answer), who has not done any of those things personally.

    And I don’t need a bunch of examples of what dead dudes did many years ago to explain why I think the behaviour of various contemporary anti-feminists is wrong. The examples I brought up were all from the present. My primary example was an anti-feminist who was linked to approvingly on this very thread. And that goes a long way to explain why I think “feminists don’t want to talk enough about why what bunch of dead women did several years ago was bad” is a disingenuous argument. Now, if it’s actually relevant to link it to what some feminists do now, sure. But way too often, it’s brought up out of nowhere, as a way to score cheap points “You feminists think you’re perfect but [insert something a dead feminist did half a century ago], so what do you think of that, huh?”. And it’s used against women who are not feminist to brush aside what they say.

    I’ve been I discussions where all I had to do to make the men who disagreed with me speechless was to say that I was not a feminist (I lied, but that’s beside the point). Not because we were discussing feminism, but because all their arguments against what I was saying were based on painting me/it as feminist and then arguing about the (past) sins of feminism. When they couldn’t do that, they didn’t have any argument left against my actual point. Of course, usually guys like that will just claim you’re lying/ignorant, or that since your argument is feminist, that’s enough to make it a matter of feminism, not about what you’re actually saying.

    And in cases where feminism really is the subject, a similar tactic is to ignore what feminists are actually saying, in favour of railing against what different (usually non-specified or dead) feminists did/said, and then blame the feminists present (or feminism in general) for not ‘admitting’ the existence of those other (dead) feminists. Which I think puts people on an uneven playing field, because anti-feminists aren’t required to make a big deal out of ‘admitting’ what others have done in the name of opposing feminism, even when they associate and refer to those other people.

    Thanks for bringing up what is actually one of my biggest issues with feminism’s bullish defenders

    And thank you for illustrating my biggest problem with anti-feminists, their complete and utter inability to address actual points, and their tendency to act as if every other anti-feminist in existence agrees with them and is beyond criticism. Seriously, would it be too much to ask of you to acknowledge that I was talking about the tendency to bring up past feminism to silence contemporary feminists, and at no point denied that there were issues with certain branches of contemporary feminism?

    Is it really so controversial to say that it is normal for political movements, even movements that have done more good than bad, to not be squeaky clean, that even people who fight for justice sometimes use the wrong means, and that feminism isn’t unique? Would it really be so difficult so say to people like HSA “If you don’t want to answer for the past sins of other men/anti-feminists, how about you focus your criticism on contemporary feminism instead”? Can we really not agree that “Andrea Dworkin!!!!!!!” isn’t actually a valid argument as to why feminists shouldn’t create safe spaces where they don’t have to listen to rape jokes?

  145. Schala says

    142: I guess we’ve had radically different experiences of DV services. The agencies I’m familiar with provide legal services, counseling, crime victim compensation assistance, court accompaniment etc. to male as well as female victims. (Some of those male victims have opposite-sex abusive partners, while others have same-sex.)

    How many victims have they helped in this way?

    How many have they physically housed (and no, hotel vouchers don’t count)?
    How many fathers have they helped get their children out of the abusive home?

    Because we sure rarely hear about it. I bet the numbers are incredibly low.

    It’s a known fact that many men who are looking for DV help get referred to batterer’s services, told they’re the perpetrator or just plainly not helped at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if this, combined with 0% of DV campaigns having female perpetrators and male victims together (the very best will be mentioning male victims, with a subtext that it’s a male perpetrator – wether for rape or DV) resulted in very very few men ever getting serviced by VAWA,

    But hey, it’s gender-neutral in name.

  146. Schala says

    “But hey, it’s gender-neutral in name”

    Oops, guess it isn’t.

    Why is the unisex bathroom with a skirted figure? I don’t know, but it has urinals inside, just go in.

    That’s what this whole “VAWA is neutral” sounds like.

  147. Schala says

    DV services in Australia

    http://i.imgur.com/FoFC7ow.png

    Hey, they got two helplines, one for each sex…the men’s one just assumes they’re batterers, and the women’s assumes they’re victims.

    Remember kids, female batterers and male victims don’t exist.

  148. Iamcuriousblue says

    Freja @156

    How can feminists who’re dead not be a past problem? They don’t exist any more. That’s like arguing that modern communists are evil because of Stalin or that Texas is a slave state because of events before/during the civil war. If the ideas of Stalin and the confederacy are still alive (which they seem to very much be), there will be actual living people expressing actual contemporary opinions for you to criticise.

    Wow. I can’t believe you’re advancing such an internally inconstant argument with a straight face. I’d give you the bloody obvious answer to your point here, but you answer it in the last sentence, and then don’t seem to even follow the implications of your point.

    The obvious point is, no, just because somebody is dead does not mean that their ideas are, many dead people’s ideas and ideologies are *very* much with is, for good and for bad. Dworkin is one of those people, whose malicious ideas have a strong following and plenty of living exponents who are advancing that agenda. In fact, of that particular strain of radical feminist thought, I’d say Dworkin and Mary Daly are probably the only major figures that have passed. People like Catherine MacKinnon and Sheila Jeffreys are still around and active, as are a second-generation of figures like Gail Dines, Cathy Brennan, Lierre Keith, etc, who are causing all kinds of grief in the name of their version of feminism. “In the past”, my eye.

    In fact, I have to wonder what kind of historical amnesia you’re suffering from to call Dworkin’s activism “a long time ago”. How old are you?

    I get that this is not what you’re talking about, because that would be stupid. But this is what I’m talking about, because I’m responding to HSA, and thus, this is also what you respond to. What feminists do now is pretty irrelevant to whether or not they need to talk to anti-feminists about what happened in the past.

    I’m not HSA – you can continue that argument with them. What I’m responding to is your point about Andrea Dworkin (and a lesser degree Valerie Solanas). You seem to be claiming that because they’re dead and their activism was “a long time ago” (from your perspective), that to mention them in connection to current feminism is somehow a derail. Which, as I’ve pointed out, is utter nonsense because as you yourself have acknowledged, that’s still very much a current strain in feminism.

    Which I think puts people on an uneven playing field, because anti-feminists aren’t required to make a big deal out of ‘admitting’ what others have done in the name of opposing feminism, even when they associate and refer to those other people.

    Well, I’m not sure what’s on your list of wrongs that have been committed in the name of “opposing feminism” (as opposed to garden-variety subjugation of women), but I’m sure you’ll let me know. Based on my knowledge on historic radical movements (which I’ve done quite a bit of reading on, actually) post-1960s feminism had a relatively easy time of it. Things like COINTELPRO barely touched them, unlike other radical movements that came out of the New Left, nor has there been anything like a Red Scare against feminism.

    Seriously, would it be too much to ask of you to acknowledge that I was talking about the tendency to bring up past feminism to silence contemporary feminists, and at no point denied that there were issues with certain branches of contemporary feminism?

    Whether something is derailing depends on context. I’d fully agree that if there’s an argument about the wage gap, bringing up Andrea Dworkin is a massive derail. On the other hand, when it comes to issues around feminism and free speech (and, yes there’s a subset of proposed anti-harassment policies that in fact raise issues of sexual speech and censorship, to name but one current controversy), the ideas of Dworkin and MacKinnon are never far from the surface, and to not bring it up is to simply not mention the elephant in the room.

    ”Is it really so controversial to say that it is normal for political movements, even movements that have done more good than bad, to not be squeaky clean, that even people who fight for justice sometimes use the wrong means, and that feminism isn’t unique?”

    Nope, feminism is not unique in that regard, and I never said that it was. However, I also don’t think that “normal for political movements” is an excuse, either. What matters is how well the contemporary movement makes a clean break with the mistakes of its past, learns from them, and tries to do right going forward. And I don’t think feminism is exactly doing well in that regard, both in terms of continuing to promote really problematic and divisive figures like Gail Dines or poorly thought-out efforts like the Ada Initiative, and generally not putting its best foot forward simply in terms of not alienating the fuck out of a lot of people.

    If you want an example of a movement that’s largely managed to do things right and has been largely successful, look to the LGBT movement – if anything, it got going later than Second Wave feminism (gays were still largely in the closet during the “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” years), and have managed to achieve a great deal in the last 30 years regardless. (And, no, I’m not forgetting the angry, militant gay rights movement of the ACT-UP years – the difference is that the gay rights movement seems to know how to modulate between militancy and diplomacy/popularization.) Feminism, by contrast, had huge successes during the 70s, not so much after, and in fact became a movement that a lot of people dislike or are often embarrassed to be associated with. I don’t think the difference between how the two movements are received is a historic accident.

  149. Schala says

    If you want an example of a movement that’s largely managed to do things right and has been largely successful, look to the LGBT movement

    The LGBT movement has had problems with its transgender (and transsexual) members, as well as intersex and bisexual components.

    Mostly on the female spectrum for transgender issues. Lesbians not wanting to sleep or date trans women, the oppressor-in-disguise. And bisexual are accused by both straight, gay and lesbian people of wanting it both ways and not being able to choose, so taken less seriously by both sides. One thinks they’re too gay, the other too straight – in short, not ideologically pure enough.

  150. iamcuriousblue says

    Schala @161

    Of course, I recognize that the LGBT movement has had its tensions and ideological splits, but my point is, I think they’ve dealt with them more successfully than many other social justice movements. There has been a definite streak of biphobia among both gay men and lesbians. (And, arguably, Dan Savage still retains some of that mentality – though I think there’s a bit more nuance in his ideas about bisexuality than he’s given credit for when looked at closely.) Similarly, a history of transphobia. However, I think the LGBT movement is far more inclusive of its “B” and “T” members and responsive to their issues than it once was.

    The biggest divide now is between the more mainstream LGBT movement and the more radical “Queer” wing, and I think both have good points. The Queer movement rightly points out things like too much corporate sponsorship of Pride events, the reduction of LGBT to a target demographic, etc. However, the mainstreamers see Queer as too ideological and endangering the successes of the movement by demanding more radical goals. You could see a similar split in feminism, but in that case with it’s more radical wings (by which I don’t only mean “radical feminism” per se) being dominant, and “liberal” groups like NOW consigned to irrelevancy. But looking at current feminism’s problems with ideological pluralism, I’d say on balance, the LGBT’s emphasis on liberal activism and a broad tent has been a far better strategy. And I say that as somebody who from a more “pure” set of beliefs, agrees more with the idea of abolishing state-sanctioned marriage altogether rather than promoting gay marriage. (Of course, as a practical matter, I support legalization of gay marriage as a wedge issue for gay/lesbian legal equality.)

  151. Freja says

    Iamcuriousblue @ 160

    I’m not HSA – you can continue that argument with them.

    You are in the argument with HSA. An argument he started, not me. I have no separate argument from what HSA said, no point in my post that is not a response to his claims, including those about the importance of talking about feminism of the past to get feminists to “admit” a bunch of stuff, and I brought up no subject which you responded to except the subject of dead feminists, raised by HSA whose post I responded to. I don’t care who you are, I care about what kind of conversation you’re having. And that conversation is one about HSA’s complaints against feminism. I know this, because I was the one responding to HSA’s post, and I therefore know that my post was in response to HSA and the points he brought up, in this case dead feminists.

    So you’re in a discussion about dead feminists, not living ones. You may want to talk about living feminists, but that would be changing that particular line of conversation into something it was not about, which would be fine if you had just started that conversation yourself. But since you felt the need to drag me into it to make an example of me, I think it’s only fair that I remind you yet again what I was actually talking about. And in case you still haven’t understood what that was, it was HSA’s arguments about dead feminists, not some hypothetical argument about living feminists which I did not make, but which you nonetheless chose to respond to.

    And since I was arguing (in response to HSA) that I see no particular reason for feminists to be singled out and held responsible for stuff that happened, in some cases, centuries ago, I would very much appreciate if you either responded to this argument, or left me out of the one-sided conversation you’re having with yourself about whether or not feminists do enough to deal with the current actions of living feminists.

    Well, I’m not sure what’s on your list of wrongs that have been committed in the name of “opposing feminism” (as opposed to garden-variety subjugation of women)

    ,

    Ah, so because anti-feminists in the past were opposing feminism in the name of subjugating women, it doesn’t count, and is therefore completely irrelevant to when current anti-feminists argue for the oppression of women in the name of opposing feminism? OK, if that’s your definition of when the past is relevant, I can roll with it. I don’t care much of the notion of privilege and sexism/racism as used by many feminists myself, but I can still debate with them using those terms for the sake of argument. It’s only fair that I extend the same courtesy to you. But just so we’re clear, someone believing that homosexuals are filthy deviants who will end up in hell doesn’t actually count as being opposed to be LGBT rights movement, right?

    Whether something is derailing depends on context.

    Such as how whether your argument about me not acknowledging living feminists is derailing or not depends on whether or not my post was a response to HSA’s comments about dead feminists? Well it was, so you’re derailing if you want to hold me accountable for not discussing what you want to discuss.

    Anyway, if you have an actual point about the behaviour of some living feminists, it will be a moot issue because you would have to actually explain what they’re doing (wrong) before a comparison to Andrea Dworkin can be made (and even then, it would also be a good idea to actually be a little concrete about what exactly she did wrong for a change, something which her critics rarely do). However, when your argument boils down to “feminism is bad because Dworkin” you might as well say “feminism is bad because reasons”.

    Nope, feminism is not unique in that regard, and I never said that it was.

    Then why is it especially important to note what a feminist did in 1839, or get feminists to “admit” what some dead feminists did in the past? I’ve never seen a black people’s rights activist (for lack of a better word) “admit” that a lot of what Malcolm X said was pretty reprehensible, or that the Nation of Islam happened (and is still happening). At most, they’ll bring up that the NoI is not the same as racism because of the lack of institutional power, but they never actually dwell on how horrible NoI is. And yet, this doesn’t actually make me angry at them.

    Feminism, by contrast, had huge successes during the 70s, not so much after.

    And yet, according to anti-feminist posters here, feminism pretty much runs the government, and gets all the laws passed it wants, so that whenever something which is unfair for men happens, feminism can be blamed by default. Which is it? Is feminism a marginalised and hated movement that rarely manages to achieve any of its goals, or it is the mainstream that the poor oppressed religious conservatives, right-wing libertarians, MRAs, and other anti-feminists are fighting a losing battle to prevent from achieving world domination?

    Or is it maybe that feminism is neither the all-powerful monolith some people want to make it whenever they’re arguing for the importance of opposing it, nor the pathetic non-movement they paint it as whenever they try to ridicule it?

  152. Freja says

    iamcuriousblue @ 163

    You could see a similar split in feminism, but in that case with it’s more radical wings (by which I don’t only mean “radical feminism” per se) being dominant, and “liberal” groups like NOW consigned to irrelevancy.

    But the women (and only women) who receive the comments and threats that Ally was talking about in his OP are mostly liberal feminists. The women at FreethoughtBlogs (past and present) seem to be very big on intersectionality, often discussing issues of ethnicity and sexuality. Some are trans. Some are queer. Some are kinky. For the most part, they seem to be in favour of legalising sex work (and I have yet to see a blog here argue for criminalising it).

    And yet, I’m pretty sure the majority of them have some experience with being ugly ugly cunts, bitches, whores, sluts, etc., and getting threats of sexualised violence. Something several male bloggers, like Ally in the OP, have pointed out they don’t get. So why is that?

  153. Adiabat says

    Iamcuriousblue (149): “Though I’ll note that some of the most vicious attacks on women come from other women, and often from self-identified feminists.”

    No you got it wrong. When feminists receive attacks it’s “hate”, but when feminists are the ones making the attacks it’s Campaigning.

    /sarcasm

  154. Lucy says

    @DeepThought

    “It is hypocrisy when feminists like Lucy rail against the coin played by anti-feminists but then play the flip side themselves. Feminists are hypocritical if they are in favor in freeing only women, but not men, from traditional gender roles.”

    Can you clarify? My generalisations about men are based on evidence, albeit controversial evidence. The MRA’s generalisations about women and feminists generally aren’t. If they are, I’m more than happy to entertain them, I’ve got no particular attachment to men and women being the same, or women always being better at things than men are, as I’ve said.

    “Ally, I apologize. It won’t happen again.”

    Err. The person you should be apologising to, is me. Empathy and all that.

    ” There are other blogs on this website where language like what I used is par for the course. ”
    Let me guess, they’re not ones where women go very often.

    “Any evidence for this besides your “belief”? ”
    Yes absolutely tonnes of it. But I’m not the flippin Lancet, this is a comment section on a blog inviting people’s musings.

    “Which, according to this argument, is hypocritical, because there never is any consideration of roles where men are underrepresented.”
    Absolutely not true. There is a concerted effort to recruit more male primary teachers and nurses. Where else do women dominate in the professional sphere?

    ” It’s just fine if >80% of custodial parents are women, but not fine if >80% of CEOs are men. ”
    Custodial parents are people who the courts have determined are ALREADY the primary carers. The courts award children to their existing primary carer out of consideration for the child. If men want to be custodial parents after divorce, I suggest they become custodial parents BEFORE the divorce. Which I’m all in favour of as it happens.
    CEOs do things that directly impact millions of women’s lives, it absolutely matters that women’s perspective is equally represented.

    “I’m quite familiar with Baron-Cohen. He is not accepted, by any means, as an authority.”
    Luckily I never said he was. I said it was a controversial theory. It’s one I happen to agree with. Note I am not saying men have no empathy, that they are not caring, that they are not sometimes very sensitive. I am saying that I believe they have less empathy than women, in that they are less adept at reading emotional cues, particularly women’s, their emotional intelligence is less acute than women’s.

    I think this difference makes sense from an evolutionary perspective given that for the first 40,000 years of our existence, men were sexually selected to be good killers of animals (and enemies). I think it makes sense of those myriad social situations where women are manically tapping their husband’s foot under the table to stop him saying something tactless. I think it makes sense of the fact that women communicate hundreds of cues silently to one another that have to be spelled out explicitly to even the most sensitive men. I think it makes sense of the fact that the cruel media the whole population is most concerned with is primarily produced by and consumed by men, I think it makes sense of the sociopathic misogynist hoard that stalks the internet and of their reluctance to recognise, acknowledge, let alone stop even when the harm they do is pointed out to them.

    “What findings in other sex empathy studies have to do with autism isn’t clear to me.”
    I didn’t say men had autism, I said that there is a theory that autism is an extreme form of maleness.
    Autism is characterised by a hampered ability to detect emotional cues. Empathy is the ability to read and sympathise with another person’s emotional cues.

    “But bring them up if you like. Be sure to have a control condition of female tolerance for male pain on screen if you wish to have anything resembling a valid point.”
    Oh blah. If you want to counter the autism theory, do it yourself.

  155. says

    Iamcuriousblue @149: Which feminists, exactly, are you complaining about? I find it telling that you would write such a LOOONG comment about your problems with feminism, without naming even one name or citing even one objectionable feminist action. That strongly suggests that your complaints have no connection with any real feminists in the real world.

  156. says

    Also, Iamcuriousblue, when you say you’re “feminist-critical,” not “anti-feminist,” you kinda sound like those antivaxxers who insist they’re not really “antivax,” they’re just “pro-safe-vax.”

  157. says

    I’d say Dworkin and Mary Daly are probably the only major figures that have passed. People like Catherine MacKinnon and Sheila Jeffreys are still around and active, as are a second-generation of figures like Gail Dines, Cathy Brennan, Lierre Keith, etc, who are causing all kinds of grief in the name of their version of feminism.

    What “grief,” exactly, are they causing at this time? Name some specific policies they and/or their followers managed to enact, and describe the “grief” caused by said policies; or admit you’re full of shit.

    I’m fucking tired of names like Dworkin and MacKinnon being trotted out to justify someone’s totally stupid hatred of feminism. Yes, those people said some really stoopid things (though in Dworkin’s case, an honest look at her life would show she had good reasons for saying them); and the rest I’ve never heard of. But are those women’s actions really the reason for the hatred of feminism we’re seeing today? Or are they just a convenient excuse?

  158. Schala says

    Ah, so because anti-feminists in the past were opposing feminism in the name of subjugating women, it doesn’t count, and is therefore completely irrelevant to when current anti-feminists argue for the oppression of women in the name of opposing feminism?

    This is like atheists. They’re not a group, they’re a non-group. That some people decide to identify as Non-group + only testifies that the mainstream ideology is losing some of its steam, not that everyone not in the mainstream Christian group is therefore in the atheist group and responsible for what it does. Atheism is not a movement, it’s a statement of non-belief. Feminism is a movement, not just a statement.

    We don’t have Spaghetti Monster Cross and Big Slabs of the 1337 laws of Pastafarianism campaigns to have those at city halls. If atheists group to do something, it’s usually something to oppose the religious, on the basis that what they want to impose on others (like Intelligent Design in schools) is harmful, not to themselves impose a standard on others (though the religious think imposing “nothing at all” is imposing atheism, they’re stupid on that one).

    I oppose feminism for various reasons. My reasons have NOTHING AT ALL to do with why right-wing people do. Neither me nor Right-Wing Person TM has joined a group to protest feminism. We haven’t joined a movement. We don’t agree on basically ANYTHING AT ALL, except that we disagree with certain points of feminism (and probably not the same ones).

    How would we be mutually responsible for what the other does?

  159. Copyleft says

    Ironically, every time a feminist announces that there are no valid or intelligent criticisms of feminism, it reinforces the charge that feminism has become an ideology. Skeptics know better (or at least, they should).

  160. iamcuriousblue says

    The appropriately-names “Raging Bee” writes:

    “What “grief,” exactly, are they causing at this time? Name some specific policies they and/or their followers managed to enact, and describe the “grief” caused by said policies; or admit you’re full of shit.”

    I’ll respond with the only response merited by such a level of hate and ignorance, and state that you are not a person worth engaging with. More seriously, I might also suggest you actually do a little reading before screaming at me to educate you on the subject. Google is your friend.

  161. iamcuriousblue says

    “and the rest I’ve never heard of”

    I can’t believe some people continue to present this as any kind of argument. Especially in a milieu that seems to make a hobby out of spotting “logical fallacies”. Three guesses as to what the above argument falls under.

  162. Sid says

    “Manhood academy” abuse mra’s too, they do it for laughs and for the same reason Rebecca Watson damsels – self promotion.

    I can’t speak for “men” but I’ve a good idea why the mens movement are angry with feminism.

    Here is one example – Legislating against fathers and obstructing shared parenting – while the follows (who have no clue how influential feminist jurisprudence in the family law is) insist feminism is “working on it” and its really the result of patriarchy.

    The lies about domestic abuse being patriarchal, and attacking and mocking anyone that has the real data on it as opposed to the pseudo scientific data that feminism produces.

    Mocking with “what about teh menz (that are rape, abused. discriminated against) LOL!” when people approach with mens issues expecting that feminists to care because feminism is for equality after all.

    Many in the mens movement will have read books like this

    http://www.amazon.com/Legalizing-Misandry-Systemic-Discrimination-Against/dp/0773528628

    again about feminism legislating against men – policies and manipulations that the average “what about teh menz” follower feminists have no idea about.

    I could go on.

  163. Sid says

    Raging Bee

    >What “grief,” exactly, are they causing at this time? Name some specific policies they and/or their followers managed to enact, and describe the “grief” caused by said policies; or admit you’re full of shit.

    Read Spreading Misandry and Teaching Misandy, a real eye opener to the anti-male hate and discrimination feminism is slowly pouring into the system.

  164. iamcuriousblue says

    Sid – I’d add, give some sex worker and trans activists a read sometime if you want to see the very real grief these people cause. Even it “Bee” here doesn’t give a buzz about misandry, as I suspect, the way feminists of that ilk treat other vulnerable groups is wholly inexcusable. The way other feminists so easily hand wave the reality of these malicious individuals aside is also pretty inexcusable.

  165. DeepThought says

    @Lucy

    Can you clarify? My generalisations about men are based on evidence, albeit controversial evidence. The MRA’s generalisations about women and feminists generally aren’t. If they are, I’m more than happy to entertain them, I’ve got no particular attachment to men and women being the same, or women always being better at things than men are, as I’ve said.

    My whole beef with you is that you have double standards. On everything. You have an extremely biased, woman-centered perspective and don’t even realize it.

    I’m glad you bring up MRAs. The MRAs’ generalizations are based on evidence, all right. For instance: women do worse on tests of advanced math on average, and much fewer of them become CEOs. This “obviously” shows women have less ability for abstract topics like math, and less drive to rise to the top. But wait, you say. MRAs are interpreting the evidence only according to their cognitive biases and preconceived ideas, and have not accounted for many factors which need to be controlled for. Well that’s what I’m saying to you. You’re interpreting evidence according to your own cognitive biases. You haven’t even come close to showing that men have an innate, essential, empathy deficit, because there are too many factors you haven’t controlled for. And you aren’t the only one. Claims against women (as a group) are held to much more scrutiny than claims against men (as a group).

    And wait, you say. Even if the MRAs are right there will still be some women with the necessary ability and ambition to become mathematicians or CEOs. They should not be held back by society because of the “average” woman”, and those who would stereotype this woman that she “can’t” do math or business just because she’s a woman deserve societal condemnation. And so there will be men with the necessary tools to be primary caregivers, schoolteachers, nurses, etc. The same societal condemnation should apply. But it doesn’t. Questioning of men’s roles in these things goes on with impunity, because “everyone knows” men are violent, a danger to children, etc., and they aren’t “real men” who are off fighting wars or building buildings or something.

    Err. The person you should be apologising to, is me. Empathy and all that.

    No, actually, you should be apologizing to me for your slurs against men, which you would do if you had all the empathy you claim, and understood how hurtful they can be. (No doubt you’re going to claim I’m not a “real man” for complaining about it, amirite?)

    ” There are other blogs on this website where language like what I used is par for the course. ”
    Let me guess, they’re not ones where women go very often.

    There are plenty of women on Pharyngula.

    “Any evidence for this besides your “belief”? ”
    Yes absolutely tonnes of it. But I’m not the flippin Lancet, this is a comment section on a blog inviting people’s musings.

    That tells me you’re not prepared to have your belief challenged and are going to circle the wagons.

    “Which, according to this argument, is hypocritical, because there never is any consideration of roles where men are underrepresented.”
    Absolutely not true. There is a concerted effort to recruit more male primary teachers and nurses. Where else do women dominate in the professional sphere?

    Childcare providers, for one. Maybe things are different in the UK, but there is no affirmative action for men for teachers and nurses here.

    Custodial parents are people who the courts have determined are ALREADY the primary carers. The courts award children to their existing primary carer out of consideration for the child. If men want to be custodial parents after divorce, I suggest they become custodial parents BEFORE the divorce. Which I’m all in favour of as it happens.

    Your whole argument neatly omits things which you would be quick to see if the issue were women rising to CEOs or becoming mathematicians, and when those in charge say “but there are sooo few qualified women!” Yes, of course, because the whole course is slanted against women from the beginning. Well so the course is slanted against men becoming primary carers from the beginning. For one, there is the societal expectation that men be breadwinners. For another, there is the societal assumption that men are dangerous with regards to children.

    You’re also assuming there is no bias whatsoever in how the courts decide who the primary carer is, and that it isn’t merely assumed to be the woman, just because.

    Note I am not saying men have no empathy, that they are not caring, that they are not sometimes very sensitive. I am saying that I believe they have less empathy than women, in that they are less adept at reading emotional cues, particularly women’s, their emotional intelligence is less acute than women’s.

    Even assuming this to be true, you really think socialization has nothing to do with this? Men are raised to “take it like a man”. As pointed out by another poster, upthread, men showing less empathy likely has a lot to do with being shown less empathy. And just how adept are women at reading men’s emotional cues, might I ask? It never occurs to some women that men actually do have feelings, and that they can be hurt. And why is nonverbal communication here more highly valued than verbal communication, and that called “intelligence” in the first place? It’s as “valid” as giving an IQ test (which tests things we Westerners have decided are important) to a bushman in Africa and then saying, see how much less intelligent he is.

    I think this difference makes sense from an evolutionary perspective given that for the first 40,000 years of our existence, men were sexually selected to be good killers of animals (and enemies). I think it makes sense of those myriad social situations where women are manically tapping their husband’s foot under the table to stop him saying something tactless. I think it makes sense of the fact that women communicate hundreds of cues silently to one another that have to be spelled out explicitly to even the most sensitive men. I think it makes sense of the fact that the cruel media the whole population is most concerned with is primarily produced by and consumed by men, I think it makes sense of the sociopathic misogynist hoard that stalks the internet and of their reluctance to recognise, acknowledge, let alone stop even when the harm they do is pointed out to them.

    Ah yes, no gender essentialist claim would be complete without an evo-psych just-so story. Tell me, why wouldn’t empathy also be sexually selected for?

    “But bring them up if you like. Be sure to have a control condition of female tolerance for male pain on screen if you wish to have anything resembling a valid point.”
    Oh blah. If you want to counter the autism theory, do it yourself.

    IOW, my studies are flawed but I don’t want to admit it.

  166. Sid says

    @iamcuriousblue

    Care to recommend a quick read? Its ironic that RB is asking for evidence for of policies produced by these people and their followers given McKinnions sexual harassment policies are such a hot topic in these circles. I guess most of them don’t know it comes from McKinnon …

    @Deep Blue thought, those types of generalizations about women are frowned up by the majority of mra’s these days I think, you get them in the traditionalist / Pua circles, but they are only loosely connected to main body of the movement.

  167. mildlymagnificent says

    Lucy

    I think this difference makes sense from an evolutionary perspective given that for the first 40,000 years of our existence, men were sexually selected to be good killers of animals (and enemies).

    Come on. Really? If you think that women don’t kill animals in hunter-gathering communities then you need to spend a bit more time reading and less time writing on the topic. Given the equally common theme that women have more stamina but less upper body strength than men, it would be just as easy to argue that it was the women who killed all those large animals that were so susceptible to ‘persistence hunting’. Neither position is supported by the scant evidence that we have. Some evidence that we do have is that men in such communities often do a lot of the childcare – which makes sense in groups where everyone must be able to perform essential tasks when survival is difficult from one year, or even season, to another.

    Evo psych is an area positively bursting with equal portions of far-too-easy just so stories and great potential for elucidating insights into behaviour. The biggest problem is in distinguishing which is which.

    For working out problems, if there are any, in men’s and women’s emotional responses and behaviours, there’s quite enough material to work with in society as we know it. Teaching little children than “big boys don’t cry” and all the other dross about men’s and women’s proper behaviour can be abandoned, even opposed, with no loss and considerable gain to many individuals and to society at large.

    Deep Thought

    Your whole argument neatly omits things which you would be quick to see if the issue were women rising to CEOs or becoming mathematicians, and when those in charge say “but there are sooo few qualified women!” Yes, of course, because the whole course is slanted against women from the beginning. Well so the course is slanted against men becoming primary carers from the beginning. …..

    You’re also assuming there is no bias whatsoever in how the courts decide who the primary carer is, and that it isn’t merely assumed to be the woman, just because.

    One of these things is not like the other. If you were arguing that we were raising boys so that they would never be able to take on the caregiver role in their future families, you’d be on firmer ground. The argument about CEOs is about society wide issues about education and expectations and employment conditions and gradual change in one direction or another in how women may or may not be able to take on powerful roles in their fields. The decision faced by courts is the tightly focused one of the best interests of these children, here and now, as they are and how they’ve been raised to this point. If a family has been organised around the mother taking the major or full responsibility for childcare, then that’s likely to be continued by the court. Though it should be pointed out that when fathers argue for custody, they’re about equally likely to succeed or fail.

    But none of this addresses Ally’s question about the “putrid pongs” fouling the inboxes of women writers and speakers and presenters. It’s one thing to say that people disagree about these topics. People disagree about stuff all the time. It’s another thing entirely to face rape threats, death threats, disgusting language and despicable imaginings about obscene and/or cruel actions a woman should be subjected to. Ally’s asking why does this happen and whether his proposed categorisations of underlying motivations are valid, complete or otherwise.

    I’d say the underlying motivations don’t matter. Typical feminist some might mutter. But “intent is not magic” has a lot to commend it. The one thing I’d like to see Ally address is why so many people attribute the whole of this mess to teenagers in basements. It’s just not true. It is true that the immature mob does this sort of thing quite regularly, but they are not generally involved in the kinds of forums we’re talking about here. Are adult men giving full rein to their inner adolescent and then pretending that it really was adolescents doing it all the time? When they know full well that it was most likely men like themselves behaving badly. Or what?

  168. Schala says

    I didn’t say men had autism, I said that there is a theory that autism is an extreme form of maleness.

    And this theory is utterly flawed. Baron-Cohen interprets a 60/40 ratio as being a super big innate difference worthy of calling it a 99/1 difference.

    To me, something present in 99% of men and 1% of women (and vice-versa) is an innate sexed trait.

    Something present in 60% of men and 40% of women (and vice-versa) is statistically intriguing…nothing more. It doesn’t mean that it “represents maleness”, so that being super good at it, or super bad at its opposite, means “extreme maleness”.

    I believe body language to be more of a 80%/20% ratio (maybe even more lopsided), such that people who exhibit the body language typical of the other sex get misgendered or thought of as gay/lesbian. I do mean normal body language, not exaggerating sashaying or “I have a stick up my ass” wide walking.

    I apparently exhibited female-typical body language since well, infanthood. And being teased, beaten and bullied never changed that (it wasn’t explicitly said if it was ever about that, it’s only in retrospect that I can say my body language was this way – no one really told me, and I wasn’t aware body language was sexed or affected consciously in anyone). I tried to stay away from anything I perceived as feminine, in case it would get me beaten up more, but I never perceived my body language at all.

    I don’t think it’s unique to trans people, but there it sure seems to be more sexed than spatial abilities or wether you use landmarks or a mental cardinal-points map to go around (for the record, I use both – I use landmarks to put a perspective to my mental map, so it only works once I know my way around).

    If you were arguing that we were raising boys so that they would never be able to take on the caregiver role in their future families, you’d be on firmer ground.

    But we do. We train little girls to care for infants and babies, and dolls. We tell little boys that doing that is bad, unmanly and reason to be beaten up.

    We tell boys that babysitting is girl’s work, that they’re too perverted/sexual/immature to do it themselves, regardless of financial need and capacity, except for their own family when they’re the oldest.

    We tell men that childcare is not a domain they’ll ever be competent in. That motherhood is innate, something all little girls are born with – just look at them playing with dolls. While fatherhood is nothing special, nothing needed, a paycheck can do it too. We assume they’re unable to change diapers. Unable to clean up a kitchen. Unable to cook. Unable to tend to an apartment or house on their own. Unable to make the children mind their homework, or take a bath. And that if they have an avowed interest in children, it HAS to be sexual. Doubly so if they’re gay.

    Yeah, we’re not setting them up for failure already…

    And then we have mommy-blocking on top, which compounds from the attitudes listed above to basically do it “her way or the highway”, wether it’s housekeeping or tending to the children in whatever activity. And never forget the children aren’t “ours” as in you and hers, they’re solely hers, and she has a stronger, more intimate connection with them because she gestated them. Even after 18+ years. You’re just a helper, a male nanny.

  169. mildlymagnificent says

    We tell men that childcare is not a domain they’ll ever be competent in. That motherhood is innate, something all little girls are born with – just look at them playing with dolls. While fatherhood is nothing special, nothing needed, a paycheck can do it too. We assume they’re unable to change diapers. Unable to clean up a kitchen. Unable to cook. Unable to tend to an apartment or house on their own. Unable to make the children mind their homework, or take a bath. And that if they have an avowed interest in children, it HAS to be sexual. Doubly so if they’re gay. ….
    You’re just a helper, a male nanny.

    That’s far too broad. That may be the public discourse, but there’s a lot of difference within families about the way men and boys do behave or are encouraged to behave.

    The big issue is what they’re “allowed” to talk about, or be proud of, in their social circles.

    I’d always taken the man as provider, woman as homemaker thing for granted when I was growing up in the 50s. (Even though my mother worked.) Only when I was an adult did I discover that my WW2 veteran dad (who was an outback, horse-riding stockman before that) was the one who took care of the older girl toddler, feeding, dressing and the whole thing, when the next baby came along. Neither of my parents ever so much as hinted during my childhood/ teenage years that this was simply what a “decent man” did when the need arose. Though they were quite matter of fact about it when the subject eventually came up.

    When I was working and parenting in the 80s and 90s, it was a bit different. The blokes in my office talked quite openly about changing nappies or trudging endlessly around the house trying to settle a colicky baby or giving up on ‘discipline’ and taking a fractious toddler for a drive in the car to get them to sleep or one being a bit boastful about a kindie aged daughter preferring them rather than the mother to get their hair into pigtails or whatever. And it was my husband who taught our daughters to cook, starting when they both needed to stand on kindy chairs to reach the kitchen bench. It’s all very well to say that it’s a bit different for higher status professionals to be comfortable with these activities – but my dad was a stockman-soldier-carpenter-farmer-clerical worker (in that order) with no pretensions to middle-class or professional status at all – so it’s not just that. .

    I do suspect that USAnians have often been much more rigid or prim and proper about such things than we rough and ready Australians are. But I’m pretty sure that my parents and my workplace and my own equal-parenting household are not so exceptionally rare in either country. What gets said publicly and what is done privately are often more disconnected than we acknowledge.

  170. Soarer says

    What I see in this thread is a lot of people arguing past each other. As a supporter of ‘Equalism’ I believe I can see why this might be.

    What needs to be realised is that sociology is not psychology. To put it a different way, what an arbitrary ‘group’ is like tells you nothing at all about what an individual member of that group is like.

    So, even if women aren’t ‘good at maths’, which I doubt anyway, any individual woman may be very good at it – perhaps even the best in the world. Even if women in general don’t have the ability or ambition to be CEOs (which again I doubt), an individual woman may easily be the best person for the job.

    In the same way, even if men are less empathic or nurturing than women in general, in a specific family the male partner may well be more suited to bring up the children than that particular male’s female partner.

    Both sides are angry, and they are mostly angry that by setting up an (in my view) artificial gender divide, they are tarred with the same brush as many other people with the same genital arrangements, when that may well the the only thing they have in common. We have feminists in this thread disassociating themselves with the views of other, earlier feminists. This is what guilt by association feels like, yet the same argument is used against the other gender all the time.

    Feminism has done many good things, but it usefulness is ended. It is now pushing its own agenda at the expense of many individuals who are targeted by it unfairly. Until recently I didn’t know equivalent men’s groups existed. but as a man I can say they certainly don’t speak for me, and I have no wish to engage with them. I do think they are a response to the rise of Feminism, and especially of it being, of necessity, based on sociological theories, many of which are unscientific and unexamined. On the group, in other words, rather than the individual.

    The question Ally asked is ‘why are men so angry with feminism?’ but that is only one side of the story. He takes it as read that Feminism has a right to be angry, as that is their position which he has accepted whole. In the West, at least, this position needs to be criticised too. Much has changed in the last 100 years.

    If the groupthink is set aside, there are many things about which both ‘sides’ can be and are angry – FGM, rape, DV, inequality of opportunity (whether because of class, income, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion etc.), and so on. One thing both might agree on, but don’t at the moment, is the encroachment of governments on individual liberty, with the rise of surveillance and suppression of individual expression. Feminists don’t oppose this because they think it can be turned to their own ends, as in the attempt to make gendered hate speech a specific criminal offence, or to crack down on pornography and prostitution. This is why, at least in the UK, they are partially financed by government. They are doing its dirty work of command and control for it. They are set for a rude awakening when the same tactics are used against them in future.

    We need to get over the groupthink, and work to fix the problems which affect all of us, as they are the root cause of all discrimination. Divide and rule works for incompetent and repressive governments. We do not need to assist it by voluntarily fighting amongst ourselves.

  171. Unphysicalism says

    Lucy, when you make the statement that autistics lack empathy, this is a potentially disturbing statement. Do you just mean that autistics have a lessened capacity to predict or understand the emotions of others? Or do you mean that autistics lack empathy in that they simply don’t feel any concern for any harm they may do to others, that autistic people have no conscience?

    The latter is certainly false, and it’s the interpretation I got from reading a few (but admittedly not all, because this thread is enormous) of your posts. However, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so I’m asking for clarification. I disagree with your essentialist assertions, and that makes me biased and more prone to read your statements uncharitably.

  172. Gjenganger says

    Good list, Ally. Some comments:

    2) This is at least partially true. Feminism does work to get the best possible society for women, and generally further women’s interests. Pretty much by definition, this means the men’s interests are secondary. Of course it may be that the interests of the two genders align in many cases, but if you first sign up to feminism you will never find out, because anything that conflicts with feminism is rejected a priori. It is not just a question of areas where men are particularly disadvantaged (as in 1)). Men might legitimately have different interestes and viewpoints on how society is organised – be it for dating, rape, parenthood, child care, or the organisation of the job market – and it is not up to women alone to decide how things should be.

    3) True, but you are making it a bit too easy for yourself here. Being conservative means being sceptical about change, not necessarily being in favour of male privilege. Personally I find the bans on 1) public smoking, 2) spanking. 3) the use of words like ‘chairman’ ,’he’, etc. irksome and unwarranted, even though they do not significantly reduce my privilege. And even though I neither smoke nor spank.

    4) Matter of definition. If misogyny is a pathological and unmotivated hatred of women, misogynists are rare. If it means being generally antifeminist, there are a lot of us. The key question is whether pro-feminists will accept that anyone who disagrees with their good, progressive opinions can possibly be sane and rational.

    5) There is certainly resentment against women as a group because they are the only source of a strongly desired commodity (sex), notoriously choosy about dishing it out, and unaccountably uninterested in a nice person like oneself. But the way you put it implies that anyone so dissatisfied is necessarily a smelly jerk, so that any lack of female attention is entirely his own fault. That is making it a bit too easy for yourself, rather like the common American misconception that anyone can get rich, so if you are poor it is your own fault. It is not that hard to find a poor person who never had much of a chance, or a fairly decent man who never seems to have any luck with the women. At least you could note that the terms of trade have moved strongly against men in recent decades, and that, unlike men, ‘girls can get it any time they want’, as Dr. Hook said.

    6) Is the problem really that men are expected to earn money? Or is the complaint rather that 1) success is an entrance requirement that means that a few men get most of the attention and many are excluded altogether (see 5)) and 2) no matter how successful you are and how much you play by the rules, ‘women’ accept no obligation to give you anything in return? As in ‘the ticket price is the same, but now they only show the film if they feel like it’? Terms of trade, again.

    9) True, again. But why ‘taken as’? Is there anything that is commonly accepted as being 1) specifically male, and 2) positive? If men have a particular role, is it not always a baddie?

    10) Still true. Though I do not much like to be told what to do by men, either. But why ‘preceived to be’? Do you deny that feminism does require fairly thourough changes in the way you behave, the jokes you tell, the way you look at people, interact, think?

    In short, does your list not suggest that there are a number of sensible reasons for men to be angry with feminism? Why not admit it, and take the debate from there? You could still aim for the same goals, and you might even have more success if you at least acknowledged the grievances people feel.

  173. Freja says

    Copyleft @172

    Ironically, every time a feminist announces that there are no valid or intelligent criticisms of feminism, it reinforces the charge that feminism has become an ideology. Skeptics know better (or at least, they should).

    Ironically, every time a feminist points out that a specific type of criticism, in a specific situation, towards a specific feminist/group of feminists is unwarranted, anti-feminists assume that this specific criticism=all criticism against any feminist ever. Care to actually provide proof of all the feminists on this thread saying that there is no valid criticisms of feminism? As a sceptic, it should be right up your alley.

    iamcuriousblue @177

    Sid – I’d add, give some sex worker and trans activists a read sometime if you want to see the very real grief these people cause. Even it “Bee” here doesn’t give a buzz about misandry, as I suspect, the way feminists of that ilk treat other vulnerable groups is wholly inexcusable. The way other feminists so easily hand wave the reality of these malicious individuals aside is also pretty inexcusable.

    Like saying that rape is OK because the victim was a whore is inexcusable? Or is it OK because it was said by an anti-feminist?

  174. Freja says

    DeepThought @178

    Childcare providers, for one. Maybe things are different in the UK, but there is no affirmative action for men for teachers and nurses here.

    There are no affirmative action for women for coal miners and garbage collectors either. In fact, a common anti-feminist argument is that feminists don’t want equality because they aren’t trying to get women to be coal-miners. The reason fro this has to do with the nature of affirmative action. If you look at affirmative action, it’s exclusively aimed at positions that are hard to get into, like college, management, and sometimes arts and sports.

    The main problem with men in caretaking potions (and women coal miners) is, according to most of the people who actually study/work with it, a lack of interest. One of the primary arguments I’ve heard for raising the salary of people working in caretaking positions is that it will make more men apply. Likewise, I’ve seen campaigns aimed at getting women to join the military, but I have yet to see any demand that the military recruit a certain % of women.

    Your whole argument neatly omits things which you would be quick to see if the issue were women rising to CEOs or becoming mathematicians, and when those in charge say “but there are sooo few qualified women!” Yes, of course, because the whole course is slanted against women from the beginning. Well so the course is slanted against men becoming primary carers from the beginning.

    The problem with the treatment of a lot of women in business and science is/was that the argument “the women just aren’t there/qualified” has been proven false several times. It turns out, as confirmed by several studies, that people tend to overlook female applicants, or judge male applicants as more qualified than female applicants with identical resumes. If fewer female applicants were be hired/admitted solely because they were fewer/less qualified to begin with, those studies wouldn’t show the results that they did, and the focus would have switched to finding out why there were fewer women and why women did worse. As it is, there are studies and initiatives trying to find out why there are areas where women show less interest/do worse on average, but they’re not treated as interchangeable with studies on workplace discrimination.

    If men are given less custody because they do less parenting, that’s not an issue with the courts but with people’s choice of family structure before they go to court. By treating the two as interchangeable, MRAs are doing what they accuse feminists of doing, trying to have it both ways, by being unwilling to make the sacrifices to be a primary or equal caretaker, but still wanting an equal chance to beat their ex in court.

    You’re also assuming there is no bias whatsoever in how the courts decide who the primary carer is, and that it isn’t merely assumed to be the woman, just because.

    No, people are assuming that the whole “but men aren’t primary caretakers because they’re not encouraged to be” is not the business of the courts. And it isn’t, so don’t switch argument mid-ways. And in regards to the courts being unfairly discriminatory, that actually goes both ways. On one occasions, a judge ruled in favour of forcibly changing a little boys’ last name from his mother’s to his father’s, because fathers’ names have traditionally taken precedence. When the supreme court overturned the ruling, stating that the sexes were equal in this regard, the father shot himself and the child, and a bunch of MRA types took to complaining on the internet that feminism was responsible for the boy’s death.

    On another occasion, a judge ruled that the father be given primary custody over two boys because he was a man, and the boys needed someone who was male to raise them and take them fishing and do other man stuff with them. The ruling was eventually overturned, when it became clear that the judge hadn’t actually consulted the boys about whether or not they wanted to do man stuff, and when it it turned out that the mother was the only one who’d ever taken them fishing. So it’s definitely not unheard of for judges to be of the opinion that men have uniquely male qualifications and rights in regards to children. Perhaps you could find some similar cases where a judge declared his/her preference for women (I’ve heard a lot about the phenomenon, but I’ve never heard of an actual case of it), but it definitely isn’t one-sided.

  175. Freja says

    Sid @175

    I can’t speak for “men” but I’ve a good idea why the mens movement are angry with feminism.

    Here is one example – Legislating against fathers and obstructing shared parenting – while the follows (who have no clue how influential feminist jurisprudence in the family law is) insist feminism is “working on it” and its really the result of patriarchy.

    Care to provide an example of legislating against fathers? And what exactly is your proof that shared parenting is per definition the superior option?

    The lies about domestic abuse being patriarchal, and attacking and mocking anyone that has the real data on it as opposed to the pseudo scientific data that feminism produces.

    Studies have established a pretty clear link between patriarchal attitudes and self-reported interpersonal violence in men. The “real” data which is never provided in threads like these is based on self-report and is inconclusive. From what I recall, it has so far been impossible to get the same answers from both partners on those surveys, which means that at least 50% of the data is invalid, and we don’t know which part. Furthermore, the statistics that are the most objective (people murdered, injuries so severe they required hospitalisation) still points to women being the most frequent targets.

    again about feminism legislating against men – policies and manipulations that the average “what about teh menz” follower feminists have no idea about.

    If those feminists have no idea about what’s happening, why not show it to them instead of calling them bitches and threaten to rape them? Why not point to the legislature that specifically discriminates against men, and the feminist organisations/individuals who are behind them? Why is it acceptable to try to threaten people out of their alleged ignorance?

    Sid @176

    Read Spreading Misandry and Teaching Misandy, a real eye opener to the anti-male hate and discrimination feminism is slowly pouring into the system.

    You mean the books that compared the treatment of men in contemporary America to the treatment of Jews in medieval Europe? What do you think of HSA in post 118:

    a fallacy known as the brine shrimp gambit. This “arguement” proceeds as follows.
    1. Assume that claim A is identical to some obvious and uncontroversial ethical position B. Alternatively, simply define C as B and then switch mid argument to defining C as A.
    2. (Optional) Make an argument that B leads inexorably to A. It doesn’t matter how good the argument is, or even if you actually make it, as you won’t be relying on it anyway.
    3. When someone claims not-A, accuse them of believing not-B. If they point out that your attempts to link A and B are questionable at best, just repeat the accusation.
    4. Say “This person believes not-B, which is ethically wrong. Therefore his arguments for not-A are incorrect. Therefore, A”.
    5. (Optional) Censor any argument for not-A as being anti-B. Better yet, censor everything but the arguments against A that really are anti-B.
    6. Repeat.

    It would be really interesting if the “Co-opting other people’s suffering to further your own cause is wrong, therefore feminism is bad” anti-feminists, and the “The oppression of Jews and black people was wrong, therefore feminism is wrong” anti-feminists would sit down sometimes and actually acknowledge their differences and apply the same criticisms to each other as they do to feminism.

    Sid @179

    Care to recommend a quick read? Its ironic that RB is asking for evidence for of policies produced by these people and their followers given McKinnions sexual harassment policies are such a hot topic in these circles. I guess most of them don’t know it comes from McKinnon …

    If they don’t know it comes from her, why call them bitches and assume they’re evil? Wouldn’t actual information be better?

    @Deep Blue thought, those types of generalizations about women are frowned up by the majority of mra’s these days I think, you get them in the traditionalist / Pua circles, but they are only loosely connected to main body of the movement.

    Isn’t A Voice for Men pretty moderate and mainstream as the MRM goes?

  176. says

    I’ll respond with the only response merited by such a level of hate and ignorance, and state that you are not a person worth engaging with.

    Since when was it “hate and ignorance” to ask someone to elaborate on his/her assertions? Your failure to flesh out your case proves you don’t have one. Bluff: called.

    Read Spreading Misandry and Teaching Misandy, a real eye opener to the anti-male hate and discrimination feminism is slowly pouring into the system.

    If you’ve read it, why can’t you at least summarize what you feel are the most important points we need to know? Normally when someone says “It’s in The Book, look it up yourself,” they’re bluffing. (Case in point: Ayn Rand fans and Bible-thumpers.)

    The MRAs’ generalizations are based on evidence, all right. For instance: women do worse on tests of advanced math on average, and much fewer of them become CEOs.

    And there’s some very well-known reasons for such disparities, which have nothing at all to do with intrinsic differences between male and female abilities. Do you know what the acronym PRATT means? It’s not a street in Baltimore. Your “evidence” has been dealt wtih and discredited long ago — right along with all that “evidence” of black inferiority.

    Here is one example – Legislating against fathers and obstructing shared parenting…

    Specifics, please? My parents shared their duties toward me after they separated, and I don’t remember any law getting in their way.

    Feminism has done many good things, but it usefulness is ended.

    Really? There are no longer any places in the world where women are second-class citizens (or just plain slaves)? Cool fantasy, bro, I wish I could live in it, ’cause like the guy said in “Game of Thrones,” you can’t make love to a slave!

    We need to get over the groupthink…

    Yeah, that’s the typical libertarian refrain: stop thinking of yourselves as a group, and stop trying to work together to solve common problems. You people should always be isolated and never talk or work or compare notes with each other.

    The key question is whether pro-feminists will accept that anyone who disagrees with their good, progressive opinions can possibly be sane and rational.

    That question is easily answered: it is an observable fact that a huge number of people who disagree with feminism exhibit insane and irrational behaviors. I’m sure there are sane and rational ones, but they seem to be a tiny minority unable to keep their more hateful comrades in check.

    …unlike men, ‘girls can get it any time they want’…

    This is the typical refrain of someone who is so caught up in his own troubles that he simply fails — or refuses — to see that anyone else has any trouble at all worth mentioning. It’s an understandable human response, but it’s immature, and most of the time it’s dead wrong. And no, women can’t “get it any time they want” — that’s a male fantasy that ignores the fact that women are people, and have very similar constraints to the rest of us in their daily lives and choices. (It also ignores the fact that women’s emotional and sexual needs are, well, a wee bit more complex than “I need a dick in me, any dick will do.”)

  177. Schala says

    By treating the two as interchangeable, MRAs are doing what they accuse feminists of doing, trying to have it both ways, by being unwilling to make the sacrifices to be a primary or equal caretaker, but still wanting an equal chance to beat their ex in court.

    Doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice. You get half what was earned in marriage, spousal alimony, physical custody of all kids until 18, plus child support for them, and at least 50% custody time.

    What’s the sacrifice? Not dying 7 years earlier?

    Care to actually provide proof of all the feminists on this thread saying that there is no valid criticisms of feminism? As a sceptic, it should be right up your alley.

    It only applies to feminists who said there are no valid criticism of feminism. Not all feminists on this thread.

    Studies have established a pretty clear link between patriarchal attitudes and self-reported interpersonal violence in men.

    Studies starting from the principle that patriarchal attitude exist? Not biased at all… /s

    Furthermore, the statistics that are the most objective (people murdered, injuries so severe they required hospitalisation) still points to women being the most frequent targets.

    Because you think doctors have been trained to see injuries in men as potentially coming from DV? From what utopia are you calling from?

    If those feminists have no idea about what’s happening, why not show it to them instead of calling them bitches and threaten to rape them?

    When did you stop beating your wife? Why don’t you. You win the fallacy olympics.

    You seriously think 4chan and MRAs are the same people? Do you?

  178. DeepThought says

    The MRAs’ generalizations are based on evidence, all right. For instance: women do worse on tests of advanced math on average, and much fewer of them become CEOs.

    And there’s some very well-known reasons for such disparities, which have nothing at all to do with intrinsic differences between male and female abilities. Do you know what the acronym PRATT means? It’s not a street in Baltimore. Your “evidence” has been dealt wtih and discredited long ago — right along with all that “evidence” of black inferiority.

    Raging Bee, quote-mining me to make it look like I was actually agreeing that this data indicates intrinsic differences in male and female abilities is intellectual dishonesty on par with creationists.

  179. Gjenganger says

    @Freja 186

    Care to actually provide proof of all the feminists on this thread saying that there is no valid criticisms of feminism?

    Well you are right, in so far as no feminist ever says that there can be no valid criticism of feminism. But then only an utter idiot would say that. What people do is to rebut each criticism as it comes. If the arguments tend to be mutually inconsistent (feminism is for eveybody / feminism is for women only), name-calling (rape apologist, mansplaining, …), dodgy (rape conviction rate of 6%) etc. the practical effect is that no ciritcism of feminism wil ever be accepted as valid.

    @Freja 187

    If men are given less custody because they do less parenting, that’s not an issue with the courts but with people’s choice of family structure before they go to court.

    Indeed, I agree. But then, if women generally have less impressive CVs, because they do more parenting, that is also a question of people’s choice of family structure. The logical conclusion would be that women should expect to get fewer top jobs than men as long as they do more child care. You cannot really have it both ways. As for the discrimination against female CVs, I do not doubt that is real. But surely a (relative) lack of female interest in hard sciences, 14-hour-a-day management jobs, extreme career-mindeness, continous travelling, etc. is also real? Can you really claim that it is only active discrimination that prevents women from having half of the boardroom seats and professorships?

    The main problem with men in caretaking potions (and women coal miners) is, according to most of the people who actually study/work with it, a lack of interest.

    Indeed. But the same was the case for women studying mathematics, at least not so long ago. That was seen as a great problem that needed fixing, and there was lots of talk of role models and special encouragement etc. How often do we hear how bad it is that women are underrepresented in science and in boardrooms, and should have at least 50% of the places? Men being overrepresented in dangerous manual jobs, and women being overrepresented on most non-science university course is never seen as an equality problem, at least not for feminism. How can you explain that? Could it be that feminism is a kind of women’s trade union, that fights for its members and does not care anbout anybody else?

  180. Gjenganger says

    @Raging Bee 189

    The key question is whether pro-feminists will accept that anyone who disagrees with their good, progressive opinions can possibly be sane and rational.

    That question is easily answered: it is an observable fact that a huge number of people who disagree with feminism exhibit insane and irrational behaviors. I’m sure there are sane and rational ones, but they seem to be a tiny minority unable to keep their more hateful comrades in check.

    Thanks for a very clear answer.

    I shall continue to debate with those who think I might possibly be sane, and ignore the rest.

  181. says

    Well you are right, in so far as no feminist ever says that there can be no valid criticism of feminism.

    Okay, so you’re admitting that this allegation of how feminists behave is false.

    What people do is to rebut each criticism as it comes.

    Well, yeah, when we hear a criticism of feminism that’s false or fallacious, we’ll rebut it. And if all of your criticisms are easily rebutted, that may not be the feminists’ fault. Here’s a hint: try bringing better criticisms to the table next time.

  182. says

    I shall continue to debate with those who think I might possibly be sane, and ignore the rest.

    I eagerly await your sane arguments.

  183. Freja says

    @190 Schala

    Doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice.

    Let me guess, you’re not a parent?

    It only applies to feminists who said there are no valid criticism of feminism. Not all feminists on this thread.

    Copyleft made the comment on this thread, right after some people here had said that certain criticisms of feminism were invalid, and did not refer to any other feminists.

    Studies starting from the principle that patriarchal attitude exist? Not biased at all… /s

    Wow! So because opinions like “Women should stay at home and let the man be the breadwinner” or “men should be dominant” are labelled patriarchal, the connection between those opinions and self-reported use of interpersonal violence doesn’t exist, even though it’s documented?

    Because you think doctors have been trained to see injuries in men as potentially coming from DV? From what utopia are you calling from?

    I’m calling from reality, where men, if asked, are all too eager to tell about all the violence committed (or not committed, since the surveys have so far proved unreliable) against them by women, but whenever they’re asked if they ever suffered actual injuries, they say say no.

    When did you stop beating your wife? Why don’t you. You win the fallacy olympics.

    Sid was answering the question of why feminists who are women (and not men) receive the kind/amount of hatemail they do. His answer was that there were things they were unaware of. I think it’s a pretty obvious question why the response to them not knowing things is never to try to inform them.

    You seriously think 4chan and MRAs are the same people? Do you?

    I believe that JudgyBitch, who identifies as an MRA and is a contributor to one of the largest and most mainstream MRA sites in existence, is an MRA. And I believe that since it’s considered uncontroversial to link to her without any caveat, and her opinions on rape of women (and underage girls) haven’t caused any controversy at AVfM, that it’s pretty common for MRAs to not consider it a big deal when someone says rape victims aren’t really raped because they’re whores who asked for it.

    Speaking of MRAs, what is your opinion on Gjenganger’s claim that women are “unaccountably uninterested” in having sex with him? Should women be held accountable for it when they don’t have sex with a man?

  184. gjenganger says

    Speaking of MRAs, what is your opinion on Gjenganger’s claim that women are “unaccountably uninterested” in having sex with him? Should women be held accountable for it when they don’t have sex with a man?

    Irony alert! I know the point is ludicrous, that is why I wrote it that way. DIscuss, by all means, but do not asume I was dead serious in writing it.

  185. says

    gjenganger, you’re not really doing that good a job of presenting yourself as one of the saner critics of feminism…

    Feminism does work to get the best possible society for women, and generally further women’s interests. Pretty much by definition, this means the men’s interests are secondary.

    This can be said of ANY interest-group formed to advocate for the interests of a certain group of people — including groups like the NAACP, which racists called the enemy of white people because they advocated for the interests of nonwhites and not those of whites. It was hypocritical bullshit in the case of the NAACP, and it’s hypocritical bullshit in regard to feminists as well.

    Of course it may be that the interests of the two genders align in many cases, but if you first sign up to feminism you will never find out, because anything that conflicts with feminism is rejected a priori.

    Are you trying to say that when you “first sign up to feminism” (whatever the fuck that really means), you lose access to certain information? You really don’t sound all that coherent here.

  186. Freja says

    @192 Gjenganger

    Well you are right, in so far as no feminist ever says that there can be no valid criticism of feminism.

    So to summarise, feminists don’t actually say this, anti-feminists just say that they say this? But when feminists are accusing someone of something based on the implications of what they say/do, rather than something specific, this is wrong?

    name-calling (rape apologist

    Actually, I’d say that if you can’t see what’s wrong about your complaint that women are unaccountably uninterested in men like you, then you aren’t really in a position to understand what constitutes name calling and not. I’ve had men try to hold me “accountable” for not wanting to have sex with them, and if you think it wasn’t rapey, think again. The idea that women who don’t have sex with men are denying men something which they have a right to, or have a right to fight to get, is rape apologism.

    Indeed, I agree. But then, if women generally have less impressive Cvs

    Then it wouldn’t be an issue of quotas and affirmative action, at least not on the workplace they’re trying to get into. Which is why there is so much research going into determining whether there actually is discrimination or not (there is), and why the answer isn’t always quotas, but can be resumes with blanked out names and blind performances (such as symphony orchestras, who, as a result, have hired considerably more women than before these policies were implemented).

    that is also a question of people’s choice of family structure. The logical conclusion would be that women should expect to get fewer top jobs than men as long as they do more child care.

    Have you really not heard any debate of the family/work conflict women often find themselves in? Have you never heard a feminist say that the assumption that women must be the primary caretaker is damaging for women’s career options? Heard any criticism of the people who constantly ask powerful women, but not powerful men, how they manage to balance their family and work-life? Seen any study mentioning that the wage-gap persisted even when controlling for time taken off work to do child care? Heard any feminist talk about making workplaces more accommodating of parents?

    Because if that’s the case, I think you must have been living in some sort of cave. The issue is that the post I responded to was switching midway from saying men are discriminated in courts to saying that men are not given as many opportunities/encouragements to become caretakers, without at any point acknowledging that this is not an issue to be settled in the courts. The issue is that I have seen feminists using actual studies (such as identical resumes) to show discrimination, and discussing at length the difficulties women face in even getting to the point where they can be subject to hiring discrimination, but the anti-feminists have always stuck to claiming that since fewer men than women get primary custody (mostly voluntarily), it means the courts need to start ruling differently.

    Indeed. But the same was the case for women studying mathematics, at least not so long ago.

    Women have been frequently told they couldn’t do mathematics, been denied admittance to mathematical institutes even when they qualified, and experienced sexual harassment and bullying when they chose to study mathematics. At the time of early feminism, there were even people saying that doing mathematics could damage women, because they weren’t made for it. And it was never just about interest, even today it’s common for the men who’re supposed to guide and teach women in mathematical fields to straight up say that they believe women are inherently inferior in those areas. In contrast, I haven’t heard female garbage collectors being told that they’re unqualified for the job.

    That was seen as a great problem that needed fixing, and there was lots of talk of role models and special encouragement etc.

    Then make some suggestions as to what can be done to make men more interested in female jobs. Because most of the men I’ve heard talk about it say that their biggest problem isn’t that they aren’t appreciated professionally (quite the contrary, men have a tendency to rise to prominence within female-dominated jobs), but that they suffer a social stigma and are often seen as unambitious and settling for less than they should.

    How often do we hear how bad it is that women are underrepresented in science and in boardrooms, and should have at least 50% of the places?

    At no time I can think of. I think the 50/50 idea died long ago.

    Men being overrepresented in dangerous manual jobs, and women being overrepresented on most non-science university course is never seen as an equality problem, at least not for feminism. How can you explain that?

    And women are over represented in low paid, stressful, and often physically and mentally damaging jobs in the caretaking sector, as well as things like cleaning jobs. But there doesn’t seem to be much evidence for men being kept out of those jobs, and it’s pretty impossible to force someone into those jobs just because it would balance out the demographics, so little is done about it. What sort of campaign would you suggest to get people to take more badly paid, stressful, and unhealthy jobs they’re not interested in, just so that the numbers would be more even?

  187. gjenganger says

    @Freja 199
    Gee, this will be long. But you deserve the courtesy of an answer.

    So to summarise, feminists don’t actually say this, anti-feminists just say that they say this? But when feminists are accusing someone of something based on the implications of what they say/do, rather than something specific, this is wrong?

    I cannot speak for ‘anti-feminists’, but on the specific point you were right and Copyleft was wrong. For the rest it depends on the specifics – on either side. I do have the impression that (a lot of) feminists know the answer is patriarchy even before they have heard the question, and that many are surprisingly happy about using bad and inconsistent arguments as long as they favour the movement. But of course feminists are not unique in this. As for the men’s rights movement, I know little about it, never having come across a site or person that made sense. That is why I am here, no?

    The idea that women who don’t have sex with men are denying men something which they have a right to, or have a right to fight to get, is rape apologism.

    I’d say that you have a right to sex as much or as little as you have a right to three meals a day and a nice TV. The world does not owe you a living, but if it so happens that there is no way open for you to earn one even if you try your best, you do tend to feel badly done by. And you most likely resent the rich people walking by and once in a rare while throwing you a coin. Some might even feel that laws against begging or loitering were penalising them unjustly. This is not an admirable attitude – and I know full well I am presenting myself as an example of it – but for what it is worth I think it is understandable in the circumstances and helps explain certain reactions. Certainly saying that anyone could be sought-after and desired if he tried is as wrong as saying that anyone could be rich. And you generally do not fob the homeless off with ‘tough, you should have got yourself a job’. To go back to the metafor, none of this gives anybody the right to steal, or go into a house at random and demand a meal and a bed. But it might make you wonder if there could be a different society with fewer beggars.

    As for the main thrust of your mail, well, if the 50/50 idea died long ago, the news have not made the papers. Every time someone quotes percentages of women, in the boardroom, in politics, whatever, it is implicit that the correct number would be 50%. If antifeminists are claiming that they have a right to 50% custody regardless of the details, they are merely reflecting back the kind of thing they have long been hearing. As it happens I agree with you there – you cannot disregard who actually does most of the caring when you decide on custody. (Actually, one big complaint is not who gets custody, but that mothers with custody can sabotage visiting agreements with impunity, but that is another matter).

    It is important that we are getting research that proves actual discrimination, not merely different numbers. These things are wrong, and need to be redressed where estalished. But you still have ‘more women’ as a system target, without looking at the details. One university hires mostly male academics. This breaks down in a clearly higher success rate for female applicants, and a much larger proportion of male applicants. Is this right? Is it wrong? I would argue that the correct policy is to hire on merit and need alone, and to boost the number of qualified female applicants if there are too few. But as long as you do not know how qualified the applicants are and why, you have no idea what the right numbers should be.

    Yes, I have heard about the family/work conflict, about the effect of assuming that women should be the caretakers, about gender roles guiding women away from, say, mathematics. But I think you are cherrypicking in the way you use this. We have different gender roles. Among other things, they push women towards mothering, nurturing, cleaning and caring professions, and away from mathematics. Men are pushed towards building, soldiering, driving, sciences, management. Etc. According to your own post, men may be interested in caring professions, but social pressure pushes them away. The effects sometimes favour one sex, sometimes the other (I am not saying it is in equal measure). Men get more interesting and better paid jobs, more workplace accidents, and more unemployment. Women get more custody after divorces. But there is a tendency that when women are disadvantaged they are victims of the system, and the system must be changed to accomodate them. When men are disadvantaged it is a matter of their own individual choice. Childcare is a perfect example. It disadvantages women in the labour market, and therefore the labout market must adapt to fit women’s choices. It disadvantages men in custody disputes, and therefore men must adapt their choices to fit objective reality. That is a biased approach.

    You are quite right that it makes no sense to push people into cleaning or mining against their wishes just to make the numbers equal. People make their own choices, on the background of current social attitudes, and should accept the consequences. But I would argue that if women choose to privilege child care, on the background of current social attitudes, they too should accept the consequences. And in the debate we should accept that we will likely always have a lot of gender differences.

  188. Sid says

    @ freja >If those feminists have no idea about what’s happening, why not show it to them instead of calling them bitches and threaten to rape them?

    When we show feminists how feminism is legislating against men, and using pseudo-scienctific methods to misrepresent domestic violence, they tend to do what you did there, dismiss it out of hand, mock and make false accusations relating to rape or misogyny or both.

  189. says

    I do have the impression that (a lot of) feminists know the answer is patriarchy even before they have heard the question, and that many are surprisingly happy about using bad and inconsistent arguments as long as they favour the movement.

    You have an “impression,” even though you can’t seem to come up with any actual examples? That sort of thinking is generally knows as “prejudice.”

    As for the men’s rights movement, I know little about it, never having come across a site or person that made sense.

    Then why are you parroting so many of their lame-assed talking-points?

    But I would argue that if women choose to privilege child care, on the background of current social attitudes, they too should accept the consequences.

    The consequences of their own actions, or the consequences of men’s actions toward them? There is a difference, you know.

  190. says

    When we show feminists how feminism is legislating against men, and using pseudo-scienctific methods to misrepresent domestic violence, they tend to do what you did there, dismiss it out of hand, mock and make false accusations relating to rape or misogyny or both.

    Examples, please? On this particular thread, we responded by asking you to provide SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of “how feminism is legislating against men,” and you have repeatedly failed to deliver.

  191. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    But there is a tendency that when women are disadvantaged they are victims of the system, and the system must be changed to accomodate them. When men are disadvantaged it is a matter of their own individual choice. Childcare is a perfect example. It disadvantages women in the labour market, and therefore the labout market must adapt to fit women’s choices. It disadvantages men in custody disputes, and therefore men must adapt their choices to fit objective reality. That is a biased approach.

    How about a movement that fights against all that, against the existence of gender-based roles itself, a movement that’s fundamentally opposed to the idea that just being born with a certain set of genitals says anything at all about you other than the mechanics of how you can reproduce?

  192. Soarer says

    To WithinThisMind Post 200:

    You might as well ask of the KKK ‘why are some white people so angry?’ You’ll find the answers are much the same.

    Thanks for that. As a man who believes it is possible to discern some problems with the general tone and thrust of some of the arguments of some feminists, whilst nevertheless being committed to equality of opportunity for all, I do so enjoy being likened to a bunch of racists.

    I am not sure you have advanced your cause very much with such a comparison.

  193. says

    I am not sure you have advanced your cause very much with such a comparison.

    I’m VERY sure that the MRAs have not done their “cause” any good by INVITING such a comparison with their own words and actions.

    But there is a tendency that when women are disadvantaged they are victims of the system, and the system must be changed to accomodate them. When men are disadvantaged it is a matter of their own individual choice.

    Actually, a lot of progressives, including feminists, have advocated changes in “the system” to accomodate both men and women. In fact, we’ve been doing it for a long time — in some cases, before feminism was even a word.

    Childcare is a perfect example. It disadvantages women in the labour market, and therefore the labout market must adapt to fit women’s choices. It disadvantages men in custody disputes, and therefore men must adapt their choices to fit objective reality. That is a biased approach.

    Comparing two very different issues and saying we’re “biased” because we don’t treat them the same? Who do you think you’re fooling?

    Also, we’re not saying “the labor market” must adapt to fit women’s choices; we’re saying EMPLOYERS must adapt. There’s a difference.

  194. Sid says

    @Raging Bee

    >Examples, please? On this particular thread, we responded by asking you to provide SPECIFIC EXAMPLES of “how feminism is legislating against men,” and you have repeatedly failed to deliver.

    Are you frothing at the mouth while you type?

    Don’t make false accusations. I’ve posted an authoritative source.

    http://www.amazon.com/Legalizing-Misandry-Systemic-Discrimination-Against/dp/0773528628

    And here is one specific example of feminism rolling back civil rights.

    http://www.saveservices.org/falsely-accused/sex-assault/how-rape-laws-remove-the-presumption-of-innocence/

    And when we patiently respond to feminists rude demands, feminists tend to dismiss the evidence out of hand and make false accusations relating to rape and or misogny.

    This is why there is a lot of anger generated by feminists, when confronted with facts that contradict their beliefs, feminists tend attack whoever the messenger happens to be ,which was the initial point I made.

  195. gjenganger says

    @Raging Bee 203
    OK, you get one more:

    You have an “impression,” even though you can’t seem to come up with any actual examples? That sort of thinking is generally knows as “prejudice.”

    I think it is known as “forming your opinions from your experiences and not solely from peer-reviewed statistics”. Quite a common attitude, I believe. I could come up with a handful of examples, but they are all anecdotes and I do not need you to tell me that they do not absolutely prove anything.

  196. says

    Soarer,

    If MRAs had a case, they’d be making it, instead of merely trying to get us to shut up about our case. Your posts are an example of such. Do theft laws also remove the presumption of innocence? Do murder laws? No? Neither do rape laws.

    So why are some men/white people so angry?

    They have this idea in their heads that any right given to someone else is taken away from them. Your own posts are proof of this attitude.

    Giving black people the ‘right’ to drink from whatever water fountain they wanted meant taking away the ‘right’ of white people to have a water fountain from which they can exclude people. Thus, giving a ‘right’ to black people meant taking away a ‘right’ of white people. Letting black people sit where they wanted on the bus meant white people lost their ‘right’ to the preferred seating.

    Ridiculous? Absolutely, and a few decades after Rosa Parks, the vast majority of folks can see that.

    Except…they can’t.

    Because making a video game with a female protagonist means one less video game with a male protagonist. Welcoming a woman into a poker game means one less chance a man will walk home with winnings. Putting a woman on a panel means that there is one less man on the panel.

    So by giving to women…we take from men. Just as by giving to blacks, we take from whites.

    By making it so women can enter a location without fear of harassment or abuse, we take away from men their ‘right’ to an exclusive place.

    By expecting men to treat women with consideration, we take away from a man their higher social rank that was kept by putting women in their place. No matter how low on the totem pole of men a particular guy was, he still had something because he was better than a woman by sheer issue of having a penis. But now…that’s not true anymore. Now if he ‘puts a woman in her place’, she dares to object. To keep that same feeling of special rank, he now has to expend even more effort to put her in her place or at least make her go away so he can keep his fragile status intact.

    Making it truly a game based on merit brings home, for some men, the very real possibility that they don’t actually deserve and aren’t actually entitled to the status they possess.

    It’s really that simple – fear, masquerading as anger, is the reason for the hatred and bile directed at feminists. And like the KKK, it’s rooted in ignorance and stupidity.

  197. Sid says

    @ Withinthismind

    “Do theft laws also remove the presumption of innocence? Do murder laws? No? Neither do rape laws.”

    I think you are out of touch, the presumption of innocence is being steadily eroded from rape and domestic violence under the Dominance Model ( that’s a kind of feminist jurisprudence by the way).

  198. Sid says

    @Withinitsmind

    “It’s really that simple – fear, masquerading as anger, is the reason for the hatred and bile directed at feminists. And like the KKK, it’s rooted in ignorance and stupidity.”

    You should learn about what the issues are, most feminist followers are uninformed about what the movement is actually doing in the legal system, thats why they cannot comprehend what the mens movement is taking about.

  199. iamcuriousblue says

    Since when was it “hate and ignorance” to ask someone to elaborate on his/her assertions? Your failure to flesh out your case proves you don’t have one. Bluff: called.

    And I’d like you to flesh out where said call to elaborate on examples, but followed by “or admit your full of shit” merits any further conversation on the topic at all. That’s a conversation-stopper, at least to anybody who has any standard of what constitutes civilized dialogue.

  200. iamcuriousblue says

    Freja @186

    “Like saying that rape is OK because the victim was a whore is inexcusable? Or is it OK because it was said by an anti-feminist?”

    Seriously, just what are you on about? Because at this point you’re not even addressing the point that I made, and simply putting words in my mouth.

    This idea you have in your head that I give “anti-feminists” and “MRAs” a free pass on anything is your own strawman. The only reason I focus on feminism more is because I take feminism more seriously. Feminism is a hell of a lot more influential a force on our laws, institutions, and society than the tiny MRA movement – would you seriously dispute that? And while I think much of feminism’s influence has been to the good, there’s also things that many feminists are pushing for that are problematic, to put it mildly. I’m sorry that you seem to have a problem with people questioning feminism at all, but as somebody who lives in this society and who is affected by the changes people like you are demanding, I think I have a right to question it.

  201. says

    Sid @208: I’ve already responded to your citing a book without quoting or summarizing any specific material in the book to make an actual case. And your second cite contains several assertions that are unfounded, and some that are false. That’s not a “specific example,” it’s a set of generalizations. Here’s some brief examples of why that article is wrong…

    6. Right to Confront One’s Accuser: In the past, defense attorneys were allowed to ask detailed, often intrusive questions about the accuser’s prior sexual history. Now under Federal Rules of Evidence 412, such questions generally may not be posed.

    That’s because such questions only serve to tar the complainant as a slut, and to imply that it can’t possibly be rape because she’s a slut and/or her slutty behavior = consent. Prior sexual history is not relevant to determining whether a recent sexual encounter was rape or consentual. Evidence and testimony about the recent encounter is relevant.

    7. Guilty Mind (“mens rea”): Criminal law has long held that if a man believed in good faith that the woman was consenting to intercourse, then he could not be found to have committed rape. Now, that requirement has been largely removed.

    No, it really hasn’t. If a man describes how a woman indicated willingness to have sex, his story is, at the very least, taken seriously unless it’s credibly disputed, and is, in fact, very often taken as a “reasonable doubt” that allows a jury to acquit an accused rapist.

    10. Reasonable Resistance: In 1951 the Oregon Supreme Court ruled, “The woman must resist by more than mere words. Her resistance must be reasonable proportionate to her strength and her opportunities.” Now, only half of all states require there to have been physical resistance.

    The 1951 standard was unreasonably vague, and enabled rapists to skate by saying shit like “Yeah, she struggled, but not enough to convince me she meant it.” It also failed to account for a woman who surrenders because she suspects that resistance will get her severely pummeled or killed.

    Short answer: the article you cite contains many assertions that don’t square with observed and reported rality. Try to do better next time.

  202. says

    That’s a conversation-stopper…

    No, your failure to contribute something relevant and substantive to the conversation is a conversation-stopper.

  203. Soarer says

    210 WithinThisMind

    They have this idea in their heads that any right given to someone else is taken away from them. Your own posts are proof of this attitude.

    Would you like to quote one of my posts which ‘proves’ this? You won’t because there isn’t one.

    The rest of your post is a continuation of the disgraceful attempt to present a questioning of some feminist ideas and tone as being equivalent to racism.

    It must be very hard to hate as much as you do. It is certainly impossible to have a civilised discussion with someone so blind to their own prejudice.

  204. Sid says

    @Raging Bee

    >Sid @208: I’ve already responded to your citing a book without quoting or summarizing any specific material in the book to make an actual case. And your second cite contains several assertions that are unfounded, and some that are false. That’s not a “specific example,” it’s a set of generalizations. Here’s some brief examples of why that article is wrong…

    Yes you dismissed the authoritative book out of hand and despite the fact you subscribe to feminism, you have no idea that the right to presumption of innocence is being eroded by the Dominance Model (thats a type of feminist jurisprudence btw).

    Just a question, have any of the feminists here even heard of the dominance model or know that feminist jurisprudence has a significant influence in the legal system?

  205. says

    The rest of your post is a continuation of the disgraceful attempt to present a questioning of some feminist ideas and tone as being equivalent to racism.

    The “questioning” we’ve sesn here shows certain traits of ignorance and dishonesty that we also happen to see in racists.

  206. PatrickG says

    Ally, have you considered adding the following to your list?

    Conspiracy Theories: A small number of men ardently believe that feminism is encroaching on all levels of government, but most egregiously with regards to domestic violence laws, judicial determination of child custody and divorce settlements, and the failure of employment laws in forcing women to work in coal mines. Instead of taking to more conventional paths of social change (activism, legislative campaigns, electoral process), they posit that feminists have achieved total control and the only viable method of change is the complete destruction of feminism as an ideology via derailing every comment thread on the internet (even, amusingly, one attempting to understand why men are angry at feminists — one can only presume in an effort to show, not tell). Oh, and there are some books that provide an intellectual backstop to this viewpoint, so take that, feminists!

    Before I go back to my MacKinnon refresher course, I’d like to thank Freja in particular for displaying an enormous amount of patience in continuing to engage here. While I might question Freja’s apparent masochistic tendencies, that’s more of a personal judgment on how best to spend time on the internet. :)

  207. says

    Yes you dismissed the authoritative book out of hand…

    No, I dismissed YOUR ARGUMENT out of hand because you didn’t support it with anything but a lazy reference to a book, without making any attempt to describe what the book actually said, or how it supports your arguments — or, for that matter, even which chapter I should read to see how your argument is supported.

  208. says

    You should learn about what the issues are, most feminist followers are uninformed about what the movement is actually doing in the legal system, thats why they cannot comprehend what the mens movement is taking about.

    And why are we so uninformed? Because “the mens movement” (actually, it’s at least four separate movements, only one of which is explicilty political and anti-feminist, but that’s another matter) can’t seem to explain their position without making asses of themselves.

  209. Copyleft says

    Freja @186: “Care to actually provide proof of all the feminists on this thread saying that there is no valid criticisms of feminism? As a sceptic, it should be right up your alley.”

    I’d like to thank RagingBee (@189 and 219) and WithinThisMind (@200 and 210) for illustrating my point perfectly.

  210. Sid says

    @RagingBee

    You are uninformed because you are follower feminists. You don’t anything about feminist jurisprudence or that when you are given rape and domestic violence data that female perpetration is minimised by deliberate bises causing you to believe ideological view on how these this are. You also get all your information on the mens movement from a blog site that deliberately misleads its readers and is the gender debates answer to Fox News.

  211. says

    You also get all your information on the mens movement from a blog site that deliberately misleads its readers and is the gender debates answer to Fox News.

    Um, dude, you’ve had plenty of opportunity to state your side of the debate on the same blog site, and you failed miserably.

  212. Sid says

    @RaginBee

    >Um, dude, you’ve had plenty of opportunity to state your side of the debate on the same blog site,

    I was talking about Manboobz, that is the go to source for feminists on the mens movement.

    >and you failed miserably.

    No, you gotten an authoritative book and one specific example. As is normal for follower feminists, you will rudely set a goal and once that is done, you will move the goalposts. This is why mra’s don’t like feminists, the blatant dishonesty in defence of their ideology.

    Its the same thing with Domestic Violence, even though the mens movement is correct and cites the real data, follower feminists will not accept it because it contradicts their beliefs.

    http://domesticviolenceresearch.org/

  213. Schala says

    I’m calling from reality, where men, if asked, are all too eager to tell about all the violence committed (or not committed, since the surveys have so far proved unreliable) against them by women, but whenever they’re asked if they ever suffered actual injuries, they say say no.

    A non-feminist source for this?

    Because it sure conflicts with the “men are stoic” and the “men don’t go to hospitals until its VERY urgent” very widespread and documented bias. And it also goes against “women hitting men is no big deal” notions, from the cradle. Plus finding it humiliating if/when it happens (so less likely to report it, to not get laughed at).

  214. Sid says

    Another example why so much anger has built up with feminists, false accusations, dishonesty and misandry like this

    >I’m calling from reality, where men, if asked, are all too eager to tell about all the violence committed (or not committed, since the surveys have so far proved unreliable) against them by women, but whenever they’re asked if they ever suffered actual injuries, they say say no.<

  215. says

    “You should learn about what the issues are, most feminist followers are uninformed about what the movement is actually doing in the legal system, thats why they cannot comprehend what the mens movement is taking about.”

    The problem you have is that we do know what the movement is doing to the legal system, and that’s why we know you are full of shit.

  216. says

    I think the simple fact that Sid cannot provide any truthful criticisms of feminism does sort of illustrate the point that indeed, there isn’t a hell of a lot of difference between MRA criticisms of feminism and KKK criticisms of the Civil Rights movement.

    The challenge remains – can you provide a single truthful and coherent argument AGAINST feminism?

    So far, as evidenced by this thread, the answer is no.

  217. Schala says

    Please ignore the troll, WithinThisMind has proven on that other thread that regardless of what you say, he or she will outright ignore it in favor of what he or she thinks you said or OUGHT to have said in that situation.

  218. Edward Gemmer says

    The problem you have is that we do know what the movement is doing to the legal system, and that’s why we know you are full of shit.

    What is it doing?

  219. Pen says

    Ally, I look forward to reading your series. I think many feminists certainly believe that male anger is related to a loss of power, in that when women assert control over their bodies/sexual activities, or dominant positions in professional hierarchies or leadership in public discussions it’s experienced as a ‘theft’ by men of something they thought they owned. I can’t quite see where this fits in to your various threads of anger or if you actually believe in it.

  220. Sid says

    @Withinitsmind

    >The problem you have is that we do know what the movement is doing to the legal system, and that’s why we know you are full of shit.

    Average feminists don’t. They typically don’t even know that its feminist lobby groups that are opposing shared parenting and feminist jursiprudence is ver influetntial in family law. They all think its down to “patriarchy”.

    >I think the simple fact that Sid cannot provide any truthful criticisms of feminism does sort of illustrate the point that indeed

    You are a liar. This is why feminists generate such anger, the blatent dishonesty.

    Read this, so you have some knowledge about what you movement you are prepared to lie for is doing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Legalizing-Misandry-Systemic-Discrimination-Against/dp/0773528628

  221. says

    —Average feminists don’t. They typically don’t even know that its feminist lobby groups that are opposing shared parenting and feminist jursiprudence is ver influetntial in family law. They all think its down to “patriarchy”.—

    The reason they don’t ‘know’ that is simply because it isn’t true, as those who have experience with family law can and regularly do attest.

    Which ‘feminist lobby group’ is opposing shared parenting? Citation needed. An actual citation please, to an actual feminist lobby group, actually opposing shared parenting. A direct link, not a link to people making unsupported bullshit claims.

    Your link is about as valid as the time a Christian linked to Strobel’s ‘the Case for Christ’ and said it would help the poor ignorant, deluded atheists actually gain knowledge.

    Facts, please, not MRA talking points. If your claim is indeed truthful, you should have absolutely no problem with supporting your claim.

    The fact that you clearly can’t is very telling.

  222. says

    —Yes you dismissed the authoritative book out of hand and despite the fact you subscribe to feminism, you have no idea that the right to presumption of innocence is being eroded by the Dominance Model (thats a type of feminist jurisprudence btw).—

    Yes yes, and Christians are being persecuted and here is a book that proves it which you should read to gain a little knowledge on the subject – http://www.amazon.com/Broke-Restore-Trust-Truth-Treasure/dp/B00BRAF48U/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1370995441&sr=8-12&keywords=glenn+beck

    It’s about as valid as your ‘authoritative book’, and just as factual.

  223. says

    Oooh, and while we are at it, you should totally read this book that shows how Atheists are bringing down the US – http://www.amazon.com/Godless-Church-Liberalism-Ann-Coulter/dp/B0085SI81W/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1370995535&sr=8-5&keywords=ann+coulter

    And this one about how you are wrong about everything you know about Thomas Jefferson – http://www.amazon.com/Jefferson-Lies-Exposing-Always-Believed/dp/1595554599/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370995616&sr=1-1&keywords=david+barton

    Stop dismissing these authoritative books out of hand!

  224. Iamcuriousblue says

    WithinThisMind @231 writes:

    “The challenge remains – can you provide a single truthful and coherent argument AGAINST feminism?”

    And if the nature of the argument was simply Feminism: YAY or NAY, you might actually have a point.

  225. iamcuriousblue says

    “http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/20/an-open-letter-to-the-center-for-inquiry/”

    Yep, nothing to be critical of there. It’s not like feminism is the kind of movement that would do something that would rightly piss people off, like say attempt to enter and dominate organizations like Marxist entryist groups, and have people thrown out of positions of leadership at the first sign of opposition, or even criticism. One would hope that feminists would never have to sink that low, right?

  226. iamcuriousblue says

    @243 – “Dishonest and Incoherent” BECAUSE I SAY SO.

    (So much for reasoned discourse among the “Rationalists”.)

  227. says

    I notice you still haven’t provided A) an actual criticism of any aspect of the actual feminist movement, and B) a citation that shows the aspect of the actual feminist movement with which you disagree.

    That would be why you are dishonest and incoherent. You don’t ever bother to actually say what aspect of feminism you have a problem with, you just build a windmill out of straw and tilt away at it madly.

    Provide some reasonable discourse, and I’ll happily address it. 244 comments in, and not a single supported actual criticism of any aspect of actual feminism.

  228. mildlymagnificent says

    Let’s presume for a moment that iamcuriousblue’s position on this particular matter is one held by several other people, specifically men. More than one person has blogged various responses to the Lindsay faux pas, some of those people are men.

    Now presume that a number of the first group of men will write to or comment on the blogs of these commentators. Ally wants to know why the women writers will be unsurprised if some of those comments are obscene or threatening and the men writers would be very surprised if they got one obscene insult or a rape/death threat. (Though they might smile wryly at accusations of being a ‘white knight’ or a ‘mangina’.)

    So, to get back to the original post, Why? These same men are perfectly capable of disagreeing with other people on other topics without using such language and without threatening anyone. Why the fury? Why the threats? Why the obscenity?

  229. iamcuriousblue says

    LegendInHisMind @245 –

    Actually, I have introduced substantial arguments, and named examples. Plenty of concrete examples of the grief those individuals cause for those not too lazy to do a simple Google search. If I haven’t engaged in direct q&a with individuals who’s behavior is simply the verbal equivalent of baboons flinging feces, well, that should be entirely understandable.

  230. Sid says

    @Whinthismind

    Can you see how you are doggedly defending an ideology with dishonesty and rudeness even though you are completely ignorant about its jurisprudence?

    That is a legitimate criticism of feminism, the way the followers pervience pointing out that their ideology is not perfect justifies bad behaviour.

    >The reason they don’t ‘know’ that is simply because it isn’t true,<

    Introduction: Feminist Jurisprudence and Child-Centered Jurisprudence: Historical Origins and Current Developments
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1586031

    Had you even heard of feminist jurisprudence in family law before now?

  231. Adiabat says

    WithinThisMInd: “The reason they don’t ‘know’ that is simply because it isn’t true, as those who have experience with family law can and regularly do attest.

    Which ‘feminist lobby group’ is opposing shared parenting? Citation needed. An actual citation please, to an actual feminist lobby group, actually opposing shared parenting. A direct link, not a link to people making unsupported bullshit claims.”

    If you follow this link (http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/05/28/why-i-am-not-a-feminist/#comment-1811) you will find that this has been done:

    “ They also oppose shared parenting: “Fawcett is concerned that Part 2, Clause 11 of the Children and Families Bill establishes an assumption of shared parenting following a separation, instead of making the welfare of the child the paramount concern. This may put women with abusive former partners and their children at risk.” (http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Fawcett-Briefing-for-the-Second-Reading-of-the-Children-and-Families-Bill.pdf page 6)

    They oppose shared parenting based on a sexist stereotype where the typical man is abusive and a cry of “Won’t somebody think of the children”.”

    It was a direct response to you which you’ve seen because you responded to it with “Never heard of them before”, highlighting your ignorance of Feminism and making our case. So please stop talking bullshit about how we never provide evidence. When we do you never provide a valid response to it and then pop up in another thread complaining about how we never provide any evidence.

  232. Adiabat says

    Ally, is there any way we can get some better feminists, preferably ones that already know about feminism and don’t need us to educate them?

    The ones we have are broken.

  233. mildlymagnificent says

    They also oppose shared parenting: …..

    Not quite. If you read the whole of that link, you’ll see that “shared parenting” is advocated quite strongly.

    Part 6 of the Bill to introduce shared parental leave as these are
    measures that seek to afford much greater choice and flexibility in families’ caring
    arrangements. …
    Part 7 of the Bill which introduces paid time-off
    for fathers/partners to attend antenatal appointments. …
    In particular, Fawcett welcomes the following measures, as set out in Part 6 and 7
    of the Children and Families Bill:
    Paid time off-for fathers/ partners to attend antenatal appointments;
    Potential for mother to transfer leave to father/partner soon after the birth of
    child, should she wish to; and,
    Potential for mother and fathers/partners to share leave more flexibly and to
    take leave concurrently

    Which all sounds as though the organisation is advocating – quite strongly – for better provisions allowing fathers to participate in caring for their families. So much so that they have some concerns,

    In particular, we have the following concerns about the Children and Families Bill:
    That ring fenced leave for fathers/partners has not been extended beyond
    the current provision of 2 weeks;
    That robust pay structures do not underpin the current or proposed leave
    system, which will in turn affect take up of leave by fathers/partners in
    particular; …….

    And right at the end of the list of items they disagree with, there is the preference for the “the interest and welfare” of children to remain the prime concern of family courts rather than the claims and concerns of the parents. And that’s pretty common across the world. A lot of people find the idea of children being “split down the middle”, in much the same way as property, is entirely the wrong concept to apply. It’s not about the parents sharing the children, it’s supposed to be about the best way for the children of the marriage to live their lives now that the marriage is ended. It’s not just the feminists you so much dislike who advance these views, it’s advocates for children and other agencies like police and welfare who have concerns.

    It is absolutely true that children are usually best served by both parents taking an active role in their care, but not all families are like that. And in some families, the best thing that can happen is that one parent (sometimes both) should have little to no role in children’s lives at all.

  234. Adiabat says

    Ah, now that I’ve destroyed the current Feminist lies we move onto attempts to obfuscate and deflect, and casually ignore what they’ve been arguing for that last couple of days. Do you have any comment on the fact that the previous argument being put forward by the feminists in this thread was a pack of lies and an attempt to smear? No, of course not because feminists are perfect and never argue in bad faith. Right?

    Mildlymagnificent: “If you read the whole of that link, you’ll see that “shared parenting” is advocated quite strongly.”

    No you won’t. You are trying to conflate shared parenting after separation (you know, the challenge put forward by WithinThisMind) with other things, such as shared parental leave; no doubt hoping to cause enough confusion for those reading to deflect from the trainwreck the feminist side of this discussion has been and save some face.*

    Every single part of the bill that they support are measures that have no negative impact on women, and all work in women’s favour (as well as men’s, which is incidental to Fawcett’s advocacy). Conversely the main part in the bill which they oppose is the only bit which promotes equality that doesn’t work in women’s favour. What a coincidence!

    And the parental leave is a 180 degree turn on their position a year before when they opposed it (http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/article/1147967/point-need-parental-leave), and has only been changed because of how much they were shown up for not working towards equality and because it was pointed out just how the proposals help women. Their former advocacy, which caused a bill that would’ve introduced these changes much earlier to be dropped, was that leave should be ring fenced for women to prevent them from being pressured into returning to work. As it’s already illegal for employers to pressure women to return to work, the only possible pressure is from their nasty male partners who would’ve no doubt stolen all the leave for themselves, those abusive bastards! An organisation that makes policy based on sexist claims about men, and only changes its policy only after it’s pointed out how it may benefit their preferred group is not an organisation that cares about equality, or doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

    “there is the preference for the “the interest and welfare” of children to remain the prime concern of family courts rather than the claims and concerns of the parents”

    And if you followed my link to the other thread you will see, directly below the bit I quoted in my last post:

    Me: “They oppose shared parenting based on a sexist stereotype where the typical man is abusive and a cry of “Won’t somebody think of the children”. The proposal is “an assumption of shared parenting”: it is not automatic and abusive men will not get shared parenting. This fact, which I doubt they are unaware of, highlights the sexism at play in Fawcett’s advocacy.”

    Mildlymagnificent: “It is absolutely true that children are usually best served by both parents taking an active role in their care, but not all families are like that. And in some families, the best thing that can happen is that one parent (sometimes both) should have little to no role in children’s lives at all.”

    Yet the only reason given by the Fawcett Society was the highly sexist claims that “This may put women with abusive former partners and their children at risk” and “that the assumption of shared parenting will dilute protections for women and their children.”

    Also note the lack of mention that the proposals will mean fewer children in the sole custody of abusive women, who commit the majority of child abuse.

    * Note I’m not giving you any benefit of the doubt or believing you are arguing in good faith here until you at least give some comment on the behavior of the feminists upthread and their lies. Don’t dare just brush it under the carpet on a thread dedicated to looking at why people get angry at feminists.

  235. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Re. #8; I don’t think trolls ever start the many anti-feminist tirades we’ve seen recently, but I do think they worsen the situation by jumping on the bandwagon. As such, I don’t think they can be said to be a cause of the anti-feminist backlash, even if they do go along with it once the flaming begins.

  236. mildlymagnificent says

    Conversely the main part in the bill which they oppose is the only bit which promotes equality that doesn’t work in women’s favour. What a coincidence!

    That equality you’re talking about treats children as property. There has to be a better way. The current legal emphasis on the best interests of the child is the best approach – in the abstract. There are lots of different ways this plays out in practical arrangements in different countries and jurisdictions. Finding the best approaches and adopting them more widely would be a good thing for everyone.

    the highly sexist claims that “This may put women with abusive former partners and their children at risk”

    Look. We already know that most men are not abusive to partners and / or children, but those that are can be extremely dangerous. And the most extreme danger is during separation and particularly court appearances and legal processes. Wives/partners and children in those families are facing real risk. We also know that the proportion of men who are abusive will, by the very nature of things, be much higher in marriages/ families that break down than in those that are happy, peaceful and thriving.

    I’m 66 next week and I’ve worked in some very large male-dominated organisations as well as having a fairly normalish social life. I’ve known dozens of men who were perfectly OK to talk to casually at work or elsewhere who, I later found out, were violent at home. (Out of a couple of thousand or so total over the years from one workplace.) I’ve known two men who murdered their (ex)wives – one when she told him she was moving out, the other when the decree nisi papers were delivered. But I know no men who were hospitalised or killed by their wives/partners. Having run a business catering to children, I’ve had innocent little kids tell me horrifying stuff that happened in their families (the worst being a three year old who jumped onto his father’s back trying to stop him from strangling his mother). We know that families must be protected as far as possible from these dangerous people.

    As for women being abusive parents? I’ve known a few, even in my own extended family, that I’d readily describe as evil. And far too many I regarded as so incompetent as to be close to it from other contacts. But I’ve had very little direct knowledge of women physically attacking children, though with a schoolteacher husband and a daughter working in children’s health as well as our business contacts in our industry I’ve known of some who’d qualify as violent.

    Forget calling the problem of male violence against women and children a feminist “sexist claim”. The police and hospital statistics tell us it’s a real problem and we have to find some way to deal with its worst instances. (Even if there may be some arguments about the numbers.) Rather than try to dismiss it as fiction, deal with the reality and put it into context.

  237. says

    “Fawcett is concerned that Part 2, Clause 11 of the Children and Families Bill establishes an assumption of shared parenting following a separation, instead of making the welfare of the child the paramount concern…”

    Well, if “shared parenting” is contrary to the welfare of the child, that’s a pretty damn good reason to oppose shared parenting. And here’s another good reason: if two parents can’t already agree on a shared parenting scheme that works for all involved, then the state will be unable to enforce one on them. State power can dictate who gets custody of a child, but it’s way too blunt an instrument to ensure that two or more people share a complex task like child-rearing. Shared parenting sounds like a good idea, but it’s not something the state can, or should, mandate, if both parents haven’t already agreed on a plan without having to be coerced.

    So once again, y’all aren’t really doing a good job of showing how evil and wrong feminists are.

  238. says

    Ah, now that I’ve destroyed the current Feminist lies…

    My, aren’t we delusinal today.

    …I don’t think trolls ever start the many anti-feminist tirades we’ve seen recently, but I do think they worsen the situation by jumping on the bandwagon…

    First, most of the anti-feminist hate-campaigns ARE started by trolls. And second, regardless of who starts a particular hate-campaign, it’s the trolls who provide the overwlelming majority of the hate, if not all of it. Take away the trolls, and (on the Web at least) all you’ll have left is Richard Dawkins and a gaggle of Christian Taliban types getting ridiculed and ignored.

    Yet the only reason given by the Fawcett Society was the highly sexist claims that “This may put women with abusive former partners and their children at risk” and “that the assumption of shared parenting will dilute protections for women and their children.”

    Those aren’t “highly sexist claims,” they’re an observable reality that families, cops and courts deal with every damn day, all over the country. Even if we know, or assume, that mothers and fathers are equally likely to be abusive, that’s still a very good reason to oppose a “shared parenting” scheme that keeps abusive parents (of either gender) in contact with their victims.

    Seriously, guys, I’m really trying to see some merit in your anti-feminist claims, and I’m not finding any.

  239. Soarer says

    @ 256 Raging Bee

    First, most of the anti-feminist hate-campaigns ARE started by trolls

    And you know this how, exactly?

    Presumably, by defining any disagreement with feminist statements as ‘anti-feminist hate-campaigns’ and anyone who makes such a disagreement as a troll.

    Do you not find this sort of position a bit problematic? Or understand why others might do so?

  240. Adiabat says

    Mildlymagnificent: “That equality you’re talking about treats children as property.”

    How is it any different to the current situation? Courts are already deciding who gets children after separation, thereby ‘treating them like property’.

    The assumption proposed is that children generally benefit from having both parents actively involved in their lives, which seems a reasonable assumption. The Fawcett Society are arguing that the unequal system must be kept as it is because of the minority of abusive men. Not only does this ignore abusive women who, I repeat, commit the majority of child abuse, but it effectively screws over the vast majority of men due to the behaviour of a few. That is sexist. I can easily provide a similar, equally sexist, argument where we treat all women a certain way because of the behaviour of a minority of them if you like? Will that help you conceptualise the issue, because you seem to be having a mental block when the argument is applied to men?

    “Look. We already know that most men are not abusive to partners and / or children”

    Then why campaign against bills on the basis of a minority of men who are abusive? Especially when, and I repeat: “The proposal is “an assumption of shared parenting”: it is not automatic and abusive men will not get shared parenting.”

    “The police and hospital statistics tell us it’s a real problem and we have to find some way to deal with its worst instances.”

    And the Fawcett Society wants to do this using sexist discrimination against all men. Do you not see the problem here? Because if not you are merely providing further evidence to anyone reading that feminists are often sexist against men.

    Raging Bee: “Well, if “shared parenting” is contrary to the welfare of the child, that’s a pretty damn good reason to oppose shared parenting.”

    And I repeat: “The proposal is “an assumption of shared parenting”: it is not automatic and abusive men will not get shared parenting.”

    “if two parents can’t already agree on a shared parenting scheme that works for all involved, then the state will be unable to enforce one on them.”

    Joint custody is already something courts judge on. Do keep trying though. You are proving my point over and over again with every post.

    “So once again, y’all aren’t really doing a good job of showing how evil and wrong feminists are.”

    I’m doing it as we speak. Well, the “wrong” bit to be fair. “Evil” is a bit strong, maybe “blinkered”, “dogmatic” and “sexist” are more accurate terms.

    “Ah, now that I’ve destroyed the current Feminist lies…
    My, aren’t we delusinal today.”

    I direct you to post 149 where I did this. We had days of claiming that no evidence is ever provided, with a direct challenge from WithinThisMind. I pointed out a post where not only was this challenge already met it was met to WithinThisMind herself, who then disappeared and reappeared on another thread claiming that evidence is never provided. This disproves the lies and smears that various feminists have been making, including yourself, that evidence is never provided. It highlights the deceptive methods feminists use to smear their opponents and deflect criticsm. Anyone can now check this for themselves and any denials from yourself just proves it over and over again.

    “Those aren’t “highly sexist claims,” they’re an observable reality that families, cops and courts deal with every damn day, all over the country. Even if we know, or assume, that mothers and fathers are equally likely to be abusive, that’s still a very good reason to oppose a “shared parenting” scheme that keeps abusive parents (of either gender) in contact with their victims.”

    And I repeat: “The proposal is “an assumption of shared parenting”: it is not automatic and abusive men will not get shared parenting.” Why are you failing to grasp this?

    “Seriously, guys, I’m really trying to see some merit in your anti-feminist claims, and I’m not finding any.”

    I suggest that the problem may be you. Have you even considered this as a possibility?

  241. says

    And still no coherent, supported criticisms against feminism, just personal attacks, insults, projection, and lies.

    The claim of opposition to shared parenting didn’t actually hold any water, just like all the other criticisms.

    There really is no difference between MRAs and the KKK or the folks over at Rapture Ready.

  242. mildlymagnificent says

    One thing I’ve noticed. There are strong disagreements going on here. I hate to say it, but I’ve seen similar arguments develop where the original post was by a woman – and the disagreements are expressed with obscene insults directed at the women participants. Why are they not happening here? Is it because it’s … can’t think of a good way to describe it … a “male space” rather than a female one?

    Or is it something else – why not here when it’s so often “there”?

  243. says

    Joint custody is already something courts judge on.

    Is that the same as “shared parenting?” If not, then your comparison is meaningless. (And if courts already enforce “joint custody,” then what is it about “shared parenting” that makes it different from “joint custody?”)

    And I repeat: “The proposal is “an assumption of shared parenting”: it is not automatic…

    I never said it was “automatic,” I said it was a bad idea because state power was too blunt an instrument to enforce a specific “sharing” plan from day to day if both parents can’t agree on a “sharing” scheme. Your inability to understand what I said, even when I’m not using big words, really doesn’t enhance your credibility.

    Seriously, guys, y’all came in here caterwauling about how feminism is a totalist or totalitarian ideology that’s taking over society and stripping men of our rights; and yet the only examples you can come up with are a handful of complaints about certain points of divorce and child-custody laws — and even there you don’t have much of a case. If you want us to take you seriously, can’t you at least try to FOCUS, and get straight to your specific grievances without all the emo hyperbole?

    And if you really want to expose and fight discrimination against men, you need to look at the actions of OTHER MEN! Scapegoating women and/or feminists won’t get you anywhere — they’re not the ones who gave us racism, genocide, war, Stalinism, robber-barons, environmental destruction, or gross economic inequality.

  244. Schala says

    Why are they not happening here? Is it because it’s … can’t think of a good way to describe it … a “male space” rather than a female one?

    Keep trying.

    I would never dare DREAM of going on PZ Myers blog, because I would face heaps of abuse, from most commentators, of all sexes. And I WILL NOT ATTRIBUTE THIS TO MY BEING FEMALE OR TRANS. It’s fucking irrelevant.

    I will attribute their behavior to being trolls who like to shout abusive stuff at people they disagree with. The “adult” form of 4chan (though how more mature it is is debatable). Like trash talk in wrestling and in some avenues of gaming.

  245. Schala says

    And if you really want to expose and fight discrimination against men, you need to look at the actions of OTHER MEN! Scapegoating women and/or feminists won’t get you anywhere — they’re not the ones who gave us racism, genocide, war, Stalinism, robber-barons, environmental destruction, or gross economic inequality.

    But we DO look at the actions of other men, including Bush (warmonger), Reagan (pro-oligarchy) and Obama (fathers bashing, too weak against legalized homophobia like DOMA). And their inactions when they should act.

    They do fuckall on gender issues for men. They pass VAWA, they fund shelters for female victims of DV, female victims of rape. And they fund a council for women and girls, claim we need to fight the wage gap at the employer level (not the socialization level) and all bunch of stuff.

    Stuff which is, for the most, proposes by feminists.

    Nobody cares about the genital configuration of those feminists. Only that they oppose true equality while promoting self-interested schemes (for women only), while saying they do activism for equality.

    Feminism DOES have a strangle-hold on gender issues. The government ONLY listens to them on gender issues. If feminists say men are whiners who want the equivalent of “white rights”, you think the government will be happy to fund shelters for male victims of DV? You just told him they were whiners with a non-existent need, and you’re his go-to-organization. Why would he care about those you just labeled whiners?

  246. says

    Stuff which is, for the most, proposes by feminists.

    I notice you’re quick to dismiss ideas because of who proposed them, not what was proposed. I find that telling. (“All bunch of stuff?” Yeah, you sound really knowledgeable and grown up there.)

    Feminism DOES have a strangle-hold on gender issues. The government ONLY listens to them on gender issues.

    If that’s true, then why aren’t they getting what they want on “gender issues” like abortion, birth-control, sex-ed, women’s healthcare issues, etc.? You sound like a cranky child who’s up way past his bedtime.

  247. sezit says

    1. Cultural enforcement anger. It especially happens during times of cultural imbalance, like we have now. Targets for this type of demeaning anger are any cultural outliers or potential outliers – the “Other”. This is why atheists, LGBT, non-whites, outspoken women, flamboyant men are targets. This is an effort to shame or intimidate these individuals back into accepted norms, silence or invisibility. A way to quantify the abuse: do a word count of insults that can only be used against the “Others” vs. insults that can only be used against the standard male. (Not including calling him a name for one of the “others”, such as “pussy”. There is a huge word count of racist, sexist, anti-LGBT insults. Not so much the other way.
    2. Fear-anger. I also think a lot of anger may come from men who don’t really agree with the inequality, but fear that truly taking a stance would require them to really think about it and pay attention, and be ready to speak up against their buddies or men that they respect. That can feel far too threatening, so angry denial is the easy solution. Why do you think we blame-the-victim? It’s because really looking at the problem is too scary.

  248. Sid says

    @sezit

    I became angry because of a being the victim of abuse, falsely accused, unfairly treated ad family law and while trying to make sense of it all learning that feminism has been doctoring domestic abuse data and this is why we misperceive it as being primarily and het male on het female and child problem and that these myths are used to to justify some the unfair laws that affected me so much …. I ended up attempting discuss it with feminists only to be shown their biased data that covers up female perpetrated abuse, repeatedly attacked, mocked, falsely accused, censored, banned …

    It seems to me that when men approach feminists about domestic abuse and discrimination, its feminists are the ones trying to shame and shout me into stoicism, silence – “What about teh menz (that are raped, falsely accused, abused, discriminated against) LOL!!

    and my story is same story many in the men movement have, the anger comes from the misbehaviour of feminists.

    My experience doesn’t tally with your rather misandrist theory, at all.

  249. Sid says

    @Ragingbee

    >If that’s true, then why aren’t they getting what they want on “gender issues” like abortion, birth-control, sex-ed, women’s healthcare issues, etc.?

    Women are discriminated in favour of on all these issues in western countries, due to feminist activism.

    @Withinthismind

    >I wish the government listened to feminists on gender issues. I’d love me some bodily autonomy and actual equal pay.

    You have more reproductive rights than men, and you can close the wage gap simply by working the same hours as your male colleagues.

  250. says

    Women are discriminated in favour of on all these issues in western countries, due to feminist activism…You have more reproductive rights than men, and you can close the wage gap simply by working the same hours as your male colleagues.

    And you expect us to take anything you say seriously after saying something that clueless?

  251. Jack Lee says

    Why are men angry? Well, it might in part be because of the glass floor. Look at the jobs men have traditionally had to do: miners, deep sea divers, sailors, soldiers, construction workers, chimney sweeps, crane operators…just about any dangerous, dirty, life threatening job has been left to men. And those on the lowest of the social ladder have been manipulated into believing that the more dangerous or hurtful the job is, the more masculine they are. Now ain’t that something? I know perfectly well as I was growing up that the idea of wearing ear protectors when I was using a jackhammer or power tool was “sissy”. How many construction workers are deaf nowadays because of their need to come off as “macho”? How many soldiers have died over the years? Shakespeare spoke of youth “Seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth” and it’s true. So many young men feel the need to assert their masculinity in even the most ridiculously dangerous ways. And so many of us regret them when we get older. But the thing is that there is a glass floor for men, which women just don’t go under. Even though we’ve seen many women rise above the so-called “glass ceiling” that’s prevented them from rising in business and society until recent years, nobody really mentions, nor seems to notice, the “glass floor” that men have to live with. We aren’t allowed to show emotion. We can’t sleep with each other with the ease that heterosexual women seem able to.(should we, ahem, want to) We can’t sleep with our kids the way women can (should we, ahem, want to). We can’t rage, since our rages are that much louder and scarier. We’re the last off the sinking ship, or we’re called cowards. We’re expected to take out the trash, do the dirtiest of jobs, fight off all attackers, mend everything, defend everyone, never get angry, never get it wrong, and still be creative, the ultimate breadwinner (when the chips are down and the wife can’t or won’t work). If a woman accuses us of rape or assault, she is anonymous, we aren’t. If a man is a victim of domestic violence by a woman (anyone been there – I know it happens more often than men admit) there is NO support, and most likely ridicule. Whilst I am absolutely in agreement that women have faced injustices for centuries, men have too. It’s only been in the last generation that men have not been forced into war or face a firing squad for not doing so. Glass ceiling. That’s my take on it.

  252. Sid says

    @Ragingbee

    >And you expect us to take anything you say seriously after saying something that clueless?

    I don’t expect you to take anything I say seriously, you are a feminist, you don’t take anything that contradicts your ideological beliefs seriously.

    Ok, back up your extraordinary claims

    What beliefs of your you are alleging are facts?

    That the government won’t pay you equally even if you do the same work and that corporations could increase their bottom line by 25% by hiring all women, but chose not to.

    That women don’t receive the lions share of the health care resources.

    That men have more equivalent reproductive rights than women

    Independent, non feminist sources please.

  253. Schala says

    And you expect us to take anything you say seriously after saying something that clueless?

    Reproductive options for men:

    Condom (for men and for women)
    Vasectomy
    Abstinence or non-PIV
    Having sex with someone known to be infertile or who can’t get pregnant or get someone pregnant in another way

    Reproductive options for women:

    Condom (for men and for women)
    Fallopian ligature
    Abstinence or non-PIV
    Having sex with someone known to be infertile or who can’t get pregnant or get someone pregnant in another way
    Other block contraceptive ways like sterilet and cups
    Contraceptive pill
    Morning after pill
    Abortion
    Adopting the infant as soon as born, no need to name father

    Tell me men have more options. Once the kid is born, if not adopted out by the mother, the father is responsible for 18 years, and once the child was conceived, he had fuck all to say about that. He couldn’t financially renounce to the kid (paper abortion).

    As for wage gap, it’s a known fact that men choose fields which pay more. They’re not “male fields”, they’re fields that demand technical skills. Most engineering fields for example. Being an engineer isn’t masculine. And it pays more due to demand.

    Men also work longer hours, tend to choose jobs for the pay more than women do so, and negotiate harder for raises and initial wages. Why? Probably because they gain value from being better breadwinners, in the mating game. You might as well ask why women pursue diets and cosmetic surgeries. Same reasons – they gain mating status points.

    Want to shatter the wage gap? You’ll have to change attitudes towards being men and breadwinning, such that it makes as little difference to female attraction if the man is employed or unemployed as it does for men wanting to date/marry women (how much it matters to those men the wage/financial security of those women). You’ll also have to change attitudes towards being female and caregivers, whereas it should makes as little difference to male attraction (and female status), if a woman is “motherly”, is a stay at home mother, or knows how to cook.

    Basically earning money and taking care of dependents should have no value whatsoever that is gendered. So that a SAHD has the exact same status as a SAHM, and is just as desirable for couples on average (not all couples of course). So that earning power doesn’t matter more for men than for women. So that everyone goes dutch at all times.

    Good luck changing the entirety of society. I’m rooting for ya (seriously, I want those changes, but they won’t change in a 100 years).

  254. Sid says

    @RagingBee

    You see the talking down your nose, being rude and passive aggressive, dismissing evidence out of hand, making grand claims that you can’t back up with independent research, moving goal posts and other dishonesty – none of these things constitute an argument or legitimate rebuttal … it just makes people angry with and dismissive towards feminists.

  255. says

    —You have more reproductive rights than men, and you can close the wage gap simply by working the same hours as your male colleagues.—-

    Wrong on both counts.

  256. says

    — If a man is a victim of domestic violence by a woman (anyone been there – I know it happens more often than men admit) there is NO support—

    This was proved false on an MRA blog by an MRA fanatic – http://manboobz.com/2013/04/02/reno-calls-a-domestic-violence-hotline-the-mra-reality-distortion-field-in-action/

    MRA reality distortion field is absolutely the correct term.

    —-You see the talking down your nose, being rude and passive aggressive, dismissing evidence out of hand, making grand claims that you can’t back up with independent research, moving goal posts and other dishonesty – none of these things constitute an argument or legitimate rebuttal … it just makes people angry with and dismissive towards feminists.—

    I’m curious – are MRA’s capable of going more than 1 paragraph without glaring incidents of hypocrisy and projection? It sure doesn’t look like it.

    And still no coherent, supported criticisms against feminism, just personal attacks, insults, projection, and lies.

  257. Soarer says

    @ 275 WithinThisMind

    And still no coherent, supported criticisms against feminism, just personal attacks, insults, projection, and lies.

    This is true, actually, only inside your head.

    Your inability to actually engage in the discussion, instead of using misdirection, misinformation and dismissal, is amazing to see.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  258. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Soarer:

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    This is, of course, utterly wrong.

    (Those who cannot see are at least as blind as those who can, but won’t)

  259. Soarer says

    (Those who cannot see are at least as blind as those who can, but won’t)

    Something of a quibble, but people who are blind can at least have things they can’t see explained to them, and be therefore brought to increased knowledge and understanding.

    Those who refuse any accept any facts which go against their pre-conceptions, cannot be brought to knowledge and understanding by the introduction of factual information.

    So they are not just blind, but irrational too. Twice blind, you might say.

  260. Adiabat says

    WithinThisMind: “And still no coherent, supported criticisms against feminism, just personal attacks, insults, projection, and lies.”

    In post 149 I’ve spelled it out exactly where you are obviously lying. It’s there for all to see.

    I’ve answered your challenge to give “Which ‘feminist lobby group’ is opposing shared parenting? Citation needed. An actual citation please, to an actual feminist lobby group, actually opposing shared parenting.” Do you have any response to that at all?

    And something doesn’t become incoherent or unsupported just because you disagree with it. That’s why we have things known as arguments and discussions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument).

    “The claim of opposition to shared parenting didn’t actually hold any water, just like all the other criticisms.”

    What! How can you be so obtuse? I’ve quoted and linked to a feminist organisation which published a statement showing their opposition to shared parenting. It’s all there in 149. I stand by my accusation I made to you in the last thread, which I won’t repeat so as to not incur Ally’s wrath once again.

    Mildlymagnificent: Yet more bad faith argumentation intended to obsfucate and deflect, and still no comment on the behaviour of the feminists above.

    For what it’s worth I’ve been working off the assumption that you and Raging Bee are male feminists, must be something to do with your writing styles, and it hasn’t affected my responses to you.

    Raging Bee: “Is that the same as “shared parenting?” If not, then your comparison is meaningless.”

    The comparison is fine, you just don’t like it because it destroys your argument. Can you explain why it is fine for a judge to rule on joint custody but not on shared parenting? Because I can’t see any difference in how the courts will deal with it.

    “(And if courts already enforce “joint custody,” then what is it about “shared parenting” that makes it different from “joint custody?”)”

    The main difference proposed in the bill is that it works from an assumption of shared parenting, which is not currently the case. Therefore, if it is possible, and safe for all parties, an arrangement is worked out that tries to keep both parents as involved in the child’s life as much as possible. This works off the (current but evidence is growing) assumption that it is preferable for a child to have both parents in their life, if possible and safe. As I said, this is not currently always the case.

    “I never said it was “automatic,” I said it was a bad idea because state power was too blunt an instrument to enforce a specific “sharing” plan from day to day if both parents can’t agree on a “sharing” scheme.”

    And I’ve argued that this is already happening in the current system, so it is an invalid argument against the proposals set out in the bill.

    And despite your belief otherwise, even if you successfully argue that shared parenting is unworkable for some reason, it doesn’t discredit the argument that the Fawcett Society’s reason for opposing it, which they’ve published themselves, is an invalid and sexist one. That’s is what’s being discussed here (and is the whole point of this thread), but of course, as I predicted in post 252 the feminists here are attempting to obfuscate and deflect attention from their trainwreck of an argument by ignoring the elephant in the room and changing the topic.

    “And if you really want to expose and fight discrimination against men, you need to look at the actions of OTHER MEN! Scapegoating women and/or feminists won’t get you anywhere”

    I’ve already shown that the major ‘go-to’ feminist organization in the UK is opposing efforts to fight discrimination against men (efforts attempted by the government, who are mainly male and, so I’m told, “Patriarchal”). I’ve shown that the highly influential feminist organization’s reason for this is itself discrimination against men. I’ve shown that the ‘rank-and-file’ feminists, despite being woefully ignorant of the advocacy of influential feminists groups, defend them to the point where their posts just get ridiculous. What more do you want?

  261. Sid says

    @Withinitsmind

    — If a man is a victim of domestic violence by a woman (anyone been there – I know it happens more often than men admit) there is NO support—

    This was proved false on an MRA blog by an MRA fanatic – http://manboobz.com/2013/04/02/reno-calls-a-domestic-violence-hotline-the-mra-reality-distortion-field-in-action/

    MRA reality distortion field is absolutely the correct term.>

    You seem to believe that “manboobz” is a citable source.

    The mra position on what help is available is backed up by credible data, the general culture, is more supportive of male DV victims than the DV industry, of you read this paper, you will see that feminists treat male DV victims when they seek help the same way to do online, with mockery and contempt.

    >The sample is composed of 302 men who were recruited from resources specializing in men’s issues. Results indicate that men who seek help for IPV victimization have the most positive experiences in seeking help from family/friends, and mental health and medical providers. They have the least positive experiences with members of the DV service system.
    http://vc.bridgew.edu/socialwork_fac/9/

    >You see the talking down your nose, being rude and passive aggressive, dismissing evidence out of hand, making grand claims that you can’t back up with independent research, moving goal posts and other dishonesty – none of these things constitute an argument or legitimate rebuttal … it just makes people angry with and dismissive towards feminists.—

    I’m curious – are MRA’s capable of going more than 1 paragraph without glaring incidents of hypocrisy and projection? It sure doesn’t look like it.

    And still no coherent, supported criticisms against feminism, just personal attacks, insults, projection, and lies.>

    You are a pathological liar. The extraordinary and unsupported claims, as well as the aggression, dishonesty abuse and projection here, has come from feminists, mainly yourself and Raging Bee. While the people that have been supporting their claims with citable sources have been non feminists.

  262. John Morales says

    Soarer:

    Something of a quibble, but people who are blind can at least have things they can’t see explained to them, and be therefore brought to increased knowledge and understanding.

    So, you speak of those who can but choose not to see, not of those who can’t see and choose not to see.

    Therefore, you haven’t disputed what you call my quibble.

    Those who refuse any accept any facts which go against their pre-conceptions, cannot be brought to knowledge and understanding by the introduction of factual information.

    Those who refuse to accept what they see are not those who refuse to see, about whom you made your proposition and the which I showed to be false.

    (You are here making a different claim)

    So they are not just blind, but irrational too. Twice blind, you might say.

    Again: choosing not to see entails not being blind.

    Not only was your throwaway wrong, its intent was vacuous because it’s a truism that an irrational person is irrational. You might as well have just flat-out stated that feminism is irrational, and saved time and keystrokes.

  263. Sid says

    @Withinthismind

    More actual data about men’s experiences seeking help from feminist DV services.

    • Qualitative accounts show that men who suffer
    from IPV and seek help:
    ▫ May not be believed
    ▫ May be accused of being a batterer when they
    come forward
    ▫ May not get help from the domestic violence social
    service system

    http://www.clarku.edu/faculty/dhines/June_2009_LA_Conference_Presentation%20w%20corrections.pdf

    Talking down your nose, attacking, dishonesty, citing blogs – none of this is constitutes you making an actual argument, debunking legitimate sources or backing up your extraordinary and ideological positions.

  264. Soarer says

    @281 John Morales

    Not only was your throwaway wrong, its intent was vacuous because it’s a truism that an irrational person is irrational. You might as well have just flat-out stated that feminism is irrational, and saved time and keystrokes.

    Thanks for that. You will argue about absolutely anything, won’t you?

    For the record (again) I do not believe feminism is irrational, neither have I ever said I do. In fact, I believe equal opportunity for all is entirely rational. If this is what feminism wants, it has my full support.

    However, some people on this thread are certainly behaving irrationally, in my view, by refusing to countenance evidence which does not support their preconceived and prejudiced views.

    I realise this difference is subtle, and not everyone will be able to appreciate it.

  265. Tamen says

    I’ll just add for the benefit of Raging Bee and WithinThisMind that NOW (National Organization of Women), the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States is against presumed shared parenting/joint custody in those states where such legislation is proposed:

    New York: http://www.nownys.org/archives/leg_memos/oppose_a00330.html
    Michigan: http://www.now.org/nnt/03-97/father.html

    As well as a national resolution that a rebuttable presumption that the primary caregiver of the children should be awarded custody (which is a stance against a presumption of shared parenting/custody):
    http://www.now.org/organization/conference/resolutions/2001.html#action

    It is kind of ironic that NOW find themselves on the same side as Family Forum (a right wing “traditional family values” group) in this opposition.

    There has been a discussion of what shared parenting means, here’s the definition used by The Association for Shared Parenting which is an organization I presume are lobbying for shared parenting in the UK: http://www.sharedparenting.org.uk/about-us

    “An arrangement whereby children freely enjoy the love and nurture of both parents and their wider family
    following separation or divorce …it does mean that sufficient time is spent with each parent for the child to
    view each parent as a parent rather than an aunty or uncle.”
    (ASP definition of Shared Parenting as adopted by CAFCASS in 2004)

    CAFCASS is by the way an acronym for a non-departmental public body called Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/about_cafcass.aspx).

  266. says

    Schala, the statement I was ridiculing referred to RIGHTS, not options. There’s a difference. You’re really not capable of arguing honestly or intelligently, are you?

    Oh, and some of those reproductive options you speak of are being deliberately denied to women in many parts of our country. That’s what we mean when we talk about denial of reproductive rights.

  267. John Morales says

    Soarer:

    For the record (again) I do not believe feminism is irrational, neither have I ever said I do. In fact, I believe equal opportunity for all is entirely rational. If this is what feminism wants, it has my full support.

    However, some people on this thread are certainly behaving irrationally, in my view, by refusing to countenance evidence which does not support their preconceived and prejudiced views.

    Or it may be that such evidence is already encompassed within those views, which you classify as preconceived and prejudiced.

    I realise this difference is subtle, and not everyone will be able to appreciate it.

    Fine, you speak about some people on this thread who are certainly behaving irrationally, in your view, by refusing to countenance evidence which does not support their preconceived and prejudiced views, and not about feminism.

  268. says

    The extraordinary and unsupported claims, as well as the aggression, dishonesty abuse and projection here, has come from feminists…

    Um, Sid, when you label criticism “abuse,” it makes your claims of “abuse” by women less credible. A LOT less credible. You do realize that, don’t you?

  269. Schala says

    Schala, the statement I was ridiculing referred to RIGHTS, not options. There’s a difference. You’re really not capable of arguing honestly or intelligently, are you?

    Oh, and some of those reproductive options you speak of are being deliberately denied to women in many parts of our country. That’s what we mean when we talk about denial of reproductive rights.
    /blockquote>

    So it’s options for men and rights for women? And the options men don’t have being denied to women is a war on women’s rights?

    Can you at least have a consistent standard?

    Feminism DOES fight for women having more options, and it considers that as something that is right, if not “a right”.

    Would you prefer another term than right for “having the option of not being a parent against your will without living the life of a monk (abstinence forever!) or getting vasectomy at 18 years old” (condoms can fail, and then you’re screwed)?

    Um, Sid, when you label criticism “abuse,” it makes your claims of “abuse” by women less credible. A LOT less credible. You do realize that, don’t you?

    So you call “lalala, can’t heaaaar you” behavior mere criticism? I call that psychological manipulation, an attempt to taunt and provoke anger. WithinThisMind is obviously a troll, not a critique. Critiques accept they may be wrong, critiques start from a standpoint that is neutral in reaching a conclusion. Trolls just “lalala, can’t heeaaar you”. Much easier, but also not an argument.

  270. Schala says

    Quote screwed…I want an edit button please.

    Schala, the statement I was ridiculing referred to RIGHTS, not options. There’s a difference. You’re really not capable of arguing honestly or intelligently, are you?

    Oh, and some of those reproductive options you speak of are being deliberately denied to women in many parts of our country. That’s what we mean when we talk about denial of reproductive rights.

    So it’s options for men and rights for women? And the options men don’t have being denied to women is a war on women’s rights?

    Can you at least have a consistent standard?

    Feminism DOES fight for women having more options, and it considers that as something that is right, if not “a right”.

    Would you prefer another term than right for “having the option of not being a parent against your will without living the life of a monk (abstinence forever!) or getting vasectomy at 18 years old” (condoms can fail, and then you’re screwed)?

    Um, Sid, when you label criticism “abuse,” it makes your claims of “abuse” by women less credible. A LOT less credible. You do realize that, don’t you?

    So you call “lalala, can’t heaaaar you” behavior mere criticism? I call that psychological manipulation, an attempt to taunt and provoke anger. WithinThisMind is obviously a troll, not a critique. Critiques accept they may be wrong, critiques start from a standpoint that is neutral in reaching a conclusion. Trolls just “lalala, can’t heeaaar you”. Much easier, but also not an argument.

  271. says

    So you call “lalala, can’t heaaaar you” behavior mere criticism?

    Even if that’s what I was doing (and we all know that’s not the case), it’s still not the kind of “abuse” that calls for intervention by state social services.

    I call that psychological manipulation…

    A little paranoid, are we? If you think you can be that easily “manipulated” by a stranger like me, maybe you should consider the possibility that you may have been manipulated by, oh, I dunno, the people who fed you all that bogus crap about women and feminism that we keep hearing from MRAs? Seriously, if you’re worried about being manipulated, there’s people who are far better at it than I am that you should be watching out for.

    Unless, of course, you’re just crying about “manipulation” because you don’t want to take responsibility for your own words…

  272. says

    PS: It would take more than an “edit” button to save your comments #287-8 from the rubbish-heap of incoherence. Try the “back” or “delete” buttons instead.

  273. Schala says

    “A little paranoid, are we? If you think you can be that easily “manipulated” by a stranger like me”

    WithinThisMind is you now?

    Because reread my comment, it obviously addresses this person, not you.

  274. says

    Actually, Schala, you were addressing me, you lying stupid asshole.

    And since you’ve proven your willingness to misrepresent your own words as well as those of others, there’s really no point in arguing wtih you any further. Go to bed and try to find a conversation you can follow more easily. Like maybe a “My Pet Goat” blog…

  275. Schala says

    You were addressing Sid, saying something about female critiques and how abuse wouldn’t be taken seriously.

    I got back up in comments up to one by Sid which talks about you and WithinThisMind.

    And then talked only about WithinThisMind in the following comment by me.

    But hey Reading Comprehension For Dummies is on sale at Barnes and Nobles, go buy one. Seems you’re also a troll. Notice I don’t call you a “lying stupid asshole”. You’re the one who looks bad now.

  276. says

    You were addressing Sid, saying something about female critiques and how abuse wouldn’t be taken seriously. I got back up in comments up to one by Sid which talks about you and WithinThisMind. And then talked only about WithinThisMind in the following comment by me.

    …therefore a comment that was clearly quoting and responding to me was actually addressed to someone else? You’re a joke, and the joke is getting old…

  277. Schala says

    …therefore a comment that was clearly quoting and responding to me was actually addressed to someone else?

    Yes, it was about WithinThisMind, because I didn’t consider you to be a troll.

    Seems I misjudged you. Guess it DOES apply to you.

  278. mildlymagnificent says

    Sid

    More actual data about men’s experiences seeking help from feminist DV services.

    I couldn’t follow your link (husband’s laptop seems to behave strangely every now and again) so I couldn’t check this for myself. “Seeking help” from services often seems to amount to insisting on wanting accommodation in shelters for abused women and their children. I realise that the men in question are distressed, but this is not, and never will be, an option. I hope your link wasn’t suggesting that this should or could be a solution.

    The solution for abused men is the same as for women in that situation – dedicated services for that specific group of people in need. My own feeling is that not enough men are willing to put in the hard yards to support their abused brothers in the same way as women did for their suffering sisters back before they finally persuaded some (not all) governments to chip in some funds and some legal and other supports. And most women’s shelters run on the smell of any oily rag anyway – relying on employed staff to put in unpaid hours as well as volunteers for a lot of essential work.

    If the link wasn’t about that – disregard my whole comment.

  279. says

    —I’ve quoted and linked to a feminist organisation which published a statement showing their opposition to shared parenting—

    Funny how it doesn’t actually say anything of the sort.

    —As well as a national resolution that a rebuttable presumption that the primary caregiver of the children should be awarded custody (which is a stance against a presumption of shared parenting/custody):–

    Which also doesn’t say ‘shared custody is bad’. It says – if one parent (which could be the father) is doing most of the work, that parent should get custody. If the caregiving is already 50/50, it’s a moot point.

    Perhaps if more fathers got off their asses and fought against the cultural narrative that says caregiving is women’s work, this would be a non issue. But…if they did that….omg! It’s like they’d be…agreeing with the feminists!

    Still no coherent, supported criticisms against feminism, just personal attacks, insults, projection, and lies.

  280. Schala says

    My own feeling is that not enough men are willing to put in the hard yards to support their abused brothers in the same way as women did for their suffering sisters back before they finally persuaded some (not all) governments to chip in some funds and some legal and other supports.

    1) Feminism claims to want equality, not just rights for women. So it should have done it to start with, or do it now. Equality is equality.

    2) Men also helped establish those shelters.

    3) Patriarchy has a vested interest in the female-as-victim narrative so getting funding and acknowledgement of female victims of DV was pushing an open door. They knew they could get women’s votes from it, and actually appear progressive. They know doing the same for men won’t get them more votes, and that few people have sympathy for men as a group. The bottomline is not attractive enough for them to do it for men. It’s not that none has tried.

  281. mildlymagnificent says

    They know doing the same for men won’t get them more votes, and that few people have sympathy for men as a group.

    I may be a lot older than you, so you may be unfamiliar with just how little sympathy there was, and still is in some ways, for women in this kind of trouble. Many women responding to surveys used to say that a woman should expect to be hit by her husband if she’s late serving a meal or doesn’t keep up with housework or doesn’t meet expectations in some other way. Some still do. (The figures for men responding in this way were always higher.) Many police even now don’t take any form of family violence short of hospitalisation or murder very seriously.

    Trying to get DV shelters for women started back in the 70s was an uphill battle when there were no sources of income for the women involved. They were strictly charitable ventures run by brave women sheltering fearful women and children – they often had no support from police, let alone funding from governments. afaik, the major drive for specific men’s shelters in recent years has been driven by the people who find themselves turning away men, who can’t be admitted to a facility where most of the occupants – especially the children – fear the sound of a man’s voice.

  282. Sid says

    @Mildlymagnificant

    When the shelters movement began there was a drive to get a holistic solution in place, and it was found that 60% of the women that arrived were violent and often violent towards their children, but feminists took over the movement through intimidation and threats and covered this up and created the discriminatory system that misinforms the public and government about the nature and shape of domestic violence today.

    This is where it began

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erin_Pizzey

  283. Schala says

    the major drive for specific men’s shelters in recent years has been driven by the people who find themselves turning away men, who can’t be admitted to a facility where most of the occupants – especially the children – fear the sound of a man’s voice.

    Or the voice of male children above 12.

    You do know female on female DV exists? That it has pretty much ALL the issues you say housing male DV victims with women would cause:

    Female perpetrators of female victims would try to pass themselves as victims, would be able to stalk their victim, and a female voice could scare them. But they’ll be forcefully housed with dozens of women. Sounds like heaven for them…

    And the narrative that DV is something men do to women to control them or what not (while women would never do that) contributes to invisibilizing the plight of those victims. Basically, they’re told that they can’t exist, just like all male victims. Doesn’t fit the ideology well enough.

  284. Sid says

    @Withinthismind

    You are a good example of why people have such a poor opinion of feminists. All you are doing is clogging up the discussion with dishonesty, false accusations and projections. The issue isn’t with the people that are backing up their claims, the issue is the way your ideological commitments are causing you to behave when confronted with facts and evidence.

  285. carnation says

    My thoughts on this are informed as a usually bemused, often disgusted, spectator of the “manosphere”

    A fair number of MRAs will have started off as vaguely hostile to feminism, having soaked up negative press stereotypes, in much the same way that “loony left” and “political correctness gone mad” gained traction and became accepted terminology, particularly amongst those already reactionary or ill informed. These individuals will have then chanced upon a standard reactionary piece in the DM or Telegraph, or even seen some MRA comments at the Guardian or wherever. Then, the “feminists are Nazis, lol” brigade become “OMG, feminists are actually akin to Nazis, looks what is says on AVfM/Spearhead/Reddit etc. These MRAs, much like people who day “I’m not racist, but…” will become keyboard warriors, but remain anonymous.

    Another, smaller group, of MRAs are similar to those mentioned above, but also realise, by accident or design, that the calibre of public MRAs is extremely limited and, like the far right more generally, it’s very easy to get noticed using your own name and blogging in the manosphere – the standard rarely gets beyond 6th form quality, so anyone with basic writing skills can become well known in the micro world of the MRM.

    Last group, online gamers, playing T being involved in something big/worthwhile, keyboard soldiers, needing the solidarity.

  286. Sid says

    @carnation

    Are the users here ragingbee, withinitsmind, or Amanda Marcotte, Rebecca Watson, the users of Radfem hub that advocate eugenic final solutions or feminist researchers that have systematically covered up female domestic abusers and rapists media stereotypes?

    These are the types of feminists that the mens movement is taking issue with.

  287. carnation says

    No, Sid, the MRM, which is a series of blogs, chiefly AVfM, refuses to acknowledge the difference between feminisms. This was one of the reasons MRA buffoon Tom Martin was exiled from Elam’s blog: he truthfully pointed out that there were many strands of feminism.

    Further more, High profile MRAs “take issue” with unknown feminists through their inane “registerher” Website.
    It could be comical, if it wasn’t for the abuse meted out to the mainly young, mostly university student victims.

    Wll you lobby AVfM for featuring Anthony Zarat as a writer? He advocates separate states for men and women. Such gibberish should be taken as seriously as the eugenics drivel.

    However Sid, I have a challenge for you. Reply to me with the views Amanda Marcotte has written that you find so objectionable. She’s the only one Ive heard of on your list.

  288. Sid says

    @mildlymsgnificant

    Yes, that is some of the dishonest, discriminatory domestic violence movement in Australia.

    @carnation

    Amanda Marcotte lying about what domestic violence data says.

    http://www.amazon.com/Its-Jungle-Out-There-Inhospitable/dp/15800522661
    Page 153-
    “MRAs deny, in turn, that domestic violence is common, and when they will admit it’s common, they’ll claim women do it just as much. The evidence that women are “just as bad” comes from the theory that if a guy bruises his knuckles on your face, you’ve both sustained a domestic violence injury.”

    She recently made false accusations relating to being pro harassment and rape against Justin Vacula, this is pretty much standard for her.

    > if it wasn’t for the abuse meted out to the mainly young, mostly university student victims.

    You are confused, feminists were on camera, abusing young men, and trying to obstruct a talk about men and boys while making false accusations relating to rape against Warren Farrell, then they were put on that register.

    There isn’t any evidence that they themselves were abused.

  289. Sid says

    >Wll you lobby AVfM for featuring Anthony Zarat as a writer? He advocates separate states for men and women. Such gibberish should be taken as seriously as the eugenics drivel.

    No, the calls for mass murder and eugenics should be taken more seriously. The site that supported the advocacy for coercive eugenics and mass murder and it were being frequented by professional feminists with tenure and feminists that are published in respected mainstream media publications.

  290. carnation says

    Sid

    Amanda Marcotte was relating, albeit in more accessible language, commonly accepted and peer reviewed academic facts. Amanda Marcotte is no more a “bigot” than Tom Martin is an academic.

    You offered no citation for the “false allegation” claim, and given your track record, I think looking it up would prove a waste of time. However, here are some examples of MRAs wrongly accusing, lying and making things up. Will you strongly condemn these outrageous instances?:

    http://manboobz.com/2013/06/15/worse-than-wrong-a-voice-for-men-resorts-to-phony-photoshopped-evidence-to-avoid-admitting-embarrassing-error/

    http://manboobz.com/2013/04/22/why-havent-mens-rights-activists-turned-on-paul-elam-for-falsely-accusing-arianna-pattek-of-civil-rights-violations/

    Or who can forget the intense , laughable stupidity of mras thinking/pretending to think that some students made a video promoting the random murder of men:

    http://manboobz.com/2011/11/21/mens-rights-site-a-voice-for-men-offers-1000-bounty-for-personal-information-on-swedish-feminists/

    No Sid, some young university students were exercising their right to free speech. MRAs, like yourself, spent a long time scanning social media looking to find their identities and then published them. Lots of threats and harassment followed:

    http://manboobz.com/2012/12/17/register-her-is-a-fake-offenders-registry-run-by-misogynists-designed-to-vilify-and-intimidate-women/

    Your second post was difficult to follow, the wording was appalling, but essentially you seem to be saying that one Internet commentator stating that the USA should be divided geographically along gender lines is less objectionable thn other internet commenters saying gender should be the basis for murder. In both cases, no plan was executed or initiated and nobody, except the commenters, knows exactly what the purpose of the comments was. I don’t believe Anthony Zarat would actually support the division of a nation along gender lines any more than the “radfem” would truly support, encourage or eve refuse to condemn a plan to murder every man in the world. To believe that is to brainlessly subscribe to the most unhinged, lurid MRA fantasy.

    But let’s defer to your imagination. You state that the comments given bu the “radfems” should be taken more seriously. What action should be taken? Should that action be extended to your comrade Antony Zarat?

    Face it, Sid, you are trying to defend the indefensible. The MRM is a collection of conspiracy theorists, trolls, extreme rightwing nut jobs, gender traditionalists, fantasists, comedians (Tom Martin) and keyboard warriors.

    It’s truly a pity, all that energy, all those comments, uncompleted petitions – imagine if it was directed at a true and tangible enemy of men, like the USA war on drugs for example?

    Sid, as a human I extend the hand of friendship to you. You have energy and dedication. Ask yourself, the vehicle that you are on, where is it taking you? Why are you on it? Is your perceived enemy real? Why do you need to believe the most ridiculous nonsense to justify your membership of the MRM?

  291. mildlymagnificent says

    Yes, that is some of the dishonest, discriminatory domestic violence movement in Australia.

    I don’t know what’s dishonest about it. Rates of murder by intimate partners are decreasing (especially compared to the 1970s) but the most recent figures in Australia are that one woman per week is killed by a current or former partner.

    http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/white-ribbon-importance
    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/archive/ViolenceAgainstWomen

  292. Sid says

    @carnation

    I see why you are confused, you are using the gender debates equivalent of Fox news as a source and thinking that you are being given an accurate picture. The feminists that were most recently put on register her were abusing other people, its on film there is no evidence that they were being abused.

    @mildlymagnificant

    White Ribbon campaign is dishonest, it presents a complex social problem that is not gendered, as if it were.

    This is the truth that followers of feminisms aren;t being told and cannot believe.

    >The most comprehensive review of the scholarly domestic violence research literature ever conducted concludes, among other things, that women perpetrate physical and emotional abuse, as well as engage in control behaviors, at comparable rates to men. The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project, or PASK, whose final installment was just published in the journal Partner Abuse, is an unparalleled three-year research project, conducted by 42 scholars at 20 universities and research centers, and including information on 17 areas of domestic violence research.
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10741752.htm?PID=4003003

    As for the homicide rates, they were officially more or less equal in the 1970s, since then the official rate at which women murder male partners has dropped by 70%. (Women get away with it at an astonishing rate). I’ll get you credible data for that claim if you like, even though I know its a waste of time because your ideological beliefs trump facts!

  293. carnation says

    @Sid

    I assure you, there’s no confusion whatsoever on my part. I have provided examples of the abuse meted out to them, you are incapable/unwilling to accept thr self evident truth, a common feature of MRAs.

    Manboobz keeps an eye on the microscopic problem that the MRM represents. The words and actions of the MRM damns itself, Manboobz just provides examples.

    I’ll provide you with another opportunity to prove that you aren’t a hypocritical ideologue. Will you condemn the examples of MRM lies, mistakes that I provided?

    As an aside, comparing Manboobz to Fox News is about as ridiculous a comparison as can be thought of. Jon Stewart’s show would be more fitting, but wouldn’t provide you with a convenient excuse to worm your way out of the cognitive dissonance of supporting nonsense.

  294. Sid says

    @carnation

    The feminist protesters were captured on film abusing young men, making false accusations relating to rape breaking the law, there is no evidence that they are the ones that were abused.

    The false claim that they were not abusing people and that they were the ones that were being abused, is a false claim that was manufactured on manboobz.

  295. Sid says

    @carnation

    If you have not being lied to, how do explain the protesters abusing people and breaking the law on film and the absence of evidence of these protestors being abused?

    Evidence and facts matter.

  296. carnation says

    Sid, you are neither a police officer or a lawyer, you are therefore unable to decree whether they broke the law or not. Evidence is contained in the links i provided showing the abuse meted out to the protesters, at the hands of MRA. the links also provide clear evidence of loes and mistakes made by prominent MRAs.

    Your choices are really very simple,,so decide what you are going to do.

    Now, you will either continue to ignore the instances of lies, ineptitude and mistakes coming from the MRM, and therefore confirm that you, like most MRAs, are unable/unwilling to confront the limitations, or your “movement”, or you will acknowledge the many mistakes, apologise, and demonstrate that you could have the fortitude to engage in honest debate. But I think you’re an angry person, playing at being a revolutionary.

    Incidents, your repeated use of double negatives makes your points appear confused. Try a more lucid style.

  297. Sid says

    @carnation

    If you are just repeating lies you would be able to demonstrate that those protesters were not caught on film abusing people, and also provide evidence that they were in fact abused.

    You are making extraordinary claims and serious accusations that run contrary to the evidence.

  298. Sid says

    edit

    “if you were NOT just repeating lies you would be able to demonstrate that those protesters were not caught on film abusing people, and also provide evidence that they were in fact abused.

  299. Sid says

    Note carnation and manboobz patriarchal assumptions on steroids

    When women abuse men, it didn’t really happen, when men take a stand against the abuse and make the women accountable by publishing articles about it, the abusive women are depicted as damsels in distress.

  300. carnation says

    Sid, like every MRA I have engaged with, it’s pointless to debate with. you. You are deluded.

    I’m off to enjoy the sunshine.

    Ask yourself, has anything you’ve done made your life better?

  301. Sid says

    Note carnation as exactly the sort of feminist that makes people angry.

    *Makes false claims.

    *Holds sexist double standards

    *Has no respect for facts and evidence, ideology comes first.

    *Fails to provide evidence

    *Relies on dishonesty

    *Projects the characteristics of their argument onto others while talking down their nose.

  302. lolwut says

    Said said:

    Note carnation as exactly the sort of feminist that makes people angry.

    Nice list padding, 5 of the things you mentioned are just variations on 1 theme!

    I also saw a lot of evidence in carnation’s comments that AVFM specifically really is crap, btw.

  303. Schala says

    “I also saw a lot of evidence in carnation’s comments that AVFM specifically really is crap, btw.”

    I saw a lot of evidence in carnation’s comments that Manboobz is also really crap. And the Fox News of gender issues.

  304. aspidoscelis says

    New poster here. Hello. Apologies in advance, this comment is mostly venting. I’m kind of chuffed (since there are Brits around, I’ll try that word out) to find a forum in which: 1) My venting might not be met with immediate disapprobation; 2) The commenters aren’t a bunch of MRAs (no offense intended to any MRAs in the audience but, well, my opinion of the group as a whole is not high).

    This, from schala’s post 135:

    The more you feel others care about you without ulterior motive, the more incentive for you to care about others in this same way. The less you feel others care about you without ulterior motive, the less incentive for you to care about others in this same way.

    Although said in a different context, this highlights one of the basic issues I have with feminism – I don’t have an incentive to be empathetic. In fact, I have incentives not to be empathetic. The discussions I have had with some feminists indicate quite clearly that I am not considered to have any value unless I am a good (unquestioning, submissive, unwilling to advocate my own viewpoint or interests) ally. This does not exactly generate warm fuzzy feelings.

    Obviously this is a subset of “1” from the OP list. It’s not clear how this problem could be addressed. The basic purpose of feminism is not to make men feel good, and I’m not going to say that it should be. But the fact that feminism is often indifferent to or actively hostile to men expressing themselves is… not a good recruitment tool. Personally, I find myself generally aligned with the stated goals of feminism but with no interest whatsoever in being a feminist, because I know I’m not really wanted.

    Another point relevant to my own tangles with feminism is made by adiabat, 18:

    12. Sick of dodgy statistics being pushed to support even more dodgy feminist theory

    People get annoyed by bad science. Hell, there’s an entire website called Bad Science which is aimed at people who get annoyed at bad science.

    Not only is there a lot of bad science or bad reasoning in some feminist circles, pointing it out can generate strong animosity. As an example, discussions of privilege inevitably have a hidden step in the argument in which one takes a difference in average sociopolitical status and power between two groups and interprets it as an absolute difference between particular individuals. That step hides in every “privilege check” that is not accompanied by explicit knowledge of the people involved. Knowing that a particular person is male has little real predictive power about that person’s characteristics.

    I was once involved in an acrimonious discussion in which I attempted to make that particular point and was repeatedly called a “misogynist”. As above–not something that inspires warm fuzzy feelings, not something that makes me want to ever identify as a feminist.

    And, last but not least, from horseradish, 40:

    Feminist social media bullying. [...] To question this is to ask “whatabouttehmenz”, with some people paradoxically told to “man up” instead of complaining.

    and Patrick Brown, 59:

    If something upsets, discomfits or threatens a man, he should just man up and deal with it. If feminists were serious about dismantling traditional gender roles, they’d be opposing this.

    I’ve seen that demand that someone “man up” more often than I care to think about. Any response to a perceived misogynist that includes “fee-fees” can be included in the same category, because of course men aren’t supposed to have (or at least to express) feelings. Holy crap is this irritating. If feminism were really intended to oppose societal gender roles rather than to simply advance the interests of women, feminists wouldn’t do this.

  305. Adiabat says

    Carnation: “Now, you will either continue to ignore the instances of lies, ineptitude and mistakes coming from the MRM, and therefore confirm that you, like most MRAs, are unable/unwilling to confront the limitations, or your “movement”, or you will acknowledge the many mistakes, apologise, and demonstrate that you could have the fortitude to engage in honest debate. But I think you’re an angry person, playing at being a revolutionary.”

    Meanwhile, we are still waiting for just one feminist to condemn the lies and smears committed by feminists in this thread, conclusively shown above in post 249.

    Sorry, but you do not get to assume the moral high ground here.

  306. Rikaishi says

    Apologies that I don’t have time to read the thread, but I think there’s some huge contributing factors that Ally missed up top. Although the first is related to points 7, 9 and 10.

    Defensiveness: When you point out the problem with laughing at rape jokes, men who haven’t laid the mental groundwork to see where you are coming from, and who themselves often laugh at rape jokes, will experience those comments as a baseless personal attack on their character and thus will attack in return.
    This next one probably lies on a shakier foundation, but I’ll just throw it out there:
    The mating instinct: Evolution drives men and women alike to reproduce as successfully as possible. Every man subconsciously develops a set of mental/social tools (for examples of one variety, see any pick-up-artist’s advice) with which to achieve this goal. Feminist ideals and opinions often have the side effect of stripping these tools from men, leading to an immediate backlash as they instinctively protect their power to execute the biological imperative.

  307. Schala says

    Feminist ideals and opinions often have the side effect of stripping these tools from men, leading to an immediate backlash as they instinctively protect their power to execute the biological imperative.

    You do know that Nice Guys, who have had those tools “stripped from them” since before puberty, and often for entire decades, are not having “an immediate backlash”, right?

    Those are the guys who view directly asking women as potentially harassing, and thus something you shouldn’t do, because it would be misogynist to ignore her boundaries. They always viewed it this way because that’s how they were raised.

    They only cause backlash, if you can call it that, after many many years of a fruitless dating and romantic life.

  308. Gjenganger says

    @Rikaishi 329

    The mating instinct: Evolution drives men and women alike to reproduce as successfully as possible. Every man subconsciously develops a set of mental/social tools (for examples of one variety, see any pick-up-artist’s advice) with which to achieve this goal. Feminist ideals and opinions often have the side effect of stripping these tools from men, leading to an immediate backlash as they instinctively protect their power to execute the biological imperative.

    Good point, but I think it can be put better. Specifically you can make it without bringing in evolutionary drives, which tend to scare people away.

    Steven Pinker (not that I am a great fan) put this one fairly well, something about people wanting sex, realising that they were not getting any, and then applying “the techniques they normally used to bring about desired outcomes”, from persuasion, to payment, to violence. Feminism tends to frown on all these approaches as disrespectful of women’s boundaries. Of course in many cases, like violence, they are quite right. But the net result does tend to leave men desiring sex, being forbidden any method that they could use to bring it about, and thus feeling reduced to impotent waiting.

  309. carnation says

    @adiabat

    I didn’t read each individual comment. I read what Ally wrote and advanced my own theories as to why MRAs behave in the way that they do.

    Sid has demonstrated his almost touchingly childish devotion to the MRA cause before, notably on the New Statesman. I dismissed him quickly, knowing he wouldn’t fail to conform to his/his “movement’s” standard.

  310. acharper says

    I suspect there are some unconscious models of the world being bruised. Huge generalisations follow and I acknowledge that the world is far more complicated than the position I set out:

    Broadly speaking women compete for social status with other women, men compete for social status with other men. The two types of social status probably differ, but in each case women and men have an unconscious model that there is only so much social status to be shared out. If the feminist ideals are perceived as diluting the male social status available for men, then men will resist, using male status enhancing tools (including anger, bullying, and violence).

    Similarly if a woman steps out of the female social status roles they are seen as diluting the reliability of the female social status and other women will resist, using female status enhancing tools (including slut-shaming, spiteful gossip and bullying).

    How much of the social status unconscious drives are cultural and how much are a consequence of our biological history – who knows. But they seem to be powerful.

  311. Nyx says

    Envy doesn’t appear on the list. I consider myself a feminist but I recognize that a feel a fair amount of resentment towards women in the same way that the poor may resent the wealthy. I feel like the range of fashions and self-expression considered acceptable for men is tiny compared to what is available to women and on a more basic level, I feel like my body is considered offensive or dangerous in a way that a woman’s isn’t and I would rather be like them.

  312. inappropriate says

    In a nutshell, double standards.

    My anger is righteous, yours is reactionary.
    My sexuality is beautiful, yours is sleazy.
    I can criticize men, you can’t criticize women.

    Feminism *might* not have harmed me physically or financially (i.e. I can’t prove it has, cuz no control group) but what it has done is insulted me my whole life, so I go on the internet and tell them to go fuck themselves right back. Problem?

  313. M says

    Feminists sometimes lack an intersectional approach when it comes to men. They might focus exclusively on male privilege without acknowledging the privileges they hold over others. For example, they might implicitly assume the audience of men they are addressing in berating tones consists entirely of able-bodied, straight men. I am neither of these things and the lack of thoughtfulness angers me, especially when it’s coming from someone who engages in some form of social justice activism.

    Concerning you’re seventh point, sometimes the problem is not that a feminist is wrong, it’s that she is unwilling to engage in honest discussion. For instance, I have come across feminists making claims about male socialization, which contrasted starkly with my own lived experience. I pointed this out, even providing examples of my own life to better argue my point. I got shot down with accusations of “derailing the conversation” and “making it all about me” even though I wasn’t even the one to bring up the subject in the first place. Sometimes it seems some feminists are content to claim just about anything about men, as long as it fits a general, oversimplified model of “women oppressed by men”.

    By the way, I consider myself a pro-feminist.

  314. Danny Gibbs says

    M:
    Feminists sometimes lack an intersectional approach when it comes to men. They might focus exclusively on male privilege without acknowledging the privileges they hold over others. For example, they might implicitly assume the audience of men they are addressing in berating tones consists entirely of able-bodied, straight men. I am neither of these things and the lack of thoughtfulness angers me, especially when it’s coming from someone who engages in some form of social justice activism.
    I would say that the lack of intersectionality shows itself even before you get to definite lines like able-body/disabled or straight/not straight. It seems that when it comes down to pointing out male privilege suddenly subsets of men become representations of all of us. But yes that lack of thoughtfulness is angering.

    Concerning you’re seventh point, sometimes the problem is not that a feminist is wrong, it’s that she is unwilling to engage in honest discussion.
    Damn straight. I recall having a conversation with some feminists a while back and after everything cooled off one of them said that they wanted sympathy and understanding from me and asking me to think about their perspective on the topic at hand. I asked for the same in return and you know what I got? I was told that I was playing the victim and that she would not help me engage in my victim mentality. That’s the kind of stuff that leaves folks wondering if they want sympathy and understanding for everyone or just for themselves and fuck everyone else.

    Sometimes it seems some feminists are content to claim just about anything about men, as long as it fits a general, oversimplified model of “women oppressed by men”.
    And I think what makes me really angry about this is that they are willing to use any language that fits in order to limit the conversation while at the same time say that they are the ones being silenced.

  315. jamessweet says

    Re: #5, I’ve been wanting to do a post for a long time (but have never figured out the right way of saying it) about “the misogyny of male loneliness”. Speaking for me personally, I did not find I was able to fully embrace feminism until I got married — and therefore didn’t have to content psychologically with the whole idea of negotiating sexual attraction, etc. I’ve had a pretty average number of partners in my life, but I also had very long spans of time without a girlfriend, and to worsen matters I don’t tend to be very good at intuitively picking up who is and is not attracted to me. That latter difficulty probably didn’t make a big difference in my level of dating success, but it did mean that dating failures tended to be far more painful and incomprehensible to me than perhaps they otherwise would have been.

    This had two misogynistic effects on my attitude: First of all, it created a very slight simmering resentment, which luckily I was self-aware enough that I didn’t take it too seriously, but still, I’m sure it affected how I felt about things. Secondly, and perhaps more damagingly, it tended to make me far less empathetic towards harassment. I see now why my thinking was wrong-headed, of course, but at the time it felt rather like I was a starving person hearing about the health problems caused by obesity in rich parts of the world.

    For me personally, I’m not sure what anyone could have said to me to change my thinking at that time. Perhaps nothing. I felt legitimately lonely, I probably had emotional needs that were not being met by friends and family, and on top of all that society had created this idea that I was a failure if I wasn’t either in a committed relationship or constantly meeting women. Until those issues were resolved, there was this whole cloud surrounding gender issues, that made it very difficult for me to see anything clearly.

  316. Ralph says

    As a man 62 years, my impression, gained from observing myself and others, is that “testosterone poisoning” has a lot to do with it. So-called testosterone poisoning began, I think, as a feminist theory of many men’s chronic anger.

    I have been taking antidepressant medication for about 20 years, and I can tell you for certain that I’m a better person (ethically) for having taken those medications all this time.

    Now, for various reasons, my testosterone levels seem to be way down. As a result, I am a more open, more loving person… I think.

  317. Tom5467889321 says

    Straw man arguments, you are a terrible journalist even by the guardians standards.

    imo, if someone is a one issue person, just caring about themselves i will loathe them, not so much much if your one issue is about other people. If you are a one issue person why shoud i not just care about me only, and flame and troll people who just care about themselves??

  318. Sheila jonsified says

    I’m a feminist. This patriarchal society in which we live is ultimately responsible for the lack of father’s rights, what with the emphasis on a woman’s place being in the home. THAT is why family courts make such terrible decisions. THAT is why a father will lose visitation rights if he misses ONE appointment, whereas a terrible mother will get access of the kids because that’s considered the norm.

    I have a friend with sole custody of his kids. The way the mother has fucked those kids over with letting them down repeatedly over contact, if a man had done it, contact would’ve been stopped long ago, which is obviously fucking disgusting.

    Unfortunately, this patriarchal stranglehold on the world is what’s fucking us all over. These so called ‘gender wars’ online is merely propping this up. We should be united and fighting this shit together, not warring over semantics and bruised egos.

  319. Adiabat says

    Sheila jonsified (341):

    I’m a feminist. This patriarchal society in which we live is ultimately responsible for the lack of father’s rights, what with the emphasis on a woman’s place being in the home.

    My biggest bugbear with regards to the theory of “Patriarchy” is that it encourages ignorance. In this case instead of actually doing some work and researching the cause of the lack of fathers rights and the source of the courts presumption that custody should go to the mother, you’ve just declared “Patriarchy” and stopped thinking.

    What is ultimately responsible for the lack of fathers rights is the Tender Years doctrine, an early feminist campaign asserting that mothers are better caregivers and should get custody of children in case of divorce. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tender_years_doctrine:

    Historically the English Family Law gave custody of the children to the father, in case of divorce… In the early nineteenth century, Mrs. Caroline Norton, a prominent British society beauty, feminist, social reformer author, and journalist, began to campaign for the right of women to have custody of their children… The result was the Custody of Infants Act 1839, which gave some discretion to the judge in a child custody case and established a presumption of maternal custody for children

  320. gjenganger says

    @Sheila 341

    These so called ‘gender wars’ online is merely propping this up. We should be united and fighting this shit together, not warring over semantics and bruised egos

    Maybe, but this leaves out a rather important point: Where do we want to get to, and who gets to decide? That is what determines the difference between “we need to fight together for our shared goals” and “you need to join in and help me fight for my goals”. Feminists tend to be reluctant either to let men determine (equally) the goals of their movement, or to recognize any movement of men with different input and different goals as a potential partner in the project. All quite understandable, but it does make these calls for ‘fighting together’ a bit problematic.

  321. Adiabat says

    Gjenganger (343): I agree. Also, while it is nice that some feminists recognise that there is a problem with custody it is powerful feminist organisations such as NOW and The Fawcett Society that have been working to prevent all attempts by governments to remedy the situation.

    I’ve yet to hear one feminist even admit that these prominent feminist groups are part of the problem, nevermind getting the “reasonable” ones to do anything about them.

    The one way in which feminist “allies” can be most useful and effective to solve the situation (calling out their fellow feminists and reclaiming the label) is also the one thing that those feminists adamantly refuse to do. This leaves just one tactic: ruin the credibility of all feminism (easily done by pointing to the things prominent feminists say and do) to stop the prominent ones from causing any more harm.

  322. carntion says

    @ Adiabat

    ” The one way in which feminist “allies” can be most useful and effective to solve the situation (calling out their fellow feminists and reclaiming the label) is also the one thing that those feminists adamantly refuse to do. This leaves just one tactic: ruin the credibility of all feminism (easily done by pointing to the things prominent feminists say and do) to stop the prominent ones from causing any more harm.”

    Interesting.

    So, do feminists control the family courts and the Houses of Parliament and Lords?

    How many family court judgements are handed down by feminists?

    How long have feminists been in control of these institutions?

    How’s the campaign against feminist credability going? Any notable successes recently?

  323. Adiabat says

    Carntion (345): Your way of looking at politics seems to be very naïve, as evidenced by the questions you’ve just asked me. I’ll try to explain a complicated system below as simply as I can to help you understand. Let me know if you need me to explain anything more simply:

    On certain issues Feminist groups hold significant influence over prominent platforms, political lobbying channels etc, and often much of mainstream media will repeat what is said by these groups uncritically. Government rarely makes decisions in a vacuum and is influenced by lobbyists and organisations on certain issues. One of these issues is the area of family law and shared custody, where predominantly feminist groups hold a lot of influence.

    In the thread above I’ve provided details of changes to family law that have been halted after groups, including the Fawcett Society, published their responses criticising various initiatives, including that of the explicit assumption of shared parenting in family court judgements. The argument used by the Fawcett Society was also sexist in that it posited only men as abusers and women as victims.

    How’s the campaign against feminist credibility [sic] going? Any notable successes recently?

    Calling it a “campaign” is going a bit far, as it implies that it’s organised. Instead it’s more a case of various groups independently offering their criticisms of feminist groups and research, as well as offering non-feminist alternatives as services and information sources.

    The recent monies allocated to groups like AMIS, Mankind and Survivors Manchester that you are aware of are examples of other voices pushing feminist organisations out of the debate. You’re aware of AMIS’s recent report that was highly critical of feminism and the SM report criticising feminist research. You are also aware that at least one patron of Mankind is a MRA and editor of A Voice for Men.

    Another success is the shift in narrative from feminist outlets. A few years ago “What about the Menz” was a common refrain when men’s issues were brought up. Nowadays it is rarely heard and many feminists acknowledge men’s issues, even if just in an attempt to take the issue “away” from the MRM. Sometimes this is just for show but in some cases they are genuine, indicating a shift in feminism on men’s issues. Groups like the MRM are slowly changing feminism itself to focus more on men’s issues and recognise that in some areas men are actually worse off than women. This would’ve been unthinkable just a few years ago.

    Another recent example is the latest report from RAINN, which pretty much dispenses with “Rape Culture” (note that the ‘scare quotes’ are in the report itself and aren’t added by me) and follows the MRA line of focusing on blaming the individuals that commit crimes. The report also emphasised campaigns to educate women to keep themselves safe, effectively giving the finger to the common feminist accusation of “Victim Blaming!”.

    Changes are slowly happening, and feminists are gradually being forced to either change their views and rhetoric, or be pushed out of the debate completely.

  324. carntion says

    @ Adiabat.

    Cool story.

    No substance. Avoided the questions. Weak and ineffectual. Lots of hyperbole about achievements and imminent victory, lots of conflation, very few facts. Typical.

  325. Adiabat says

    Carntion (347): Lol, that has to be your most pathetic response yet (and that’s saying something).

    I’ll be kind and let you try again; and we’ll pretend that embarrassment of yours never happened. Would that make you feel better Champ?

  326. carntion says

    No, you’re alright. I’m off on holiday tomorrow and busy packing.

    Besides, I gave your cliche recital the attention it deserved.

    Au revoir, mon optimiste, ami trompe.

  327. PD says

    I have been reading all the comments with great interest. I live in India, a country where marital rape is legal, where is woman is killed for dowry every 90 minutes, and where rape victims often commit suicide and rapists walk with their heads tall.

    I think the men who have written in do not realise just how vicious life is for women living in patriarchal societies like India.

    Ultimately, the debate about women’s rights is about human suffering, isn’t it? One may have legitimate ideological disagreements about feminism, but can we condone human suffering, even if the suffering human being is a woman.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Hang-me-says-marital-rape-survivor-after-killing-husband/articleshow/34563532.cms

    In the story above, a woman killed her husband, after he raped her in the presence of her 5-year old son. In India, this act is PERFECTLY legal. A man can legally rape his wife, with a 5-year old child watching.

    The woman brought sleeping pills to kill herself, but decided to kill her husband instead. In a less patriarchal society, she could have simply divorced her husband. Indian society, however, stigmatises divorced women, often forcing them into social seclusion.

    So let’s think about this woman’s choices. She has no legal recourse. Indian law grants a man full sexual rights over his wife’s body. She cannot divorce, for fear of social ostracisation.

    So she chooses the most tragic option available to her. She kills her husband, leaving her 5-year old son an orphan, and is pleading, yes, pleading for the death penalty.

    In India, feminism is not some abstract ideology that one can have intellectual debates over. It’s something that can offer women like these, life, quite literally.

    If she’d lived in a more equitable society, she wouldn’t have been forced to kill to protect herself, her son would not have been deprived of his parents, and all concerned would have had solutions better than death or violence.

    If anyone reading has some time to spare, please open the link and read the news item. Let’s think about the human tragedy that patriarchal societies view as completely normal, completely inevitable.

    Such stories are fairly common in India. A society that holds women solely responsible for men’s sexual behavior is one where victims are routinely blamed for rape, for violence, for sexual assault.

    If it comes down to eliminating human suffering, does it really matter which “ism” we support? I’d much prefer rabid feminism to living in a society where battered wives commit suicide to escape abuse, because it’s always their fault.

    Young rape victims commit suicide, or are killed. A young woman is gangraped on a moving bus, she has an iron rod inserted into her vagina. She is then stripped, thrown out of a moving bus, and left to die. Sometime later, she dies of internal injuries, because when the rapists shove the iron rod into her vagina, and pull it out, some of her intestines are pulled out as well.

    How can one understand an incident like this? If this rape isn’t misogyny at it’s tragic worst, what is?

    Living in a society like India, I can tell you that feminism is sorely needed in many parts of the world, because it’s absence causes untold and indescribable suffering to human beings, who happen to be women.

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  329. says

    What you typed was actually very reasonable. However, think about this, suppose you wrote a catchier title?
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    I mean Malestrom: Ten reasons why (some) men are so angry

  330. 22231 says

    I became a feminist because my father routinely abused my mother, because women around the world are frequently raped/beaten and denied education for no other reason than being born female, because I have female friends and family members that have become single mothers through living in a culture that abuses/leaves women to take care of everything, and because I still, despite my education, earn 3/4 what my equally educated male colleagues make.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t good men out there. It does mean that the bad apples have left me angry as hell. And I will remain a feminist, because in spite of feminism having flaws and problems and discrepancies, I will never forget who I am nor how hard I worked to become free, nor how shitty it feels to be completely controlled by men or by a system that systematically treats women like crap. We are human and many women out there are treated like crap.

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