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Zimmerman, Martin and patriarchal misandry: An intersectional analysis

The analysis of President Obama’s press conference on the George Zimmerman verdict focussed quite correctly upon America’s ongoing issues with race. I have no wish to once more revise the debate as to whether the verdict was reasonable or not (if you’re interested, I agreed with every word of Deborah Orr’s piece the other day) but there’s another aspect to the death of Trayvon Martin that has gone almost unnoticed.

When all the dust and bluster is cleared away, the inescapable likelihood is that Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white.  However as Obama subtly acknowledged, there is another part to that equation. Look at his words carefully:

There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.

Not every reference in his address specified gender, but most did. Yes, black women are also subject to racism, to prejudice and suspicion, and I do not for a moment seek to downplay that. However it goes without saying that assumptions about race and ethnicity intersect and react with assumptions about gender to create very different outcomes.  It was not just that Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he were not African-American, he would probably still be alive today if he had not been male.

Black men in the US are the most vulnerable racial-gender group for almost every known health condition. in 2001 their life expectancy gap to Asian women was 21 years. In 1990 it was reported that black men in Harlem had a lower life expectancy than men in Bangladesh. There are similar statistics in education, in employment, in mental health and, most famously, in the criminal justice system as both prisoners and victims.

To understand this we need to appreciate not only the assumptions that are made about black people, but also the assumptions that are made about men. In both cases we are talking not only about the externally imposed prejudices, but also internalised markers of identity -what we ourselves believe to be the appropriate and acceptable ways for someone like us to behave, assumptions which are inevitably informed by and reactive to dominant cultural values, including racial and gendered stereotypes.

To understand why Trayvon Martin died, we need to understand how society perpetuates narratives about the criminality and violent tendencies of men. That helps to explain why Zimmerman made the assumptions he did about the 17 year old, and also perhaps why the pursuit became a deadly confrontation (without necessarily having to apportion blame on either side.)

This seems to me a grimly profound example of what feminists and critical race theorists call an intersectional relationship. When different strains of prejudice and oppression collide they are not just added to each other in a 1+1=2 formula. They react with each other like reagents in a test tube, to create a new and unique. I’ve argued before that contrary to some feminists’ claims, misandry is indeed a thing. So too is black misandry – the stereotyping, negative prejudices and oppression visited very specifically upon black men – which is different not just in degree but in quality from either half of the whole, in other words there are assumptions made about black men which do not routinely apply to either all black people or to all men (aspects of sexuality or probable gang membership, for example.)

One very useful insight of millennial feminism has been that different oppressive structures (eg sexism, racism, homophobia etc) are not independent, but mutually supportive. Patriarchy is strengthened by racism and so has a vested interest in preserving it. Homophobic structures are given protection by transphobic attitudes, and all the vice versas, all the different combinations. This is (broadly and simplistically) what is meant by kyriarchy. If one accepts this logic, it should be a contradiction in terms to be a transphobic feminist or a racist gay rights campaigner.

I do accept this. I believe that the systematic gender oppression of men is an essential element of the economic system, running alongside and parallel to the systematic gender oppression of women. Feminists say that patriarchy hurts men too. I’d go further – I believe patriarchy hates men too. Since my last couple of blogs on these issues I’ve cautiously started adopting the phrase patriarchal misandry. One Twitter feminist described this as “the single most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard” and given my general disagreements with the same person, I take that to be a validation. The phrase captures for me how psychological, emotional and physical traumas are imposed routinely or sporadically upon men purely as a result of their gender, in large part in order to nail them to their expected place in the social order. That place that includes being the oppressor of others, whether you want to or not, and it includes not just the gender hierarchies of society, but the racial, sexual, social and economic hierarchies of society.

Having said all that, I think anyone who is concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of men has to understand how sexism. racism, homophobia, ableism and every other form of oppression and imposition are all part of the same package. A men’s activist who remains indifferent to the mechanics of racism is as self-defeating as the transphobic feminist. A men’s activist who actively contributes to misogyny or homophobia is bolstering the very system he presumes to change.

The Trayvon Martin tragedy hinges on negative stereotypes, but in different contexts supposedly positive stereotypes can be equally harmful. I wrote recently about a men’s group co-ordinator from London called Kenny D’Cruz, who commissioned me to help tell his story of his struggles with his own mental health. Kenny came to the UK as a refugee from Uganda. Fleeing the most terrible dangers, he lived through months in transit camps and years of racism in a small, all-white Welsh town. But the oppression which may have done the greatest damage to his emotional wellbeing was when he was separated from his father at the airport in Uganda and told  “You are the head of the family now, you must look after your brother and mother.”

This expectation that a 9-year-old boy would be head of a household (which still included his mother, incidentally) is deeply patriarchal and sexist. It can also be deeply damaging, as it proved to be in Kenny’s case. It is simply unreasonable to expect a small child to take emotional responsibility for the wellbeing of a traumatised family, (however symbolic it may be, and in Kenny’s case it wasn’t). This is an extreme example of the social forces which, at root, can largely explain so many of the issues in health, wellbeing and social attainment for men today. The pressures which drive men to be big cheese on their block, in their gated community or in their merchant bank are to a large extent the same pressures that drive men to the prison gates and the psychiatric wards.

 

Comments

  1. Gjenganger says

    Having said all that, I think anyone who is concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of men has to understand how sexism. racism, homophobia, ableism and every other form of oppression and imposition are all part of the same package.

    So, in improving things for women, transssexuals, the deaf, I am actually improving things for men? Sounds rather weird. Is that an empirical observation, and if so what is the evidence? Is it arguing from necessity (‘it has to be true – otherwise some progressive causes might conflict and we cannot have that’)? Is it a quasi-religious belief that capitalism is the root of all evil, so anything that fights the system is good, and once the system falls we will all live in paradise?

    More realistically, the system we have has a number of negative consequences for all groups. No doubt there. But surely the system also has some positive consequences for all groups? Before we proclaim that the totally equal, one-gender, one-race, nobody-is-different society would make us all infinitely happy, should we not work out in a little more detail how that society would actually work, and compare it with what we have now? Otherwise we end in a kind of utopianist fallacy: Any system that has ever existed can be proved to have its faults, so only a system that has never existed anywhere is worth striving for – because it can be assumed to be perfect.

  2. Jacob Schmidt says

    When different strains of prejudice and oppression collide they are not just added to each other in a 1+1=2 formula. They react with each other like reagents in a test tube, to create a new and unique.

    For this reason, I’ve always preferred “interaction” rather than “intersection”. Intersectionality implies an overlap, where the prejudices are simply added. But our biases interact to create something new.

    I think of in terms of emergent behaviour; we have our set of rules for how to react to and treat others, and when different rules come into play, they engender different behaviours.

    I’d go further – I believe patriarchy hates men too.

    This is a phrasing I dislike. I also dislike “patriarchy hates women.” One nitpick is that patriarchy is a set of values. Patriarchs are capable of hate; patriarchy is merely a set of values. More substantively, patriarchy (to use your phrasing) loves the shit out of any man and women who are both willing and capable to fulfill their roles. A woman who wants nothing more than to be a housewife and accepts and agrees with her assigned role will live a very happy life. Should her husband want nothing more than to be a provider and a distant father, his life will be just as happy. Our culture only “hates” those who are either unable or unwilling to fulfill their role.

  3. Gjenganger says

    @Jacob Schmidt 2

    patriarchy (to use your phrasing) loves the shit out of any man and women who are both willing and capable to fulfill their roles.

    Weird – we agree on something. Actually that is a characteristic of roles – they direct people’s behaviour, helping those who fit the role reasonably well, and hindering those who do not.

  4. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    So, in improving things for women, transssexuals, the deaf, I am actually improving things for men?

    Yes. Absolutely.

    That is, I’ll admit, largely a statement of value judgments. I believe that a society which is more decent for all, more equitable, with less exercise of oppression and unjust power is a better society for everyone – everyone will be happier, healthier etc.

    To take one example, a society with rampant transphobia will not just oppress identifying trans people. It will also be a society that heavily polices even modest transgressions from rigid gender identities, and that benefits everyone as a personal liberation.

    I am very, very happy that I have been able to be an involved and active father for the past 11 years. The reason I have been able to do that is because my partner has been able to have a career outside the home.

    A society that doesn’t treat deaf people as helpless idiots can benefit from the full participation of deaf people – socially, economically etc. At a personal level, having respect and regard for people with disabilities has allowed me to form valuable friendships with disabled people.

    And so it goes on.

    Before we proclaim that the totally equal, one-gender, one-race, nobody-is-different society would make us all infinitely happy, should we not work out in a little more detail how that society would actually work, and compare it with what we have now? Otherwise we end in a kind of utopianist fallacy:

    Who says it has to be an all or nothing utopia? As it happens I don’t believe in utopias, I believe humanity is on a perpetual journey which can take a turn for the better or worse. Sometimes those turns can be (literally) revolutionary – for better or worse – but most of the time it is about finding ways to make the world a little bit better tomorrow than it is today.

  5. Ally Fogg says

    Jacob & Gjenganger

    More substantively, patriarchy (to use your phrasing) loves the shit out of any man and women who are both willing and capable to fulfill their roles. A woman who wants nothing more than to be a housewife and accepts and agrees with her assigned role will live a very happy life. Should her husband want nothing more than to be a provider and a distant father, his life will be just as happy. Our culture only “hates” those who are either unable or unwilling to fulfill their role.

    Yes, I also agree with this. I’ll confess ‘patriarchy hates men too’ is more of a slogan than a reasoned analysis ;-)

  6. picklefactory says

    So, in improving things for women, transssexuals, the deaf, I am actually improving things for men?

    By definition. Maybe you have noticed that some men are deaf and so are some trans folks.

    Or maybe you meant “improving things for all men.” I think this is also true. It is not a zero-sum game we’re playing. Having unoppressed friends and family members is a benefit to me.

    I’ve argued before that contrary to some feminists’ claims, misandry is indeed a thing.

    Sure it’s a thing. You make a more convincing case than most of the MRA arguments I see. Normally I treat it as a code word or phrase for “I no longer need to listen to this person or take them seriously.” Other examples: mangina, white knight, gun-grabber, biblically inspired, Our Lord Jesus Christ, addressing priests as ‘Father’ unironically, ‘I’m colorblind’.

    I have time to comment on blogs occasionally, but not to put up with that shit again. Not to say I’ll never listen, but you have to earn my attention first (and you have).

  7. picklefactory says

    ‘I’m colorblind’.

    Unless they are talking about literally being colorblind and not about race. In that case I feel sympathy.

    This happened to me on Saturday.

    “I don’t see colors well.”

    “Uh, what do you mean exactly?” (half-expecting something dumb)

    “I can’t tell if things are blue or yellow.”

    “Ohhhh…”

  8. Gjenganger says

    @Ally Fogg 4

    I believe that a society which is more decent for all, more equitable, with less exercise of oppression and unjust power is a better society for everyone – everyone will be happier, healthier etc.

    You can say that some things are an abstract good and should be done regardless of consequence. Or you can say that some things will make society better in practice. You say both together, and I really think that is making it too easy for yourself. You are in favour of a number of specific measures, and it so happens that they not only are on the side of right and justice, but everybody will be happier for carrying them out. It works out that no one could possibly disagree with you, except out of stupidity and evil. Not the best starting point for a calm debate, is it?
    A second point is that you are implying that the things you are against are all cases of “oppression and unjust power”. Take the famous debate between radfems and transsexuals. By your lights it is a matter of deciding which group is on the side of good and which is on the side of evil. It then follows who should get what they want, and who should be reviled. Is it not more sensible – and also more humane to the various groups involved – to admit that there is a legitimate conflict of interest, that what is good for one group is bad for another, so we can find a practical compromise without deciding who is the goody and who is the baddie?

    Who says it has to be an all or nothing utopia?

    Well, a lot of people (you included) only ever mention gender or other social roles as something with bad effects, something to get rid of. I draw the logical conclusion that these people want a role-free, stereotype-free, nobody-is-different kind of society (much as I think that is impossible). Now I know that you want gender roles that are “rarely a burden, never a prison and always a blessing”. But the best way of avoiding the ill effects of gender roles is to not have any, just like homeopathic drugs are the only drugs without side-effects – because they have no effect at all. Roles have consequences. Unless we admit that some of those consequences are positive, there is no justification for having roles at all..

  9. Gjenganger says

    @Picklefactory 6

    It is not a zero-sum game we’re playing.

    Anything has a cost, big or small as may be. When I hear somebody saying that his favourite policy has no ill effects for anyone at all, I generally assume that he is either guided by blind faith, or trying to fool someone (possibly himself).

  10. picklefactory says

    Anything has a cost, big or small as may be.

    OK? If your point is that I am making a value judgement about which costs I think are legitimately imposed and which are oppressive, then yes, I am. If you think I’m wrong, you can attempt to convince me or anyone else reading this otherwise.

    When I hear somebody saying that his favourite policy has no ill effects for anyone at all, I generally assume that he is either guided by blind faith, or trying to fool someone (possibly himself).

    Except I didn’t say that, and I don’t think Ally did either.

  11. carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    “Patriarchal misandry”? A thousand times, yes.

    Ally, when you piss off “Twitter feminists” and Paul Elam, you’re doing we’ll, me old China.

    Back to the OP. Patriarchal misandry is almost exclusively self (collectively male and individually) self imposed, but my opinion is that little by little, it’s power is diminishing.

    Those of us who work with adolescent males and young men know first hand what patriarchal attitudes inform the vulnerable. Someone “disses” you? Hurt them. Girlfriend goes off with another guy? Hurt them both. Hate your mum’s boyfriend? Let it build and build until the internalised anger is suddenly unleashed. Extreme examples, but all of them I’ve dealt with.

    Boys don’t cry? Patriarchal misandry. Man up? Patriarchal misandry, sometimes playful, often not. Get your woman in line? Patriarchal misogynistic misandry.

    Question for you Ally, could another term for patriarchal misandry be (one of a number of) toxic masculinises? For the excitable amongst us, most masculinises, jcluding some emerging ones, are the opposite of toxic. Most toxic masculinises, IMO, are dated now.

  12. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Gjengenger

    You can say that some things are an abstract good and should be done regardless of consequence. Or you can say that some things will make society better in practice. You say both together, and I really think that is making it too easy for yourself. You are in favour of a number of specific measures, and it so happens that they not only are on the side of right and justice, but everybody will be happier for carrying them out. It works out that no one could possibly disagree with you, except out of stupidity and evil. Not the best starting point for a calm debate, is it?

    You are presumably aware that the two are not mutually exclusive? I tend to find that measures which are on the side of right and justice do make people happier. That’s why “right and justice” are generally percieved as positive. It may very well be the case that anyone disagreeing really is stupid and/or evil.

  13. Gjenganger says

    @picklefactory 10
    Well, you said “[improving things for women, transsexuals, the deaf] improves things for all men. This is not a zero-sum game.” Ally actually says “everyone will be happier, healthier etc”. To me that sounds like “nobody will lose by this”. Then you say ” I am making a value judgement about which costs I think are legitimately imposed and which are oppressive”. To me that sounds like “there will be losers, but I will disregard them because I deem their concerns unworthy”. Please correct me if I am misunderstanding you. Now you are welcome to hold either opinion, but those two statements are not actually compatible.

  14. carnation says

    @ Jacob, Gjenganger, Thumper, carnation. Ally Fogg

    I know we’re only a dozen or so comments in, but oh my Goddess, we’re being polite and engaging with each other and the OP.

    I’d offer to buy you all lunch, but it might start an argument.

    Seriously though, and this is to myself as we’ll, more of this :)

  15. Jacob Schmidt says

    It works out that no one could possibly disagree with you, except out of stupidity and evil.

    Unless we admit that some of those consequences are positive, there is no justification for having roles at all.

    Who denied that roles can have positive effects?

    Ally actually says “everyone will be happier, healthier etc”. To me that sounds like “nobody will lose by this”.

    Funny thing: generalizations are common. Of course some people will lose, namely those who most benifit by the current culture. For the most part, it will be better for people to lose these roles.

  16. Gjenganger says

    @thumper 12
    Well, that leaves the question which measures are on the side of right and justive. And who decides.

    Now, for myself I am afraid to take too much for granted that anyone who disagrees with me is either stupid or evil. I think that kind of thinking leads to self-righteousness, disrespect for others and a closed mind. But even if I did think it, it is still necessary for human interaction that we pretend that the other person is sensible and has a legitimate point of view. No matter how much we know that he is an utter moron and not fit to wipe our shoes, intellectually, we have to pretend otherwise in order to talk with him.

  17. Gjenganger says

    @Jacob Schmidt 15

    For the most part, it will be better for people to lose these roles

    I strongly doubt it. It would certainly depend on what roles we put in instead. Which nobody ever says much about.

  18. AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo says

    @Ally,

    I really wish you had used a different case to illustrate your points because the details of the case are actually distractions from your arguments.

    The issue is how the whole GZ/TM story was framed in the media.

    The details intefere with your arguments to the point where it will be easy for those who already have a fixed view to dismiss them based on just that. You could of course respond that they would anyway, ideology and all that.

    I will be pleasently surprised if no one actually brings them up, but I am not feeling too optimistic.

  19. inappropriate says

    Patriarchal misandry is almost exclusively self (collectively male and individually) self imposed

    I profoundly disagree.

    The social systems which influence males to act in self-destructive / antisocial ways (that’s what “patriarchal misandry” means, right?) are just as much the fault of women as other men.

  20. Bruce Gorton says

    Gjenganger

    It is a well known correlation – societies where women are more educated and tend to have more economic mobility tend to also do better overall on all other measures.

    Mainly because the exact same things which act as constraints on a segment of the population’s wellbeing also act as constraints on overall efficiency.

    If a woman cannot enter the workforce, she cannot contribute to the best of her individual ability if her talents happen to be aligned with being in the workforce.

    You don’t gain resources by restricting the rights of others, instead you throw resources away producing a lose-lose scenario.

  21. Jacob Schmidt says

    It works out that no one could possibly disagree with you, except out of stupidity and evil.

    What the fuck?

    Is it not more sensible – and also more humane to the various groups involved – to admit that there is a legitimate conflict of interest, that what is good for one group is bad for another, so we can find a practical compromise without deciding who is the goody and who is the baddie?

    What “legitimate conflict of interest” do TERFs have with trans people? It’s possible, but every argument I’ve heard from TERFs boils down to gender essentialism. Unless gender essentialism is something you want support, TERFs can’t be said to have a legitimate conflict of interest (that is to say they have a conflict, but said conflict is hardly justified).

    Unless we admit that some of those consequences are positive, there is no justification for having roles at all.

    Who denied that roles can have positive effects? In fact, you, Ally and me have all said that they can.

    Ally actually says “everyone will be happier, healthier etc”. To me that sounds like “nobody will lose by this”.

    Funny thing: generalizations are common. Of course some people will lose, namely those who most benifit by the current culture. They will lose things they never earned, but were merely given to them by our culture. For the most part, it will be better for people to lose these roles.

    Ally, I don’t suppose you’d be willing to fix my mess @15?

  22. Gjenganger says

    @ Bruce Gorton 20
    Well, no disagreement there. I have no particular wish to roll society back to the 1950′s or the 1920′s. I am fairly happy where we are. The question is where we want to go from here.

  23. carnation says

    @ inappropriate 19

    I profoundly disagree, particularly amongst younger men/boys. Young males encourage and enable extreme behaviour quite easily in their own. It’s more socially acceptable for them to behave I transgressive ways than young females. But the main battleground is in the male mind, comparing with other males, beating themselves up of perceived weakness.

    When a man can go round to his male friends for a good cry and a hug because he’s upset, there will be some equilibrium.

  24. picklefactory says

    @Gjenganger

    You have to actually make a case, not just tell me that there’s another case to be made, then tell me that I refuse to listen to other arguments and that I presume anyone who disagrees with me is stupid and evil. C’mon. You are attacking a position that I don’t hold.

    Well, that leaves the question which measures are on the side of right and justive. And who decides.

    Well, it sounds like you think I’m making an absolute pronouncement about who is right and just, a moral imperative that must be followed for all time, when what I’m really doing is deciding what my opinion is. And why would I let someone else decide it for me?

    Of course there are grey areas and matters of degree, and I’m under no obligation whatever to pay attention to people that are being obnoxious/incoherent/hateful, nor am I required to change my mind about a subject I would otherwise agree with someone on, simply because they’ve gotten intemperate or shouty.

    “there will be losers, but I will disregard them because I deem their concerns unworthy”

    I don’t find it especially contradictory. I disagree with some people when they assert that they are losers. If the “cost” is “oh no, I can’t gender-police other people any more because that’s not socially acceptable,” or, “I can’t rail about the homosexual agenda so that religious bigots will send me money because I’ll be vilified” well those are not worthy concerns, no. Maybe I am wrong about some of these “costs”, but why should I concede the point in advance of an actual argument?

  25. Gjenganger says

    @Jacob Schmidt 21

    What “legitimate conflict of interest” do TERFs have with trans people? It’s possible, but every argument I’ve heard from TERFs boils down to gender essentialism. Unless gender essentialism is something you want support, TERFs can’t be said to have a legitimate conflict of interest (that is to say they have a conflict, but said conflict is hardly justified).

    You are rather proving my point. Their attitude is legitimate by their own lights. And to be fair, it is not exactly obvious whether and to what extent a transsexual is ‘really’ a man/woman. The gender concepts were developed in a context where transsexuals were not deemed to exist, and so the concepts are being redefined. Your reaction is to decide on your own that those who agree with you are legitimate, and those who disagree are not. Unless you really want to remove your opponents from the face of history that attitude is neither necessary nor positive.

  26. Gjenganger says

    @picklefactory 26

    Maybe I am wrong about some of these “costs”, but why should I concede the point in advance of an actual argument?

    Maybe because you want to respect the atitudes and feelings of others, instead of imposing your own?

  27. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Gjengenger #16

    I admit that I would seriously question the moral compass of anyone who argued against a ” a society which is more decent for all, more equitable, with less exercise of oppression and unjust power”, and I would seriously question the motives of anyone who disagreed that such a society “is a better society for everyone”, since that seems to be a self evident truth. Perhaps that proves your point. I think what you mean when you say that something cannot be both on the side of truth and justice and make everyone in society happier is that, for example, equal marriage, while undoubtedly being the former, tends to upset bigots (please correct me if that’s not what you meant). I would say that unless you have a raitional basis for disagreeing with a policy, then your disagreements mean precisely fuck all. So I will conceed the point that you cannot be on the side of justice and make everyone happy, but only with the caveat that those who are upset by the creation of a fairer, more equitable society quite frankly don’t deserve to be listened to. I would never try to take away their right to whine about it, but I’m under no obligation to pretend their whining has any merit to it if it doesn’t.

    But even if I did think it, it is still necessary for human interaction that we pretend that the other person is sensible and has a legitimate point of view.

    I disagree. Continuing with my former example, I will allow someone the chance to explain themselves, but the second it becomes apparent that their disagreement is based on nothing more than baseless hatred and empty rhetoric I am under no obligation to treat it seriously. I don’t think human interaction will break down. My interaction with them may do, but I fail to see how that’s a negative :)

  28. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    My firstparagraph is not too clear on one point: while such issues may upset their oponents, they do not demonstrably lwoer the quality of life of the people who are upset. So I would argue that such measures do make society as a whole better.

  29. AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo says

    It works out that no one could possibly disagree with you, except out of stupidity and evil.

    I have noticed that a lot of people do tend to make this assumption. The fact that they could be wrong never seems to enter their mind either.

    Never mind that sort of binary thinking does indeed led to stupidity and evil.

  30. picklefactory says

    @Gjenganger

    Maybe because you want to respect the atitudes and feelings of others, instead of imposing your own?

    I… what?

    Feelings and attitudes deserve no respect whatever simply because they exist. Individual *people* deserve my respect to a degree determined by their actions.

    Random people commenting on the internet get a medium amount by default. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I am not abusing you or calling you stupid or evil.

    Me having my own opinion is in no way imposing an attitude or feeling on anyone else. Other peoples’ opinions do not count as arguments by default, and not being immediately convinced that someone has a valid point just because he or she *has* a point is not being close-minded, it’s being normal-minded.

  31. Gjenganger says

    @Thumper 30

    while such issues may upset their oponents, they do not demonstrably lwoer the quality of life of the people who are upset

    That holds only as long as you can decide what your opponents should be feeling. To illustrate, my personal opinion (I am a bigot by your lights. I admit it) is that the difference between gay marriage and registered partnership makes no real difference to the quality fo life of a (gay) couple, so that gay marriage is unnecessary. Nobody on the pro-gay-marriage side has ever conceded that point, nor would I expect them to.

  32. picklefactory says

    @AndrewV69

    I have noticed that a lot of people do tend to make this assumption. The fact that they could be wrong never seems to enter their mind either.

    Never mind that sort of binary thinking does indeed led to stupidity and evil.

    What, you too?

    I might indeed be wrong. You might be wrong, too. Maybe Ally’s wrong.

    I am not expecting you to spontaneously decide that you *are* wrong, just because I bring up the possibility. “Some guy on the internet said I might be wrong without being any more specific about how. QUESTION EVERYTHING!” is not something I would ever expect you to say to yourself.

  33. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Gjengenger

    Firstly, apologies for the atrocious spelling in my “clarification”. I really shouldn’t try and speed type.

    And I would argue that equality is an improvement. There is no rational reason to oppose it. It decreases no one else’s quality of life. It upsets a few people who I do indeed referr to as bigots, but I have never yet been presented with a single decent argument as to why they are upset. Seriously, not one. The only arguments that make any sense are religious ones, and they only make sense if you really believe there is a God, which of course I don’t. Even then, I think they make a better argument for refusing to worship a being who is such an arsehole rather than just playing along with that being’s petty prejudices in the hope He won’t smite you.

    So, to sum up: I can make a group of people happy, who have never (as a group) hurt anyone, thus upsetting a group of people who (as a group) have done a lot to hurt the former group and have no justification for doing so; or I can keep the latter group happy by continuing the unjustified oppression of the former.

    It seems a simple choice to me. Fuck the latter group.

  34. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    Most of the responses I’d make have already been made, but

    It works out that no one could possibly disagree with you, except out of stupidity and evil. Not the best starting point for a calm debate, is it?

    Obviously not my intention and I apologise if that is coming across. I don’t really see it myself though. Someone can perfectly reasonably make a case that untrammeled economic freedom (for example) of rightwing libertarianism is a more direct route to happiness and welfare for all. I would profoundly disagree with them, I might think their values and opinions are stupid or evil, but then a lot of people think my broadly anti-capitalist positions are stupid and evil. They’re welcome to make that case.

  35. AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo says

    @ picklefactory, #34,

    My comment was a general one, and not aimed at you specifically so please do not take it as an attack. Also, just because I might disagree with someone, does not automatically mean that the other person is evil and/or stupid.

    In any event, I find it helpful to try and find out why someone believes what they do first, and then proceed from there.

    Question everything is actually something I try to do to myself. As it happens, I have been wrong and acknowledged same in the past. But I would have never got there in the first place without questioning.

    I will ask for examples, and I will examine them. Perhaps my issue is I expect others to do the same despite all evidence to the contrary that this is an unrealistic expectation.

  36. Gjenganger says

    @Ally 36

    Obviously not my intention and I apologise if that is coming across.

    Nah, don’t worry. I do think it sort of follows from your ideology, but you are much more sensible than your ideology. Or mine, for that matter.

  37. Ally Fogg says

    carnation

    Question for you Ally, could another term for patriarchal misandry be (one of a number of) toxic masculinises? For the excitable amongst us, most masculinises, jcluding some emerging ones, are the opposite of toxic. Most toxic masculinises, IMO, are dated now.

    Yeah, I don’t really like the phrase ‘toxic masculinities’ – As I understand it, it started with a specific meaning in work with prisoners and violent offenders, and quickly spread to encompass pretty much all typically masculine behaviours where it becomes a bit misandric.

    I think the concept I’m describing needs a less judgmental term.

  38. Gjenganger says

    @Jacob Schmidt 22, 23
    AHA!, that gives me the opportunity of putting in my speech:

    So, what is the point of social roles, gender or otherwise?

    First to provide some predictability in human interactions. It really helps that you know in advance how others are likely to react, and how your own behaviour is going to be judged. Every nation has its own behaviour rules – think Sweden, Sicily, Japan, Brazil, England… Depending on your personality you might find the Sicilian style easier to adapt to, or the Japanese. But any consistent style is easier and less stressful than an unpredictable mix of all possibilities.

    Second, we are not born fully formed. Part of growing up is finding out how people behave and learning to do it yourself. Arguably that is something children do automatically, and with great energy. This is not a superficial phenomenon. As a growing child, ‘Who am I?’, and ‘How should I be?’ is gradually created, by imitation and adaption to the people around you. By the time you have grown up in the UK, you are English, and it is meaningless to speculate who you would have been if you had grown up Japanese. Indeed, this kind of direction is something we need. The very idea of having each child develop his own personal rules for behaviour alone, and then negotiate one-on-one with everybody else about how to interact, is obviously silly. So much for having no roles, then. There will be a role, a behaviour norm, and it is necessary for human development that there be one. The only question is which role(s) there will be.

    What about gender roles, then? Well, to start with, the division of humanity in two genders is obvious and sensible (pace Schala). Genitals, anatomy, stature, muscular strength, voice, sexual attraction, infant development, all divide in two fairly clear groups. Our choice of sexual partners is heavily determined by gender. Relationship to childbearing, breastfeeding, menstruation, menopause, sexual reaction pattern, is heavily gendered, so the two sexes have different life experiences. It is obvious, I would say unavoidable, that a small child should find out which group he/she belongs to, and actively seek and absorb the right way for a little man/woman to behave. Which includes looking for the ways in which your gender is different from the other one. Again, a clear role is beneficial, if not necessary. It serves as a trellis, a set of expectations to grow against. And again, the idea of each child working out his own role is ridiculous. Roles there will be. They will fit some rather better than others, but that is still better than formless chaos.

    It is another question how different the roles should be, or how rigid, or how far they can be changed. Personally I think they can and should be fairly flexible, but that they are not completely arbitrary. Even if most of the force that keeps the roles in place is social, there is a biological underpinning that chose the direction in the first place. Things like sex drive (quality v. quantity), a closer relationship between women and small children, testosterone and aggression, and just the practicalities of who does the pregnancies and the breastfeeding. But there is a lot of room for variation, in theory at least.

    Anyway, we should not forget that the alternative to the current gender roles is a different set of roles (not ‘no roles’). And if the sexes really are different (statistically), a single unified role might leave quite as many misfits as the current binary set.

  39. Ally Fogg says

    The other thing I’d say to Gjenganger to add to (or possibly deviate slightly from) Thumper’s point…

    I quite agree that there are some people for whom oppressing others is a source of pride, identity, even pleasure. If we somehow take away (even by persuasion) someone’s ‘right’ to sexually harass others, or discriminate against gay people or certain races, then they will perceive that as a loss or an imposition, they will believe their lives are worse as a consequence.

    I am, quite arrogantly and presumptuously, telling them that they are wrong. As a species we often think that shitting on other people is a good way to make ourselves feel better, more successful, more powerful, whatever, but it is rarely true. In the long-term the costs invariably outweigh the benefits. That is my political belief, not an empirical one.

    Having said that, if such people can’t be persuaded that it’s to their own benefit to stop being racist, sexist. whatever, social morality is still against them and it is up to the rest of us to find the most effective ways to dissuade them from following those tendencies (and personally I prefer sub-judicial strategies of social change rather than criminalising and banning things.)

  40. Gjenganger says

    @Gjenganger 41
    Sorry, but I missed one point in my sermon:

    It is obvious that any role you have will be great for those who fit the requirements well, and may be rather burdensome for those who do not. That is regrettable, but it cannot be helped. We need the roles, and there is only room for a few, because everybody have to learn them by experience and imitation. It may be better to be in the center than at the edge, but we cannot all be at the centre unless we all live alone.

  41. Gjenganger says

    @Ally 42
    That is entirely fair. Anyway, society has the right to agree and impose a majority norm, even in the cases where I personally end up on the losing side ;-). That said, if you see these things as conflicts between groups of different opinions, rather than between right or wrong, you might gain some useful flexibility. For instance, transexuals clearly need access to the changing rooms etc. of their official gender rather than the one they were born with – for practical reasons if nothing else. But is it really imperative that they can access radfem conclaves or worship the goddess Isis without discrimination? Similarly, homosexuals need the right to adopt, if nothing else to get the broadest possible pool of adopters for children who need them. But is it imperative that 100% of all adoption agencies adopt to homosexuals, or is it enough that 85% of them do, and that 100% of homosexuals have an equal chance of adopting?

  42. inappropriate says

    @carnation

    Really – so teenage boys don’t care what teenage girls think of them? That’s not the way I remember it.

    Maybe they have a warped idea of what girls find attractive (ok, they definitely do), but it’s still the prime motivation behind pretty much everything they do.

    When you factor in the majority-female educators and the feminist monopoly on academic gender studies as well, it seems silly to say that women have no power over young men, or that this power couldn’t possibly screw them up if it is abused.

    (This isn’t to deny that malevolent influence can be M>M, M>F or F>F as well. It’s just that the F>M quadrant is often conveniently left out of feminist narratives)

  43. freja says

    I agree that sexism against men is a thing. I don’t usually agree with the existence of misandry because it usually just refer to anything men don’t like, such as being told “Please leave me alone”, but I guess that if it’s possible to hate women because of their sex, it’s probably possible to hate men too. But I don’t think the intersection you talk about here is a case of two different forms of oppression, but rather oppression intersecting with a common prejudice which is not necessarily hateful or oppressive. Men are perceived to be more dangerous, that’s true. This almost certainly has a biological component, but could very well be amplified by existing gender roles. But that perception isn’t always a disadvantage.

    Being seen as capable of harm can give you considerably more clout in social situations. I suspect part of the reason male anger is often rewarded more than female anger is that male anger is seen as significant while female anger is dismissed, because men (rightly or not) are seen as having more to back that anger up with. I have heard several of my male friends express the notion that women should be grateful to men for everything, because everything they have and everything they’re allowed to do happen on men’s sufferance, and men could easily take it away (of course, they always ignore how they could just as easily be dominated by more physically powerful men).

    And I doubt you could have missed how often Paul Elam expresses notions of male superiority by referring to how men could (and should) dominate women physically. In many cases of male-on-female sexual harassment, men also rely on not having to take women’s feelings into account, because those women are not perceived as a threat, whereas the women are often more accommodating than they want to be out of fear. The PUA tactics aimed at isolating women and getting them alone (preferably in the PUA’s home) almost certainly rely on women being reluctant to anger a man without backup.

    It just seems to be a case of men having certain problems if they happen to be black, and white people having certain problems if they happen to be female. In a society where male trumps female and non-black trumps black, we would expect that fear would be treated differently depending on who was perceived as threatening, and that’s exactly what we see. When men are perceived as threats in regards to women, women are told to be careful around men, and also to not show their fear in ways that could be rude or unpleasant to men. When black people are perceived as threats in regards to non-black people, non-black people are often both allowed to express their fear and told they have a right to stand their ground, while black people are told (or forced) to take steps to alleviate the fear of non-black people.

  44. Jacob Schmidt says

    Gjenganger

    You are rather proving my point. Their attitude is legitimate by their own lights.

    That’s your point? That they agree with themselves? In any case, that’s a ridiculous reason for wanting to compromise. Any group has legitimate interests by the groups ideology, including the KKK and the Taliban. They can both go fuck themselves. TERFs are less problematic than the former two, but until they demonstrate that their transphobia is anything else but hateful whining, they and their concerns get dismissed by me.

    But is it really imperative that they can access radfem conclaves or worship the goddess Isis without discrimination?[1] Similarly, homosexuals need the right to adopt, if nothing else to get the broadest possible pool of adopters for children who need them. But is it imperative that 100% of all adoption agencies adopt to homosexuals, or is it enough that 85% of them do, and that 100% of homosexuals have an equal chance of adopting?[2]

    1) Are you seriously asking whether people have the right to property and space owned by others?
    2) Yes, it really is imperative that government funded services not arbitrarily descriminate.

    innappropriate

    Maybe they have a warped idea of what girls find attractive (ok, they definitely do), but it’s still the prime motivation behind pretty much everything they do.

    Looking back a scant few years ago, it really isn’t.

  45. thascius says

    @33-If registered partnership is equivalent to marriage why shouldn’t heterosexuals be content with registered partnership as well?
    Actually the gay marriage debate is a good example of how rights can be extended to one group of people without taking anything away from anybody else. At least, I’ve yet to hear anybody make any kind of convincing (or coherent) argument about how letting gays and lesbians marry in any way interferes with a heterosexual man or woman’s right to marry the partner of their choice.

  46. Ginkgo says

    ” In both cases we are talking not only about the externally imposed prejudices, but also internalised markers of identity -what we ourselves believe to be the appropriate and acceptable ways for someone like us to behave, assumptions which are inevitably informed by and reactive to dominant cultural values, including racial and gendered stereotypes.”

    And also what we believe we are due as treatment from others. We may believe being treated like a thiug reinforces our thuggishness or badboyness, and if that’s part of our gender identity, we accpet or eveneleict that.

    As carnation says at 11:
    “Back to the OP. Patriarchal misandry is almost exclusively self (collectively male and individually) self imposed, but my opinion is that little by little, it’s power is diminishing.”

    Now we can get all reactive at this if we insist on reading this to lump all meninto a Borg that is oppressing itself, or we can read this to mena men and boys may toelrate or even seek out some of this stereotyping as affrimation of thier (twisted) gender identity.

    Ally, I’m going to have to go with carnation on the question of taoxic masculinity – maybe we want to specify “toxci masculine behaviors” simply becaue I think there is an analog with toxic femininity. So risk-taking behaviors that are really just internalized male disposability are toxic, just as victim-mongering and appeals to pity (“damseling”) are toxic as misogynistic expressions of hypoagency.

  47. thascius says

    @45 teenage boys are much more likely to jump on other teenage boys for failing to live up to stereotypically masculine standards of behavior than teenage girls are. And maybe there are some feminists somewhere who are encouraging boys to be more aggressive, but that fits more with the traditional sex role narrative than what feminists usually promote.
    @46-being seen as physically dangerous may be an advantage in some situations, but it can be a HUGE disadvantage in others. The Trayvon Martin case being a clear case in point. Patriarchy teaches us as men that if we see someone as a threat we have to prove we are a bigger threat, or else you’re not a REAL MAN. Men aren’t supposed to back down, we aren’t supposed to ask for help, we aren’t supposed to ever acknowledge that someone could be a physical threat to us. So we swagger, and boast, and arm ourselves, and get into fights and get injured or killed because bad as that is it’s still better than have the Patriarchy declare you’re not a REAL MAN.
    Male on male violence is a real problem. It’s actually more common than male on female violence, not to diminish the importance of that. And the MRA’s couldn’t care less.

  48. Schala says

    More substantively, patriarchy (to use your phrasing) loves the shit out of any man and women who are both willing and capable to fulfill their roles. A woman who wants nothing more than to be a housewife and accepts and agrees with her assigned role will live a very happy life. Should her husband want nothing more than to be a provider and a distant father, his life will be just as happy. Our culture only “hates” those who are either unable or unwilling to fulfill their role.

    No, it doesn’t. Patriarchy will cause problems even for men who conform to the role to the T, and even for women who conform to the role to the T. Conforming by itself will hurt and limit you. Even if it “makes you happy”, it still has limited you.

    If you feel that being a housewife is the only thing you can be, because vagina, even if you like being a SAHM, you’re still oppressed. Just feeling it less than the lesbian butch woman,

    If you feel that being a beast of burden or wage slave is the only thing you can be, because penis, even if you like working outside for all your awake time, you’re still oppressed. Just feeling it less than the gay feminine man.

    Now I know that you want gender roles that are “rarely a burden, never a prison and always a blessing”. But the best way of avoiding the ill effects of gender roles is to not have any, just like homeopathic drugs are the only drugs without side-effects – because they have no effect at all. Roles have consequences. Unless we admit that some of those consequences are positive, there is no justification for having roles at all..

    There is a positive. Mostly the sense of belonging. Like the sense of belonging to your school, your town, your professional sports team, etc. That’s about it. Everything else of positive value with gender roles could be had with something else. Like freely-chosen positions.

    Wanna be the healer in this Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn party? Then that’s a role you’ve chosen. You can feel a sense of belonging over that. A sense of pride with all other healers, and what not. Knock yourself out. Externally-imposed roles have no positive that freely-chosen roles cannot have.

    Except control. For the sake of a power trip. Or money, always popular as a motivation.

    First to provide some predictability in human interactions. It really helps that you know in advance how others are likely to react, and how your own behaviour is going to be judged. Every nation has its own behaviour rules – think Sweden, Sicily, Japan, Brazil, England… Depending on your personality you might find the Sicilian style easier to adapt to, or the Japanese. But any consistent style is easier and less stressful than an unpredictable mix of all possibilities.

    Not really. You just need a baseline. The baseline could be:

    1) Generally obey the law.
    2) Don’t incite others to not obey the law.
    3) Be courteous when you can and when others are (you don’t have to be courteous if someone is showing you their middle finger).
    4) Speak your own language or your interlocutor’s (if they differ), but preferably adopt one during conversation.
    5) Everyone should have basic education.
    6) People should be able to find training in higher education based on their capacities and desires (not based on their wallet).
    7) People should only be held responsible for something they had a choice about. So don’t yell at someone who just got rammed into if they weren’t at fault, even if they almost made you ram into them afterwards.
    8) Use rational arguments instead of emotion-based arguments. ESPECIALLY in politics, but also in business. Including marketing and advertisements.

    Is that a mix of all possibilities? Seems pretty straight-forward to me.

    Now wether you say hi, hello, ahoy or arr is a mere technicality. And who cares if you curtsey or shake hands? Only rich fucks with 24 hours a day to waste (poor fucks with 24 hours a day to waste generally don’t care – and have very little influence on business and politics).

    Second, we are not born fully formed. Part of growing up is finding out how people behave and learning to do it yourself.

    See my template.

    The very idea of having each child develop his own personal rules for behaviour alone, and then negotiate one-on-one with everybody else about how to interact, is obviously silly. So much for having no roles, then. There will be a role, a behaviour norm, and it is necessary for human development that there be one. The only question is which role(s) there will be.

    See my template.

    What about gender roles, then? Well, to start with, the division of humanity in two genders is obvious and sensible (pace Schala). Genitals, anatomy, stature, muscular strength, voice, sexual attraction, infant development, all divide in two fairly clear groups. Our choice of sexual partners is heavily determined by gender. Relationship to childbearing, breastfeeding, menstruation, menopause, sexual reaction pattern, is heavily gendered, so the two sexes have different life experiences. It is obvious, I would say unavoidable, that a small child should find out which group he/she belongs to, and actively seek and absorb the right way for a little man/woman to behave. Which includes looking for the ways in which your gender is different from the other one. Again, a clear role is beneficial, if not necessary. It serves as a trellis, a set of expectations to grow against. And again, the idea of each child working out his own role is ridiculous. Roles there will be. They will fit some rather better than others, but that is still better than formless chaos.

    See my template.

    And this again:

    Wanna be the healer in this Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn party? Then that’s a role you’ve chosen. You can feel a sense of belonging over that. A sense of pride with all other healers, and what not. Knock yourself out. Externally-imposed roles have no positive that freely-chosen roles cannot have.

    Quoting myself from the same post. Wee.

    Identifying with 50% of the population is fine, on a superficial basis (like how I identify as female), yet it doesn’t tell you ANYTHING about me, and should not.

    It’s like the description Sheriff Bellefleur makes of his fairy daughters (who grow extremely fast): Between 10-50, between 5 and 8 feet, and other wildly variating markers. Telling you I’m female says NOTHING about who I am as a person. It only preps your stereotypes. Which you shouldn’t need to rely on after you’ve had your 5th birthday. It’s a fucking crutch. It’s a placeholder. It’s temporary. It’s not meant to represent people. It’s meant to be there until you see people. Dividing your options by 2 means NOTHING in the scheme of things.

    It’s like a videogame with no class/job, no race, you just pick your sex. Variety right? Most games have classes and job and races, and they matter a fuckton more than your character’s sex, which is ENTIRELY COSMETIC. For the most, it should be this way in real life. Sure, the average man is stronger than the average woman, but it tells you nothing about woman X or man Y. They overlap, a ton. They’re not olympic athletes.

    Chosen roles (and in game, races) can have more-than-cosmetic effects. Taru Tarus are tiny (think child-sized) so have low physical stats, but compensate with high magical stats. Galkas are huge (think Hulk), so have higher physical stats, but low magical stats. It remains that they’re chosen, deliberately. Most people (even most trans people) don’t choose their sex. So it has zero predictive value except about strictly-reproductive stuff (and not attraction stuff, the outliers fuck it all up for your cute little model – even if Cathy Brennan likes to think she knows it all).

  49. freja says

    @50, thascius

    @46-being seen as physically dangerous may be an advantage in some situations, but it can be a HUGE disadvantage in others. The Trayvon Martin case being a clear case in point.

    Here’s an example that was linked to from another post at FTB, about a man using fear to harass a woman. The guy writing the piece blames socialisation, but he admits himself that he was afraid of the other guy in the situation. In the comments, plenty of female posters say that the reason they keep quiet when they’re harassed is fear of retaliation, and one woman openly says that talking back to harassers can get you beat up.

    The Trayvon Martin case doesn’t contradict anything I said in my previous post. There are upsides and downsides to being seen as potentially dangerous. Men mostly get the upsides in regards to women, while black people get the downsides in regards to people who are not black. Just take the difference in how black men react to white fear vs. how white men (and men in general) react to female fear:

    Black men are often told to not dress like thugs (whatever that mean), and many of them follow that advice. Many black men also do things like shuffling their feet when they approach someone from behind, to make sure they’re not perceived as sneaking up on that person, or whistle, smile, or otherwise take steps to appear unthreatening, and many of them quickly learn the correct procedure of what to do when they’re stopped by the police. All in all, they do more to alleviate white fear than they should ever have to, and yet, I’ve heard precious little advice to white people about how to adjust their life to not provoke black anger.

    On the other hand, women are often told to cover up their bodies, for their own safety’s sake. They’re told to avoid public transport and even public streets at certain times, and bad neighbourhoods at all times (never mind the women who live there), and to only go out in the company of a man. They’re told not to get drunk, not to fall asleep in the company of men, not to go along with strange men, not to invite a man to their room, go to the room of a man, or flirt with a man if they’re not 100% sure they want to have sex with him on his terms. Basically a list of demands (covered body, curfew, male guardian, no alcohol, no interaction with men that can even remotely be construed as flirting) almost identical to that imposed on women in more overtly patriarchal cultures, but imposed via fear instead of law. And I probably don’t need to provide examples of how much they’re blamed when they fail to obey.

    But whenever women express that fear in ways that don’t please men, they’re labelled bitches. While black men shuffle their feet to intentionally give people the option to cross the street, women who merely cross the street (not demanding any shuffling) when a man is behind them can be labelled misandrist, even if the accuser has no idea if they actually crossed the street out of fear. Schrödinger’s Rapist is considered the ultimate example of misandry, often by the very same people who think rape prevention is a woman’s issue. Interestingly, concepts like the gay panic defence, and the obvious discomfort displayed by the creepy guy I my first link, show that plenty of men are against being put in women’s shoes, but they often have no issue forcing women into those shoes.

    At the end of the day, it seems women are expected to be constantly afraid of men, just never in a way that actually affects men negatively. On the other hand, people who are not black face no such requirement about avoiding putting themselves in danger (such as not following a supposedly dangerous young black man into a deserted alley), but are often allowed to express their fear in ways that have a great negative impact on black people (such as shooting them).

  50. Sister Eu says

    Because a patriarchy is a system where men hold power while others are pretty much out, I don’t see how seeming suspicious because of being male is to be blamed on patriarchy. It’s a bad assumption. I think it’s just stereotypes that exist with or without any patriarchy – women as good and non violent, men as… not. Not every sexism issue can shoved onto patriarchy and dusted off. All that should be talked about when it comes to this is the stereotypes themselves and dispelling them –

    calling sexists out who hold sexist stereotypes as well rather than just going “the patriarchy.” Patriarchy can’t be exchanged to mean all sexism.

    If this were the case, Schroedinger’s Rapist would be the fault of patriarchal misandry rather than an acceptable philosophy at FTB. How ironic.

    I hope this comment isn’t too troubling. I had to say something. Think about it.

  51. Schala says

    Because a patriarchy is a system where men hold power while others are pretty much out

    Must be nice on Mars, right? Because nothing even remotely close exists in the West.

  52. Ally Fogg says

    Freja

    Interesting posts. Not sure I can address all your points, but to go back to your starting point:

    “But I don’t think the intersection you talk about here is a case of two different forms of oppression, but rather oppression intersecting with a common prejudice which is not necessarily hateful or oppressive. Men are perceived to be more dangerous, that’s true. This almost certainly has a biological component, but could very well be amplified by existing gender roles. But that perception isn’t always a disadvantage.”

    You are differentiating between oppression and “a common prejudice which is not necessarily hateful or oppressive.”

    It is true that not all prejudice is oppressive or hateful, however it doesn’t follow from there that masculine gender roles are not oppressive.

    You also seem to be suggesting that, because a prejudicial construction can have benefits in, for example, placing one in a position of dominance over another, that means it is not an oppression. Again, that does not follow.

    If I could drop in an extreme analogy, one of the many horrible things that men (almost exclusively) do in wartime is to participate in war crimes, either against the enemy or civilian populations. Many of those who do feel compelled to join in, either under direct order and duress or by social conformity, peer pressure etc.

    Of course it is hard to have much sympathy for the individuals, but I would argue that they have nonetheless been oppressed, by their superiors, their immediate culture, or the wider culture and experience of war. They will often live with appalling guilt, PTSD etc for the rest of their lives. I’m less interested in blaming the participants than in blaming the authorities, the military culture and the

    While the scale is entirely different, I think what you are describing – the pressures that are required to place men in dominant positions – are oppressive not only to the ultimate victims, but also to those who are forced into the position of immediate oppressor.

  53. says

    Ally @ 55:

    If I could drop in an extreme analogy, one of the many horrible things that men (almost exclusively) do in wartime is to participate in war crimes, either against the enemy or civilian populations. Many of those who do feel compelled to join in, either under direct order and duress or by social conformity, peer pressure etc.

    I’d not thought of this in this way before, so thank you for giving me something to think about.

    Would you say that rape taken out of the context of war could be the result of the same kind of social conformity, peer pressure, etc.?

    I ask because I’d read somewhere that often times confessed rapists assume that most men rape, which isn’t true, but they believe that it is, so it’s as if it’s justified in their minds since they think everyone else is doing it too.

  54. Ginkgo says

    Freja @ 52 – “The Trayvon Martin case doesn’t contradict anything I said in my previous post. There are upsides and downsides to being seen as potentially dangerous. Men mostly get the upsides in regards to women, while black people get the downsides in regards to people who are not black.”

    Consider this a bit. Men getting mostly the upsides – these are the downsides: Women are seen as less dangerous, even when they are objectively more dangerous, as in the DV situations where the owmen is the aggressor and the man gets arrested simply on suspcion, which is based on… The grossly lop-sdied incarceration rates reflect the downside of being seen as inhenretly more dangerous.

    Something else, and Ally alluded to this above, is the presumption of exaggerated adulthood. Little boys, white or black, and black girls, are seen as more agentive and held to a higher standarad of responsiblility and punshed more severely than white girls for the same infraction.

    We see this not only in discipline rates in schools but even in the various sexaul harassment actions coming out of elementary schools in the South! In one case I can remember a first-grader was disciplined for hugging his teacher – she thought it was sexual. he was disciplined when of course the teacher should have been fired for imagining anything sexual at all of a first grader. Behold the power of White Southern Womanhood. And then of course there are the notoriious double standards around statutory rape.

    Joy Reid (grio.com) mentioned this on Rachel Madow or somewhere simialr – the core problem on that jury was people – all women and mostly white – being unble to see that 17-year-old boy as a child. That is something all boys confront, regardless of the sneering “man-child” tropes and “boys will be boys.” that only look like permission to actually be a child.

  55. Ginkgo says

    Ally @ 55 – “Of course it is hard to have much sympathy for the individuals, ”

    Harsh. You are describing all child soldiers in the paragraph above.

  56. Gjenganger says

    @thascius 48.
    We should not be discussing this here. And I promise that I will say no more on this topic whatever answers I get. But just once: Registered partnership confers the same rights for all practical purposes as marriage. If it is rights you want, that is your answer. The big difference between the two is a matter of recognition by society. By calling both marriage you are officially declaring that a gay relationship is no different and no less than a straight one and that a straight relationship is no different and no more than a gay one. Which is why gay people generally want this, and some straight people do not. I have no quarrel with people saying that we should make this change – and anyway we have and the discussion if over. But it really does not make sense to claim that this is an important difference for the gay and an irrelevant detail for the straight, when the situation is almost symmetrical.

    As it happens, I seem to remember that Stonewall was against extending the right of registered partnership to cohabitating siblings. Now that really would have been a case of ‘extending a right to new people without hurting those who had it already’. Except that it is not: Stonewall quite correctly saw that extending the right to siblings would degrade registered partnership from an accept of the validity of homosexual relationships to a simple practical matter of managing cohabitation.

  57. Ally Fogg says

    SisterEu

    Because a patriarchy is a system where men hold power while others are pretty much out, I don’t see how seeming suspicious because of being male is to be blamed on patriarchy. It’s a bad assumption.

    It’s a bad assumption because it is a false premise. Firstly, patriarchy is not a system ‘where men hold power while others are pretty much out.’ It would be more accurate to say it is a system that controls the expression of power on a gendered basis (alongside other systems of power). It doesn’t exclude some women being very powerful and some men being entirely powerless. At most it might say that patriarchy would assume that powerful men would be, as a group, more powerful than powerful women.

    As for whether negative stereotypes of men can be blamed on patriarchy, obviously it is not the only reason. However if you accept that a patriarchal society will expect men to be more violent, more domineering, more dangerous than they want to be or need to be, then it is inevitable that individuals will assume men are more violent, more domineering, more dangerous than they usually are.

    If this were the case, Schroedinger’s Rapist would be the fault of patriarchal misandry rather than an acceptable philosophy at FTB. How ironic.

    Schroedinger’s Rapist is the fault of patriarchal misandry. It is a metaphor that accurately captures the dilemma women face living in a society that tolerates sexual harassment, casts men as probable abusers and women as victims-to-be who need to behave according to patriarchal norms to be safe. It is patriarchy that, to a large extent, produces rapists and so patriarchy that produces fear of rapists.

    For good measure, it is patriarchal misandry that quietly forgets that male victims even exist. Just as patriarchy needs women to live in fear of men, it also needs men to believe they are bulletproof.

    The thing about patriarchal misandry is that you can’t end it by addressing misandry alone. You end it by addressing both.

  58. thascius says

    @52-I don’t think we’re in basic disagreement. Women are taught to back down and avoid confronting a man who is seen as physically dangerous. Whereas men are taught to “buck up” and not admit they are intimidated, since a REAL MAN is never afraid, so he follows the scary black teenager, or gets a gun so he doesn’t have to be afraid (which should not be read that I have any sympathy for Zimmerman because I don’t). Men may get the upside with women but they get the downside with other men, not just black men either. A white man is far more likely to be murdered by another white man than by a black man. It’s another example of how patriarchy hurts men, too; we’re never supposed to be vulnerable or back down from a fight. And sooner or later you’re going to run into somebody bigger and tougher than you.

  59. thascius says

    @59-I’m coming at this from a US perspective where in most states there is no legal recognition of same sex relationships whatsoever, and most states which did have civil unions (the equivalent of your registered partnership) now have gay marriage. The pro side would argue that the government should not be treating homosexual and heterosexual couples differently. If the government got out of the marriage business entirely and only recognized registered partnerships or civil unions or what have you and left marriage to the churches that would be fine. And I think most societies have tended to frown on incest. I’m not familiar with the specifics you refer to there, but most homosexuals do find being lumped in with bestiality, pedophilia, incest, etc to be offensive.

  60. Ally Fogg says

    TimidAtheist

    Would you say that rape taken out of the context of war could be the result of the same kind of social conformity, peer pressure, etc.?

    I sort of would, but only very cautiously. I’m really talking sociology here, rather than individual psychology. One of the factors that impacts upon individual behaviour is social norms, which are absorbed and mutate in someone’s personality among all the other influences (including philosophically tricky notions like free will etc) However I would argue that such pressures have a significant influence.

    I ask because I’d read somewhere that often times confessed rapists assume that most men rape, which isn’t true, but they believe that it is, so it’s as if it’s justified in their minds since they think everyone else is doing it to

    Yeah, social norms theory. You might have read it on this blog, coz I’ve mentioned it before!

  61. Ally Fogg says

    Gingko

    the core problem on that jury was people – all women and mostly white – being unble to see that 17-year-old boy as a child. That is something all boys confront, regardless of the sneering “man-child” tropes and “boys will be boys.” that only look like permission to actually be a child.

    that’/s perfect, thanks.

  62. Gjenganger says

    @Schala 51
    Your baseline is good and positive, but it includes almost nothing of the standard behaviour rules that nations set differently. How you talk to strangers, how fast and slow you talk, what is polite and rude, when, where and how you touch, how you signal that you want a conversation to end … One colleague of mine was unable to understand any signal for ‘go away and leave me alone’. People had to tell him explicitly, which the English are not able to do. They cared. Boy, how they hated him.

    Personally I think that expectations, which means stereotypes, which means roles, are unavoidably different for men and women. That does not mean you could not have a choice – some cultures do – but the roles have to be pre-set and universally known for things to work. Of course knowing your gender role does not mean I know anything about who you really are, but that is rather the point. We need to interact with all kinds of people we meet, and we do not have time to make intimate friends of all of them. I have still not learned the names of all my children’s classmates – how can I be expected to know the personality and style of each of their parents?

  63. Gjenganger says

    @62 thasciuis
    I know I promised, but I need to fix a misunderstanding. What I said had nothing to do with incest. I referred to a UK case that went to one of the European high courts (Court of Human Rights, I believe). Two old sisters were living in a shared household, had done for years, and wanted to enter a registered partnership, so that the survivor could keep living in their shared house without having to wind up her sister’s estate, pay inheritance tax – and so be forced to sell and move out. There was never any suggestion of a sexual relationship. They argued on anti-discrimination grounds – if two other women could do it why cannot we – but lost their case.

    Your courtesy is very much appreciated. Considering what you thought I said it is actually amazing.

  64. Jacob Schmidt says

    If you feel that being a housewife is the only thing you can be, because vagina, even if you like being a SAHM, you’re still oppressed. Just feeling it less than the lesbian butch woman,

    If you feel that being a beast of burden or wage slave is the only thing you can be, because penis, even if you like working outside for all your awake time, you’re still oppressed. Just feeling it less than the gay feminine man.

    Right , because gender essentialism is the only reason we would want such things (I wonder how many “wage slaves” enjoy going to work; I know I do).

  65. freja says

    @55, Ally Fogg

    You are differentiating between oppression and “a common prejudice which is not necessarily hateful or oppressive.”

    It is true that not all prejudice is oppressive or hateful, however it doesn’t follow from there that masculine gender roles are not oppressive.

    You also seem to be suggesting that, because a prejudicial construction can have benefits in, for example, placing one in a position of dominance over another, that means it is not an oppression. Again, that does not follow.

    Oh, I agree that prejudices can be oppressive in the form of being restrictive, I just don’t think they’re necessarily oppressive in the form of putting the people to whom they apply in a position of less power and status compared to others. It has been my observation that similar prejudices play out very differently depending on the distribution of power involved. For instance, reading about women in the Victorian age, they were praised as being kind, gentle, and able to to somehow civilise men. And yet all those positive prejudices didn’t actually get them much, except for added burdens and restrictions.

    Women were never called on to use those abilities in places that could lead to wealth or influence, only to literally serve mankind, as submissively and unobtrusively as possible. The poem The Angel in the House illustrates this attitude pretty well: “Man must be pleased; but him to please Is woman’s pleasure”. Women were often kept out of prestigious jobs under the pretence of protecting them, such as when a female engineer was dismissed because the Board of Education forbade women to attend high pressure boilers. Suffragette and poet Alice Duer Miller wrote a a poem about how self-serving she believed it to be (and I agree):

    Lady, dangers lurk in boilers,
    Risks I could not let you face.
    Men were meant to be the toilers,
    Home, you know, is woman’s place.
    Have no home? Well, is that so?
    Still, it’s not my fault, you know.

    Charming lady, work no more;
    Fair you are and sweet as honey;
    Work might make your fingers sore,
    And, besides, I need the money.
    Prithee rest,–or starve or rob–
    Only let me have your job!

    And funny enough, I’ve never heard of similar initiatives to protect women from the coal mining or cleaning industries (though if there were, they’d probably still be all about getting men jobs), only science, politics, business, the military, arts, the media, and academics in general (if you ever find time to read the ebook, note the one about the dangers of algebra). It these cases, the prejudices about men being more brutish and less civilised than women lead to the belief that they were less frail and thus the only ones fit to handle the strains of influential and well paid positions in society.

    But black people were seen brutish and uncivilised too, and yet that didn’t mean they were invited to become prime ministers or generals or professors or engineers, or any of the things women were allegedly too gentle and delicate to involve themselves in. It seems like the common belief was basically that white men, unlike white women, were just tough and brutal enough to handle the strain of wealth and power, but also, unlike black men, just gentle and civilised enough to use that wealth and power to the benefit of all. Of course, no one ever explained why black women couldn’t posses the same perfect blend of gentleness and toughness, probably because they were too far down the hierarchy for people to even bother to come up with excuses to oppress them.

    So in short, totally opposite prejudices have served to keep both women and black out of influence. In men, aggression was used to justify them being uniquely qualified for competitive fields, but in black people, alleged aggression was used to justify keeping them out of said fields. In white people, alleged civility was used to justify them being the leaders of the world, but in women, alleged civility was used to justify keeping them away from power.

    This is one of the reasons it bothers me when white men co-opt the oppression of black people as being similar to their own. I’m not black, so I don’t feel I have the right to be as annoyed as Crommunist, but still, I think it obscures the issue of power. While the prejudice of men being more of a threat applies to men of all ethnicities, the actual consequences of this are in many ways more similar for black men and women in general than it is for white men. Women and black men are the ones who’re told to alter their behaviour, and both are held responsible for not upsetting white men (blacks by being too fearsome, women by being too fearful). White men are given permission to both be offended over Schrödinger’s rapist and to react to black men suspiciously and aggressively because they perceive them to be a potential threat.

    It sucks for everyone except the bigots (and I suspect they would probably benefit from not being bigots in the first place), but I don’t think it’s misandry.

  66. says

    I wonder how many “wage slaves” enjoy going to work; I know I do

    Probably strongly depends on the job and their social status among their colleagues. Given that you complained about the ambiguity of the symbol “rho” in context of your field, I suspect you are not on the bottom of the barrel.

  67. Schala says

    Your baseline is good and positive, but it includes almost nothing of the standard behaviour rules that nations set differently. How you talk to strangers, how fast and slow you talk, what is polite and rude, when, where and how you touch, how you signal that you want a conversation to end … One colleague of mine was unable to understand any signal for ‘go away and leave me alone’. People had to tell him explicitly, which the English are not able to do. They cared. Boy, how they hated him.

    Be explicit in communication. That is all. No need to have Super Subtle Rules of Communication, because we want only people with Super Decoder Rings to get it. Communication doesn’t need to be hardcore. You want someone to go away, tell them to go away. Simple

    Personally I think that expectations, which means stereotypes, which means roles, are unavoidably different for men and women. That does not mean you could not have a choice – some cultures do – but the roles have to be pre-set and universally known for things to work. Of course knowing your gender role does not mean I know anything about who you really are, but that is rather the point. We need to interact with all kinds of people we meet, and we do not have time to make intimate friends of all of them. I have still not learned the names of all my children’s classmates – how can I be expected to know the personality and style of each of their parents?

    It’s not unavoidable different. It’s only something you think now, because you’ve only known it that way. The status quo happened because it was the best possible outcome is a fallacy. It was in the Simpsons with the sauce thing, and it is now with your idea about gender roles.

    and here, I’ll end this with quoting myself:

    Telling you I’m female says NOTHING about who I am as a person. It only preps your stereotypes. Which you shouldn’t need to rely on after you’ve had your 5th birthday. It’s a fucking crutch. It’s a placeholder. It’s temporary. It’s not meant to represent people. It’s meant to be there until you see people. Dividing your options by 2 means NOTHING in the scheme of things.

    and this:

    Wanna be the healer in this Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn party? Then that’s a role you’ve chosen. You can feel a sense of belonging over that. A sense of pride with all other healers, and what not. Knock yourself out. Externally-imposed roles have no positive that freely-chosen roles cannot have.

    The ONLY reasons to want it predictable based on genitals is a desire to control people who’ve not even yet been born, out of some power trip, or to abuse them financially (ie companies convincing women they NEED make-up). The positive reasons CAN all be done otherwise, ALL.

    Right , because gender essentialism is the only reason we would want such things (I wonder how many “wage slaves” enjoy going to work; I know I do).

    Obviously, the oppression there is being pegged with one role, no out and no option. Not the action itself. I’d do housewife any day. Having no option would still be shit.

  68. Ginkgo says

    thrascius @ 50 “Male on male violence is a real problem. It’s actually more common than male on female violence, not to diminish the importance of that. And the MRA’s couldn’t care less.”

    Here you go:
    http://angryharry.com/Stop-Violence-Against-Men.htm

    There. Is Angry Harry MRA enough for you?

    Only half in fun. The MRA agitation against the draft law is one expression of this push against m-on-m violence. The anti-circumcsions /intactivist movement is another, really.

  69. Danny Gibbs says

    Gjenganger 1:
    So, in improving things for women, transssexuals, the deaf, I am actually improving things for men? Sounds rather weird.
    Not that weird. As humans who must all coexist on Earth we are interconnected so it’s not that hard to see that helping one group could help other groups (just as harming one group can harm other groups). That’s why it bums me when I see people argue that directly focusing on men is a detriment to women on the grounds that it by default silences the experiences of women. Are we supposed to believe that with all these different walks of life that are interconnected we must specifically limit assistance, focus, and help on certain groups to nothing but indirect forms on the grounds that doing so directly would harm other groups?

    Jacob Schmidt 2:
    More substantively, patriarchy (to use your phrasing) loves the shit out of any man and women who are both willing and capable to fulfill their roles. A woman who wants nothing more than to be a housewife and accepts and agrees with her assigned role will live a very happy life. Should her husband want nothing more than to be a provider and a distant father, his life will be just as happy. Our culture only “hates” those who are either unable or unwilling to fulfill their role.
    Yes yes yes especially on the last part. This system, whatever you want to call it only loves and looks out for those that fulfill their assigned roles whether they be man, woman, or otherwise. This is why I really don’t like the phrases, “patriarchy hates women” and “patriarchy hates men too” because I don’t think its an accurate reflection of the hatred that’s going on as that phrasing implies that by default the system is set against women and along the way some men suffer what amounts to acceptable collateral damage (acceptable to the system).

    AllyF 4:
    Yes, I also agree with this. I’ll confess ‘patriarchy hates men too’ is more of a slogan than a reasoned analysis
    I’d call it (and it’s cousin “Patriarchy Hurts Men Too” aka PHMT) more like lip service but yes its not a reasoned analysis because its starting point is (as I say above) “the system sets out to harm women………….and men get harmed a little bit somewhere down the line”.

    thacius 50:
    @46-being seen as physically dangerous may be an advantage in some situations, but it can be a HUGE disadvantage in others. The Trayvon Martin case being a clear case in point. Patriarchy teaches us as men that if we see someone as a threat we have to prove we are a bigger threat, or else you’re not a REAL MAN. Men aren’t supposed to back down, we aren’t supposed to ask for help, we aren’t supposed to ever acknowledge that someone could be a physical threat to us. So we swagger, and boast, and arm ourselves, and get into fights and get injured or killed because bad as that is it’s still better than have the Patriarchy declare you’re not a REAL MAN.
    Not only can it be a disadvantage there but also consider being taught that by default you are a threat and you must go out of your way to prove to others that you are not a threat and if you fail to do so then it actually proves you are a threat.

    Male on male violence is a real problem. It’s actually more common than male on female violence, not to diminish the importance of that. And the MRA’s couldn’t care less.
    Then count me as one who does care. Unlike most anti-violence efforts that start and end at “its something men do to women” I’d like to see all variations of violence confronted. Because honestly I think they are all linked and to just concentrate on certain variations of it to the exclusion of others (sometimes under the silly pretense of “this one variation of violence is the root of all violence”) it won’t go well.

    Ally 60:
    Schroedinger’s Rapist is the fault of patriarchal misandry. It is a metaphor that accurately captures the dilemma women face living in a society that tolerates sexual harassment, casts men as probable abusers and women as victims-to-be who need to behave according to patriarchal norms to be safe. It is patriarchy that, to a large extent, produces rapists and so patriarchy that produces fear of rapists.
    I think what turns people off on the Schroedinger’s Rapist idea is not the causes but the proposed solution. The idea casts men as probable abusers and the (sometimes, maybe often?) proposed solution is that men are the ones that need to work on dispelling the fear around rape. I think a lot of guys have a problem with this because despite the math on how many men are rapists showing that only a small portion of men over all are rapists the onus is being put on men to do something about it on the grounds that they are men.

    For good measure, it is patriarchal misandry that quietly forgets that male victims even exist. Just as patriarchy needs women to live in fear of men, it also needs men to believe they are bulletproof.
    And I think this one riles a few feathers because its not just patriarchy misandry that forgets male victims but those who say they are against it that can sometimes ignore the experiences of male victims (or even get into that nasty business of trying to form a heirarchy of “who has it worse”).

  70. carnation says

    @ inappropriate

    “Maybe they have a warped idea of what girls find attractive (ok, they definitely do), but it’s still the prime motivation behind pretty much everything they do.”

    No, it really isn’t, and as has been pointed out elsewhere, the worst excesses of violence (war crimes, gang fights, turf wars, prison violence et al) are almost solely the preserve of exclusively or predominately male groups with (usually) male victims. Usually young men targeting other young men, incidently.

    In the spirit of a new type of commenting, I’m going to reserve judgment on the basis for your theory, but I’m afraid I just can’t agree with you.

    @ Ally Fogg

    I first heard the term toxic masculinity in a sociology class and it resonated deeply. As an example, the Kray twins are perfect, as are the latter day gangs of London, shooting and stabbing each other over imaginary slights and challenges to respect.

    @ Gingko

    For sure, toxic femininities exist, though are usually expressed differently, arguably/probably because of patriarchal constraints on acceptable female behaviour.

  71. thascius says

    @71-I read the linked article. Lots of complaints about feminists and Hollywood and the media. No real mention of the fact that the majority of male victims of violence are victimized by other men. Acknowledgement that men can be victims is a step in the right direction, but not acknowledging that men are generally the problem as well won’t lead to a solution.
    @72 “I’d like to see all variations of violence confronted. Because honestly I think they are all linked and to just concentrate on certain variations of it to the exclusion of others (sometimes under the silly pretense of “this one variation of violence is the root of all violence”) it won’t go well.” A man is more likely to be assaulted or murdered by another man than by a woman. I’m not sure what the answer or answers are. I think we need to stop being a culture that celebrates male on male violence, we need to teach boys from an early age to stop conflicts without fighting, we need to be a culture where a man who backs down from a fight is not viewed as weak or sissy.

  72. Calenchamien says

    The idea casts men as probable abusers and the (sometimes, maybe often?) proposed solution is that men are the ones that need to work on dispelling the fear around rape. I think a lot of guys have a problem with this because despite the math on how many men are rapists showing that only a small portion of men over all are rapists the onus is being put on men to do something about it on the grounds that they are men.

    I can’t speak for all women, but I suspect the majority feeling on this is that:
    1) men don’t need to dispel the fear around rape. Rather, they need to take into account that the fear of rape is real, and to actively check their behaviour when they want a positive, encouraging result.
    2) although I completely agree with you, the vast majority of men are not rapists. But the vast majority of rapists are men. And that’s the points of Shroedinger’s rapist. Just because you are likely one of the 59/60 (to use the author’s statistics) non-rapists… doesn’t mean that I can afford to take the chance that you’re that one man who will refuse to take no for an answer if we hang out in your room.
    Also, going back to the statistics, how would you propose women alleivate other womens’ fears about being raped?

  73. Butch Pansy says

    It seems to me, and to Antonio Gramsci, that hegemonic forces are culturally applied, but depend on the consent of their subjects. So, yeah, patriarchal misandry can be said to be self-imposed. This does hinge on the concept of consent, however, which is not always available to everyone; economic and social forces that encourage conformity are not trivial. Consent also impies a knowledge and awarenass of the forces at work to create conformity, an educated and objective perspective that is not available to everyone.There is a distinct epistemic injustice done when one can’t even see the enemy becauseof its pervasiveness, a forest and tree problem. To be a gender renegade, to resist the hegemonic imposition of a heteronormative binary, is a daring and dangerous path to take when surrounded by people who define themselves by it, who gain a sense of power from it. To reject that which they use to define themselves is an intimate threat to them; indeed, it is an attack on the underpinnings of civilization, in their view: America is a straight, christian, middle-class, native-born, white country; to be other is to be an enemy of the state.

  74. Schala says

    2) although I completely agree with you, the vast majority of men are not rapists. But the vast majority of rapists are men.

    60% of rapists are men, 40% of rapists are women.

    Vast majority must have another meaning on your planet.

  75. Calenchamien says

    @Shala77

    Not really. Since the article regarding Shroedinger’s Rapist is primarily concerned with potentially female victims, I’m, at most, guilty of disregarding in my statement, male victims. And you’re right to bring me to task for that, if that’s what your doing.
    But if you read the same article I did to get those statistics, you might have noticed that
    80% of men report a female rapist and 98% of women report a male rapist.
    98%. And that is an overwhelming majority. Statistically speaking, women don’t have a lot to fear from other women.
    Article here, just in case anyone wants to check it out: http://www.genderratic.com/p/836/manufacturing-female-victimhood-and-marginalizing-vulnerable-men/

  76. karmakin says

    But who cares about the male victims, right?

    Look, the whole problem is the expectation that men need to be “tough”, and then to prove it. Stuff like this only reinforces that gender role. It’s why it’s a much broader issue than just blaming it on “toxic male culture”.

  77. Schala says

    Not really. Since the article regarding Shroedinger’s Rapist is primarily concerned with potentially female victims, I’m, at most, guilty of disregarding in my statement, male victims. And you’re right to bring me to task for that, if that’s what your doing.

    The thing is, Shrodinger’s Rapist is wrong on many counts.

    It’s often used as an example of why “men have it easy”, because they don’t have to fear rape, unlike women, when the reality is that men underestimate the risk and women overestimate the risk – especially for stranger rape. Men almost feel invulnerable in comparison to paranoid women, for relatively the same level of risk (for rape), with a much lesser risk for other types of violence, especially from strangers.

    It’s also often used to say men don’t have to fear women, or that the worse they have to fear from women is embarrassment.

  78. Calenchamien says

    @Schala80.

    So you’re saying that because the Schreodinger’s Rapist scenario (any given woman being unable to tell whether or not any given man she interacts with is a rapist until the point at which he becomes her rapist) is wrong… because people use it to “prove” things that are neither explicitly or implicitly stated in the scenario.
    There is no statement that men are not subject to rape, or that the likelihood of such a thing is much higher than they or others might assume, or that any given man has nothing to fear from women.
    I agree with you (and karmakin??) that the perpetuation of “men have nothing to fear but hurt feelings” is harmful to the creation of dialogue about male rape. But Schrodinger’s Rapist doesn’t say that men have nothing to fear. It does follow along with the social attitude of ignoring male victims, perhaps aided by the fact that it was created and exists from a female perspective. Nevertheless, however much I try to imagine what internal calculations any given man makes during interaction with any given female, I can never really know unless, say, someone comes up with a male-perspective equivalent. That doesn’t make it wrong, just not male-perspective.

  79. Schala says

    Nevertheless, however much I try to imagine what internal calculations any given man makes during interaction with any given female, I can never really know unless, say, someone comes up with a male-perspective equivalent. That doesn’t make it wrong, just not male-perspective.

    Hear my trans woman perspective:

    Profiling is bad. Act on real red flags, real threatening behavior, real invading of boundaries uninvited and people who keep pushing even after being told no.

    I suspect everyone, male or female, of being potential assaulters, muggers, murderers, rapists and arsonists – meaning not very much. I don’t do so selectively, because chances are I would miss the outlier ones.

    For example, pedophilia is so much assumed to be a male thing, even a male-only thing, that female pedophiles are given free reigns. And I’m not talking about teachers and 17 yo consenting students. I’m talking about daycare workers, babysitters, young and older mothers, grandmothers. With young children below 10 years old.

    Profile only male pedophiles and you miss the female pedophiles. And unlike arrests would indicate, they represent over 20% of perpetrators. Yet only 2% of arrests. That’s being given a pass. That’s female privilege. And that’s hurting society as a whole.

    If “boys will be boys” (as an excuse) is male privilege, then “girls won’t be as bad as boys” is female privilege. And both are incredibly widespread, at every possible cultural level, the personal, the legal and the professional.

  80. kathleenh says

    Not arguing with you on any of those points. Although it’s never actually said, I tend to read to the Schrodinger’s Rapist scenario as, to use your words, women paying attention to red flags. I don’t doubt that men do too, although given the hyper masculine we live in, it may be that men would be less likely to boast about being careful about their safety to others – aiding in the creation of the impression that a “real mean” doesn’t think about safety.* The author makes several mentions of red flag behaviour – ignoring boundaries and unreceptive body language, for example – that women tend to be wary of. Not because it’s a man doing it, necessarily**, but because it’s indicative of a lack of respect for the woman’s right to be left alone.
    Not mentioned by the author, but it’s mention by commenters and agrees with my take on Schrodinger’s Rapist, is the ‘internal’ part of the calculations. I don’t consciously evaluate others as to how likely they are to commit a crime against me, or what that crime might be, but those evaluations go on, and only appear on my conscious when another’s behaviour sends up red flags.
    If I feel like another person is walking too close, I’ll feel uncomfortable, I might grip my purse a little harder, or, if they’re behind me, slow down to let them pass. If it’s a man, I’m probably not thinking potential rapist – I do know the statistics on rape-by-strangers – I’ll probably be thinking potential mugger. If a woman strikes up a conversation with me on the bus, I’m probably not going to be thinking rapist then either, not unless she sends up a red flag for that – repeated unwanted physical contact, for example. On the other hand, woman or man, if those particular red flags get sent up (and probably skewed statistical evidence aside, it is my experience that men ignore my boundaries more often than women. Still not enough to be consciously worried about rape, even given that I’ve been raped, though) I’m going to think twice about entering into situations that can turn sexual: drinking at their/my place, spending the night, going on anything that might be considered a date with out clarifying first, etc.
    I’m not going to claim that I’m entirely unaffected by stereotypes, I grew up in this culture, too, you know? But I can try.

    *I wonder sometimes if men are made aware of what constitutes red flag behaviour in the same way that women are. This comes out of someone pondering to me, once, if – should a man be raped – there was enough in his social or formal education that you could reasonably expect him to recognize it for rape, and then have the words to talk about it, by which I think he/she meant talking about it without having to reinforce a hyper masculine identity or gender stereotypes in some way.
    **women may feel less threatened and more annoyed by another woman – not gonna comment on the social conditioning that produces different perceptions of identical behaviour in men and women, because we all know that’s stereotyping, and yup, you get female and male privilege with it.

    Sorry, I ramble when I get into a subject

  81. kathleenh says

    (Calenchamien’s me, btw, just signed up because I realized I need to start a blog of my own to supplement rambling on somebody else’s)

  82. Schala says

    *I wonder sometimes if men are made aware of what constitutes red flag behaviour in the same way that women are.

    You mean women being aware of men’s behavior being red flag, or women being aware of their own behavior being red flag?

    Because the situations where the rape of a man occurs seem to feel even more entitled than the reverse situation where a man rapes a woman. That is, she feels he couldn’t possibly say no, that it’s not even in the realm of possibilities – while I think a male rapist will know he’s pushing his luck, he’s probably heard a thousand times before about asking for her consent…who’s been told about asking for his consent (any male victim) though?

    As such, the campaigns that ignore male victims, and make it seem as if they don’t exist, and all those Men Can Stop Rape, and Stop Violence Against Women, and all that – make it seem as if men are either always safe, or they never need help, or they always consent to sex. Which already are prevalent stereotypes.

    In short, campaigns by anti-patriarchy orgs, end up reinforcing patriarchy by enforcing male gender role on all men. As protector and as non-victim.

  83. Gjenganger says

    @Danny Gibbs 72

    Not that weird. As humans who must all coexist on Earth we are interconnected so it’s not that hard to see that helping one group could help other groups (just as harming one group can harm other groups). That’s why it bums me when I see people argue that directly focusing on men is a detriment to women on the grounds that it by default silences the experiences of women. Are we supposed to believe that with all these different walks of life that are interconnected we must specifically limit assistance, focus, and help on certain groups to nothing but indirect forms on the grounds that doing so directly would harm other groups

    Quite right. But also some ways of helping one group can hurt other groups. We must all coexist, as you say, but sometimes our interests conflict. Resources are finite (time, money, attention) and we compete for them. There can be only one general norm for behaviour in a society, and whatever you chose will be good for some and less good for others. As for your example, it is objectively true that directly focusing on men comes at a cost to women. Not because it silences the experiences of women, but because it introduces a competitor for funds and resources, and it undermines the claim that women are quite specially suffering, and therefore need all kinds of changes in society to favour them. Wanting all the attention for the women is unjust, selfish, and flies in the face of the claim that feminism is just wanting equality. It also relies on lying and suppressing the truth, which is always bad. But there is no point in denying that there are also conflicts of interest between different groups, like between feminists (women) and MRAs (men). In fact I think you get better debate and better results by admitting to these conflicts of interest than by sweeping them under the carpet.

  84. kathleenh says

    I meant men being made aware of women’s red flag behaviour, and I suspect the answer is no, because I’m pretty new to discussions surrounding all this (patriarchy, rape, gender stereotypes, etc) but I can honestly say I’ve never heard a single word about what female rape (of anyone else, male or female) might look like, or what a female rapist might do.

    What you’ve said about the entitlement totally makes sense to me. Is it also possible, do you think, (I think so, but I don’t want to be presumptuous) that given that men don’t really get told to ask for consent, that they, too, might feel a social pressure against saying no to sex with a woman, even if they don’t really want it? After all, in a society that eschews homosexuality and – it seemed common to me, as a teenager – equates lack of desire for straight sex with a desire for gay sex…. and then requires that men prove their masculinity which seems to commonly get equated with being seen as straight… i don’t know, I can see it happening, and then see the rape victim walk away thinking that it wasn’t rape, it was just bad sex, or sex he wasn’t really into.

    As a side note, it does bug me though, that – at least in stereotype – warding off being seen as gay requires justifying not wanting to have sex with a woman because there’s something wrong with *her* (too fat, too ugly, too clingy, too shrill, too slutty, too whatever) but I guess this comes from the common cause of men not feeling able to turn down sex just because they don’t want to have sex with this particular woman.

    As for social change campaigns… you know, I never thought of it that way. It makes sense. One possible contributing factor is the almost hostile reaction to “men are raped too”. I’ve never explicitly seen it myself, but the vibe I’ve gotten from various posts and comments sections is that that is taken as a “men are raped too, so talk about that instead, or shut up”. I’m not going to try to claim that’s a fair reaction, or that hostility to talking about male victims is right. But I do notice that I failed to explicitly reference male victims in a response to a post talking about male reactions to female reactions to a post about female victims, and then acknowledged that failure… and suddenly there’s a sarcastic comment about how no one cares about male rape victims. I can only assume it was directed at me. Even though in the close to 100 comments, I can’t find anyone else who acknowledged that we should be talking about it before I did.

    And it’s not that I don’t care. I do. But with very little accurate statistical information with which to start informing myself about male rape (essential to any discussion), very little socially imparted knowledge, and very few sources (in comparison to rape of women) about rape of men, and no personal experience… honestly, what are my words worth? What does any woman who hasn’t done a study on it have to say about it? And if it is the case that society inundates men with the idea that they cannot be seen as weak, as having been a rape victim… well it can’t be easy for men to talk about it either, can it?

    Yes, it needs to be talked about more. But I think, that can’t only be the responsibility of people who are already talking about rape. Frankly, I think more men need to start talking about male rape, and start creating an environment where men who have been raped can share their experience without having to reinforce gender expectations or feel that their identity as a man (even a “real man”, if that’s their identity) is threatened. Women starting that conversation… well, 1) I don’t think it’s going to be all that helpful, and 2) it feels to me like it puts the responsibility for the maintenance of men’s emotional well-being on women. Which is a social expectation that already exists, and only reinforces the female gender roles.

    And given the now two (once in person) times that I have seen the reaction of “there are male victims, too” has yet to be accompanied by any sort of discussion starter, facts, anything but sarcasm… I’m not trying to justify a hostile reaction to male victims being brought up, or a reluctance to talk about the issues, just trying to point out that it can be difficult for women to step into the role of the ones who talk about it.

  85. kathleenh says

    (aw man, proofread my little diatribe three times, and I still forgot…!)
    Honestly, I mean, this is why I come here. Why I read this blog. Fantastic work, Ally, I’m really glad your blog is around to be read, because it’s all about stuff I’m looking to find out about. Thank you!

  86. carnation says

    @ Schala 77, 82

    40% and 20% of rapists and pedophiles are female, respectively…

    This is simply not true and you’re essentially engaging in Sid-like behaviour by bolding stating it.

    To make a claim like that, you’d need to have a raft of meta-analysis studies confirming your claim and, of course, you need to state where in the world these shockingly high percentages of female sex criminals are located.

    Finally, you’ll need to ensure that there are no studies that contradict your claims.

    I look forward to looking at your evidence.

  87. carnation says

    @ Schala 85

    “In short, campaigns by anti-patriarchy orgs, end up reinforcing patriarchy by enforcing male gender role on all men. As protector and as non-victim.”

    Not true. Poster campaigns, such as the one recently hijacked in Canada by the laughably self titled men’s human rights activists at avfm, promote the idea of communication and sensitivity in men. To do so, they appeal to an extremely limited degree to a patriarchal ideal (the good man) but at the expense of a more toxic masculinity (sex crazed, won’t take no for,an answer).

    @ KathleenH 87

    Re male victims. In the UK there was an excellent poster campaign that said “1 in 7 victims of sexual assault have the same first name: Mr”. More of this is needed. I have seen nowhere near enough credible evidence of widespread sexual victimisation of men by women to believe it to be anything other than statistically insignificant, but what is urgently needed is societal acceptance than men and boys can and are sexually abused and that because of patriarchal attitudes,,they are more vulnerable and require dedicated provision.

    Whataboutery won’t help male victims. Ideological focus on “false allegations” from women is hugely damaging for all victims of sexua abuse – they already worry about being believed. As for men raped by women stuff… Again, there is no evidence (I remain open to viewing it) and a focus on that detracts from the real issues: societal acceptance that men can and are victims of sex crimes.

  88. Gjenganger says

    @kathleenh 87
    Hi. Excellent post.

    men don’t really get told to ask for consent,

    Not really sure that is true, but never mind

    that they, too, might feel a social pressure against saying no to sex with a woman, even if they don’t really want it?

    To some extent. But a bigger point is that sex is, and is seen as, a scarce resource. There is never enough to go around, so you learn to “Grab it while you can, man. ‘Cause it aint gonna be there when you wake up, man” (Janis Joplin). If you have your only chance to score after six months (and thirty times at bat) you wold feel like a fool for turning it down. You are sure not going to worry about irrelevant details like whether you “really want it”.

  89. Gjenganger says

    @Schala 7

    Be explicit in communication. That is all. No need to have Super Subtle Rules of Communication, because we want only people with Super Decoder Rings to get it. Communication doesn’t need to be hardcore. You want someone to go away, tell them to go away. Simple

    That is one way of doing it, It is simple and neat, but it is not the only way. Most countries I know do it quite differently. This may well be your way, but you cannot expect to impose your way of interacting on other people. And if you try, you run a serious risk of becoming extremely unpopular, just for that.

  90. inappropriate says

    @thasicus

    teenage boys are much more likely to jump on other teenage boys for failing to live up to stereotypically masculine standards of behavior than teenage girls are

    Ha ha… interesting choice of words. You’re quite right; a teenage male who fails to be masculine won’t have any girls “jumping on” him. Carrot vs. stick.

    @carnation

    Male on male aggression is typically about status. Status isn’t entirely about attracting the opposite sex, but it’s a key factor.

    Are you denying that some women are attracted to thugs? Or just denying that they have any agency?

  91. Gjenganger says

    @93 inappropriate
    I agree with you, but the “some women are attracted to thugs” is a blind alley. It is about status and confidence, and being a successful thug is just one way of getting those.

  92. inappropriate says

    @Gjenganger

    Of course. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to status & confidence per se.

    The point is that, by expressing attraction to the end result, women are implicitly encouraging other men to follow suit.

  93. says

    As for men raped by women stuff… Again, there is no evidence (I remain open to viewing it) and a focus on that detracts from the real issues: societal acceptance that men can and are victims of sex crimes.

    I have not delved deeply into this issue, but there is some data suggesting to me that it is more common than some believe. The NISVS report of 2010 had shockingly high incidence rates for male victimisation by forced envelopment.

    On an anecdotal basis, a friend of mine was raped by his intimate partner rather recently. She made several advances and he did not resist in the end. He felt very bad about it afterwards(still does) and they broke up. Given her abusive behavior the last several months it was probably for the best.

  94. N4M says

    Interesting piece Ally, and as always you mean well. However, I think it’s important to bear in mind that there’s often a chasm between the theories of ‘kyriarchy’ and ‘intersectionality’, and how these concepts are implemented (or indeed, not implemented) on a political level.
    I mean if we think of the EHRC, in theory this British institution is meant to represent all the great values alluded to in this blog post, yet if we look to what it has done in practise, it basically ended up symbolising some of the very worst aspects of how identity politics were carried out under New Labour (values which in some ways still infect the British political scene to this day).

    In principle, the EHRC was set up to fight for the most needy and marginalised in our society, but since Harriet appointed its leader from her own choice, and without any competition, he (Trevor Phillips) and his organisation simply mirrored the skewed priorities of that discredited and disreputable politician.

    Thus the EHRC devoted most of its money and resources to producing so called ‘Sex and Power’ reports (published regularly in the Guardian), which focussed on the needs of ambitious middle-class career women. Meanwhile, the rights, for instance, of poor employees in terrible working conditions got all but forgotten about.

    When the EHRC finally did a tiny report on this (the experience of workers in meat packing factories), its main use apparently was to be utilised as ‘spin’ to put before a parliamentary inquiry, to convince these politicians that their commitment to human rights was genuine and serious, when in it was anything but.

    Needless to say this inquiry was utterly scathing in its findings about the EHRC’s commitment to human rights, yet this was deliberately hushed up by the liberal media (most notably the BBC).

    So yes, kyriarchy, intersectionality, all great in theory, but often the decadent, metropolitan power-brokers will simply use these concepts as smokescreens to play cynical and manipulative games, which have nothing whatsoever to do with genuine social justice.

  95. says

    Edit:

    Was supposed to be a response to carnation who stated the lines:

    “As for men raped by women stuff… Again, there is no evidence (I remain open to viewing it) and a focus on that detracts from the real issues: societal acceptance that men can and are victims of sex crimes.”

    Sry for messing up the blockquotes.

    [Edit: FIXED. AF]

  96. carnation says

    @ inappropriate 93

    Who mentioned thugs? Some women are attracted to thugs (though I suspect more are repelled by them), some women are attracted to men in uniform, some are attracted to married men, some are attracted to postmen, some are attracted to women. Most are attracted to personal attributes and qualities rather than some media hyped persona.

    You haven’t substantiated anything that you’ve said, just made some easily refutable statements, familiar to those of us who have studied the “manosphere”.

    And as I pointed out earlier, most extreme violence takes place in single sex constructs.

    And it’s nothing new. This is a study of late 60s Glasgow gangs, it’s fascinating. Females play a peripheral role in the society of these young thugs. Some interesting insights into the teenage male mentality surrounding unplanned pregnancy too.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glasgow-Gang-Observed-James-Patrick/dp/1906000387

  97. carnation says

    @ Sheaf 96

    This, and CDC, showed some interesting figures. However, numerous other studies contradict it.

    I found the definitions problematic. I would welcome an independent study looking into this subject. Anecdotally, I have never known of a case of “forced envelopement”, beyond a very infamous alleged case decades ago. I have however worked with literally dozens of young males struggling to come to terms with a range of sexual abuse meted out to them by men.

    A well known case here illustrates the problems facedmby male victims of sexual abuse:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/scottishnews/2370262/I-cant-imagine-one-person-will-mourn-Tam-Paton.html

    (Apols for,Sun reference…)

  98. Ally Fogg says

    N4M

    I fundamentally disagree with your premise. The EHRC is an ineffectual liberal quango stuffed with vested interests. Far from challenging power, it just provides it with a coat of gloss.

    You won’t find discussion of kyriarchy or hegemonic power structures in any EHRC document.

  99. Ally Fogg says

    carnation 100

    This, and CDC, showed some interesting figures. However, numerous other studies contradict it.

    i’ve looked into this a little and I don’t think that’s quite true. There aren’t numerous other studies contradicting it. The problem is that there appear to be no real studies either contradicting it or confirming it. The research just hasn’t been done.

    I have however worked with literally dozens of young males struggling to come to terms with a range of sexual abuse meted out to them by men.

    This is certainly true but I’d add that there is good evidence of quite extensive sexual abuse of boys by adult women (although still less common than male abusers of boys or female abusers of girls) .

  100. karmakin says

    @Carnation:You’re theoretically comparing apples and oranges. It’s not just about forced envelopment. It’s a much larger discussion. We’re talking about things such as coercion, blackmail, intoxication, badgering, etc. You know, all those things that are also considered rape when they happen to women. I don’t know how accurate those numbers are, considering the sexist definition of rape (requires penetration) that most studies on it use, which should be a massive red flag in the first place.

    The numbers don’t really matter, to be honest.

    The point being is that such campaigns serve to entrench existing gender roles as male as the aggressor class and female as the designated victim. Which is exactly the type of thing we want to move away from. There’s zero cost from pulling identity out of these campaigns. Zero. You still get the message across that certain BEHAVIORS are wrong, especially in some really toxic environments.

    Toxic environments and even toxic sub-cultures do exist. But the discussion about how there’s a broad “toxic masculinity” isn’t helping because it’s pulling us away from the actual toxic environments that we have, so we can’t see them as well. A good example of a toxic environment would be Steubenville. That is obviously a horrifically toxic environment. It’s not necessarily indicative of the wider culture…it’s a local thing, although it is replicated all over the place. (One thing to note is that the problem of social bullying at it’s worst cases is really toxic communities being themselves against a designated target).

    But Schala is right. The problem is that we use gender too much as a shortcut to make decisions about people without actually knowing anything about them. Things that reinforce this shortcutting are counter-productive to everybody. It doesn’t matter if they are negative or positive. The positive stereotype means that the negative stereotype is valid as well.

  101. inappropriate says

    @carnation – who mentioned thugs? Well, you did for one:

    war crimes, gang fights, turf wars, prison violence

    Male violence is related to the topic of the thread so a lot of people are talking about it.

    Most (women) are attracted to personal attributes and qualities

    Yep, and some of them are attracted to the same personal attributes and qualities that you would call “toxic masculinity”. You might not care about this, but you should, because by doing so they are helping to perpetuate the social systems you are opposed to. It depends if you’re more interested in actually solving the problem or bemoaning the awfulness of men.

  102. N4M says

    Great, Ally, v. drole. Tell you what, just Google the words ‘ EHRC, intersectional’ and just see how many times the expression ‘intersectional’ actually comes up in the context of EHRC press releases and documents.

    Not that it means much, as I said it’s usually a cover for the elites at the top to play power games at society’s expense.

    But vested interests, providing a coat of gloss for some of the worst aspects of modern capitalism – yes absolutely, no doubt about it.

    I’d just deny that the strand of identity politics it represents is somehow marginal or insignificant: we see its dubious influence around us all the time. (As when, for instance, the current Tory government seems to think the
    issue of women on corporate boards is of far greater importance, and deserves a much higher billing, than real poverty or homelessness.)

  103. Gjenganger says

    @103 Karmakin

    We’re talking about things such as coercion, blackmail, intoxication, badgering, etc. You know, all those things that are also considered rape when they happen to women.

    Are they now? Well, I do not think they should be. For either sex. Just because (many) feminists are pushing some dodgy arguments does not mean that men have to make the same mistakes just to get even. Ok, getting somebody to have sex because they are sick and tired of being asked – or they are afraid you might dump them – is nasty, but it is not a crime that deserves years in jail. That said, the notorious CDC study did ask about being ‘forced’ to have sexed (not ‘coerced’ or ‘badgered’). It is not clear exactly what is happening out there. But please, do not mix up rape and ‘badgering’.

  104. Ally Fogg says

    N4M

    Google the words ‘ EHRC, intersectional’

    Haha, fair play, I’ll grant you that one.

    Doesn’t change my point that I’m really not looking to the likes of EHRC for solutions here.

  105. carnation says

    @ Ally 102

    Point taken, there aren’t studies specifically contradicting it, but there are studies that have different findings. Both studies already mentioned, to be fair, it seems, didn’t set out to capture the data that MRAs (and others) have extrapolated, so it is at best somewhat vague. My own thoughts that if the respondents were flat out asked if they were subjected to criminal sexual behaviour, the data would have been dramatically different.

    Regarding the second point (female pedophiles), it certainly happens, in particular in high schools, but in statistically incomparable instances. I’ll grudgungly acknowledge that one part of one article on avfm dealt with this issue eloquently. It wasn’t written by the Dean of Student Affairs at FTSU…

    @ inappropriate

    No, I mentioned what I mentioned, you mentioned thugs. The “women love thugs” trope, as I’ve said, is easily refutable standard fare on various blogs that are, let’s be charitable, less concerned with peer review than this one.

    @ Karmakin

    Good points, but I have to disagree. I was careful to point out several times the existence of toxic MASCULINITIES, amongst a range of other, often positive masculinities. Some in the gender debate refuse or are unable to differentiate between sex and gender, which leads to offence being taken about discussion of toxic masculinities. But you are right, toxic environments exist, and females have a role in supporting them. Many are microcosms of the worst aspects of patriarchal praxis.

    I support, for now, the poster campaigns aimed at encouraging an emphasis on consent, particularly regarding drunk women, for several reasons. Primarily this – and my apologies to those of a feminist persuasion – patriarchal misandry declares that men, particularly young men, should be virile, sexually promiscuous and aggressive (and women should be opposite). Throw in alcohol, flirting, entitlement, immaturity and you get very blurred lines and criminality isn’t far away. Now, ANYTHING that encourages men to stop and think about this is very welcome.

    I might well get accused of being a rape apologist, but the poster campaign aren’t demonising men as rapists, more asking guys not to “be that guy” who succumbs to the pressures I mentioned before and does something that could range from “taking advantage” to committing an extremely serious crime.

    I’ll add that, of course, many sexual criminals are opportunistic predators, but to me, the posters are aimed more at the less extreme elements – less Andrea Dworkin, more… er, someone asking someone to stop and think about doing something that they might regret.

  106. Paul says

    @ 104 inappropriate

    Good points. To my knowledge no high profile feminists have ever acknowledged the role women can play in encouraging and rewarding male behaviour which is considered by many to be problematic.For mothers can and do encourage their sons -and daughters- to batter anyone who upsets them. And women who are attracted to the ”bad boys” are also setting their children an appallingly bad example on how a ”real man” should behave.Also women can and do use the violence and aggression of their menfolk to do their dirty work for them.Many a time i’ve witnessed females threatening to get their menfolk to sort someone out .I’ve also witnessed women taunting men who don’t meet their expectations on how a ”real man” should behave. Including taunting men who back down and walk away from a confrontation

    I come from a community where the majority of families are now headed by lone mothers.and where the mothers are often the ones guilty of encouraging a gendered division of labour in the home .Where the mothers and others women refer to male children as the ”man about the house” .And where the women are every bit as guilty as the men of telling men and boys to ”man up” when they feel they’re not behaving like a ”real man” should. And i think variations of this happen in most communites including those where the majority of children are raised in two- parent families.

    I don’t seek to exonerate men from their responsibilities and i’m certainly not seeking to demonise women in the way radfems have historically demonised men. However i do believe that matriachal power plays it’s part in underpinning patriachal structures.And that if men are a problem -which they can be- then women -as well as men -have got to take their share of responsibility for creating that problem.

  107. karmakin says

    @Carnation: The thing is, even if we’re just talking about “positive masculinity”, we’re still talking about enforcing gender roles on individuals. We’re assigning gender to individual traits. Which is pretty much the cause of the problem in the first place. You can’t just say well..only positive gender roles are acceptable, because every positive gender role has a negative on the flip-side…if the gender role isn’t double-edged in and of itself.

    A good example of this I would use, would be that the desire for power and material gain that you see with the “thugs” that people are talking about isn’t that much different than the desire for power and material gain that you would see in say a hedge fund trader. The difference between the two is one of opportunity.

    And Paul makes a good point. As long as women find those traits attractive (no matter the opportunity level attached to them), it does encourage them in men. That’s not to say that’s the only factor..there certainly is a lot of pressure that comes from within men as a group (although I think it’s better to say certain sub-cultures of men), that to entirely ignore that any role that women might play as well is trying to row a boat with only one paddle.

    You’re just going to keep on going in circles.

    About the posters, to be honest, I think that the “bar/nightclub” culture is one of the most toxic cultures we have in our society. I don’t think it can be easily changed. The scripts that at play there are far too ingrained. Taking alcohol out of the equation doesn’t seem to me to be a bad idea (but good luck with that!). As I’ve said before, I think that (real) enthusiastic consent is the key here..social pressure on the aggressor/active party to look for consent, and social pressure on the passive party to make their consent/lack of consent crystal clear.

    These posters are doing the first (but doing it by dancing around the issue IMO, which I think counts as barely doing it), but not doing the second at all. Both have to be done together.

  108. carnation says

    @ Paul 109

    Seriously man, you can do better than that. You’re not seeking to”exonerate men or demonise women”, but whilst we’re talking about how men behave, we have to take into account what women make them do.

    Seriously?

    “And that if men are a problem -which they can be- then women -as well as men -have got to take their share of responsibility for creating that problem.”

    Some males act out toxic masculinity, in the form of usually non-economic, violent crime, usually directed against other males the same age.

    How should women be held responsible for the actions of men?

    @ inappropriate

    You and Paul seem to share the same narrative, of women encouraging the errant behaviour of males. You take it further, with the oft quoted, nay evidenced, assertion that “women like thugs”. I contend that most women DON’T like thugs. Can you prove that more do than don’t? And that the main encouragement for thuggery is the hope of “sexual selection” by females? And, further to that, can you say what steps can be taken to address these issues?

  109. Schala says

    To make a claim like that, you’d need to have a raft of meta-analysis studies confirming your claim and, of course, you need to state where in the world these shockingly high percentages of female sex criminals are located.

    Shockingly high percenages? 40% of rapists and 20% of pedophiles?

    I think those UNDERESTIMATE the real rate. Shockingly high is stats feminists get out:

    Men are 99% of rapists, women are 90% of victims, men are 98% of pedophiles.

    THAT IS shockingly high.

  110. Gjenganger says

    @karmakin 110

    As I’ve said before, I think that (real) enthusiastic consent is the key here..social pressure on the aggressor/active party to look for consent, and social pressure on the passive party to make their consent/lack of consent crystal clear.

    Is that not a contradiction? I am all for shared responsibility – both sides (why not) try to make their intentions clear, and to understand the intentions of the other. But it would follow that if one side sees a consent that the other side does not give, both sides are at fault. ‘Enthusiastic consent’ on the other hand pretty much translates into putting all the responsibility on the man – “if she is enthusiastic it will be obvious. Up to you to read it right, and to know when to hold back”. At best ‘enthusiastic consent’ comes across as ‘sex is dangerous, assume it will not happen, unless you can make quadruply sure’. Can you help unconfuse me?

  111. carnation says

    @ Karmakin 110

    I detect a Queer Theorist perhaps? :)

    One of my problems with contemporary feminism is the refusal in some sections to acknowledge the successes thus far and the tendency towards a victim narrative.

    It is the same objections that I have with those who posit the supposed role of females in the transgressive behaviour of males. It fits neatly with narratives that are, IMO, nonsensical and basically deprive males of independent agency. He might well have done it to impress her, but so what? And how a male, particularly a young one, *perceives* the reaction to his actions is what counts, and I tend to think that it differs radically from the reality. For every women who finds a thuggish action admirable, there are many others that don’t, and there’s a male deciding to act in the way that he has. The final decision was his.

    Anecdotally speaking, a very common reason given for an assault when I’m supporting a young male is, in fact, something along the lines of “someone hit my gf/sister/other female and I had to defend her”. The reality, time and again, is that violence occurs, young male needs to justify and rationalise it to an outside agency, young male uses “socially acceptable” narrative of defence of female. Interestingly, when challenged on the reality of what happened, and after explanation that it’s vital to get to the truth (and that I will want to see the statements made at the time), the truth emerges. It was a mindless act of violence. Interestingly, to get them to open up, I point out that they’re young, it happens, it’ll happen with other young men, but the point is to own it, get past it and be truthful. With that, they drop the pretext and the truth comes out. Alcohol and aggression are the main drivers of violent crime.

    Talking about females “taking responsibility” for the actions of males is simply a banal, flawed concept.

    By all means, challenge the toxic environment, point out the choices available, but we’re getting into the theatre of the absurd.

  112. Gjenganger says

    @111 Carnation

    I contend that most women DON’T like thugs

    I agree. Not because they are thugs at least. At most a highly visible thug might have better overall chances than a bland nice guy with nothing else going for him.

    How should women be held responsible for the actions of men?

    Social roles are a system. All the players help keep the system stable as it is. As someone said, If knitting got you laid, all the boys would knit.

  113. says

    ‘Enthusiastic consent’ on the other hand pretty much translates into putting all the responsibility on the man – “if she is enthusiastic it will be obvious. Up to you to read it right, and to know when to hold back”. At best ‘enthusiastic consent’ comes across as ‘sex is dangerous, assume it will not happen, unless you can make quadruply sure’.

    I’ve always been puzzled by this thought. If you want consent to have sex with someone, would you not be asking, “Is this okay?” And if that person doesn’t say, “Yes, fuck me.” Or “It’s amazing.” Then why would anyone continue to have sex with that person?

    How can reading those phrases or lack of those phrases be that hard? Am I missing something?

    Also, Dr. Nerd Love has some good things to say about Enthusiastic Consent: http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/03/enthusiastic-consent/

  114. carnation says

    @ Gjenganger 115

    What came first geek chic, or geeks getting laid more often?!

  115. Paul says

    @Carnation 111

    It might actually help if you read other peoples posts properly before responding .At no point have i sought to put the entire blame on women for what you call ”toxic masculinity”. What i have said is that women can and do play their part in encouraging it. Just like matriachal power can and does play its part underpinning and reproducing patriachal structures and attitudes.

    Most males and females in this country are pretty inter-dependent on each other throughout their lives -albeit in varying degrees.So i’ve never bought into this idea that all women are powerless.However i do believe that the majority of both sexes are basically decent .And i do believe that if we want to have a serious debate about masculinity we can’t ignore the issue of female expectations of masculinity. For in some cases thry can be part of the problem. And i repeat i’m not seeking to let men off the hook by saying that.I’m simply adding a further dimension to the debate.

  116. says

    (if you’re interested, I agreed with every word of Deborah Orr’s piece the other day)

    I’m certainly interested because I thought it was a scandalous piece of opportunism in which she trashed the memory of the late, murdered, Stephen Lawrence in order to add her voice to the distortions her fellow Guardian journalists, Gary Younge and Joseph Harker, along with the paper’s editorial team, had already made public.

    You can read my views here – Deborah Orr adds her own distortions to the Zimmerman – Martin story

    I want to study the rest of your piece Ally because I don’t see how anyone who knows the Stephen Lawrence case as you know it, could possibly consider him or his death to be in any way similar to that of Trayvon Martin.

  117. says


    When all the dust and bluster is cleared away, the inescapable likelihood is that Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white.

    And on what evidence presented to the jury or otherwise are you basing that conclusion? You will know that the chances of a Black man in the USA being shot by a White or an Hispanic man are far lower than him being shot by a Black man.

    Sad but it’s true.

  118. says

    Ally, you quote the President saying:

    “There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.”

    But he also said:

    “There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.”

    I suspect most lone women feel like that about any strange man who gets into an elevator with her. In fact I know that’s how they feel.

    I’m surprised the President’s advisers didn’t caution him about how his remark might be interpreted, especially after his administration passed an extension to the “Violence Against Women Act” earlier this year.

  119. inappropriate says

    @carnation

    I’m not saying it’s the only dynamic at work, just that it’s one among many. I thought I made that adequately clear in my first post, but just to reiterate, I’m not denying the influence of other males, or the perpetrator’s own agency. In other words I think all three are important.

    You seem to have a blind spot when it comes to female influence, which to me seems unrealistic, not to mention profoundly disempowering – it can be used for good as well.

  120. Schala says

    I suspect most lone women feel like that about any strange man who gets into an elevator with her. In fact I know that’s how they feel.

    That’s now how I would feel. That’s not how I would act. And keep in mind, I do have social anxiety and also willfully avoid social situations, parties, cocktails, dances, etc – because I find them generally demanding and boring.

    People in general (both sexes, all ages) scare me. Whenever I’m outside. More so when alone.

    But clutching my purse and holding my breath? Not gonna happen. I can generally look not-scared enough, just have to distract my mind. I certainly would not go out of my way to look even more scared than I actually am though, that’s just stupid.

  121. says

    Ally Fogg

    Yes, black women are also subject to racism, to prejudice and suspicion, and I do not for a moment seek to downplay that. However it goes without saying that assumptions about race and ethnicity intersect and react with assumptions about gender to create very different outcomes. It was not just that Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he were not African-American, he would probably still be alive today if he had not been male.

    Except you do “exactly downplay” it.

    Try to suggest a scenario when a Black woman might be in a gated community dressed in the way Martin was and acting in the same way. It’s almost unimaginable, except for someone who’s seeking an excuse for why men shoot each other and women tend not to.

    Women, in my experience tend towards the discussion and agreement end of the spectrum, rather than the abuse and murder end.

    So introducing women into what is essentially a male crime is suspect, to say the least.

    But I’ll keep on reading.

  122. Schala says

    Basically, you seem to be saying that a panic attack, even with women who don’t suffer from social anxiety, is totally normal – because maleness is scary.

    It’s never normal. But in this case, it promotes Maleness as Brutish/Beastly stereotypes on top, while encouraging paranoia and unhealthy levels of irrational fear for no good reason whatsoever.

  123. Schala says

    Women, in my experience tend towards the discussion and agreement end of the spectrum, rather than the abuse and murder end.

    Come on, say it, say it. Say “if women ruled the world, no wars”, come on. I need my Bingo.

  124. says

    Ally Fogg writes:


    To understand this (that the statistics indicate that Black men tend to shoot each other, thereby contributing to their lower life expectancy) we need to appreciate not only the assumptions that are made about black people, but also the assumptions that are made about men.

    You mean understand that in general it is men that kill other men?

    Or what?

    Ah yes here we have an explanation from you:

    <em

    >In both cases we are talking not only about the externally imposed prejudices, but also internalised markers of identity – what we ourselves believe to be the appropriate and acceptable ways for someone like us to behave, assumptions which are inevitably informed by and reactive to dominant cultural values, including racial and gendered stereotypes.

    You mean people expect us men, and especially Black men to shoot each other so we do exactly that?

    How many men have you shot Ally because of these “externally imposed prejudices” and “internalised markers of identity”?

    Or even punched them on the nose?

  125. FloraPoste says

    Bitethehand:

    “Try to suggest a scenario when a Black woman might be in a gated community dressed in the way Martin was and acting in the same way. It’s almost unimaginable, except for someone who’s seeking an excuse for why men shoot each other and women tend not to.”

    Why is it hard to imagine? I can easily imagine it. Just not that it would end in gunfire.

    What’s hard to imagine is a black woman calling the police to say, “a white man is following me”, getting the same response that a white woman would get if she said “a black man is following me.”

    And this isn’t a case of “men shooting each other” for fuck’s sake. It was an armed adult male shooting an unarmed teenager.

    “Women, in my experience tend towards the discussion and agreement end of the spectrum, rather than the abuse and murder end.”

    Please explain why this has anything to do with your victim blaming?

  126. says

    And now you have a Muslim Aid advertisement heading your blog Ally.

    Is that appealing for funds to kill more British citizens like Fusilier Lee James Rigby, of the Second Fusilier’s Corps of Drums, hacked to death on a London street just a few weeks ago?

  127. Ally Fogg says

    Bitethehand

    I’d been opting to ignore your tedious nitpicking at Deborah Orr’s piece, since it had very little to do with the article above. I’d also chosen to ignore your increasingly dodgy dogwhistles over Trayvon Martin.

    However at 130 you’ve resorted to full-blown racism.

    I say in my guidelines that if you’re a racist shite I won’t necessarily delete it, but I will call you for racist shite.

    And I will add that if you pull any crap like that on my blog again, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ban your spiteful, racist little arse out of here faster than you can say boo hoo censorship.

  128. Ginkgo says

    carnation @ 73 – “@ Gingko

    For sure, toxic femininities exist, though are usually expressed differently, arguably/probably because of patriarchal constraints on acceptable female behaviour.”

    arguably/probably – almost certainly. If you look at toxic feminine and masculine behaviors you notice a strange correlation – they mirro each other exactly. they are in complimentary distribution and form two halves of one system. It’s like the grammar of a culture.

    I use the term “patriarchy” simply as a convention; I don’t think it adeqautely describes what we are talking about and I think the term itself blames men for a system that both men and women perpetuate. But it’s the conventional term ehre so I go with it.

    “I found the definitions problematic. I would welcome an independent study looking into this subject. Anecdotally, I have never known of a case of “forced envelopement”, beyond a very infamous alleged case decades ago.”

    James Landrith is one person to start with on this, if you have the time for getting acquainted with the issue. He was raped by envlopment by the pregnant wife of a friend, whom he stupidly tried to help out. She drugged him and then when he came to while she was raping him, subdued him with threats of a a rape accusation against him, the rape victim, and with a threat to denounce him as gay for not wanting sex with her – he was an active duty Marine at the time when a particularly intense anti-gay campaign was on. This was 20 years ago and he has a network of similar rape survivors.
    http://jameslandrith.com/

    Also, a man who was by envelopment, Teman, comments here and has alluded ot his rape. The Mens rights subreddirt has posts pretty regularly on the subject of F-on-M date rape. Basically women rape drunk or sleeping men in college settings and they have no idea it is rape. partly it is “Golden Pussy” thinking – the vagina is the most awesome sought-after, so any time a woman bestows sex on a man he should be ovecome with joy, right? Consent? They always want it, right?

    That’s what Schala is talking about.

  129. carnation says

    @ Gingko

    Re James Landrith, so you suspect his experiences are similar to those of the CDC and NIVS studies?

    @ BiteTheHand

    Invoke Godwin all you like, but it’s fairly easy to guess what you’d have been up to in Germany in the mid 1930s. Bandwagon jumping, tabloid narrative believing, intellectually lumpen buffoon.

  130. Danny Gibbs says

    @74:
    A man is more likely to be assaulted or murdered by another man than by a woman. I’m not sure what the answer or answers are. I think we need to stop being a culture that celebrates male on male violence, we need to teach boys from an early age to stop conflicts without fighting, we need to be a culture where a man who backs down from a fight is not viewed as weak or sissy.
    Agreed. The reinforcement of “might makes right” comes from all sides from a guy’s clique cheering him on while he beats up another guy to prove he’s a “real men” to the woman that will insult a guy because his aggression levels are not up to her standards. Getting rid of this reinforcement would go a long way to helping bring about a culture where a man doesn’t have his manhood with violence.

    @75:
    I can’t speak for all women, but I suspect the majority feeling on this is that:
    1) men don’t need to dispel the fear around rape. Rather, they need to take into account that the fear of rape is real, and to actively check their behaviour when they want a positive, encouraging result.
    2) although I completely agree with you, the vast majority of men are not rapists. But the vast majority of rapists are men. And that’s the points of Shroedinger’s rapist. Just because you are likely one of the 59/60 (to use the author’s statistics) non-rapists… doesn’t mean that I can afford to take the chance that you’re that one man who will refuse to take no for an answer if we hang out in your room.
    Also, going back to the statistics, how would you propose women alleivate other womens’ fears about being raped?

    1. With the frequent pointing of the finger at men that they are the ones that need to stop rape (look at anti-rape campaigns, most of them aren’t “we need to stop rape” but “men need to stop rape”) I’m not sure about that. Mind you I do agree that the fear should be taken into about.

    2. I’m aware that you are taking risks however there is a matter of on one hand saying that you can’t afford to take a chance on whether a man is a rapist or not and then turn around and tell that man that he is responsible for that fear.

    @86:
    Very good points. I suppose I guess equality is a zero sum game after all?

    @132:
    Also, a man who was by envelopment, Teman, comments here and has alluded ot his rape. The Mens rights subreddirt has posts pretty regularly on the subject of F-on-M date rape. Basically women rape drunk or sleeping men in college settings and they have no idea it is rape. partly it is “Golden Pussy” thinking – the vagina is the most awesome sought-after, so any time a woman bestows sex on a man he should be ovecome with joy, right? Consent? They always want it, right?

    That’s what Schala is talking about.
    What? Girls/women being taught to actually look for consent (and I find it odd that it’s said that its men are not taught to seek consent) rather than assume their vagina equals consent?

  131. Ginkgo says

    carnation @ 133 – “@ Gingko

    Re James Landrith, so you suspect his experiences are similar to those of the CDC and NIVS studies?”

    His were more dramatic, but the simialrity is the basic principle of lack of consent, so theyr were all rape.

    DG @ 134 – “What? Girls/women being taught to actually look for consent (and I find it odd that it’s said that its men are not taught to seek consent) rather than assume their vagina equals consent?”

    I’m sorry, not quite following. Is that a rhetorical question?

  132. Ginkgo says

    carnation, yeah there is – the studies just didn’t call it a crime – the same way some people are all outraged that they want to treat shooting some young black thug like it’s a crime or something, trying to railroad law-abiding, gun-carrying citizens. What the fuck is the country coming to?

    The studies mention nonconsensual sex by envelopment. It’s just that they don’t call it rape. You have to ask what motivated that little semantic sidestep.

  133. Tamen says

    Gingko (see what I did there): As cool as the nick Teman is, with the associations to Mr. T and Ice T I get, I think I’ll stick to Tamen.

    I’m in vacation mode and the more serious note will have to wait until either the weather is worse or I get back to a proper keyboard and line. I do read though.

  134. karmakin says

    @carnation (from way earlier today).

    Yes, there are quite a few similarities between Queer Theory and burgeoning Gender Egalitarian meme space, namely surrounding the idea that gender is a much more fluid thing than the gender essentialist states, or as it’s often referred to in GE circles, the Gender Binary. I don’t think it’s an accident…in fact one might argue that GE is an evolution of Queer Theory. I know that when I learned and started to read about GE, a lot of it did come from that particular point of view.

    But the point is, as other people have mentioned, it’s not to excuse the agency of men over other men. It’s simply to acknowledge that quite frankly, these things are not going to be a freeroll for women….no solution is going to come that way. Quite frankly, changing the gender narratives and scripts is going to require sacrifice from pretty much everybody, and that needs to be acknowledged.

    Sorry to get short. But I’ve seen far too many people argue that this is entirely 100% on men and something that we need to fix on our own.

    But the point is that the Gender Binary, which is the problem here hurts everybody. Not even equally! I still personally believe women are hurt more than men. But at the end of the day, that doesn’t mean that we just fix the stuff that hurts women and leave the stuff that hurts men. The only way to fix it is to fix it all.

  135. says

    129 @ FloraPoste

    “Why is it hard to imagine? I can easily imagine it. Just not that it would end in gunfire.”

    Because I believe a woman being followed by a man like Zimmerman would go home and lock the door and probably call the police. It’s what I would do and I think it’s what most men would do. And even more so in a State where guns are so prevalent and with a”stand your ground law.”

  136. says

    131 @ Ally Fogg

    However at 130 you’ve resorted to full-blown racism.

    And what race is the Muslim religion so I can be sure which one it is I’m being racist about?

    For that matter what race is Christianity, or Buddhism?

    I happen to be living in China at the moment, and I’ve lived here for over 4 years in the last nine. I’ve travelled extensively in the country. Here the major religion is Buddhism. There are Buddhist temples everywhere and many homes and business premises have a Buddhist shrine.

    Is it anti-Chinese racism to be critical of Buddhism? Or is it just Islam that in your view enjoys that privilege?

    If you’re happy to have ads for the Muslim religion on your blog that’s your decision. But don’t pretend that Islam isn’t a religion that considers, among many other objectionable things, that women are inferior to men and treats them accordingly.

  137. mildlymagnificent says

    Because I believe a woman being followed by a man like Zimmerman would go home and lock the door and probably call the police.

    Well this woman wouldn’t. The last thing I’d want is for unknown creepy guy to know for certain where I live.

  138. says

    129 @ FloraPoste

    “Please explain why this has anything to do with your victim blaming?”

    The members of the jury found Zimmerman not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Had they considered Martin to have been the victim they would have reached a different decision. And doubtless it would have been the one you and millions of others would have preferred them to have reached. Am I right about that?

    These were two men fighting with each other. Had they not fought they would both now be alive.

  139. says

    133 @ carnation

    “Invoke Godwin all you like, but it’s fairly easy to guess what you’d have been up to in Germany in the mid 1930s. Bandwagon jumping, tabloid narrative believing, intellectually lumpen buffoon.”

    Carnation, do you know what Godwin’s law is?

    “Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.”

    Why not have a read about it and then tell me how I’ve invoked it?

    And as an active trade unionist for most of my working life and a campaigner for a variety of civil rights causes, in all probablility I’d have been one of the first to have had his collar felt. :)

  140. abear says

    Ally wrote:
    It’s a bad assumption because it is a false premise. Firstly, patriarchy is not a system ‘where men hold power while others are pretty much out.’ It would be more accurate to say it is a system that controls the expression of power on a gendered basis (alongside other systems of power). It doesn’t exclude some women being very powerful and some men being entirely powerless. At most it might say that patriarchy would assume that powerful men would be, as a group, more powerful than powerful women.

    Ally; that is probably the most sensible definition of patriarchy I’ve seen as of yet. Most men are not in powerful positions and not all power is wielded as men. As you apparently point out here the whole patriarchy meme is nonsense.

  141. says

    Ally Fogg

    “But there’s another aspect to the death of Trayvon Martin that has gone almost unnoticed.
    When all the dust and bluster is cleared away, the inescapable likelihood is that Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white.”

    Ally, in addition to Deborah Orr’s piece I’ve read ones in the Guardian by Gary Young, Professor Patricia Williams, Marina Hyde, Randolph McLaughlin, Amy Goodman, Lindsey Bever, Bella Mackie, in which you were “commenter of the week”, an editorial and the speech by President Obama, each of which were open to comments which totalled 7331. The view that “Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white” was one of the more frequently posted comments and one which prompted much discussion.

    In Deborah Orr’s article when one poster claimed “We just don’t live in a world where a black person can shoot a white person saying they felt threatened…and get a way with it”, the response was:

    “The 2009 Christopher Cervini case. A white youth shot by a black man. The black man pleaded self-defence in front of an all-white jury and was aquitted.”

    One the same thread is this post:

    “Of course there is a racial angle.

    The point is not whether Zimmerman was guilty of 2nd degree murder or not. The point is, what if Trayvon Martin had been white.

    If Trayvon had been a 17-year-old white kid walking home from the convenience store after buying candy, and George Zimmerman had been a black man with a gun. If the black Zimmerman had followed the white kid and challenged him, and when the white kid resisted, shot him dead, then what would the verdict (from this white and a little bit Hispanic jury) have been?
    That is the point. And it is racial.”

    We can speculate all we like about whether if Trayvon Martin had been white he’d still be alive today, but to say it hasn’t been discussed is not accurate.

    Possibly of more interest is this article which I’ve only just read – “If Trayvon Martin had been a woman …” by Jamila Aisha Brown. It contains the following:

    “As a result, any insight about this important intersection of race and gender is lost under the umbrella of a collective sense of persecution.

    Despite Piers Morgan’s assertion that if Trayvon Martin were female, then her case would assure a guilty verdict, all the evidence suggests otherwise. The same social and cultural protections afforded white women are not readily granted to African-American women and girls.

    If Trayvon Martin had been a young black woman, no police chief would have resigned over a bungled investigation. No CNN host would be discussing the case of her accused killer. And we wouldn’t be livestreaming her murder trial and hanging on every word of each witness.

    The reality is we would probably never have heard of her.” (My emphasis)

  142. Danny Gibbs says

    @135:
    DG @ 134 – “What? Girls/women being taught to actually look for consent (and I find it odd that it’s said that its men are not taught to seek consent) rather than assume their vagina equals consent?”

    I’m sorry, not quite following. Is that a rhetorical question?
    As in when it comes to consent don’t you notice that rather than seeing if a guy’s consent is there it is pretty much assumed to be there simply because vagina?

    I’m thinking that the entire consent model is pretty jacked up, not just the “guys don’t seek proper consent from girls/women” part.

  143. Gjenganger says

    @karmakin 139

    Quite frankly, changing the gender narratives and scripts is going to require sacrifice from pretty much everybody, and that needs to be acknowledged.

    Amen to that. Personally I rather like the gender binary, and suspect that radical alternatives will prove either impossible in practice or quite as unpleasant in other ways. But at least your approach makes sense.

    BTW, I am still hoping you could answer my 113 and clarify what you mean about consent and how you make sure you have it.

  144. carnation says

    @ BiteTheHand 114

    You didn’t invoke it, I said “invoke Godwin all you like but it’s fairly easy to guess what you’d have been up to in Germany in the 1930s” – the clear implication being that I suspect, given your comments here, that you’d be scapegoating Jews, just as you scapegoat Muslims. I mentioned Godwin as I suspected you would have responded with it.

    Quite clear, really.

    @ Gingko

    Neither study sought to capture the data commonly extrapolated from it. Neither study is exhaustive or stands up to rigorous academic interrogation. Both indicate a large scale issue. Both suggest that a dedicated study is necessary. Perhaps some activism to facilitate this would be a good idea.

    @ Gingko

    Queer theory, to me, emerged because of the successes of feminism in achieving widespread equality. It’s been quite a while since I studied it, but I remember thinking it was possibly a way out of the victim narrative favoured by some sections of feminism and all of the manosphere.

  145. AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo says

    @Gjenganger #148
    @karmakin #139

    - Do you expect to change “gender narratives and scripts” that are biologically based?
    - What outcomes do you guys have in mind that will require a certain amount of “sacrifice from pretty much everybody” to attain?

  146. Ally Fogg says

    abear (145)

    Ally; that is probably the most sensible definition of patriarchy I’ve seen as of yet. Most men are not in powerful positions and not all power is wielded as men. As you apparently point out here the whole patriarchy meme is nonsense.

    Or perhaps I am pointing out that the cartoonish, simplistic notion that you had in your head as to what patriarchy might be was nonsense?

  147. says

    Ally Fogg – on patriarchal misandry

    “The phrase captures for me how psychological, emotional and physical traumas are imposed routinely or sporadically upon men purely as a result of their gender, in large part in order to nail them to their expected place in the social order. That place that includes being the oppressor of others, whether you want to or not, and it includes not just the gender hierarchies of society, but the racial, sexual, social and economic hierarchies of society.”

    This sounds as if any and every act of men, however anti-social, discriminatory, heinous becomes the responsibility of someone else – in the patriarchy. Are the men who commit these acts to take no resposibility?

    What about those men who for example decide to work in the public sector because they are aware of what will be expected of them in the private sector? The same might be said for many who work in the voluntary sector or for charities. Are they not to be praised for their self-sacrifice and the example they set others?

    Then you imply with this:

    “The pressures which drive men to be big cheese on their block, in their gated community or in their merchant bank are to a large extent the same pressures that drive men to the prison gates and the psychiatric wards.”

    that even the members of the patriarchy have no say in what they do and no or very little responsibility for the outcomes; that somehow there are unseen forces instructing us all.

    So how does any of this change, if not by the actions of men and women? How do we rid ourselves of this ruling class patriarchy and arrive at what others would call an egalitarian socialism?

  148. says

    149 @ Carnation, you write:

    “I said “invoke Godwin all you like but it’s fairly easy to guess what you’d have been up to in Germany in the 1930s” – the clear implication being that I suspect, given your comments here, that you’d be scapegoating Jews, just as you scapegoat Muslims. I mentioned Godwin as I suspected you would have responded with it.”

    Yes as I suspected you didn’t understand what Godwin’s law is – in fact you have just provided in your quote here a good example. I said nothing about Hitler or Nazi Germany, so how could I have been invoking Godwin. I criticised a religion and you accuse me of scapegoating a racial group – Jews.

    So just to make my position clear here’s something I posted on the Guardian’s Comment is Free back in September 2008 and it’s still my position today. From the thread following the article:

    Let Muslim women speak: Stop talking about us as though we are not in the room

    “It is only because the masses of Muslim women are steeped in poverty and illiteracy that oppressive ideas have been accepted and tolerated for so long. Until recent times, the vast majority of Muslim women have remained wholly or largely unaware of their “Islamic” (in an ideal sense) rights. Even privileged, educated Muslim women — like women of other religious traditions — have been denied systematically the opportunity to acquire the critical tools for examining the roots of their tradition and discovering how they became so disadvantaged. Their exclusion disables their response.

    The negative ideas about women that prevail in Muslim societies are rooted in certain theological ideas. Until we demolish the theological foundations of Muslim culture’s misogynistic and androcentric tendencies, Muslim women will suffer discrimination despite statistical improvements in education, employment, and political rights. Islamic tradition will remain rigidly patriarchal until we break the chains of ignorance in which women are shackled.”

    The analysis is spot on, but the way forward really leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the light of the content of Channel 4′s ‘Undercover Mosque – The Return’

    “Ultimately, it will be up to Muslim women, once educated about Islam and their rights, to articulate in a proactive fashion the meaning of their lives, their selves. Reacting against the Western model of liberation no longer suffices. What is required is a positive formulation of their own goals and objectives, individually and collectively.”

    From: “Members, One of Another: Gender Equality and Justice in Islam” By Riffat Hassan

  149. says

    8 @ Gjenganger

    But the best way of avoiding the ill effects of gender roles is to not have any, just like homeopathic drugs are the only drugs without side-effects – because they have no effect at all.

    Brilliant

  150. Gjenganger says

    @AndewV69 etc.

    - Do you expect to change “gender narratives and scripts” that are biologically based?

    Well, no. That is why I am sceptical. On the other hand biology only determines the starting point, the general thrust of the gender roles. They are amplified and ultimately determined by social forces. You could achieve a lot with sufficiently strong social pressure. How much pressure you would need, and how unhappy that would make those subject to it is a very different question. Karmakin has one thing right though: These roles form a mutuallly supporting system. If you want to change them, you need to change everything at once.

    What outcomes do you guys have in mind that will require a certain amount of “sacrifice from pretty much everybody” to attain?

    I wish I knew, That is why I am on this blog, I guess. Most of the proposals seem partial, not properly thougt through, and unlikely to work well, or at all. On the other hand the old system has broken down. There are advantages from the new flexibility, but it has left men without place or role, generally looked askance at, and falling ever more behind women. We had better come up with something better than this.

  151. karmakin says

    @Andrew: Outside of reproduction, (Which there is obvious biological differences) I don’t think that there are biological differences that are hardcoded to the degree that they should be prescriptive or even overly predictive on any individual.

    And I CERTAINLY don’t think that there are social/cultural differences that are hardcoded to the degree that they should be prescriptive or overly predictive on any individual.

    There is difference in terms of biological variance, but again, outside of reproduction I don’t think they’re extreme enough to justify prescriptive gender roles.

    And as for what outcome do I have in mind? Well, it depends on what you see as a problem, to be honest. As an example, to change outcomes in family court, to see fathers as being equally important in terms of raising children. This would require some sacrifice from some fathers who use the gender role of the man of the father not being as good of a caretaker to justify being a crappy father.

    @Gjenganger: The big thing when I talk about enthusiastic consent, and where it differs from a lot of the other stuff you hear about it, is that I’m putting the onus on both parties, and not just the “active” party. Let me genderize it (although I think the script actually runs both ways from time to time) and it might be easier to understand.

    The way that it’s often put forward, is that men have the responsibility to gather consent at each stage of an interaction. However, what I’m saying is that’s only half the story. Women also have the responsibility to make consent/lack of consent clear. One of the problems that happens a lot is that people hide their consent or they are looking to be “pushed” into something as they think it’s exciting..Which well..it is. There’s also that doing it that way “covers up” the notion that flings are an unethical thing to do. But the problem is that it’s also creating an expectation that people in general want to be pushed into it, which is where IMO a lot of this particular problem comes from. So if this is an issue that you want to fix, you need to make it clear that particular attitude, of wanting to hide one’s consent is doing a lot of harm. It’s basically Sex Positivity really.

  152. AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo says

    @Gjenganger, 155
    @karmakin, 156

    I am reminded of a couple of things which I would like to think about a bit first before I bring them to your attention (and which you both may already know about).

    Meanwhile, thanks for the responses both of you. Appreciated.

  153. Gjenganger says

    @karmakin 156
    Thanks. That is indeed an improvement on the standard version. Clear, thought-trough, and spreading the hassle over active and passive, men and women both. Unfortunately it does not solve the main problem. Basically you are avoiding things going wrong by setting the default to ‘no sex’ and requiring a precise and rigid series of steps from both parties to unlock it. Any ambiguity, any doubt, a pint too much, someone does not jump through the right hoop, and no sex can happen. That would certainly cut down on the bad stuff – to the extent that people followed it. But it would be quite onerous for people whose natural style did not match, and it would mean less sex for everybody – drastically less for some. I am not sure I would find the trade-off worth it even to protect myself, let alone to protect some faceless stranger I would never know.

  154. Gjenganger says

    @karmarkin 156

    I don’t think that there are biological differences that are hardcoded to the degree that they should be prescriptive or even overly predictive on any individual.

    The problem, as I got into in my 41, is that any gender role will guide people to follow it, and make life relatively harder for those who fit less well. Even roles that fit average group properties quite well, will have a cost to the misfits. You can only avoid it by avoiding roles completely, yet roles are useful.

    Anyway, I hope to hear more from you another time

  155. says

    28 @ Gjenganger

    And to be fair, it is not exactly obvious whether and to what extent a transsexual is ‘really’ a man/woman

    A very fair point, not just a fair one.

    And even if scientific research and development enables the possibility of trans-sexual men and women to produce children, just like our wonderful Kate and William, they’ll still be considered something different by most people. Won’t they?

    So let’s celebrate diversity – I do in my multi-culti family who with Aunty Edith recently arrived from Australia, come from four of our six continents. And while we don’t love each other, quite the contrary, we at least demonstrate that we can sit down and have a civilised conversation with each other. (Unlike any other species that would end up eating each other).

    And we are atheist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist.

    So don’t let anyone, least of all Ally Fogg and Carnation, with Ally’s foul mouthed retort, presume to tell me that I don’t experience and understand religion, even though I struggle to find a reason why in the 21st century, people cling to it like a drowning man or woman clutching a straw.

  156. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Gjengener

    [from waaaay back upthread]

    Well, fuck me, then.

    If you happen to belong to the latter group I mentioned in #35, then yes, I’m afraid so.

    Similarly, homosexuals need the right to adopt, if nothing else to get the broadest possible pool of adopters for children who need them. But is it imperative that 100% of all adoption agencies adopt to homosexuals, or is it enough that 85% of them do, and that 100% of homosexuals have an equal chance of adopting?

    If only 85% of adoption agencies will allow homosexual couples to adopt, then homosexuals do not have an equal chance of adopting, do they?

  157. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @BiteTheHand

    However at 130 you’ve resorted to full-blown racism.

    And what race is the Muslim religion so I can be sure which one it is I’m being racist about?

    Bloody hell, I’m so sick of this shite from ignorant Islamophobes…

    You know perfectly well that colloquial usage of the word encompasses prejudice against others based on race, ethnicity or cultural identity (including religion). Religion is an integral part of ethnic and cultural identity. You know all of that, so stop trying to dodge the accusations through definitional technicalities. Instead, try demonstrating that the accusations are unfounded. Or even better, hold your hands up, admit you said a racist thing, and apologise. Or if you’re not willing to apologise, just admit you’re an awful person. Either way, stop being so bloody disingenuous.

  158. says

    @andrewV69, #150:
    The extent of biological gender determinism is whether one’s sex organs (which began identical and remained so for about the first three weeks of development) produce sperm or eggs.

    Everything beyond that is cultural.

    Bring up a child in an environment where their brothers, father, uncles and male cousins drink nothing but tea, and their mother, sisters, aunts and female cousins drink nothing but coffee, and then show them a male visitor asking for coffee. I will bet you any money you like, the next words to come out of that child’s mouth will be “WHY ARE YOU DRINKING A GIRL’S DRINK?”

  159. Gjenganger says

    @thumper 161

    If only 85% of adoption agencies will allow homosexual couples to adopt, then homosexuals do not have an equal chance of adopting, do they?

    For practical purposes they do. Britain is small, agencies are many, and you never approach more than one or two at a time anyway. Allowing an exemption for catholic adoption agencies would make no notable difference to the adoption chance of any couple. The problem has nothing to do with practical consequences, and everything to do with the idea.

  160. says

    So what race are Muslims?

    Despite your bombast, which I can quite understand, I’m still waiting for an answer.

    Or maybe you’d prefer abuse to empirical evidence?

  161. Schala says

    The extent of biological gender determinism is whether one’s sex organs (which began identical and remained so for about the first three weeks of development) produce sperm or eggs.

    I would beg to differ.

    I was supposed to produce sperm (I have no idea if I do or did), yet my biological gender determinism points firmly AWAY from male, and more close to female. The bodymap portion of the brain matters.

  162. Gjenganger says

    @BecomingJulie 163

    The extent of biological gender determinism is whether one’s sex organs (which began identical and remained so for about the first three weeks of development) produce sperm or eggs.
    Everything beyond that is cultural.

    Up to a point, Minister. No human behaviour is completely immutable, but that does not mean that all behaviours are equally easy to install. Tea v. coffee; blue v. pink, is clearly arbitrary. At the other extreme, you could of course imagine a society where young women had all the brawls and fought all the wars, and young men stayed at home looking after the babies. It is definitely possible in theory. But is is not a coincidence that no known human society has chosen that model.

  163. Ally Fogg says

    Bitethehand

    Just on the off chance that you really are as stupid as you are pretending to be… Jews are not an ethnic or genetic monolith, and not all people who have semitic ethnicity are Jewish. Are you going to argue that anti-semitism isn’t a form of racism?

    Since Godwin’s already in play, I might as well point out that not only are Jewish people not ethnically or racially distinct, nor are gypsies and travellers, but ir didn’t do them much good either.

    Irish people are genetically indistinguishable from other Celtic people, and yet anti-Irish racism is recognised as real and, in places, virulent, and treated as such under the law.

    Race is a social construct. It encompasses, to greater or lesser extents, genetic appearance, culture, ethnicity, religion, geographical origins and more.

    Criticising the beliefs or the practice of a religion is not racist.

    Portraying all members of a religion, even those running an acclaimed humanitarian charity, as being responsible for the worst crimes of their social group is an extremely and inescapably racist thing to do. It is identical to holding all Jews responsible for the acts of a rich banker or the war crimes of the IDF, and absolutely identical to assuming all black people are muggers.

    If you don’t like being called a racist, first of all, learn what racism is then secondly, stop spouting racist shit.

    Easy.

  164. Gjenganger says

    @Ally Fogg 42
    Delayed reaction:

    I quite agree that there are some people for whom oppressing others is a source of pride, identity, even pleasure. If we somehow take away (even by persuasion) someone’s’ right to sexually harass others, or discriminate against gay people or certain races, then they will perceive that as a loss or an imposition, they will believe their lives are worse as a consequence.

    There is more to this than just oppression. People in general feel comfortable when they (and their children!) live in a place where speech, street furniture, behaviour, people, reflect their own thoughts and customs. A place where you can talk and behave naturally in the knowledge that it will be accepted by all. Those things too are a source of identity and pride. Unfortunately they become problematic when groups with different backgrounds have to live together.
    Many parents feel strongly that the institutions for their children should reflect the west European values, customs, and thoughts of the culture they grew up with. Many Muslim parents feel that the institutions should reflect Islamic values, including veiled women, halal food, and sex segregated activities from the age of five (conf the brouhaha about the veil in French kindergartens). Who is harassing or oppressing whom here?
    Radical feminists feel the need for a space where they can be safe and open among ‘women born as women and living as women’. Trans people feel damaged by the idea that there can be any place anywhere that does not welcome and accept them for the sex they belong to. Again, who is oppressing whom?

    If you only see this in terms of oppression you have to decide every time who is the oppressor and who is the victim. In the French kindergarten example that would be pretty impossible, if you did not have the victimhood Olympics to determine that the Muslims are the more deserving group. And if you always choose in favour of diversity, the end result is that we all live as minorities, and nobody can enjoy the comfort of being in harmony with his own people around him.

  165. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    Many parents feel strongly that the institutions for their children should reflect the west European values, customs, and thoughts of the culture they grew up with. Many Muslim parents feel that the institutions should reflect Islamic values, including veiled women, halal food, and sex segregated activities from the age of five (conf the brouhaha about the veil in French kindergartens). Who is harassing or oppressing whom here?

    Nobody (with the exception of parents vs children, perhaps). It only becomes oppression when one side demands that the other adopt their own habits and then asserts their power to enforce that. And it is not oppression to be compelled to consent to rule of law, human rights etc. I’m not oppressed by being denied the right to send my children to school naked, and someone else is not oppressed by being denied the right to send their daughter to school in a veil.

    Yes, an oppressive law can be passed (and they often are) but that doesn’t mean that all laws (or rules) are oppressive.

    Radical feminists feel the need for a space where they can be safe and open among ‘women born as women and living as women’. Trans people feel damaged by the idea that there can be any place anywhere that does not welcome and accept them for the sex they belong to. Again, who is oppressing whom?

    See above. It is not oppressive to pass a law against discrimination in provision of goods and services. It is not oppressive for venues to have anti-discrimination policies and refuse hirings to events that seek to discriminate. Someone who complains about not being allowed to discriminate is not being oppressed. Although actually the issue between TERFs and trans people is not really about free assembly – it is about using that assembly to foster and disseminate prejudice and hatred.

    If you only see this in terms of oppression you have to decide every time who is the oppressor and who is the victim. In the French kindergarten example that would be pretty impossible, if you did not have the victimhood Olympics to determine that the Muslims are the more deserving group

    There is no victimhood Olympics. There is no “more deserving group.” It is not about identity, it is about behaviour, actions and words. That completely misunderstands what I’m saying. All these different forms of oppression cross every single identity group. You’ll find racists of every gender and sexuality and in every social class. You’ll find sexists of every race and every gender. A disabled refugee Muslim woman could be the most vicious homophobe. None of us gets a free pass or a free ride in trying to solve these problems.

    And if you always choose in favour of diversity, the end result is that we all live as minorities, and nobody can enjoy the comfort of being in harmony with his own people around him.

    We have all, always lived as minorities. It’s just an issue of which ones we choose to focus on at any given time.

  166. Paul says

    . You’ll find racists of every gender and sexuality and in every social class. You’ll find sexists of every race and every gender. A disabled refugee Muslim woman could be the most vicious homophobe. None of us gets a free pass or a free ride in trying to solve these problems.

    Well said Ally. It’s a fact that in a country which has a population that’s 80% White British those of us from an ethnic minority are more likely to suffer from racism -at whatever level it takes place- than those who’re members of the White British majority. But i agree that doesn’t give us a ” Get Out of Jail Card Free” and mean our racism,sexism,homophobia,class snobbery etc shouldn’t be challenged when it takes place.

  167. Copyleft says

    I would point out that if the races had been reversed, a black assailant MIGHT have been acquitted… but the case would have gone to a jury automatically, because an arrest would have been a matter of course, rather than being grudgingly carried out by a police department and DA office who were forced to treat it as a potential crime only when public outcry became overwhelming.

    The Martin/Zimmerman case and its outcome aren’t surprising at all, really. Men in this society are disposable, black men doubly so.

  168. Paul says

    Obviously i was using the issue of race as an example .Being a member of any group that experiences discrimination doesn’t give people in those groups the right to have their prejudices go unchallenged.

  169. Gjenganger says

    @Ally Fogg 170
    We are clearly not on the same wavelength, regrettably. One last thing I would like to ask you:
    In France the secular majority is denying Muslims the right to send their daughters to school in a veil – by passing a law against it. In so doing they are “demanding that the other adopt their own habits and then asserting their power to enforce that” (can you deny it?). This is not oppression, you say. In Saudi Arabia (let us say), the Muslim majority is denying the secular minority the right to send their daughters to school without a veil – by passing a law against it. Again they are “demanding that the other adopt their own habits and then asserting their power to enforce that”. Is that oppression, then? If yes, how do you distinguish, except by arbitrarily deciding that in case of conflict your side is right and the other side is wrong? If no, we have the remarkable situation that the majority can rightfully impose its will on the minority in two opposite directions. Up to a point that is actually what I think. But once we have granted that right, your absolute assertions that it is not oppression to be compelled to follow the rule of law, human rights etc., or to be prevented from discriminating begin to sound a bit arbitrary. It becomes more a matter of who gets to decide, of proportionality, and of compromise.

  170. Gjenganger says

    @AllyF 170
    Sorry. Yet another last point.

    It is not oppressive to pass a law against discrimination in provision of goods and services. It is not oppressive for venues to have anti-discrimination policies and refuse hirings to events that seek to discriminate. Someone who complains about not being allowed to discriminate is not being oppressed.

    TERFs (if that is the right word) seem to be a pretty nasty bunch. For all that, nobody denies their right to discriminate against men. Certainly nobody is making any noise because they exclude cis-sexual men from their gatherings (and indeed, why should we?). Why the difference? As for prejudice, is it really proof of prejudice to think that someone who is in every visible and provable aspect male should be classed as a male? It may be the wrong attitude (I think it is), but it is hardly insane.

  171. Schala says

    @175

    The difference is that the secular viewpoint is neutral, the religious viewpoint is by-necessity biased.

    Now when France says Catholic crosses on your chain or crucifix with Jesus in classes, or Catholic mandatory prayers are okay while Muslim ones aren’t, then you can claim it adopts favoritism for its own culture.

    Japan is much more atheist than France (less than 1% Christian, and the rest is not-exactly-religious), yet France adopts secularism as a neutral viewpoint.

    The lack of an imposed religion in the public life is not forcing you to do something.

    The imposed state religion in public life + imposed social religious norms in clothing, is much more onerous and demanding.

    Oh and, I’m against imposed sex-different dress codes on kids who simply reflect dominant cultural norms “just because”, or who simply seek to punish freedom of expression mainly of male students (who are the most restricted). So where those exist, they don’t reflect secularism-is-kind either. They reflect authoritarianism-is-king.

  172. Schala says

    As for prejudice, is it really proof of prejudice to think that someone who is in every visible and provable aspect male should be classed as a male? It may be the wrong attitude (I think it is), but it is hardly insane.

    What if they made their gathering for every-woman-except black woman. Would you say they exclude “someone who is in every visible and provable aspect masculine” so should be excluded from the class woman? Because that’s what they do.

    I can add the analogies:

    All women but Jewish women.

    All women but disabled women.

    All women but fat women.

    All women but butch women.

    All women but tall women.

    Where the excluded category is considered legitimately excluded, because “who cares about them anyway”.

    The 50.9% excluding the 0.1% for no other reason than “we don’t really like you anyway”, is NOT valid.

  173. Gjenganger says

    @Schala 178
    Depends on the purpose of the meeting. Excluding Jewish women could be fairly reasonable – in a meeting of the Hezbollah. Excluding white women could make sense – in a meeting of the ANC women’s wing. Etc. Even fat women might legitimately be excluded from ‘Anorexics Anonymous’, and radical feminists do make an immense todo about people’s sex. Excluding trans women is clearly more hurtful than excluding men, but I cannot see that it is more discriminatory.

    For the rest – you are not going to like this – the classic definition of ‘woman’ assumed that anatomy, genetics, self-image, etc. all fitted together. Once that assumption breaks down it is no longer automatic that the classifications used in different contexts all line up. Who counts as a woman is decided differently by a genetics researcher, the International Olympic Committee, the tax man, or someone who talks to you on the street or hands out the keys to the loo. And maybe by radical feminists.

  174. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    In France the secular majority is denying Muslims the right to send their daughters to school in a veil – by passing a law against it. In so doing they are “demanding that the other adopt their own habits and then asserting their power to enforce that” (can you deny it?). This is not oppression, you say. In Saudi Arabia (let us say), the Muslim majority is denying the secular minority the right to send their daughters to school without a veil – by passing a law against it. Again they are “demanding that the other adopt their own habits and then asserting their power to enforce that”. Is that oppression, then?

    It is not oppressive to expect all kids going to a school to observe the school uniform according to the norms of that culture.

    It is oppressive, in my opinion, to make girls or women wear veils against their will. Veils are not just like any other item of clothing, because they have such implications for human communication etc.

    But it is no more oppressive to make a non-Muslim girl make a veil when she doesn’t want to than it is to make a Muslim girl wear a veil when she doesn’t want to.

  175. Gjenganger says

    @Schala 177

    The difference is that the secular viewpoint is neutral, the religious viewpoint is by-necessity biased.

    I think that remark shows your atheist bias. Or, as I said to Ally, “arbitrarily deciding that in case of conflict your side is right and the other side is wrong”

    imposed social religious norms in clothing, is much more onerous and demanding.

    Come on. Forcing you to wear a veil is bad, banning the veil is good, forcing you to wear clothes is good? There is no objectively correct standard for appropriate clothing. Or do you want total freedom, form burqa to nakedness? Both Ally and I would disagree with that.

  176. Gjenganger says

    @AllyF 180.
    Did you miss a ‘not’ in the lsst pargraph/ How about forcing someone to not wear a veil?

  177. Paul says

    @Ally 180

    It is not oppressive to expect all kids going to a school to observe the school uniform according to the norms of that culture.,/blockquote>

    But then who defines what those cultural norms are ? Where do you draw the line in a society which is striving for gender equality-which should cut both ways imo- and which calls itself multi-cultural. ?

  178. Schala says

    Who counts as a woman is decided differently by a genetics researcher, the International Olympic Committee, the tax man, or someone who talks to you on the street or hands out the keys to the loo. And maybe by radical feminists.

    But saying “the vast majority is fine, but this tiny minority, which is shat upon by almost all society – well, we don’t like them, we don’t think they count as women, so when we say “women”, we want them to not count, when we say “lesbian” we also don’t want them to count, by default” is prejudiced and bigoted.

    It’s like saying black people don’t get in the category “human”, because your prejudice inform you of that “truth”.

    I think that remark shows your atheist bias. Or, as I said to Ally, “arbitrarily deciding that in case of conflict your side is right and the other side is wrong”

    I’m agnostic.

    The lack of a flavor on a muffin means it’s plain, not that it’s anti-banana. The lack of toppings beyond the basics on a pizza means its plain aka napolitana, not that it’s anti-anchove, anti-pepperoni or anti-what-have-you.

    So, I’m on the side of NOT imposing stuff, and requiring people to NOT hide their face. Because people who do hide their face are more likely to get away with committing a crime. Like people wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet in a bank. Tell me when they’re accepted.

    The best argument against burqas while in public functions and in stuff like banks, was that “men gonna disguise themselves and commit crimes”, which I did find stupidly sexist. I’m sure the actual women who wear burqas on a 24/7 basis in public could themselves commit crimes if they so wanted. Let’s not remove their agency.

    There is no objectively correct standard for appropriate clothing.

    There is an appropriate clothing standard for schools. Usually of the belly button covered with a top, thighs mostly covered with a bottom, shoes, and if you do PE, then socks with those shoes.

    For work it often is more demanding even, even for places where it matters little (like offices). But I’m not in favor of respecting cultural norms regarding clothing when they reflect double standards (women can wear skirts, men must wear long pants for example). Uniform standard or no standard.

  179. says

    170 @ Ally Fogg

    Bitethehand

    Just on the off chance that you really are as stupid as you are pretending to be… Jews are not an ethnic or genetic monolith, and not all people who have semitic ethnicity are Jewish. Are you going to argue that anti-semitism isn’t a form of racism?

    No I’m stating the exact opposite, that anti-Semitism is racism. Islam however is a religion and Muslims belong to most if not all races, nationalities and ethnic groups.

    Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People
    By Harry Ostrer

    Oxford University Press, 288 Pages, $24.95

    In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. Considering that the Nazis tried to exterminate Jews based on their supposed racial distinctiveness, such a conclusion might be a cause for concern. But Ostrer sees it as central to Jewish identity.

    “Who is a Jew?” has been a poignant question for Jews throughout our history. It evokes a complex tapestry of Jewish identity made up of different strains of religious beliefs, cultural practices and blood ties to ancient Palestine and modern Israel. But the question, with its echoes of genetic determinism, also has a dark side.
    Geneticists have long been aware that certain diseases, from breast cancer to Tay-Sachs, disproportionately affect Jews. Ostrer, who is also director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center, goes further, maintaining that Jews are a homogeneous group with all the scientific trappings of what we used to call a “race.”

  180. says

    162 @Thumper; Atheist mate

    “You know perfectly well that colloquial usage of the word encompasses prejudice against others based on race, ethnicity or cultural identity (including religion). Religion is an integral part of ethnic and cultural identity. You know all of that, so stop trying to dodge the accusations through definitional technicalities. Instead, try demonstrating that the accusations are unfounded. Or even better, hold your hands up, admit you said a racist thing, and apologise. Or if you’re not willing to apologise, just admit you’re an awful person. Either way, stop being so bloody disingenuous.”

    If you read my response to Carnation at 153 you’ll notice that I am very specific about those adherents of the Muslim religion with whom I agree and those I don’t.

    Does your “colloquial” definition mean that you think it fine for the Islamic state of Dubai to jail a woman for being raped? A woman who fortunately through international outrage from millions of people like me, has now been released and pardoned.

  181. says

    168 @ Ally Fogg

    “Portraying all members of a religion, even those running an acclaimed humanitarian charity, as being responsible for the worst crimes of their social group is an extremely and inescapably racist thing to do.”

    See my response to Carnation at 153 and Thumper; Atheist mate at 188 about those Muslims I have sympathy for and those I don’t.

    Muslim Aid the “acclaimed humanitarian charity” claims to be “one of the international faith based charities whose humanitarian principles are deeply rooted in the Islamic teachings of equality of gender and provision of basic amenities for the most needy.”

    These principles include all the discriminatory ones that apply to women in for instance Shariah courts.

    “A new documentary secretly filmed inside several of the 85 Islamic Sharia Law courts operating in Britain has exposed the systematic discrimination that many women are suffering at the hands of Muslim jurists.”

    And the charity still abides by the discriminatory practices in those countries where they exist:

    “The aim of development programmes is neither to bring about major structural changes within the society nor to challenge the social and cultural norms of the society.”

    Muslim Aid also accepted its failings and changed its security policies relating to street collections after being criticised for its failings in the terrorist offences committed by Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid,, and Ashik Ali.

    If you wish to advertise this charity it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t.

    “It is identical to holding all Jews responsible for the acts of a rich banker or the war crimes of the IDF, and absolutely identical to assuming all black people are muggers.”

    No it isn’t and now you’re just being silly. Criticising religion is as yet not a crime in the UK whereas the racial abuse of Jews and Black people is. I thought you’d have known that.

    “If you don’t like being called a racist, first of all, learn what racism is then secondly, stop spouting racist shit.
    Easy.”

    Ally you have a long history of abusing people, including me and it’s water off a duck’s back.

    Even easier.

  182. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    Did you miss a ‘not’ in the lsst pargraph/ How about forcing someone to not wear a veil?

    I firmly believe women should be allowed to choose to wear veils if they want to, while acknowledging the problems of knowing what a free choice looks like within a (possibly) coercively patriarchal household.

    I also believe it should be legal for people to walk around naked if they prefer, as it happens.

    But there are some areas of life in civil society where dress codes of any sort are appropriate. That is particularly true of children, due to issues of informed consent and the fact that kids need to take lead and instruction from their parents and other adults.

    I think the issue with a veil is slightly different to, say, a school tie in the UK or a headscarf in Islamic countries (both of which are perfectly inoffensive dresscodes) because the veil actively prohibits a degree of human freedom by restricting communication. That’s why I would argue that obliging someone to wear a veil is oppressive in a way that obliging someone to wear a tie or scarf is not. That’s true whether you are obliging a Muslim or a non-Muslim to do so.

    But in general terms, away from the specific issues about veiling, I don’t see any reason why it is any more or less oppressive for an Islamic country to enforce an Islamic dress code than it is for a Western country to enforce a Western dress code, and I do not believe that a dress code (particularly in places like schools) is inherently oppressive.

  183. Gjenganger says

    @Schala 185.
    I respect you, but we disagree. Not sure anything is gained by repeating our arguments.

  184. carnation says

    @ BiteTheHand 144

    When I said “invoke Godwin all you like” prior to comparing your scapegoating with some in 1930s Germany, I was, quite obviously, predicting that you would retort with Godwin. Perhaps I should have stated explicitly that “You can retort by invoking Godwin all you like”, but I would have thought it very obvious what I was saying.

    @ BiteTheHand

    Two soldiers were murdered in Northern Ireland in 2009, the murderers tried to kill Dominos pizza delivery staff in the attack too. Were you as outraged at their deaths?

    I’m also curious, what’s the difference between you and Stephen Lennon, ideologically?

  185. Gjenganger says

    @Ally Fogg 190
    I totally agree with your post 190. Our basic principles seem more different than I thought, though. Maybe I will drone on about that another time.

  186. freja says

    @57, Ginkgo

    Consider this a bit. Men getting mostly the upsides – these are the downsides: Women are seen as less dangerous, even when they are objectively more dangerous, as in the DV situations where the owmen is the aggressor and the man gets arrested simply on suspcion, which is based on… The grossly lop-sdied incarceration rates reflect the downside of being seen as inhenretly more dangerous.

    Women being seen as less dangerous is first and foremost a downside for women. In addition to the downsides I mentioned before, such as being taken less seriously and being seen as safer targets for harassment, it also works against female victims, because they’re more often victimised by female perpetrators. Having guys react with enthusiasm and sexual excitement when two women get into a fight is a sitcom staple, and it’s mimicked in real attitudes. Note the most upvoted comment below here.

    The scenario of bystanders ignoring a woman hitting a man on ABC’s “What Would You Do?” has been frequently passed around as an example of double standards when discussing female perpetrators (even though there are several differences from the scenarios of men being violent towards women), but the scenario of female-on-female hazing is never mentioned. It’s not just that people don’t intervene the way they did when the hazing was male-on-male, but more people participate, and many men outright enjoy the sight.

    I’ll concede that maybe it’s even more severe when the victim is male, but it’s far more common for the victim to be female. MRAs are very big on how women are allegedly equally likely to commit domestic violence, and completely ignore how the most serious (and most objectively measurable) sort of violence, resulting in hospitalisation or death, is most often committed by men. So it wouldn’t it also be fair to concede that with most victims of female perpetrators being female, women are hit harder overall in this respect?

    The incarceration rates are hard to judge without knowledge of who commits the most crimes, how serious the crimes are, and the racial distribution. Men of colour seem to be heavily overrepresented, which fits with what I’ve said before about black men getting more of the downsides.

    Something else, and Ally alluded to this above, is the presumption of exaggerated adulthood. Little boys, white or black, and black girls, are seen as more agentive and held to a higher standarad of responsiblility and punshed more severely than white girls for the same infraction.

    This has not been my experience. I’ve see boys get away with things at ages where girls were expected to have grown out of it. I know boys do less housework than girls too. I’ve been told “they’re just doing it because they like you” when boys intentionally picked on girls, as if the boys couldn’t help it. In fact, that seems to be the default stance when it comes to sexual harassment and bullying, and it’s starts really young. And when men rape little boys, it’s considered an abomination that the boys are not responsible for, whereas when men rape little girls, people start asking what the girls were wearing. Your experience is not a universal experience, and it is not fact.

    Joy Reid (grio.com) mentioned this on Rachel Madow or somewhere simialr – the core problem on that jury was people – all women and mostly white – being unble to see that 17-year-old boy as a child. That is something all boys confront, regardless of the sneering “man-child” tropes and “boys will be boys.” that only look like permission to actually be a child.

    The current problem is that ever since sexists heard that the jury was female, they immediately started looking for anti-male bias, and ignored the facts: The jury acted in accordance to the law. The law, unfortunately, says that it doesn’t matter what caused the fight (most likely Zimmerman acting threatening towards Martin), only that Zimmerman’s bruises and testimony both indicate that he had cause to feel threatened, and feeling threatened is reason enough to shoot to kill. That’s utterly abhorrent, but it has nothing to do with the jury and everything to do with the law.

    Also, it’s worth noticing that a few years ago, a black woman fired a shot at the wall next to her ex-husband and got 20 years for it. I wouldn’t say she’s necessarily innocent (they both had a history of violence, and no matter what, she was acting irresponsible in the presence of her children), but if this was a gender issue, you’d have expected her to get away with it on the count on feeling threatened.

    The many attempts to paint Martin as bigger and older looking than he was (such as claiming the picture of him was taken at the age of 12, and posting an image of a 32 year old as the real image) also seem to suggest that he was already considered a child by most people, hence the attempts by racists to change people’s minds or confirm their own racist bias. I don’t think this is as much an issue of Martin being considered hyperagentic as it is of Zimmerman not being held responsible for his actions.

  187. says

    Freja

    So it wouldn’t it also be fair to concede that with most victims of female perpetrators being female, women are hit harder overall in this respect?

    Do you have data on female v female violence?

  188. says

    192 @ Carnation

    “Two soldiers were murdered in Northern Ireland in 2009, the murderers tried to kill Dominos pizza delivery staff in the attack too. Were you as outraged at their deaths?”

    As outraged as what?

    If you mean was I outraged, yes of course.

    “I’m also curious, what’s the difference between you and Stephen Lennon, ideologically?”

    If you mean he of the English Defence League why don’t you look at my site here or my comments as Bitethehand here, or more recent ones as kyushuchaos here.

    Then you can make up your own mind.

  189. Schala says

    Having guys react with enthusiasm and sexual excitement when two women get into a fight is a sitcom staple, and it’s mimicked in real attitudes. Note the most upvoted comment below here.

    You know why guys won’t stop a fight of two female strangers? If they receive a lost hit, they can’t do a thing. They probably can’t even restrain the hitter unless they used a weapon, without themselves being beaten by onlookers.

  190. Schala says

    So it wouldn’t it also be fair to concede that with most victims of female perpetrators being female, women are hit harder overall in this respect?

    Playing Olympics so early in the morning?

    And when men rape little boys, it’s considered an abomination that the boys are not responsible for, whereas when men rape little girls, people start asking what the girls were wearing.

    In what fucking universe are male victims more recognized as victims, everything-else-being-equal than female victims? Extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence. Because compare your teacher-thryst rapes, and he gets thrown the book at him, while “she was having an affair”.

    Keep thinking she got punished more, or that she gets more victim-blaming.

    She gets asked on behavior, sometimes stupidly.

    He gets asked on being male, something he can’t control. And it’s enough to say he either enjoyed it or is a wimp unworthy of help. But in your universe, that’s better than someone questioning your clothing.

  191. Paul says

    @freja 194

    Women being seen as less dangerous is first and foremost a downside for women.

    I can see where you’re coming from with some of the points you made but women being seen as less dangerous can also be one hell of an upside .For it can enable women to slip under the radar and get away with things that men would arguably be less likely to get away with.

  192. Gjenganger says

    @Schala 185
    On second thoughts:

    The lack of a flavor on a muffin means it’s plain, not that it’s anti-banana. The lack of toppings beyond the basics on a pizza means its plain aka napolitana, not that it’s anti-anchove, anti-pepperoni or anti-what-have-you.

    I never said you were anti-anything. But you were saying that a secular viewpoint was better (less biased) than a religious one. That is a value judgement – you claim that your viewpoint is better than other peoples’. It is the difference between saying that a plain muffin has no particular flavour, and that a plain muffin is better to eat.

    So, I’m on the side of NOT imposing stuff, and requiring people to NOT hide their face.

    If you require people to NOT to hide their face, you ARE imposing stuff. You are requiring them to wear certain kinds of clothes and avoid others. The fact that there is a NOT in the sentence is just word gymnastics.

    There is an appropriate clothing standard for schools. Usually of the belly button covered with a top, thighs mostly covered with a bottom, shoes, and if you do PE, then socks with those shoes.

    That is a standard considered appropriate in many liberal circles in Western Europe. I am happy with it too. But other groups might prefer quite different dress standards. How do you establish that your standard is right and theirs is wrong?

    For work it often is more demanding even, even for places where it matters little (like offices). But I’m not in favor of respecting cultural norms regarding clothing when they reflect double standards (women can wear skirts, men must wear long pants for example). Uniform standard or no standard.

    That is not very consistent of you. Cultural norms are more important than individual opinion when we are talking about school clothes, or veils. But Schalas opinion is more important than cultural norms when we are talking about work clothes. How can you justify that, except by “I is right, and they is wrong!”

  193. freja says

    @195, sheaf

    Do you have data on female v female violence?

    I’ve read about it before but I must confess it’s hard to find sources. Google searches on male and female violence inevitably produces results on mainly intersexual domestic violence, no matter the search words. It’s further complicated because many homicides committed by women are of abusive partners and as such, it’s hard to decide whether it was actual aggression or self defence. It’s worth noticing, however, that the girls/girl gangs mentioned in various reports of increased female violence pretty much always have other girls as their victims.

    Studies on aggression in general were easy to find, but the problem is that they also include verbal and social aggression, which means girls and women doing it more to people of the same sex doesn’t guarantee it carries over to crime. Then again, I’ve heard a lot about how women’s verbal and social cruelty towards men can be (and often is) as abusive as their physical violence, so I don’t why the same couldn’t hold true for female victims.

  194. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @BiteTheHand #188

    Does your “colloquial” definition mean that you think it fine for the Islamic state of Dubai to jail a woman for being raped? A woman who fortunately through international outrage from millions of people like me, has now been released and pardoned.

    Fuck me, that is the dictonary definition of a non sequitur. Why on Earth would the fact that I acknowledge that it is perfectly legitimate to referr to Islamophobia as racism when using racism in a colloquial or every day usage mean that I am OK with theocratic misogyny? Please explain your “logic”; at the very least it should be entertaining.

  195. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Gjengenger

    @thumper 161

    If only 85% of adoption agencies will allow homosexual couples to adopt, then homosexuals do not have an equal chance of adopting, do they?

    For practical purposes they do.

    Numbers. How the fuck do they work?

  196. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    And if you always choose in favour of diversity, the end result is that we all live as minorities, and nobody can enjoy the comfort of being in harmony with his own people around him.

    If there is majority then there can not be a minority. Think it through.

  197. Gjenganger says

    @Thumper 204

    Numbers. How the fuck do they work?

    It is OK. I can help you. If there are 14 liquor stores in a small town and you are banned from two of them (14%) it does not materially reduce your chance of getting a drink. At most it may force you into walking for a couple of minutes longer.

  198. Gjenganger says

    @Thumper 204

    If there is no majority then there can not be a minority. Think it through.

    Did too. If the population is divided equally between Martians, Venusians, Earthlings, Jovians. Centaurians, and Aldebaranians there is no majority. Each race is a minority, surrounded by strangers.

  199. freja says

    @197, Schala

    You know why guys won’t stop a fight of two female strangers? If they receive a lost hit, they can’t do a thing. They probably can’t even restrain the hitter unless they used a weapon, without themselves being beaten by onlookers.

    But Schala, to you, everything men do is a result of matriarchy. Even stating that they’re sexually aroused by female on female violence, and watching with gleeful expressions as girls abuse other girls, calling it “a show”. They all just do it because they’re afraid and oppressed.

    Personally, I think that, considering how much violence against women men actually get away, at least according to studies which measure these things (and examples like Nigella Lawson’s husband being caught on film choking her and still getting defended by some), I find it very doubtful they’d refrain from defending a woman against another woman out of fear, let alone attack other men who intervened.

  200. freja says

    @198

    Playing Olympics so early in the morning?

    I was pointing out a double standard. When MRAs base their claims about domestic violence on prevalence, not severity, it would seem only fair to do the same to violence in general.

    In what fucking universe are male victims more recognized as victims, everything-else-being-equal than female victims? Extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence.

    It’s not extraordinary at all. Look at this article about 18 teenage boys and grown men raping an 11-year-old girl. In addition to gems like “They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said”, we also find the classic “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives” (like Steubenville, but with child rape).

    But of course, you’d know all about that already. You read an MRA site where the victim in the Steubenville rape case was called a whore and the rapists were considered victims, and were the assumption seems to be that Jimmy Savile was being taken advantage of by young girls. And so far, you seem to believe even the most abhorrent claims from that site, such as how the problem with Afghanistan under the Taliban was that women were too privileged. So why does that surprise you?

    Speaking of responsibility, how about this quote from the above article where a local woman asks “Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?”. Only the female victim is seen as having needed to behave differently, and only the female parent is held responsible. In court, the defence attorney compared the 11-year-old victim to a spider luring one of the rapists.

    Compare that to the scandals of sexual abuse by men of boys the same age. Some people cover it up, but few outside the most depraved bowels of the Catholic church will claim that the boys were the tempting masterminds who seduced their rapists. It’s like girls who’re old enough to sexually arouse men are considered ready for it, while boys who’re old enough to sexually arouse men are still considered children.

    You can see the same attitude in article from AVfM you linked so approvingly to earlier. It’s considered a considered proof of male oppression that a young boy had to resort to prostitution to provide for his mother and sisters who weren’t allowed to work, but GWW made no mention of the young girls given or sold away to much older men as child brides. In fact, it’s no wonder you can’t see the ways girls are held to higher standards of responsibility than boys. To you, that’s just “female privilege”.

  201. Ginkgo says

    carnation @ 149
    “@ Gingko

    “Neither study sought to capture the data commonly extrapolated from it. ”

    The pertienet piece is hjighlighted in this article, in Table 2.2:
    http://cjme.com/story/updated-mens-rights-posters-pop-saskatoon/121353

    “Made to penetrate” refers to non-censensual envelopment, ie. f-on-m envelopment rape. Look at the numbers and relative incidence in comparison with the table immediatley above it.

    “Neither study is exhaustive or stands up to rigorous academic interrogation.”

    Amen, given the obvious ideological biases.

  202. Bill Door says

    Compare that to the scandals of sexual abuse by men of boys the same age. Some people cover it up, but few outside the most depraved bowels of the Catholic church will claim that the boys were the tempting masterminds who seduced their rapists. It’s like girls who’re old enough to sexually arouse men are considered ready for it, while boys who’re old enough to sexually arouse men are still considered children.

    That would be an interesting test case: we know that Catholic priests abused girls as well as boys. Thus, if you’re right, we would expect that the girls would be blamed for the abuse while the boys would be seen as victims. Do we see any evidence of this?

  203. carnation says

    @ freja 209

    Perhaps I’m unfair, but the moment someone links a avfm article is the moment I stop interacting with them. There seems little point in engaging with such a person.

  204. freja says

    @211, Bill Door

    That would be an interesting test case: we know that Catholic priests abused girls as well as boys. Thus, if you’re right, we would expect that the girls would be blamed for the abuse while the boys would be seen as victims. Do we see any evidence of this?

    We don’t see much about the female victims of the Catholic church at all, do we? I guess it’s an improvement to be ignored by the public rather than having your virtue debated, but I’d hardly call that a case of boys being seen as more mature and adult, which was the initial assertion.

    However, when it comes to the scandals where the media seems fit to acknowledge female victims (often because there are no male victims), it is, in my experience, often treated a lot less like child molestation. I’ve already given 2 examples of it, the gang rape of an 11 year old girl, and the Jimmy Saville scandal. Interestingly, in the Saville case, the media talked almost exclusively about female victims, even though there were rumours of him abusing boys too, and what did we see? A barrister calling for a lowering of the age of consent because the current one is apparently leading to the “persecution of old men”, and MRAs like JudgyBitch talking about how the (female) victims knew what they were doing.

    Both the victim and rapists in the Steubenville case were 16, but the only comment I’ve seen on anyone’s age was the one about the boys who’d had their whole future destroyed (“Sixteen-year-olds just sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, they still sound like sixteen-year-olds”), I didn’t hear the same about the victim. In fact, a lot of people seem to have focussed on how irresponsible she was (in addition to being a whore).

    The trend of holding girls responsible for whatever happens to them sexually becomes even more pronounced outside rape. Amanda Todd was relentlessly bullied for something she did when she was 12. People on reddit claimed that the girls on the Jailbait subreddit shouldn’t have posted their pictures if they didn’t want grown men sharing and commenting on them, and that the women (also often girls) on the Creepshot subreddit should have thought better than going out in public in skimpy clothes. And then there’s the always atrocious I Am Amber Cole’s Father (link to the Alas reply, because I don’t want to give the original more hits).

    I think it’s a tendency. The presence of a tendency doesn’t mean something happens every time, just that it’s more likely to happen than if things were equal. If this was gender neutral, we should also be able to find cases where boys aged 10-12 were accused of deliberately getting older men horny, being spiders in their web luring older men to their fall, dressing and acting older than they are, etc.. And if you have examples of that, I’d be very interested in seeing them.

  205. Bill Door says

    freja

    I think it’s a tendency. The presence of a tendency doesn’t mean something happens every time, just that it’s more likely to happen than if things were equal. If this was gender neutral, we should also be able to find cases where boys aged 10-12 were accused of deliberately getting older men horny, being spiders in their web luring older men to their fall, dressing and acting older than they are, etc.. And if you have examples of that, I’d be very interested in seeing them.

    Oh, I didn’t mean to imply I agreed with the idea that boys are seen as more mature. I’m interested in whether the question could actually be answered convincingly, instead of people just giving out anecdotes all day.

  206. says

    202 @ Thumper; Atheist mate

    Because the colloquial definition of “theocratic misogyny” in Dubai, ie that women can’t be raped, seems as far away from internationally recognised legal definitions as your and Ally Fogg’s argument that criticism of religion is racism.

  207. Tamen says

    Freja @214:

    Remember Bill O’Reilly’s comments about Shawn Hornbeck?

    Also, trust me when I say that both NAMBLA and IPCE are full of talk about young boys knowing full well what they do when they seduce older men. I’ve perused both sites when looking at how some feminists (Millet, Califa, Paglia, Rubin) supported NAMBLA in the 70ies.

    The Sandusky victims were also blamed, perhaps not so much for their relation with Sandusky, but for speaking up and in the process getting Paterno fired. [1][2]

    From a catholic priest (of course): http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/30/high-ranking-catholic-priest-teens-seduced-poor-sandusky/

    Dottie Sandusky testified that victim#1 was clingy, victim#9 was a charmer and victim 4 as “very conniving: http://abcnews.go.com/US/sandusky-trial-lawyers-lean-putting-stand-defense-sources/story?id=16601332

    The myth that sexual arousal in boys/men means that he wanted it/enjoyed it and hence the abuse is their fault is a often used by the abusers to manipulate their victims, then there is also the myth that boys abused by men must’ve attracted their abuse because they are gay or that they become gay as a result of the abuse.: https://1in6.org/therapists-and-other-professionals/myths-facts/

    For a more academic approach:
    There seem to be no gender difference in self-blame among CSA victims:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2149908/

    “Gender-role attitudes were not significantly related to ratings of abusiveness or attributions of responsibility and blame.”:
    http://mindingthemind.com/reprints/Maynard.pdf

    This study found that women self-blamed more, but were but were no more likely to receive negative reactions upon disclosure than men: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213405001481

    Some studies/articles and so on have pointed out that male victims of CSA (and sexual abuse in general) self-report less harm than female victims. However, there is a disconnection between self-perception and actual clinical outcome:

    Given the evidence of numerous adverse clinical outcomes following sexual abuse, the positive and neutral perceptions of many male sexual abuse victims are perplexing. Hunter et al74 reported that males who were older when victimized were less likely to blame the perpetrator (P<.01), and males involved in more coercive experiences were more likely to blame themselves (P<.01). Perhaps abused males perceive that they have failed to meet a social expectation of self-protection. Rather than accept the failing, they may minimize the event itself. The experience of physical pleasure, as well, may complicate reactions after abuse.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213405001481

    And then we have some special variants for male victims of female perpetrators.When a man told how a female “friend” attempted to violently rape him (drawing blood in the process) a commenter found it appropriate to write;

    Don’t stick your dick in crazy!

    Another one wrote:

    The sad part is, no one will ever ask you what you were wearing and how much you had to drink.

    The sad part?! I’d think the sad part would be being a victim of attempted rape.
    If you really believe that male victims aren’t victim blamed then do try to make sure that you don’t end up being an asshole like that commenter when saying so and secondly do consider doing some research.

    A journalist at Jezebel made a similar comment when writing about a german man held captive by a woman who demanded sex from him in order to release him.

    Erin Gloria Ryan wrote flippantly in a comment to a Jezebel article about female teacher on male pupil sexual abuse that the problem would disappear if the teachers were less hot. The article itself wasn’t much better as it speculated whether the increase in these cases were due to enhancing drugs making teenage boys more attractive these days.

  208. freja says

    @217, Tamen

    Remember Bill O’Reilly’s comments about Shawn Hornbeck?

    No, but I fail to see how “I hope he did not make a conscious decision to accept his captivity because Devlin made things easy for him. No school, play all day long” is treating the kid as an adult. It’s saying that child abuse might not be child abuse because it’s something children could enjoy. It doesn’t say the child seduced the kidnapper, or that the kidnapper would be legitimately fooled into thinking the child was not a child.

    Also, trust me when I say that both NAMBLA and IPCE are full of talk about young boys knowing full well what they do when they seduce older men.

    And they’re generally regarded as being in the same category as the Westboro Babists and the KKK. The article I linked to was from the New York Times, also known as the most Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper ever, whose website is America’s most popular news site (according to wikipedia at least).

    And to get back home, commenters here have linked to A Voice for Men previously, and obviously expected it to be met with more acceptance than a link to NAMBLA. Just recently, Schala linked to an article from there suggesting that the real problem in Afghanistan was female privilege. She claimed that while she would rather live as a man than a woman in Afghanistan, it was because she values freedom over protection. Schala is claiming that a country where 46% of girls are married before age 18, and 15% before age 15 (and this is after the taliban) and where this and this happens, is a country where women are compensated for their lack of freedom by getting protection. Child marriages is apparently AVfM’s (and Schala’s) idea of protection and privilege, which more than suggests that girls at that age are ready for it.

    So yeah, you give me Nambla downplaying the damage done to boys by underage sexual abuse, and give you this fucking comment section as an example of the same happening to girls.

    The Sandusky victims were also blamed, perhaps not so much for their relation with Sandusky, but for speaking up and in the process getting Paterno fired.

    So again, it wasn’t that they were old enough.

    From a catholic priest (of course):

    Which part of “few outside the most depraved bowels of the Catholic church will claim that the boys were the tempting masterminds who seduced their rapists” (my comment 209) do you not understand? I swear, every time any so much as alludes to boys not being the only victims, some people just start to run on MRA-autopilot, completely oblivious to what was actually said.

    Dottie Sandusky testified that victim#1 was clingy, victim#9 was a charmer and victim 4 as “very conniving: http://abcnews.go.com/US/sandusky-trial-lawyers-lean-putting-stand-defense-sources/story?id=16601332

    This is a more legitimate example of what I was talking about. Of course, it’s still someone form the perpetrator’s own family, but this is starting to look like what often happens to girls. Good find, now we just need that attitude expressed in a national newspaper.

    The myth that sexual arousal in boys/men means that he wanted it/enjoyed it and hence the abuse is their fault is a often used by the abusers to manipulate their victims, then there is also the myth that boys abused by men must’ve attracted their abuse because they are gay or that they become gay as a result of the abuse

    So again, not that they were adults and seducers. The myth that sexual abuse makes boys gays seems to be the equivalent of sexual abuse making girls permanently damaged.

    For a more academic approach:

    Again, it doesn’t seem to concern my rebuttal to Ginko’s claim about only boys being seen as more adult than they are.

    And then we have some special variants for male victims of female perpetrators.When a man told how a female “friend” attempted to violently rape him (drawing blood in the process) a commenter found it appropriate to write;

    Don’t stick your dick in crazy!

    A good thing I talked about child abuse victims of male perpetrators, not adult victims of female perpetrators.

    Another one wrote:

    The sad part is, no one will ever ask you what you were wearing and how much you had to drink.

    The sad part?! I’d think the sad part would be being a victim of attempted rape.

    Agreed. But the commenter has a point. We don’t hear about what male victims were wearing, and usually not how much they had to drink, or how old they looked, or how flirtatious they were. This is pointing out the double standard I was talking about (though at a very bad time). But apparently, even pointing out the difficulties facing female victims of sexual assault is considered victim blaming.

    A journalist at Jezebel made a similar comment when writing about a german man held captive by a woman who demanded sex from him in order to release him.

    I realise you love to talk about adults. So much that you want to bring it up even in conversations about children. I suggest you stop talking so much and start reading a bit. You could start by reading the rebuttal you’re responding to, which is about when children are considered mature, not whether adult men have it worse than adult women. Again, MRA-autopilot.

    Erin Gloria Ryan wrote flippantly in a comment to a Jezebel article about female teacher on male pupil sexual abuse that the problem would disappear if the teachers were less hot. The article itself wasn’t much better as it speculated whether the increase in these cases were due to enhancing drugs making teenage boys more attractive these days.

    Was the pupil 11?

  209. Ally Fogg says

    Tamen & Freja

    Really interesting conversation and I have no intention of intervening or derailing it.

    But I would point out that I think the experience of male victims and female victims (both adults and children) will be understood differently both by society at large and the victims themselves, because of all the gender assumptions at play.

    I’m not sure arguing:
    “This happens to boys”
    “Yeah but this happens to girls and that’s worse”
    (or vice versa)

    … is ever very fruitful or even meaningful.

  210. freja says

    @219, Ally Fogg

    Tamen & Freja

    Really interesting conversation and I have no intention of intervening or derailing it.

    But I would point out that I think the experience of male victims and female victims (both adults and children) will be understood differently both by society at large and the victims themselves, because of all the gender assumptions at play.

    I’m not sure arguing:
    “This happens to boys”
    “Yeah but this happens to girls and that’s worse”
    (or vice versa)

    … is ever very fruitful or even meaningful.

    I agree. However, Ginko suggested that boys (children, not grown men) were in a special situation of being perceived as more adult than they were and held to higher standards of responsibility than girls (and blaming the jury). And over a 100 comments later, no one had disputed it and you had agreed with it. But as soon as I argue the opposite, and provide considerably more basis for it, it creates a huge controversy.

    I also find it quite enraging that I know Ginko reads A Voice For Men (since he’s linked to it before) whose contributors engage in a lot of victim blaming of young girls, so he’d have known about this sort of victim blaming, and yet he still chose to pretend that being held unduly responsible only happens to boys. And the commenter who gave me the most hostile response was Schala, who had earlier said that GWW (from the aforementioned site) made a compelling argument about Taliban Afghanistan (where it was far from unusual for pre-pubescent girls to get married to much older men who had complete power over them) being a society that privileges women over men.

    I’m going to play the Devil’s advocate as long as other commenters let these things slide. If statements from NAMBLA are considered evidence of what boys are subjected to, then I’ll keep using statements from A Voice For Men to show the same happening to girls, and I’ll keep pointing out that A Voice For Men is considered respectable enough for several posters here to link to with little controversy. I’m not so much claiming that women have it worse (I’m not even talking about women, only children), I’m claiming that the arguments about why men have it worse don’t make any sense.

  211. Ally Fogg says

    Freja

    Should point out that my earlier comment wasn’t really intended as a correction and certainly not a rebuke to either of you. I was just throwing a thought into the mix.

    Looking again at the original Gingko post that kicked this off, perhaps the only thing I would differ from on that is that it is not that boys (or for that matter black kids) are held to higher standards of responsibility and agency, it is that they are held to different standards of responsibility and agency.

    Girls are likely to be portrayed as seductresses or to have led their abusers on..

    Boys are more likely to be assumed to be wiling participants in the abuse (if the abuser is female) and perhaps have even bigger problems getting help and support or speaking out (if the abuser is male).

  212. freja says

    Speaking of blaming the female jurors, an interview with one of them confirms what has already been said before. They followed the law. She didn’t believe Zimmerman was innocent, but there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he did anything illegal.

    And speaking of blaming women in general, I was convinced that once the MRAs who aren’t on Zimmerman’s side found out it was an all female jury, they would have jumped at the chance to blame the jurors like Ginko did. But it turns out I was wrong. A Voice for Men have found another woman to blame. Or rather, a girl the same age as Trayvon. And they managed to not even blame Zimmerman in the process. Yeah, being held to high standards of responsibility sure is male thing /sarcasm

    And we haven’t even begun on all the “Women who don’t want to have sex with violent male criminals are to blame, because the criminals were probably nice guys who were desperate to get laid/women who have sex with violent male criminals are to blame, because they’re encouraging them with sex” which you can find all over the manosphere.

  213. Ginkgo says

    freja @ 222 – “And speaking of blaming women in general, I was convinced that once the MRAs who aren’t on Zimmerman’s side found out it was an all female jury, they would have jumped at the chance to blame the jurors like Ginko did. But it turns out I was wrong. A Voice for Men have found another woman to blame.”

    Well, this is disingenuous, isn’t it, implying that blaming those jurors is some marginal, MARish position. Condemnation of those jurors has not been blatant, because after all pointing a bunch of white women’s bigoted fear of black males is like beating a dead horse, but here is Eugene Robinson saying basically that:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-black-boys-denied-the-right-to-be-young/2013/07/15/d3f603d8-ed69-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_story.html

    Or is Eugene Robinson to MRAish for you too?

  214. Tamen says

    Ally @219:

    I’m not sure arguing:
    “This happens to boys”
    “Yeah but this happens to girls and that’s worse”
    (or vice versa)

    … is ever very fruitful or even meaningful.

    Probably not with the “…and that’s worse” tacked on. I did take care to not make any comparisons between male and female victims and statements about who has it worse – given the wide array of individual perceptions of harms and how that may be markedly different for clinical outcomes – both for male and female victims I think it’s near impossible and certainly pointless to make and “who has it worse”-statement. I am not the one making the “this does not happen to X victims” statements.

    I do however strongly believe that it is meaningful and ultimately fruitful to talk about “this happens to boys” and how it affects boys/men. And it goes without saying that talking about “this happens to girls” and how it affects them is meaningful and fruitful as well. There still is plenty of ignorance and assumptions on this subject.

    Freja @218;

    And they’re [NAMBLA and IPCE] generally regarded as being in the same category as the Westboro Babists and the KKK. The article I linked to was from the New York Times, also known as the most Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper ever, whose website is America’s most popular news site (according to wikipedia at least).

    It’s funny that I don’t recall UCLA ever defending TWB and the KKK legally ( http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/01/us/aclu-will-defend-group-that-advocates-legalizing-sex-between-men-and-boys.html ). Since you mentioned Pulitzer I could add that Allen Ginsberg who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1995 were a defender and member of NAMBLA. Camilla Paglia once wrote that Ginsberg support for NAMBLA was one of the things she admired the most about him.
    And it’s not that NAMBLA haven’t been able to argue their points in print in the Pulitzer prize winning The New York Times paper: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/01/01/us/group-promoting-man-boy-love-is-the-focus-of-police-inquiry.html

    The philospoher Michael Focault is popular withing certain feminist thoughts (Focauldian feminism) and he has stated his opposition to statutory laws:

    It is quite difficult to lay down barriers [particularly since] it could be that the child, with his own sexuality, may have desired the adult.

    James Miller, The Passion of Michel Foucault (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1992)

    On the subject of Afghanistan; I have not made any comment regarding the article by GWW that Schala linked to and I haven’t read it. I’ll state that I disagree about the value of sitting safely in a western country and opinionate on whether one would rather be a man or a woman in Afghanistan, a place I and suspect most people participating here never has even been to. I do note that you bring up a list of important issues befalling young girls there (child brides). Yet you make no mention of child grooms. I don’t know if that is because you are unaware of that happening (yet another “advantage” of boy victims never being talked about) or that if you consider it unimportant of less importance than female victimization or if there are some other reason. Child grooms can be a result of the tradition of badaal as in this article by Anna Badkhen for the Pulitzer Center.

    Likewise the plight of Bacha bazi in Afghanistan goes largely unmentioned. Again I don’t know if you were unaware of this practice in Afghanistan or if it went unmentioned for other reasons.

    So yeah, you give me Nambla downplaying the damage done to boys by underage sexual abuse, and give you this fucking comment section as an example of the same happening to girls.

    And yet I am not the one stating that it never/rarely happens to victims of either gender. You, however, appeared to discount that it happens to boys as well, yet with what I read as an invitation to provide examples:

    If this was gender neutral, we should also be able to find cases where boys aged 10-12 were accused of deliberately getting older men horny, being spiders in their web luring older men to their fall, dressing and acting older than they are, etc.. And if you have examples of that, I’d be very interested in seeing them.

    Yet the response to that call for examples were basically met with an attack.

    Which part of “few outside the most depraved bowels of the Catholic church will claim that the boys were the tempting masterminds who seduced their rapists” (my comment 209) do you not understand?

    This vitrol against me explicitly sourcing a catholic friar (who among other things were responsible for counceling priests accused of sexual abuse) blaming boy victims make me wonder why you think I should exclude the depraved bowels of the Catholic church from the discussion of who blames boys for seducing their abusers?

    I swear, every time any so much as alludes to boys not being the only victims, some people just start to run on MRA-autopilot, completely oblivious to what was actually said.

    First thing first: What has been reacted upon is not the protest against the allusion that boys are not the only victims, but rather the allusion that boys are not victims (never victim blamed in certain ways).
    Secondly: Before you assign someone a label (MRA-autopilot in this case) it would behoove to query whether the person identifies by that label first. I am not an MRA, in this context I am a male victim and an egalitarian. I ask you to not mislabel me in the future.

    This is a more legitimate example of what I was talking about. Of course, it’s still someone form the perpetrator’s own family, but this is starting to look like what often happens to girls. Good find, now we just need that attitude expressed in a national newspaper.

    ABCNews is not a national newscaster? Or must it be a newspaper? You seem fond of NY Times who also published these bits from Dorothy Sandusky’s testimony: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/opinion/dowd-the-constant-wife.html

    The myth that sexual arousal in boys/men means that he wanted it/enjoyed it and hence the abuse is their fault is a often used by the abusers to manipulate their victims, then there is also the myth that boys abused by men must’ve attracted their abuse because they are gay or that they become gay as a result of the abuse

    So again, not that they were adults and seducers.

    To me the bolded part sounds pretty similar to victim-blaming statements that girls who wear short skirts do so because they really wanted “it” and how that invalidates their non-consent and how their rape was their fault for dressing that way. It’s similar for those boys, their rape was their fault because of the way their body physically reacted. I guess you don’t think it’s similar at all then.

    For a more academic approach:

    Again, it doesn’t seem to concern my rebuttal to Ginko’s claim about only boys being seen as more adult than they are.

    I referred to several studies finding no gender differences in how victims of CSA blame themselves. If there is a wide difference in how much girl victims are blamed versus boy victims are blamed then the imbalance doesn’t seem to be internalized by the victims as we then would have seen a tendency of more female victims blaming themselves than male victims.

    Agreed. But the commenter has a point. We don’t hear about what male victims were wearing, and usually not how much they had to drink, or how old they looked, or how flirtatious they were. This is pointing out the double standard I was talking about (though at a very bad time). But apparently, even pointing out the difficulties facing female victims of sexual assault is considered victim blaming.

    It trivializes the actual rape attempt when it’s pointed out in this way as a direct response to a male victim telling his story. That you seem to bemoan that it’s restricting (“even that is considered victim blaming” to paraphrase) how one can point out the difficulties of female victims of sexual assaults experiences then that’s on you. Trust a male victim when I say that I’ve heard that what happened was that I was so drunk that I fucked an ugly girl and later wouldn’t admit it, I also heard that I couldn’t have been so drunk that I was unconscious due to “whiskey dick”, I’ve heard that I did kiss and fool around with her when we were awake before I fell asleep and that by ending up naked in a bedroom with her at a party it was no wonder that she thought she could just fuck me while I was asleep. I’ve been told that it never happened, that it never could’ve happened. I’ve seen Amanda Marcotte speculate that it was more likely that a man who felt victimized by his girlfriend fucking him while he was asleep in reality was faking to be asleep in order to abusively gas-light his girlfriend into feeling horrible. I also saw some of the comments in mainstream media as well as social media on the Toronto case of the young man being sexually assaulted (the term includes rape in Canada) by a group of women, apparently you didn’t. here are some.

    Try to imagine how it feels to hearing women and men repeat and repeat that male victims never experience these things. Imagine how believable these people are to male victims when say that they care about male victims. Imagine how hollow Marcotte’s claim that what men’s rights needs is more feminism sound in light of that comment.

    I realize you love to talk about adults. So much that you want to bring it up even in conversations about children. I suggest you stop talking so much and start reading a bit. You could start by reading the rebuttal you’re responding to, which is about when children are considered mature, not whether adult men have it worse than adult women. Again, MRA-autopilot.

    I was raped by a woman when I was an adult. Consequently that situation and it’s aftermath and what society at large think of adult male victims is what I know best as I wasn’t sexually abused as a child and hence doesn’t have first-hand experience of that. I’d say it’s a misnomer to say that I love to talk about it. It would be a good thing if I felt I could talk less about it because male victims are acknowledged, taken seriously and given access to the help they deserve and preventive measures are being made (not focusing exclusively on women’s consent, but also include in a real way the equally importance of men’s consent).

    I have however tried to read myself up on the subject of male CSA and can recommend Jim Hopper’s site, 1in6.org and malesurvivor.org as well as http://www.female-offenders.com/bibliography.html .

    A journalist at Jezebel made a similar comment when writing about a german man held captive by a woman who demanded sex from him in order to release him.

    I realise you love to talk about adults. So much that you want to bring it up even in conversations about children. I suggest you stop talking so much and start reading a bit. You could start by reading the rebuttal you’re responding to, which is about when children are considered mature, not whether adult men have it worse than adult women. Again, MRA-autopilot.

    Exactly how does pointing out that specific instances of victim blaming of male victims exist amount to saying that adult men have it worse than adult women? It’s not a rhetorical question as I am genuinely curious as to how you came to that conclusion.

    I also must point out the irony in that Ally’s original post talks about how being told at age 9 that “You are the head of the family now, you must look after your brother and mother” and be expected to be an mature adult at that age was something that did real emotional damage to Kenny.

    Was the pupil 11?

    The youngest pupil mentioned in the article itself was 14. I guess that makes it ok, or did you have another point?

    Another point in that article is that the author asserts that it’s not the same for male and female victims of teacher-pupil statutory rape since boys are told by friends that they were lucky and hence are more likely to consider it a lark and that it’s not as stark a power dynamic or so clear a case of exploitation” implying quite a bit of agency of the boys behalf. One thought occur to me here; why doesn’t the article author question whether the clinical after-effects are in line with what the boys self-report as “lark” – one would think that when they quoted Eickmeyer (a 15 year old male victim) “‘You are a guy, and it’s not supposed to bother you.’ But it really did mess me up.’” would be a clue that this self perception and the perception of peers is not in line with actual clinical consequences.

  215. Tamen says

    Freja:
    I forgot one thing: Take a look at a studies about female and male underage prostitutes and underage boys and girls engaging in survival sex. Tally up how many of them frame the girls as victims and exploited by their clients and how many of them frame the boys as using prostitution/survival sex as a way to explore their homosexuality.

    ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution And Trafficking) published a report called “And Boys Too” which on page 7 cited research [Dennis, J. (2008). Women are Victims, Men Make Choices: The Invisibility of Men and Boys and young men in the Global Sex Trade. Gender Issues, 25(1), 11-25.] finding that:

    When male sex workers were discussed, they were assigned considerably more agency than female sex workers, the chief danger ascribed to them was HIV rather than violence, and the question of their sexual orientation was always addressed, whereas female sex workers were always assumed heterosexual.

    and on page 13:

    Until the last two decades, research framed CSE boys and young men as deviants with a desire for quick sex and money [ Caukins, Sivan E. and Neil R. Coombs, (1976) The Psychodynamics of Male Prostitution. American Journal of Psychotherapy, July 30 (3), 441-451.].
    Although this belief is not accepted in the human trafficking community, it appears to persist in the wider culture. One key informant conversation with law enforcement officer typified this attitude as the officer referred to a 15-year old male found in a motel trafficking sting as a “sex addict” and to another who was “just doing it for the money.”

    Which does explain why another American study analysing data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System found that Police report more contacts with male juvenile prostitutes (61%) than with female juvenile prostitutes (39%) and that the police is more likely to arrest male juvenile prostitutes and more likely to refer female juvenile prostitutes to other authorities, such as social services agencies: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/203946.pdf

    Other relevant papers:
    Cates, J. (1989). Adolescent Male Prostitution by Choice. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 6(2), 151-156.

  216. says

    189 @Bitethehand

    And just in time here’s Anne Marie Waters on the National Secular Society website:

    In short, a crime against humanity is being committed in Saudi Arabia. The same can be said for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere; every bit of it is propped up by religion, justified by religion, and strengthened by religion.

    Are you going to call Anne Marie Waters a racist as well Ally?

  217. freja says

    @223, Ginkgo

    Well, this is disingenuous, isn’t it, implying that blaming those jurors is some marginal, MARish position.

    I wasn’t implying anything. I was stating that I was surprised at AVfM’s choice of female scapegoat. We all knew it was only a matter of time before they found a way to blame women, but I hadn’t expected them to blame Trayvon’s friend, who was just a child herself. I guess it makes sense, because it enables them to blame the murder itself on a girl, rather than just the outcome of the trial, but still, I’m continuously surprised at how low they’ll go, and how nonchalant people like you are in linking to them. And I thought it was ironic that you had previously talked about how wrong it was to hold a 17 year old boy responsible as an adult, and here a site which you read and refer to does the same to a girl the same age.

    Condemnation of those jurors has not been blatant, because after all pointing a bunch of white women’s bigoted fear of black males is like beating a dead horse, but here is Eugene Robinson saying basically that:

    I never said that the attitude that boys should be given more leeway to misbehave compared to girls than they currently are isn’t mainstream. It probably is, and that’s the problem. It causes journalists to talk about how two 16 year old male rapists are only 16, while ignoring the 16 year old female victim, whom others in turn are calling an irresponsible slut and whore. It causes girls to be given more responsibilities and duties in the home than their male peers, a pattern which continues into adulthood, to the disadvantage of almost everyone. It causes male harassment and bullying to be excused as harmless “boys will be boys”, while people talk about the clothing of an 11 year old girl as being relevant to the decision of grown men to rape her.

  218. Danny Gibbs says

    Ally (from the post):
    Since my last couple of blogs on these issues I’ve cautiously started adopting the phrase patriarchal misandry. One Twitter feminist described this as “the single most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard” and given my general disagreements with the same person, I take that to be a validation.
    I’m curious. Why the caution?

    But in general about the term patriarchal misandry sounds a bit odd to me. Please hear me out.

    First the two separate words patriarchal and misandry.

    I’ve had feminists describe patriarchy as a system that values the masculine over the feminine and operates to keep the feminine down.

    Of course misandry is the hatred, disregard, oppression, etc…..of men.

    When put together it sounds like you are saying that the hatred of women is what causes the hatred of men, as if the harms that befall men are collateral damage causes by a system that is working to oppress women.

    Wouldn’t that run counter to what you say a few sentences above about the oppression of men and the oppression of women running parallel to each other?

  219. freja says

    @224, Tamen

    It’s funny that I don’t recall UCLA ever defending TWB and the KKK legally ( http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/01/us/aclu-will-defend-group-that-advocates-legalizing-sex-between-men-and-boys.html ).

    Do you have examples of TWB or the KKK being in danger of legal repercussions for saying something legal in the same way? I doubt the UCLA agrees with NAMBLA, but if what they’re saying is legal to say, there’s not much to do.

    And it’s not that NAMBLA haven’t been able to argue their points in print in the Pulitzer prize winning The New York Times paper: http://www.nytimes.com/1983/01/01/us/group-promoting-man-boy-love-is-the-focus-of-police-inquiry.html

    Yeah, that article is about them being the focus of a police inquiry, it’s not a one-sided interview. The article about the gang rape I linked to earlier basically let the people in local community get their say about how the boys’ (including grown men) lives would be ruined, how the 11 year old girl dressed older, and how her mother should have done something, completely unopposed. And also of note, your article has people claiming NAMBLA consists of as little as 50 individuals, and even the founder says it’s only about 500. That’s a very small group to generate that much controversy.

    The philospoher Michael Focault is popular withing certain feminist thoughts (Focauldian feminism) and he has stated his opposition to statutory laws:

    Nice dig at feminism there. Now, is he stating his opposition to statutory laws in regards to boys only or both sexes?

    On the subject of Afghanistan; I have not made any comment regarding the article by GWW that Schala linked to and I haven’t read it. I’ll state that I disagree about the value of sitting safely in a western country and opinionate on whether one would rather be a man or a woman in Afghanistan, a place I and suspect most people participating here never has even been to.

    So because none of us has been to Afghanistan, we can’t really judge if an MRA (who hasn’t been to Afghanistan either) was wrong in stating that the Taliban is an example of female privilege? Or whether a commenter on this blog linking to it almost completely unopposed is alright? That’s good to hear.

    So how about I just start talking similarly about male suffering: WW1 was really about female victimisation. The men got the glamorous jobs in the trenches, while the women had to take over the male jobs back home, and keep their own jobs, and suffer the uncertainty of never knowing if they were going to see their loved ones again, which is like 3 times worse. And this idea of drafting able women on equal terms with able men is wrong, because it means taking women away from the home where they’re needed much more than men, and besides, men have much more spare time than women which they can use in the military. That’s OK with you? None of us were alive at that time after all, so we can’t really know, and so you should just let it stand, right?

    I do note that you bring up a list of important issues befalling young girls there (child brides). Yet you make no mention of child grooms. I don’t know if that is because you are unaware of that happening (yet another “advantage” of boy victims never being talked about) or that if you consider it unimportant of less importance than female victimization or if there are some other reason. Child grooms can be a result of the tradition of badaal as in this article by Anna Badkhen for the Pulitzer Center.

    This is a case of children of both sexes getting married to each other. I don’t know if they’ll be expected to live away from their parents, or if the marriage is mostly a formality (the writer, unfortunately, is too busy focusing on things like how the child groom’s child bride seems old enough, to be specific about these things), but I know he has a choice in regards to consummating the marriage.

    You’re right that these things happen to boys too (albeit I would have liked an example from Afghanistan under the Taliban, since that is, after all, what the discussion is about), but they’re far more common for girls, and the boys are married away to other children, while the girls are usually required to live up to the expectations of much older men. And at the end of the say, I think that in a country where slaves have no rights, being given ownership of a slave is less demanding than being a slave.

    Likewise the plight of Bacha bazi in Afghanistan goes largely unmentioned. Again I don’t know if you were unaware of this practice in Afghanistan or if it went unmentioned for other reasons.

    Largely unmentioned? I think I’ve seen the first 3 documentaries about the subject, and read about it newspaper articles and seen it on youtube. I believe the GWW article also mentioned the tragedy of a 13 year old boy prostituting himself to get food for his family. In fact, that was one of my examples of the hypocrisy of Schala and her ilk. A 13 year old boy having to have sex with grown men out of necessity merits talk about misandry, but girls as young as 8 being given to grown men to rape is “female privilege”.

    And yet I am not the one stating that it never/rarely happens to victims of either gender.

    No. Ginko is the one saying that boys have to grow up too fast and carry too much responsibility, while girls do not. Ally is the one who agreed. Schala is the one claiming that child brides have a protected position (unlike those poor boys who have to have sex with grown men). And you are the one who doesn’t give a shit until someone turns the tables and suggest girls are the ones being held too responsible for their age.

    Yet the response to that call for examples were basically met with an attack.

    You didn’t give examples as much as attacked strawmen.

    This vitrol against me explicitly sourcing a catholic friar (who among other things were responsible for counceling priests accused of sexual abuse) blaming boy victims make me wonder why you think I should exclude the depraved bowels of the Catholic church from the discussion of who blames boys for seducing their abusers?

    If you want to include every source, no matter how far from mainstream, how about we include A Voice for Men?

    First thing first: What has been reacted upon is not the protest against the allusion that boys are not the only victims, but rather the allusion that boys are not victims (never victim blamed in certain ways).

    And what has been reacted upon from my side is not the allusion that boys are often not treated like the children they are, but rather the allusion that girls are. My very first post on the subject (194) which started all this outrage stated “This has not been my experience.” and “Your experience is not a universal experience, and it is not fact.”

    None of the people who have been critical or hostile towards that notion, including you, found it necessary to object to Ginko’s post. Why wasn’t his unfounded claim about how girls aren’t expected to be mature met with any disagreement? Is this because you agree? And if so, why not just come out and say so, instead of playing this game about pretending to acknowledge that both male and female children are hurt by expectations of exaggerated maturity?

    This is a seriously frustrating trend on these comment sections. It doesn’t matter how much crap is said about women, people will just let it stand, and then claim afterwards that just because they ignored it while focussing only on how men and boys have it worse, it doesn’t mean anyone have the right to perceive them as supporting it. You have mentioned several times how male victims are ignored as if it was bad for boys, but the only time ignored female victims have been mentioned has been this comment (211):

    That would be an interesting test case: we know that Catholic priests abused girls as well as boys. Thus, if you’re right, we would expect that the girls would be blamed for the abuse while the boys would be seen as victims. Do we see any evidence of this?

    The implication being that if female victims who are ignored are not victim blamed (even if this is because we hardly ever hear about them), this indicates that girls in general are not blamed more than boys (the ones we hear about, that is).

    When I pointed out that women being seen as less dangerous also affected female victims, I didn’t get a single response of anyone saying “You’re right, those comedy scenes where “catfights” are treated as funny are no better than scenes where women hitting men is played for laughs, and the added presence of guys treating it like a sex show is really disgusting”. What I got was this (197):

    You know why guys won’t stop a fight of two female strangers? If they receive a lost hit, they can’t do a thing. They probably can’t even restrain the hitter unless they used a weapon, without themselves being beaten by onlookers.

    This was in response to me posting links to a video of two female characters fighting each other while a male character smiles with joy and talks about it being hot, a video where female characters fighting each other is played for laughs with the most upvoted comment below being from a guy declaring that he’s horny, and a video of (staged but realistic looking) female-on-female hazing, where many male onlookers treated it like a show to enjoy.

    But no, according to Schala, catfights would stop being played for laughs or male sexual arousal if it just became more acceptable for men to physically dominate women, and it’s a natural reaction from men who’re allegedly forced to watch helplessly (despite wanting to intervene) as women hurt each other to smile, find a good vantage point, and talk loudly about how sexually aroused they are. And again, it doesn’t draw a single objection. Is it because you agree, because you don’t notice, or because you don’t care?

    Secondly: Before you assign someone a label (MRA-autopilot in this case) it would behoove to query whether the person identifies by that label first. I am not an MRA, in this context I am a male victim and an egalitarian. I ask you to not mislabel me in the future.

    I don’t care what you are, I care what you do. And in lack of knowing anything about that, what you say. And don’t say. I’m sorry about what happened to you, but so far, your behaviour is very much MRA-autopilot. You ignore sexist claims about women, but as soon you see any claim that boys aren’t the ones getting primarily victimised by something, you get immensely upset and start countering with everything you can find, even if it has nothing to do with the topic.

    ABCNews is not a national newscaster? Or must it be a newspaper? You seem fond of NY Times who also published these bits from Dorothy Sandusky’s testimony: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/opinion/dowd-the-constant-wife.html

    It’s his wife, who has a vested interest in defending him, same as the catholic church. The people who decided the clothing and behaviour of an 11 year old girl was relevant after she got raped were just local people on the street who didn’t seem to have any personal stake in the result. The people who bullied Amanda Todd, and acted as if getting her topless photo spread across the web was her fault, weren’t trying to defend their friend the child abuser (they didn’t even know him). Neither were the people who blamed Amber Cole for having oral sex with a boy the same age. The barrister who suggested the age of consent should be lowered in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal wasn’t his lawyer. Neither was Judgy Bitch.

    To me the bolded part sounds pretty similar to victim-blaming statements that girls who wear short skirts do so because they really wanted “it” and how that invalidates their non-consent and how their rape was their fault for dressing that way. It’s similar for those boys, their rape was their fault because of the way their body physically reacted. I guess you don’t think it’s similar at all then.

    Saying that she dressed older than she was is different from saying she wore slutty clothes. The issue with that remark is the implication that by not appearing or acting like a child is expected to, it’s less abhorrent that the rapists didn’t treat her like a child. Judgy Bitch makes similar implications in the link above, where she shows images of underage female models she claims look older and dress and pose sexualised, as if it was relevant.

    Even the journalist in the article about child marriage you linked to do it, when she points out that the bride is taller than the husband and seems grown up enough. The bride is (allegedly) 16, a year younger than Trayvon Martin was when he was killed. Those little incidents are so common that they’re hardly even registered, which might be why, even in a debate about children being treated as more adult than they are, you still seem fit to link to that article without acknowledging how it treats a 16 year old girl as grown up enough in the context of marriage.

    I referred to several studies finding no gender differences in how victims of CSA blame themselves. If there is a wide difference in how much girl victims are blamed versus boy victims are blamed then the imbalance doesn’t seem to be internalized by the victims as we then would have seen a tendency of more female victims blaming themselves than male victims.

    I believe there are also studies out there saying that men report less trauma and violation in response to forced sex than women. Does that mean society’s attitude towards male victims is actually healthier than towards female victims, and does it give credence to the idea that male rape is less of an issue? Warren Farrell has also claimed to find that female victims of incest had a much more negative attitudes towards the incest than boys had. Does this mean boys are less harmed by incest?

    Speaking of Farrell, why did you find it necessary to mention that some feminists are allegedly inspired by a (non-feminist) dead philosopher who wanted to get rid of age of consent laws, but you didn’t seem fit to mention that a man often considered the founder of the modern MRM has argued in favour of incest? Or did you just not know?

    It trivializes the actual rape attempt when it’s pointed out in this way as a direct response to a male victim telling his story.

    So you agree that it’s bad taste to walk in on a discussion about male-on-female rape to talk about rape of men? Turn FGM discussions into debates about circumcision of boys? Or basically any of the things feminists refer to when they say “What about the menz”? Because this is what counts as an equal playing field, unfortunately. Also, do you agree that the article by Paul Elam mentioned here is inappropriate too, in the way it mocks and diminishes the experiences of female rape victims in order to make a point about male victims?

    I already agreed with you that the comment was inappropriate for the situation. However that doesn’t mean the issue raised isn’t legitimate, just as I will concede unconditionally that the issue Elam raises is a legitimate one, though he’s probably doing more to hurt male victims (and definitely female victims) than help them this way. The issue raised is how women’s appearance is used against them in spite of their actions. And I think that’s a valid issue in regards to little girls, considering how hard a time many people had seeing the photo/videos of Amanda Todd and Amber Cole as child porn, how “she dressed older” was used against an 11 year old girl who was raped, how Judgy Bitch thinks photos of sexualised young girls are relevant to age of consent laws, and how the journalist in that article you linked to find it relevant to talk about the grown up appearance of a 16 year old child bride.

    Speaking of that Elam article, even the account from the male rape victim he quotes talks about how the rapist was “big as a hippo”. I’ve read several accounts from rape victims, more female than male, and this, along with your account of being thought to have fucked an ugly chick because you were drunk, is the first time appearance has come up like that. While recalling what might easily be the most traumatising event in his life, the male rape victim still manages to take a dig at fat women. Just to be clear, I don’t think rape victims need to be polite and non-sexist in their accounts, so I find it more an example of a trend than an example of oppression. When I read about female rape victims, even their own accounts sometimes have more information about their appearance than the male rapists. The focus on women’s appearance (in contrast to men’s actions and opinions) seems to be everywhere, and in the case of young girls, it manifests in some pretty disgusting ways.

    I was raped by a woman when I was an adult. Consequently that situation and it’s aftermath and what society at large think of adult male victims is what I know best as I wasn’t sexually abused as a child and hence doesn’t have first-hand experience of that.

    And again, I’m sorry that happened to you. No sarcasm, I am. And I fully support initiatives working to give male rape victims the support they need. I do not, however, support the idea that boys are the exclusive victims of being thought of as more mature than they ought to be. And that is what I am arguing against. If you take that to mean I don’t think adult men can be blamed as much as adult women for being raped, that’s on you.

    Exactly how does pointing out that specific instances of victim blaming of male victims exist amount to saying that adult men have it worse than adult women? It’s not a rhetorical question as I am genuinely curious as to how you came to that conclusion.

    You were the only one bringing up examples of adult victimisation. My examples were of girls aged 11, 12, 14, and 16, as well as Jimmy Saville’s victims, who were all underage. So if you start bringing up examples of adult male rape victims being stigmatised without giving examples of the same happening to women, that indicates to me that you’re claiming men have it worse, in a completely different discussion than the one I initiated with Ginko.

    The youngest pupil mentioned in the article itself was 14. I guess that makes it ok, or did you have another point?

    It makes it more relevant. I think that article, if it really claims teenage boys are more attractive these days, might be the first example I’ve seen of boys’ appearance being treated like girls’. I haven’t seen the article, but it makes sense. Jezebel was ever the equal opportunity offender.

    Another point in that article is that the author asserts that it’s not the same for male and female victims of teacher-pupil statutory rape since boys are told by friends that they were lucky and hence are more likely to consider it a lark and that it’s not as stark a power dynamic or so clear a case of exploitation” implying quite a bit of agency of the boys behalf.

    Like the comment you originally criticised, it seems to be more about the boy wanting it than him looking and acting adult (and therefore being ready for it). This is a common trend when people, especially children, are violated. With guys, the focus is on their needs and feelings, and with girls, the focus is on their duties and responsibilities. So someone dismissing the severity of abuse of boys will talk about how hot the abuser is, or say things like “[the abuser] made things easy for him. No school, play all day long”, while someone dismissing the severity of abuse of girls will talk about how hot or adult looking the victim is, or say that she shouldn’t have let someone get pornographic footage of her or put herself in a position where she was helpless.

    So while a lot of your examples dismiss abuse of boys, they don’t talk about the boys needing to take responsibility as much as arguing that they like it. Still terrible, but a different kind of terrible than the kind Ginko claimed only happened to boys. And on a related note, here’s Warren Farrell again, talking about how rape is the worst thing that can happen on a date for a woman, but for men, the equivalent is paying and not getting sex. Honestly, with men like Farrell, Elam, and the guys who did “don’t be that girl” on their side, it’s no wonder the people who complain the most about sexism against men never seem to achieve anything except promoting sexism against women.

    ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution And Trafficking) published a report called “And Boys Too” which on page 7 cited research [Dennis, J. (2008). Women are Victims, Men Make Choices: The Invisibility of Men and Boys and young men in the Global Sex Trade. Gender Issues, 25(1), 11-25.] finding that:

    When male sex workers were discussed, they were assigned considerably more agency than female sex workers, the chief danger ascribed to them was HIV rather than violence, and the question of their sexual orientation was always addressed, whereas female sex workers were always assumed heterosexual.

    I don’t know the stats on HIV and violence against sex workers are different for male than female sex workers, so I can’t judge if the way it’s talked about is a case of prejudice or generalisations based on real life. The same with homosexuality. I don’t know if it’s a stereotype, but a lot male sex workers, especially underaged ones, seem to primarily cater to male customers, whereas lesbian prostitution seems less common. In a society where the sexes act and are treated different, it’s not implausible that male and female sex workers are different and face different risks.

  220. Sasori says

    Although it is not completely without merit I have a number of problems with ‘intersectionality,’ particularly because (with regard to this case)… “Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males. ”
    http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/06/29/standing-your-ground/
    I am beginning to suspect that the current maps of intersectionality represent more the relative strengths and weaknesses of various social movements than the way different groups in society experience things. That class seems to not be a big factor in many an intersectional analysis seems to be indicative of the weakness of class based economic movements at the moment.

    An example; I am fairly tall and mixed race and have often been aware of people being scared or suspicious of me or esspecially when I was younger, the thing is, it turns out so have all of my friends who are from the same part of town and are white as the driven snow. I also would have to acknowledge that a part of this heightened awareness was constructed in my own head. I think that it is generally the social distance between various communities that are not necessarily delineated by race that seems to have been a major factor in the Zimmerman/Martin case.

    Re patriarchal misandry. I think that because the humanities aren’t anything approaching a science (there aren’t very many predictive theories etc) the way people frame and narrativeise ovservations or raw data rhetorically is often illustrative of the who they care about more, their social position within various ideological camps etc

    So for different camps, there is a social process that can be called Patriarchy or a gender system, there is something that can be called ‘male privilege’ for some people, and ‘male benevolent sexism’ for others , there is ‘female privilege’ for some and ‘benovelant sexism’ for others. I think that patriarchial misandry is framing things from Ally Foggs particular position, acknowledging that the current set up is bad for men in many ways but rooting himself in the ideology which is pre-eminent in discussions of gender (especially on the left).

  221. says

    Speaking of Farrell, why did you find it necessary to mention that some feminists are allegedly inspired by a (non-feminist) dead philosopher who wanted to get rid of age of consent laws, but you didn’t seem fit to mention that a man often considered the founder of the modern MRM has argued in favour of incest?

    I did not know that. While I consider his views on the topic disturbing, he seems to discourage the practice:

    I’m not recommending incest between parent and child, and especially not between father and daughter. The great majority of fathers can grasp the dynamics of positive incest intellectually. But in a society that encourages looking at women in almost purely sexual terms, I don’t believe they can translate this understanding into practice.

  222. Schala says

    So because none of us has been to Afghanistan, we can’t really judge if an MRA (who hasn’t been to Afghanistan either) was wrong in stating that the Taliban is an example of female privilege? Or whether a commenter on this blog linking to it almost completely unopposed is alright? That’s good to hear.

    And how about you drop it as an example you bring every 2 seconds if you could not even understand the very basic concept behind it: That every good thing comes with bad things – medal has two sides, or what not to signify not everything is a global bad or a global good.

  223. Schala says

    So how about I just start talking similarly about male suffering: WW1 was really about female victimisation.

    You seem to think reframing men’s issues as REALLY being women’s issues is a new or revolutionary thing.

    It follows this pattern: (from permutation of ninjas)

    1. Assume women are victims of gendered oppression and men are not
    2. Discount evidence that men are victims of gendered oppression, because only women are victims of gendered oppression
    3. Conclude that only women are the victims of gendered oppression, because there is no evidence to the contrary

    It’s done simply:

    Look at an outcome on some measure, whether it’s income, health, etc. Look who has the shitty end in there. Justify it as being really something patriarchy wanted and a net positive for men and a net negative for women.

    Then so can you call the higher life expectancy of women as oppression. The selective gendercide of men in conflicts as being the oppression of women. And only women having shelters for DV as being the oppression of women. Call now for a limited time and we double the offer…

    But no, according to Schala, catfights would stop being played for laughs or male sexual arousal if it just became more acceptable for men to physically dominate women

    Buy some microscopes, because glasses won’t be enough to fix your vision if that’s what you got from “men cannot interrupt a fight with a woman in it without being presumed an aggressor and thus beaten violently by other men for even being in the fight at all”.

    Also I NEVER mentioned child brides, or child grooms, sorry.

    I believe there are also studies out there saying that men report less trauma and violation in response to forced sex than women. Does that mean society’s attitude towards male victims is actually healthier than towards female victims, and does it give credence to the idea that male rape is less of an issue?

    What they say and the level of distress and psychological issues they experience are two things.

    It’s just a flesh wound – something said regardless of it being true.

    Speaking of Farrell, why did you find it necessary to mention that some feminists are allegedly inspired by a (non-feminist) dead philosopher who wanted to get rid of age of consent laws, but you didn’t seem fit to mention that a man often considered the founder of the modern MRM has argued in favour of incest? Or did you just not know?

    Way to twist his words, you must be pro at this, do you work for one of those newspapers that takes photos from bigfoot and says aliens ate their girlfriend on their cover page?

    With guys, the focus is on their needs and feelings, and with girls, the focus is on their duties and responsibilities

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Let me laugh again. The focus on the needs and feelings of boys? Since when has the patriarchy even thought men had ANY of those? Men do stuff, they don’t have feelings, says the patriarchy. Only women do. Because only human people have feelings for people to care about. And men don’t qualify. They get a pass if they’re a “real man” enough, but only for a little while, until he has to prove it again, and again, and again.

    In your context, the boy is assumed to have wanted it, he has no other option. That’s not focusing on his thoughts and feelings, it’s giving him the illusion of having an option, and taking it away right off by saying he would DEFINITELY have done it anyway, because sex and men = can’t refuse.

    No school, play all day long”, while someone dismissing the severity of abuse of girls will talk about how hot or adult looking the victim is, or say that she shouldn’t have let someone get pornographic footage of her or put herself in a position where she was helpless.

    You know the difference? In the boy’s case it’s assumed NO ABUSE TOOK PLACE, he got free sex, and why is he whining again?

    In the girl’s case, it’s assumed that abuse DID take place, but that she was not blameless in the account. So the punishment shouldn’t be as bad.

    The first says “nothing to see here, just a lucky guy who got pussy”, the second says “evil rapist, but on the other hand, he got tempted”. In female on female abuse, she’s likely to be given a pass the same as female on male abuse.

    I don’t know the stats on HIV and violence against sex workers are different for male than female sex workers, so I can’t judge if the way it’s talked about is a case of prejudice or generalisations based on real life.

    It’s a stereotype based on gay people having HIV more, male prostitutes being assumed to have almost exclusively male clients (thus making them gay or bi), and them liking all of it, because free sex – as a job even. More fun than videogame testing, right?

    That’s fucking regardless of stats. I’m sure the stats are not THAT different from female sex workers, who are also at risk just for being in that business period.

    So of course they won’t look to see if someone forced them. Who would force you to eat ice cream, or play videogames? Biased as fuck.

  224. Schala says

    Are you aware that prostitution isn’t all about cheating on your spouse, or getting sex is you’re “too much of a loser” to get any other way?

    Lots of people go see prostitutes of either sex for other reasons. They want some kind of intimacy (often non-sexual even) that they don’t get with their couple. I’m sure many also have fetishes that they, or their spouse, finds shameful, and think (often rightfully) than they won’t be accepted by their spouse for it. Many of those are not sexual fetishes exactly (ie, it has little or nothing to do with masturbation or intercourse, like say, masochism).

    As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if the group of female clients is bigger than often presumed. And the bias of not seeing it comes from assuming women are asexual, have no sex or intimacy needs, just romance. And also from seeing men as hypersexual, unsatisfied if they don’t have sex every 2 minutes.

    Note that trans women prostitutes are assumed to be in there for the sex way way way more than cis women, even if trans women are MUCH more likely to be in the trade by financial necessity (ie no one hires them due to open and overt discrimination, costly hormones).

  225. Schala says

    “Note that trans women prostitutes are assumed to be in there for the sex way way way more than cis women, even if trans women are MUCH more likely to be in the trade by financial necessity (ie no one hires them due to open and overt discrimination, costly hormones).”

    And this comes from the misandrous notion that men are unsatiable sexual beasts who would fuck ANYTHING given the chance. With gay men and trans women getting a double dose. And bisexual men getting the gay men version on steroids due to bias unique to bisexuality (bisexual women just get the steroids, not the equivalent of the gay men super-sexuality).

    This makes a “hierarchy of sex” which says that from most insatiable to least we go from:

    Trans women
    Bisexual men
    Gay men
    Bisexual women
    Straight men
    Cis lesbian women
    Cis straight women

    Why I didn’t name trans men? They don’t get the hypersexual penalty for being trans.

    Look:

    Less work has been done on autoandrophilia,[33] and in an interview with Vice, Blanchard stated that he doubted the phenomenon existed; he proposed its inclusion in the DSM 5′s section on transvestic fetishism “simply in order to not be accused of sexism”.[34]

    Why does he doubt it exists? Well, he considers trans men to be really women, and women don’t have a libido, fetishes or the likes. So they couldn’t possibly have autoandrophilia the way trans women are presumed to have autogynophilia.

  226. Schala says

    Well, I would have edited the post, but it’s not possible. So it was a nota bene.

  227. freja says

    @232, Schala

    And how about you drop it as an example you bring every 2 seconds if you could not even understand the very basic concept behind it: That every good thing comes with bad things – medal has two sides, or what not to signify not everything is a global bad or a global good.

    I understand the concept very well, which is why I know when it doesn’t apply. You were making/repeating some specific claims about women’s position in Taliban Afghanistan which are not supported by evidence, in order to argue they got advantages which you have no proof of.

    If you want my references to it to go away, answer the following:

    Why did you claim that women under the Taliban got protection in exchange for their lesser freedom, when husbands under the Taliban could, and did, kill their female spouses without repercussions, when women were denied the same medical aid as men, and when young girls were raped and impregnated before their body could safely sustain a pregnancy, all leading to women under the Taliban having a lower average life expectancy than men?

    Why did you claim that women had little to no duties and responsibilities, when women in Afghanistan do plenty of manual labour and have tons of responsibilities which they were/are killed for not living up to?

    Why did you claim/agree that women in Afghanistan are provided for and don’t need to work, when we know plenty of women aren’t provided for and do need to work?

  228. freja says

    @233, Schala

    Look at an outcome on some measure, whether it’s income, health, etc. Look who has the shitty end in there.

    In Taliban Afghanistan, that would be women. Didn’t stop you from thinking that framing the whole thing as an example of female privilege was a good thing. Why is that?

    And only women having shelters for DV

    Citation?

    Buy some microscopes, because glasses won’t be enough to fix your vision if that’s what you got from “men cannot interrupt a fight with a woman in it without being presumed an aggressor and thus beaten violently by other men for even being in the fight at all”.

    I would love to buy a microscope that could show me how you could get from examples of men expressing pleasure over women hurting each other to men being oppressed. Do they smile because they’re crying inside? Do they write “My God, I am turned on” to deal with the pain of watching violence against women being played for laughs? Do they stand and watch “the show” with interest because that’s the closest thing they can get to interfering?

    Also I NEVER mentioned child brides, or child grooms, sorry.

    You talked about the privileged position of women in Taliban Afghanistan, women who were usually married away before adulthood and often before puberty. I realise you never mentioned issues affecting women under the Taliban specifically, because you didn’t acknowledge their existence or relevancy, but I think child pregnancy is damned relevant when discussing issues of safety. That’s what makes your assertions so cruel. An adult man who grabs a machine gun to go kill infidels is a victim when he dies, his death a tragedy. A girl dying in childbed because 13 is too young and she isn’t allowed to see a doctor is privileged and protected, her death so irrelevant you wont even talk acknowledge it.

    What they say and the level of distress and psychological issues they experience are two things.

    Exactly. Why are you repeating my point as if you don’t agree?

    I’m going to skip a large a part if your post because it basically goes “Men have it worse, men have it worse, you’re mean and stupid, men have it worse” without providing anything specific to respond to, even if just to ask for evidence.

    It’s a stereotype based on gay people having HIV more, male prostitutes being assumed to have almost exclusively male clients (thus making them gay or bi), and them liking all of it, because free sex – as a job even. More fun than videogame testing, right?

    That’s fucking regardless of stats. I’m sure the stats are not THAT different from female sex workers, who are also at risk just for being in that business period.

    Again, do you have the numbers to back it up or are just guessing?

  229. freja says

    @233, Schala

    I forgot this one:

    You seem to think reframing men’s issues as REALLY being women’s issues is a new or revolutionary thing.

    I never claimed it was new or revolutionary, I asked Tamen if it was offensive and worth objecting to.

  230. Tamen says

    Freja @229:

    Do you have examples of TWB or the KKK being in danger of legal repercussions for saying something legal in the same way? I doubt the UCLA agrees with NAMBLA, but if what they’re saying is legal to say, there’s not much to do.

    The Westboro Baptist Church have been sued several times for their speech on public sidewalks. Snyder v. Phelps even went to the Supreme Court. The Westboro Baptist Church lost the case in Maryland District Court, but won it 8-1 in their appeal to the Supreme Court.

    However, I have since learned that when I said that ACLU hasn’t been defending WBC I was wrong because ACLU in fact has been co-filing a lawsuit seeking to repeal Iowa’s law against flag abuse. That does not detract from the point that NAMBLA was recognized by ACLU.

    Nice dig at feminism there. Now, is he stating his opposition to statutory laws in regards to boys only or both sexes?

    Not a dig, it was mentioned to underscore that Focault wasn’t a loony hack without any influence (which was your argument against me bringing up NAMBLA). As for whether he is stating his opposition in regards to boys only or both sexes really doesn’t matter because my argument was about boys. However, he seemed to be focused on how statutory laws affected homosexuals/gay men – see “Sexuality morality and the law” published in Michel Foucault: politics, philosophy, culture: interviews and other writings. Ed. by Lawrence D. Kritzman. (New York: Routledge, 1988)

    So because none of us has been to Afghanistan, we can’t really judge if an MRA (who hasn’t been to Afghanistan either) was wrong in stating that the Taliban is an example of female privilege? Or whether a commenter on this blog linking to it almost completely unopposed is alright? That’s good to hear.

    You can judge all you want, but I’ll value your judgement based on how much I think you know about Afghanistan – and frankly never having been there lowers my confidence that people know what it’s like there.

    I think that our judgments as well as the MRA’s or anyone else who hasn’t been to Afghanistan have limited value because we almost guaranteed have a very limited view of the Afghan society – mainly the one provided to us by mass media and from sources biased in one way or the other. Our own bias of course influences which sources we listen to – as I imagine the sources you listen to about women in Afghanistan differs from the sources GWW listened to about women in Afghanistan.

    I like this article about women in Afghanistan: http://www.afghanistan-analysts.org/women-and-reconciliation-2-the-dangers-of-representing-women-as-victims
    That I like it and that it makes sense to me is in itself of limited value for others as my general knowledge of Afghanistan is limited and that limitation do play a big part in what I believe about life in Afghanistan. That the author has worked in Afghanistan since 2006 should have much more value than my endorsement of that article.

    So how about I just start talking similarly about male suffering: WW1 was really about female victimisation.

    This is not such an out-there statement as you seem to think it is. To draw from a more contemporary time periode: You mean like when Hillary Clinton said that women are the primary victims of war? Like how the vast majority of people who have heard of the rape of women in conflicts like in the Balkans, DRC and Libya are unaware of the existence of the significant number of male victims of rape and sexual violence in those conflicts? How Deschrywer (an activist for female victims of conflict rape in DRC) in an interview calls it femicide when all the men in a village are killed while all the women are raped?

    That’s OK with you? None of us were alive at that time after all, so we can’t really know, and so you should just let it stand, right?

    I have to ask, what part of me thinking that there is limited value to the statements of people who hasn’t been there in contrast to people who has makes you think that I must let your statement that WWI really was about female victimization stand?

    You just don’t get it. Me questioning the value of statements from people whos hasn’t been there (although for historical events I’ll add that being an historian who has dedicated time and effort to research an event (presumably by looking at primary sources) would add value over for instance the thoughts of an anonymous or semi-anonymous Joe Doe blogger would by simple logic also include GWW article (which is one of the reasons why I haven’t read it – it’s not a primary source) and to Schala’s assertion that she would rather be a woman than a man in Afghanistan.

    This is a case of children of both sexes getting married to each other. I don’t know if they’ll be expected to live away from their parents, or if the marriage is mostly a formality (the writer, unfortunately, is too busy focusing on things like how the child groom’s child bride seems old enough, to be specific about these things), but I know he has a choice in regards to consummating the marriage.

    Pray tell, exactly how do you know that he has a choice in regards to consummating the marriage?

    As for whether the marriage being a formality or not I would think that the musings of the village men about whether the boy knows what to do with his wife would strongly hint at it not being a formality:

    “Ozyr Khul!” an older man calls out. “When you are alone with your wife for the first time, what will you do?”

    “The boy is very young,” says one guest, sucking marrow out of a bone. “He won’t know what to do with the bride. He may just end up smelling her, that’s all.”

    “Nowadays, they grow up so quickly,” says another, swapping at wasps. “I’m sure he knows everything there’s to know already.”

    You’re right that these things happen to boys too (albeit I would have liked an example from Afghanistan under the Taliban, since that is, after all, what the discussion is about),

    Are you here implying that you don’t think this happened under the Taliban? That child grooms is something that just surfaced after the Taliban lost power? Do you think Taliban protected young boys? That they didn’t hang a 7 year old boy for espionage or that they don’t recruit boys as suicide bombers.

    And at the end of the say, I think that in a country where slaves have no rights, being given ownership of a slave is less demanding than being a slave.

    I find it disturbing that you would re-frame a boys forced marriage into being given a slave – into a privilege. Lucky him, eh?

    In fact, that was one of my examples of the hypocrisy of Schala and her ilk. A 13 year old boy having to have sex with grown men out of necessity merits talk about misandry, but girls as young as 8 being given to grown men to rape is “female privilege”.

    Yet, a child groom is getting the privilege of getting a slave according to you?

    Before you assume that I think that being married away as a child is ever a privilege in itself I’ll say that I don’t think it ever is.

    And you are the one who doesn’t give a shit until someone turns the tables and suggest girls are the ones being held too responsible for their age.

    You aware that it’s possible that both boys and girls are held too responsible for their age, right? It’s not an either or situation. You came off as saying that girls are being held too responsible for their age while boys aren’t. I disagree with the “boys aren’t” part. I wouldn’t have had any problem with your argument if you had refuted Ginkgo by stating that girls are being held too responsible for their age without stating that boys aren’t.
    If your complaint is that I didn’t refute Ginkgo I can only say that I pick my battles, I am not omnipresent, I as everyone else only have 24 hours in a day and hence I do mostly advocate for male victims. I do try to take care to not deny or minimize female victims when doing that and I dismiss the notion that me focusing on male victims are in itself dismissive towards female victims – in particular in cases where male victimization is largely unnoticed and the general focus in society already is on female victims (as is the case with rape, child marriages, infant genital mutilation).

    If you want to include every source, no matter how far from mainstream, how about we include A Voice for Men?

    Today I learned that the Catholic Church and it’s priests are far from mainstream. Well, they are pretty far from mainstream where I live which is largely protestants, but they are pretty mainstream in Ireland, Italy, certain communities in the US and so on.

    And what has been reacted upon from my side is not the allusion that boys are often not treated like the children they are, but rather the allusion that girls are. My very first post on the subject (194) which started all this outrage stated “This has not been my experience.” and “Your experience is not a universal experience, and it is not fact.”

    None of the people who have been critical or hostile towards that notion, including you, found it necessary to object to Ginko’s post. Why wasn’t his unfounded claim about how girls aren’t expected to be mature met with any disagreement? Is this because you agree? And if so, why not just come out and say so, instead of playing this game about pretending to acknowledge that both male and female children are hurt by expectations of exaggerated maturity?

    On what basis do you think that I am pretending to acknowledge that both male and female children are hurt by expectations of exaggerated maturity? If you assume for a moment that I’m not pretending that acknowledgement then can you explain to me how that doesn’t include girls being expected to be mature in ways that hurt them? I do assume a certain base knowledge of logic and maths of my readers and the ability to recognize that a superset includes all it’s subsets are one of the things I assume.

    As for what I (note: I am not Gingko nor Schala) responded to:
    You in 214:

    I think it’s a tendency. The presence of a tendency doesn’t mean something happens every time, just that it’s more likely to happen than if things were equal. If this was gender neutral, we should also be able to find cases where boys aged 10-12 were accused of deliberately getting older men horny, being spiders in their web luring older men to their fall, dressing and acting older than they are, etc.

    There are such examples (although you dismisses them).

    If A put forth an argument and B refutes that with an argument and then C points out a flaw/weakness in B’s argument what can one state with certainty about what C thinks of A’s argument? Nothing.

    You have mentioned several times how male victims are ignored as if it was bad for boys, but the only time ignored female victims have been mentioned has been this comment

    Funny how that is on a post titled: “Zimmerman, Martin and patriarchal misandry: An intersectional analysis”. Aside from that, are you saying that the distribution of mentioning of victims in this thread is a reflection of how it is in the society at large?

    And I really must take issue with this particular statement:

    You have mentioned several times how male victims are ignored as if it was bad for boys

    As if? I find that word-choice revealing and pretty disturbing.
    So you think that male victimization being ignored is a benefit for them? While you at the same time bemoan that ignored female victims are just mentioned once in this thread? Oh, wait, you apparently think that being ignored was an improvement for those female victims as well:

    I guess it’s an improvement to be ignored by the public rather than having your virtue debated

    I haven’t said anything about JudgyBitch, Farrell nor Schala and I suggest you take any disagreement you have with their arguments with them directly rather than assuming that I agree with everything they’ve written by not addressing them.

    but as soon you see any claim that boys aren’t the ones getting primarily victimised by something, you get immensely upset and start countering with everything you can find, even if it has nothing to do with the topic.

    There is a different between saying that men aren’t primarily victimized and saying for instance that misandry doesn’t exist, victims are better off being ignored, there is no examples of boys being accused of seducing their perpetrators (what do you think is a common excuse for the female officials being caught having sexual relations with young boys in juvenile detention centers? Why is it that the female-on-male teacher-pupil statutory rape cases almost invariably is described as affairs, relationships and so on in media ?)

    The bride is (allegedly) 16, a year younger than Trayvon Martin was when he was killed. Those little incidents are so common that they’re hardly even registered, which might be why, even in a debate about children being treated as more adult than they are, you still seem fit to link to that article without acknowledging how it treats a 16 year old girl as grown up enough in the context of marriage.

    Because you already had mentioned child brides as an example of girls being treated as more adult than they are (without mentioning child grooms) and implied that boys aren’t expected to act more mature than they are I considered the existence of child brides settled and only mentioned the child groom.

    I believe there are also studies out there saying that men report less trauma and violation in response to forced sex than women. Does that mean society’s attitude towards male victims is actually healthier than towards female victims, and does it give credence to the idea that male rape is less of an issue?

    I’ve already commented on the assertion that men self-report less harm with a link to a source stating that the clinical after-effects for male victims are not in line with their self-reporting of harm in my first comment @217.
    So the answers to your question would be “no” and “no”. In fact, the fact that male victims under-report harm from forced sex gives credence to the idea that male rape should be more of an issue.

    So you agree that it’s bad taste to walk in on a discussion about male-on-female rape to talk about rape of men? Turn FGM discussions into debates about circumcision of boys? Or basically any of the things feminists refer to when they say “What about the menz”? Because this is what counts as an equal playing field, unfortunately.

    It’s bad taste to talk about rape of men in response to a story where a female victim is telling her story. It’s not inappropriate to talk about rape of men in a discussion about rape – particularly so when female-on-male rape is talked about as rape and not a subset of rape – discussions which effectively are denying the existence of male rape by frame rape as only male-on-female. On circumcision I’ll just say that I am against all genital mutilation. I don’t mind people focusing on FGM, but when some of the same people act as if male circumcision in non-consenting children is no big deal I find that morally questionable.

    If you really had read the piece by Paul Elam or the critique of it you linked to I am sure you would’ve commented that he quotes me quite a bit in that article – namely in those sections regarding Mary P Koss’ view on how of male victims of forced PIV sex aren’t rape victims – and asserted that I agree with everything Elam writes. The post you did link to got some things wrong though – Mary P Koss do not seek to include all male victims of rape – in fact she has published a paper on methodology to measure rape prevalence where she states outright that it’s inappropriate to call a man made to have PIV sex with a woman for a rape victim. Her newest revision of SES (which is the set of questions used to survey) does not include questions on being made to penetrate someone – only about being penetrated – with the exception of oral sex which is termed as unwanted oral sex.

    A Million Gods also states:

    Male Date Rape is mainly male on male and within the Gay Community rather than women taking advantage of drunk men to the incidence that men are doing it to women (and indeed other men).

    with no sources except that he asked some friends. He ignored the findings of the NISVS 2010 Report which found that the majority of male rape victims were victims of being made to penetrate someone else and that almost 80% of those victims reported a female perpetrator.

    He also states that the “2013″ Crime Survey of England and Wales classifies all unwanted sex against will or without consent as rape. No, it does not – mainly because Sexual Offenses Act of 2003 in the UK requires that a rape victim must be penetrated by the perpetrator’s penis. The report itself and the questionaire used are available online.

    As for the Paul Elam article itself I don’t agree with the methodological critique of the 1 in 4 figure of a Koss’ study from the early 80′s. I see what he attempted to do with the satire (mainly because I have too been upset about the indifference of feminists when I point out that Koss’ doesn’t think it is appropriate to call all men who have had a woman have PIV/PIA sex with a woman without his consent for a rape victim yet I see how much protest the term “grey rape” got and how much upset there is (rightly so mind you) when it’s implied that a female rape victim isn’t a rape victim. Yet a feminist academic researching rape excluding male victims get nary a raised eyebrow, but rather a defense of her and her stance – which is basically what A Million Gods have written. Yet, I think Elam would be better off not writing satire. In this case think it mainly fails because the victim blaming of female victims are too common in our society and hence it’s not impossible to argue that Elam really thinks so while whereas A Modest Proposal worked because it’s impossible to argue that Swift wants to eat children.

    Speaking of that Elam article, even the account from the male rape victim he quotes talks about how the rapist was “big as a hippo”. I’ve read several accounts from rape victims, more female than male, and this, along with your account of being thought to have fucked an ugly chick because you were drunk, is the first time appearance has come up like that.

    Trust me when I say that it’s not uncommon for male rape victims to state something to that effect and it’s also not uncommon what I heard. It all comes from the belief that one of the very few socially valid reasons a man may decline sex is if the woman is ugly enough. If the woman is attractive then a man is expected to want to have sex with her and declining an offer of sex from an attractive woman can often be either disbelieved or be seen as a symptom that the man is gay. Hence men who decline sex may be prone to seek validation of their declining by denigrating the looks of the woman.

    My examples were of girls aged 11, 12, 14, and 16, as well as Jimmy Saville’s victims, who were all underage. So if you start bringing up examples of adult male rape victims being stigmatised without giving examples of the same happening to women, that indicates to me that you’re claiming men have it worse, in a completely different discussion than the one I initiated with Ginko.

    FYI, 27% of Jimmy Savile’s victims were over 18 – the oldest were 47. 1/5 were male.

    You mean you brought up a hispanic victim (the 11 year old), a bi-racial victim (Steubenville), an African-American victim (Amber Cole) and a victim of mixed chinese and european heritage (Amanda Todd) in response to a claim that white girls are seen as less agentive that girls of colors and boys:

    Something else, and Ally alluded to this above, is the presumption of exaggerated adulthood. Little boys, white or black, and black girls, are seen as more agentive and held to a higher standarad of responsiblility and punshed more severely than white girls for the same infraction.

    It’s almost as you are bolstering Ginkgo’s claim here.

    I think that article, if it really claims teenage boys are more attractive these days, might be the first example I’ve seen of boys’ appearance being treated like girls’.

    Before you inply that I am making things up you could at least make the effort to follow the link I provided to the article and see for yourself.

    And on a related note, here’s Warren Farrell again, talking about how rape is the worst thing that can happen on a date for a woman, but for men, the equivalent is paying and not getting sex. Honestly, with men like Farrell, Elam, and the guys who did “don’t be that girl” on their side, it’s no wonder the people who complain the most about sexism against men never seem to achieve anything except promoting sexism against women.

    I do not agree with those statements by Warren Farrell.
    As for your guilt by association argument; are you really saying that you’ll just dismiss any plight of men because some of the people who point them out have said something you disagree with/find abhorrent? Are you saying that James Landrith (a male victim working against male rape and who is a RAINN spokesperson) who has been very vocal about male victims is promoting sexism against women?

    Stuff like this is exactly why I have learned the hard way that I cannot by default trust anyone who says that they support male victims. Because you wouldn’t throw those you support under the bus would you for something someone else did, would you?

    On the other hand; does this mean that feminists complaining about misogyny are all being the steretypical man-haters since feminists like Solanas, Mary Daly, TERFS, Bindel and more are also complaining about misogyny?

    When male sex workers were discussed, they were assigned considerably more agency than female sex workers, the chief danger ascribed to them was HIV rather than violence, and the question of their sexual orientation was always addressed, whereas female sex workers were always assumed heterosexual.

    I don’t know the stats on HIV and violence against sex workers are different for male than female sex workers, so I can’t judge if the way it’s talked about is a case of prejudice or generalisations based on real life. The same with homosexuality.

    How conveniently of you to overlook the first part of the sentence which says that male sex workers were assigned considerably more agency than female sex workers – which actually were pertinent to the point that boys aren’t expected to be mature and active in their rape by men (and women).

  231. freja says

    @241, Tamen

    However, I have since learned that when I said that ACLU hasn’t been defending WBC I was wrong because ACLU in fact has been co-filing a lawsuit seeking to repeal Iowa’s law against flag abuse. That does not detract from the point that NAMBLA was recognized by ACLU.

    If the WBC is recognised by ACLU too, I don’t see how it contradicts the point that NAMBLA is considered abhorrent by mainstream society.

    As for whether he is stating his opposition in regards to boys only or both sexes really doesn’t matter because my argument was about boys. However, he seemed to be focused on how statutory laws affected homosexuals/gay men – see “Sexuality morality and the law” published in Michel Foucault: politics, philosophy, culture: interviews and other writings. Ed. by Lawrence D. Kritzman. (New York: Routledge, 1988)

    You’re right that it doesn’t matter, though I still find it interesting that it seems that no matter who wants to lower or remove the age of consent, whether for boys or girls, they always seem to want it on behalf of men.

    You can judge all you want, but I’ll value your judgement based on how much I think you know about Afghanistan – and frankly never having been there lowers my confidence that people know what it’s like there.

    We can judge things like life-expectancy, which deals in hard numbers. Those numbers say that in almost every country, women’s life expectancy is greater than men’s (though it becomes more equal when women get access to the same unhealthy habits as men), but under the Taliban, women’s life expectancy dropped below men’s. And Schala is saying that these women are protected and don’t face risks and dangers like men do.

    This is not such an out-there statement as you seem to think it is.

    I wasn’t commenting on frequency, I was commenting on acceptability. Are you never upset when it happens? Do you never lose faith in the people you’re debating with when you see these statements go unchallenged by people who fancy themselves egalitarians?

    I have to ask, what part of me thinking that there is limited value to the statements of people who hasn’t been there in contrast to people who has makes you think that I must let your statement that WWI really was about female victimization stand?

    You don’t have to let it stand, but if it’s as irrelevant as you claim, why not just ignore it?

    Pray tell, exactly how do you know that he has a choice in regards to consummating the marriage?

    Because of the very same speculations you say hint at it not being a formality. The option that he doesn’t know what to do and therefore will do nothing but smelling her is voiced with no condemnation. Do you think the same thing is discussed about child brides? That if they don’t know what to do in the bedroom, nothing will happen? It certainly wasn’t discussed about the child bride in your example.

    I find it disturbing that you would re-frame a boys forced marriage into being given a slave – into a privilege. Lucky him, eh?

    I didn’t say it’s a privilege. Being forced to participate in the oppression of others is oppressive in itself. But nevertheless, under the Taliban, women had fewer rights than slaves in many places. No reason to treat it differently.

    Yet, a child groom is getting the privilege of getting a slave according to you?

    Under the Taliban, he would have gotten a slave. He would have been given the right to command another person, and beat her if she disobeyed, even killing, disfiguring, or maiming her if she ran away. I don’t think it’s a privilege if it wasn’t asked for, any more than giving someone a puppy they don’t want is (though there are laws against animal cruelty which forbids people to do to puppies what Taliban husbands were allowed to do to wives).

    You aware that it’s possible that both boys and girls are held too responsible for their age, right?

    Yes. Though even the writer of this blog just doesn’t seem to consider it.

    If your complaint is that I didn’t refute Ginkgo I can only say that I pick my battles.

    Yes, and the battles you pick says something about where you stand. Even if you hadn’t noticed Ginko’s post or Ally’s agreement with it, you could have easily started off by saying that you don’t agree with them either. You didn’t. You treated it as a unique problem that someone made it sound like girls were held to higher standards of responsibility than boys. Not unlike the feminists you criticise.

    On what basis do you think that I am pretending to acknowledge that both male and female children are hurt by expectations of exaggerated maturity?

    That you never objected to Ginko’s statement, never acknowledged that he might have been just a tad sexist, or that Ally’s endorsement of that statement could be even a little bit problematic, and now you’re including it almost as an afterthought.

    If A put forth an argument and B refutes that with an argument and then C points out a flaw/weakness in B’s argument what can one state with certainty about what C thinks of A’s argument? Nothing.

    We can say with a certain degree of certainty that C found B’s argument more objectionable or worth responding to than A’s, especially when C confirms that he picks his battles and mainly care about the people whom A argued were the victims. And when it appears that C knows A and is on good terms with him, giving him an excellent opportunity to say “Hey A, I don’t think it’s as one-sided as you make it out to be” and actually change some minds in a friendly way. Which you didn’t do. Which makes your complaints about people (i.e. feminists) not caring enough about men ring hollow, since you don’t seem to give a shit about women yourself.

    Aside from that, are you saying that the distribution of mentioning of victims in this thread is a reflection of how it is in the society at large?

    It mimics situations I’ve seen in other contexts, but even if it didn’t, I think it’s very relevant in this thread to talk about what happens in this thread.

    As if? I find that word-choice revealing and pretty disturbing.

    Then replace it with “mentioned several times how male victims are ignored in the context of how it hurts the victims”.

    While you at the same time bemoan that ignored female victims are just mentioned once in this thread? Oh, wait, you apparently think that being ignored was an improvement for those female victims as well:

    Yes, I acknowledge that possibility. I’ve heard women say that they would not have reported their rapes if they’d realised how damaging the victim blaming would be for them. It could very well be that not being acknowledged as existing is better than being portrayed as a damaged lying whore.

    Because you already had mentioned child brides as an example of girls being treated as more adult than they are (without mentioning child grooms) and implied that boys aren’t expected to act more mature than they are I considered the existence of child brides settled and only mentioned the child groom.

    The article itself is an example of how girls are treated as more adult than they are (in terms of duties if not rights) while boys are more likely to be seen as children. The journalist makes a big deal out of how much of a child the groom is, and then offhandedly mentions that the child bride seems old enough. That seems pretty sexist to me, assuming that because the bride might be a few years older, looks more physically mature (which girls tend to do at that age), and does her duties quietly instead of running around and playing like her fiance, it means she’s ready for it even though she’s not legally an adult.

    The post you did link to got some things wrong though – Mary P Koss do not seek to include all male victims of rape – in fact she has published a paper on methodology to measure rape prevalence where she states outright that it’s inappropriate to call a man made to have PIV sex with a woman for a rape victim.

    The post seemed pretty clear that Koss did not define being forced to penetrate as rape, but that she did define it as a sexual violation. So unless you can point to her saying it’s not assault/harmful/a violation, we’re talking terminology here.

    As for the Paul Elam article itself I don’t agree with the methodological critique of the 1 in 4 figure of a Koss’ study from the early 80′s. I see what he attempted to do with the satire [...]Yet, I think Elam would be better off not writing satire. In this case think it mainly fails because the victim blaming of female victims are too common in our society and hence it’s not impossible to argue that Elam really thinks so while whereas A Modest Proposal worked because it’s impossible to argue that Swift wants to eat children.

    Have you ever told him this?

    Trust me when I say that it’s not uncommon for male rape victims to state something to that effect and it’s also not uncommon what I heard.

    Which makes it an even more interesting trend of women’s appearance being in focus.

    If the woman is attractive then a man is expected to want to have sex with her and declining an offer of sex from an attractive woman can often be either disbelieved or be seen as a symptom that the man is gay.

    I wouldn’t call it holding men to higher standards of responsibility. It’s an example of the trend of men’s desire being the focus of sex. I’ve actually had more success getting people who didn’t previously accept male rape as legitimate to understand the concept than I have changing the minds of apologists defending rape of women as acceptable for that very reason. With the former, it’s often enough to make them think of an example of when a man could get an erection or get sexually aroused by a woman but choosing not to have sex with her (e.g. the man wants to be celibate until marriage, doesn’t want to take risks associated with sex, is already married, the woman is his friend’s wife etc.), and then ask if they think it’s fair that women should be allowed to take that choice away from the men.

    Most people say no, and that’s the end of it. Even men who claim to not be able to wrap their heard around how a man could get sex and not enjoy it seem to accept it. I never heard “But what if the woman is horny?” or “If he didn’t want to have sex, he shouldn’t have tempted her/acted like a whore/got drunk”. Once they understand the concept that men routinely reject the idea of sex with women even if they have erections or are sexually attracted to these women, they understand that the assumption that men are always willing is wrong. And once they understand that, they stop excusing female on male rape.

    But when it comes to the latter, it doesn’t matter how much anyone argues that the woman didn’t want it, because her wants and desires don’t play any part in the equation. This is what causes people like Serena Williams to argue that the victim in the Steubenville rape case shouldn’t have gotten herself into that position. It’s the foundation of Warren Farrell’s claims of “date robbery”. Whether the girl actually desires to have sex with the man is irrelevant, all that matters is whether he desires her, whether she owes him sex, or whether she put herself in a position where he could act on his desires.

    I wont disagree that being told you wanted it sucks. But so does being told that it doesn’t even matter whether you wanted it or not. I can’t say what’s worse, and I don’t think it’s relevant, but in regards to responsibility, I think the latter (you owe him, you should have known, you put yourself in that position, you were leading him on) assumes greater responsibility of the victim.

    You mean you brought up a hispanic victim (the 11 year old), a bi-racial victim (Steubenville), an African-American victim (Amber Cole) and a victim of mixed chinese and european heritage (Amanda Todd) in response to a claim that white girls are seen as less agentive that girls of colors and boys:

    I didn’t know about the ethnicity of Steubenville victim since her identity is anonymous, and I doubt most of the victim blamers did either. Same with Amanda Todd, I can see she she looks a bit Asian but I had her categorised as white (also, east Asians are often treated closer to whites than blacks). And the assailants are often black boys and men, and they still seem to be given plenty of leeway.

    Before you inply that I am making things up you could at least make the effort to follow the link I provided to the article and see for yourself.

    I didn’t imply anything, I basically took your word for it, because it seems plausible enough. I don’t need to read two pages worth of crap to confirm that Jezebel said something stupidly insensitive. It would be like doubting that someone at A Voice for Men made a rape joke or that Stormfront said something racist. It’s what they do.

    I do not agree with those statements by Warren Farrell.

    Do you ever confront any of the MRAs who support him?

    As for your guilt by association argument; are you really saying that you’ll just dismiss any plight of men because some of the people who point them out have said something you disagree with/find abhorrent? Are you saying that James Landrith (a male victim working against male rape and who is a RAINN spokesperson) who has been very vocal about male victims is promoting sexism against women?

    Does James Landrith write for AVfM? Does he spend his time talking about how important it is to oppose feminism, giving tacit or direct approval to people like Warren Farrell? You’re OK with the crap being said about women on this thread. You’re OK with Paul Elam using quotes from you in an article where he mocks rape victims, on a site whose contributors (including Elam) have previously engaged a fuckload of victim blaming. Because as long as both of you agree that men are oppressed, you’re not going to take a stand against anything.

    Campaigns like “Don’t be that girl” has probably done more damage to male rape victims than the “Don’t be that guy” it allegedly objects to, by yet again framing rape as something women are subjected to and men are accused of, making the issue of men’s right yet again into an issue of being protected from consequences of being (or be believed to be) the perpetrators rather than victims, and the biggest threat from women an accusation of rape, rather than rape itself. And it missed an obvious opportunity to address the issue of female on male rape. But I have not heard a single advocate for male rape victims object to it. It seems that as long as it opposes women and feminism, it’s kosher. And I happen to have a problem with it.

    On the other hand; does this mean that feminists complaining about misogyny are all being the steretypical man-haters since feminists like Solanas, Mary Daly, TERFS, Bindel and more are also complaining about misogyny?

    If a feminist engages with TERFS on friendly terms without addressing their transphobia, and then acts as if it has nothing to do with them, I’d say the same. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept after all. Granted, people can slip, overlook something, think it’s already been addressed, and have all sorts of reasons for not addressing something, I just don’t find yours very convincing.

    How conveniently of you to overlook the first part of the sentence which says that male sex workers were assigned considerably more agency than female sex workers – which actually were pertinent to the point that boys aren’t expected to be mature and active in their rape by men (and women).

    I figured that “the chief danger to them ascribed to them was HIV rather than violence, and the question of their sexual orientation was always addressed” was the way in which they were assigned greater agency. If not, I’d like to get some examples of what exactly constitutes assigning them agency.

  232. Tamen says

    I figured that “the chief danger to them ascribed to them was HIV rather than violence, and the question of their sexual orientation was always addressed” was the way in which they were assigned greater agency. If not, I’d like to get some examples of what exactly constitutes assigning them agency.

    No, the way they were assigned greater agency in was that their prostitutions was described more as them exploring their homosexuality, while that aspect wasn’t discussed about female under-aged prostitutes. Also note my other citation which pointed out that law enforcement were more likely to arrest male under-aged prostitutes while female under-aged prostitutes were more likely to be referred to social services.

  233. says

    Regarding the suggestion by Freja that Warren Farrel is in favor of father daughter incest or similar. Here is what he explicitely said about the topic:

    Dear Lindsay,

    Thank you for the forwarded material from Elizabeth Kates (aka Liz,
    ), Trish Wilson (aka Asherah, ) and
    from Martin Dufresne () that concerned false
    claims about me and what I am falsely alleged to have said.

    Please respond to them by placing the following on the net:

    *******

    Dear Elizabeth Kates (aka Liz), Trish Wilson (aka Asherah) and Martin
    Dufresne,

    Your inquiry on the net has been called to my attention. I am stunned
    by your suggestion that I would approve of fathers genitally caressing
    daughters, or anything to that effect. I do not approve of any form of
    father-daughter sexual contact. And I have not approved of that in the
    past. If anyone has quoted me to that effect, she or he has misquoted
    me.

    Now that you know that, I will consider any future statements to the
    contrary as libelous.

    Sincerely,
    Warren Farrell, Ph.D.
    **********

    Thank you also, Lindsay, for your additional email notices about NOW.
    You may post the following where it is relevant:

    **********
    I am responding to questions concerning my background with NOW in New
    York City. I always represent myself as having been on the board of
    directors of the National Organization for Women in New York City; I
    have never represented myself as being on the national board, because
    I wasn’t.

    The reasons I left the board of NOW are very different from the
    reasons I began to part company politically. I left when my ex-wife
    became a White House Fellow in 1973-’74 and we moved from New York
    City to Washington, DC. I left my positions at NOW in New York City
    and at Rutgers University (Newark, NJ), where I was teaching at the
    time. I continued to do benefits for NOW until the late ’70s or early
    ’80s, even after I was disagreeing with some of their positions.

    My parting company with NOW politically is much more complex. I am
    still a member of NOW and still support any portion of the feminist
    movement that empowers women. I make that clear in both Why Men Are
    The Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power.

    I oppose NOW primarily when they express beliefs that suggest men’s
    propensity for earning more money is a result of male privilege rather
    than men’s greater obligation in this arena. And I oppose
    male-bashing, distorting statistics, or developing one-sided policies
    such as a battered woman syndrome without a battered man syndrome and
    a Violence Against Women act without a Violence Against Men act, or
    the option of joining the armed services without the obligation to
    register for the draft. In brief, I oppose honing victimhood as a fine
    art and feminism becoming the one-party system of gender politics.
    Similarly, I would oppose my supporters being a one-party system of
    gender politics.

    My parting company with NOW was evolutionary, not sudden. It had many
    prongs, most of which I express in Why Men Are The Way They Are and
    The Myth of Male Power. However, the beginnings of my parting company
    politically were rooted especially in my being appalled that many NOW
    chapters around the country were opposing joint custody as the
    starting presumption in child custody matters. To me, their opposition
    was contradicting a core feminist position of encouraging women to be
    involved more in the workplace and encouraging men to be involved more
    in the home. Rights and responsibilities always go hand-in-hand, so if
    we want to encourage men to have equal responsibilities in the home,
    we must give them equal rights to the children. (I would similarly
    oppose expecting women to participate in the workplace without giving
    them equal rights to workplace opportunities.)

    Supporting these positions of equality should never be dependent upon
    having children, whether it be for me or for Gloria Steinem, who also
    has not had children. As any reader of Why Men Are The Way They Are
    would know, I was a stepparent at the time I wrote that book, and for
    a second time during the past four years. Children have been an
    important part of my life, both as a camp counselor and camp director,
    and as a boy whose baby brother grew up during my teen years. Each of
    these experiences has offered insights and perspectives, but fighting
    for children to have the right to both parents is something we should
    all be fighting for, no matter what our background or ideology. To me,
    this is not a father’s issue, but a children’s issue, and feminists
    should be among the strongest supporters.

    I am aware that personal attacks are a way of getting people to not
    read what I have written, or to not believe what they read. Rather
    than allow others to censor what we read by side-tracking us, I invite
    anyone with an open mind to check out The Myth of Male Power in its
    entirety, debate its arguments, and examine its hundreds of sources
    personally. This book is meant to deepen our discussion of the issues,
    not create a cult of personality.

    Sincerely,
    Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

    From the jref forum.

    Freja’s suggestion that he was arguing in favor of the practice is both contradicted by the original article and he does not seem to hold any such position. I think making such accusations without proper backup is very problematic and will therefore ask Freja to provide sources robust enough to substantiate the claim or to retract it.

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