Malestrom pt 4: Male anger and the forces of conservatism.


This is part of a series asking why (some) men are so angry. For the introduction and links to other posts in the series as they appear, go here

 

As any website administrator can tell you, people rarely like change.  Redesign your front page or your comment section, or just change the colour scheme and you will spend weeks or even months fielding angry complaints that you have utterly RUINED everything that was great about the site. In other words people, generally, have a natural tendency towards conservatism.

The yang to this yin is that human beings also have an urge to tinker, to change, to reform, to revolutionize. It would be reasonable to summarise the whole of human history as a conflict between radicalism and conservatism. The tensions created are perhaps why we as a species have evolved far enough to be able to create a button that could destroy the world in a flash, and also evolved enough restraint to keep us (at time of writing) from pressing it to see what happens.

It’s tempting to see the angry exchanges between many modern men and feminism as largely a battle between radical progress and conservative resistance. The standard set-text on anti-feminism remains Susan Faludi’s Backlash. She was writing around 1990, after a decade in which the radicalism had come overwhelmingly from the political right – the economic radicals of neoliberalism, Thatcherism and Reagonomics and the Christian fundamentalism of the New Right. Back then, the forces of conservatism were those clinging to the postwar social democratic consensus.  As Faludi wrote:

“In times when feminism is at a low ebb, women assume the reactive role – privately and most often covertly struggling to assert themselves against the dominant cultural tide. But when feminism itself becomes the tide, the opposition doesn’t simply go along with the reversal, it digs in its heels, brandishes its fists, builds walls and dams. And its resistance creates countercurrents and treacherous undertows.”

Does the anger we now see expressed against feminism fit this pattern? To an extent, it probably does. I’d guess men’s rights activists would be quick to agree with Faludi that feminism has ‘become the tide’ and would probably be quite flattered to think they are digging heels, brandishing fists, building walls and dams against the tide and indeed creating countercurrents and treacherous undertows. To adapt the awful cliché about Orwell’s 1984, MRAs should perhaps realise that Backlash was meant to be a warning and not an instruction manual.

It is also easy to characterise male anger online as a reaction to threatened loss of entitlement, which is of course the top marker of conservatism. “You’ll take it from my cold, dead hands” – whether ‘it’ is a pair of boobs on Page 3, the right to sexually proposition or harass women at any time of one’s choosing or even property rights over one’s own children.   In more general terms, there may be reactive anger to a perceived loss of status – witness the reaction of one ‘social conservative’ on Twitter to my suggestion that men and women take equal roles at home and work.

So I don’t doubt there is a lot of truth to the theories above, but I don’t think it is the whole story. One thing many people fail to notice about the so-called manosphere is its political diversity. Casual observers might see little distinction between Men’s Rights Activists, the extreme traditionalists at sites like The Spearhead, the disciples of pick-up artistry or the separatists of the Men Going Their Own Way boards. Dig a little deeper and you soon find they despise each other almost as much as they despise feminists.

A little while ago I had a diverting exchange with the editor of the conservative magazine The Spectator, Fraser Nelson. He’d written a piece in the Telegraph making a rather by-the-numbers rehash of the End Of Men narrative. I argued in the Guardian that conservatism of the type offered up by Nelson or his pal Boris Johnson offers no solutions to the problems faced by men today. I expected that to be the end of it, but Nelson responded to my piece in his own Spectator blog.

It was a fairly polite ding dong overall, fairly accurately characterised by one CIF commenter as a ‘prat spat.’ What I found fascinating though, is that Nelson went to great length to address our more minor disagreements. However my point in the piece, as usual, was that men’s problems are rooted in archaic gender roles and our assumptions about, and expectations of masculinity. Nelson’s only response to this was:

“I shall not comment on his plans for a “a social project to reinvent masculinity and gender roles in keeping with the world we have built” – although I do love the idea of Ed Balls ended up as the Minister for Redefining Masculinity. Lasagne for everyone!”      .

In other words, I proposed one realistic (if challenging) path out of the current sticky bog in which men now appear to be stuck, and the Spectator editor did not even attempt to address it, preferring to chuck it aside with a (slightly bizarre) joke. In that one line he proved my point absolutely perfectly: conservatism has no solution to men’s problems.

If there’s one point upon which feminists, MRAs and myself all agree, it is that society needs to change the nature of its gender dynamics. We are, all of us, gender radicals of one sort or another. Witness MRA hostility to notions of chivalry, for example, which are pretty much the ultimate in traditional patriarchal values.

There is, I think, a contradiction at the very heart of the anti-feminist men’s movement. On the one hand there are those such as Mike Buchanan of Justice for Men and Boys who yearns for a return to traditional values and the nuclear family. He sits amongst those such as Dean Esmay of A Voice For Men, who writes: “Most men’s human rights advocates love seeing strong, capable, and independent women as part of society. But they are disappointed to see the rise of idealized, infantilized, sheltered, and fearful women.” The principle feminist objection to patriarchal marriage and traditional values has always been precisely that they infantilise and shelter women, preventing them from being strong, capable and independent.

You can’t have it both ways, so which is it?

Comments

  1. says

    …conservatism has no solution to men’s problems.

    That’s because “conservatism” (or perhaps I should say “reactionary conservatism”) IS one of men’s problems: most of the problems men face are caused by factors that too many of the same men refuse to change, can’t change, don’t have the power to change, or can’t even contemplate changing without freaking out. That’s why so many men in this “men’s movement” take the easy dodge and unite to scapegoat women instead.

    “Most men’s human rights advocates love seeing strong, capable, and independent women as part of society. But they are disappointed to see the rise of idealized, infantilized, sheltered, and fearful women.”

    If this is representative of AVfM, then they’re even dumber than I had thought. Seriously? Do they really think women were never “idealized, infantilized, sheltered, and fearful” before “feminism” became a word?

    Of course, part of the problem here is that morons like Esmay can’t even tell the difference between those two types of woman — as evidenced by their attacks on feminists for “making women victims” when they talk about how women are victimized.

  2. Copyleft says

    It would, of course, be enormously convenient for radical feminists if all critics of feminism really were reactionary, privilege-protecting, ‘get ‘em back in the kitchen’ neanderthals. So of course that’s what they like to claim.

    Reality, inevitably, is far more complex than that. And productive dialogue starts with the recognition that no position or ideology, including feminism, is above criticism.

  3. Copyleft says

    As to the last paragraph…

    I see no contradiction. The old gender-role model portrayed women as helpess, innocent victims in need of protection. Modern feminism wants to preserve that purity and victimhood status for the privileges it confers, and then add some more privilege in the form of “empowerment” on top of it.

    “I want to stay a victim–but a victim who gets preferential treatment” is a policy that men’s rights advocates are correctly denouncing. And I wish more feminists would do the same.

  4. says

    Conservatism and patriarchy don’t actually mean the rule of ALL men over ALL women. It ensures the dominance of a few guys on the top while handing those men who perform well a few scraps and then tell them that they must keep them safe against women, queers, people of colour…
    They make everything a zero sum game where the average guy can’t win (because that would mean sharing by the top guys, which they won’t) and only lose (when the evil feminazis steal their icecream.)

  5. Ally Fogg says

    Copyleft [3]

    Modern feminism wants to preserve that purity and victimhood status for the privileges it confers

    Citation needed, as they say.

    Which feminists are you talking about? Examples? Then we can talk about it.

  6. karmakin says

    err…both?

    Just like feminism has both egalitarian and anti-egalitarian wings, the MRA movement as well has egalitarian and anti-egalitarian wings. The difference in both is the same…changing the relative value of gender roles vs. eliminating/minimizing the effect of gender roles. Traditionalism is just a different form of identity politics.

    I think that this anger is more generalized, and there’s a definite value in pushing back against it, however I do think that it goes outside of gender issues and more into economics and general society. In short, in our culture how we rank success is in terms of money and material possessions, especially for men, and in a world where such things are falling more and more into into the hands of less people.

    Personally, I’m a fan of changing how we “keep score”…tear down the social aspect of the economic hierarchy. Truth be told, it’s a privilege to make anything more than minimum wage (or near that) these days, and people should respect it as such.

  7. JT says

    Considering most of us are creatures of habit I wonder how certain entrenched beliefs are really that related to conservatism and liberalism. Both sides suffer the same issues. One aspect of online feminism(in general) that may provoke certain male anger is the fact that most of the world issues are blamed on patriarchy. The word, regardless of what it may mean today(or how its used) is a gendered word. In other words, its males who have caused most of the problems that people see today. Rape, DV, entitlement and a whole host of other issues are left at the feet of men. When most online feminists have the courage to admit that maybe its a we thing rather than a male thing then maybe, just maybe, we will all be on the road to gender equality. But then again, what do I know, I am just an entitled, angry white man.

  8. says

    Sure thing, Copyleft — women value the “privileges” conferred by being victimized. Just ask any woman who’s been raped how much privilege she got as a result.

  9. says

    It would, of course, be enormously convenient for radical feminists if all critics of feminism really were reactionary, privilege-protecting, ‘get ‘em back in the kitchen’ neanderthals. So of course that’s what they like to claim.

    And such claims, true or false, are made to sound more plausible by the monumentally stupid shit (and, yes, the reactionary privilege-protecting shit) that most critics of feminism actually say. If you join a movement that’s dominated by reactionaries, and let said reactionaries do a lot of your speaking for you, then you’d better not complain when you’re mistaken for a reacionary.

  10. JT says

    If you join a movement that’s dominated by reactionaries, and let said reactionaries do a lot of your speaking for you, then you’d better not complain when you’re mistaken for a reacionary.(Raging Bee)

    Wise words. If I remember correctly you do identify as a Feminist, right? ;)

  11. says

    I think that this anger is more generalized, and there’s a definite value in pushing back against it, however I do think that it goes outside of gender issues and more into economics and general society.

    And this is exactly why a movement that calls itself a “men’s movement” or a “men’s rights movement” will never be capable of confronting the broader issues that need to be addressed. No society can confront such issues unless it admits that not all men are allies, not all women are enemies, and lack of a dick does not make women separate or immune to the problems that affect men. Yes (to take just one example), men bear a disproportionate share of the burden of fighting wars; but that doesn’t mean women don’t care, aren’t adversely affected, or can’t or won’t help men to fight an injustice that affects everyone.

  12. karmakin says

    @Raging Bee:Likewise, not all men are enemies, and not all women…natch, not all feminists are allies.

    Truth is most people claim to want to support equality. Different people just have different (and often self-serving) opinions on what that means. For example, people who use oppressor/oppressed language, be it anti-egalitarian feminists or MRAs (both do it) both deign to be supporting equality, when in reality by looking at people as being objects in boxes, and putting the focus on said boxes, are doing more harm than good IMO.

    For what it’s worth I agree that the MRA movement as a whole isn’t good at dealing with economic issues, but I think that the Feminist movement is just as bad if not worse.

  13. says

    …be it anti-egalitarian feminists…

    Who are they, and what, specifically, are their “anti-egalitarian” views? (I don’t have to ask the same question about MRA’s, because they’re right here on this and other blogs in which I criticize them.)

  14. JT says

    Who are they, and what, specifically, are their “anti-egalitarian” views?(Bee)

    Any feminist who claims that DV and Rape are perpetrated by men in the vast majority of cases.

  15. says

    For what it’s worth I agree that the MRA movement as a whole isn’t good at dealing with economic issues, but I think that the Feminist movement is just as bad if not worse.

    Another lazy, unsupported false-equivalency dodge. I’ve heard of some feminists who were wrong about some things, but NONE who were as ignorant, hateful, dishonest or downright unhinged as the MRAs I’ve been hearing from on FtB or even on Capitol Hill.

  16. JT says

    The joke is Feminists have their own large share of reactionaries who do the speaking for many of the others. The joke is that they shouldn’t complain or say that isn’t feminism when they get lumped into that bunch too.

  17. says

    Any feminist who claims that DV and Rape are perpetrated by men in the vast majority of cases.

    And who are they? Names and citations, please.

  18. says

    The joke is Feminists have their own large share of reactionaries who do the speaking for many of the others.

    Is that a serious statement, or part of the joke? If it’s the former, who are they? Names and citations, please.

  19. JT says

    @Bee

    Go read a few blogs dominated by on line feminists and you will have a plethora of names and citations.

  20. Copyleft says

    RagingBee @11: “And this is exactly why a movement that calls itself a “men’s movement” or a “men’s rights movement” will never be capable of confronting the broader issues that need to be addressed. No society can confront such issues unless it admits that not all men are allies, not all women are enemies, and lack of a dick does not make women separate or immune to the problems that affect men.”

    Which is a perfect illustration of why a women’s movement (aka feminism) will never be capable of confronting those broader issues either…. especially given the monumentally stupid shit that reactionary feminists say, and that other feminists leave unchallenged.

    Funny how you demand citations from me but fail to provide any of your own, eh?

  21. saelpalani says

    You’re not going to get citations from a backlash movement and I think that’s the point RagingBee is trying to make. No matter how much these MRA’s and their allies want to blame feminism and women (which they do in equal measures) it’s not feminism that’s caused ANY of the problems they fact. In fact, it’s feminism that should be their biggest allies.

    If you can’t get past patriarchy because of its latin root PATER, for father, then you really won’t understand anything about feminist discourse. If you continually take that as personal blame you will forever be ignorant of history and men’s and women’s roles within it. Remaining ignorant is totally your choice. I think personally it’s a cop out many men use to shut their minds off to women’s equality issues. It’s just too easy to whinge and bitch about the word ‘patriarchy’ than to actually research the feminist movement(s) and why that word is important in the discourse.

    Men’s Rights Activists do fight internally with other such named groups. They all hate women and feminists. That’s their common denominator. PUA’s literally teach men how to rape. MRA’s, while coming from many political bents, tend to be libertarians who do romanticize about the old gender roles of masculinity and simultaneously want to prohibit women from a release from their patriarchal gender roles. Then you’ve got everything in between, say MGTOW’s who announce to everyone that will listen that they are not getting married because ‘those evil bitches be evil’ and who say they want a life without women and yet it’s the single most talked about topic amongst them on their websites.

    This is all backlash I’m afraid. Even on a Voice For Men the old slogan was ‘compassion for men and boys’ when in reality there was no compassion at all. They denigrate men and call them manginas and white knights. Great human rights they got going on over there eh? Their new slogan is not much better. It’s something about the school of FTSU (fuck their shit up) which means feminists and women they don’t like.

    I’ve not read ONE iota of material that’s simply for the compassion of men and boys going through transition due to a crisis in masculinity (dumping out the old gender roles). If I see anything about men’s issues it’s always preceded by ‘the feminists did this.’ No dudes. Feminist’s have done nothing to harm you. We are the pioneers of bringing the discussion of gender to the forefront to be examined for its faulty gender roles caused by a system of patriarchy. We’ve examined how the macho stereotype has failed men and women. We’ve examined that mothers aren’t the only ones who can be caregivers. We’ve examined workplace safety when it comes to how macho behaviour CAUSES more accidents on the job and gotten unions together for the worker.

    IOW, most of these guys know fuck all about feminism. They’re just looking for something to blame and so they go with the easiest target: women.

  22. says

    Which is a perfect illustration of why a women’s movement (aka feminism) will never be capable of confronting those broader issues either….

    Another false-equivalency dodge. The women’s movement was created to deal with injustices that women suffer because of men’s actions, in societies where men had most or all of the power to cause or stop injustices. The “men’s movement,” OTOH, deals — or claims to deal — with injustices that are, in reality, mostly perpetrated by OTHER MEN, and which also affect women, efen if not exactly as much as they affect men. So your “symmetry” claim is bogus.

  23. says

    JT, I’m not soing your research for you. If you know which blogs I should go to, then you should be able to give the cites and quotes.

    And no, I don’t have to provide citations for my claims, because the reactionaries I’m attacking are verifiably real, right here, unlike those hordes of unnamed radical feminists you speak of.

  24. carnation says

    @ JT Sid, have you come home?

    The difference between mra theory and feminist theory is that one is justified and borne out of peer reviewed studu, real world activism and evidenced by numerous epoch defining legal and societal changes. The other is, as noted in the OP, a disparate collection of feuding online personas, devoid of an agenda, beyond “fighting” an imaginary “enemy”.

  25. says

    carnation: I agree with you @27, except that “fighting” should not be in quotes — they really are fighting something, and the results are often tragically destructive, and tragically self-destructive.

  26. karmakin says

    @15 Raging Bee: You can see a lot of anti-egalitarian feminists in the SRS area of Reddit or Tumblr, as two examples.

    As for the general beliefs?

    In simple terms, looking at gender as through specific groups and identities (at least for gender egalitarianism) as whole entities instead of as individuals with differing motives, desires and goals.

    The next step down that path is an oppressor/oppressed worldview..that Group A is the oppressor and that Group B are the oppressed and that there’s a strict divide between the two. In terms of gender, either that men are the oppressors and that women are the oppressed or vice versa (in the case of anti-egalitarian MRAs). .

    To further complicate things, there’s actually two brands of anti-egalitarianism. The classical variety is that to break down gender roles we need to make all of us into carbon copies of one another to a certain degree…to minimize our differences. This is your traditional Marxist Radical Feminist stance I think. The modern stance, is that we need to reshuffle the deck on how we VIEW the gender roles. That is, to see traditionally feminine traits as being advantageous and seeing traditionally masculine traits as being less so. I’m not in disagreement with the core idea of this, but I disagree with maintaining the gendered nature of it. We can call for a society that values aggression less and empathy more without genderizing it…something which I think actually holds this back.

    Anyway, anti-egalitarianism is unfortunately growing IMO, just because I think egalitarian ideology is just starting to get intellectually organized. And this goes for both feminism AND the MRA movement. But I expect that to be reversed over the next few years.

  27. JT says

    @24

    Oh well, it seems you have it all figured out. Let me get back to my knuckle dragging, hating women ways. Lmao.

  28. karmakin says

    @18 Raging Bee: Maybe not those things, but holy crap most of it is horribly classist and stuck up. Look at the focus on “negotiation power” which a very quickly diminishing number of people have any power to negotiate wages and work conditions in the first place.

    Most Feminist economic work is very strongly upper-class/upper-middle class. There’s very little that’s aimed at your average person. To be fair, it’s not really it’s job to do that however.

    But at the same time it is. Clean up one’s own mess. One of the downsides of having women enter the workforce has been the loss of negotiation power. Maybe what’s needed is a feminist-based pro-unionization movement?

  29. Ginkgo says

    24 – “Men’s Rights Activists do fight internally with other such named groups. They all hate women and feminists”

    This will come as a huge surprise to all the women in the movement – Typhoblue, Karen Straughan, Janet Bloomfield, Erin Pizzey, who invneted DV advocacy in the UK, and many, many others.

  30. says

    In simple terms, looking at gender as through specific groups and identities (at least for gender egalitarianism) as whole entities instead of as individuals with differing motives, desires and goals.

    Yes, they look at gender when, and because, it affects how one or more people are treated. Regognizing unequal treatment and trying to trace its source is NOT “anti-egalitarian.”

    The next step down that path is an oppressor/oppressed worldview.

    What’s wrong with a worldview that recognizes that oppression happens, and that there are real differences between oppressor and oppressed? Again, there’s nothing “anti-egalitarian” here — just a simple acknowledgement of an observable fact.

    The classical variety is that to break down gender roles we need to make all of us into carbon copies of one another to a certain degree…

    That is pure fucking bullshit. NOTHING in the feminist movement “requires” anyone to be a “carbon copy” of anyone else. Joining a movement, and working together for a collective remedy for an injustice, does NOT mean “make all of us into carbon copies of one another.” You sound like yet another libertarian blathering ignorantly about “collectivism” from his momma’s basement, with absolutely no idea what any of it even means in the real world.

  31. Ally Fogg says

    JT (17)

    Who are they, and what, specifically, are their “anti-egalitarian” views?(Bee)

    Any feminist who claims that DV and Rape are perpetrated by men in the vast majority of cases.

    I think that’s logically flawed.

    “Anti-egalitarian” implies an ideological position.

    Whether or not the vast majority of DV and rape cases are perpetrated by men is a factual claim.

    There are plenty of people, who may or may not be feminists of any ideological flavour, who think it is a simple matter of fact that the the vast majority of DV and rape is committed by men, not least because that is what the overwhelming proportion of all media tell us on a daily basis.

    Without getting into the specific argument as to whether the claim is or is not correct, simply holding it to be true can tell you nothing about an ideological position.

  32. Ally Fogg says

    On that point more generally, I don’t think the phrases egalitarian or anti-egalitarian are in any way meaningful, whether applied to feminists or men’s activists.

    The main reason being that “treating people equally” sounds fine and dandy, but nobody can agree what “equal” means.

    It’s also the case that most people say sensible things some of the time and stupid things some of the time.

    I think it is much more fruitful to talk about specific positions and whether or not they are sensible than it is to try to categorise groups such as feminists (or for that matter men’s activists) as the right kind or the wrong kind.

  33. says

    Most Feminist economic work is very strongly upper-class/upper-middle class.

    First, that’s yet another lazy, standard anti-feminist talking-point — the same talking point that gets thrown at ANY activism by educated people.

    And second, just about every progressive movement begins in the middle or upper class, because those are the people who have the most education and economic leeway to fight an entrenched status quo. Was it wrong for rich white liberals to support the civil rights movement?

    If you want to make the case that the women’s movement only cares about upper-class women’s concerns, I have two things to say: 1) that’s bullshit — reproductive freedom, DV, and equal employment opportunity affect poor women MORE than rich women; and 2) many poor women are in places where they are simply not allowed to benefit from any of the advances made by feminists. That’s not the rich feminists’ fault.

  34. JT says

    @34

    If you are a feminist who supposedly believes in gender equality then wouldn’t you be amiss to think that men are more likely to be violent than women? Beyond the facts wouldn’t that be an indication of what your ideological views are? That would be akin to thinking that because a man is stronger he will do a better job than a woman at policing.

  35. says

    I don’t think the phrases egalitarian or anti-egalitarian are in any way meaningful…

    That’s because they’re what one cartoonist called “fuzzwords” — words dishonestly used, in this case by libertarians and anti-feminists, to pretend that people trying to correct an inequality were actually enemies of equality. Libertarians have been spewing this bullshit for decades, to justify their opposition to any attempt to stop discrimination.

  36. says

    If you are a feminist who supposedly believes in gender equality then wouldn’t you be amiss to think that men are more likely to be violent than women?

    Not if there’s documented observable reality to back you up.

  37. glekfjsare says

    @24: I think the word patriarchy was probably selected because of what it actually means, not just because it’s a random word that describes a random power structure. As a word it is used here to place blame and to infer the owner of the problem and I think most people know damn well what it means. It’s about as unhelpful as saying ‘there is a minority of people in society that don’t contribute and that don’t do anything else but waste resources and make other people’s lives a misery. For the sake of brevity let’s call that group ‘black people”. It’s purposefully confrontational, particularly when it’s not a patriarchy by definition.

    In terms of male anger generally one of the things that makes me angry is when an issue is addressed as a solely female issue, or one that women have worse, when it’s actually a unisex problem that the women in question are just blissfully unaware that men suffer from too. I think it’s part of both telling women they’re the empathetic sex and having the term ‘mansplaining'; most of the women I’ve debated topics like this with are very aware that a man can’t speak for their experiences but don’t seem to spot the opposite trap when it happens to them. Quite a lot of issues that are currently hot button in the media in terms of feminist issues are actually not sex specific but it’s like no one stopped and thought to ask any men.

    I think in terms of pure functional definitions you’ll also find that most men these days are feminists. The fact is that at least in the UK most of everyone seems to be feminist (unless you’re counting certain minority groups in which case it’s hardly a sex thing) even if they won’t admit it. They may not agree with every suggestion voiced by popular feminist authors but they’ll generally agree with the core ideas.

    The problem comes when women have got what they were due and men try to redefine their roles. Society does not seem to appreciate that one bit. The idea that women can work and support themselves is agreed on by damn near everyone but the idea that a man should support his family or be actively looking to start a family to support seems to still be here. In between this and the widespread misuse of computers I sometimes wonder if people are just terrified of the idea of men not constantly working, like if we reduce our working week and take some time off to build model boats horrible things will happen. There have been various articles that have either lamented or gloated over the idea of men failing to find a career or failing to find a partner, even though neither of those things should define someone. A lot of young men I know seem a little bit baffled with why they shouldn’t just be enjoying life, we have the technology to automate loads of jobs, we don’t need to support women and we can choose not to have children, yet we’re failures if we’re not running a race with no point and no prize.

    Generally it just feels to myself and my friends that we have no duty in society but that for some reason we’re not allowed to slow down and actually enjoy life.

  38. Ally Fogg says

    JT

    If you are a feminist who supposedly believes in gender equality then wouldn’t you be amiss to think that men are more likely to be violent than women?

    Nope, if you’re a feminist, you’re much more likely to believe that boys and girls / men and women are socialised to behave differently by a patriarchal society.

    There’s a different (and, I’d arge, much more intellectually interesting) argument about gender essentialism – ie whether certain behaviours are naturally more likely to occur in one gender than the other due to biology, hormones etc. In my experience, it tends not to be feminists, but their opponents, who make that argument (although a few feminists certainly do slip into it occasionally)

  39. JT says

    Ally

    (although a few feminists certainly do slip into it occasionally)

    Considering feminism isnt a monolith, online, its more than a few. ;)

  40. JT says

    @Ally

    You do need to wonder though after 50 odd years of social change in this area why boys are almost 4 times more likely to kill themselves(not just attempt it). They are also over 90% more likely to be diagnosed with ADD. Presently they are becoming less representative than females in colleges and universities also. Im not saying we go back to pre feminism but is this rendition of social change really that great for both genders?

  41. says

    JT: We don’t just need to “wonder” about such things; we need to actively seek answers to the questions. There’s SHITLOADS of people and institutions working on such questions, so if you’re really concerned about them, you’re perfectly free to look such people up and see what they have to say.

    Im not saying we go back to pre feminism…

    So what ARE you saying? Not bloody much of anything, apparently.

  42. Ally Fogg says

    You do need to wonder though after 50 odd years of social change in this area why boys are almost 4 times more likely to kill themselves(not just attempt it). They are also over 90% more likely to be diagnosed with ADD. Presently they are becoming less representative than females in colleges and universities also. Im not saying we go back to pre feminism but is this rendition of social change really that great for both genders?

    Yes, as Raging Bee says, we need to do a lot more than wonder.

    The suicide thing is a problem but actually nothing new. It has been an overwhelmingly male phenomenon for as long as we’ve had records.

    In my view the ADD thing is almost certainly a problem of changing diagnosis rather than changing behaviour. But in general yes, there are problems facing men and boys, in health, in social policy, in economic policy etc etc etc.

    There are many other problems that men used to face which have become significantly less over the past 50 years – military conscription, health and safety at work, levels of interpersonal violence etc etc.

    The challenge is how we address the problems without going back to what were, in many ways, the bad old days for men and women alike.

  43. JT says

    @Bee

    You seem a tad angry. Almost like the MRA’s you rant about. Im saying the present gender equality advocates that are out here might not quite have it so it is beneficial for both genders. Considering I have both a SON and DAUGHTER I feel I am qualified and allowed to wonder/pose questions, like, could there be something different that will be a little better rather than just, more feminism for all?

  44. says

    Having a son and a daughter “qualifies” you to ask vague, poorly-formed, kinda-sorta-insinuating questions? That’s an “argument from authority” I haven’t heard before.

    Does having a son and a daughter also qualify you to whine about my tone after all your lazy-assed talking-points get debunked? If so, whine away…

  45. maudell says

    re:essentialism vs socialization debate:

    The message I get from feminists in general is that our behaviour is both affected by biology and socialization. In other words, when can you say a behaviour is 100% innate and not socialized? It’s a bit of a nonsensical question, since we have evolved to be social species.

    I think a common feminist position is that since we cannot isolate cultural/changeable behaviour from its opposite (if there is such a thing), enforcing gender deterministic rules perpetuates the problems we see between genders. Not to mention that biologically speaking, the sex is harder to define that we would assume.

    However, hormones do affect our behaviour, I haven’t heard many feminists saying otherwise (I’m sure you can find a few who are). A couple years ago, I got a big spike of testosterone, and I still have more than the average man (I’m a woman – cue the bearded feminist jokes). It’s *definitely* been affecting my behaviour.

    Just a detour to point out that I fail to see how pointing out differences in behaviour makes one an ‘anti-egalitarian’. The truth is that no one fully understands the ‘source’ of social behaviour.

    Just as much as I don’t get JT’s point about the police. If a man is stronger than a woman, and the job they need to do requires strength, the man will be more qualified. The mainstream feminist fight has been a) to allow women to get these types of jobs under the law (military, for example) with the same criteria as men. b) to question requirements that are irrelevant to the job, particularly is it is a particularly gendered requirement. c) to change the culture so that young men and women won’t be discouraged by their entourage to pursue a career that is traditionally skewed to another gender (physicist, elementary school teachers).

    Nevertheless, I find the different messages we take from the same texts to be interesting.

  46. bugmaster says

    @maudell #49:

    The message I get from feminists in general is that our behaviour is both affected by biology and socialization

    While that is true, the other message I often get from feminist is that one of the most important aspects of a person — if not the most important — is that person’s gender. Regardless of whether gender is an entirely social construct, or an entirely biological one, or something in between, feminists treat it as paramount. They consistently prescribe different norms of behavior for men and women, advocate for different social support structures for the two genders, etc.

    As far as I understand, feminists believe that genders are and always will be treated differently in our society, due to the existence of gender privilege; thus, all they’re doing is evening the score. But I am still not entirely convinced that implicitly reinforcing gender essentialism is a productive strategy for fighting gender inequality.

    Admittedly, I’m a straight white male, so what do I know, right ?

  47. Mr Supertypo says

    ” Men’s Rights Activists do fight internally with other such named groups. They all hate women and feminists. That’s their common denominator. PUA’s literally teach men how to rape. MRA’s, while coming from many political bents, tend to be libertarians who do romanticize about the old gender roles of masculinity and simultaneously want to prohibit women from a release from their patriarchal gender roles. Then you’ve got everything in between, say MGTOW’s who announce to everyone that will listen that they are not getting married because ‘those evil bitches be evil’ and who say they want a life without women and yet it’s the single most talked about topic amongst them on their websites. ”

    Ok im curious, in witch cartoon did you see this?

  48. says

    Regardless of whether gender is an entirely social construct, or an entirely biological one, or something in between, feminists treat it as paramount. They consistently prescribe different norms of behavior for men and women, advocate for different social support structures for the two genders, etc.

    Again, specific examples, please? Which “different norms of behavior” are feminists promoting (and which feminists are you talking about, exactly?), and why is that wrong? All I’ve seen from feminists is that they want the SAME legal rights for both sexes, the SAME job opportunities, the SAME relevant standards applied to judge men and women, etc. etc.

    As far as I understand, feminists believe that genders are and always will be treated differently in our society, due to the existence of gender privilege; thus, all they’re doing is evening the score.

    So does that mean they’re NOT promoting different norms of behavior?

    But I am still not entirely convinced that implicitly reinforcing gender essentialism is a productive strategy for fighting gender inequality.

    What, exactly, are feminists doing to “implicitly reinforcing gender essentialism?”

    Admittedly, I’m a straight white male, so what do I know, right ?

    Good question — what DO you know? Not enough to convince this straight white male.

  49. JT says

    If a man is stronger than a woman, and the job they need to do requires strength, the man will be more qualified. The mainstream feminist fight has been a) to allow women to get these types of jobs under the law (military, for example) with the same criteria as men.(Maudell)

    I have several clients who are firefighters and they would certainly be able to show you that doesnt always take place. In fact many of the requirements for some of these types of jobs have changed to accomodate the physically weaker(in general) gender. I had an police officer tell me the other day how difficult it was with his partner(female) as backup for dealing with physically dominant individuals who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    @Bee

    I will bring the whine if you bring the cheese. ;)

  50. says

    In fact many of the requirements for some of these types of jobs have changed to accomodate the physically weaker(in general) gender.

    Did that result in hiring someone who then failed to perform a necessary task? Or did they merely re-tailor a requirement that had previously been tailored to exclude women without looking discriminatory?

    I had an police officer tell me the other day how difficult it was with his partner(female) as backup for dealing with physically dominant individuals who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    I find it hard to believe there’s never been a male rookie cop who had the same problem. That’s the thing about all of these complaints of women not being good enough to do this or that tough job: the same things happen with lots of male newbies, but it’s never considered proof that men are unqualified to do the job.

  51. JT says

    That’s the thing about all of these complaints of women not being good enough to do this or that tough job: the same things happen with lots of male newbies, but it’s never considered proof that men are unqualified to do the job.(Bee)

    What world do you live in? There are tons of jobs men didnt or dont get because they failed the physical part. What do you think would happen to them if they asked to have it tailored to their level of strength or fitness? They would be told to take the door.

  52. says

    PS: dealing with “physically dominant individuals who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol” doesn’t just require upper-body strength; martial-arts skills also work, and so do psychology, attitude, persuasion, and other tricks that both male and female cops can use effectively.

  53. says

    What do you think would happen to them if they asked to have it tailored to their level of strength or fitness?

    Did women ask to have the standards tailore to their level of fitness? Or did they ask to have them tailored to a level that was RELEVANT TO THE ACTUAL JOB? There’s a difference.

    I don”t see a huge number of news items about cops, firefighters, or military units suffering catastrophic failres because of unqualified women in their ranks. Do you? That leads me to conclude that your dire complaints of women getting special treatment to get into jobs they can’t realy do, are obsolete and overblown.

  54. JT says

    I don”t see a huge number of news items about cops, firefighters, or military units suffering catastrophic failres because of unqualified women in their ranks. Do you? (Bee)

    Nope, we dont. I wonder why………PC. I certainly here from some in the two businesses we are talking about. But Im sure they are just sexist so what do they know.

  55. WhineyMalone says

    ‘ But when feminism itself becomes the tide ‘

    I think this is potentially a bit euphemistic, as it would be more accurate to say that the values and beliefs of a certain kind of feminism have effectively become those of the establishment. In other words, feminism has, in many respects, itself become the establishment, (so much so that David Cameron did not want to reject the label in his interview with Red Magazine, instead deciding to stay non-commital, after a long pause of looking out of the window). Truly, how radical can a social movement be, if Cameron doesn’t want to disassociate himself from it?

    And then what, after all, is the approach of the establishment with regards to gender? To have a commission on the topic of older women and work (but not for older men); to have prison reform for women, but not for men; to have a committee on Women and The Workplace in general, but not for men, and so on and so forth (many more examples crop up all the time as part of the political life-blood of this country).

    To react against such trends is not essentially to be conservative, it’s just a question of speaking out about unfairness and unequal treatment of different groups in society based solely upon gender.

    Indeed, I would define conservatism as being the entrenched beliefs of the powerful and of the establishment, (so from this perspective, ironically, the original conjecture of the piece is completely the wrong way round!)

    What’s more, I fear Fraser Nelson does actually have a point, Ally, in the sense that if you want to change things you really need to come up with specific policy proposals. ‘A social project for redefining masculinity’ in itself is totally abstract, and can easily be used by the likes of the misandrist Guardian editors simply to imply that men should become much more like women (Yawn..)

  56. Ally Fogg says

    JT

    I had an police officer tell me the other day how difficult it was with his partner(female) as backup for dealing with physically dominant individuals who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    This is something criminologists have looked at very hard. There’s a whole bunch of evidence that the presence of a female police officer means that situations are significantly more likely to be defused without turning violent. Saw an estimate somewhere that the presence of women in uniform could account for literally hundreds fewer deaths of male police officers in the USA. Look it up. Google is your friend.

  57. says

    Nope, we dont. I wonder why………PC.

    What, a “PC” coverup? Excuse me for being rude, but HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW! When I said “catastrophic failures,” I meant people getting killed because of women failing to do some important task when LIVES were at stake. You really think such incidents would be covered up all over the world? That’s just fucking ridiculous. Grow up.

  58. mildlymagnificent says

    In fact many of the requirements for some of these types of jobs have changed to accomodate the physically weaker(in general) gender.

    That might be how it worked out where you’re from. Where I’m from, what people discovered when they started reexamining physical and other “standards” for police and emergency services jobs was that they didn’t just disadvantage women. Stated height requirements, for instance, discriminated just as much against many men from some racial groups as they did against most women from all groups. Concentrating more on job specific physical skills rather than on presumptions about physical attributes has been a major positive step.

    The other aspect of this that’s yet to work it’s way entirely through such employment selections and processes is that the notion of a big, burly bloke being required to perform some roles needed to be unpacked. The big, burly bloke stereotype led to a lot of counterproductive ideas being spread throughout such workforces – namely the macho approach of handling problems with personal individual strength (or violence) rather than by real skills in identifying and minimising physical threats. The macho style (or hero complex) was always particularly dangerous in firefighting and rescue work, so modern training now focuses much more strongly on teamwork and safer work practices. And everyone benefits when this is done properly.

  59. Ally Fogg says

    Bugmaster (50)

    While that is true, the other message I often get from feminist is that one of the most important aspects of a person — if not the most important — is that person’s gender. Regardless of whether gender is an entirely social construct, or an entirely biological one, or something in between, feminists treat it as paramount.

    Feminism is a gender politics movement. When you’re talking with feminists about feminist-related issues, it is hardly surprising that gender is the primary dynamic under discussion.

    I know plenty of socialist feminists who, if you pinned them down, would argue that class was every bit as important as gender, if not more so, and plenty of black feminists who would argue the same about race.

    And of course there is the whole movement of intersectional feminists who would tell you that it is completely impossible to separate those different dynamics of oppression because they all play their role in kyriarchy.

    They consistently prescribe different norms of behavior for men and women, advocate for different social support structures for the two genders, etc.

    Hmm. Can’t think of any examples where feminists prescribe different norms of behaviour for men and women.

    They certainly advocate different support structures, arguing that different genders have different needs and situations because of patriarchy etc. Personally I sometimes agree, sometimes disagree, but there’s nothing wrong with that in principle. There are circumstances where men and women have different needs, obviously.

    As far as I understand, feminists believe that genders are and always will be treated differently in our society, due to the existence of gender privilege;

    No, they believe the genders are treated differently, but not that they always will be. The entire point of feminism is to try and bring about a society where genders are not treated differently.

    thus, all they’re doing is evening the score.

    Well, if you think there is an injustice going on, what are you meant to do but even the score? Isn’t that kind of the point?

    But I am still not entirely convinced that implicitly reinforcing gender essentialism is a productive strategy for fighting gender inequality.

    Nor am I. And when it happens I am happy to challenge it. But to be honest I see an awful lot more anti-feminists reinforcing gender essentialism, usually referencing laughably bad evolutionary psychology or some such to justify it.

  60. JT says

    Thanks Ally. I have read similar before. I was referring to what my client was saying(who is an officer).

    @Bee

    I thought you would have fun with that one. Catastrophic fun. :)

  61. Chaos Engineer says

    If a man is stronger than a woman, and the job they need to do requires strength, the man will be more qualified. The mainstream feminist fight has been a) to allow women to get these types of jobs under the law (military, for example) with the same criteria as men.(Maudell)

    I have several clients who are firefighters and they would certainly be able to show you that doesnt always take place. In fact many of the requirements for some of these types of jobs have changed to accomodate the physically weaker(in general) gender.

    The military and fire departments are bad examples, because these jobs requires skills other than brute strength. As long as someone is in good overall physical shape, a below-average strength might not be a problem if it’s balanced by above-average skill in some other area, and the job requirements should reflect that.

    “Professional weightlifter” would be a better example. Although obviously some women would be more qualified than some men; you’d need to look at the applicant pool to say for sure. Hopefully there’s nothing that would prevent qualified women from applying for the job – if there is, then this would be part of the mainstream feminist fight.

    I had an police officer tell me the other day how difficult it was with his partner(female) as backup for dealing with physically dominant individuals who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    Based on what I’ve seen in the movies, a lot of cops have problems with their partners, due to differences in demographic group or social class or general personality. Usually by the end of the movie they’ll figure out how to turn those differences to their advantage and gain respect for each other. I hope your friend turns out to be one of those cops, and not a “bad example”-type who will allow incurable bigotry to goad him into a fatal error.

  62. says

    Ally, good evening. Tired after a long day at the National Conference on male victims of DV. The two female psychologists who appeared on ‘Woman’s Hour’ this morning gave very impressive presentations, but I plan to write a detailed comment on your piece tomorrow. Ideas like ‘redefining masculinity’- and so much left-wing thinking, to be frank – remind me of some remarks made in 1985 by Thomas Sowell (1930 – ), an African-American economist and social commentator:

    “When intellectuals discover the world does not behave according to their theories, the conclusion they invariably draw is that the world must be changed. It must be awfully hard to change theories.”

  63. carnation says

    Very interesting article, Ally, been a real run of excellent blog posts lately.

    Few things spring to mind:

    “So I don’t doubt there is a lot of truth to the theories above, but I don’t think it is the whole story. One thing many people fail to notice about the so-called manosphere is its political diversity. Casual observers might see little distinction between Men’s Rights Activists, the extreme traditionalists at sites like The Spearhead, the disciples of pick-up artistry or the separatists of the Men Going Their Own Way boards. Dig a little deeper and you soon find they despise each other almost as much as they despise feminists.”

    To me, all of these “groups” (in reality, collections of bloggers) look at the same group of actual and imagined issues (actual: conscription, circumsicion etc imagined: feminist governance, spermburgling) through the same lense: one that despises women and/or (often interchangeabley and inaccurately) “feminists” (as understood by these individuals.

    They differ in how much they hate/blame/despise/other women as opposed to feminism, and vase versa, but the end product is the same. Irrational misogyny. Male separatists (though I don’t think they exist off the Internet) own their misogyny and are quite open about it. MRAs don’t, and co-opt the discourse of social justice and occasionally, and ineptly, attempt real world activism.

    Society, understandably, creates a lot of angry people. Some of these people are men, and some of these men (and a few women) find an outlet with the other voices loudly proclaiming who the enemy is. In that sense, the groups don’t differ much – the end result is the same. Most of the feuding amounts to personality clashes and delusions of grandeur (the libertarian/apolitical is arguably an exception to this).

    Esmay might write, and even believe, the following:

    “Most men’s human rights advocates love seeing strong, capable, and independent women as part of society. But they are disappointed to see the rise of idealized, infantilized, sheltered, and fearful women.”

    But the reality is completely different, as a visit to other articles on the site he is editor of will confirm. Esmay, I believe, refuses to acknowledge differences in feminisms, and whilst he might not want a return to social conservative norms, no MRA has ever (that I have seen) praised feminism for the changes that enabled generations of independent women. Strange, as dearly held MRA states that women are after “men’s resources and goodwill”.

  64. Mr Supertypo says

    A short reply…..

    This flu is eating me up dont have so much energy to engage in a debate, but I will see what I can do, otherwise tomorrow is another day…

    Ok lets start with the basics. Feminism is not monolithic, MRM is not monolithic. If a crazy feminist make some crazy claims, is not feminism per se, who are speaking, but just that individual. Same thing goes for MRA’s (I know its hard to believe, but thats the truth). Beside, I have seen far to many times over generalizations, like if you question or criticize some position taken by some feminist, you are automatically a MRA. This is wrong, a MRA is not necessarely a AFA ( Antifeminist advocate) or a man or a troll and vice versa, if you question or criticize something, you are not necessarely opposed to it or affiliated to another org or group. My advice? in doubt the best thing to do is…ask. You be surprised. ie : hey who are you, are you a MRA? me? no im not a MRA, but im against…blablabla. Lets stop the bad habit to force labels down at the htroat of people….shall we?

    About male anger. yes there are conservatives outhere, but as others have pointed out, its hardly the only source for male anger. One possible source for anger is the distrust. Distrust toward a group of people who CLAIMS to be for equality or fighting patriarchy, but only focus on one group, and that group only or mostly …women (99,9%). Meanwhile, shelters for men either get underfunded or some people (yes even feminists) refuse to acknowledge or dismiss or underestimate female vs male rape or DV and male victims, and even oppose the existence of the male focus support. The list can go on but I rarely see feminists debating these points and frankly its annoying. Because the double standards and the silence, is what contribute ad maximum to the lack of trust toward the people who claims to fight the gender unbalance in our society. Wake up and start looking t these issues, dont ignore them, because they arent going away.

    So in at the end, its not so much conservationism (also but I get the impression thats a minority) but more the actions or the lack of it from feminist’s.

  65. says

    @carnation

    “(MRAs) differ in how much they hate/blame/despise/other women as opposed to feminism, and vase versa, but the end product is the same. Irrational misogyny.”

    I believe the idea that many men (and MHRAs in particular) are misogynists is nothing more than a projection by people who are SEETHING with misandry. I very rarely encounter misogyny, and it’s stamped down on whenever it raises its ugly head on AVfM and elsewhere, which may help explain why so many leading Honey Badgers (female anti-feminists) such as GirlWritesWhat, Alison Tieman, Della Burton, Diana Davison, Janet Bloomfield contribute to AVfM. The first three run three-hour long ‘Honey Badger Radio’ episodes which are ‘must hear’ in my view.

    I digress. I’ve been running blogs for about 18 months and can’t recall one misogynistic comment being submitted in that time. The idea of widespread misogyny is a myth and the charge of misogyny is a shaming tactic designed to silence men, but MHRAs will no longer be silenced by shaming tactics. It turns out feminists have no weapons other than shaming (evidence bases NEVER supports their positions, and all ‘feminist theory’ is demonstrably erroneous – Patriarchy Theory in particular, it need hardly be said) so we’re in for some interesting times.

    When a man have been badly treated by a woman his animosity will be towards that one woman. When a man has been badly treated by a man (father, partner, brother…) her animosity will be towards not only him, but men in general, and feminism provides her with a way to attack men in general. Men haven’t developed an equivalent to feminism and never will, because they don’t have this collectivist victimhood mindset, no matter how much they’re battered by women directly, or by the state on women’s behalf. MRAs are developing approaches that will be effective in time – they won’t mirror feminism.

    I’ve publicly challenged feminists (Kat Banyard and Caroline Criado-Perez among them) to admit they’ve made demonstrably misleading statements on TV, radio, or in the press, and none has ever done so. Their contempt for normal ethical standards is incredible. How can you possible watch such women talk without seeing misandry run through them like lettering through Blackpool rock?

    At the Conference today a presentation was given by a man who was registered disabled after his partner repeatedly attacked him, on the final occasion breaking his skull and much else with a hammer (she received a sentence of 7 years and was released in just 18 months). He’d clearly been destroyed psychologically by his experiences and came close to committing suicide, but clearly bore no animosity whatsoever towards women in general. Numerous men and women in the audience were in tears listening to his account, but he felt no self-pity. Hundreds of studies show women are at least as physically aggressive in interpersonal relationships as men, but feminists have ensured that 99.6% of state funding for victims of DV goes to women (a very lucrative industry for militant feminists). The absence of support for male victims of DV is just one of the many realities that accounts for the suicide rate among British men being three times higher than that among British women. Another is, of course, the state helping malicious women deny their ex-partners access to their children.

    Mike Buchanan

    JUSTICE FOR MEN & BOYS
    (and the women who love them)

    http://j4mb.org.uk

  66. Chaos Engineer says

    Meanwhile, shelters for men either get underfunded or some people (yes even feminists) refuse to acknowledge or dismiss or underestimate female vs male rape or DV and male victims, and even oppose the existence of the male focus support. The list can go on but I rarely see feminists debating these points and frankly its annoying.

    Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?

    If shelters for men are underfunded, then the obvious solution is to go out and fundraise for them, instead of complaining about how feminists don’t want to talk about the issue. And not just complaining about it, but complaining about it on the Internet of all places! Yeesh!

    I mean, there are so many things wrong with the world that I don’t think we can expect every person to work to solve every problem. You can help male victims or rape and domestic violence, and meanwhile other people can work on feminism or environmentalism or anti-racism. I don’t think that anyone will criticize your social justice work, as long as you’re not actively working against other people who are trying to do their own social justice work.

    Also, I really doubt that people oppose the existence of male focus support groups, as long as those groups don’t turn into the He-Man Women Hater’s Club or the equivalent. (Well, I suppose in a world of six billion people, a few of them will oppose legitimate men’s support groups, but they’ll be fringe types with no real power and it seems like it ought to be safe to ignore them.)

  67. mildlymagnificent says

    When a (wo)man has been badly treated by a man (father, partner, brother…) her animosity will be towards not only him, but men in general, and feminism provides her with a way to attack men in general.

    Being an old feminist, one of those feared 2nd wave types, we were much more likely to attack institutions and systems than “men in general”. That was the way we got the right to assume our own responsibilities for things like leases and loans and mortgages and purchases rather than being obliged to have a man to co-sign or guarantee the contract in question. I’ll admit we didn’t much like dealing with the men, and some women, who persisted in such attitudes even though the legal basis for them was eliminated. Which is why we then needed anti-discrimination provisions to enforce the bare bones of the legal changes. (But it can still be a bit tedious talking to car or hardware salesmen when you come across a “traditionalist”.)

    As for individual men treating us badly, resulting in women wanting “to attack men in general”. I’ve been happily married to a lovely man for 35 years, a wonderful husband and an outstanding father to our children. Before that, I was married to an idle, manipulative, occasionally violent drunkard for half a dozen miserable years. Funnily enough, I’ve managed to be friends with dozens of perfectly nice men in these following four decades. I know plenty of other women who’ve managed a happy, decent life after ridding themselves of an unpleasant or violent partner or escaping an abusive family. I also know men, my husband among them, who’ve made a good life after a bad marriage to a manipulative or otherwise unpleasant woman.

    What I and many other women have noticed about the bad or violent men in our lives is that their bad behaviour was often driven by some pretty silly, even toxic, notions about masculinity and about marriage in particular. If you don’t believe that “a man” should be dominant or in control then you don’t “need” to assert yourself to display or enforce that control. There are similar issues with equivalent (and equally stupid) notions that many women believe that lead them to some of their relationship destroying behaviours. Obviously some men and women are just plain nasty and are unlikely to be good partners to anyone regardless of their beliefs.

    feminists have ensured that 99.6% of state funding for victims of DV goes to women

    And before there was any such funding feminists worked their fingers to the bone for years on end providing these services and risking their lives to protect women and children in the face of open, sometimes violent, opposition from police, governments and individual men. Even now, some people maintain that violence in the home is a private or trivial matter and there are more who contend that there’s no such thing as rape in marriage.

    The focus on intimate partner violence that women instigated has – finally – allowed abused men to speak up about their problems. Instead of men getting together and helping each other as women had to do in the beginning, most public arguments we see on the topic are that “it’s not fair” that women have the funding to help deal with their problems. Instead of saying that the problems of partner violence are. much. bigger. than previously reported, far too many men and their representatives try to downplay the deaths and injuries of women and their attempts to avoid or escape them, rather than say that this previously unrecognised problem means that more resources in total are required than previously thought.

    Last I heard, the murder rate from IPV for women was running at one per week in Australia and a bit over 2 per week in Britain (don’t know equivalent numbers for hospitalisation from assaults). Men advocating for resources, even attention or recognition, for abused men do neither themselves nor their suffering friends any favours by dismissing or belittling violence against women when these events are constantly in front of the public and the politicians. Claiming that resources should be diverted away from women to deal with the additional problems of men, rather than supplemented, makes such advocates look heartless, even vindictive.

  68. Ally Fogg says

    MildlyMagnificent

    That was a fantastic comment, thanks.

    MikeBuchanan

    I’m out of energy to go through everything I don’t agree with in your post, but:I’ll look forward to your blog if you get the chance to write it. But for now:

    It turns out feminists have no weapons other than shaming (evidence bases NEVER supports their positions, and all ‘feminist theory’ is demonstrably erroneous

    This is the kind of thing you come out with which just destroys any kind of credibility you might hope for. It’s just wild, hyperbolic generalisation that sounds like the kind of thing young earth creationists come out with.

  69. says

    @mildlymagnificent

    “Men advocating for resources, even attention or recognition, for abused men do neither themselves nor their suffering friends any favours by dismissing or belittling violence against women when these events are constantly in front of the public and the politicians. Claiming that resources should be diverted away from women to deal with the additional problems of men, rather than supplemented, makes such advocates look heartless, even vindictive.”

    Thank you. I challenge you to show when I’ve ever dismissed or belittled violence against women. With a view to saving you time, I’ve never done so. You say I think resources should be diverted away from women to support men. Again, I’ve never done so. I think resources for women should be increased, and resources for men increased to match THEIR needs.

    Do you believe resources should be allocated on the basis of effort expended on campaigning? If so, then let’s stick with 99.6% of resources going to support women, or maybe we could save time and just make it 100%. And if this results in thousands more men than women continuing to kill themselves every year, so what? Who gives a damn about men in desperate circumstances? Not women. Not men. As always, in one way or another, men are cannon fodder.

  70. says

    Ally, thank you. The evidence base for ‘Flat Earth theory’ surpasses that for ‘Patriarchy theory’ by some margin. Most MPs continue to be male, primarily because far more men than women wish to become MPs. Let’s get real, shall we? I challenge you to point to even ONE piece of legislation passed in the past 50 years by the male-dominated parliament which advantages men over women. I know many where women are advantaged over men, whether through the terms of the primary legislation or how it’s used in practise. An example is paternity fraud – attempted or actual – which is illegal. Not one British woman has ever been convicted of it, although the CSA alone admits it learns of 500+ new cases every year.

    The reality is that parliament passes legislation to advantage women over men at every opportunity, and the interest of many female MPS is to extend that female advantaging yet further. British men collectively pay 72% of the income tax collected in the UK, British women just 28% – equivalent to £64 BILLION every year (2012/13). In our public consultation document we list 20 areas in which the state through its actions and inactions assaults men (and/or boys). No feminist has yet pointed me to even ONE area in which the state assaults women (and/or girls).

    Mike Buchanan

    http://j4mb.org.uk

  71. Mr Supertypo says

    ” The focus on intimate partner violence that women instigated has – finally – allowed abused men to speak up about their problems. Instead of men getting together and helping each other as women had to do in the beginning, most public arguments we see on the topic are that “it’s not fair” that women have the funding to help deal with their problems. Instead of saying that the problems of partner violence are. much. bigger. than previously reported, far too many men and their representatives try to downplay the deaths and injuries of women and their attempts to avoid or escape them, rather than say that this previously unrecognised problem means that more resources in total are required than previously thought. ”

    I dont know if somebody actually complains about what you say, but I know that some of the major complains is that women shelters are (at least in some places) supported by public funding. The same thing is not true for men, also because there are forces inside the feminist movement who oppose at this, and outside (conservatives, religous, the be a real man crowd etc) .

    I cannot avoid getting some bad feelings over what you wrote. You say women started this, therefore women should get all the support or what? you say also that men should get together (and solve their own problems) as I agree that men should unite, but should we be left alone with our own problems? in other words, you (general you) ask for our support, but not ready to return the favor? I hope Im reading wrong.

    ” Last I heard, the murder rate from IPV for women was running at one per week in Australia and a bit over 2 per week in Britain (don’t know equivalent numbers for hospitalisation from assaults). Men advocating for resources, even attention or recognition, for abused men do neither themselves nor their suffering friends any favours by dismissing or belittling violence against women when these events are constantly in front of the public and the politicians. Claiming that resources should be diverted away from women to deal with the additional problems of men, rather than supplemented, makes such advocates look heartless, even vindictive. ”

    I didnt see anybody dismissing or belittling violence against women, maybe some individual outhere, but not in a large group. But I have seen and sadly repeatedly people who dismiss or belittle mens issues, or dismissing them as ‘patriarchy hurts men to, and now lets go back to talk about women’ and this happens to often even between feminists (if you dont believe me, try to look around this site, DV on men or male rape, you see lots of feminists who agressively try to dismiss or belittle them).

    I hope and think its my flu, that messes things up for me like making me misread stuff, and that means bed time for me. But if it isnt I will not be surprised.

    Speaking in general (it means not aimed to anybody in particular) My take is there is no reason on heaven or earth to dismiss ignore belittle or offend male survivors, yes they deserve the same support as everybody else, and this should a priority. And dont come with excuses as, these are mens problems. Mens problems or womens, are Everybody’s problem, not someone else’s concern. Its both mine, yours and and everybody else’s. Dont be testy, and dont fall for stupid myth. Men are humans, not robots, therefore yours and mine support is determinant.

  72. Mr Supertypo says

    Chaos –

    “Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?”

    That’s what I also like to ask you?

    “If shelters for men are underfunded, then the obvious solution is to go out and fundraise for them, instead of complaining about how feminists don’t want to talk about the issue. And not just complaining about it, but complaining about it on the Internet of all places! Yeesh!”

    Actually Chaos, it shouldn be necessary. We are talking about humans who are pushed aside and left alone, for no reason at all. I wonder why is it necessary to campaign when we have experts and specialist’s who have been dealing with these issues for ages? why…is my question. Is that to much internalized patriarchy from the so called experts? binary thinking? what? I really like to know what. And I also dont understand your sarchasm, this is a problem, a serious one. Are we really still in the stone age of gender equality? be a real man?

    “I mean, there are so many things wrong with the world that I don’t think we can expect every person to work to solve every problem.”

    We are talking about shelters for people who suffer. Not saving the world from alien invaders. And there are folks working on this problem already (women). It isnt something new or revolutionary. So I really cant understand the hesitation with this issue.

    ” You can help male victims or rape and domestic violence, and meanwhile other people can work on feminism or environmentalism or anti-racism.”

    Isnt violence against men also a feminist issue? or are we still grounded into feminism = women?

  73. says

    @Mr Supertypo

    Thanks for this. While men are as likely to be victims of DV as women, the last stats I saw said that while there are 2,000+ places for abused women in British refuges, there are just 15 places for (heterosexual) abused men. Society tells men in crisis to go hang themselves. We shouldn’t be too surprised that so many do.

    Earl Silverman, a Canadian survivor of DV, ran the only men’s refuge in Canada. Despite applying, he never received any support (financial or otherwise) from the authorities. After three years he had to close the refuge for lack of funding. Two or three days later he was found hanging from the rafters of his garage. I urge anyone reading this to watch a three-minute-long tribute to Earl:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/rip-earl-silverman-you-wont-be-forgotten/

  74. Mr Supertypo says

    @Mike

    You seem very informed on this, is there any indication that things are changing? I mean we are in 2013 not 1982 so im surprised that some people are still deny this issues. If women’s shelters get public funding then obviously the same should go for men. Naturally not at expense of women but I mean come on, if the government can easely find money to send troops oversea or a new probe to Mars, how come its impossible to delegate few resource s for building some shelters for men? And no this is not a problem that men should take care of alone. This is a problem that every normal person should care. Especially the one who work in the field.

    And Ally, I think you are wrong on this, see the major complain on feminism, are exactly this issue and other similar to this, not going back to the “good old days”. Just read the comments so far, what is the topic more covered by human supporters (thats how I call the people who also care for men) is we want to go back to the 60’s or we need DV and rape on men (and other issues) recognized? and why the distrust on feminist’s? because the best answer so far has either been silence or, go and find your own fundings. So its not conservatism that the major problem here.

    At least this is how I see it.

  75. says

    @ Mr Supertypo

    Thanks for this. Male victims of DV are one of our biggest areas of concern (along with fathers being denied access to their kids). Militant feminists have appropriated almost 100% of public funding towards refuges for 40+ years, when they ousted Erin Pizzey from one of the world’s first DV shelters for women, in Chiswick. As in so many areas we campaign about, the evidence base shows that the state’s resource allocations bear no resemblance to the relative suffering of women and men. Women collaborate and get the money, men don’t… and don’t. No indications that anything is changing. The coalition cares as much about the suffering of men and boys as the Labour administrations of 1997-2010, when Harriet Harman was so influential. In other words, not a jot.

  76. mildlymagnificent says

    I cannot avoid getting some bad feelings over what you wrote. You say women started this, therefore women should get all the support or what? you say also that men should get together (and solve their own problems) as I agree that men should unite, but should we be left alone with our own problems? in other words, you (general you) ask for our support, but not ready to return the favor? I hope Im reading wrong.

    Not at all. I’m suggesting that men (and women) concerned about services for abused men should do what everyone concerned about social problems has always done. Start by doing what you can where you can with what you’ve got – basically the time and effort of committed and/or generous individuals, with not much more than the smell of an oily rag to help out. Organise camps for at risk children or horseriding for the disabled and any other services specifically designed and targeted for a particular group with particular needs. In this case, the needs of abused men and their children. Their needs are not the same as those of women fleeing violence and the services provided for women are not adequate in the first place – shelters in many places are turning away women in need anyway.

    As for men being left alone with their own problems. Speaking personally, I’m not sure how much women can or should help with this. Women leaving violent partners are often afraid of any and all men. (I certainly wasn’t confident, let alone comfortable with men I didn’t already know well after my first marriage. I’ve only stopped having nightmares a few years ago, and some people never fully escape similar bad consequences of violence or other abuse in their past.) I presume that many men would be resistant or at least hesitant, if not fearful, about talking to or dealing with women when they’ve just left an abusive relationship. As I understand it, men have more problems than women do in letting others know about their circumstances, and heaven knows people are not wonderful about women doing this in the first place. One of the hardest things I had to deal with was the reaction of people I knew pretty well responding with disbelief of the “How could you let that happen!” variety – I presume a lot of abused men get that as well.

    Women generally, and especially online, would be a lot more amenable to proposals about supporting abused men if people avoided the all too common approach of saying that women should give up or transfer or “share” the meagre resources they’ve fought so long and so hard for. What’s needed are different services, additional resources designed specifically for men and their children. I have no knowledge or expertise in this area so I’d first look to psychologists and counsellors who do. They’d be the best initial resource, alongside male abuse survivors, to set priorities for what activities and resources would give the best results for the most men with the most urgent needs and go from there. They’d also be the best for working out what positive things they could learn from women’s shelters and crisis/ rape/ abuse call centres and what would not work for men clients in apparently similar circumstances.

  77. says

    @ Mr Supertypo

    If you want to ‘join up the dots’, you couldn’t do better than read Swayne O’Pie’s ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’. It’s also available on Kindle with the title, ‘Exposing Feminism: The Thirty Years’ War Against Men’.

  78. says

    @ mildlymagnificent

    Thanks for this, Interesting points, but I’ve never heard anyone (even male victims of DV) suggest the resources going to female victims of DV should be reduced so as to provide support for men. The two psychologists on ‘Woman’s Hour’ – who later spoke at the conference today – reported that the evidence base of DV against men was consistent, yet the state does nothing in response. This is in part only a reflection of the fact that society doesn’t care a jot about men. There are numerous ways in which the state’s actions and inactions drives up the male suicide rate, and failing to support male victims of DV is but one of them.

  79. bugmaster says

    @RagingBee #52:

    Again, specific examples, please? Which “different norms of behavior” are feminists promoting (and which feminists are you talking about, exactly?)

    Here are some random examples off the top of my head, covering both behavioral norms and social support structures.

    * A few threads ago on this very blog, we saw some (though, thankfully, not all !) feminists claiming that men either can’t be raped by women in principle; or that they can, but that rape is not a big deal for them; or that they can be raped and it’s a big enough deal, but we shouldn’t spend too much time dealing with the problem anyway, because it would take the focus away from women.

    * On the same note, if a woman accused a man of sexual harassment (or assault), we should “believe the victims”, as per P.Z.’s post of the same title. If a man accuses a women of rape, she is innocent until proven guilty.

    * As Ally pointed out (I think it was him, my apologies if I am misattributing this), domestic violence shelters in the UK, which are promoted and administered by feminist organizations, assume implicitly that it is always men who hurt women. Ads for men-oriented domestic violence hotlines say things like, “if you are thinking of becoming violent, please call !”, not “if you are being abused, we can help”.

    * After the “donglegate” event, the consensus on FtB and elsewhere seemed to be that men should not be making dirty jokes and public, whereas women should be free to do so.

    * If a woman does something nice for a man, it’s because she’s a good person. If a man does something nice for a woman, it’s because he’s a “nice guy”, which is a pejorative term meaning “dishonest and predatory manipulator”.

    * The “Bechdel Test” is used by some feminists as the primary measure of whether some work of fiction should be praised or condemned. The work’s artistic or aesthetic worth is not relevant unless it passes the test.

    * Feminists explicitly oppose any community standards of civility in discourse, unless such standards would explicitly exclude women (and any non-privileged group in general) from civility restrictions.

    * As far as I understand, at least one version of feminist theory holds that sexism is “power plus prejudice”; since men are always in power due to the male privilege, sexism against men is impossible by definition.

    As I said, these are just off the top of my head; the list is not exhaustive by any means. I also want to make the following absolutely clear: I am not claiming that all feminists hold these (or similar) views. You asked me for examples, and I provided examples of things that I have heard self-identified feminists say. I am not claiming that all feminists think this way all the time.

    As far as I understand, feminists believe that genders are and always will be treated differently in our society, due to the existence of gender privilege; thus, all they’re doing is evening the score.

    So does that mean they’re NOT promoting different norms of behavior?

    I believe that these feminists do honestly think that they are doing the right thing; I just think that they are wrong.

    What, exactly, are feminists doing to “implicitly reinforcing gender essentialism?”

    I believe that, by enforcing different standards of behavior for men and women, and by promoting different system of support (and, in some cases, even justice) for men and women, feminists (that is, those of them who do promote such policies) are explicitly reinforcing the notion that men and women are innately different.

    See also my reply to Ally, below (after I write it, that is).

  80. bugmaster says

    @Ally #64:

    Feminism is a gender politics movement. When you’re talking with feminists about feminist-related issues, it is hardly surprising that gender is the primary dynamic under discussion.

    I sort of agree, but then, there’s a difference between saying, “men and women must be treated differently”, and “all people should be treated with the same level of respect, and some men are currently not doing that”. It’s the difference between of thinking of someone as an individual with one’s own quirks, goals, aspirations, and a certain amount of agency; and seeing someone as a member of the general class of “man” or “woman”, whose place in the world is largely determined by membership in the class.

    I know plenty of socialist feminists who, if you pinned them down, would argue that class was every bit as important as gender, if not more so, and plenty of black feminists who would argue the same about race.

    Why do I have to “pin anyone down” for that ?

    And of course there is the whole movement of intersectional feminists who would tell you that it is completely impossible to separate those different dynamics of oppression because they all play their role in kyriarchy.

    What is the difference between such feminists and generic humanists ?

    Hmm. Can’t think of any examples where feminists prescribe different norms of behaviour for men and women.

    See some examples in my previous post.

    There are circumstances where men and women have different needs, obviously.

    Agreed; to use a rather trivial example, men don’t require pregnancy counseling or prenatal care. However, I don’t believe that such cases are as common as some feminists believe (though they are by no means rare).

    The entire point of feminism is to try and bring about a society where genders are not treated differently. … Well, if you think there is an injustice going on, what are you meant to do but even the score? Isn’t that kind of the point?

    I do agree with most of the goals of feminism, but I disagree with some of the methods. To use a non-gendered analogy, I do believe that terrorism specifically, and all crime in general, is a bad thing that should be stopped whenever possible. However, I do not believe that turning an entire country into a police state is the right way to accomplish such a goal. Of course, I could be wrong. To use another example, gun rights advocates generally do believe that school shootings are bad things that should be stopped whenever possible; but they would say that imposing harsh restrictions of gun ownership is a strategy whose costs would be too high. I believe that they are wrong, but that’s not the same thing as saying, “gun rights advocates want all of us to get shot”.

  81. mildlymagnificent says

    I’ve never heard anyone (even male victims of DV) suggest the resources going to female victims of DV should be reduced so as to provide support for men.

    Really? I’ve seen several people argue that women’s shelters should “set aside” some of their accommodation and resources for men. (Can’t give examples. I thought the arguments so silly they didn’t deserve so much as a bookmark.)

  82. says

    @ mildlymagnificent

    Thanks for this. I haven’t seen that, but I accept you have. It seems obvious that both men and women would need a break from the opposite gender following DV, I’d have thought. I can’t claim to be an expert in this field, it just seems common sense.

  83. Mr Supertypo says

    @mildlymagnificent

    ” Not at all. I’m suggesting that men (and women) concerned about services for abused men should do what everyone concerned about social problems has always done. […] ”

    Aaaah ok, I follow you now. Sadly my flu put some fog on my brain. So I think its bed time for me, but I like to answer some relevant points (at least for me).

    “As for men being left alone with their own problems. Speaking personally, I’m not sure how much women can or should help with this. Women leaving violent partners are often afraid of any and all men. ”

    No I think you misunderstood me or I didnt explain myself properly. When I spoke about women, I wasnt speaking about individual women but as group. Yes I know a bit of binary thinking, I am a sinner.

    Yes I agree that survivors from gendered violence need a time of separatism for a while. So I wasnt suggesting that women should be inside the shelters doing stuff. But supporting both politically and economically. That was what I wanted to say. :-)

    ” As I understand it, men have more problems than women do in letting others know about their circumstances, and heaven knows people are not wonderful about women doing this in the first place. One of the hardest things I had to deal with was the reaction of people I knew pretty well responding with disbelief of the “How could you let that happen!” variety – I presume a lot of abused men get that as well. ”

    Oh it most have been a nightmare for you. Glad you have recovered.

    Your experience is insightful indeed. And there (even today) to little information surrounding this topic speaking on women. Usually I experience a campaign for fundraising, lots of solidarity and when its over…its over. Maybe some sitcomms and some articles on a newspaper or a blog, but beside that, no so much. And the little is more focused in explaining to the general public the violence the woman had to endure not so much about the why and what happens after and before. So I do understand why it is annoying and humiliating that people ask “stupid” questions and that means more information’s are needed by the media, especially with the emotional/psychological part.
    But speaking about men, my concern is not the questioning or skepticism by a fool on the street. But the active resistance done by professionals. This is what makes my mind going caput.
    I honestly dont understand it. And speculation of malevolence is difficoult to avoid (and some bitterness).
    As you can see this is a sensitive topic for me (and it should be for everybody). But why is this sensitive? not because I experienced something similar to yours no, nobody harmed me (until now at least) is it because I am a man? maybe but its not the entire story. I care about this because I am a human being, and I care for my fellow humans. Yes Im also sympathetic to women who suffer and they should get what they need. But so should men and other non traditional gender affiliated people. I personally dont see a gender I see people. So cant really grasp this cold front from the officials. And the ‘help yourself and dont disturb me’ answer, honestly it angers me. Would you (general you) say this to a woman who has been raped? to kids who are been abused? think about it, something horrible has been done to you, and peoples reaction is ‘ meh’ or ‘whatever’ just because you have the wrong gender, religion or color of the skin or whatever. How would you feel it? What would be your reaction?

    “Women generally, and especially online, would be a lot more amenable to proposals about supporting abused men if people avoided the all too common approach of saying that women should give up or transfer or “share” the meagre resources they’ve fought so long and so hard for.”

    Honestly, im a bit lost here, I have never ever ever seen anyone, MRA feminist or else claiming women should share or give up their funding. But I dont have eyes everywhere (can barely keep them open right now, so go figure) so im sure I did miss something. If you have a link I would be very grateful.

    ” What’s needed are different services, additional resources designed specifically for men and their children. I have no knowledge or expertise in this area so I’d first look to psychologists and counsellors who do. They’d be the best initial resource, alongside male abuse survivors, to set priorities for what activities and resources would give the best results for the most men with the most urgent needs and go from there. They’d also be the best for working out what positive things they could learn from women’s shelters and crisis/ rape/ abuse call centres and what would not work for men clients in apparently similar circumstances.”

    Your input are very well received and appreciated. Thank you. :-)

  84. Mr Supertypo says

    PS

    Sorry I forgot to say, im not a native english speaker, so please ignore the typos (hence my username supertypo ;-) )

  85. Paul says

    You can’t have it both ways, so which is it?

    Interesting read as always Ally.But can i assume that you agree that your above final quote should apply every bit as much to women as it does to men ?

  86. mildlymagnificent says

    So cant really grasp this cold front from the officials.

    Two things at play here. Firstly is that officials are as much a part of society as anyone else and just as likely to have common presumptions and biases. I also think it’s partly a result of academic conservatism. Let’s face it, it took long enough for sociologists and all the rest of them to get their heads and their publications around the idea that a lot of women were in danger of their lives from their partners, and shock, horror, surprise, it wasn’t just the stereotypical violent underclasses who abused women, it was also middle class people just like them.

    Secondly, the brute force of political and economic realities. And this is one area where I think men might be on the back foot when looking for reliable funding and resources. The one thing that IPV statistics tell us is that the times women are most at risk of murder by a violent partner are at or around the time of separation (as well as service of notices and around court dates). So even once people have eventually got their heads around the needs of abused men, when funds get tight, urgent and lethal will always get priority over important even though violent or dangerous in other ways. So women leaving violent partners will get emergency accommodation, if not other services, funded more, even if inadequately, than the similar provisions for men. I’m not sure there will ever be a way around this. When undeniable statistics line up with penny pinching treasuries, a lot of important stuff gets left on the cutting room floor. (Given that I’ve more or less resigned myself to our societies not coming to their senses in my lifetime and devising a more sensible – read that as generally socialist – approach to raising adequate taxes and applying them equitably to social needs.)

  87. Sans sanity says

    Consider the following:

    ‘The current state of assistance for men who are victims of abusive and violent relationships is insufficient and unacceptable.

    This situation is attributable to the sexist views and attitudes of various diverse parties, as well as a number of historic, demographic and physical realities.

    Useful change is most likely to come about through practical and pragmatic endeavours, while ideological stands and points are more likely to be obstructive diversions.’

    Now it seems to me that if you take two people who both accept the above, and who both know that the other accepts the above, then they would have very little to talk about other than practical measures to improve assistance for men in violent relationships, and would get to just skip all the tiresome accusations and defensiveness that characterise these conversations…. Doesn’t that sound nice?

    Ps. Regarding point 2, if you are thinking ‘that doesn’t include my group,’ then yes, it probably does. Regarding point 3, if you are thinking ‘that doesn’t include my ideology,’ then yes, it really really does.

  88. mildlymagnificent says

    Sans sanity.

    One reservation about your proposed statement for parties to agree on. I’ve come across far too many people who would read such a statement as presuming that the current state of assistance for women who are victims of abuse is sufficient and acceptable. Which is clearly untrue, so it’s an opening to pointless argument about amounts and allocations of resources before you’ve even got started.

    To be safe from such misreadings, it would be better to have a statement about people escaping abusive relationships.

  89. Ally Fogg says

    MikeBuchanan

    Ally, thank you. The evidence base for ‘Flat Earth theory’ surpasses that for ‘Patriarchy theory’ by some margin. Most MPs continue to be male, primarily because far more men than women wish to become MPs

    Understand WHY more men than women wish to become MPs, and then, and only then are you beginning to understand what patriarchy is and how it works.

    Let’s get real, shall we? I challenge you to point to even ONE piece of legislation passed in the past 50 years by the male-dominated parliament which advantages men over women.

    Again, that is simply not what patriarchy is or how it works. Over the past 50 years, virtually every law that has been passed relating to animal welfare or children’s rights has improved conditions for animals and children, but that doesn’t mean they’re in charge.

    Patriarchy is not about material advantage or quality of life. It is about power. The more patriarchal a society is, the less pressure it puts on women. In an entirely patriarchal society, women have no agency, no responsibility, no liability, so you would expect to see no women judicially punished, whether for paternity fraud or anything else. It would be entirely the man’s responsibility to ensure that paternity fraud didn’t happen. He would be expected to do that by policing the liberty and sexual behaviour of “his” woman.

    It is precisely because we live in a patriarchal society that women are much less likely to be punished and imprisoned for any type of crime, and indeed are much less likely to commit most types of crime.

    it is precisely because we live in a patriarchal society that the care of children in separating families is almost always awarded to the mother.

    And it is precisely because we have always lived in a patriarchal society, and have latterly attempted to address that, that over the past 50 years or so most gendered laws have (at least on the surface) appeared to favour women over men – because that’s the way the pendulum has been swinging.

    If you’re going to argue that feminist concepts of patriarchy are a myth, at least do everyone the favour of understanding what patriarchy actually is before dismissing it.

  90. Ally Fogg says

    Paul (91)

    Interesting read as always Ally.But can i assume that you agree that your above final quote should apply every bit as much to women as it does to men ?

    Yeah, absolutely.

  91. Sans-sanity says

    It’s a good point, and one which I considered. Me, personally, I consider dealing with abuse in gendered terms to be suboptimal; people in abusive relationships is absolutley what I am about.

    The aim of this statement is to facilitate the two “sides” to talk to one another about fixing the problems of the under assistance of abused men. If I go with “people” then the two sides will just argue about how the two situations are totally different! Overall folks are not comitted to “fixing” abuse, they are interested in fixing abuse of men or abuse of women, and the two meaningfully meet at fixing the abuse of people so infrequently that the most workable tactic is to just try and get them to stop deliberatly fouling each other.

    Furthermore, the issues that surround the deficient levels of assistance for abused men and women are quite different. Diverse parties, sexism, history, etc play parts in both cases – so the people statment would be correct – but it’s different sexist views, different historical events, and different physical realities. It would become too simplistic.

    So, I think that a partnering statement wherein “men” is replaced with “women” could quite nicely help with facilitating practical discussions on helping abused women too (which is also very needed). But going with just “people”… that’d be too much for a lot of old gender warriors to swallow.

    Possibly to address the concern you raise, the following caveat should be added.

    “*The above statements should not be read as having any implication on the relative statusof abused women/men. “

  92. Sans-sanity says

    @Ally, Would a wholey patriarchal society not therefore make abortion legal and easy, whilst completley restraining from all kinds of victim blaming (against women)?

  93. Gjenganger says

    It is precisely because we live in a patriarchal society that women […] are much less likely to commit most types of crime

    Uh? Could you explain that one, please?

    Patriarchy is not about material advantage or quality of life. It is about power. The more patriarchal a society is, the less pressure it puts on women. In an entirely patriarchal society, women have no agency, no responsibility, no liability, so you would expect to see no women judicially punished, whether for paternity fraud or anything else. It would be entirely the man’s responsibility to ensure that paternity fraud didn’t happen. He would be expected to do that by policing the liberty and sexual behaviour of “his” woman.

    You convincingly argue that women having some advantages does not prove that we do not have a patriarchy. Also in a patriarchal society women have a number of advantages: Control over children and childbearing, freedom from judicial responsibility, … Of course counterbalanced by the fact that they have no power and are completely controlled by ‘their’ menfolk. Overall, patriarchy is a better deal for men, and a worse deal for women, since men have the power and use it to their advantage.

    But do men actually have the power, nowadays? Do we have control over the economy, over our families? Can we ‘police the liberty and sexual behaviour of our women’, without ending up in jail? It does not look like that to me. The obvious conclusion is that we no longer live in a patriarchy. Men do not have the power, nor the advantages that go with it. Women, on the other hand, have kept many of the compensating advantages they had back when men ruled the roost. Maybe we should start aiming for equality in all parts of life? Unless we prefer to leave the women their advantages, and leave the men some of theirs.

  94. WhineyMalone says

    So ‘it is precisely because we live in a patriarchal society’ that we have lots of gender discriminatory policies?

    Well, of course, there would be a very good way to test this hypothesis: put some prominent, leading feminists – who actively define themselves in opposition to male power and patriarchy – in charge of gender policy in government, and see what happens.

    Except, of course, we’ve tried that experiment, and under the stewardship of Ms Harman and Hewitt, gender policy became even more overtly discriminatory than it was before (cf. the policy you yourself have described in the past, Ally, of having gender education on domestic violence which only mentions male perpetrators, etc.)

    Similarly, the gender discriminatory reforms of prison policy were in fact the vision of people like Angela Eagle, Corston and the F—— Society, who consciously stand in opposition to supposed male privilege (i.e . ‘a system designed by men for men.’ )

    I mean, surely there’s only a certain extent to which someone completely rewrite history, here.

  95. mildlymagnificent says

    If I go with “people” then the two sides will just argue about how the two situations are totally different!

    Two sides?

    People might not be the best word, but it would be useful to use a general term initially that allows people to think in terms of meeting needs. How to identify and quantify sub-groups among the general group of people who need to escape abusive situations and particularly those which might require shelter, secrecy and protection before determining needs and funding requirements. People with and without children accompanying them, people who are or aren’t in imminent danger to their lives, needing or not needing assistance in dealing with financial matters, medical care and counselling, organising childcare and/or school relocations, pursuing police prosecutions and other legal assistance. As well as how accommodation facilities handle people from abusive same sex partners or people escaping parental or other non-partner family violence. Then you consider how many of each sub-group would or could be assisted by non-accommodation services.

    Then you finally get around to working out how many of those people need separation from men or women in accommodation facilities so how funds and resources could/ should be allocated. Of course, this is more at the policy and government assistance level rather than individual facilities. But it would be helpful for people initiating or running particular organisations to see how they fit into the larger picture and how or why they would be more or less likely to get more/ any funding for the service they’re involved with.

  96. says

    Ally, thank you. My understanding of patriarchy theory from feminists is that it maintains men as a class oppress women as a class. Sometimes this is refined to say it’s just a small proportion of men who wield this power. Either way, if we live in a patriarchy in Britain today, why is it that men (and boys) are assaulted by the actions and inactions of the state, while women (and girls) never are? Women have always wielded immense informal power over men in the private sphere, and feminism simply extends this into the addition of formal power over men in the public sphere.

    In all walks of life men in positions of power relentlessly advantage women over men, regardless of the harm done to men and wider society (and children, most notably).

    Our public consultation document (link below) outlines 20 areas in which the state assaults the interests of men (and boys). If we were living in a patriarchy, why would the state do that? Our 2015 election manifesto will probably have 25-30 areas.

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-consultation-exercise-2/

    I invite you and the followers of this blog to provide detailed feedback on the document (ignore the request for a £20 donation to J4MB party funds). Not one feminist in the world (or any of their collaborators) has even risen to this challenge.

    I could scarcely believe your comment about then patriarchy ensuring women have custody of children following relationship breakdowns. Tell that to the millions of fathers around the world denied access to their children. It’s one of the leading causes of the high male suicide rate across the developed world.

  97. thetalkingstove says

    @Ally, Would a wholey patriarchal society not therefore make abortion legal and easy, whilst completley restraining from all kinds of victim blaming (against women)?

    RE: abortion – a wholey patriarchal society would presumably still contain people who are pro-life.
    But maybe abortion would become the sole choice of the father. Or maybe it would be illegal to abort a boy but not a girl.

    Why would this society introduce legal and easy abortion when this would benefit women over men?

  98. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Pushed for time but wanted to ask something.

    You noted that the UK coalition Govt wage a war on men as severe as when New Labour with H. Harman were in power.

    If she was so bad as to be a “featured bigot” on avfm, why has nothing changed since she and her party left office?

  99. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    ” could scarcely believe your comment about then patriarchy ensuring women have custody of children following relationship breakdowns. Tell that to the millions of fathers around the world denied access to their children. It’s one of the leading causes of the high male suicide rate across the developed world.”

    Citation please?

  100. says

    @ carnation

    Thanks for this. Why has nothing changed? Because Cameron is a feminist, as he admitted on Channel 4 News recently. I covered this at length in my book ‘David and Goliatha: David Cameron – heir to Harman?’

  101. Gjenganger says

    @MildlyMagnificient 101
    Execllent way to go about it. It avoids both the ‘it is our turn now’ jealousiy, and the trade union thinking ‘We conquered this for ourselves, conquer your own if you want any’.

    Maybe this approach could be generalised. How about debating in terms of where we want to end up and what we would be willing to do in order to get there? That might avoid some of the debates on who are the biggests morons, who are most anti-equality, who are the biggest victims right now, and who would have to pay.

    In the just society we want, what should be the gender division for the following:
    – Graduates in maths, engineering, law, medicine, humanities?
    – Boardoom places, MPs, Professors?
    – Entrepreneurs?
    – Kindergarten teachers?
    – Software engineers?
    – Truck drivers?
    – Prison population?
    – Rough sleepers?
    – Child custody on divorce?
    – Time spent with children and control over childres lives?
    – Hours of housework?
    – Resources for DV victims?
    – Main characters in films, video games, etc.?
    – Who would take the initiative sexually, and who would have the final yes or no?
    – People in competitive versus empathy-oriented jobs?

    And once we have done that little chore, what would we need to do if reality did not match our ideal?
    If resources for DV victims ar scarce, should they be divided equally by gender, by objective criteria, or are the needs of one gender more important?

    If board members, MPs, or prisoners does not adjust to a 50:50 gender distribution, should we use positive discrimination to get there? Should we aim for 50:50 or for reflecting the composition of the applicant pool? Or should we accept whatever result we get as long as the process seems meritocratic?

  102. says

    As regards websites – which isn’t really the point of your post but never mind – I’m totally with the conservative faction. For me it’s all about functionality and I can’t abide designers – or (perhaps more accurately) people who employ designers (aka people with stupid ideas who can’t leave well enough alone) – who abandon functionality for aesthetic reasons.

    Ooo, it looks so nice and new. Yes, great, but now it doesn’t work so well. The simple user-friendly format has gone and there’s a load of useless pictures everywhere which make it ten times harder to find the information you want.

    I usually end up not using the “new improved sites” at all because they’re so annoying. And it’s always my hope that other people will do similarly – en masse – so that whoever it was who decided that “improvements” were a good idea gets the sack.

    Grrrrrr!!!!!!

  103. carnation says

    Will return to the David Cameron comments later, suffice to say it will be news to everyone except mras that Cameron is waging a war on men on behalf of “feminism”.

    Vis suicide and custody denial. Sources for scale, scope and ideological rationale for the supposed millions of men denied contact with their children?

    Yours is a myth perpetrated by a stereotype friendly, sexist media, amplified and distorted by mras to the detriment of men, far more than anyone else. Of the reams of mra misinformation, this myth is most shameful.

  104. says

    Hi Ally (95)

    Quoth he

    it is precisely because we live in a patriarchal society that the care of children in separating families is almost always awarded to the mother.

    But that’s the point at which the word “patriarchy” turns into an ugly ouroboros. The conversation goes something like this, I think

    Lawyer : Sorry Mr Smith but you can’t see your kids any more. Maybe the odd weekend.
    Mr Smith : Why?
    Lawyer : Because we live in a patriarchal society.
    Mr Smith : What’s that mean when it’s at home?
    Lawyer :It’s Greek for “The rule of the fathers”

    Then the p-word acquires a particularly Orwellian horror, doesn’t it? In the same league as “collateral damage” perhaps.

  105. JT says

    @Norman

    Lawyer : Sorry Mr Smith but you can’t see your kids any more. Maybe the odd weekend.
    Mr Smith : Why?
    Lawyer : Because we live in a patriarchal society.
    Mr Smith : What’s that mean when it’s at home?
    Lawyer :It’s Greek for “The rule of the fathers”

    and to finish that thought………….

    Mr. Smith: Any way I can change this??
    Lawyer: How much money do you have?

    Been there, done that. :(

  106. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger

    It is precisely because we live in a patriarchal society that women […] are much less likely to commit most types of crime

    Uh? Could you explain that one, please?

    Loads of reasons – in practical terms the less individual freedom is given to people, the less scope they have to commit crimes. There are different pressures to protect and provide, men have more demands put upon them to prove their toughness & masculinity etc, all of which relate to patriarchy. Even stuff as basic as how we are socialised into gender roles and which behaviours are considered masculine and feminine.

    But for example’s sake – take it to an extreme. If you’re a Saudi Arabian woman who is not permitted to leave the house without a chaperone, you’re probably quite unlikely to go out getting into fights and robbing stuff.

    But do men actually have the power, nowadays? Do we have control over the economy, over our families? Can we ‘police the liberty and sexual behaviour of our women’, without ending up in jail? It does not look like that to me. The obvious conclusion is that we no longer live in a patriarchy. Men do not have the power, nor the advantages that go with it.

    I think it’s a mistake to imagine that patriarchy is an all or nothing situation.It is relative and mutable. The UK (or US) in 2013 is one of the least patriarchal societies on the planet or, historically, that the world has ever known. That doesn’t mean that, as far as gender equality and justice is concerned, it is mission accomplished. Personally I think what is left of patriarchy is as harmful to men as it is to women. That’s pretty much what this blog is getting at.

    Much of what is left of patriarchy is about culture rather than governance and politics. It is patriarchy that makes men feel compelled to fulfill the protector-provider-procreator role, even as economic and social policy deprive them of the opportunities to do so.

    It is culture that teaches girls to lower their voices in the presence of boys, to defer to male opinions, to be fearful and subservient to male aggression (and which teaches boys to perform the opposite role.) It is culture that teaches both women and men that it should be the woman’s job, role or privilege to devote years of her life to being the primary child carer. It is culture that enables a small but significant proportion of men to sexually harass, demean or threaten women in the street. And so on and so forth. When I asked Mike above to consider WHY fewer women than men want to be MPs (or you could add, want to be CEOs or whatever else) this is exactly what I was getting at, and these are largely the reasons why.

    Do men have power over women? Yes, but it is subtle, unspoken, mostly unnoticed in any one individual interaction. But a million tiny, subtle interactions go to create broader dynamics which have the effect of ensuring that ultimate power remains concentrated in the same hands as ever.

    The fact that when in a meeting, both men and women alike are taught to afford more credence and respect to a male voice than a female voice, even the fact that little 5-year-old boys demand and receive more attention than girls is a part of the giant jigsaw puzzle which, when completed, shows a political system where power is concentrated among a certain strata of rich white men. It does not require every boy, every man to have immediate power over every girl or woman, the differentials only need to be tiny in order to keep the system functioning.

    So when I talk about patriarchy, this is what I mean.

  107. says

    @ carnation

    You asked for a citation concerning my claim of a link between male suicide and denial of access to children, and I supplied you with a link to a major Samaritans report. So how is it a ‘myth’? Do you even care about men committing suicide? There’s also a strong link between homelessness and suicide, of course, and over 90% of homeless people are men. A few months ago I did a piece on this, and a female social worker commented on the piece:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/gillian-dale-jefferies-we-salute-you/

    The media is indeed sexist. In the past 30+ years there has been virtually nothing on the TV, radio, or in the mainstream press, about the nature and impact of gender feminism. As a result very few people see the links between gender feminism and the crisis facing so many men and boys today, or the links between gender feminism and the destruction of the nuclear family.

  108. says

    Ally, the reason men tend to dominate the upper reaches of major companies, politics etc. are perfectly well understood, and have nothing to do with men exercising power over women. The key reason is gender-typical attitudes to paid work. The eminent sociologist Dr Catherine Hakin showed in her ‘Preference Theory’ that while four out of seven British men are ‘work-centred’, only one in seven British women is:

    http://c4mb.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/dr-catherine-hakims-preference-theory/

    Men’s deference to women is such that men in politics, business, professional bodies, employers’ organisations etc. collaborate to drive up the proportion of women on major corporate boards, despite the evidence that corporate financial performance will decline as a result:

    http://c4mb.wordpress.com/improving-gender-diversity-on-boards-leads-to-a-decline-in-corporate-performance-the-evidence/

  109. Ally Fogg says

    WhineyMalone (100)

    Well, of course, there would be a very good way to test this hypothesis: put some prominent, leading feminists – who actively define themselves in opposition to male power and patriarchy – in charge of gender policy in government, and see what happens.

    No, that wouldn’t be a worthwhile experiment (and indeed, wasn’t!)

    The role of Minister for Women and Equalities is a paper tiger at most. It’s an almost meaningless brief devoid of any meaningful power and responsibility. Patriarchy doesn’t reside in gender policy. It resides in econonics, social policy and culture.

    if you really want to test the hypothesis, put genuine feminists in the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Education Secretary, Prime Minister and (probably much more importantly) the banks, finance companies, multinational corporation. Then give them about 40 or 50 years to turn around a few thousand years of bad habits, to be fair, THEN see what happens.

    I’m not really recommending it, I hasten to add, although it probably would be preferable to the bunch we’ve got at the moment.

  110. Ally Fogg says

    Mike

    The key reason is gender-typical attitudes to paid work.

    Where do those attitudes come from, Mike?

  111. Ally Fogg says

    Hi Norman (111)

    Lawyer : Sorry Mr Smith but you can’t see your kids any more. Maybe the odd weekend.
    Mr Smith : Why?
    Lawyer : Because it is your job to go out and earn money while a woman raises the kids
    Mr Smith: That doesn’t seem very fair does it? What if I don’t want to do it that way?
    Lawyer: What are you, some kind of bloody feminist?

  112. Ally Fogg says

    Mike

    Our public consultation document (link below) outlines 20 areas in which the state assaults the interests of men (and boys). If we were living in a patriarchy, why would the state do that? Our 2015 election manifesto will probably have 25-30 areas.

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-consultation-exercise-2/

    I invite you and the followers of this blog to provide detailed feedback on the document

    Well you’ve extended that invitation to me a few times now. The last time I think I replied “Well I will if you really want me to, but I don’t think you’ll like it..”

    But since you’re insistent, sometime over the next few days I’ll write up a full response for this blog and you’re welcome to make use of it in any way that suits you.

  113. JT says

    @Ally

    I think you that should read “Because it is your job to go out and earn money so the mother of your children can live in the same lifestyle afforded before you split up. All while maintaining primary rights to your children. Oh yeah, on your weekends off you can share in the parenting so she can have a break and go out.”

  114. mildlymagnificent says

    Gjenganger

    If resources for DV victims ar scarce, should they be divided equally by gender, by objective criteria, or are the needs of one gender more important?

    By priority of need. Which means identifying which potential clients are in most danger of death or serious injury and providing for them first. Until provision is adequate for all needs for emergency accommodation this kind of triage means that others will have to wait or find other avenues. Just as too many people do at the moment.

    Most of the other items on your list are simply matters of sensible education and appropriate employment/ training practices. As for what happens to children after divorce. I’m afraid providing education services to children of all kinds of families has exposed me to lots of wonderful, caring and thoughtful parents, grandparents and step-parents and too many people that I’d be reluctant to entrust with a pot plant, let alone a dependent child. Some of those were families with two parents present, others were widowed/ separated/ divorced/ remarried/ absent except when they wanted to make trouble. I don’t envy judges having to decide these matters. One of the worst current arrangements was one of those “equal time in both households” setups so loudly advocated by people who’ve not comprehended what a horrible mess people can make of their own and their children’s lives. (The very worst circumstances were those of horrifying extreme violence leading to divorce.)

  115. Ally Fogg says

    JT

    That’s a fantasy. All the research shows the exact opposite

    The income decline that follows divorce, particularly among women, is well documented. Divorcing or separating mothers are 2.83 times more likely to be in poverty than those who remain married. Following a divorce, the parent with custody of the children experiences a 52 percent drop in his or her family income.

    The children of divorced mothers are less likely to earn incomes in the top third of the income distribution, regardless of where in the income distribution their parents’ income fell.

    From here, but there are dozens of alternative papers if you look.
    Link

  116. JT says

    @Ally

    Well, one persons fantasy anothers nightmare. If you want a phone number of a few people I know personally who experienced that then email me. It may be slightly different now but I and some friends have had some interesting times in the family court system. Mine worked out but it took 10yrs and a very bright girl(now a young woman) to figure out what was best for her. The court system………not so much.

  117. says

    Then answer can be found in Prof Louann Brizendine’s ‘The Female Brain’, Prof Simon Baron-Cohen’s ‘The Essential Difference’, Prof Steven Pinker’s ‘The Blank Slate’, Prof Susan Pinker’s ‘The Sexual Paradox’ and a host of other books. Cordelia Fine’s ‘Delusions of Gender’ is very weak by comparison. The vast majority of people are gender-typical. Always have been, always will be. Which is why social engineering exercises which deny gender-typical differences lead to so much misery, inefficient institutions and the like. Societies run on such denial will in time collapse.

  118. Ally Fogg says

    JT

    There are reasons why I prefer peer-reviewed research over anecdotes. Forgive me if I can’t be arsed typing them all out.

  119. Sans-sanity says

    @thetalkingstove

    Well yes, that’s how it works out. But in the patriarchy Ally describes women are absolved of all responsibility. I was pointing out what I percieved as an inconsistancy.

    @ Mildly magnificent
    “Two sides?”
    Well yes, the pro-men and pro-women lobby currently behave in clearly oppositional ways. It’s balls, but it’s how it is (for now). If you disgree with characterising this as “sides”, I certainly don’t mind, but that is what I meant.
    As for all ther rest of it, your ideas are practical, inteligent and would lead to a great improvment in the provision of services to those who need them most. However, I honestly believe that they would be fought against tooth and nail at every step of implementation.
    As an honest question, do you really think that kind of fundamental restructure is doable?

  120. Ally Fogg says

    Mike,

    Ignoring for a moment that Brizendine’s book is perhaps the most laughably bad pseudoscience book I have ever read in my entire life, if you think that the Pinkers or even Baron-Cohen’s work can explain attitudes to work, perhaps you can explain how current working patterns relate to human behaviours throughout the first quarter of a million years of human evolution?

    Or perhaps rather more simply, you could tell me why career choices are a product of neurochemistry but suicidal behaviours are not?

  121. says

    @ Ally

    I don’t have great insights into evolutionary psychology so not in a position to answer the first question. As far as the second is concerned, Baron-Cohen’s model of gender-typical male brains (which a few women have) being adapted to systemising, and gender-typical female brains (which a few men have) being adapted to empathising, are very much reflected in gender-typical career choices. So while women have flooded into medicine (well-paid, public sector so low-risk, lots of social interaction, flexible working conditions financed by taxpayers, gratitude from patients etc.) they still rarely choose engineering as a profession despite 30+ years of successive governments’ attempts to drive them into it. Also involved in the campaign are the professional bodies, and I recently made a public challenge to Nick Baveystock, director-general of the Institution of Civil Engineering. It’s on the link below, as are my challenges to Kat Banyard, Caroline Criado-Perez, and many others:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-challenges-to-feminists/

  122. mildlymagnificent says

    As an honest question, do you really think that kind of fundamental restructure is doable?

    Sure it’s doable. But only if the public generally, and politicians specifically, openly accept that tax, benefits and subsidies systems are broken in the first place. Look at the withdrawals and cuts in obviously essential provisions for all kinds of problems that we see in all the countries we’re familiar with. It’s a bit of a dream to think everyone would acknowledge that they’ve been miserably uncharitable and uncaring towards people in desperate circumstances for as long as they’ve been swallowing the message that it’s a gross injustice for people with high, even moderately high, incomes to pay a bit more into the general revenue. (Which I suppose links indirectly back to Ally’s OP about conservatism, even though he wasn’t talking about this particular aspect of conservative attitudes.)

    Let’s face it – for the UK in particular. If housing were more generally available and affordable, would emergency accommodation be quite such a pressing need for so many kinds of people? DV shelters will never go away unfortunately, but far more (not all) clients could be moved on to other housing more quickly if only more places were generally available. That would allow them to serve a few more clients, which would be all to the good.

  123. Ally Fogg says

    Mike, I should think Nick Baveystock ignored your challenge because is underpinned by a ridiculous premise – that he wants to reduce the number of male civil engineers, rather than increasing the number of female.

    There’s actually a skills shortage in engineering so no reason to believe an increase in female engineers would require a reduction in the number of male engineers.

    The opposite is actually true. The demand for engineers is not a fixed number. An increase in the number of trained engineers could easily create growth in the engineering industries which would create additional jobs.

    He probably thought he had better things to do than explain this to you.

    Unlike me, obviously ;-)

  124. Lucy says

    “Most men’s human rights advocates love seeing strong, capable, and independent women as part of society. But they are disappointed to see the rise of idealized, infantilized, sheltered, and fearful women.”

    Translation: I can’t believe I’m getting away with this bullshit.

  125. JT says

    @Ally

    One thing about your peer reviewed researchers is that they didnt interview me or other individuals I know. So here we are, your peer papers and my life experience, an impasse surely. It seems that way for many things in regards to what males experience, privilege and all. :(

  126. says

    @ Ally

    Thank you. Should the government and professional bodies be increasing the number of men in female-typical fields? At the moment there is not one programme aimed at this, to the best of my knowledge. The state education system and the NHS are in crisis because of the increase in the proportion of women working in them. In medicine, female doctors are far more likely than male doctors to quit the profession altogether, work part-time rather than full-time, refuse to work unsocial hours, refuse to work in stressful environments e.g. A&E. 70% of medical students today are female, and it only cost the taxpayer £250,000 to train each one. Not a problem when 72% of income taxes are paid by men (that’s £64 BILLION more p.a. than women pay). Why, that damned patriarchy haha!

  127. says

    Norman Hadley@111:

    But that’s the point at which the word “patriarchy” turns into an ugly ouroboros. The conversation goes something like this, I think…

    You think wrong — in actual custody hearings where decisions are made, I’m pretty sure the conversations don’t go like that at all. Unserious and incoherent rubbish like that comment above are one reason why the “men’s movement” isn’t taken seriously.

  128. Adiabat says

    Ally (114):

    So when I talk about patriarchy, this is what I mean.

    So you basically mean a bunch of ‘just so’ stories, many of which are open to interpretation and would require actual research to discover the causes of (Or we could just ignore that pesky “research” thing and decide based on our personal political views /s).

    Even thinking you can “complete the jigsaw” is astoundingly arrogant.

    shows a political system where power is concentrated among a certain strata of rich white men.

    And the rich white women who marry them (or choose take the riskier option that the men take of working and plotting to get that power). Throughout English history only two of those qualifiers you give were held by every person who had power, and ‘men’ isn’t one of them.

    Also how did the question “Do men have power over women?” in your 3rd to last paragraph morph into “where power is concentrated among a certain strata of rich white men.” If you have to sneak the qualifiers “rich” and “white” in there for the answer to be yes, then the answer to “Do men have power over women?” is “No”.

  129. Lucy says

    @Mike

    “I don’t have great insights into evolutionary psychology so not in a position to answer the first question. As far as the second is concerned, Baron-Cohen’s model of gender-typical male brains (which a few women have) being adapted to systemising, and gender-typical female brains (which a few men have) being adapted to empathising, are very much reflected in gender-typical career choices. So while women have flooded into medicine (well-paid, public sector so low-risk, lots of social interaction, flexible working conditions financed by taxpayers, gratitude from patients etc.) they still rarely choose engineering as a profession despite 30+ years of successive governments’ attempts to drive them into it. ”

    I can give you some anecdotes that might help shed some light on this. I work in a technical field, come from an technical background and I have 3 close friends who are female chemical and mechanical engineers who work on international projects.

    Each one of my friends has told me the same kind of stories over the years of how they were isolated at university, isolated and patronised at work and regarded as something of a mascot. They have all experienced sexism of the kind where they are treated as more junior, given more menial tasks, colleagues from certain countries refusing to talk to them directly. As well as sexual harassment, which I’ve witnessed at social events myself. As well as the inevitable lower daily rates, they have all alluded to the fact that they have not been given field contracts in this country or abroad for a variety of reasons ranging from their being inadequate facilities for women, through to the clients in the gulf states specifically refusing to have women on their teams and UK companies complying with these demands. This had had a significant impact on their CVs and careers. One of my friends who has been more determined than most to get placements abroad has experienced serious threats, living as she does in remote stations, in all male environments in countries with serious security problems. On the last one where she woke to a man trying to break into her fifth floor accommodation through the outside window which he had scaled to from a next door balcony. Even when those threats are not present, the environments are often highly sexually charged with a lot of expat men away from their families for months at a time. It is not at all unusual for men to be running several families in different countries. As my friends have grown older and had children, they find the lifestyle untenable and they have opted for local, more administrative roles while their husbands continue to take the more lucrative, distant contracts.

    Medicine makes sense to women because it relates to what women know. It’s turbo nursing, and nursing is something girls grow up practising. Engineering on the other hand is completely outside most girls’ lives. Engineering toys aren’t made for them or bought for them, if they don’t have brothers they will never even see those. They aren’t asked to give a hand with the DIY like their brothers will be, their dad isn’t even building them a go-cart. Their summer job isn’t in construction. We know that more girls do science at girls’ schools than in mixed. I had the rather unusual experience of doing o’levels in a girls school and a’levels in a boys’ school, so I can attest, that girls took science and Maths completely in their stride, until they came up against the hostile environment of a room full of adolescent boys. I went from getting an A in physics and maths at 16, to dropping out at 17.

    Having spent the last few decades negotiating a technical career, I have now reached the point where I have lost all interest in it. Not because of the subject matter, not because of my capabilities, but because of the culture.

    Evolutionary psychology, evolutionary schmycholohy.

  130. says

    Lucy, many thanks, very interesting. My understanding is that from the earliest time they can show a preference, infant boys express an interest in objects, while infant girls express an interest in people, which would seem to echo Baron-Cohen’s key thesis. A point I was trying to make earlier was it’s always deemed ‘a problem to be solved’ – usually at taxpayers’ considerable expense – when there are few women in male-typical fields, but NEVER when there are few men in female-typical fields. Four out of seven unemployed people are men, unemployment is a bigger driver of suicide among men than among women, but perversely the government does all it can to drive up female employment and nothing to drive up male employment.

    Patriarchy Schmatriarchy haha.

  131. Gjenganger says

    @Midlymagnificient 122

    identifying which potential clients are in most danger of death or serious injury and providing for them first.

    Sounds exactly right. I suppose that would require making enough places open to both sexes to be sure of catering for either, but that is a minor matter.

    For the work-related points I hope someone else is up for a detailed discussion.

  132. Lucy says

    “if you think that the Pinkers or even Baron-Cohen’s work can explain attitudes to work, perhaps you can explain how current working patterns relate to human behaviours throughout the first quarter of a million years of human evolution?”

    Autistic science can only get us so far; holistic science will inject some humanity back into its applications.

    Science, like technology, politics and every other field of human endeavour benefits from not having 50% of the species, as the silent partner. That approach is how we ended up facing several impending global catastrophes.

  133. Lucy says

    “My understanding is that from the earliest time they can show a preference, infant boys express an interest in objects, while infant girls express an interest in people, which would seem to echo Baron-Cohen’s key thesis.”

    I would take this with a large pinch of salt. I was at a children’s party recently for a little boy and one of the gifts was a construction set. One of the little girls there tried repeatedly to fight her way past the scrum of boys in the middle of the room to play with it, only to be warned off three times by her father because it was for the boys and not a girls’ toy. She eventually gave up and went to play with another girl at the end of the room. This is just an overt example of the messages most girls are getting from birth.

  134. says

    @ Lucy

    With reference to your earlier post about risk and danger in foreign climes, of course I sympathise. But risk and danger come in many forms. Of the 128 people who dies in workplace-related accidents in the UK last year, 126 were men. Now some may have been in industries which called for a lot of physical strength, but the others weren’t.

    As always, women are selective. Many women regard firefighting and policing as glamorous, and they’re well-paid too, so they wanted to get into those lines. Physical tests were reduced so they could pass them (ditto with the police). If your children or parents were in a house which was on fire, who would you want to attend – women who can carry x kilos, or men who can carry 1.3x?

    Fire trucks had to be modified for women. Nuclear submarines are being modified (I believe at £5m apiece) to accommodate women. What’s the betting there’ll be the world’s first underwater Immaculate Conception in due course?

  135. Ally Fogg says

    Adiabat

    So you basically mean a bunch of ‘just so’ stories,

    No, I wouldn’t say just-so stories, which suggests a post-facto rationalisation and which is, by definition, untestable. I’d call them sociological theories which have testable predictive power. ie we can say “if we were to do XYZ, what would be the outcome?”

    “many of which are open to interpretation and would require actual research to discover the causes of”

    All of which are open to interpretation. You are perfectly free to challenge the evidence, or offer alternative interpretations of the evidence and we can discuss which is the most credible.

    We are in the realms of political theory here, which by its nature is so immensely complex and open to interpretation it is subject to pretty much unlimited debate.

    (Or we could just ignore that pesky “research” thing and decide based on our personal political views /s).

    You’re perfectly free to ask for evidence for anything I have asserted, or offer a different explanation for what I have asserted (as Mike did, for example)

    What neither of us is entitled to do is simply ignore evidence because it is inconvenient to our theories.

    I think what you are actually doing in this post is saying “I don’t agree with your interpretation of the evidence, but I cannot offer an alternative one, so I prefer to just dismiss yours without explanation” and while that is entirely your right, it’s not exactly fruitful.

  136. says

    Well, if we’re trading anecdotes… Louise Brizendine has a story in her book about a mother who was keen to protect her young daughter from gender conditioning – difficult, I concede – and when she was very young bought her a bright red fire truck. She entered her bedroom one day to find she’s wrapped the truck up in a blanket, was rocking it gently, and saying, ‘Don’t worry little truckie, everything will be all right!’

    I’m not saying ALL men and women are gender-typical, just that most are. And if we try to run society in denial of this reality, life will be fine for the small % of people with opposite-gender brains, but uncomfortable for the majority. And that’s precisely what we’re seeing across the developed world.

    I’m inclined to agree with Steve Moxon’s point that culture arises out of biology, as he outlines in ‘The Woman Racket’ (2008). Terrible title but the book’s well worth reading.

  137. Adiabat says

    Gjenganger (140):

    identifying which potential clients are in most danger of death or serious injury and providing for them first.

    Sounds exactly right. I suppose that would require making enough places open to both sexes to be sure of catering for either, but that is a minor matter.

    And of course most of the research on female victims of DV, such as the numbers of victims, their risk and needs etc, wasn’t possible until after shelters for them were set up and researchers had access to the victims.

  138. Jupp says

    114. Ally:

    It is culture that teaches girls to lower their voices in the presence of boys, to defer to male opinions, to be fearful and subservient to male aggression (and which teaches boys to perform the opposite role.)

    It seems to me that feminism reinforces this view of women:
    -“yes means yes” means men shouldn’t expect women to tell when they don’t want to do something sexually, hence treating women as unable to say “no”.
    -If a man behaves rudely towards a “feminist girl”, she doesn’t confront him directly, but uses social media to get support for her criticism (and shame him), as if her opinion couldn’t stand on her own.
    -the idea of “rape culture” (and the popular “Schrodinger’s rapist”) implies women should fear men.
    -many feminists like to enforce certain behaviour through the power of the state, which is just the biggest most violent bully in western societies.
    On the other hand, when you loo at anti-feminist women, you find plenty who are the opposite of this stereotype.
    A significant problem with feminism, seems to be putting the onus on men to end the oppression of women; but men cannot give women agency and emancipation, all they can do is not stop women from taking those things. Ultimately a woman’s agency is her responsibility.

  139. Gjenganger says

    @Adiabat 146.
    Fair enough, but at least we agree with Mildly amgnificient on the principle. That is a start. Then we can sgtart fighting on the implementation.

  140. Ally Fogg says

    My understanding is that from the earliest time they can show a preference, infant boys express an interest in objects, while infant girls express an interest in people, which would seem to echo Baron-Cohen’s key thesis

    And from what I recall of Cordelia Fine (will need to check), the effect completely disappears when the people making the judgement don’t know if the baby is male or female.

  141. Ally Fogg says

    -”yes means yes” means men shouldn’t expect women to tell when they don’t want to do something sexually, hence treating women as unable to say “no”.

    What? I mean what the actual living fuck?

    Sorry, I didn’t read beyond that one. Have to go feed some kids now.

  142. says

    So you basically mean a bunch of ‘just so’ stories, many of which are open to interpretation and would require actual research to discover the causes of…

    A lot of that research has already been done and cited here…and it pretty consistently fails to support any of what you’ve said.

  143. Jupp says

    re 150 Ally Fogg,
    as I am not sure whether my statement was outrageous, absurd or unclear, I will clarify whith an example.
    Jaclyn Friedman wrote an article about consent to sex. There she addresses the claim that enthusiastic consent infantilises women:

    … The argument for “infantilizing” is about the word “no” and whether we can expect everyone – or at least all adults — to always say it when they mean it. And you know what? In a perfect world, maybe we could. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world of context that can make it nigh on impossible for people to say no when they mean no. …

    I claim that if you can’t be expected to care for your own well being during sex, then you can’t be expected to care for your partner’s well being and you are not mature enough to have sex.

  144. Ginkgo says

    Ally @ 114 – “It is culture that teaches girls to lower their voices in the presence of boys, to defer to male opinions, to be fearful and subservient to male aggression (and which teaches boys to perform the opposite role.) It is culture that teaches both women and men that it should be the woman’s job, role or privilege to devote years of her life to being the primary child carer. It is culture that enables a small but significant proportion of men to sexually harass, demean or threaten women in the street. And so on and so forth. When I asked Mike above to consider WHY fewer women than men want to be MPs (or you could add, want to be CEOs or whatever else) this is exactly what I was getting at, and these are largely the reasons why.

    “It is culture that teaches girls to lower their voices in the presence of boys, ”

    These are BRITSH women oyu are talking about? The ones roaming the streets at night vomiting all over everything?

    “and these are largely the reasons why. ”

    There’s another, simpler reason for it, and it’s the same reason most garbage collectors are men. Politics is nasty, back-stabbing and very public. It’s dirty work, just like killing, and it’s the sort of dirty work women have traditionally left to men. men have traditionally left other (easier) dirty work to women.

  145. says

    Ginkgo, good points, well made. The following is nearer the truth:

    “It is culture that teaches boys to lower their voices in the presence of girls.”

    The C4 series ‘Educating Yorkshire’ has been an eye-opener, confirming the worst of what I’d heard about the state system. A mild-mannered boy and a very assertive girl had a scrap, the origins of which were disputed. She was described by the teachers (including the headmaster) as ‘a character’, ‘feisty’ etc. No punishment though she admitted stamping on his head. She clearly revelled in her power in the whole situation, boasted to friends about what she’d done to him, while he was sent to anger management classes, 1:1 sessions with a female teacher. He was clearly traumatised by the whole thing, and crushed by a culture of female supremacy he didn’t have the slightest hope of understanding. The lesson he learned? You exist to do what females tell you to do. Your value in this life will be defined by that, until the day you die.

    The majority of secondary school teacher are women, and in the series both female and male teachers clearly focussed on supporting the girls while they ignore the boys. And people wonder why three young women go into tertiary education for every young man who does…

  146. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    I asked for sources supporting your assertion that millions of men are denied contact with their children. Former Fathers 4 Justice research director Nick Langford, on this very blog, confirmed that no evidence existed to support such a claim. No evidence exists that definitively shows that men lose access to their children in the numbers you have used or for the reasons you have stated. It just doesn’t exist.

    Re suicide, of course I care, as all decent people would. It is precisely because I care that I object to the perpetration of a myth that could well lead to men staying in unhappy marriages, or indeed not contesting custody cases.

    Here’s what a former MRA had to say about it:

    http://menticulture.net/2013/09/19/fathers-and-custody-breaking-the-negative-narrative/

    You write ” In the past 30+ years there has been virtually nothing on the TV, radio, or in the mainstream press, about the nature and impact of gender feminism. As a result very few people see the links between gender feminism and the crisis facing so many men and boys today, or the links between gender feminism and the destruction of the nuclear family.”

    I studied various feminisms for a year, never once did I hear of “gender feminism”, it’s a curiously MRA/anti-feminist term. Very few people see the links between “gender feminism” and the “crisis facing so many men and boys” because there are no links.

    Seriously Mike, to paraphrase Ally Fogg, feminism didn’t dismantle industries that provided jobs for men, didn’t start wars where men were killed, doesn’t introduce government programmes that penalises unemployed men (and women), hasn’t encouraged heavy drinking, hasn’t promoted drug taking, doesn’t increase homelessness etc.

    Feminism isn’t the all powerful enemy, it doesn’t even want to be. This is what one gender commenter called “hysterical hyperbole” and it posits men as hapless victims, which doesn’t do anybody any good.

    As for the destruction of the nuclear family, again, any evidence that any feminism, let alone “gender feminism” caused the decline do this institution?

    Lastly, this debate has been a pleasure, respectful tones, coherent (mostly) messages. Hats off one and all.

  147. says

    @ carnation

    My reference to millions of men being denied access to their children was to the worldwide position. From my comment #102, which was addressed to Ally:

    “I could scarcely believe your comment about the patriarchy ensuring women have custody of children following relationship breakdowns. Tell that to the millions of fathers around the world denied access to their children. It’s one of the leading causes of the high male suicide rate across the developed world.”

    I haven’t the slightest doubt that the assertion would be true of men in North America alone. All the fathers’ rights groups in the UK – and in other developed countries, from what I read – would confirm that the state gives mothers the time and opportunity to alienate their children towards their fathers, and denies those men reasonable access to their children. To suggest otherwise is as ridiculous as denying the existence of gravity.

    I’m sorry that you studies ‘feminisms’ for a year but never heard of ‘gender feminism’. Is it too late to ask for a refund? The term is used by Christina Hoff Sommers in ‘Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women’ (1994). She used the term to describe a female supremacy movement, as opposed to the equity feminism with which she personally identified. People interested in gender politics (including feminists and MHRAs) are perfectly clear about the distinction between equity feminism and gender feminism, in my experience. In my four years of writing about feminism not one person has queried the term. To most commentators it’s broadly synonymous with ‘militant’ or ‘radical’ feminism.

    Your apparent lack of understanding of the assault of feminism on the nuclear family – by Harriet Harman and others – is truly breathtaking. I can only assume you’re joking, for reasons which escape me. 40+ years ago Germaine Greer was writing of the need to destroy the family so as to enable the Marxist state to come into being. The state actively encourages single motherhood but does nothing to support the nuclear family – why would it do that? This is as true under the Conservative-led coalition as under the previous Labour administrations (1997-2010) and indeed previous administrations.

  148. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Couple of further points. You mentioned the tragic case of Earl Silverman, a man worthy of appreciation for what he tried to do. I don’t believe that there’s any evidence that anything that can be described as feminism denied his centre funding, however. Is there any?

    Last point. If a woman said that men need to collectively grow up and that a typical man needed to be reassured constantly of his manliness in a needy way, is she a sexist or a misandrist?

  149. carnation says

    At Mike 157

    So, you admit, by omission, that you have no evidence to support your claim that millions of men lose contact with their children? If its so obvious, then numerous, credible references will be available, yes?

    Of course I’ve heard of “gender feminism”, I pointed out that in the grander scale of academic feminist theory, it is of virtually nil importance. And I’m well aware of various feminist theorists (and many MRAs) urging people not to marry.

    But anyway, you’re obfuscating. What I asked for was evidence, evidence that “gender feminism” *caused* the destruction of the nuclear family. Where are the sources to confirm this?

    And, whilst you’re at it. Can you also demonstrate the “gender feminist” actions that caused a crisis for men and boys?

    Not links to MRA blogs, actual, credible evidence that nuclear families declined because of gender feminists/feminism, and that very many men and boys are in crisis as a direct result of the same thing.

    I’ll reiterate, no shade of feminism has the power (and only a tiny minority the desire) to adversely affect anyone in society on anything other than a micro scale.

    Mike, I like your tone and your respectfulness in discussion, but you’re onto a loser with this line of arguing, I’m afraid.

  150. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan 159

    Mike, that’s a blogger’s personal opinion. It offers exactly zero evidence to support anything that you are saying. Your words vis a vis fathers losing contact are revealing “as obvious as gravity” – no, not true. It’s a myth. I’m being charitable and not even asking for evidence of feminist involvement, I’m just asking for evidence that its a major problem.

  151. says

    @ carnation

    Thank you. Earl Silverman was perfectly clear that it was because of the influence of feminists that his centre never received a cent of state funding. Feminists have long appropriated all, or almost all, state funding of support for DV victims, in the UK, US, Canada and other developed countries. Do you think it’s simply an accident that while women are at least as aggressive as men towards their intimate partners – let me know if you want the evidence for that – in the UK there are 2,000+ places in refuges for female victims and 15 for male victims? You really need to familiarise yourself with the Erin Pizzey story with respect to her Chiswick refuge for women, more than 40 years ago.

    Baffled by your second question. What is motivating it? Presumably a tired point about men being misogynistic and sexist? Yawn.

  152. carnation says

    I’m familiar with Erin Pizzey’a story.

    Karen Woodall’s blog is irrelevant.

    You couldn’t provide any evidence to support your claims. In the absence of evidence, you should desist from making such bold statements.

    One female MRA you mentioned earlier stated that “women needed to collectively grow up” and that she refuses to react “like a typical woman” to criticisms. These are crass, sexist generalisations.

    It’s been a pleasure. Good night.

  153. says

    @ carnation

    In #156 you stated:

    “I studied various feminisms for a year, never once did I hear of ‘gender feminism’, it’s a curiously MRA/anti-feminist term.”

    In #160, less than an hour later, you stated:

    “Of course I’ve heard of gender feminism.”

    That’s clear, then.

  154. says

    @ carnation

    One final thing before I take Harriet Harman, our Doberman – Petronella chose the name, not me – for her late night walk round the local park in Bath. Two lady psychologists gave outstanding presentations at yesterday’s National Conference on male victims of DV. Earlier in the day they appeared on ‘Woman’s Hour’. An interesting piece apart from the outrageously misleading statement by the presenter at the start:

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKhX1c3ow6BrzdzP3ydpeZQ/videos

  155. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    The important wording is “studied” and then the use of past tense: “never once did I hear of gender feminism”.

    In other words, it wasn’t deemed important enough for academic study, but has gained popularity with anti-feminists. Interestingly, so has the awful diatribe SCUM Manifesto.

    We can argue linguistic semantics, Mike, but it doesn’t distract me from the total absence of supporting evidence for your claims.

  156. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Bath is a fine city, I have happy memories of being there.

    Enjoy the late night walk with HH. I won’t watch the video, as it doesn’t seem likely to contain the evidence I asked for.

    But I’ll bid you goodnight and genuinely wish you all the best.

  157. says

    @ carnation

    Thank you. I must remember to feed Laura Bates, the goldfish, when I get back. She keeps opening her mouth but nothing worth listening to ever emerges.

    It’s been a pleasure, and I wish you the best too. Most feminists make me lose the will to live, but you haven’t.

  158. Paul says

    @155 Mike Buchanan

    The C4 series ‘Educating Yorkshire’ has been an eye-opener, confirming the worst of what I’d heard about the state system. A mild-mannered boy and a very assertive girl had a scrap, the origins of which were disputed. She was described by the teachers (including the headmaster) as ‘a character’, ‘feisty’ etc. No punishment though she admitted stamping on his head. She clearly revelled in her power in the whole situation, boasted to friends about what she’d done to him, while he was sent to anger management classes, 1:1 sessions with a female teacher. He was clearly traumatised by the whole thing, and crushed by a culture of female supremacy he didn’t have the slightest hope of understanding. The lesson he learned? You exist to do what females tell you to do. Your value in this life will be defined by that, until the day you die.

    That’s a pretty appalling and blatantly sexist double-standard but sadly doesn’t surprise me -although from what you wrote male teachers were just as guilty of supporting it. But certainly i’ve heard of numerous cases where boys have been excluded from school whereas girls guilty of similarly bad behaviour have either been disciplined within the school environment or haven’t been disciplined at all.And these sexist double standards need to be challenged..

    A few months ago i remember reading about a case where a young woman who was engaged had a one night stand but told her fiance she’d been raped.And one evening whilst in a pub she pointed out the ”rapist ;; to her fiance who then proceeded to violently attack him. As a result of the beating he took the guy’s now permanetly disabled whereas the finace has rightly been sent to prison for GBH. However the young woman who instigated the assault with her lies got off with an £80 penalty fine.

    There is some evidence that the UK judiciary treats females more leniently than males even when they’ve committed the same or similar crimes.And it may be the case that girls are treated more leniently than boys in the school environment even when their behaviour has been equally bad.Plus females may also be getting away with instigating violence between males or if punished are not being given a severe enough punishment. Certainly we need more research to be done in order to ascertain to what extent women and girls are slipping under the radar -if at all- with their behaviour .attitudes and expectations compared to men and boys. And if there is clear evidence that they are then it’s right that they should be called to account in the same way males are.

  159. says

    @ Paul

    Many thanks. Broadly speaking, women are treated like children by the justice system and have been for 100+ years – they’re not deemed responsible for their actions. It starts from an early age, and is true throughout their lives. For the same crimes men are far more likely to be incarcerated, and serve longer sentences. An example of women being above the law:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/why-are-women-above-the-law/

    Women make false rape allegations, ruin men’s lives, and pay no price. One of countless examples:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/18-year-old-woman-makes-a-false-rape-allegation-wastes-a-lot-of-police-time-and-her-punishment-is/

    A teenager killed after a false rape allegation:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/teenager-falsely-accused-of-rape-beaten-to-death-by-gang/

    A false rape allegation leads to a UK visa:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/cry-rape-for-a-uk-visa/

  160. JT says

    Feminism isn’t the all powerful enemy, it doesn’t even want to be.(Carnation)

    You are exactly right! It also isnt the panacea that most men want or need.

  161. says

    Morning Raging Bee (136)

    I don’t know how you get on with the principle of charity but it’s been my experience that if someone’s vocabulary extends to words like ‘ouroborus’, it’s probably unnecessary to explain to them that child custody hearings are more complex than five lines of dialogue.

    It’s similarly unnecessary to go from the didactic certainty of “You think wrong” to “I’m pretty sure” in one breath, commit tautologies like “Unserious…is why…isn’t taken seriously” or to assume (falsely) that I’m part of the MRM tosserocracy.

    Ally makes some good points about the thing-called-patriarchy but I am trying to explore, in the context of a series on male anger, why the p-word encompasses contradictions, some of which are actively offensive. For example, the death and suffering of soldiers is a direct outcome of the p-word but try rewriting my five lines of dialogue where Mr Smith is lying in a trench with his intestines scattered in the mud. Would you tell him that the fathers are ruling?

    Now it’s my hope that you’re intelligent enough to engage with that question thoughtfully and snarklessly.

  162. says

    Manchester rape crisis center for men denied funding due to funding being earmarked for women and children under 13:
    http://mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/230912569-break-silence-manchester-male-sexual-abuse-centre-slams-decision-exclude-men-rape-

    The Rape Crisis network in Scotland asked a rape crisis center to leave the network after the center started to support men. This article is from 2008, does anyone know the current stance of the Rape Crisis network on allowing organizations helping men to become members?
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/rape-support-group-ignoring-male-victims-1.826942

    Here is a femiinist stating that feminists are against funding of male services of DV:
    http://changefromwithin.org/2013/02/26/rethinking-lisak-miller-checking-the-math/#comment-2175

    The reason that feminist are opposed to MRAs opening men’s shelters is because there is next to no funding as it is, and when women are experiencing the brunt of the violence, feminist are doing their best to stem the tide of victims who need support.

  163. mildlymagnificent says

    Tamen From your second link.

    None of its current female users has objected to men using their Dumfries counselling suites.

    And? Are you suggesting that this means that every rape crisis/ counselling service should then be unworried about including men clients? Me, I’d be concerned before doing this.

    It also fails to mention that this man is also a victim of rape by men. How comfortable would he be do you think if he’d been raped by a woman? Some men might be OK, but I’d expect that many men in that position wouldn’t be wonderfully thrilled by the prospect of being surrounded by women.

    There’s another thing that would interest me from a policy/ funding/ service provision point of view. I’d want information from other services in the area whether any of their clients had avoided that man-accepting centre and deliberately sought out a women only service. If offering services to men meant that women would have to be more careful, maybe travel further, to avoid men when they’re at their most vulnerable then there’d have to be some guidelines or rulings about how many/ which services in which areas needed to provide single sex services.

    In brief. Needs more thought.

  164. carnation says

    @ JT. 172

    Feminism might not be the panacea that men want or need, but a process of rejecting the societal assumptions and roles foisted upon men, for many, would be just that. Feminism might not be the vehicle for that, but the MRM definitely isn’t, and feminism at th very least started the discussion.

    By the way, those societal assumptions and roles? They’re a direct product of patriarchy.

    @ Norman Hadley

    A sensitively worded and worthy comment and question. I refer to my previous comment to JT, about the assumptions and roles foisted on men, by society at large. I think that these have changed, militant patriotism has declined, but was at least in part sustained by an acceptance of “manning up” to do what your country demanded of you. On a different note, I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of this arriving:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/books/hitlers-furies-by-wendy-lower-examines-german-women.html?_r=0

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Re your comment about feminists making you lose the will to live, I appreciate the sentiment, but I don’t identify as a feminist. I have in the past but don’t any longer. Not because I don’t want to be part of a (fictional and imaginary) war on men, but because I believe that, basically, feminism largely achieved what it set out too and that too much emphasis was placed on lobbying for things I deemed unimportant or counterproductive. The MRM infantilises men, posits them as victims of a feminist monolith and regards them as passive and helpless victims.

    Men have myriad problems, feminism is most definitely and demonstrably not one of them.

  165. Ally Fogg says

    Mike Buchanan (151)

    Thanks Ally, that’s intriguing. Do you have a link to a paper on that?

    There are several, but the most important is Leeb and Rejskind (2004)

    To correct the various problems with the Baron-Cohen, Connellan et al study you describe, here is what they did:

    “We instructed all participants that the infant must be dressed in a gender-neutral outfit and that the interacters in the study room must remain unaware of the baby’s sex throughout the interaction, as well as after the interaction was complete… We decided that the study should take place in a room other than the mother’s room in order to decrease the likelihood that something in the room would provide clues to the interacters as to the sex of the infant…. to keep the interacters blind to the sex of the infant all identifying information on the infant’s bassinet was covered or removed upon arrival to the study room.”

    Result? They found no sex differences in boys and girls’ gazes towards either faces or mobiles, suggesting that the (actually rather small) differences that had been found in the Connellan study could be accounted for entirely by tester bias and expectations.

    Interestingly, the Leeb et al study was longitudinal, so they kept going back and testing again. They found that differences in gaze did begin to emerge at about four months, suggesting that sex/gender differences are not innate, but begin to be taught / learned in early infancy – which would be in keeping with a huge body of research which shows that adults interact with and play with baby boys and girls differently and encourage different interests from day one onwards.

  166. Ally Fogg says

    Tamen,

    Just for your interest, I’m in touch with both Survivors Manchester and my own MP about that story, it’s my hometown obviously. Trying to find out more. Will keep you posted.

    As far as I can work out, the explanation for it is that the money has come from the £28m earmarked funds to tackle Violence against Women And Girls announced here in 2010

    It’s a pretty good example of how policies based on gendered slogans rather than need can have pretty cruel consequences down the line.

  167. says

    Hi carnation (177)

    Thanks. I think the problem with these instances of patriarchy harming men, culminating in Ally’s intriguing term ‘patriarchal misandry’, is that the p-word quickly becomes self-contradictory at best and grotesquely victim-blaming at worst. Unfortunately, it’s the least-worst, most widely understood critique so far for the messy genderscape we find ourselves in. I’m no fan of the watery term ‘kyriarchy’ because ‘rule of the rulers’ is transparently meaningless.

    My own formulation for our predicament is ‘excessive sexual dichotomy.’ (This lacks the punch of a single word, I’ll grant you). We have to figure out how a few, possibly non-existent, minor differences are amplified like feedback at a Neil Young gig into the raucous howl we hear around us. The key lies probably in infant care, as in Ally’s comment #178 and Cordelia Fine’s “Delusions of Gender.”

  168. carnation says

    @ Norman Hadley 180

    I don’t know, ESD has nice ring to it :-)

    @ Ally Fogg

    I think you would be the person to know this, has any kind of study ever been taken to draw up recommendations for a multi-client, needs-based sexual trauma service/services? By mulri client I mean female and male victims being offered support based on their curcumstances, fir example the young man in the Herald article being granted a request to be attended to by female staff. Or, more likely, are any credible afencies or groups calling for it?

    Also at Ally Fogg

    I agree with your summary comments in the OP, but think that there is another scenario that they apply to. If, as MRAs claim, men are disadvantaged in higher education and employment, shouldn’t they support positive discrimination and lobby for its application? If MRAs could box clever with this, they would achieve results. But O doubt they will.

  169. says

    @ Ally

    At the National Conference for male victims of DV a woman from the CPS (who had an OBE) claimed that ‘Violence for Women and Girls’ was equally interested in violence against men. Incredible. When informed of the British Crime survey results that two out of every five victims of DV are men, yet the people charged with DV are overwhelmingly men, she said, ‘Ooh, that’s interesting, I didn’t know that, I must look into it.’

  170. says

    Ally,

    They found that differences in gaze did begin to emerge at about four months, suggesting that sex/gender differences are not innate, but begin to be taught / learned in early infancy

    Unfortunately I do not have access to the paper, but I do not see how this suggestion would work. Similarly one could say: They found that differences in height begin to emerge at puberty, suggesting that sex/gender differences are not innate, but begin to be caused by different cultural demands.

  171. says

    @ carnation

    How precisely should MRAs lobby for positive discrimination for men? The whole establishment favours women at every turn. An example. Four out of seven unemployed people are men, two-thirds of public sector workers are women, yet the Equality Act (2010) through its ‘positive action’ provisions allows public sector employers to favour women over men when recruiting.

    I personally gave oral and written evidence to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries with respect to the government’s policy direction of forcing major companies to recruit more women onto their boards, because there’s clear evidence that in doing the companies’ financial performance will decline:

    http://c4mb.wordpress.com/improving-gender-diversity-on-boards-leads-to-a-decline-in-corporate-performance-the-evidence/

    Our evidence was taken, recorded, and made no impact whatsoever. Even the Conservative MPs and peers on the committees supported the relentless advancement of women, regardless of the consequences. It’s why I launched our political party http://j4mb.org.uk with the aim of getting men’s rights onto the public ‘radar’. The day we get a mention in the ‘Guardian’ will be the day I open a bottle of champagne!

  172. Ally Fogg says

    carrnation

    has any kind of study ever been taken to draw up recommendations for a multi-client, needs-based sexual trauma service/services? By mulri client I mean female and male victims being offered support based on their curcumstances, fir example the young man in the Herald article being granted a request to be attended to by female staff. Or, more likely, are any credible afencies or groups calling for it?

    Short answer, I’ve never seen such a thing mentioned with respect to sexual abuse. My guess is it probably hasn’t even been suggested, far less tried. Most sexual victim support work is provider-driven, ie groups like Rape Crisis are established by activists then raise funds or apply for funding to do what they want to do so they tend to be driven by ideological models rather than cold appraisal of evidence.

    In the US there have been similar kinds of projects attempted for domestic violence, which is perhaps slightly less gender sensitive. The sad truth is that most of them have been actively obstructed by those pushing a gender-ideology / Duluth model approach, and they’ve always struggled to get even academic research funding, far less government funding to develop. See Linda G. Mills books for lots of examples.

    I agree with your summary comments in the OP, but think that there is another scenario that they apply to. If, as MRAs claim, men are disadvantaged in higher education and employment, shouldn’t they support positive discrimination and lobby for its application? If MRAs could box clever with this, they would achieve results. But O doubt they will.

    You’d have to ask them that!

  173. carnation says

    @ Ally

    Thanks. Looks like a job for a social justice movement ained at assisting men, then.

    And it looks like an MRA/MHRA did answer.

    @ Mike

    You would have to prove that the whole establishment favours women at every turn before maki.ng that claim

  174. JT says

    Men have myriad problems, feminism is most definitely and demonstrably not one of them.(Carnation)

    Certain variants of feminism are definitely less socially beneficial for men than others. As far as the MRM goes, for the most part you are correct in regards to its effectiveness. The thing is though, there are many men out here who get labeled MRA’s who actually are not but they are doing many wonderful beneficial things for men in general. In reality(as in real life, not online sheit) its a real hodgepodge on both sides. Very few people actually talk about these issues face to face. And most definitely would not be so in your face as some commenters are to each other online. I am soon to head back to school for psychology and gender studies for personal and professional reasons. In the mean time I just discuss stuff like this with my teenage children, wife and a few select clients. :)

  175. says

    Hi mildlymagnificent (72)

    In a generally excellent post, you mention something that often comes up and always bothers me. In relation to IPV, you talk about how “feminists worked their fingers to the bone for years on end providing these services” and how disappointing it is that “Instead of men getting together and helping each other as women had to do in the beginning, most public arguments we see on the topic are that it’s not fair.”

    As far as I know (which is hardly at all – I have neither 1st- nor 2nd-hand experience of IPV) that’s factually accurate. But I’m not sure how equitable (all right, fair) the comparison is.

    For starters, times have changed and the kind of volunteerism that worked well in the seventies and eighties might not cut the mustard now. I’m thinking of the modern need for public liability insurance, risk assessments et al.

    Similarly, it requires caution before we question the commitment of today’s men to any volunteer cause because they are arguably more likely to be already committed to a full-time job.

    I’m not trying to make a big point here, just urging caution with the we-did-it-so-why-can’t-you argument.

  176. carnation says

    @ JT

    Virtually all variants of feminism have no effect on men what-so-ever. This is obvious to anyone not weighed down with varying degrees of prejudice or ideological baggage. MRAs fail at the first hurdle because their stated aim is fighting an enemy that basically doesn’t exist, using bizarre and illogical methods.

    A good example is my exchange with Mr Buchanan, he recites standard MRA theory but cannot provide the evidence to show feminist involvement. Sure, there are feminist theorists who say silly things but thankfully they are as powerless as MRAs.

  177. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m not trying to make a big point here, just urging caution with the we-did-it-so-why-can’t-you argument.

    I suppose I’m thinking of the first, very early beginnings when insurance was probably the last thing on anyone’s mind. The first Australian shelter was actually a squat. Apart from that, the big thing was keeping the location secret and not letting the cops know (in many areas) where you were.

    Waaay back then, police were just as likely to “help” men find their families or some other such nonsense as to treat the women and kids as being in danger and in need of secrecy and protection. (Even now, during the last few years some of the women who’ve been killed by partners in Australia had found the police more hindrance than help when they approached them.)

    I’m thinking of the modern need for public liability insurance, risk assessments et al.

    Similarly, it requires caution before we question the commitment of today’s men to any volunteer cause because they are arguably more likely to be already committed to a full-time job.

    So people unable to physically help because of earning money from a fulltime job should be able to contribute financially.

  178. says

    @ carnation

    “A good example is my exchange with Mr Buchanan, he recites standard MRA theory but cannot provide the evidence to show feminist involvement.”

    Firstly, I honestly have no idea what you mean by ‘standard MRA theory’. It doesn’t exist.

    Secondly, you said you were familiar with Erin Pizzey’s account of how militant feminists took over DV refuges in the early 1970s. They run the sector to this day, funding an army of professional feminists. They monopolise the sector and there is, as a result, virtually no provision of places for male victims of DV. I’ve said this at some length in our exchanges. Why do you say I ‘cannot provide the evidence’? If you have any doubts about all this I recommend Erin Pizzey’s ‘This Way to the Revolution’. As she’s predicted, not one national newspaper or major publication in the world mentioned the publication of the book, let alone reviewed it.

    We’ve made many public challenges to feminists (and their collaborators) inviting them to withdraw misleading statements they’ve made in public. The latest is Janet Street-Porter. Not one has ever responded:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-challenges-to-feminists/

    I invite you to subscribe to my key blog http://j4mb.org.uk or http://avoiceformen.com for a few weeks, then you’ll understand that there’s a HUGE amount of ‘evidence to show feminist involvement’. I’m really not going to spend my days typing out again material that’s already on my blogs, although I have in the case of this comment stream because I find Ally’s perspectives interesting. I even agree with him from time to time, and am happy to say so publicly. I posted a link to his excellent recent article on MGM on my blog.

  179. says

    @ carnation

    You disputed my assertion that millions of men worldwide are denied access to their children, and asked for evidence. The following has just been posted by AVfM. Footage from a recent MHR rally in Toronto starts at 4:47. At 5:28 Paul Elam notes that a million American men face ex-parte restraining orders every year. Men are driven out of their homes with no evidence of wrongdoing, and denied access to their children:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/activism/university-of-toronto-queens-park-documentary/

    This has apparently been going on for many years, so there must now be many millions of men denied access to their children in the US alone. I know from Ray Barry of the Equal Parenting Alliance, and from people in FnF, that the situation is similar n the UK. Even when a man gets a contact order – which may take years and a legal battle running into tens of thousands of pounds – judges are very reluctant to enforce the orders if and when women chooses to frustrate them. The judges are mainly men but their attitude is that the happiness of the mother trumps the natural right of a man to see his children. Needless to say the children suffer too, and a substantial proportion of children never get to see their fathers. I am told this is rarely the wish of the fathers, despite the feminist ‘feckless fathers’ narrative.

  180. says

    Hi MM (192)

    Fair points, especially about helping financially. I guess the point for me is that even if someone on the internet comes across as a bit whiney and passive, we can’t be sure they aren’t also making a contribution in real life.

  181. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan 194

    Very few people, outside of MRAs/MHRAs (I don’t know the difference) will accept the word of Mr Elam. There is no evidence there whatsoever, just the words of a man who has dedicated his life, it seems, to further his views.

    If I posted a video of Amanda Marcotte saying the opposite, would that be considered evidence?

    Mr Buchanan, that is a lame, lame effort to refute my challenge. There is no shame I. Admitting you’re basing your view on experience and opinion, that’s fine, but acknowledge the lack of credible evidence.

  182. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan 193

    Standard MRA theory: feminists have infiltrated the government and are waging a war on men, children are routinely stopped from seeing their children on the word of a vindictive woman abetted by feminists who have also infiltrated social services.

    Just a couple of examples.

    Re nuclear family, you do realise that avfm are completely anti-marriage, don’t you?

    Erin Pizzey was a coup for avfm, no doubt about it. But a single woman’s story does not, and cannot, account as evidence for your theory.

    Credible evidence is peer reviewed studies, recommendations, interrogated data and so on. The MRM doesn’t so this and doesn’t even call for it (that I have seen). As acknowledged by F4J’s former research director, in ten years they never managed to produce a single set of statistics that justified their claims of bias.

  183. says

    @ carnation

    Thank you.

    “Standard MRA theory: feminists have infiltrated the government and are waging a war on men, children are routinely stopped from seeing their children on the word of a vindictive woman abetted by feminists who have also infiltrated social services.”

    Nothing to argue with there!

    “Re nuclear family, you do realise that avfm are completely anti-marriage, don’t you?”

    Speaking as someone who’s read every post on AVfM for the past couple of years, I can assure you that their objection (and that of MHRAs in general) is that men are assaulted so badly by the judicial system with respect to divorce settlements, access to children etc. that marriage is a very risky business. This is why we’ve seen the rise of the MGTOW (men going their own way) movement. If men were not so assaulted, then the objections of AVfM and MHRAs in general would vanish, I assure you. I was making the same point in my cheery critique of marriage, ‘The Fraud of the Rings’ (although little in the book relates to this particular issue).

    “Erin Pizzey was a coup for avfm, no doubt about it. But a single woman’s story does not, and cannot, account as evidence for your theory.”

    So do you deny the accuracy of her account? Even militant feminists don’t, in my experience. They simply ignore her as does the BBC, national newspapers etc. Neil Lyndon suffered the same fate, and of course both faced death threats from feminists.

    “Credible evidence is peer reviewed studies, recommendations, interrogated data and so on. The MRM doesn’t do this and doesn’t even call for it (that I have seen). As acknowledged by F4J’s former research director, in ten years they never managed to produce a single set of statistics that justified their claims of bias.”

    Peer reviewed studies – where on earth do you think the funding for this would come from? We’re only just seeing the start of academic courses in ‘Men’s Studies’. As far as academic research is concerned, there’s an army of publicly-funded feminist academics running Gender Studies courses etc. The grant-giving bodies won’t give grants to projects which could support anti-feminist narratives, and the overwhelming majority of social scientists and social psychologists are politically to the left, often very strongly so.

    I’ve referred a number of times to the five longitudinal studies showing that when more women are appointed to corporate boards, financial performance declines. Not one longitudinal study has ever shown an improvement. The usual trick of feminists is to misrepresent correlations as causations although every study I’m aware of makes it clear causation can’t be concluded from correlation, it can’t even be inferred. None of the five studies has ever been challenged. I presented the findings to House of Lords and House of Commons inquiries. The impact? Zero.

    At yesterday’s National Conference on male victims of DV two (female) psychologists – the ones who appeared on Woman’s Hour yesterday morning – gave terrific presentations. There are now 300+ studies showing that women are at least as aggressive with respect to their intimate partners. The impact on public policy, funding directions etc.? Zero.

    Please forgive me for laughing at the idea that any number of peer reviewed studies will ever have the slightest impact. Swayne O’Pie has an excellent chapter on ‘The Fraud of Feminist Research’ in ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’.

  184. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Nicely written response, but largely irrelevant, to make claims based on no evidence is to invite ridicule.

    There is no evidence that feminists infiltrated the government to,wage a war on men. I feel ridiculous even typing the words.

    There is no evidence of bias in family courts in the UK:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/sep/28/comment.fathers.justice

    “The rise of th MGTOW movement”? I must have missed that. Like the MRM, it amounts to a collection of bloggers writing comments to each other. You say it’s a movement that’s rising, I say it’s a bizarre version of an online role playing game with the occasional true believer. Neither of us have any proof to back up our opinions.

    Ally Fogg made a very interesting point earlier, that service provision is often provider driven. Put simply, the government won’t create nonprofits to support people. You have energy and determination, why not start up a couple of organisations to help male victims of DV and sexual abuse in Bath? I can honestly say if such organisations were set up near me, I would voluntarily help them with funding applications (providing MRA theory wasn’t part of the service). But for most MRAs/MHRAs the A is sorely missing.

    This is becoming the Mike Buchanan vs Carnation show, so I think we should conclude this, but I’d like to ask one thing.

    What is th difference between an MRA and an MHRA? Is it an insult to call an MRA an MHRA?

  185. says

    @ carnation

    Plenty of people have noticed the MHTOW phenomenon, but I take your point about it not being a movement. Just many disaffected men deciding intimate relationships with women in general, and marriage in particular, have become so toxic they avoid them. Not long ago a book by an authoress (I can’t recall her name) covered this and more – ‘Men on Strike’.

    The ‘H’ in MHRA stands for ‘human’, the point being to indicate men’s rights activists aren’t against women’s rights, merely FOR men’s rights. Many men – and particularly disadvantaged men – say they feel society treats them as barely human. I don’t know anyone would lose sleep about being called either a MRA or MHRA.

    I agree with your point about MHRAs not doing enough in a practical sense, but I believe that will change in time as the number of men (and women) who ‘join up the dots’ increases. At the Conference I met some wonderful women who work with men who’ve suffered DV, are homeless etc.

    I’ve enjoyed our exchange, albeit baffled that whenever you’ve asked me for evidence I’ve provide it, and then you ignore it. My going to the trouble to provide it seems like an exercise in futility, but there we go.

    Must take Harriet Harman for a walk now, she gets very grumpy this time of the day. Although she’s generally grumpy, to be fair, like her namesake. If there were a canine equivalent of Laura Bates’s Everyday Whining Project, I’d enrol her.

    Best wishes.

  186. Danny Gibbs says

    canation:
    I agree with your summary comments in the OP, but think that there is another scenario that they apply to. If, as MRAs claim, men are disadvantaged in higher education and employment, shouldn’t they support positive discrimination and lobby for its application? If MRAs could box clever with this, they would achieve results. But O doubt they will.
    Positive discrimination? I’d call it help. (I don’t know what country you’re in but for clarity Im in the USA so that’s what Im mainly talking about.)

    I think the first priority is to look at the issue of higher education and employment before it gets to that point. The thing is its not like boys have been doing fine in education throughout all of history and then suddenly 3 years ago they just said, “F this I’m playing Call of Duty.”

    No boys have been lagging behind in education for quite a while now and the lag didn’t start in college it starts in elementary school.

    There have been a lot of great efforts in helping girls in education but for some reason there seems to be resistence to the idea of helping boys in education.

    A few weeks ago I saw a youtube clip of someone on a news show talking about how boys are lagging behind in education and the four people she was talking to did everything they could to basically shut her commentary down by saying that since most CEOs are men that means boys are doing okay.

    That line of logic doesn’t make sense. You can’t say that the state of today’s men (or yesterday’s men) means that tomorrow’s men will be okay.

    So yes there are MRAs that actually do want to help boys.

  187. Biot says

    Mike:
    I decided to investigate those five papers you mentioned, and I have found a few caveats about them and about your analysis:

    1) A Fast Company article looked at “Changing of the Boards” and interviewed Dittmar about the paper she co-wrote. The writer of the article itself stated that “What [the researchers] did not find, despite the headlines, is evidence that women hurt board performance, or that adding female directors per se hurts Norwegian firms,” a point backed up by Dittmar’s statements about the article (http://www.fastcompany.com/1563518/does-market-really-disapprove-women-norwegian-boards). I also suggest you take a look at the following article that is concerned about the third academic paper that you cite: http://femalebreadwinners.com/women-on-boards-short-term-declines-for-longer-term-employee-gains/

    2) You use the abstracts of the papers themselves to support your point, possibly without looking into the content of the paper. This is inadvisable considering the previous point I made since abstracts provide a gist of the paper without any important details that could be missed.

    3) Two of the papers are focused on corporate boards in Norway and another one is written by researchers from Norway. This shouldn’t be used to summarize how corporate or financial boards work around the world, or about the effect of women on executive boards.

    4) SSRN is a nice place to find scholarly papers, but the website also takes in preprint articles, i.e. article drafts that have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal (or sometimes have not been reviewed yet). The Wikipedia article for preprints also states that some websites (like SSRN) exist for authors to receive feedback more rapidly than if they were to stick to waiting on a journal’s reviewers to get back to them.

    In summary, I suggest that you pay closer attention to the articles that you cite and perhaps withhold judgment on them or keep your biases in check while reading the abstracts and the bodies of the articles.

    I also have noticed your unsubtle jab at Laura Bates. Be warned: you’re treading a very fine line between being insulting and being sexist.

  188. says

    Biot, thank you. I can assure you I’ve read every word of the five papers, and I’ll look at the links you’ve provided. Thanks for going to the trouble. Apart from the Norway studies, the other two reports relate respectively to companies in the US, and banks in Germany.

    For many years it was confidently asserted that one consequence of more women on boards would be improved financial performance, and some people still make that assertion. Do you not think it significant that not one longitudinal study supports that proposition? Why then do governments, major corporations, professional bodies and employers’ organisations all race in this insane ‘direction of travel’, which can only damage the business sector? I’ve provided the answers in an article which I expect AVfM to publish shortly.

    If I was worried about being called sexist or misogynistic I’d have to halt my campaigns tomorrow. You can’t be a MHRA and allow feminists (or their collaborators, particularly men) shame you into silence. To do otherwise would be to censor myself out of deference to women, and it’s deference to women that’s largely responsible for the crisis in men’s and boys lives. I’ve challenged feminists to point to examples of sexism and/or misogyny in my work, and none has ever managed to do so. My ‘jabs’ at Laura Bates and her kind are chickenfeed compared with what is thrown at me, believe me.

    Laura Bates and others – Kat Banyard and Caroline Criado-Perez come to mind as neither has been prepared to withdraw misleading statements they made on TV and radio – do nothing other than encourage women to whine and not take responsibility for themselves. I shall mock both Bates and her Everyday Whining Project as and when I feel like it. I had the displeasure of an exchange with her on the Jeremy Vine Show in March. The audio file is here (scroll down to the photo of me holding a large sheet of paper):

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKhX1c3ow6BrzdzP3ydpeZQ/videos

  189. says

    Biot, I’ve checked out the first of your links. Very interested in this:

    Question 4. Are you happy with the title of the article reporting on your research? It seemed a bit provocative, and did not necessarily represent your findings accurately. For example, it could have said: “Norwegian stock market indifferent to gender of board members but does reward experience” or something like that. What would you have named that article, given the chance?

    Professor Dittmar: The title of our paper is The Changing of the Boards: The Value Effect of a Massive Exogenous Shock. You are correct that our paper does show that experience is rewarded or that lack of experience is discounted. Thus, the role of gender is relevant only if the experience of the pool of women is different from that of men. Our paper shows that the experience of the women added to the board after the law differed from the men on the board and from the women on the board before the law was changed. It is this experience difference of the women chosen that is key driver.

    (following is my commentary)

    This is an important issue. We at ‘Campaign for Merit in Business’ http://c4mb.wordpress.com don’t say that the decline in financial performance encountered by companies after they recruit more women onto their boards is a ‘gender effect’. Indeed, we don’t believe it is. In our view it’s primarily an ‘inexperience effect’. But since there are far more highly experienced men that women, quotas as used in Norway (or threat of quotas as we have in the UK) will inevitably drive poorly experienced women (compared with the most experienced men available) onto boards. And that’s what causes the damage we see. If there were plenty of highly qualified women, companies would appoint them. But there aren’t, despite the fantasies of many proponents of more women on boards. Ultimately it should be up to companies themselves to choose who their directors are.

    Milton Friedman wrote the following in his book ‘Capitalism and Freedom’ (1962)

    “Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.”

  190. says

    Biot, our public challenges of Kat Banyard and Caroline Criado-Perez and other feminists (and their collaborators) are accessible through the link below (Janet Street-Porter is the latest):

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-challenges-to-feminists/

    Feminists have been lying in the media about many areas for 40+ years, and are NEVER challenged by interviewers, no matter how outrageous their claims. Swayne O’Pie covers the issue well in ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’. The lies are particularly bad with respect to rape and DV, because they’re the feminists’ key political weapons. Decade after decade has passed in which various ‘1 in 3 women…’ or ‘1 in 4 women’ claims have been made incessantly, and people now regard these lies as facts. I’ve never heard of any feminist being prepared to retract even the most demonstrably misleading statements made on TV, radio, or in the press. The feminist narratives must never be compromised by evidence bases because if they were, the public would ‘join up the dots’ and finally see a very ugly picture. They would see that (gender) feminism has nothing to do with equality, but everything to do with female supremacy.

  191. carnation says

    Hi Mike,

    “Feminists have been lying in the media about many areas for 40+ years”

    So it would be easy for you to being up a few examples in a particular year then, I assume? How about 1969. What were feminists lying about in that year?

    Again with the “gender feminists.” Is David Cameron a GF? Where do th GFs meet to decide how best to infiltrate governments? Who funds this snifter group? Where did you find th evidence to back up your claims?

  192. Razon says

    People here keep asking about which feminists are anti-egalitarian. Well then, lets get out of the English speaking countries and check how Spain is dealing with DV.

    The following link is to the English translation of the law passed in 2004 by the Socialist Workers Spanish Party (they really have been socialists just in name for decades now anyway) government which had a fifty-fifty gender parity:

    http://www.redfeminista.org/nueva/uploads/Organic%20ACT%201-2004.pdf

    This law was meant to regulate the issue of domestic violence in Spain, yet, just a few paragraphs in and it already shows how little is based on facts and how much on ideology. By feminists standards, it doesn’t get any more heteronormative than this. By MRA standars, it’s hard to conceive anything more gynocentric. The law is unidirectional and treats ALL domestic violence as violence against women, or macho violence as the media and most Spanish feminists call it. It basically states that this is not violence between two people in an intimate relationship but the concrete struggle of one gender to oppress the other.

    And all of this without getting into the issue of how it got made into a constitutional law while being absolutely inconstitutional and breaking a couple of international treaties due to its denial of presumption of innocence for the accused party.

    This was a law that got passed to please the feminists. The feminists got their saying in making this law. They designed it. And they celebrated having such an anti-egalitarian law!

    More than one judge has been suspended for 10 years or so for speaking against this legal aberration.

    The fact is, that one can make the claim that either willfully or unknowingly, most feminists (excluding a rather small part) in Spain support toxic feminism since they don’t speak against this law. They certainly don’t organize demonstrations against it. Some, agree with the law, the rest simply don’t know better and a lot of them probably don’t want to know better because they prefer to have they’re ego stroked.

    Italy recently adopted a similar law to deal with rapes.

    Sweden has banned antifeminist speech and the EU has it’s own censorship law on the making which if passed, will come into use in a couple of years. So basically, feminism will no longer be a point of view someone can promote as much as it’s going to be a dogma.

    Check your facts guys.

    TOXIC FEMINISM IS AN INTERNATIONAL PROBLEM.

  193. says

    @ carnation

    I refer you to Swayne O’Pie’s book ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’ and my own three books:

    – ‘David and Goliatha: David Cameron – heir to Harman?’
    – ‘The Glass Ceiling Delusion’
    – ‘Feminism: the ugly truth’

    I’m not prepared to spend hours basically typing out what I and other have been writing about for years.

    50+ recommended books here:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/recommended-books/

    One book, ‘The Fraud of Feminism’, was published 100 years ago. It’s downloadable at no cost here:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/the-fraud-of-feminism-1913/

  194. says

    Razon, thank you. Toxic feminism is indeed an international problem, and an ever-growing one. A number of Spanish bloggers go to the trouble of translating some of our blog pieces into Spanish, I’m very pleased to say. The same happens in a number of Scandinavian countries.

    In the National Conference on Male Victims of Domestic Violence two days ago, one of the two (female) psychologists who gave very strong presentations made the point that the prime feminist narrative on female perpetrators of DV is that these women are acting in self-defence, yet research shows that few (< 4%) female perpetrators of DV against men self-report self-defence as the motivation behind physically attacking their partners. It's just one of countless examples of feminist narratives denying reality.

    Thank you for raising the issue of EU plans to ban anti-feminist speech. The following should be of interest to anyone concerned about this astonishing assault on free speech:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/eu-to-ban-anti-feminist-speech/

    I would sooner spend the rest of my life in prison than agree not to campaign against feminism.

  195. mildlymagnificent says

    Decade after decade has passed in which various ’1 in 3 women…’ or ’1 in 4 women’ claims have been made incessantly, and people now regard these lies as facts.

    I presume those ‘1 in 3′ and ‘1 in 4′ figures relate to DV or sexual assault. Do you accept that 1 in 6 men were sexually assaulted as children? Or are those numbers lies as well.

  196. Paul says

    @171 Mike Buchanan

    I agree that women are in effect infantilized by the judiciary and elsewhere.Although some may argue that this infantilization is actually largely down to male chivalry ie a feeling by some men that women are in fact weaker lesser beings in need of special protection..

    A recently published book by Wendy Lower entitled ” German Women In The Nazi Killing Fields”

  197. Paul says

    @171 Mike Buchanan

    I agree that women are in effect infantilized by the judiciary and elsewhere.Although some may argue that this infantilization is actually largely down to male chivalry ie a feeling by some men that women are in fact weaker lesser beings in need of special protection..

    A recently published book by Wendy Lower entitled ” German Women In The Nazi Killing Fields” deals with the full extent in which German women were complicit in the Holocaust. And addresses the fact that the ”chivalry” of the post war male dominated judicial processess meant that many of those German women who were complicit were never called to account. And likewise the following link addresses the fact the ”chivalry” of the male dominated judicial processes in Rwanda meant that the full extent to which Rwandan Hutu women were complicit in the genocide against the Tutsis in1994 has never been fully acknowledged.

    I make no secret of the fact that i believe that here in the UK the chivalry of men often means that not only are women infantilized they’re also as a result never fully called to account when their behaviour ,attitudes and expectations are complicit in behaviour that is unacceptable. And those feminists who refuse to see women as being anything other than ”victins” of patriachy are simply adding their voice to that.

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/irrc-877-hogg.pdf

  198. carnation says

    @ Paul

    “those feminists who refuse to see women as being anything other than ”victins” of patriachy”

    Which feminists refuse to see women as anything other than victims of patriarchy? What does this have to do with the judiciary “infantilising” women?

    It seems to me that you make a point about patriarchal assumptions, then throw in a bit of incoherent anti-feminist cliche for ideological reasons.

    MRAs infantilise men by inventing a phantom, an othered enemy dedicated to their destruction, against which they are impotent. MRAs further posit themselves not only as the only ones who can “see” this enemy, but as the only ones brave enough to “fight” it. As well as being ludicrous, this is such self serving juvenilia.

    The truth, as ever, is extremely complicated. The one thing that is clear to anyone with a genuine interest in sex and gender is that capitalism, in all of its complexity, will be gender, as well as colourblind, when market forces start to change.

    Feminists fought a well coordinated fight for equal legal rights, they were assisted in the obvious righteousness of their cause. Social liberation followed, men no longer expected to be the “breadwinner”, women increasingly accepted in once male dominated careers and ale to see themselves as more than a wife and mother.

    This happened and it won’t be reversed.

    Mike Buchanan noted that feminists have lied for more than 40 years. So ice another question, for him, and for you.

    When exactly did feminism stop being about equal rights and start being about female supremacy? And it’s traditional to back up claims with evidence.

    Paul, you talk about women “being held to account”, I’m asking you to account for your views.

  199. says

    Thanks Paul. I couldn’t agree more with the general thrust of your arguments. There are 80,000 men in prison in the UK, and 4,000 women, and the government plans to close down women’s prisons.

    We’ve publicised many cases where women have got off Scot-free after committing wrongdoings, demonstrably false rape allegations (which ruin men’s lives, given the lack of anonymity for people charged with sexual assault) being a prime example. Then we have outrageous abuses of the system such as this, where the woman received NO punishment. A man in the same position would have received a stiff sentence, I have no doubt:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/why-are-women-above-the-law/

  200. says

    @ carnation

    “Feminists fought a well coordinated fight for equal legal rights, they were assisted in the obvious righteousness of their cause.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong. A small number of women kicked up a fuss, and men handed over power to women on a plate. ‘The Woman Racket’ explains how those geniuses, the Suffragettes, managed to DELAY full female emancipation.

    “When exactly did feminism stop being about equal rights and start being about female supremacy? And it’s traditional to back up claims with evidence.”

    In the UK, depending on the field, 30 – 40 years ago. Again I refer you to Christina Hoff Sommer’s ‘Who Stole Feminism? How Women Betrayed Other Women’ and Neil Lyndon’s ‘No More Sex War’.

    For someone so fond of denigrating MRAs in general and anti-feminists in particular, you seem astonishingly unfamiliar with the huge literature which supports our positions. I don’t intend to respond to any more of your comments, you’ve already wasted too much of my time.

  201. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    And you seem painfully unaware of the massive amount of literature that completely and convincingly condemns your points of view. You point, Repeatedly, to blogs or pamphlets produced by anti feminists with no academic credentials, and two controversial and oft critiqued books. And, quite incredibly, you cite a speech given by Paul Elam as evidence of a claim of “millions” of men being unjustifiably being denied access to their children.

    I must say, sir, you are not in the least bit convincing or credible.

  202. says

    Ally, or anyone who has access to the paper alluded to by him:

    Could you answer my last comment? I am really not sure how this provides evidence against biological gender differences. I guess it does so in an Baysian sense: Very early adoption of these roles would be evidence against cultural influence and therefore by the theorem of total probability it should be evidence for cultural influence if it is absent. But in any everyday usage this would not be evidence. am I missing something?

  203. Lucy says

    @Mike

    “With reference to your earlier post about risk and danger in foreign climes, of course I sympathise. But risk and danger come in many forms. Of the 128 people who dies in workplace-related accidents in the UK last year, 126 were men. Now some may have been in industries which called for a lot of physical strength, but the others weren’t.

    As always, women are selective. Many women regard firefighting and policing as glamorous, and they’re well-paid too, so they wanted to get into those lines. Physical tests were reduced so they could pass them (ditto with the police). If your children or parents were in a house which was on fire, who would you want to attend – women who can carry x kilos, or men who can carry 1.3x?

    Fire trucks had to be modified for women. Nuclear submarines are being modified (I believe at £5m apiece) to accommodate women. What’s the betting there’ll be the world’s first underwater Immaculate Conception in due course?”

    Re. Risks and dangers from work place accidents, we have well developed health and safety procedures as well as legal recourse for people facing those kinds of risks. This is much less the case where it comes to the risk of sexual or other kinds of violence for women working in risky locations. The things that would mitigate against it tend to be regarded as cultural or political rather than practical.

    The fire trucks were remodified for women, having previously been modified for men. The strength tests have been reset at a new arbitrary point for women, having previously been set as an arbitrary point for men.

    Re. The anecdote of the girl cradling her firetruck, fine, but the fact remains that more girls of science in girls’ schools than in boys, and 4 times as many women go into engineering in Sweden than in the UK. I would suggest that discrepancy can’t be explained by inherent differences.

  204. says

    @ Lucy

    Thanks for those points, and I especially take your point about women working in ‘risky locations’, but the overwhelming majority of people whoa re killed or injured in risky locations are men, whether in military conflicts or otherwise.

    One problem is that the ‘arbitrary point for women’ is always inferior to the ‘arbitrary point for men’. Is it not reasonable to demand that there’s a minimum degree of, say, physical strength required in some lines, e.g. firefighting? To ‘lower the bar’ may enable the number of female firefighters to rise, but it’s surely at a risk to the public (and themselves, and their colleagues, come to that). Otherwise, why were the tests set at the former, higher level?

    I have no idea why four times as many girls go into engineering in Sweden compared with the UK. My guess is that as a Nordic country, and therefore feminist-driven and anti-male, there will be HUGE programmes encouraging girls into the field. Who pays for all these programmes? Mainly men. In the UK 72% of income tax is paid by men, just 28% by women. That’s £64 BILLION more every year. And what does the state do with a lot of this money? Advantage women over men in many fields (our consultation document has 20 areas, the final 2015 election manifesto will probably have over 25).

    Nice debating with you.

  205. says

    @ Lucy

    As you may be aware, a shedload of money has been spent trying to encourage women into STEM subjects and careers. In the case of Engineering this hasn’t been successful, even today fewer than 10% of engineering graduates are women (I believe the proportion is higher in some other STEM subjects). 90%+ of psychology graduates are women, government spending to increase the proportion of men going into psychology in the past 30 years. £0.00. There is always this double standard, and plenty of publicly-funded civil servants making sure it continues.

    I digress. I recently publicly challenged Nick Baveystock, director general of the Institution of Civil Engineering, over his directorship of a group called WISE (link below, just scroll down a bit). Predictably, he didn’t respond.

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-challenges-to-feminists/

    He’s just one of countless examples of men, in positions of influence, advancing women over men. The truth is we live in a matriarchy, and have done so for decades in the UK.

  206. Ally Fogg says

    Sheaf

    Sorry, there’s been a lot to keep up with here!

    Unfortunately I do not have access to the paper, but I do not see how this suggestion would work. Similarly one could say: They found that differences in height begin to emerge at puberty, suggesting that sex/gender differences are not innate, but begin to be caused by different cultural demands.

    Well you don’t really give a good analogy, because baby boys are (on average) bigger and heavier than baby girls, but I see where you are going with this.

    It’s true, of course, that there could be another explanation for the phenomenon. In pretty much all science there could be alternative explanations for any given phenomenon. So what we have to do is look for what we know to be true and use that to construct the most credible theory, which can then be used to inform new hypotheses which can be tested etc etc etc.

    In this case, the best evidence is that there is no difference in infant gaze patterns among boys and girls shortly after birth, but that there is such a difference by four months.

    So, what could have happened to create the change?

    Is there some neurologigical or endocrinological difference in boys and girls that is kicking in and causing behavioral change? It is possible, but nobody has been able to suggest what it is, why it is happening, or what the mechanism might be. It is perfectly credible that there might be physiological differences relating to chromosomes, say,. that would cause different behaviours from the word go, but less credible that it just spontaneously appears at a few months old.

    On the other hand, could there be socio-psychological explanations that could explain it? Yes, there are, and not only that, they have been repeatedly demonstrated to be there. Adults treat newborn infants differently if they are boys or girls. Adults show more appreciation of different traits in boys and girls, encourage baby boys and baby girls to play with different toys and show interest in different things. There are literally hundreds of experiments demonstrating this.

    We also know that babies start learning how to behave from a very, very early age and are responsive to social conditioning from a very, very early age.

    So is it certain that observable differences in boys and girls behaviour at 5 months is socially conditioned? No. Someone could come along tomorrow and discover gene FX7893 which kicks into operation at 12 weeks old and starts creating different neurological development in boys and girls. But the point is they haven’t done so yet, and in the absence of a better explanation, it is bad science to ignore the best available explanation which is, currently, a socialisation hypothesis.

  207. says

    @ Ally

    “… it is bad science to ignore the best available explanation which is, currently, a socialisation hypothesis.”

    To my mind this is a value judgement. Those with left-of-centre leanings will tend to agree with you, those with right-of-centre leanings won’t. I’ve already pointed to plenty of books showing the alternative position, including two by world-renowned psychologists:

    ‘The Essential Difference’ – Prof Simon Baron-Cohen (Cambridge)
    ‘The Blank Slate’ – Prof Steven Pinker (Harvard)

    Whenever I refer to such books people point me to Cordelia Fine’s ‘Delusions of Gender’. To my mind her book isn’t in the same class as Baron-Cohen’s and Pinker’s.

    I find those working in certain fields (sociology and social psychology come to mind) are generally far to the left of the general population. It doesn’t matter how much evidence of gender-typical brain differences emerges, their faith in social determinism remains unshaken. It’s all down to cognitive dissonance, I guess, something I see all the time. Women may ‘feel’ oppressed, especially when taught to do so by feminists, but when you show them the concrete evidence demonstrating that women as a class in the UK are highly privileged, they cannot (or will not) engage with that evidence. No amount of privilege is enough, it seems.

    I’m inclined to agree with a point Steve Moxon makes in ‘The Woman Racket’, namely that social norms (socialisation of male and female infants, possibly) arise from biological differences. We can’t escape biology by wishing to, any more than we can fly by flapping our arms very fast, if we want to fly. Society appears to be engaged in a campaign to convince us that we CAN fly, we just need to flap our arms a bit faster.

  208. mildlymagnificent says

    Adults treat newborn infants differently if they are boys or girls.

    That rang distant bells for me. I recall reading research 20+ years ago which had shown that women consistently allowed boy babies longer at the breast (for each feed rather than for total months/ years of breast feeding) than they did for girls. (I’m not sure whether this was a single or multi nation project. My memory’s not that good. The thing that stuck in my mind was an observation that women were inclined to get impatient with girls “taking too long” at the breast which they didn’t do for boys.) A quick check of google scholar found me only a couple of papers which seemed to presume this as a basis for other research about breast feeding rather than to examine or test it. And surprise, surprise, they were paywalled so I couldn’t check whether there was any discussion of this sub-topic that wasn’t mentioned in the abstract.

    If this is true – and specifically true for the countries we’re most familiar with – this would certainly be part of an explanation about differences in gaze.

    One paper which discussed preschoolers rather than newborns observed that parents spent a lot more time reading to/ with girls than boys which might lead to better understanding of why so many boys don’t pick up reading and writing skills so quickly in the school environment. As a tutor of kids with learning delays, I found this interesting in reflecting on some kids who didn’t do so well in this area in the absence of significant intellectual or visual or auditory processing problems. (The paywall again got in the way of further details.)

  209. Paul says

    @216 Mike Buchanan

    i think it’s safe to say that men commit more crime than women .The issue for me is whether the judiciary treats women more leniantly when they’ve committed the same or similar crimes as men. And whether the role of women in supporting and encouraging male criminal behaviour is being acknowledged .

    A high proportion of men and women in prison pose no threat to the public and are disadvantaged on a number of different levels.Many have mental health and addiction problems and need treatment and support. Therefore we desperately need effective alternatives to prison for BOTH sexes.

  210. Paul says

    @214 Carnation

    I see you’re up to your old tricks again

    I’m not a rabid MRA who hates feminists and i wish you’d stop suggesting that i am.It’s very tedious

    The exchange i had with Mike was regarding the way that the ”chivalry” of male dominated judicial processes can infantilize women and as a result may fail to as vigourously call them to account as men for their role in criminal behaviour. I also made the point- which i accept i could have made better- that those feminists who view women primarily as being victims of patriachy are adding their voices to those whose ”chivalry ”ensures that women aren’t always being called to account for their behaviour purely on account of being female.

  211. Gjenganger says

    @Ally Fogg 224
    Surely it is part of the story that newborn babies do not do much of anything, except eat, sleep, excrete, and, OK, gaze. It would not seem impossible that play, aggression, courship behaviour, or tendency to break the law might have some built-in differences, even where it is not possible to see it in newborn babies. It would be silly to deny the strong influence of socialization, but it does not follow that either gender roles or average behaviour are 100% independent of biology. Arguably genetics and socialization interact so strongly that is impossble to determine how much influence each has. That should led us to be rather suspicious of anybody who draws firm political consequences from the (lack of) biological effect on behaviour – including you.

  212. mildlymagnificent says

    Arguably genetics and socialization interact so strongly that is impossble to determine how much influence each has.

    I’d argue that it’s far too easy to go either way.

    My mother and my husband had both attributed their preferred imaginative play style as children to the fact that they were both only children. So both were taken aback to see both of my/our children exhibit exactly the same kind of activities and behaviours as they had attributed to the lack of siblings. (As I have all the imaginative and creative abilities of a wombat, I claimed no role in either the innate or the socialised part of this behaviour.)

  213. Tamen says

    Mildlymagnificent:
    I have read a paper quite a while ago that found that mothers talked to, sought eye contact and touched their female infants more often than their male infants. On the move so I’ll have to search for the paper later. I think the subject of the paper was mother infant bonding.

  214. says

    http://www.whitman.edu/psychology/clearfield/pdfs/sex%20roles%20paper.pdf

    Thus, mothers of girls spent more time engaged in an activity with their daughters, whereas mothers of boys
    spent more time watching their sons but not interacting with them

    Even at 6 months of age, mothers were more likely to ask interpretive questions of their daughters, whereas mothers were more likely to direct their sons’ behavior. For instance, typical interpretations directed toward the girls were: “You’re playing with the octopus. You like that, right?” or “Look at you playing with the beads. Are you going to slide the red bead next?” In contrast, much of the mothers’ verbal behavior toward the boys consisted of directives such as “Come here,” and attentionals, such as calling out the infant’s name.

    Because the mothers were actively engaged with their girls more frequently than with their boys, they may have contributed to the development of the idea that it is acceptable for girls to seek help, but boys should remain independent (Fagot, 1978). By being more involved with their girls, mothers may be subconsciously sending the message to their infants that girls require more attention, whereas boys are given more room to explore and learn about their environment on their own.

    So engaging less with an infant is cast as a positive thing? Who knew.

    However, mothers of girls engaged in “other interaction” significantly more than did mothers of boys, usually in the form of the mothers comforting and hugging their daughters. These different behaviors further contribute to the gender norms and expectations that boys are supposed to be independent and strong, whereas girls are supposed to display emotion and be dependent upon other people

    So less hugging and comforting an infant is a good thing? Who knew.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/%28SICI%291099-0917%28199706%296:2%3C83:%3AAID-EDP146%3E3.0.CO;2-K/abstract (behind paywall so I’ll quote the abstract)

    Overall, we found that mother–daughter dyads displayed significantly higher degrees of social proximity than mother–son dyads. More specifically, mothers with daughters displayed more physical and visual contact, and were also rated as more sensitive than mothers with sons.

  215. carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan 

    Returning, if I might, to a the topic of social conservatism.   Feminists fought for legal changes in employment law, which they won, and argued for societal acceptance of women pursuing careers.  Again, they won. Do you object to the liberation of women and men from the burdens of housekeeping and breadwinning respectively?

      Or is it a state of affairs that you would like to see society returned to? Also on this subject, would you have objected to equality legislation when it was being introduced? 

     Finally, do you view the liberation of women from their traditional roles as wives/mothers as a social advancement?

  216. says

    Tamen,

    I am not sure there are actual value judgements made. It could very well be that boys learn to “be independent and strong” by some degree of less attention.

  217. Adiabat says

    Ally:

    I think what you are actually doing in this post is saying “I don’t agree with your interpretation of the evidence, but I cannot offer an alternative one, so I prefer to just dismiss yours without explanation” and while that is entirely your right, it’s not exactly fruitful.

    Not quite. Firstly I neither have the time nor inclination to respond to a gish-gallop of points. I could pick one or two out, such as the idea that girls “lower their voices around boys and defer to them” indicates that you’ve spent no time at all in a school and actually seen how girls are in the classroom. Or I could suggest that possible hormonal reasons cause women to want to look after their newborn children; behavioural changes due to hormones have been documented, though I am unaware of any research on this particular topic (mrin). I could come up with alternative interpretations of why 5 year old boys are loud as well (Tamen’s post may give a starting point). But why bother? I don’t know the answer and neither do you; you yourself say that it is “so immensely complex and open to interpretation it is subject to pretty much unlimited debate”. Unlike you, I am willing to withhold society-changing judgements on the causes until more research (actual research, not feminist “research”) is done.

    Let’s ignore for now the cultural elements that I disagree with you on, and accept that some exist that negatively affects women; I have no problem with agreeing with that. Though do you realise the level of trust in your abilities you are demanding from people who have read similar gish-gallops to yours but arguing counter to what you are claiming? (http://permutationofninjas.org/post/21541112444/a-short-list-of-grievances-or-male-oppression-101)

    You are claiming that you have the ability to correctly sift through the multitude of cultural elements and their intersectional impacts to come to a conclusion that the sum total of them all, when weighed against each other, shows one sex is ‘elevated’ somehow over the other. I find such claims to be astoundingly arrogant. Notwithstanding the innumerable biases involved in such an endeavour I don’t think it is even technically possible to assess cultural elements and ‘rank’ them in the way you have. I also believe that any such assessment is completely untestable and ultimately subject to the rationalisations of the individual.

    And no offense, but you’ve been studying DV for 20 years yet only found out about the studies showing male victims a few weeks ago. While I wouldn’t hold that against you normally, due to the culture of DV research and the dominant narrative being pushed, it needs to be taken into account when you’re claiming ‘Hari Seldon-esque’ levels of analysis.

  218. Adiabat says

    Jeez, reading that back it’s much ruder than I intended. Sorry if you find it too insulting. I never ‘tone-check’ unfortunately.

    FWIW your post on jfmb is pretty good.

  219. says

    Sheaf:

    I am not sure there are actual value judgements made. It could very well be that boys learn to “be independent and strong” by some degree of less attention.

    There is an inherent value judgement to be inferred from the word used. Independent and strong are positively charged words. “Displaying emotions and being dependent on others” are not so positively charged. “On one’s own”, “separated”, “uncontrolled”, “unconstrained”, “unconnected”, “unaided” are synonyms of independent which are not quite as positively charged. “hard-nosed”, “unbending”, “aggressive”, “pushy”,”vehement”, “fierce” are less positively charge synonyms for strong. I am not arguing that any specific of these would be better used than the one used in the paper, but just to illustrate that word choice does matter and often convey value judgements.

    The paper basically sets up (stereotypical) masculine as good and (stereotypical) feminine as not so good. Which is bad all around.

  220. says

    Adiabat:

    And no offense, but you’ve been studying DV for 20 years yet only found out about the studies showing male victims a few weeks ago. While I wouldn’t hold that against you normally, due to the culture of DV research and the dominant narrative being pushed, it needs to be taken into account when you’re claiming ‘Hari Seldon-esque’ levels of analysis.

    I think you are being unfair here.

    Although the largest group of perpetrators of F->M sexual violence is intimate partners (NISVS 2010 and others) thus making it an aspect of DV I have to say in Ally’s defence that most people treat DV and sexual violence as separate and that it was studies regarding sexual violence by women against men that Ally recently admitted to have been unaware of. He wrote a pretty good post about it that was quite widely disseminated.

  221. says

    Tamen,

    at least displaying emotions is positively charged. Dependent on others is not, but it is possible that some degree of lesser attention simply has a positive effect. I am not sure that this is problematic in itself. That this effect is a stereotypical masculine property, does not lessen the fact that it is a good property to have, even if related properties might be negative.

  222. Adiabat says

    Tamen (238): I know I’m being unfair in some ways. Ally’s post on Male victims of DV was very good and perhaps brought awareness of the problem to people who may not have been exposed to it before.

    Yet stating that there is a “patriarchy” which elevates men above women is an extraordinary claim. To state this and be intellectually honest would require in depth knowledge of a multitude of cultural elements (thousands if not millions) and accurate assessment of their impact on both men and women in various ways, in degree and in prevalence. Such a claim would also require you to reduce bias in interpretation as much as possible.

    I don’t think anyone is capable of making such an assessment (and my hunch is that such an assessment is impossible).

    I brought up Ally’s research on DV to highlight that even if it’s a subject you’ve researched for 20 years there is likely to still be things that you haven’t noticed, or that you simply haven’t factored previously into your view of a subject. It’s likely that personal biases have made you neglect things that should be factored in. I think proponents of patriarchy often misinterpret incredulity at their claims as though people disagree that with the cultural elements being brought up (which is sometimes the case but not always) when really I believe the incredulity comes from the fact that stating that there is a “patriarchy” is an assessment that is impossible for anyone to make.

  223. Gjenganger says

    @Tamen 237
    You are right about the value judgements, just from your quotes (no time to read through the paper). But you could rewrite the values to woman-good-man-bad without necessarily changing the conclusion that mothers interact differently and that this may help to perpetuate gender roles.

    Just for fun you could propose a mechanism that was pretty much impossible to change by social engineering, even if not genetical. It is pure speculation, of course:
    Women tend to do more of the care of infants, because pregnancy and breastfeeding means they start out closer and more intimate (and because the female gender role amplifies the effect). Women also feel that girls are more ‘like them’, which on the average *) makes for more empathy and help, and less leaving alone than for the more distant and strange male children. And so it goes.

    *) Not the only possible mechanism – one woman I know was quite demanding of herself, and possibly for that reason less tolerant of her ‘like-self’ daughter than of her ‘more-different’ son.

  224. mildlymagnificent says

    Overall, we found that mother–daughter dyads displayed significantly higher degrees of social proximity than mother–son dyads. More specifically, mothers with daughters displayed more physical and visual contact, and were also rated as more sensitive than mothers with sons.

    Memories. This brought back some frustrating moments from when our kids were little. We had two girls. The thing that struck me in practically every environment was the different standards for girls and for boys. In the end, I worked out that parents of boys were willing to let them run entirely unsupervised and then, when some entirely predictable disaster befell them or someone or something they knocked over, trod on, hit or kicked yelled at the top of their voices for them to stop. Whereas we, and most parents of girls, tended to give preliminary advice/ warnings about behaviour / activities and intervene much earlier when things weren’t going well rather than wait for catastrophe.

    Now that I’m in the old fart category, I’m getting the impression that too many parents are ignoring bad behaviour a lot more in cafes and shopping centres and the like. But I suspect that’s because, without grandchildren yet, I’m rarely in parks and similar places that are oriented towards children and never in places that are focused entirely on children.

  225. Maureen Brian says

    Adiabat @ 240,

    Please take a breath. I have news for you.

    The online etymology dictionary describes “patriarchy” thus …

    “1560s, in ecclesiastical sense, from Greek patriarkhia, from patriarkhes (see patriarch). Meaning “system of society or government by fathers or elder males of the community” first recorded 1630s.”

    That’s first recorded in 1630, so probably in informal use for a while before that – let’s guess 1613.

    So if assorted philosophers, political scientists and social scientists of every stripe have been looking into this concept for 4 full centuries, from many places and from every angle it might look like hyperbole for you to start saying we have no knowledge.

    Do we want more knowledge? Yes. Are we starting from zero? No.

    In fact, we can go further back. Machiavelli’s Il Principe is a probably a satire but it relies upon both author and and the reader knowing well the workings of a hierarchical society in which only men have power.
    Publication date – 1532!

  226. Maureen Brian says

    Mike,

    Most of the civilisations of Central and South America show evidence of brutality or of going through a brutal phase. Many were wiped out by another brutal phase, the Conquista launched from Spain.

    Anyway, the findings of one archaeological dig, however interesting they may be, do not provide us with a great big indisputable Fact to set beside Newton’s understanding of gravity. Findings from one site give you at best a couple more pieces for a vast and complex mosaic.

    Honestly, Mike, I have never met one of these feminists who wants either to eliminate men or reduce them to servitude.

    I do, though, know feminists who write the most glorious polemic, especially when they are pissed off with yet more Illogic. But that’s an art form, not a programme for government.

  227. says

    @ Maureen Brian

    Thank you. To be honest, it was with tongue firmly in cheek that I pointed you to the piece. My motivation was to challenge, even in the most minor way, the relentless feminist narrative that the world would be a better, kinder place if women were in charge. To my mind that’s just one of countless feminist fantasies, and based upon their firm sense of moral superiority over men.

  228. says

    @ Ally

    We’re carefully going through the comment stream to see where we might usefully modify our consultation document (and in due course our 2015 general election manifesto). Our thanks to all who have gone to the trouble to give us their views, you’ve given us a lot to think about. Ally, my personal thanks to you for your comments, and specifically (in the context of this comment) with respect to our position on abortion law reform. We’ve just modified the ‘background information’ in this area with the addition of the following, and I’m sure this is an area we’ll look at again before the manifesto is finalised.

    “In 13 October 2013 Ally Fogg, a columnist with the Guardian newspaper, wrote a blog piece50 with a critique of a number of proposals in this document. With respect to abortion law reform, and our analysis relating to it, he made the following points with respect to the aforementioned NCCMH report (in comment #180):

    ‘That paper was addressing the precise hypothesis you just made, that abortion carried risks to mental health. After an extensive and impressive meta-analysis, they concluded there was no evidence that abortion caused damage to mental health, or at least any more damage than childbirth.

    What the study did not do was examine whether forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term and birth (as would happen under your proposal) carries greater risks to mental health than an abortion.

    Indeed, that research would be pretty much almost impossible (and downright unethical) to do. But since the same study found strong evidence that an unwanted pregnancy is more harmful to mental health than a wanted pregnancy, it is not unreasonable to presume that continuing an unwanted pregnancy would be more harmful than terminating an unwanted pregnancy.’

    While Ally makes some valid points, our view is that the life of an unborn child has considerable value, and our proposal accordingly remains unchanged.”

    Revised document downloadable here:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/our-public-consultation-exercise-2/

  229. Adiabat says

    Maureen Brian (243): My word!

    Maureen, I’ll let you in on a secret: when I make a post I generally foresee possible rebuttals and counter-arguments; that way I’m usually a step or two ahead of the person I’m talking to. Yet you’ve outdone me: your argument is so monumentally stupid that I failed to predict someone would actually make it.

    I’m going to try and think down to your level, and try my hardest to make this easy for you to understand:

    You do realise that one of the most common criticisms of feminists use of the word “patriarchy” is that they are using the pre-existing word in a different way, and that it inevitably leads to misuse due to intuitive and cognate interpretations*? Are you with me so far?

    And do you realise that since there are two different usages of the same set of syllables that work on one by the aforementioned “philosophers, political scientists and social scientists” doesn’t mean that that work applies to the other usage?

    Do you also realise that in post 114 Ally clearly points out what he means by ‘patriarchy’ and it is different from the definitions you provide?

    It seems to me that you have just provided very strong support for the argument that feminists should use a different word for their theory. If someone as wise as you slips up on these cognate interpretations then what hope do the rest of us have?

    * put as simply as I am capable of: the feminist use often results in people ‘adopting’ various connotations of the earlier usage of the word and leads to misunderstanding of the theory, even among its adherents.

    P.S And I have no idea where you get the idea that I said we have ‘no knowledge’. I’m saying we have insufficient knowledge to reach the conclusion Ally claims to have reached, and we have no way to eliminate bias in interpretation. And that is just half of the problem, the other half is the problem with processing the raw info to reach a conclusion: There is a lack of a formalism detailing how these various cultural elements are being assessed and theoretical problems associated with ‘ranking’ the various intersectional impacts on various groups. Just how do you decide that the sum of all cultural elements of group A is “worse” than the sum of all cultural elements on group B? And what is meant by “worse”?

  230. Maureen Brian says

    Adiabat,

    I agree with Ally. I was quoting the exact wording of a dictionary and that mainly for the dates.

    Of course patriarchy has changed in 400 years: everything else has!

    I think it’s now down to you to provide evidence that some moment occurred, a change so sudden and so massive that it required a total change of terminology. Do you really think that happened or are we still scraping off barnacles, one broken finger-nail at a time? And making quite good progress.

  231. Adiabat says

    Maureen Brian (249): OMG you still don’t get it.

    The term “patriarchy” as used by some feminists and Ally is a completely different thing than the traditional use of the word. Why do you think people are told to “go educate themselves about feminism” when they hear the claim for the first time, misunderstand and think the original use of “patriarchy” is being used, and challenge the claim? (Mainly because we obviously don’t live in a Patriarchy)

    What Ally is describing isn’t a Patriarchy in any sense of the term, as the word typically means; it’s a specific term that uses the same syllables and letter order that means something specific in feminist theory. There is no relation between the two uses.

    It’s not down to me to do anything, as your argument is ridiculously stupid and shows a complete ignorance of how the term is used in the context of feminist theory.

    You need to go educate yourself on Feminism.

  232. mildlymagnificent says

    To my mind that’s just one of countless feminist fantasies, and based upon their firm sense of moral superiority over men.

    Honestly, you seem not to have read anything written by any mainstream feminist since 1930.

    I spent a goodly part of the 70s as part of a feminist movement, the second wave, that was strongly opposed to the women-are-better-than-men rubbish. That point of view was largely run by antifeminists arguing to keep women “pure” and away from all the nastiness of life outside the home where their womanly virtues found their most important expression in clean floors and nutritious meals for freshly scrubbed children.

  233. Adiabat says

    mildlymagnificent (251): I used to speak quite a lot to Second Wave feminist who often found herself ostracised by modern feminists for views similar to yours (we used to get on rather well). As a second-waver do you find much commonality with the current wave?

    For example the only person on this blog promoting “women are better” beliefs is the feminist Lucy. Do you never feel the urge to argue with her like you do when a non-feminist makes a similar or opposite argument? Or is the fact that you are both feminists enough to make you overlook such behaviour? I’m interested because the second-waver I knew would argue with third-wavers when they said something like that. It’s why she was ostracised.

    As for anti-feminism in the 70’s, I believe the backlash was much more conservative back then. What’s fascinating about modern anti-feminists is that they often seem more liberal than feminists. If someone could be bothered I bet it would be possible to specify ‘anti-feminist waves’ alongside feminist waves.

  234. Mytec says

    >You can’t have it both ways, so which is it?>

    So AVfM and Bucanan cannot sit together because AVfM disagrees with traditional gender roles and Bucanan is a trad-con?

    What utter nonsense.

  235. says

    I believe the backlash was much more conservative back then. What’s fascinating about modern anti-feminists is that they often seem more liberal than feminists.

    That s my experience as well. Most feminists seem conservative to me and even sex positive ones often have some very puritanical views.

  236. mildlymagnificent says

    Or is the fact that you are both feminists enough to make you overlook such behaviour? I’m interested because the second-waver I knew would argue with third-wavers when they said something like that. It’s why she was ostracised.

    I’d could disagree with some of, or part of, Lucy’s statements but I thought I was writing a fair bit, maybe a bit too much, just dealing with my own comments and responses. However, even back in the 70s I held the view that the wildest weird statements and behaviours of more extreme feminists of the time – the wild-eyed separatists and so on – did little to no harm to mainstream feminism. Those who hated us and insulted us would do so anyway. Those who didn’t would find it easier to pay attention to people who were less confrontational and therefore seemed less radical to people who judged ideas from sensationalist newspapers rather than from examining ideas on their own merits.

    Arguing with younger feminists is a bit of an issue for me anyway. I’m well into old fart/ old tart territory anyway and sometimes it’s a fine line to walk to give the “benefit of experience” versus sounding like every other boring old person telling the young ‘uns they’re doing it wrong.

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