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Oct 17 2013

A personal manifesto for men and boys

It would be a fair summary to say that I was not overly impressed with the policy proposals put forward by the new political party, Justice for Men and Boys.

Among the hundreds of comments that followed my blog on the matter, at least one reader pointed out that while I had been forthright in my criticism of the ideas put forward by J4MB, I  had not offered any constructive alternatives. It was a reasonable point.

I am still fundamentally opposed to the very idea of a factional party to represent the interests of one gender, however I would be interested in developing a programme of ideas that could be urged upon all mainstream political parties to address some of the very real gender specific issues facing men and boys today. So I have developed the list below as a very personal manifesto.

In reality, many of the changes we need to improve the welfare and wellbeing of men and boys do not lie in party political policies, but are cultural and psychological – relating to how we, as a society, construct our notions and norms of masculinity, broader gender roles, and how we, as men, choose to perform those roles. Nonetheless, politicians and governments can play a role in steering such efforts, and even within the strictures of globalised freemarket capitalism, with all the violence, alienation, isolation and exploitation inherent to the system, there are still changes that could be made that would make a real and meaningful improvement to the lives and welfare of men and boys, and indeed women and girls.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of ten policy packages that are not utopian or idealistic, but could feasibly be added to the manifesto of any existing mainstream political party which had the determination, imagination and courage to put them into action. I would welcome any suggestions for revisions, additions or alternative ideas.

An alternative manifesto for men and boys.

 

  1. Fatherhood. Initiate a National Fatherhood Strategy to encourage involved and active fathering from birth onwards. Actively include fathers in all routine perinatal and postnatal health provision and information services, including screening new fathers for health and mental health needs, as we do mothers. Provide up to six months statutory parental leave entitlement to all new parents, to be taken at any time before the youngest child begins school. Make father & toddler activities a funding priority. Reward employers who support active fathering with accolades, awards and rewards. For separated families, children’s needs and welfare must remain centre, however the need for children to maintain a strong relationship with both natural parents where possible must be emphasised. Revise family court proceedings so that a resident parent who deprives children of agreed contact with the non-resident parent may no longer be considered an appropriate primary carer.Background notes: Discussion of father’s rights and obligations too often begins at the time of family breakdown. We need to revolutionise fatherhood from the moment of birth, moving closer towards the Nordic model of active fatherhood. This will require commitment and investment from government, employers, women and men alike. ***
  2. Education. Form a Royal Commission on Boys’ Education, to investigate best evidence and form solutions to the academic underperformance of boys in schools and their disengagement from learning.Background notes: Politicians and wider society has for too long ignored the growing crisis in boys’ education, specifically education of boys from poorer backgrounds and ethnic minorities. Gimmicky simple solutions are unlikely to be beneficial, and there is considerable debate among educationalists as to the causes of the crisis and effective solutions. Turning the situation around will take many years, but the first step has to be recognising and diagnosing the true nature of the problem.

    ***
  3. Employment and training. Significant investment is required in manual labour-intensive employment, to provide better prospects for young men without academic ambitions. The first step should be a programme of affordable home building, revitalising the social housing sector and addressing the homelessness crisis. A ‘Carbon Army,’ as recommended by the New Economics Foundation, installing energy-saving home-improvements such as insulation and double-glazing to every home in the country, would have significant long term economic and environmental benefits while providing extensive employment and skills training opportunities.Background notes: Unemployment among men, and particularly working class and BME men, began rising in 2004 and remains stubbornly high. People aged 16-24 are three times as likely to be unemployed as older workers, and young men about 33% more likely to be unemployed than young women [source].***

     

  4. Mental health, depression and suicide. Revise national strategy “Preventing Suicide in England” to recognise male gender as a primary risk factor. Implement in full recommendations of Samaritans report Men and Suicide and Men’s Health Forum/Mind report Delivering Male. Department of Health to work with NICE & medical profession to improve diagnosis of depression in men, especially recognising anger, aggression, risk-taking and substance abuse as potential diagnostic symptoms.Background notes: The national suicide prevention strategy makes no mention of male gender as a risk factor, despite men being more than three times as likely to die by suicide. Strategies for identifying and treating male depression have to recognise that men with mental health and addiction issues are often more likely to be encountered by police than their GPs.***
  5. Men’s health. Add specific responsibility for men’s health to the brief of the Parliamentary Under Secretary for health; Initiate a major campaign by Public Health England to address men’s health inequalities; implement in full the proposals on men’s access to health services proposed in the report Challenges and Choices by Men’s Health Forum (2009).

    Background notes: Although boys and men are more likely to die of all comparable treatable illnesses at every stage of life, there is no government policy to address the problem. A search on “men’s health” at the Department of Health website produces literally zero relevant results. This has to be a national health priority.

    ***

  6. Violence prevention strategy. National strategies to address Violence Against Women and Girls, in education, public health and social policy, should be extended to become campaigns against interpersonal violence. Assaulting children under the auspices of discipline must be outlawed. Sex and relationship education should be revised to place enthusiastic consent at heart of the syllabus for both boys and girls.Background notes: More than 2 million violent incidents were estimated to occur in England and Wales last year. 62% of the victims and 80% of the perpetrators were male. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered as women. More than half a million violent crimes affected children aged 10-15, with boys accounting for more than two thirds of victims [source]. Research shows that wherever corporal punishment is used, boys are beaten more frequently and more severely than girls [Source]. For every three girl children who die by homicide, four boys will – in every age group from birth onwards. [Source.] Strategies to prevent violence against women and girls, in education, social policy and public health are important and should continue, but as part of a wider anti-violence campaign. Such efforts would not diminish campaigns against VAWG, on the contrary they would make them far more likely to succeed.

    ***
  7. Victim support. Provision and funding for social support and therapeutic care for victims of violent crime, including intimate partner and sexual abuse, should only be made on basis of need, not gender.Background notes: The needs and circumstances of male and female victims of abuse and domestic violence are not identical. It is entirely reasonable that gender-specific facilities and services are made available where appropriate. It can never be acceptable for situations like this to arise, where male victims of rape and childhood sexual abuse are actively excluded from support and funding opportunities.***
  8. Support for care leavers.  The Children’s Act must be amended to extend statutory duty of care to the age of 25, with the option of extending residential care to 21, as proposed by the coalition of charities, the Care Leavers’ Coalition.Background notes: Although social services and care policy are rarely seen as gendered issues, they are. There are more boys than girls going into the care system at every stage, and they stay for longer. Overall, 62% of children in care are male. After leaving care, one in every 144 girls who was in care at 16 will be in prison at age 19. The statistic for boys is 1 in 23. By the same age, 51% of these young women will be living independently, compared to 36% of males.  [Source] According to research by the Who Cares? Trust, 30% of those who are homeless had been in care at some point in their lives, as had 25% of prisoners.***
  9.  Prison reform. Initiate and implement a “Corston Report for Men.” Make prison a last resort for punishment, reserved for dangerous, violent and incorrigible offenders. Invest the multi-billion pound savings in mental health, addiction and community desistance services.Background notes: The British obsession with prison sees us locking up more men than any country in Western Europe bar Spain. Around 95% of prisoners are male. Since imprisonment is known to be the least effective method of reducing reoffending, the result is a hugely expensive breeding ground for crime, as well as a humanitarian disgrace. Two-thirds of male prisoners have a reading age of 11 or less. More than 70% have at least two diagnosed mental health conditions and one in ten prisoners had experienced auditory hallucinations in the preceding year.

    ***

  10. Circumcision. Legally prohibit the practice of infant circumcision by untrained, unqualified practitioners, in non-clinical conditions and without anaesthetic. Launch public information and education programmes to discourage unnecessary surgical procedures in line with the British Medical Association’s position, in a move towards negotiated phasing out of infant circumcision.

Background notes: Personally I would love to see a total end to ritual infant circumcision, but implementing a legal ban would be dangerously counter-productive, pushing the practice underground, and such a demand is politically untenable. However preventing the horrific unlicensed practices which result in widespread complications, lifelong scarring and even deaths and serious injuries is an urgent necessity.

***

474 comments

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  1. 1
    lelapaletute

    *applauds wildly, wipes a tear from her eye*

    Ally, thank you. This is a brilliant document, packed with important, unconsidered facts, positive and sane suggestions, and a total absence of the blame and hate that pervades the J4MB proposals.

    What prompts the tear in the eye is the incredible possibilities your suggestions open up, and how clear it seems to me that their implementation (or evenn partial implementation) would create a much, much better world for men, boys, women and girls – for all of us, basically. It fills me with yearning for that better world. If even one of these ideas were to be adopted by even one of the mainstream parties, the yearning could be replaced with hope.

    Fantastic work.

  2. 2
    Simon Bellord

    Brilliantly well done, and thanks. I’m glad it isn’t just me who doesn’t like movements or groups that favour one group over a seperate ‘other’ group, this as bad historical precedents. This is a brilliant example of a Male perspective in the subset of egalitarian Human Rights ideals. You clearly don’t deserve any of the slurs against you at all, Pigeonholing is dodgy from the off.
    It’s refreshing to see someone who takes a non-dogmatic approach based on actually looking at the problem objectively.

    Wonderful.

  3. 3
    lelapaletute

    The only one I slightly disagree with is number 10, simply because it doesn’t go far enough (as you yourself point out in the background. Unnecessary and irreversable surgery on non-consenting children should be a flat-out crime. The conditions under which it was done and any arising complications are aggravating factors to the original violation. But I’m sure you don’t want this thread to become solely a MGM debate, so I don’t dwell on it.

  4. 4
    Glen Poole

    Hi Ally

    Well done for starting this conversation —- I am in the process of publishing my first eBook Equality For Men before flying to Australia to speak at the National Men’ Health Gathering in Brishance—so your timing from a personal perspective is crap!!!

    So I’ll be short for now—- I agree with the approach—-I’d like to see us influencing all mainstream parties and influencing their narratives to incorporate men and boys

    I did commit at the 3rd National Conference for Men and Boys to work on some kind of in inclusive manifesto for International Men’s Day (19th November) that reflected the breadth of issues and possible solutions— so this helps move the conversation forward thank you

    My book Equality For Men attempts to capture the vast majority of the key men and boys issues that are currently live —- I think a missing or me in your thinking is the male disposability issue (school exclusion, boys in care, male homelessness, separated fathers)—these are all linked for me and require us to consider our collective attitudes towards men and boys and face up to the fact that we are collectively more tolerant of harm being done to men and boys.

    I’d be wary of an over-reliance on liberal charities (Samaritans, Men’s Health Forum)—if we’re going to be politically smart we need to integrate social justice thinking from left and right and listen, for example, to the good bits of what the Centre For Social Justice is saying

    I also think there’s an important piece around “male social capital”, understanding the need to mentor and nurture young men and celebrating and encouraging men’s contribution to society and communities (my thoughts on this are more developed than that sentence suggests—maybe I’ll explain more another day)

    Got to go and promote the launch of my new eBook, which if I may be so bold is available here:

    http://equality4men.com/2013/10/17/get-your-copy-of-equality-for-men-ebook-today/

    Well done for kicking this off, I very much agree that we need to start thinking about how we get men’s issues on the political agenda in advance of the 2015 election

    Best

    Glen

  5. 5
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    Thank you for a very interesting piece. We shall consider all you say, and consider which might be added to the proposals in our public consultation document.

    @lelapaletute

    Neither blame nor hatred are to be found in our public consultation document, and I invite anyone who may suspect otherwise (because of comments such as yours) to read it:

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

    Mike Buchanan

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

    http://j4mb.org.uk

  6. 6
    lelapaletute

    & Mike 5: That is your opinion. Mine is different. I read the whole document (having come too late to the comment thread to make a useful contribution, I did not post my views, as they had been covered by Ally’s original post and developed BTL). The document reeks of punishment and paranoia. And flat out contradictory abortion and welfare policies, unless your intended result is for some unfortunate children (male and female) to suffer for what you percieve to be their mothers’ sins.

    On the other hand, I very much appreciate your generally polite manner in engaging in debate, as courtesy is vanishingly rare online (I myself am more than a little prone to vitriol behind the keyboard, a weakness I am continually trying to correct). I hope that example will help us all raise the tone of our debate, though we disagree ne’er so vehemently!

  7. 7
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lelapaletute (6)

    Thank you. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    Thanks too for your comment on tone. I simply cannot see why anyone would be nasty and aggressive in online debates. It seems to me utterly counter-productive. I’ve been attacked by a few people on Ally’s earlier blog, and I can’t decide whether ‘Raging Bee’ or ‘Dani Wells’ should be put forward for the ‘Entitlement Princess of the Month’ award:

    http://www.antifeministtech.info/category/entitlement-princess-of-the-month/

  8. 8
    lelapaletute

    @Mike (7): ‘Entitlement Princess of the Month’

    Oh dear. See, I would call that particular remark passive aggressive and unpleasant, deliberately designed to provoke (using an explicitly gendered insult to make your point, equivalent to telling an MRA to ‘man up’ or ‘grow a pair’). So clearly we all draw our lines of what qualifies as courtesy differently (and why I’m glad I said ‘generally polite manner’ :P).

    However, this thread should not be all about you, or me, or manners, but about Ally’s (I think excellent) policies. What do you think of them? Obviously you have your party to consult before you would incorporate anything into your own manifesto, but which of these if any would you personally get behind on first glance?

  9. 9
    mildlymagnificent

    Thank you – for number 3 in particular.

    Tutoring middle school boys in maths and English has been both rewarding and disheartening by turns for me for the last decade and a bit. It’s easy to see that so many boys would make excellent employees – if only there were enough jobs and industries suited to the large numbers of boys leaving school with such limited skills and modest ambitions. And would people please spare a thought for all those people who have an active dislike of working inside. Your suggestion about retrofitting and modifying housing is the ideal kind of job to aim for for those kids who’d like to work on housing but lack the skills or the access to get into a trade.

    Boys with no skills in maths at all (and don’t get me started on an old farts type rant on how much better things were 50 years ago) and a jobs market where all the sweeper-upper-offsider-man-friday jobs have been eliminated for both entry level and long-term unskilled / marginally skilled employees. Largely by automation – see how many people would be needed to manually do the work of one streetsweeper machine, for example – but also by changes in industry and political/ social priorities. Reliability, punctuality, attention to detail and willingness to work hard are virtues which can only be displayed when you have a real live job.

  10. 10
    Ally Fogg

    thanks everyone, especially Lelapaletute at 1 – nicest comment ever!

    LPT [3]

    The only one I slightly disagree with is number 10, simply because it doesn’t go far enough (as you yourself point out in the background. Unnecessary and irreversable surgery on non-consenting children should be a flat-out crime.

    I don’t disagree with this, I just think bringing it about is a political impossibility as things stand. So in the meantime we have to ask whether it is possible to stop needless excess suffering, morbidity and even mortality resulting from unlicensed, unqualified butchers like the woman who killed Goodluck Caubergs, and the answer is yes, it could be done quickly, easily and with very little fuss.

    I rather despair of circumcision activists who refuse to even ask for this on the basis that it would legitimise the practice. I fundamentally disagree, on the contrary I think it would help to open up the debate and could easily become a first step in the process. In the meantime kids keep getting needlessly hurt.

  11. 11
    Norman Hadley

    Excellent work, Ally. Like lelapaletute I am lachrymose with gratitude that someone out there above the line can articulate a view of the genderscape free from blame and illogic.

    Now get a rosette on your chest and consider my vote a given….

  12. 12
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lelapaletute

    Good point about ‘passive aggressive’. Forgive me. It’s my way of coping with sometimes vicious attacks on the work I (and my supporters) do. In the case of the two people in question (I suspect at least one of them may be a man) their angry and utterly irrational dismissal of our evidence base in the ‘gender balance in the boardroom’ debate was beyond parody.

    Back to your point. You’re quite right, we need to focus on Ally’s proposals. I honestly see merit in all ten proposals, although with many of them I see associated huge costs, and I don’t know where the money would come from. Personally I’d like to see a major reduction in the size of the state, and the money used in such directions. I believe that the male suicide rate would naturally fall if and when the state assaulted men less (though its actions and inactions).

    Our position on MGM goes further than Ally’s. He says:

    “Personally I would love to see a total end to ritual infant circumcision, but implementing a legal ban would be dangerously counter-productive, pushing the practice underground, and such a demand is politically untenable.”

    I fail to see how the same argument could not be made with respect to FGM, yet THAT is illegal (quite rightly). It’s simply one of countless double standards where males come off worst – every time.

  13. 13
    lelapaletute

    @Mike (12): On MGM, I agree with you on the moral position, and because of my opposition to FGM and my approval that it is illegal, the idealist in me agrees with you that there is no justification for the one being legal and the other not. I do however see Ally’s point that resistence would be enormous, mainly because while FGM is a relatively niche cultural practice, MGM has been practised on an industrial scale by a huge range of countries and cultures for a very long time – the support base for the practise is bigger, thus opposition to and dangerous circumvention of any stringent law would be correspondingly greater. The very fact it is so widespread and so accepted only heightens my horror of the practice, to be honest; but I can understand, if not agree with, the pragmatic case for a softly softly legal approach coupled with an attempt to foster cultural change.

    I also think that the arguments FOR MGM are, in consequence of its diverse and widespread base, less clear and coherent and thus harder to address than those related to FGM (which tend to be quite clearly focussed around a horror of normal female sexuality). While that is the motivation behind some practices of MGM, it is not the root of all of them (or not overtly so). So for each group, you have to bring them around to the right way of thinking via a different path.

    However, in the larger picture this is not important – the counter argument to all the arguments for it is basically the same: it is fundamentally wrong to violate a child’s bodily integrity without pressing medical reasons. This applies whether you’re trying to stop them wanking, make them look like their daddy, improve their sex life as adults, be ‘hygienic’, or please your God. Cutting healthy bits off children is wrong.

  14. 14
    Tamen

    A well written list with well-founded important actions which would have had a real impact if implemented. I have to nitpick a bit on #10 which I think could’ve spelled out (more clearly) that the end-goal is to end infant circumcision and that the suggested measures are to be considered a step towards that goal. Personally I am for a legal ban against it, and I remain hopeful that we will succeed in getting one in the Nordic countries.

    The comparatively low number of comments which I predict this post will get should be taken by you, Ally, as a sign of the quality of it’s content.

  15. 15
    Ally Fogg

    Just on this point, I find it quite amusing that I’ve seen Jewish community spokespersons arguing we shouldn’t allow legal regulation of mohels and other circumcision practitioners because it would inevitably be a slippery slope that would ultimately lead to a ban on all circumcision, and I’ve seen anti-circumcision activists argue that we shouldn’t allow legal regulation of mohels and other circumcision practitioners because it would be an act of legitimisation that would prevent us ever getting a ban on circumcision.

    Talk about strange bedfellows!

  16. 16
    ian martin

    The proposals that you make are very noble, but they will never be taken up by any UK government. There has been 40 years of unstinting feminist policies by UK governments since the 70s.
    I am a natural left winger from the north east that was decimated by Thacher policies, but the disgusting way men are treated TRUMPS left wing for me, something must be done to address the disgraceful bias against men in UK. The only way things will ever change away from feminist hate is the existence of a party acting on behalf of men and boys which is also strongly supported by women against feminism.
    I see feminism as a violent hate movement.
    GROWING NUMBERS OF MEN HAVE HAD ENOUGH, feminist hate has pushed us too far now to stop this.

  17. 17
    David Wilkins

    J4MB conflates two quite separate issues. The first is whether men and boys suffer disadvantage in some areas of public policy and in prevailing socio-cultural notions of what is good and what is bad. The second is whether – if they do – this is all the fault of concerted political action that has acted deliberately to deliver advantage to women (what J4MB characterises as the insidious advance of feminism).

    The answer to the first question is certainly yes. Here at the Men’s Health Forum, we know that men have poorer outcomes for almost all major diseases and causes of death (not all, by the way, but most). We know this cannot be explained by biology alone. There is increasing evidence that the causes are a combination of the political (the way health services are planned), the structural (the way health services are designed and delivered) and the cultural (gender differences in attitudes and behaviour). The issue is a complex one and the solutions needed are multi faceted. It is an issue that does not lend itself to the reductionist, oppositional viewpoint touted by J4MB. Indeed the progress we have made by hard, painstaking work over the past 15 years can only be undermined by an unsophisticated analysis that claims men’s poorer health is caused by the unfair concentration of resources on women.

    Quite apart from anything else we know (indeed anyone with half a brain can see) that male and female health are inextricably linked in numerous ways, both directly (e.g. transmission of STIs) and indirectly (e.g. men and women in long term relationships have better health than single people).

    There are other areas of life where men and boys are not doing as well as they could. Ally mentions the problems with poorer educational attainment in boys (especially working class boys) – which is as pressing as men’s poorer health in my view. He also mention attitudes to prisoners and prisoners’ access to rehabilitation; access to psychological support (another issue on which the Men’s Health Forum has campaigned vigorously for years); and violence against men (largely violence by other men it has to be said). There are others. I would single out exploitation by employers both in the low-paid sector and in countless better paid jobs where the expectation is that staff are never off duty (this is an issue for both sexes of course, but men are twice as likely to be in full time work and are more likely to be the family “breadwinner”); the possibility of biased assumptions in family courts; and harmful pressure on boys and young men to conform to an unrealistic notion of bodily perfection (watch any episode of “Strictly” to see presenters make remarks about men’s bodies of a kind that have been entirely unacceptable on mainstream TV for years when addressed by men to women).

    The point is, that none of these matters can be addressed by reducing this to a battle between men and women. We should not allow ourselves to be drawn in to such a blind alley of a debate. It is entirely obvious that men and women need each other if we are to make progress on any of these things (and indeed, on the areas – of which there are plenty – where women remain disadvantaged). All these matters of disadvantage for men and boys belong politically on the “equality agenda” and that is where they will be resolved. Ironically, the “equality agenda” is an intellectual mechanism whose very existence we owe to feminism. We just need to make sure it is as effective in delivering progress for men as it has been in delivering progress for women. That is not a fight. It is a partnership.

  18. 18
    Mike Buchanan

    @ David Wilkins

    “J4MB conflates two quite separate issues. The first is whether men and boys suffer disadvantage in some areas of public policy and in prevailing socio-cultural notions of what is good and what is bad. The second is whether – if they do – this is all the fault of concerted political action that has acted deliberately to deliver advantage to women (what J4MB characterises as the insidious advance of feminism).”

    Thank you for your contribution. I accept, of course, that some of the problems faced by men and boys are cultural etc., but our concerns are at the more practical level of what the state could do, or stop doing, to make society less hostile to men and boys.

    Our consultation document lists 20 areas in the state’s actions and inactions disadvantage men (and/or boys), often to advantage women (and/or girls). I am unaware of a single area in the UK today where the state’s actions or inactions disadvantage women (and/or girls), to advantage men (and/or boys). Can you think of any such areas? If so, could you please share them with us?

    Finally, am I right in thinking the Men’s Health Forum is principally or largely state-funded? If so, you’re hardly going to bite the hand that feeds you, are you? This isn’t to decry the work you do, simply to point out an obvious point about conflicts of interest – which applies to numerous other state-funded bodies too, of course.

  19. 19
    ian martin

    The early american feminists were ex CIA agents, e.g Gloria Steinem and others. The state and big business itself implemented feminism to encourage women to work, in order to make more and more debt, the whole legal framework was tilted in favour of women. The elite wanted males to continue paying nearly all of the taxes and women to benefit from the taxes. All policies since the 70s have favoured females exclusively.
    It is only the last few years that men have realised all this, they have now pushed us too far

  20. 20
    pikeamus

    Very nice post. I hope it gets some attention on/recommendations from other sites on FTB.

  21. 21
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ian Martin (19)

    I couldn’t agree with you more. In the UK men pay 72% of the income taxes which largely fund the state which, decade after decade, has assaulted them at every turn. A link to my article on the matter:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/he-who-pays-the-piper-calls-the-tune-or-does-he/

  22. 22
    Maureen Brian

    Excellent stuff, Ally. Thanks.

    Tiny additions only – on education give attention to the teaching of basic domestic skills (cooking, budgets, shopping, laundry, etc) and do it in a way which is fun and free of gender bias, also of the assumption that the very bright kids don’t need it. Could this be where new fathers flounder and opt out? Also bring back careers education and improve it. There does seem to be some link between inability to find a job and a narrowness of view about what it might be possible to do for a living. (I first spotted this while running a job club in the last days of Major.) You see it also in small towns which used to rely upon one industry, now gone.

    And on prisons – those who do have to be there need adequate staffing, good education and recreational facilities, all carefully protected from both budget cuts and outbreaks of management-speak.

  23. 23
    Ally Fogg

    DavidWilkins (17)

    Fantastic post, thank you so much.

    The point about exploitation by employers (particularly poverty wages) is a fantastic one. As with so many of these things, it is not restricted to men, but certainly impacts upon men in different (though certainly not greater) ways than upon women.

    I also strongly agree that all of these issues are inter-related.

    (if you don’t mind, I’ll take the liberty of editing in some paragraph breaks to your comment to make it easier for everyone to read!)

  24. 24
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    If anyone is thinking of establishing a left-of-centre or centrist political party to fight for the rights of men and boys, Justice for Men & Boys http://j4mb.org.uk will do everything we can to help them establish themselves. We’d also collaborate on developing policies etc. To my mind little of what we propose is right-of-centre, though some clearly disagree. Certainly my personal leanings are right-of-centre.

    We might expect the left to have a more natural sympathy for groups which are faring badly, e.g. working class boys and young men, yet successive Labour governments did next to nothing for them, and in numerous ways (e.g. mass immigration) economically emasculated working-class men of all ages. Suicide is the leading killer of young men, and a major killer of disadvantaged men in mid-life.

  25. 25
    mildlymagnificent

    an obvious point about conflicts of interest – which applies to numerous other state-funded bodies too, of course.

    Conflicts of interest can arise in every kind of organisation, surely. Why would state funded bodies be more susceptible than any other body that relies on or has links to other kinds of funding or support?

  26. 26
    Maureen Brian

    Mike,

    It was a Labour Government in 1945-1951 which based many policies on the notion that all those women from Bletchley Park, RAF bases and munitions factories, etc, would just blend right back into the foliage as it was assumed they had done in 1919. Tory governments happily retained that mind-set.

    This is not a Left/Right issue.

  27. 27
    Mike Buchanan

    @ mildlymagnificent

    “Conflicts of interest can arise in every kind of organisation, surely. Why would state funded bodies be more susceptible than any other body that relies on or has links to other kinds of funding or support?”

    Of course conflicts of interest arise in every kind of organisation. But people working in organisations would be unwise to criticise the people or organisations which fund them, wouldn’t they?

  28. 28
    JT

    @Ally

    Great list! It is interesting to note that some of the early radical feminists were eerily similar to some of the present day MRA’s. It seems they both are somewhat successful in getting more moderates to change their outlooks and commence with some much needed changes. :)

  29. 29
    redpesto

    Maureen Brian:

    Tiny additions only – on education give attention to the teaching of basic domestic skills (cooking, budgets, shopping, laundry, etc) and do it in a way which is fun and free of gender bias, also of the assumption that the very bright kids don’t need it.

    You can add touch-typing to that list.

  30. 30
    lelapaletute

    @Mike 28: Depends on the culture of the organisation, really. I’d say the state sector is much more tolerant of dissent and organised opposition from within (unions etc) than any private sector body. But that may be my perception. I also think state-funded bodies have the advantage of public scrutiny on their funder – if funding for a public body were suddenly withdrawn after negative comments are made by its chief about the current government, for example, I think a lot of hue and cry could be raised in the press. Whereas in the private sector, employees contracts are generally sctructured so that they can be ‘let go’ with little or no justification or explanation, and recourse is limited.

  31. 31
    karmakin

    Very good post.

    In parts of Canada there’s a push to make some sort of vocational training mandatory across the board in High School. This would help push back against a lot of the upper-class/lower-class distinction that happens in the school system that’s the cause of a lot of the difficulty.

    Also, I really do think that one of the big things that needs to be done is that tests need to be done “blindly”. That is, that they should be marked by other teachers without a name attached to the test. I’d go a step further and say that especially in later years they should all be done electronically.

  32. 32
    redpesto

    Just like to add that it’s a thorough and intelligent piece of work. Hats off for writing it, Ally.

  33. 33
    Jonathan

    if you don’t mind, I’ll take the liberty of editing in some paragraph breaks to your comment to make it easier for everyone to read!

    Similarly, Background Notes in item nine should start a new paragraph. ;)

    As the post itself: Very good – I don’t disagree with any of it.

  34. 34
    jane powell

    Great to see this discussion and list. Re no 4 and suicide; as 75% of all suicides in the UK are male, in almost every age group, it seems to be self evident that male gender IS a primary risk factor, and not simply an issue for disadvantaged middle aged men. Too often reports and organisations looking at male suicide get side tracked by looking at particular socio-economic or age groups of men, and subsequently overlook the bigger picture. Suicide isn’t simply an issue for ‘older disadvantaged men’, it is the single biggest killer of men aged under 35 in the UK.

  35. 35
    Raging Bee

    …at least one reader pointed out that while I had been forthright in my criticism of the ideas put forward by J4MB, I had not offered any constructive alternatives. It was a reasonable point.

    No, that really was not a reasonable point, it was a dodge. First, if you see ignorance and dishonesty in one party’s ideas, then you don’t need to have a complete alternative plan before you can point out their ignorance and dishonesty. And second, that point was bogus because plenty of people and parties have ALREADY come up with alternative ideas (and were doing so before you were even born) — most of which the J4MB lot ignored due to their narrow focus on bashing women.

  36. 36
    Ian Tyes

    Ally also fails to appreciate that just about all other major and minor parties have policies mostly focussed on women and women’s issues and ignoring men and men’s issues entirely. All other parties are effectively feminist parties. Any man who votes for them is a turkey voting for Christmas.

    At last men have a party to vote for that will prioritise ending the institutionalised anti-male discrimination.

    Go for it, Mike!

  37. 37
    km

    Ally, this is the first time that I’ve really seen such a useful, productive, and compassionate treatment of men’s issues that doesn’t drip with hatred for women. While I might quibble over details, I think this really is an excellent framework. And I particularly enjoy your caveat about the limitations of what is possible in our current political situation.

    One small point: I think the package about fatherhood can begin before birth. My partner tells me that one of his biggest fears about fatherhood is that it’s so unknown. Men have little or no interaction with children, and feel often that they’re looked at as some kind of deviant if they express interest in spending time with kids (and I think this is particularly acute in families who are recent immigrants and so may not have extended family in the country).

    There’s lots of ways this could be accomplished. I think an expansion of “Big Brother” programs (not sure about the UK, but we have them in Canada) where men are matched with boys in a mentoring relationship could really both 1) help boys in need and 2) provide men with experience with fatherhood. Other possibilities such as father-to-father programs that match men who are expecting with current fathers. But really acknowledging this gap and thinking creatively about ways to support men as fathers is really important.

  38. 38
    Raging Bee

    Ally also fails to appreciate that just about all other major and minor parties have policies mostly focussed on women and women’s issues and ignoring men and men’s issues entirely.

    Yeah, shame on Ally for thinking any party in any country ever dealt with men’s issues like incarceration, war, jobs, racism, class struggle, working conditions, etc. etc. before J4MB came along. I mean, where could he possibly have got such silly notions? Must be all that history he learned in school…

  39. 39
    Raging Bee

    Neither blame nor hatred are to be found in our public consultation document…

    You made ONE DOCUMENT that didn’t have overt blame or hatred in it? Wow, that’s about as impressive as every other ignorant bigot who publishes something bland on the Web once in a while. I’d give you a cookie, but I’m out.

    And let’s face it — you’ve spouted plenty of blame and hatred in the last thread you gummed up with your grade-school ignorance.

  40. 40
    Mike Buchanan

    @ raging bee

    Sorry to see you go. I’ve never known anyone drive so many people to make comments supporting J4MB or myself.

    I invite anyone reading this to go to Ally’s last blog post and point to even one instance of me ‘spouting blame and hatred’ in it, or indeed in anything I’ve ever said, or written, in TV and radio interviews, books, blogs, articles… wherever.

    Have a nice day.

  41. 41
    freja

    Great post Ally, and something I think the vast majority of feminists would be inclined to agree with. I’m grateful that there are men like you and David Wilkins in the gendersphere (if David’s statement on this thread is anything to go by). It’s refreshing to see someone advocating for men in a way that doesn’t focus on (or even includes) reducing women’s rights and safety or send more of them into poverty. Some of the initiatives would be expensive to implement, but they’re needed and deserved. And prevention is almost always cheaper than damage control in the long run anyway.

    The biggest one for me is probably point 4. I tried (and eventually succeeded) to help a male friend with mental problems. But it was an uphill battle, because of the exact issues you mentioned. His symptoms were not those of a victim, they were those of a criminal. I tried to look up support groups for violent men, but there were none in the town and I had no idea who else to contact. And he was so reluctant to accept it in the first place that every time he improved even mildly, he would dismiss any further need for intervention.

    I’m not saying he isn’t responsible for the criminal acts he committed (but fortunately wasn’t convicted for), but I don’t think there’s any conflict between holding people personally responsible for their wrongdoings and trying to make it as easy as possible for them to not commit any in the first place. And he was honestly trying to do better, he didn’t want to lose control like that but he did it anyway, and then he tried to ease the pain by pretending whoever he’d been violent against (such as me) had it coming, only to crumble whenever the guilt hit him again. It seems that for the current system, there is only one way to proceed; ignore him until he crosses enough lines openly enough to throw him away in prison, which usually wont happen until the damage he inflicted has already become irreversible. We ought to do better.

    Also, kudos for acknowledging how class issues play into this too. As I see it, laissez faire capitalism/economic libertarianism, combined with the current trend of neo-Victorian social authoritarianism, leaves a lot of people vulnerable. And I agree that many of those people are men whose previous work in production have become obsolete or devalued and who currently lack the academic skills/inclination necessary to pursue different jobs.

    Limiting abortion rights, inducing forced prenuptial agreements and mandatory paternity testing, cutting down support for children of poor parents/mothers, and pretending that no initiatives currently exist to get more men into female dominated professions and that the only female dominated professions worth considering are the most prestigious and highly paid ones (which men mostly dominate anyway) aren’t going to do a thing for those men. But playing to their strengths by investing in the kind of work many of them appreciate (and which can also benefit society as a whole), and combining this with educational improvements, might just do the trick. At least it wont have the disastrous consequences J4MB’s initiatives to increase the amount fo women living poverty would.

  42. 42
    Mike Buchanan

    @ freja

    “Great post Ally, and something I think the vast majority of feminists would be inclined to agree with.”

    I agree it’s a strong post, and it’s given us at J4MB a lot to think about, as has the comment stream on this and Ally’s previous post. But the idea that the vast majority of feminists would be inclined to agree with it is simply wrong. As the men’s human rights movement gathers pace globally, we’ll see feminists increasingly ‘talking the talk’ for tactical reasons – partly to portray a false picture of not hating men and boys – but for at least 40 years they’ve never ‘walked the walk’, and I can’t see them starting now. There’s no limit to the advantaging of women (and girls) and disadvantaging of men (and boys) that they seek. We’ve published public challenges of prominent feminists (Kat Banyard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Janet Street-Porter…) when they’ve made demonstrably false statements, and not one has ever retracted a statement in consequence. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, not one feminist has ever retracted a misleading statement made in any media anywhere in the world for 40+ years. Gender feminism – the only form of feminism of any consequence in the UK for 30+ years – is a hate-driven female supremacy movement driven by narratives consisting of conspiracy theories, fantasies, lies, delusions and myths.

    Men form at least 40% of the victims of DV, yet there are 2,000+ places in refuges for female victims of DV, and 15 for (straight) men. Feminists fight for yet more places for women, which I applaud, but never – to the best of my knowledge – for places for men. Their general response is men should be doing that. Well, we’ve started in this area, and many others. It’s early days, but we’re not going to go away, until men and women are treated equally by the state and all its institutions.

  43. 43
    123454321

    Well done, Ally, you’ve at least put a stake in the ground, which is a start. It doesn’t go anywhere near far enough, but it’s a start.

  44. 44
    John Austin

    Great post and it’s a very usueful starting point for discussion.

    Elsewhere on the web, tonight’s discussion in The Guardian’s CIF is whether men should wear high heels. I mean, WTF? A joke is a joke but to ignore anything related to the way men and boys are affected by today’s society and to have this stupid nonsense is just grotesque.
    I just hate the way that these issues highlighted in AF’s post are trivialised.
    I’ve given up reading the rag after 25 years and certainly won’t be buying the print edition in future.

  45. 45
    John Austin

    42 Mike Buchanan

    Human Rights isn’t a zero-sum game. What might benefit women isn’t necessarily a feminist plot against men. Just saying.

  46. 46
    Raging Bee

    Mikey blithered thusly:

    Thanks too for your comment on tone. I simply cannot see why anyone would be nasty and aggressive in online debates. It seems to me utterly counter-productive. I’ve been attacked by a few people on Ally’s earlier blog, and I can’t decide whether ‘Raging Bee’ or ‘Dani Wells’ should be put forward for the ‘Entitlement Princess of the Month’ award…

    So, first you complain about nasty comments, and then — in the SAME PARAGRAPH — repeat your own off-topic nasty comment from another thread, which has absolutely fuck-all to do with the substance of Ally’s post. I have to ask you again: are you even mature enough to perceive how hypocritical you are?

    Ally offered a substantive policy agenda in this post, and all you can do is repeat some totally empty pissy insults from another thread. That’s just more proof that Ally brings more intelligence, more maturity, and more integrity to this debate than you ever will. We certainly know who the bigger man is here.

  47. 47
    Raging Bee

    I invite anyone reading this to go to Ally’s last blog post and point to even one instance of me ‘spouting blame and hatred’ in it…

    Why go back to the other thread when there’s at least one pretty good example here…

    …we’ll see feminists increasingly ‘talking the talk’ for tactical reasons – partly to portray a false picture of not hating men and boys – but for at least 40 years they’ve never ‘walked the walk’, and I can’t see them starting now. There’s no limit to the advantaging of women (and girls) and disadvantaging of men (and boys) that they seek.

    Oh, and…

    We’ve published public challenges of prominent feminists…

    Sounds like the same sort of bogus publicity stunt you might have borrowed from creationists, who make a big deal of “challenging” real scientists to a debate after their own talking-points have been repeatedly proven to be lies.

  48. 48
    123454321

    “Ally offered a substantive policy agenda in this post”

    What! It doesn’t even get close to solving men’s issues – only a mere sniff in the right direction. I’ll concede, though, that I agreed with the sentiment from Ally in that piece, which is a refreshing change.

    What will really help is when men (and women) in the UK vote at the next election. Only then will it dawn on people like you that this onslaught of inequality and discrimination against men has gone well beyond the limits of acceptability. Personally, I can’t wait.

  49. 49
  50. 50
  51. 51
    JT

    @Bee

    I get the impression you were bullied alot at one point in your life?

  52. 52
    lelapaletute

    OK, last five posts are pretty frigging disappointing. As was Mike’s incredibly annoying contribution @42, which stamps furiously all over the HetPat First Directive with its gross generalisations and lack of supporting evidence. I really really don’t understand WHY Ally’s previous blog, which, while good, was just a critique of a controversial document, garnered close to 400 comments, whereas this post, which offers some real ideas and suggestions, had so far only 40-odd which are now starting to turn into personal spatting (38, 39, 40, 46, 37, 51) and irrelevant, unengaged grandstanding (48, 49, 50). Makes me wonder if all some people come here for is a scrap.

  53. 53
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Ally – there is nothing about this post that isn’t 100% awesome. Love it. Excellent job.

  54. 54
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    P.s. Ally- is it okay with you if i show this post to a social justice group im active in to see if we can apply these ideas to american men’s issues? We do policy and lobby activism and this covers a lot of the men’s issues we focus on as part of our activism. They may want to contact you afterwards, which is why im asking.

  55. 55
    jonh123

    Ally has put forward some goods ideas that could be used by J4MB but I also think he was over critical of the current J4MB policy document. They do no seek to discriminate against women, but at least halt the discrimination against men and change the tax and legal system to make being a parent more of a responsible decision than a free ride life style choice available to only one gender and all the negative society affects it appears to be having.

    I do not think J4MB are in any way trying to increase poverty for women with their proposal with family support changes. The current draft while being a little blunt in detail does not retrospectively affect any current single mothers, and one of the main reasons for poverty for some women is being a single mother, despite the current welfare available. That is because education and a job is always the better option and is freely available to all women to persue now. Both genders should be discouraged from having children until they can financially support the idea of having them, as children are not a right but a biological imperative. Current welfare benefits do not such thing.

    My niece is married with children and for a short while split from her husband. They got back together but she found that due to the loss of his job they actually got less state aid as a married couple that she got while as a single mother. In fact he is now working but she would still be better off from state benefits if she left him. As it stands especially for women from poor backgrounds or poor education having a baby out of wedlock is a definite life style choice funded by the tax payer. If the father got the child and support I think the birth rate would fall sharply. Who can parent better is not argued here. Add in the problems caused by the rise in divorces requested by women once they have children, and it is a recipe for disaster that has and is happening already. All of this has been made possible by the state and unbalanced laws and women have been quick to make use of them. I do not blame them, If men had the same choices a lot of them may do the same thing.

    At present I cannot support any of the current parties as they only seem intend on making things worse for all and especially men. So while having a stand alone party such as J4MB cannot give a complete economic answer to the countries woes, if they are the only ones that care about true equality of the sexes than I would have to consider voting for them if they were to stand in my area. The policies would have to be more detailed and thought threw for consistency e.g. the abortion policy needs considerable work, but the overall aim is something I could support.

  56. 56
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lelapaletute (52)

    “OK, last five posts are pretty frigging disappointing. As was Mike’s incredibly annoying contribution @42, which stamps furiously all over the HetPat First Directive with its gross generalisations and lack of supporting evidence.”

    Where I make generalisations it’s because I believe they’re patently obvious, and certainly would be to anyone who reads my books or blogs. As far as ‘lack of supporting evidence’ goes, I don’t think that’s a valid criticism. In Ally’s last blog I provided shedloads of supporting evidence, but my critics either didn’t engage with it, or provided counter-evidence which never withstood even moderate scrutiny, most notably on the ‘gender balance on corporate boards’ issue.

    In comment #42, the one you cite, I raised two substantive issues concerning our public challenges of prominent feminists, and male victims of DV. With a heavy heart, I AGAIN provide links to our supporting evidence:

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

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

  57. 57
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    David Wilkins @17. Excellent post! I, for one, am right there with you. All in.

  58. 58
    ian martin

    The divorce rate would also plumet, Jonh. Without the state to be their new ‘hubby’ , women would think twice before ditching their husbands ‘because the love has gone’.
    Nearly all divorces are initiated by women. Before the feminist legislation, it was around half. Yet another example of why a party for men and boys is NEEDED.
    Women must be taught to be rsposible for their actions, something that is lacking.

  59. 59
    ian martin

    [DELETED BY AF IN KEEPING WITH THE HETPAT FIRST DIRECTIVE]

  60. 60
    Ally Fogg

    Lelapaletute [52]

    Good call.

    Can we all take note and keep scattergun shit-flinging to a minimum, please folks? Thank you.

  61. 61
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Lela- there are those of us interested and deeply invested in trying to right wrongs, end discrimination and improve the quality of life for as many human beings as possible, and there are those who are actively invested in preserving the status quo with all its injustices, bigotries and suffering in order to keep their place in the spotlight, such as it is. I hope this has shown you which is which.

    And in case its not clear, last weekend i attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of a shelter for gay male youth who’ve been kicked out of their homes (a hideously huge problem in my new hometown). It is planned, built, funded, stocked and staffed by a collective of various feminists and humanists- male and female.

    A not-exactly-local self-proclaimed “mra” group (all male, all white) staged a (admittedly entirely inept and tiny) protest and slashed tires in our parking lot, because “fags are bitches!” (Yeah, i dont really get it, either)

  62. 62
    Ally Fogg

    Illuminata etc [53/54]

    Thank you, and yes of course, please do share far and wide. I’m more than happy for people to get in touch, there’s a contact box at the top of the page!

  63. 63
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Ally- Thank you! I think they will really dig this post. Weve been discussing getting into policy lobbying for the suicide issue, with the high rates among males being the primary focus. This might give us the bits we were missing in getting that off the ground. Thanks again!!

  64. 64
    Paul

    Ally

    Congratulations,you’ve provided an extremely useful framework for what could and should be a much needed national debate..Well done.

  65. 65
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Illuminata

    “A not-exactly-local self-proclaimed “mra” group (all male, all white) staged a (admittedly entirely inept and tiny) protest and slashed tires in our parking lot, because “fags are bitches!” (Yeah, i dont really get it, either)”

    I confess I don’t get it, either. Do you have a URL relating to the group, by any chance?

    The MHRM is most decidedly not homophobic, indeed some of the most prominent MHRAs are gay men, lesbians, or bisexuals. In four years of being actively interested in gender politics I’ve never encountered a homophobic remark made by a MHRA, either publicly or privately. I’m sure they could be found on the internet, but you can find anything there. I can assure you these people have 0% influence on the movement as a whole. If one appeared on, say, ‘A Voice for Men’, he’d soon be kicked into the long grass. It’s one of the reasons we moderate comments on our blogs and YouTube channel, to stop such people purporting to be associated with us.

  66. 66
    Ally Fogg

    MikeBuchanan [42]

    For the record, today I have had precisely one feminist take issue with precisely one line in this blog on Twitter – she strongly disagreed with my point on contact for non-residential parents. We had a lively but respectful ding dong about it, fair enough.

    Every other feminist who has commented (either here or elsewhere) has been enthusiastically supportive. I’ve also been getting a lot of RTs of this blog from feminists.

    Meanwhile I’m also followed by quite a lot of MRAs and their fellow travellers on Twitter (and a fair few regular readers / commenters here) and I have to say the silence from them has been utterly deafening thus far.

  67. 67
    Ally Fogg

    WIth thanks to @SandyRuxton on Twitter, I’ve just been sent this link from 2007.

    http://www.xyonline.net/sites/default/files/COMAB,%20Man%20Made%20-%20Men,%20masculinities%20and%20equality%20in%20public%20policy%2009.pdf

    Haven’t the energy to go through it tonight, but looks really interesting, and particularly gratifying that it seems to have picked up on very similar themes.

  68. 68
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally (66)

    Thanks. Feminists (some of them, anyway) will be ‘enthusiastically supportive’ until and unless resources devoted to women may be diverted to men. Talk is cheap. In the absence of a money tree to be shaken, there IS to some extent a ‘zero sum game’. At the moment taxpayers’ money virtually always goes towards organisations supporting women. Maybe we should ask Polly Neate (CEO, Women’s Aid) what proportion of her organisation’s income should go towards supporting male victims of DV?

  69. 69
    ian martin

    I like the personal manifesto you made, but the state will never implement it willingly, men must act as a group with the support of women to force the state to change course after 40 years only implementing laws benefitting
    women.

    Feminism is a the end result of men’s gynocentricity, chivalry and men putting women first. It was evolutionary and the state, big business favour it.

    But male gender equality and rights are against the will of the state and big business, they want men to pay the taxes, fight as soldiers and sacrifice themselves for females. A men’s rights movement is, by nature, REVOLUTIONARY.

  70. 70
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ian Martin

    “A men’s rights movement is, by nature, REVOLUTIONARY.”

    I agree. The Labour administrations of 1997-2010 did NOTHING even faintly echoing Ally’s policy suggestions, even when there was plenty of money to pursue such policies, and nor has the Conservative-led coalition in more straitened times. Those who believe the major parties might be persuaded by rational arguments are sadly deluded. The parties will only be persuaded of the importance of men’s rights when men (and women) join forces so as to reduce the prospects of the most anti-male party gaining (or retaining) power. THEN they’ll have to compete for the ‘men’s vote’, just as they all (even UKIP) currently blindly compete for the ‘women’s vote’.

  71. 71
    Paul

    @68 Mike Buchanan

    Personally i believe that more funding needs to be made available to support male victims of dv rather than taking it away from existing services for female victims- which incidentally are currently being cut thanks to the Tory-led coalition government. .

    However Womens Aid does believe that women have a much greater need for services than men because in their opinion they make up the vast majority of victims of domestic violence. And they’re guilty of doing what i was trying to address on the previous thread. Namely they’re quite happy to use the research which concluded that 1 in 4 women are likely to suffer from dv at some point in their lives but tellingly refuse to acknowledge the fact that the same research also concluded that 1 in 6 men are also likely to suffer from dv at some point in their lives.

    Now given the rhetoric that Womens Aid uses i’m not sure how Polly Neate would respond if funding for all services for dv was based on the prediction that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were likely to suffer from dv at some point in their lives. They’d be right to argue that outcomes are worse on average for female victims than they are for male victims. Nevertheless if they’re going to use that research to justify the funding they get to support female victims -and their children- then how could they possibly justify denying the needs of the men -and their children -which the same research concluded were also likely to become victims?.

  72. 72
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul (71)

    Thank you. Polly Neate appeared on a Newsnight discussion about male victims of DV six months ago (link below). I defy anyone watching this to believe she (or the interviewer, Kirsty Wauk, or the policewoman) has the SLIGHTEST empathy towards male victims of DV. They couldn’t even bring themselves to PRETEND that they did:

  73. 73
    ian martin

    I read the xyonline document, it seems to be written by the usual femimist sympathisers, blaming men, acting on behalf of central government’s wishes, a report sponsored by government written by sycophant ‘consultants’.
    Wanting to feminise men, square holes. This is not what is required.

    Look men have a big problem with our rights, REAL gender equality, not just cherry picked feminist ones. These have been ignored by the state. We need a political voice, a party to stand up for men and supported by women who put the interests of their families and society first.

    You will no longer be able to silence us, the men’s rights movements is here to stay, we have been pushed TOO FAR.

  74. 74
    ian martin

    Due to 40 years of feminist laws, when a man complains about female violence, the male police say things like ‘ what did you do to deserve that? ‘ and , in my case, ‘ it is only men who do the domestic violence ‘ round here.

    Women are above the law when it comes to violence and false rape claims, how did it get like this for men who pay most of the tax? Why are we second class when it comes to being treated by our government?

  75. 75
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul

    My apologies, the Newsnight piece was on DV in general, not male victims of it. But male victims were simply airbrushed out of the picture, and the large backdrops were only of women (as were the four people in the studio).

    A ‘Woman’s Hour’ piece on male victims of DV in July was simply scandalous:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gn4gA5hkxw

    The phone-in contribution was from Ian McNicholl, who was left registered disabled – he can barely walk as a result, and obviously has sight problems – after his ex-partner attacked him with a hammer, cracking his skull and breaking many bones, after he’d suffered years of abuse at her hands. She was sentenced to 7 years in prison and walked free after just 18 months. Ian gave a presentation at the recent ‘National Conference for Male Victims of Domestic Violence’ and you’d have to have a heart of stone to not be deeply moved by his testimony. A most remarkable man. How he didn’t commit suicide, I don’t know. At the same conference two (female) psychologists made wonderful presentations. Earlier in the day they’d been interviewed for a sympathetic piece on ‘Woman’s Hour’:

  76. 76
    Paul

    @Mike Buchanan

    Again.what i was trying to address on the previous thread was that overall coverage of dv in the uk media is weighted in favour of those who believe women make up the vast majority of victims of dv.Also the safety of children is increasingly portrayed as being closely connected with the safety of women -ie further underpinning the belief that men are primarily the problem.In reality however it’s not as clearcut as that.

    I have some sympathy with some of your views Mike but i could never support a party or organisation which closely associates itself with either the Tories or Ukip. For the possibly of disaffected men looking to the Right for a solution to their grievances genuinely worries me.I think the Left in this country hasn’t taken seriously many of the issues which disproportionately and negatively affect men and boys and especially working class men and boys.And that needs to be addressed. However i really don’t think the Right actually gives a damn about mens issues unless it fits in with their broader agenda .

    I’m signing off now because i’ve got stuff to do so i’ll say goodnight and i’ll probably ”see”you again here another time..

  77. 77
    freja

    @42, Mike Buchanan

    I agree it’s a strong post, and it’s given us at J4MB a lot to think about, as has the comment stream on this and Ally’s previous post. But the idea that the vast majority of feminists would be inclined to agree with it is simply wrong.

    Where exactly is your basis for that assertion? I’ve seen feminists react defensively when men’s issues are being brought up to silence women or attack feminists, but I’ve never had any major problem explaining men’s issues to them when I didn’t approach it from an antagonistic angle or used a debate about women’s issues as an excuse to bring it up. There’s always the risk you’ll run into a fanatic, but that’s how it is with all people.

    We’ve published public challenges of prominent feminists (Kat Banyard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Janet Street-Porter…) when they’ve made demonstrably false statements, and not one has ever retracted a statement in consequence.

    Could you be a little more specific? You seem to spend an awful lot of time explaining how awful feminism is because feminism is awful, but you’re lacking in concrete examples to respond to, which makes this conversation somewhat one-sided. Also, could you give me some examples of MRAs retracting any statements?

    Gender feminism – the only form of feminism of any consequence in the UK for 30+ years

    Gender feminism is a term made up by people like you. I’ve seen feminists disagree enough on various issues to conclude that lumping them all together in a monolith is hardly constructive. Furthermore, there are plenty of influential women who get labeled feminist without actually being very influential on feminism. Whenever these influential women do something objectionable, it is then immediately attributed to their alleged feminism (rather than their association with various other groups or their personal opinions), and people then use it hold random feminists responsible for it, whether those feminists supported it or not.

    On a related note, I googled Janet Street-Porter, and while I finally managed to find an example of her identifying as feminist, I didn’t find anything about actual feminist activism. She seem to write mostly gossip aimed at women and opinion pieces, but I don’t see her as a leading feminist figure, just a minor celebrity who happens to identify as feminist.

    What interesting is that even a cursory glance at what writes puts her at odds with many feminists I’ve met. According to her wikipedia page, she wrote for the Daily Mail (hardly something progressive feminists would support), said some controversial things about a man who had been killed by a police officer at the 2009 G-20 summit protests (ditto), and referred to depression as “just the new trendy illness” (a big nono among intersectional feminists). And I found an article of hers telling female MPs to “man up” (something plenty of feminists oppose).

    Besides that, she also seem to make some points I would think you’d agree with:

    What’s offensive about books such as this is their assumption that men must ‘do more’, to redress some mythical imbalance in their relationships.

    Men shouldn’t be expected to clean, cook, load the dishwasher and do laundry, to achieve some ridiculous quota of 50/50 which will magically equal happiness and regular sex. HA HA HA!

    We want our men to do the things that keep them smiling, the tasks they are good at, which give them a sense of achievement. I would never have a rota, or a score card pasted to the back of my utility room (even if I had a utility room and not a filthy garage).

    Yes, women do more in the home than men, but let’s not whinge about it — no amount of setting quotas or nagging or brandishing this handbook will make any difference. In fact, it might make men dig their heels in and rebel.

    Actually, I almost feel sorry for working men — women under 30 are earning more in certain jobs, they are better educated and highly confident.

    While young white men, in particular, are a source of concern — so many are under-achieving and lack self-esteem.

    The reason women lag behind in our 30s and 40s is because of child-rearing. It’s not fair, but it’s our choice. We go back to work because we need the money, but also because we want to be stimulated in a way you can’t get from watching Cbeebies.

    Men form at least 40% of the victims of DV, yet there are 2,000+ places in refuges for female victims of DV, and 15 for (straight) men. Feminists fight for yet more places for women, which I applaud, but never – to the best of my knowledge – for places for men. Their general response is men should be doing that.

    What exactly is controversial about that? Men surely have more expertise in that area, as well as a better understanding of the scope of the problems that need to be addressed. You’ll notice that organisations working for better conditions for disabled people have a disproportionate number of disabled people in them, organisations in support of immigrants have higher numbers of immigrants in them, organisations aimed at promoting secularism tend to have a high number of atheists, people doing LGBTQ activism are more likely to be LGBTQ, etc.. While I wouldn’t expect organisations and initiatives aimed at helping men to be composed exclusively of men, I’d at least expect men to be the ones taking the initiative and leadership.

    The issue here is that male victims are usually only brought up as an attack on feminism or people protesting violence against women, which makes it harder to trust the people who say they’re truly concerned about the men. Your friends at AVfM are a prime example of this. Ally gets that trust because he talks about it like someone who cares more about helping men than defeating feminists. He doesn’t relentlessly troll feminist bloggers and activists and demand that they fix the problem for him while all he does is attacking them. He writes about men’s issues centred on men, not feminists.

    That means he doesn’t go into every blog post about violence against women and accuse the blogger of being evil because s/he didn’t blog about violence against men, he blogs about the issue himself instead. And a lot of the time, that earns him the sympathy and support of the people he would be have been busy calling evil had he been an MRA. Such as many people at FreeThoughtBlogs.

    Well, we’ve started in this area, and many others. It’s early days, but we’re not going to go away, until men and women are treated equally by the state and all its institutions.

    That’s great! I wish you all kinds of luck building shelters for men, as long as it’s an actual effort to build shelters for men, and not just an effort to demolish shelters for women like men’s groups usually do. Since I don’t want to clog up this thread with discussions of your policies, since this thread should be about Ally’s suggestions, I’ll write the part of my answer that concerns your specific policies in the previous comment section.

  78. 78
    Jacob Schmidt

    Talk is cheap.

    And yet it would seem that the men’s rights side have difficulty even managing that, once substantive and effective proposals and policies become the topic.

    Due to 40 years of feminist laws, when a man complains about female violence, the male police say things like ‘ what did you do to deserve that?

    You’re a fool if you think the assumed differences in agency are only 40 years old, or even originate within feminism.

    Aside: in the US at least, female prisoner populations have actually increased nearly twice as much as male populations; there are more women being arrested, not less.

  79. 79
    ian martin

    What is clear from posts here, is that feminists do not seem to get it, they deny that there is a problem for men, they dont care. Then the logical reply is why should men care about women?
    Men have kept women alive for nearly all of human history and still do in most of the world.
    But it is male instinct to care for others.
    feminists are extremists who have had a hold on politicans for far too long. Their time is coming to an end, they have caused so much damage to our children. they have been unopposed until recently, but we are pushing them back, men and women, for the sake of our children.

  80. 80
    ian martin

    Bringing the feminist gravy train to a halt will require immense work, upturning of the status quo, too many are depending on the victims advocacy, false rape claims, lawyers with incentives to create D.V victims. MEN and children are the victims.
    Change can only be forced, not relying on state to give men our rights, they use the establushment ‘rebels’ to pacify us, but our movement in unstoppable now, there is UK party acting on behalf of us with support of women.

  81. 81
    mildlymagnificent

    What is clear from posts here, is that feminists do not seem to get it, they deny that there is a problem for men, they dont care.

    Have you read all of the responses above? Feminists are lots of men, but mostly women who are mothers, wives, lovers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, teachers, friends, neighbours and workmates of boys and men. We have an abiding, sometimes passionate, interest in their well-being. Their physical and mental health, their education, their opportunities for worthwhile, rewarding work and their capacities to function as loving parents/ family members and as responsible citizens.

    I don’t know of any women who’d have any problems with Ally’s proposals above – apart from those who nitpick or can’t resist the opportunity to “improve” any proposal from anyone anywhere. I don’t know of any feminist men who’d differ much either. (Though I wouldn’t want to chair a meeting with an agenda of changing the order of those numbered items. We all have particular hobby-horses – whether it’s genital mutilation or prisoner rehabilitation or health promotion priorities or workplace practices. And we’d all dearly like for other people to see the world the same way.)

    You say we “don’t care”. I’d say very few people who take a strong interest in, say childcare or workplace safety or appropriate sex education or disability services, have the time or energy to add other people’s strong concerns to their own plate.

  82. 82
    mildlymagnificent

    Though I should add. You start attacking women’s reproductive freedoms – access to contraception, abortion, ante-natal and post-natal services – and all bets are off.

  83. 83
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul 76

    “I have some sympathy with some of your views Mike but i could never support a party or organisation which closely associates itself with either the Tories or Ukip. For the possibly of disaffected men looking to the Right for a solution to their grievances genuinely worries me”

    Thanks for this, but we don’t closely associate with either the Tories or UKIP. Our analysis is that under Cameron the Tories have been even more anti-male than the Labour governments of 1997-2010 – for example Labour never threatened gender quotas on corporate boards. It’s why we’re targeting Tory marginal in 2015. As for UKIP we have no position on the EU, we have said we MAY recommend to our supporters in seats we’re not contesting in 2015 – the overwhelming majority – that they vote UKIP because UKIP is the only party which believes in the importance of meritocracy, e.g. its wish to expand the grammar school system to improve social mobility, and Farage’s stated position of being against gender quotas on corporate boards.

    “I think the Left in this country hasn’t taken seriously many of the issues which disproportionately and negatively affect men and boys and especially working class men and boys.”

    ‘Hasn’t taken seriously’? Well, feminism arose from Marxism, and Harriet Harman and her kind were the architects of so much that affect men ad boys badly – and indeed women and girls. Their attacks on the nuclear family, and mass immigration, being just two issues.

    So I don’t see solutions likely to come from the left, but we would do what we could to support the establishment of a left-of centre party. I suspect we’d have more uniting us than dividing us.

  84. 84
    Mike Buchanan

    @ freja 77

    Thank you. I said:

    “I agree it’s a strong post, and it’s given us at J4MB a lot to think about, as has the comment stream on this and Ally’s previous post. But the idea that the vast majority of feminists would be inclined to agree with it is simply wrong.”

    You said:

    “Where exactly is your basis for that assertion?”

    I must return to the issue of gender feminism being the only significant strand of feminism in the UK for 30+ years. It’s these feminists, and these feminists only, I’m talking about, and write about in my books, blogs etc. But since you state “Gender feminism is a term made up by people like you” we’ll have to agree to disagree. The best account of the matter I know of is Christina Hoff Sommers’s ‘Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women’ (1994) For an account of the damage wrought by feminists in the UK in the past 30+ years I recommend Swayne O’Pie’s ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’ (2012).

    You ask me to be ‘more specific’ about our public challenges of prominent feminists, but I’ve already posted the link to those challenges a number of times, including on Ally’s last post. It includes the public challenge we made to Janet Street-Porter in connection with the second half of a line she wrote in a recent column, ‘I want both sexes to be treated equally and given the same chances, because research shows that more women in charge produces better results for business.’ There is no evidence to support the statement, ‘… because research… business’, indeed the evidence – to which I’ve put up a link on a number of occasions – shows a causal link between more women in boardrooms and corporate financial declines.

    “That means he (Ally) doesn’t go into every blog post about violence against women and accuse the blogger of being evil because s/he didn’t blog about violence against men, he blogs about the issue himself instead.”

    I’m honestly confused by this statement. Are you asserting that I, or my supporters, do this? I can’t recall having done so, perhaps you can remind me of instances? The nearest thing that comes to mind was a ludicrous assertion made by Kat Banyard on ‘Channel 4 News’ about sexual assaults on schoolgirls, ‘What we know is, one in three girls at school experiences sexual harassment on almost a daily basis’. which was the basis of my public challenge of her. Our video on YouTube and associated commentary has had 3,000+ hits, I’ve since asked her again to retract the statement, and have heard nothing. I looked at some government research accessible through her website – UK Feminista – and it said that one in three schoolgirls experiences sexual harassment AT LEAST ONCE DURING THEIR SCHOOL CAREERS. The figure for schoolboys was about 1 in 4, and not mentioned. Feminists make the most outrageous statements on TV, radio, and in the print media and are very rarely challenged, although I’m told Banyard was challenged on breakfast TV the other day over her unfounded assertion that Lads’ Mags contributed to the incidence of sexual violence against women.

    “I wish you all kinds of luck building shelters for men, as long as it’s an actual effort to build shelters for men, and not just an effort to demolish shelters for women like men’s groups usually do.”

    I have never heard of men’s groups advocating for the demolition of shelters for women. The mere suggestion of demolishing them is evil, and to do so would surely be a PR disaster. Can you provide links to any such groups’ websites or blogs? Along with other men’s groups J4MB would like to see more support for female victims of DV, but in addition appropriate support for male victims of DV. And it is the latter that has been all but non-existent, while the evidence base about male victims of DV rises decade after decade, and government doing nothing – or next to nothing – about it.

  85. 85
    Mike Buchanan

    @ mildlymagnificent (82)

    “Though I should add. You start attacking women’s reproductive freedoms – access to contraception, abortion, ante-natal and post-natal services – and all bets are off.”

    We disagree on abortion law reform, of course, but I can’t recall ever saying anything about the other areas. Why would you think we might want to ‘attack’ those freedoms? We certainly wouldn’t. We propose abortion law reform because we attribute value to the unborn child, and don’t regard elective abortion as an appropriate ‘solution’ to the problem of unwanted pregnancy. Many people in this country (and others) hold the same view. None of the major parties is prepared to let them show demonstrate that view at the ballot box.

    By the time of the next election the number of elective abortions in the UK since the Abortion Act (1967) will have risen to around 8.2 million, greater than the populations of present-day Scotland and Wales, or London. And all this in an era of virtually infallible contraception being available to British women. What would the number have to be for feminists to care? When I raised this question on a feminist’s website – I can’t recall which – one woman commented that she thought abortion was a marvellous form of contraception, or words to that effect. It seems to me that some women glory in their power to end human life. When men do the same, e.g. in the context of war, they’re branded as evil. Why the double standard?

  86. 86
    mildlymagnificent

    Well, feminism arose from Marxism, …

    Who says?

    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was published in 1792 – years before Marx was even born. And Wollstonecraft wasn’t the first writer on the topic by a long shot, she’s just the best known. John Stuart Mill published The Subjection of Women in 1869 – after The Communist Manifesto, but before Das Kapital was completed.

    I know many of us second wave feminists linked feminist theory to socialism back in the 70s – most of those people also strongly referenced Mill, but a good many simultaneously linked their ideas to Freud. (Don’t ask me, I thought it was daft at the time.)

  87. 87
    mildlymagnificent

    we attribute value to the unborn child

    90% of abortions in the UK are carried out before 13 weeks – the same period when most spontaneous abortions occur. You can’t possibly regard a 25 gram, 12 week foetus as a “child”. When we’re pregnant with a wanted child we talk about our growing baby, but it’s really not a baby, it’s a tiny developing bundle of hopes and dreams.

    If we approached abortion sensibly, most would occur before 8 or 10 weeks.

    As for contraception. Have a look at the repeat abortion %s for women less than 25 in this table. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/may/24/abortion-statistics-england-wales
    That tells me that there’s a serious breakdown in contraception education and provision. It’s no good that reliable contraception is “available” if people don’t know to use it or are easily persuaded not to use it. The thing I find most alarming about these statistics? If they can get pregnant when they didn’t want to, that means that they’re also exposed to STIs which nobody ever wants.

  88. 88
    Mike Buchanan

    @ mildlymagnificent

    Who says feminism arose from Marxism? You’re quite right about feminism’s deep historical roots of course, but I tend to think of the pivotal issue being dualism. Marx wrote of an oppressing class (the bourgeouisie) and an oppressed class (the proletariat). Feminists simply moved the goalposts to say the oppressing class is men – the ‘patriarchy’ – and the oppressed class women. ‘Patriarchy theory’ is as grounded in reality as ‘Easter Bunny theory’. While men have traditionally exercised the bulk of formal power (while women exercised a great deal of informal power) men in positions of power have always arranged affairs to give special treatment to women, once you look at the combination of rights and responsibilities. Feminists of course only look at the rights side of the equation. So they talk about British women in the Victorian era having no property rights. What they fail to say is that when a woman incurred a debt she couldn’t pay – to a merchant, say – and her husband couldn’t pay it either, the husband went to debtor’s prison.

    Ernest Belfort Bax, an English socialist, wrote an intriguing short book which was published 100 years ago, ‘The Fraud of Feminism’. It’s downloadable at no cost through this link:

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/bax/1913/fraud/index.htm

    I’ve just read Wiki’s piece on gender feminism, it’s short but insightful (below). If you don’t subscribe to Christina Hoff Sommers’s analysis, of course, you won’t agree with it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_feminism

  89. 89
    Mike Buchanan

    @mildlymagnificent

    “That tells me that there’s a serious breakdown in contraception education and provision. It’s no good that reliable contraception is “available” if people don’t know to use it or are easily persuaded not to use it.”

    Do women not have agency? Do women not take risks which result in unwanted pregnancies? How difficult is it to take one small pill each morning? I take a number of pills daily in connection with my diabetes and have never once failed to do so. Surely a woman who is keen not to become pregnant would be very sure to do likewise? In ‘The Woman Racket’ Steve Moxon writes about the phenomenon of ‘oopsing’ – women who want to become pregnant not taking the pill, but telling their partners otherwise. And of course if they succeed in their mission, the poor sucker is in for maybe 20+ years of child support. Liz Jones, a Daily Mail journalist, wrote of her attempts to become pregnant by using the contents of both her ex-partners’ used condoms:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2056875/Liz-Jones-baby-craving-drove-steal-husbands-sperm-ultimate-deception.html

    The article includes this little nugget:

    “A 2001 survey revealed that 42 per cent of women would lie about using contraception in order to get pregnant in spite of their partners’ wishes.”

  90. 90
    carnation

    @ Ally

    For 4, 5, 6 and 7, in addition to your own proposals, woukd you support an educational initiative aimed at boys and girls on what “healthy” relationships look like as well as controllibg and abusive relationships. Sensitively delivered, this could help everyone

  91. 91
    lelapaletute

    @Mike: I really have a serious problem with what you have been saying regarding feminist support for Ally’s proposals. At 42, for example, you say:

    As the men’s human rights movement gathers pace globally, we’ll see feminists increasingly ‘talking the talk’ for tactical reasons – partly to portray a false picture of not hating men and boys – but for at least 40 years they’ve never ‘walked the walk’, and I can’t see them starting now. There’s no limit to the advantaging of women (and girls) and disadvantaging of men (and boys) that they seek.

    What yoy appear to be implying here is that all the feminists here and on Twitter who are offering encouragement and support to Ally’s ideas (for example myself) are lying in order to hide our hatred of men and boys. I find this offensive on a personal level – I have never hated anyone on the basis of their gender – and wolly on the general level, as until the situation arises where these suggestions were realistically being enforced as policy, feminists can’t demonstrate that their support is genuine. You’re basically doing the equivalent of saying”what you say doesn’t fit in with my pre-conception about you, therefore I do not believe it’s true, and you can’t prove it is.” You can’t prove it isn’t. So how do you think you can presume to tell me what I really feel when you have no evidence to support it?

    Also, I do get annoyed when ‘journalist who writes about feminist issues’ gets equated with ‘prominent feminist’. As I have stated before, the feminists who end up being journalists almost invariably get that role by being wildly controversial. The vast majority of feminist ideas and principles have general acceptance. It’s only when you get someone like Julie Bindel with her ‘lesbianism is a feminist choice, not an orientation, and btw I hate men’, or Suzanne Moore (and Julie Bindel!) and (Julie bloody Burchill with their ‘transsexuals are just men in dresses raping women’s space with their male bodies (and by the way, we hate men!)’ or Bidisha with her… well, ANYTHING she says, that the fairly tedious and well-understood principle that men and women should have equal rights seems to warrant a byline. The rad fem journalists are not prominent feminists; they are not even activists for the most part (Bindel excepted, as I understand she has done a lot of work for women’s refuges and investigating forced prostitution, although I disagree with pretty much all her conclusions). They are rad fem journalists. I for one don’t know anyone, male or female, who doesn’t greet every word they write with a deep groan and a sudden need for a brandy.

    An even more appalling equation is Liz Jones = Everywoman. Liz Jones is another journalist who has made a career out of being a public trainwreck. The reason she is given column inches to put her stories in the Mail (that upright pillar of journalistic integrity) is because she is likely to give every impression of being a wildly eccentric character prone to do bizarre things. She genuinely gives the impression to me of someone in need of extensive counselling. Just because she tried to pour the contents of condoms into herself to get duplicitously pregnant (or claims she did – the woman is almost certainly a fantasist) does not mean we are all at it. It would also be worth checking that 2001 ‘study’ for rectitude, as the Mail is famous for its manipulative use of manipulatively obtained ‘statistics’ (which is why I tend to disbelieve anything they say as a matter of course).

    HOWEVER. I am going to pass on your posts now for this thread, if you don’t mind, unless they are directly addressing Ally’s proposals or engaging with another commentor about them. You seem to me (apologies if this an unfair assessment) to be using this thread to reprise what you appear to consider your success(?) in the previous thread, and to direct traffic to your own website, rather than engage with the proposals themselves.

  92. 92
    Mike Buchanan

    @ lelapaletute @ Ally

    “So how do you think you can presume to tell me what I really feel when you have no evidence to support it?”

    I can’t presume, and don’t. I’ve stated countless times that my concern relates solely to gender feminists (not equity feminists) – Harriet Harman being a prime example – whose attacks on many pillars of British society are well documented in Swayne O’Pie’s book.

    “You seem to me (apologies if this an unfair assessment) to be using this thread to reprise what you appear to consider your success(?) in the previous thread, and to direct traffic to your own website, rather than engage with the proposals themselves.”

    You make a valid point, though that has never been my intention. Indeed I was about to contact Ally on this very issue through his website, and instead will do so here.

    Ally, my apologies for the number of links to my websites, but they have genuinely been only to refer people to existing materials. If I’ve already written on a subject, or a piece is pertinent to a question put to me, then I will obviously point to links. I should be VERY happy for people to stop challenging me in this comment stream, and indeed your previous one, and to have the whole comment thread relating directly to your very thought-provoking piece. Apart from anything else, this would free up a good deal of my time so I could return to my other activities, which would be welcome.

    So if anyone wants to challenge anything relating to what we do, I invite them to post comments on http://j4mb.org.uk rather than on Ally’s blogs.

  93. 93
    Ally Fogg

    Mike Buchanan

    Can I just make a general point about this thing of issuing public challenges, whether to feminists or anyone else? Consider it constructive feedback.

    It is, how can I put this politely, a bit weird.

    Political campaigners, bloggers, journalists, activists etc make all sorts of claims about the world on a daily basis. Some of them are unequivocally, demonstrably true. Some are unequivocally, demonstrably false.

    Most are a matter of interpretation of the evidence. Within the rarefied realms of peer-reviewed hard empirical science, there are all sorts of honestly held differences of opinion about what something means, what evidence is meaningful, which methodologies are most valid to answer a specific question etc etc etc.

    When you get into the areas like social science, criminology, psychology, economics etc, it is very rare that there is such a thing as a definitive truth. Just contradictory interpretations of contradictory evidence.

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to disagree with someone’s public statements or claims. If they invite feedback (in blog comments or whatever) anyone has the perfect right to offer counter-claims or corrections, write a letter to the editor etc. Or they might go away and write their own blog, article or whatever making an alternative case (as I’ve been doing with you this past week.)

    However nobody has the right to demand anything.

    if I write something and someone else disagrees, I’m more than happy to discuss it in comment sections or reply to emails, and I might choose to engage, discuss it, debate it. But nobody has the right to demand my attention, demand evidence for what I say, demand a retraction or anything like that.

    To be blunt, if someone were to issue such a “public challenge” to me to justify something I’d written or said, my instant reaction would be “And who the fuck do you think you are?” and I would almost certainly file it straight into the bin. Which, I’d hazard a guess, is exactly the reason why all of your public challenges are ignominiously ignored.

    It’s not helped when at least some of your public challenges (eg the Nick Baveystock one we discussed on the last thread) themselves contain inaccurate or false claims. And when the articles, blogs, documents and books you provide are themselves peppered with dubious or downright false statements of your own.

    Issuing public challenges like that is arrogant and patronising. It smacks of an outrageous sense of entitlement, assumed authority and self-importance.

    Serious political movements don’t behave in this way. Credible intellectuals and academics don’t behave in this way. They don’t need to.

    If I’m honest, all these public challenges don’t give me the impression that you and your party are an intellectually rigorous and politically savvy, they just make me think that you’re the digital version of the green ink brigade, known to journalists, academics and political activists since time immemorial.

    As I say, consider this constructive feedback.

  94. 94
    Ally Fogg

    carnation [90]

    For 4, 5, 6 and 7, in addition to your own proposals, woukd you support an educational initiative aimed at boys and girls on what “healthy” relationships look like as well as controllibg and abusive relationships. Sensitively delivered, this could help everyone

    Absolutely, 100%

  95. 95
    Ally Fogg

    Mike / LelaPT

    I have no particular rules or strong feelings about linking to other sites. I won’t moderate those links, although you might want to consider the etiquette, since I’m sure LPT won’t be the only person forming that impression.

  96. 96
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    “When you get into the areas like social science, criminology, psychology, economics etc, it is very rare that there is such a thing as a definitive truth. Just contradictory interpretations of contradictory evidence.”

    We always try to base our public challenges on evidence which is clear, as for example ‘women in the boardroom’.

    Where we’re shown that our analysis is open to reasonable challenges – as with your point about abortion stats which we’ve incorporated into our consultation document, and I plan to modify the Nick Baveystock piece – we modify our positions. The point I’m trying to make is that even when I point out to feminists (and their collaborators) they’ve made a demonstrably misleading statement, they never retract the statement. Now why would someone maintain public positions when they’re demonstrably wrong? J4MB never would.

    These people get an almost uninterrupted ride across the TV, radio, and print media, but J4MB doesn’t. Why would the print edition of the Guardian – or indeed virtually all national newspapers and periodicals – even acknowledge our existence, if there is a debate genuinely worth having on gender politics?

    “And when the articles, blogs, documents and books you provide are themselves peppered with dubious or downright false statements of your own.”

    Please point me to any false statements I’ve made anywhere – rather than opinions you disagree with – and I’ll correct them forthwith.

    “Issuing public challenges like that is arrogant and patronising. It smacks of an outrageous sense of entitlement, assumed authority and self-importance.

    Serious political movements don’t behave in this way. Credible intellectuals and academics don’t behave in this way. They don’t need to.”

    Of course they don’t. ‘Serious’ political movements have major donors, we’ve been going 7 months. National newspapers are giving us no coverage so we have little option but to use online media as best we can. And if that means kicking up some dust occasionally to be heard then, like AVfM, that’s what we’ll do. I spent a lot of time engaging with parliamentary inquiries, presenting robust evidence, and it got us precisely nowhere.

  97. 97
    pikeamus

    I agree with Ally, the public challenges make you sound weird. Rather like creationists in fact. Also the constant references to a few books and links back to your website.

  98. 98
    Ally Fogg

    Please point me to any false statements I’ve made anywhere – rather than opinions you disagree with – and I’ll correct them forthwith.

    Some false, spurious or dubious (ie open to question)

    Highly feminised schools inevitably lead to boys with gender-typical characteristics (e.g. boisterousness) being branded ‘troublesome’. [citation needed]

    Boys are taught to feel ashamed of their natures. [citation needed]

    Many children grow up being cared for by single mothers, and may meet few men in their lives outside school. [citation needed]

    With more male teachers, they’ll develop more balanced attitudes towards their male characteristics [citation needed]

    Please note, when I say “citation” I don’t mean ‘Here’s what Swayne O’Pie or Christina Hoff-Sommers have argued in a book”, far less “here’s an article I wrote for A Voice for Men,” – I mean peer-reviewed papers providing incontrovertible, statistically significant evidence.

    To the best of my knowledge, not a single one of those claims is supported by any solid evidence, and yet you present them as statements of fact. They are every bit as questionable as claims that, for example, more women on boards leads to better corporate performance.

    And of course, those are just taken from one paragraph of one section of one document of your website. I could have chosen umpteen others. I’ve looked at a lot of your writing, Mike, both online and your books, and I could pick out pretty much any page, pretty much any paragraph, and make the same points.

    But to be honest, I have neither the time nor the energy to devote my life to fact-checking your entire written output.

    In other business…

    These people get an almost uninterrupted ride across the TV, radio, and print media, but J4MB doesn’t. Why would the print edition of the Guardian – or indeed virtually all national newspapers and periodicals – even acknowledge our existence,

    There’s that rampant entitlement and self-importance again, Mike. Why should the Guardian or any other paper even acknowledge your existence? Who do you represent? How many registered, paid-up members has your party got? How many people came to your national conference?

    There were 419 political parties registered for England and Wales at the last election. How many of them do you think got any mentions in the Guardian or any other papers at all? I’d hazard a guess that about 400 did not get so much as a word.

    It strikes me you have been exceptionally fortunate to get yourself on Woman’s Hour and some other radio shows, to get yourself mentioned occasionally in a few papers, get your pieces on various politics websites etc. You’ve actually done very well for publicity, considering who and what your party actually is and, to be frank, how utterly appalling your policy proposals would look to most rational people.

  99. 99
    Adiabat

    Good post Ally, I agree with the vast majority of your points.

    However, I’m afraid I agree with Mike above that ‘talk is cheap’ and feminist re-tweeting is meaningless.

    We’ve discussed before about feminists organisations who will say one thing but whose actions do the exact opposite. The Fawcett Society trying to prevent legislation to allow an assumption of shared parenting after separation and Women’s Aid blatant lying about statistics to avoid having to provide services to men, as required by the equality duty, are two examples that’s been discussed in previous threads. These things are in your document in the OP yet prominent feminist organisations are opposing them.

    So let’s say your points are adopted by government (and in fact the equality duty and shared parenting parts already are) but highly regarded ideological organisations are trying their hardest to stop them, or subvert them, what do you propose is done? Personally I think the best approach is the discredit the ideology by shining a light on its inconsistencies and bigotries; this will serve to discredit the organisations as well and enable those who care about victims to push through the help that they desperately need. This was the approach atheists took to stop religious groups pushing their ideology into schools.

    Note also that many of the feminists here that are claiming that they agree with your proposals defended these organisations in those threads, or just stayed silent. They “care” when all that “caring” entails is posting “yay Ally!” on a comment board, but as soon as genuinely caring entails criticising shitty behaviour committed by highly influential and prominent feminist organisations suddenly they don’t give a shit about men, but care more about the ‘image’ of feminism.

  100. 100
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally (98)

    “To the best of my knowledge, not a single one of those claims is supported by any solid evidence, and yet you present them as statements of fact. They are every bit as questionable as claims that, for example, more women on boards leads to better corporate performance.”

    I don’t want to post links to my sites but you may recall that the leading academic proponent of ‘more women on boards’ in the world for many years, Professor Susan Vinnicombe, admitted to a House of Lords inquiry last year that she had no evidence of a positive causal link with improved financial performance, and neither did Catalyst, the foremost campaigning group in the world. No academic proponents of ‘more women on boards’ has ever questioned the validity of the five longitudinal studies we cite, and we’ve asked a large number. The state finances all these people to drive an utterly flawed narrative.

    All the statements for which you request citations are common knowledge not just in MRA circles but well beyond.

    Who will produce the peer-reviewed papers? Academics, obviously, but it’s well known it’s very difficult to get grants to do research which might support anything other than left-wing narratives. Then there’s innate political bias. From the website of the sociologist Peter Saunders http://www.petersaunders.org.uk/:

    “In our universities, where there should be open debate and pluralism, there is political orthodoxy and intellectual conformity. Nine out of 10 UK sociology professors describe their politics as left wing and just 3% vote Conservative*. This ideological uniformity underpins the social policy advice academic ‘experts’ offer to politicians and the public. My aim as an independent researcher is to subject the claims of the academic establishment to critical scrutiny. Offering an alternative perspective based in classical liberal values of individual responsibility and personal liberty, I am interested in exploring practical solutions to pressing social problems that do not entail more government spending, or more control of our lives by the state.

    * Survey of sociology professors reported in A. H. Halsey, A History of Sociology in Britain, 2004 ”

    “Who do you represent? How many registered, paid-up members has your party got? How many people came to your national conference?”

    I try to represent as best I can, with limited resources, and for no personal reward, those affected by the crises faced by men and boys in modern Britain. This includes a large number of women and girls, who are equally damaged by the state’s relentless assaults on the nuclear family.

    We don’t have members, we have supporters, some of whom are donors. Very few of those donors have much money, and we’ve had donations from students and people on the minimum wage, among others. These donors – of whom I’m one though my prime income is my company pensions – have financed the party and so far funded four PPCs for 2015.

    We haven’t yet had a national conference. We’ve only been going 7 months.

    “You’ve actually done very well for publicity, considering who and what your party actually is and, to be frank, how utterly appalling your policy proposals would look to most rational people.”

    So you’re deciding on who is ‘rational’, and who is not? I could comment on that, but won’t. There’s a huge distaste in the country with respect to left-wing agendas which have done so much to destroy the fabric of British society, and in the political arena this partly finds expression in support for UKIP.

  101. 101
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    When you say those issues were discussed, you should really clarify that you alone raised the point and others disagreed or ignored you.

    Ally’s manifesto is practical and realistic. Forcing charities to ignore their mission statements and enforce dubious interpretations of laws is as realistic as “paper abortions” or mandatory paternity tests.

    There will come a time, hopefully, when there are activists worthy of the name assisting males who need their help. Pointless juvenile theoretical circle jerking fuels unfocused anger and helpa nobody.

  102. 102
    Adiabat

    Mike Buchanan (100):

    So you’re deciding on who is ‘rational’, and who is not? I could comment on that, but won’t. There’s a huge distaste in the country with respect to left-wing agendas which have done so much to destroy the fabric of British society, and in the political arena this partly finds expression in support for UKIP.

    And in the fact that the Daily Mail is one of only 2 (if I remember correctly) national newspapers that still turns a profit.

    In comparison the Guardian makes massive losses, ofset only by tax-dodging (while moaning about rich people who do it). What I always find shocking is that our National Broadcaster the BBC buys more copies of the Guardian than any other newspaper, despite the fact that a National Broadcaster should represent the views of the population rather than extreme left wing media luvvies. Also the Guardian advertises more Public Sector jobs than any other newspaper, despite the potential of that leading to the political slant of the Public Sector being at odds to the views of the taxpayers. Oh and the editor gave a job to his own daughter, which by rights she should not have got. And THAT my friends is Patriarchy, if anything at all is.

  103. 103
    Adiabat

    carnation (101): I remember giving you a good ol’ spanking if that’s what you mean?

    Y’now, that part where I backed up everything I said then you avoided responding and went off-topic, like you always do.

  104. 104
    carnation

    @ Mike

    ” I try to represent as best I can, with limited resources, and for no personal reward, those affected by the crises faced by men and boys in modern Britain. This includes a large number of women and girls, who are equally damaged by the state’s relentless assaults on the nuclear family.”

    The problem is that what you are doing is not going to result in a single positive outcome for a man or a boy, or for the women that love them.

    You are granting power to your self declared enemies by insisting that they have power that they simply do not yeild.

    Please indulge me by doing the following:

    Please list the political parties in the constituencies you are standing in, in order of how “feminist” they are, the most feminist at the top and decreasing as you go.

    I know you are busy but think that this will be worthwhile.

  105. 105
    freja

    @84, Mike Buchanan

    I must return to the issue of gender feminism being the only significant strand of feminism in the UK for 30+ years.

    Again, the term is made up and meaningless. I have never seen any feminist identify as a gender feminist, and the people who use the term use it about such a broad group of people and ideologies that the phrase has little descriptive value. You might as well use some different arbitrary definition like “bad feminism”, and then say that you know how feminists are hostile to men because bad feminism is the only significant strand of feminism. It’s circular logic.

    Ally himself has said that reactions to his piece from feminists have been overwhelmingly positive, while MRAs have reacted with silence or attacks on his feminist supporters. You have provided no evidence that he is wrong and that feminists wont generally support his suggestions. All you’ve said is that most feminists are gender feminists because you (or Christina Hoff Sommers) say so, gender feminists wont support men because you say so, therefore feminists wont support men. You might as well jump straight to declaring that feminists wont support men because you say so, without the needless detour.

    You ask me to be ‘more specific’ about our public challenges of prominent feminists

    No, I asked you to be more specific about which lies prominent feminists have refused to retract, and whether MRAs have ever retracted anything. All you’d done so far is to make assertions that feminists are evil and pointed to people who agree with you that feminists are evil as proof. That’s just not specific enough to argue either for or against.

    I’m honestly confused by this statement. Are you asserting that I, or my supporters, do this?

    I am asserting that close to everything I’ve seen on subjects such as violence against men have been MRAs attacking feminists (often in feminist spaces) or feminists/pro-feminist activists doing what Ally is doing right now.

    I have never heard of men’s groups advocating for the demolition of shelters for women.

    Men’s rights groups typically only do internet activism consisting on attacking feminists, so it’s hard to dig out examples because they typically don’t rise to any prominence. Here’s one example of MRAs trying to cut funding for a domestic violence shelter because they didn’t like the shelter’s ads. This was a shelter which also catered to abused men.

  106. 106
    Adiabat

    carnation (101): Oh, and what do think “Provision and funding for social support and therapeutic care for victims of violent crime, including intimate partner and sexual abuse, should only be made on basis of need, not gender.” means?

    It’s the opposite of what Women’s Aid is doing now and is the aim of the Equality Duty.

    Sometimes I despair at the level of debate people provided by some people on this blog.

  107. 107
    he11cat81

    don’t know if its because of our shared NE scotland background, but recently discovered your blog and you are my new social justice hero Ally! So far, have not found anything I disagree with you on and your policies here make a lot of sense. If any party actually took these on board seriously I would vote for them in a heartbeat.

    Just want to add another statistic, I am a staunch feminist, and I spend most of my life working on women’s issues (mainly local), and even I have probably done more actual work supporting men and boys than you Mike, and I fully support Ally’s proposals here, and I would (and have) work to advance these goals.

    Other than writing all this pish and trying to get a lot of exposure for yourself, what have you actually DONE? Why SHOULD anyone listen to you? There’s a lot of voices out there, arguing similar things to you, why should YOU be the one to be listened to?

  108. 108
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    Ooookkkkkk…. Think you might be revealing a bit too much about yourself there!

  109. 109
    Maureen Brian

    Mike and Ally,

    Can we please be just a little more sceptical about this idea of the nuclear family? It’s never been universal, it’s rarely been the most common model and it certainly does not have magical powers.

    Here’s the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s summary on the topic – http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/421619/nuclear-family

    And I have to tell you this – I’m over 70, boringly middle class and I have never, ever lived in a nuclear family. Yes, all the way back to 1942!

    So when, exactly, was it brutally swept away?

  110. 110
    freja

    @79, ian martin

    What is clear from posts here, is that feminists do not seem to get it, they deny that there is a problem for men, they dont care.

    I have to echo mildlymagnificent, have you even read the comments?

    Then the logical reply is why should men care about women?

    Can you point me to any statement showing that MRAs care about women?

    @85, Mike Buchanan

    We propose abortion law reform because we attribute value to the unborn child

    It’s not a child, it’s a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus depending on how far into the pregnancy it is. It also frequently (like when most abortions are performed) has a (lack of) brain activity that, when found in humans, are enough to declare that individual legally dead. Or in other words, it’s not alive yet in the legal definition, it only has the potential to become a child, which is no different than egg and sperm cells.

    Some birth control pills have been known to induce abortion; when they fail to prevent the egg and sperm cells from fusing, they instead prevent the fertilised egg from attaching itself, meaning it’ll be flushed out like menstrual blood. Should that also be illegal? And since most pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion with little to no interest or outrage from anti-abortionists, I find it confusing why these blastocysts/embryos/foetuses suddenly don’t count as children.

    And all this in an era of virtually infallible contraception being available to British women.

    Birth control is far from infallible. In addition, some of the less fallible forms of contraception can have side-effects which makes them inappropriate for numerous women.

    It seems to me that some women glory in their power to end human life. When men do the same, e.g. in the context of war, they’re branded as evil. Why the double standard?

    The people men shoot/bomb in war are not, for the most part, brain dead. Furthermore, men who kill others in a war, like all soldiers, are branded as evil if they kill for reasons other than self-defence or the defence of others. There’s a reason most countries have a Ministry for Defence, not a Ministry for Attack, even though most defence consists of attacking. The mere act of killing as a solider is rarely branded evil in itself, except among extreme pacifists.

    @88, Mike Buchanan

    Feminists of course only look at the rights side of the equation. So they talk about British women in the Victorian era having no property rights. What they fail to say is that when a woman incurred a debt she couldn’t pay – to a merchant, say – and her husband couldn’t pay it either, the husband went to debtor’s prison.

    And aren’t you glad feminists objected to that and changed the system? Aren’t you grateful to people like Elisabeth and Mark Wilks who exposed the system for how ridiculous it was? Isn’t it a good thing that women can own their own property and have their own bank accounts separate from their husbands, so that men don’t need to be responsible for them unless they choose so?

    @89, Mike Buchanan

    Do women not have agency? Do women not take risks which result in unwanted pregnancies? How difficult is it to take one small pill each morning?

    Do men not have agency? Do men not make bad decisions which result in unforeseen consequences? How difficult is it to say “I want a paternity test” if you want to be sure a baby is yours? How difficult is it to say “I want a prenuptial agreement” if you don’t want your ex spouse to have a claim to any property you regard as yours?

    And yet, you want to protect men who make the decision not to get a paternity test and end up raising a child that isn’t biologically related to them. You want to protect men who make the decision to get married and share property with their wife like they share everything else. You even want to rob men of the choice to get married without a prenuptial agreement and to decide they don’t need or want to know if a child is biologically related to them.

    And this isn’t even taking rape, pressure, and birth control sabotage into account.

    In ‘The Woman Racket’ Steve Moxon writes about the phenomenon of ‘oopsing’ – women who want to become pregnant not taking the pill, but telling their partners otherwise. And of course if they succeed in their mission, the poor sucker is in for maybe 20+ years of child support.

    And as I’ve mentioned in the previous comment section, abusive men are more likely to attempt to get their girlfriends pregnant. You seem very intent on protecting men, but you also appear to believe that women need no such protection.

  111. 111
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Everyone

    I’m disinclined to enter into any more exchanges not directly related to Ally’s OPs. Anyone who wishes to support or challenge J4MB or myself is invited to do so by leaving a comment at http://j4mb.org.uk. Thank you for some interesting exchanges, but this is Ally’s blog. He’s been very patient with the amount of material I’ve posted on this and his previous blog, for which I thank him warmly.

    Going to take Harriet Harman for a walk now, should be back in an hour or so. She’s even grumpier than usual today, which is saying something. The other day, when I had a meeting with some donors in London, Petronella couldn’t find her, so she walked up and down the road shouting at the top of her voice, ‘Come here Harriet Harman!!!’ She later told me she got very disapproving looks from the ‘Guardian’ readers at no.42. They’re sociologists, I believe.

  112. 112
    Raging Bee

    ‘Serious’ political movements have major donors, we’ve been going 7 months…

    So now, after so many comments claiming to be an experienced professional backed up by lots of shiny “longitudinal studies,” now you’re doing a total one-eighty and saying “I’m just the new kid” to excuse your disgraceful conduct and lack of substance? You’re nothing but a disgusting hypocritical piece of filth, talking out of more ends of his mouth than most mouths are even known to have. Ally has given you far more attention than you deserve, and all you’ve done is act like an ungrateful spoiled child crying about how unfair it is that we expect you to act like an adult.

    To the best of my knowledge, not a single one of those claims is supported by any solid evidence, and yet you present them as statements of fact…

    …over and over and fucking over again until other people just give up trying to engage with someone who is intentionally making engagement impossible.

    Ally, now that you’ve acknowledged (again) that Mike is being both dishonest and willfully ignorant, and that his actual proposals are “utterly appalling” as well as “stupid, hypocritical and downright evil,” isn’t it about time you considered banning him altogether? He is, quide literally, degrading your comment threads by piling on so much relentless nonsense that it is simply becoming not worth the effort to read through them to find more worthwhile contributions by the likes of freja, lelapaletute, or even you for that matter. He had his chance to state his case here, and he’s used it in the manner he intended.

  113. 113
    Adiabat

    carnation (108): Lol. Maybe that’s a regional saying; I’ve never given it much thought.

    It means “I decisively beat you in argument” and obviously carries with it the connotaion that doing so was very easy. As easy as a parent chastising a small child.

    You provided no evidence for your arguments and as usual your posts consisted of the usual vague rants and condescending tone. You do realise that everyone can see through it don’t you?

  114. 114
    Ally Fogg

    Mike

    All the statements for which you request citations are common knowledge not just in MRA circles but well beyond.

    No, they’re not. They’re all commonly recited myths with varying degrees of credibility.

    “Who will produce the peer-reviewed papers? Academics, obviously, but it’s well known it’s very difficult to get grants to do research which might support anything other than left-wing narratives. Then there’s innate political bias.”

    This is ludicrous, paranoid, conspiracy-theory thinking. Consider this… you are forever quoting Catherine Hakim, who is hardly the most popular figure among feminist theorists.

    She has hundreds of peer reviewed papers in journals of economics, sociology etc. She’s also been published by academic and mainstream publishing houses like OUP and Penguin, and countless mainstream broadsheet presses and magazines. Where is the feminist conspiracy to silence her?

    Or more obviously, there is no academic area where there is a stronger feminist ideological bias and stronger feminist stranglehold on information flow than the field of domestic violence. There we would, I’m sure, both agree. Murray Straus is something of a feminist bete noir, as are his colleagues, and other researchers such as John Archer and Nicola Graham-Kevan in this country. Yes, there is an unpleasant history of harassment and blackballing etc, which is well-documented and not feminism’s finest hour, but they have, nonetheless, produced hundreds and hundreds of peer-reviewed research papers that have been funded and published, despite being highly critical of feminist dogma.

    But miraculously, wherever there’s an area of research that doesn’t support your claims, suddenly that’s because there’s a feminist conspiracy to prevent contradictory findings?

    As it happens, a whole load of research has been commissioned into questions like whether male teachers produce better performances for boys than female teachers. Here’s one, and another, and another. just for starters.

    The reason why there is no data to support your claims are because your claims simply aren’t true, as you would know if you’d spent more than 10 minutes researching them, instead of just believing whatever Swayne O’Pie tells you.

    We don’t have members, we have supporters, some of whom are donors. Very few of those donors have much money, and we’ve had donations from students and people on the minimum wage, among others. These donors – of whom I’m one though my prime income is my company pensions – have financed the party and so far funded four PPCs for 2015.

    Exactly. You’re a political party without any members that has yet to have so much as one conference. And you wonder why the national press don’t pay you any attention?

    I’m not criticising you for being new, or for being underfunded, or for not having a membership structure. I am pointing out how ridiculous it is that you expect to have national newspapers at your beck and call.

  115. 115
    Ally Fogg

    Raging Bee (112)

    Nothing personal, but someone asked me on the last thread if it was not about time that I banned you, for pretty much the same reasons. ;)

    Short answer, no, after many years of ignoring Mike altogether, I’ve devoted a couple of blog posts to discussing and criticising his efforts, first directly, then indirectly, and it would be a bit rude to revoke his rights to respond.

    After this, I fully plan to revert to my previous policy.

  116. 116
    Raging Bee

    I’m disinclined to enter into any more exchanges not directly related to Ally’s OPs.

    …says the guy who repeated a gratuitous insult from another thread that wasn’t related to ANY of Ally’s OPs.

  117. 117
    he11cat81

    Actually I almost want to take back my last comment, as it focussed really on Mike, when it should have focussed on how awesome these proposals are. I was taken aback by how great it would be if these were taken on board by mainstream political parties, and it made me wonder a lot why they’re not. Have these suggestions just not been promoted enough to those in charge? do we think there is an unwillingness from some leaderships to adopt these kinds of policies?

    I personally always find it saddening that both enough researchers and social justice campaigners aren’t willing to engage with the political process, and that few actually know how it works. I work at a University, and so often I have to push academics so hard to present their paper to the proper channels to get it in front of committees and politicians, especially when the findings are so obviously important for improving lives. Engaging in the political process in general needs to be something that is both easy to do, and encouraged for any of these to be taken on board as serious political aims, I think anyway.

  118. 118
    Raging Bee

    Ally, the decision, of course, is yours; but I’ll only point out that you would not be rude, because you would not be denying Mike anything — he’s already exercised his right to respond. (And no, FWIW the proposal to ban me was not based on the same reasoning; it wasn’t based any reasoning at all.)

  119. 119
    Adiabat

    Freya (110): I agree with you more than Mike on the abortion debate. Though keep in mind that historically the debate in the UK hasn’t taken the same form as in the US. In the UK the focus has been both about stopping women going to backstreet abortionists, which caused many problems in the early 20th century, and about the foetus’ viability outside the womb. The limit is set to 24 weeks in the UK because when the time period was decided that was the point where a certain percentage (can’t remember exact figures) survived outside the womb. With advances in medical technology there have been calls to lower it to 20.

    So as you can see; the debate has been very different here and the same arguments that apply to US law don’t apply here. Still agree with you more than Mike though; banning abortion will just cause more problems.

    Also, Pre-nuptial agreements are worthless in UK law.

  120. 120
    Raging Bee

    I was taken aback by how great it would be if these were taken on board by mainstream political parties, and it made me wonder a lot why they’re not.

    Offhand, after dispensing with the irrational reasons like apathy and prejudice, I’d say the main “rational” reason is MONEY: taken together, Ally’s proposals would cost a lot of it, it would have to be raised through tax revenues, and the need for said programs would be greatest when the funding is lowest. None of that makes Ally’s ideas wrong, of course, but I suspect that the political will to pay enough taxes for such programs would not be sufficient — not just today, but even when Labour has an undisputed electoral mandate to build or rebuild a national social safety net.

    Nonetheless, this set of proposals is a good starting-point for the inevitable political haggling process. If that process whittles things down to half of what was proposed, that would still be better than the current situation.

  121. 121
    freja

    @90, carnation

    For 4, 5, 6 and 7, in addition to your own proposals, would you support an educational initiative aimed at boys and girls on what “healthy” relationships look like as well as controlling and abusive relationships. Sensitively delivered, this could help everyone

    Seconded. Again, this is an area where MRAs (if they really were about men’s rights) should echo and expand on what feminists say, not trying to shut it down. Instead of claiming that it’s unnecessary and oppressive to teach boys not to rape, argue that it should be expanded to girls too. Instead of trying to destroy the “Don’t be that guy” campaign, try to get it to include female perpetrators etc., etc..

    There are so many areas in which I would love to be able to support the MRM and where I believe the vast majority of feminists would agree, but they always end up basing their strategies on how to oppose feminism the most, rather than how to best improve life for men and boys, so as soon as feminists say “Sex without consent is rape”, rather than expanding with “And being male does not imply consent”, they start to go “Short skirts/drunkenness/flirting/falling asleep automatically equals consent”, simply because that’s as far from the feminist message they can get. It’s really sad, not just for women but for all victims of sexual assault :-(

  122. 122
    Adiabat

    Ally (114):

    No, they’re not. They’re all commonly recited myths with varying degrees of credibility.

    Reminds me of feminism, yet your criticism of feminist theory is not as strident as your criticism of Mike for some reason.

    This is ludicrous, paranoid, conspiracy-theory thinking.

    Yet an entire ideology that claims there’s a social structure created by men to elevate men and oppress women gets barely a whisper of criticism from you…

    Even the watered-down-to-be-palatable versions are ludicrous, paranoid and exhibit conspiracy-theory thinking.

    I don’t know if you accept requests but I’d love to see an article from you on the validity of various “women’s studies-type” academic fields.

  123. 123
    carnation

    @ Freja

    If MRAs dropped the erronous identification of feministlm as the cause of the problems they take issue with, their “base” would dramatically reduce from its already tiny numbers. But they would find themselves far better able to tackle the issued, but for many of them that doesn’t appear to be a priority.

    @ Ally

    I might regret saying this, but if you want to stand as an MP with the OP as your manifesto, I would donate half the deposit required…

  124. 124
    he11cat81

    @120, Raging Bee

    Completely agree with you there, that money does drive a lot of things, even with the best will in the world. And another thing that I guess goes hand in hand with that is the electoral cycle. Even if we can show (for example) that investment in mental health services reduces crime (and therefore crime related budgets) and overall lowers government spending, current politics has led to short-term goals of seeing results in the 5 year election cycle. Partisan politics has a lot to answer for, so often opposition parties have the exact same goals (reduce crime, increase living standards, lower unemployment), but just disagree on how to go about that. Would be so refreshing to see an evidence based approach, across parties, that actually implemented an evidence backed policy to reduce debt/unemployment/crime etc, instead of constantly being informed by ideology or some misplaced notion of morality (drugs war is a fine example there, drugs are bad m’kay!).

  125. 125
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    I will concede you surprised me with your sources but maintain it doesn’t substantively make your point valid.

  126. 126
    Adiabat

    Freya (122):

    rather than expanding with “And being male does not imply consent”, they start to go “Short skirts/drunkenness/flirting/falling asleep automatically equals consent”

    Do you have citations for both those claims? (That they don’t say the first one and they say the second one instead).

    (And Preferably something where is doesn’t explicitly say it’s a parody on the same page.)

    I’d happily have a word with them for you.

  127. 127
    Adiabat

    carnation (125): Wow, just when I’m about to write you off you claw back a bit of respectibility.

    I can respect your position; I’m a big fan of “mrin”. However do you not think that the evidence is sufficient to at least consider my argument instead of writing it off?

    At the very least the evidence means that the actions of those groups should be investigated more closely rather than defended almost reflexively by feminists. Do you agree which that much?

  128. 128
    Lucy

    @Mike. “I am unaware of a single area in the UK today where the state’s actions or inactions disadvantage women (and/or girls), to advantage men (and/or boys). Can you think of any such areas? If so, could you please share them with us?”

    Here’s one:
    The UK’s anti-hate legislation covers race, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion, but not sex/ gender. In other words, it covers all the types of discrimination that primarily affect men, but not the one that primarily affects women.

    Which means that sexist hate material (in the mass media, press, online, in pornography, in political manifestos) is deemed offensive rather than harmful; and instances of Everyday Sexism have to be recorded in a private database rather than a state criminal one.

  129. 129
    he11cat81

    @126 Adiabat,

    a citation of someone NOT saying something? how is that even possible. For what it’s worth (very little, I know just my experience) I have NEVER read anyone identifying as a mens rights activist, trying to expand on what feminists are working on or suggesting about rape for example ‘and being male does not imply consent’ or ‘these are great prevention strategies, we must expand these to make sure male victims are included’ etc. Never, not once. But there are so many excuses made for why its not ‘really rape’ including drunkeness, outfits etc.

    If you can provide one single quote of anyone agreeing with feminist rape prevention strategies, and trying to expand upon them in a way that really helps male victims, I will sign up to whatever MRA sites you suggest, buy Mike’s book and actually give them a decent amount of consideration. I’m sure others would too, if they could see but one positive interaction between what I guess you would term equity feminists (who you apparently agree with) and MRA’s.

    If all we see is hate and negativity, why the fuck would we bother?

  130. 130
    Lucy

    “More than 2 million violent incidents were estimated to occur in England and Wales last year. 62% of the victims and 80% of the perpetrators were male. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered as women. ”

    I would be genuinely interested in seeing these figures broken down to show
    A) unprovoked assaults and
    B) discreet violent incidents

    Because this figure undoubtedly disguises mutual and group male violence of the pub closing time and riot variety, and/or better self-defence skills against perpetrators.

    Which is not to say of course that it isn’t a serious problem and one that is worthy of state attention, but it is a misleading statistic to put up against male on female violence, which is an issue of women’s civil rights being compromised by the threat of sexist violence (ie. freedom of association, freedom of movement, etc).

  131. 131
    carnation

    @ 127

    No, I think that whilst some might want an investigation to take place, it is for the wrong reasons. Organisations are accoubtable to their board and funders. Providers are judged on outcomes.

    You might feel that what is happening is unfair but to redress it would be an intensely slow process with virtually no chance of “success”.

    Now, as I previously stated, anyone can set up a charity for any purpose. UK law is very lax in this area. But looking to challange and change a charity’s praxis externally using laws that aren’t enforced? It just ill not happen.

    Activists will need to get active to deal with the dearth of provision and there will need to be research ibto what is needed. Like Ally said, provision is provider driven.

    It would be attractive to blame this on feminist conspiracy, but anyone with knowledge of nonprofits will understand the byzanthyane maze of bitchiness, intellectual property theft, management incompetence and paperwork mountains that have to be negotiated. It takes drive and dedication. Hypocritically, I gave up on the nonprofits and jumped ship to the private sector. My income doubled and frankly I do not miss it.

    .

  132. 132
    Ally Fogg

    Adiabat

    Reminds me of feminism, yet your criticism of feminist theory is not as strident as your criticism of Mike for some reason.

    I’m more than happy to criticise feminists when I think they’re wrong on stuff that matters.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/06/23/malestrom-pt-2-when-anger-is-justified/
    http://hetpat.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/a-stand-against-objectification/
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/09/24/domestic-abuse-disability-and-a-great-mans-courage/
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/aug/01/ukcrime.gender

    just off the top of my head.

    Yet an entire ideology that claims there’s a social structure created by men to elevate men and oppress women gets barely a whisper of criticism from you…

    Even the watered-down-to-be-palatable versions are ludicrous, paranoid and exhibit conspiracy-theory thinking.

    I don’t know if you accept requests but I’d love to see an article from you on the validity of various “women’s studies-type” academic fields.

    I have absolutely no problem with any academic fields, whether they are “women’s studies-type”; “men’s studies-type”; “media studies-type” or any-other studies type. I’m much more interested in whether the ‘studying’ is good or not.

    What I will get around to doing sometime is a blog on the strange idea that patriarchy is a “conspiracy theory” as opposed to a sociological mechanism.

    Seems to me that the only way you can do that is to argue that the entire discipline of sociology is bogus, that all theories of culture are bogus, that there is no merit in the work of Hegel; Weber; Gramsci; Duirkheim, and that all theories of social and cognitive psychology are equally bogus.

    In other words, we can argue all day that outcome X, Y or Z is or is not a product of patriarchal sociological processes, however the argument appears to be that sociological processes do not exist.

    Of course if you are going to make that argument, you also have to throw out arguments saying that, for example, feminist ideology has an influence on politics, governance and culture, that feminism has had an influence in education, media, culture etc – because those are also sociological assertions.

    Would be an interesting hypothetical experiment to say the least. .

  133. 133
    freja

    @119, Adiabat

    I agree with you more than Mike on the abortion debate. Though keep in mind that historically the debate in the UK hasn’t taken the same form as in the US. In the UK the focus has been both about stopping women going to backstreet abortionists, which caused many problems in the early 20th century, and about the foetus’ viability outside the womb.

    Thanks for the info. It’s good to know that you’re not an anti-abortionist, but I have trouble seeing how Mike’s argument is different from anti-abortionists in the USA. He doesn’t say abortion should only be allowed early in the pregnancy, he claims that embryos are people, just as the Americans do, and I pointed out that this viewpoint is illogical and inconsistent.

    If we’re debating whether or not embryos are alive in the legal and moral sense, I think it’s important to note that if we scanned the brain of someone outside of a woman’s womb and found the same (lack of) brain activity as in an embryo, said brain would be declared legally dead (or possibly belonging to an insect), and that over half of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion so if anti-abortionists really thought foetusses and embryos were people, they’d campaign as hard to eliminate spontaneous abortion as they would to eliminate a disease that killed 50% of the population, which they obviously don’t.

    Though I completely agree with you about the practical implications, such as backstreet abortions. It’s unrealistic to think that if abortion became illegal and support for infants was cut, women who don’t have room for pregnancy in their lives would just magically stop getting so pregnant all the time. We can see from countries that have criminalised abortion (as well as our own past) that this just doesn’t happen. It’s also unrealistic to think that if we just cut welfare benefits to poor people, they would start getting rich; if we just increased punishment for crimes, nobody would commit any; if we just cut special ed, students would work harder on learning; if we just stopped sending police out to victims of crimes, people would learn to defend themselves; if we instituted the death penalty for marihuana, no one would become drug addicts, etc., etc.. Which is the kind of logic it seems J4MB is based on.

    Also, Pre-nuptial agreements are worthless in UK law.

    Then I think someone should campaign to change them into something more useful, not campaign to make them mandatory.

  134. 134
    Ally Fogg

    carnation [123]

    I might regret saying this, but if you want to stand as an MP with the OP as your manifesto, I would donate half the deposit required…

    Haha, don’t worry, your money’s safe. Wild horses couldn’t drag me there. But thanks for the compliment.

  135. 135
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally (134)

    That’s a shame. Just as I was about to call our largest individual donor about donating the other half of your deposit…

  136. 136
    Lucy

    “What I will get around to doing sometime is a blog on the strange idea that patriarchy is a “conspiracy theory” as opposed to a sociological mechanism.”

    A civil conspiracy or collusion is an agreement between two or more parties to deprive a third party of legal rights or deceive a third party to obtain an illegal objective. A conspiracy may also refer to a group of people who make an agreement to form a partnership in which each member becomes the agent or partner of every other member and engage in planning or agreeing to commit some act. It is not necessary that the conspirators be involved in all stages of planning or be aware of all details. Any voluntary agreement and some overt act by one conspirator in furthance of the plan are the main elements necessary to prove a conspiracy. A conspiracy may exist whether legal means are used to accomplish illegal results, or illegal means used to accomplish something legal.

  137. 137
    carnation

    @ Mike

    Switch manifestos and the money is yours. Well, the electoral commissions…

  138. 138
    Ally Fogg

    Lucy

    I would be genuinely interested in seeing these figures broken down to show
    A) unprovoked assaults and
    B) discreet violent incidents

    Because this figure undoubtedly disguises mutual and group male violence of the pub closing time and riot variety, and/or better self-defence skills against perpetrators.

    Which is not to say of course that it isn’t a serious problem and one that is worthy of state attention, but it is a misleading statistic to put up against male on female violence, which is an issue of women’s civil rights being compromised by the threat of sexist violence (ie. freedom of association, freedom of movement, etc).

    I’d dispute the terms of your question. Most violent incidents (whoever they involve) have degrees of messy he-said-he-said-he-did-she-did perspectives. It is certainly not the case that all male on female violence is unilateral unprovoked violence. Much of it escalates out of emotional abuse, verbal abuse, verbal aggression then a slap, then a punch, then a hit.

    Even Michael P. Johnson, who is a strongly pro-feminist theorist of patriarchal terrorism as the model of domestic violence has researched typologies, and found that only about one in four violent relationships is a straightforward case of unilateral coercive-controlling male violence.

    So my position is that we don’t attempt to distinguish between what types of violence are more or less acceptable, more or less troubling, we just work to end it across the board.

  139. 139
    culuriel

    Ally, your manifesto has the advantage of being workable and providing concrete differences in the lives of millions of boys and men.

  140. 140
    Lucy

    @Mike. “I am unaware of a single area in the UK today where the state’s actions or inactions disadvantage women (and/or girls), to advantage men (and/or boys). Can you think of any such areas? If so, could you please share them with us?”

    Here’s another:

    Most males are taller and stronger than females, (Gustafsson A & Lindenfors P (2004). “Human size evolution: no allometric relationship between male and female stature”. Journal of Human Evolution 47 (4): 253–266. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.07.004. PMID 15454336.)

    Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 prohibits the possession in any public place of an offensive weapon without lawful authority or excuse.

    Valid lawful authority of excuse:
    he had “good reason or lawful authority” for having the bladed or pointed article; or
    he had the article for use at work; or
    he had the article for religious reasons; or
    he had the article as part of a national costume; (Archbold 24-125).

    Not, you will note, she had good reason for believing herself to be weaker, smaller, poorer, subject to different social norms regarding freedom of movement and behaviour and/or a likely target.

  141. 141
    Lucy

    “I’d dispute the terms of your question. Most violent incidents (whoever they involve) have degrees of messy he-said-he-said-he-did-she-did perspectives. It is certainly not the case that all male on female violence is unilateral unprovoked violence. Much of it escalates out of emotional abuse, verbal abuse, verbal aggression then a slap, then a punch, then a hit.”

    No, clearly not all male on female violence is unilateral or unprovoked, nor all male on male or any other variation. However, comparing a top line figures disguises that variable. Higher figures that come about through being over-represented in violent occupations, mutual attack, or pursuit of criminal aims, should not be confused with that which is unilateral, unprovoked or discriminatory. Clearly 6 armed men killed in a gang shoutout with the police is different to one random woman getting murdered in the crossfire.

    “So my position is that we don’t attempt to distinguish between what types of violence are more or less acceptable, more or less troubling, we just work to end it across the board.”

    Unless you can differentiate between the types of violence and its participants, you are in danger of comparing a perpetrator figure with a victim figure.

  142. 142
    freja

    @122, Adiabat

    Yet an entire ideology that claims there’s a social structure created by men to elevate men and oppress women gets barely a whisper of criticism from you…

    I have never seen a feminist claim that patriarchy was exclusively created by men and that women don’t participate. Do you have any concrete example? I hardly think it’s controversial that in human societies, different demographics are assigned different roles and considered to have different qualities, with members of some demographics being ascribed higher status and/or more value than others, without the need of any intentional conspiracy.

    @126, Adiabat

    Do you have citations for both those claims? (That they don’t say the first one and they say the second one instead).

    (And Preferably something where is doesn’t explicitly say it’s a parody on the same page.)

    I’d happily have a word with them for you.

    Seriously? I’ve asked repeatedly about what the resident AVfM fans think about JudgyBitch claiming that the Steubenville rape victim was asking for it because she was a drunken whore, and those same people (who were livid when a writer at Jezebel suggested that hitting men was OK if they deserved it) brushed it off as no big deal. The same with assertions that Jimmy Saville’s victims knew what they were doing and should be held responsible. I’ve asked about Warren Farrell’s assertions that if a man isn’t sure whether a woman wants to have sex with him or not, he should be legally allowed to proceed to have sex with her anyway, even if she said no. And again, nothing.

    I’ve pointed out that the “Don’t be that guy” campaign, one of the few campaigns against sexual assault that focused on consent over victimblaming, could easily be expanded to include female perpetrators (it was already expanded to include male victims), but all that the MRAs did was to work against it and promote the idea that bitches be lyin’.

    Do you have any example of MRAs expanding on feminist campaigns rather than working against them? (And preferably something that isn’t about pointing to feminists objecting to rape and victim blaming and accusing them of being misandrist because they don’t do enough to acknowledge male victims). Do you even have any examples of MRAs writing anything about female victimisation that isn’t about justifying it or saying that men have it worse?

  143. 143
    Raging Bee

    …if anti-abortionists really thought foetusses and embryos were people, they’d campaign as hard to eliminate spontaneous abortion…

    Well, women are being sent to jail for having miscarriages in El Salvador, and similar punitive measures are being seriously proposed in the US. Is that the kind of “campaigning” you’re asking about?

    Be careful demanding “consistency” from a reich-winger — chances are, you’ll get it.

  144. 144
    Raging Bee

    I have never seen a feminist claim that patriarchy was exclusively created by men and that women don’t participate.

    Yeah, Phyllis Schlafly pretty much put that notion to rest a long time ago.

  145. 145
    Lucy

    I would suggest that when it comes to assault figures, what most people are interested in, certainly what women are interested in, is “What is the risk of me being assaulted while going about my lawful business?” rather than “What is the risk to me of being assaulted while going about my lawful business, joining the riot police, being a member of a gang, robbing a post office, becoming a football hooligan and punching a a bouncer after closing time?”

  146. 146
    Adiabat

    I’ll be done here for today after this post, as many of you may be happy to hear. If I cross post I’ll have to catch it next time.

    he11cat81 (129): Good point. How about a citation just for “Short skirts/drunkenness/flirting/falling asleep automatically equals consent” then?

    Note that I’m not asking for something that has to be tortured to make it have that meaning. I want a quote of an MRA seriously saying that, for example, short skirts automatically equals consent. Provide it and I’ll have a word with them.

    Carnation (131): So we agree that there’s evidence that Woman’s Aid may be doing things which are harmful to men, actively working to disseminate known flawed statistics which will prevent them getting support, but you don’t think this is worthy of investigation?

    Is this what feminists mean when they say they “care” about men?

    Ally Fogg (132): Fine, a post on whether the ‘studying’ is any good or not.

    Plus there aren’t any men’s studies type fields because feminists stopped those who tried to start one. I believe it was called Male studies, or Men’s studies. I forget which way round it is: whichever one is not the feminist version. (are you aware of this or do you need me to dig out a link).

    And I said “conspiracy theory thinking”. Such as selectively choosing which bits of evidence to use to make your theory “work” and making conclusions based on insufficient evidence.

    In other words, we can argue all day that outcome X, Y or Z is or is not a product of patriarchal sociological processes, however the argument appears to be that sociological processes do not exist.

    No that’s not the argument at all. You’re being a bit ridiculous here. I have no problem with the ‘process of cultural elements having an effect on one gender more than another’ for example; I have a problem with your conclusion, or even that it is possible to reach a conclusion that anyone else should take seriously.

    Freya (133):

    if anti-abortionists really thought foetusses and embryos were people, they’d campaign as hard to eliminate spontaneous abortion as they would to eliminate a disease that killed 50% of the population, which they obviously don’t.

    I don’t think that is a valid argument. To do that all an anti-abortionist would have to do would be to support medical research in the area. I not aware of them being opposed to research. The recent development of various new keyhole techniques were never opposed as far as I am aware.

    It’s unrealistic to think that if abortion became illegal and support for infants was cut, women who don’t have room for pregnancy in their lives would just magically stop getting so pregnant all the time.

    I agree and I think that is obvious. I also agree with Mike that it is unfair that other people have to pay for their recklessness. I do err on the side of providing that support but I can’t say I’m happy about it.

    I can see no solution to the problem unfortunately.

    Re: Pre-nupts

    People are working on changing it; I saw a documentary on it a while back but can’t remember many details. I’m not sure they are a good idea myself; I’d much rather the divorce courts are reformed to remove bias. I made a post on another thread here on bias in the family courts, drawing on several government papers and a linguistic study (of all things). I don’t know if you saw it.

  147. 147
    karmakin

    A few thoughts reading through the thread:

    It’s not the label Gender Feminism that’s important, it’s the ideas behind it. And there’s actually quite a few examples of GF arguments that are pretty common in Feminist circles. A good example would be the complete dismissal of EvPsych. Actually, the core idea behind Gender Feminism, the notion that gender is almost entirely a social construct, could very easily just be called Feminism these days, as it’s that common. (Personally, I’m in the boat that it’s a mix between a social construct, personal experience and biology, and that mix can result in a WIDE range of outcomes and that’s why sexism and stereotypes are bad). It’s also my feeling that some people who hold gender to be a social construct believe that it’s more predictive than those who believe it’s almost entirely biological.

    In theory I like the idea that Carnation made about teaching kids, all kids about relationships from an early age, however I do think that this is one of those things where it has to be done right or it could all go terribly wrong. We have to make sure that we can actually change wants and desires, and we’re not ending up causing people to repress them. And I’m not even talking about the men, assuming a strictly modal man rapes women model. If we can’t change them at a root level, then quite frankly we’re just making things worse. It might look a bit better…until it all boils over and explodes, or you get a massive backlash.

    The other side of the coin is that it’s my experience that nobody wants to deal with the concept that this particular script is led by women as much as it is men. This is often seen as victim blaming. That’s why I think this notion is probably a non-starter even to start exploring. Truth is this is probably one of those things that is much more highly biological than social, and it makes it very resilient to change…our efforts to change it thus far on a strictly male responsibility IMO has resulted in a lot of misogyny (real misogyny) appearing in our society.

    So like I said. We have to be careful. Or we could target the other common vector in these things…binge drinking. But I don’t think we’re going to have much success there either.

    There’s simply no real constituency to push for these changes.

  148. 148
    Raging Bee

    Plus there aren’t any men’s studies type fields because feminists stopped those who tried to start one.

    What, the feminists managed to shut down every class dealing with all the things men did throughout history?

    In this case, “citation required” is a bit of an understatement.

  149. 149
    Raging Bee

    And there’s actually quite a few examples of GF arguments that are pretty common in Feminist circles. A good example would be the complete dismissal of EvPsych.

    I got news for you, buddy — there’s LOTS of people dismissing “EvPsych,” and they’re doing so for some good reasons pertaining to serious flaws in how some people in that field work. Not all opponents of EvPsych are feminists, and we don’t dismiss the entire field, just its shabbiest practitioners.

    Actually, the core idea behind Gender Feminism, the notion that gender is almost entirely a social construct, could very easily just be called Feminism these days, as it’s that common.

    Well, there’s pretty good evidence showing that “social construct” is a huge part of what determines gender behavior.

    We have to make sure that we can actually change wants and desires, and we’re not ending up causing people to repress them. And I’m not even talking about the men, assuming a strictly modal man rapes women model. If we can’t change them at a root level, then quite frankly we’re just making things worse. It might look a bit better…until it all boils over and explodes…

    Ah yes, we can’t change men’s behavior because it’s all dictated by unchangeable animal urges…but feminists are evil man-haters for saying men are just animals!

  150. 150
    Lucy

    “Personally, I’m in the boat that it’s a mix between a social construct, personal experience and biology, and that mix can result in a WIDE range of outcomes and that’s why sexism and stereotypes are bad”

    I’m in the same boat and that’s why as near to equal distribution of both sexes in all fields as is desirable, practicable and possible is really important.

    We have ample examples of societies where gender caste systems have been socially engineered through religion, culture, education and law, not least our own until very recent times (and still to a large extent). And those societies are invariably the most unequal, most corrupt, most militaristic, most criminal and most ecologically avaricious, by objective measures.

  151. 151
    Ally Fogg

    Lucy

    I would suggest that when it comes to assault figures, what most people are interested in, certainly what women are interested in, is “What is the risk of me being assaulted while going about my lawful business?” rather than “What is the risk to me of being assaulted while going about my lawful business, joining the riot police, being a member of a gang, robbing a post office, becoming a football hooligan and punching a a bouncer after closing time?”

    That’s as maybe, but from a societal point of view, the fact that people are fighting with riot police, joining gangs, robbing post offices etc etc etc are of enormous significance.

    I utterly reject any argument that sniffs of “well they’re only doing it to each other, so what’s the problem?”

  152. 152
    Ally Fogg

    Adiabat

    No, it’s ok, I’m fully versed in the farcical comedy of the “male studies” saga,

    I have no problem with the ‘process of cultural elements having an effect on one gender more than another’ for example; I have a problem with your conclusion

    Which conclusion would that be?

  153. 153
    carnation

    @ Ally 152

    Any links? I would be interested.

  154. 154
    carnation

    @ Karmakin

    GF is mostly an mra trope, it doesn’t really exist outside of the collective extremes of RaFems and mras.

    Re relationship teaching, I’m thinking about the psychology behins anger, jealousy and controlling behaviour. Could be gender nonspecific easily, for example person A texts person B 50 times a day. Why would thry? What is the subtext? Etc

  155. 155
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    It’s adorable how all the misogynists had to completely ignore my post clearly stating how I’m part of a feminist/humanist group doing exactly what they say feminists don’t do, in order to keep up the blatant lie that feminists don’t care about men.

    I’m actually doing something for men, they abuse women online alld ay, every day.

    Once again, there are those of us interested in fixing problems, and those that are just interesting in whining that someone else didn’t fix all their problems for them.

    And, with that, I’m off to teach a group of incoming refugees – some of them MEN! – some English to help them get a job.

    And, y’all can keep on whining about how feminists never do anything.

  156. 156
    Raging Bee

    And, y’all can keep on whining about how feminists never do anything.

    …in the same breath as they whine about how you do TOO MUCH!

  157. 157
    redpesto

    Ally @132:

    What I will get around to doing sometime is a blog on the strange idea that patriarchy is a “conspiracy theory” as opposed to a sociological mechanism.

    One part of that idea is a misconception; another part is mockery (e.g. ‘Yes, we men are all plotting in our secret underwater base…’); and a further part depends on the model or definition of ‘patriarchy’ (especially a model that constitutes ‘men’ as a universal overclass and ‘women’ as a universal underclass across time, space and history, with little allowance for history or context. I look forward to your article, though.

    btw: Don’t stand for MP – you’ll need that deposit money for your next fuel bill – or a massive pile of jumpers.

  158. 158
    freja

    @151, Ally Fogg

    That’s as maybe, but from a societal point of view, the fact that people are fighting with riot police, joining gangs, robbing post offices etc etc etc are of enormous significance.

    I agree but I can see where Lucy is going. I’ve been told multiple times that I should refrain from doing things guys my age took for granted. Walking home alone, sleeping away from home, getting drunk, exploring my sexuality, etc.. Guys didn’t get those warnings, and maybe they should have for their own sake, but in addition to the most obviously sexist aspect of the warnings (men are often given the equivalent of “don’t let the terrorists win”, while women are told that the terrorists have always been in control and that they shouldn’t try to change it), it also relied on the assumption that women would be targeted for violence while men would be participating in violence, so it was of no use to tell men to be careful, because as long as they weren’t attacking anyone else, they already were.

    And I don’t know how true those assumptions are. Probably not anywhere near as truthful as they’re presented as. But nonetheless, if there is any truth to them, it would mean that women aren’t a very big factor in violence. It would mean that a violence would decrease proportionally with a rise in men’s reluctance to engage in it. It would mean that a primary goal should be to change men’s behaviour. And MRAs would be opposed to that on principle, because their current philosophy is that almost everything (except women’s higher academic prowess) is biologically determined, and that changing the norms for masculinity and male behaviour is an attack on all men

    I utterly reject any argument that sniffs of “well they’re only doing it to each other, so what’s the problem?”

    It’s not that it’s not a problem, but rather that it requires a different solution than both the feminist suggestions for ending violence against women and the MRA suggestions for ending violence against men. It means you can’t just gender-flip it and say “men are subjected to violence too, so they should be given as much assertiveness training as women” (hypothetical example), if those men are primarily subjected to violence because of an exaggerated need to assert themselves which leads them to get into fights.

    It also means that blaming feminism for it and thinking you can solve the problem by eradicating feminist influence will lead you nowhere. In times where feminism had no influence because it didn’t exist yet, it was still common for men to fight other men and for men to receive the majority of legal punishments. From what I recall (and I believe you’ve written about it before) violent crime has actually been decreasing in the west for several decades, so if feminism has anything to do with the social development in the west, it’s apparently doing something right in this area.

  159. 159
    Mike Buchanan

    @ freja (158)

    “And I don’t know how true those assumptions are. Probably not anywhere near as truthful as they’re presented as. But nonetheless, if there is any truth to them, it would mean that women aren’t a very big factor in violence.”

    Hopefully I haven’t misunderstood the points you’re making, but hundreds of studies show that women are at least as physically aggressive towards their intimate male partners as men are towards their intimate female partners. Indeed the cohort with the highest level of IPS is lesbians. A bibliography of studies and reports from 2012:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/women-are-as-physically-aggressive-or-more-aggressive-in-their-relationships-with-spouses-or-male-partners/

    I understand the total now stands at well over 300.

    IPV is not a gendered issue. It is a generational issue.

  160. 160
    Lucy

    @Ally

    “That’s as maybe, but from a societal point of view, the fact that people are fighting with riot police, joining gangs, robbing post offices etc etc etc are of enormous significance.”

    Yes, it’s me who’s saying they are of enormous significance. Significant enough to actually identify in the statistics.

    “I utterly reject any argument that sniffs of “well they’re only doing it to each other, so what’s the problem?””

    Well firstly, I specifically did not say, “what’s the problem”, I in fact said “that’s not to say it isn’t serious or deserving of state attention”. So don’t misrepresent me.

    And secondly, if we’re going to get into rejecting things, then I utterly reject your potential comparison of assaults with criminality. It smacks of putting victims in the same hospital ward as the people who attacked them.

    I don’t use the word often, but it’s offensive. Not least because this quasi comparison of male and female assaults is used to trivialise the female experience of violence in public places and to paint their fears and the affects on their liberties as hysteria. And it does absolutely nothing to tackle the actual causes of assaults on men.

  161. 161
    Raging Bee

    Mike, as usual, has a few problems with the bibliography” he cites…

    First, not all of the studies talk about violence toward intimate partners; some seem to talk about kids experiencing violence in general, so there’s a bit of apples-to-wombats comparison there.

    Second, I noticed this bit from one of the first studies cited:

    In terms of ethnicity, American Indian boys and African American boys reported experiencing higher rates of dating violence than American Indian girls and African American girls ).

    I remember reading somewhere that men in Native American reservations would gang-rape women, then go immediately to the local cops and report their VICTIMS for “assault,” in order to preemptively destroy their victims’ credibility when they go to tell their side. That might be skewing things a bit here.

    Authors report that there were no significant differences between the sexes in self reported perpetration of physical abuse.

    Did the authors report on the relative degree of violence? Or are they comparing a woman’s slap in the face to a man’s sexual assault?

    And finally (so far at least), there’s a deeper problem of pretending female violence makes IPV a “non-gendered” issue. It’s not that simple. My ex-wife hit me a few times, but that was after a previous relationship where a man hit her, a lot, for eight years. So calling that “female violence” really misses a big part of the picture — we can never really be sure of such things, but it’s a pretty safe bet that without that male abuse, her subsequent behavior would have been less violent.

  162. 162
    Raging Bee

    Oh, and speaking of the guy who hit my ex — he had serious problems of his own, including being raped at a young age by a stranger (male), and then being unable to tell his parents because they were punishing him for losing his bike (which the rapist had thrown into a river). And the more I read all of this dialogue here, the more firmly I believe that boys like this guy would have benefitted far more from Ally’s suggested policies than from anything the likes of Mike Buchanan ever pulled out of their asses. But hey, what do I know — I’m just a man who can’t seem to earn his man-card ’cause I still have a “female brain.” (Yo, 123454321, what the fuck does that mean again?)

  163. 163
    Raging Bee

    Analyzing responses to the Conflict Tactic Scale and using a data set somewhat different from the previous 2000 publication, the author reports that women are more likely than men to throw something at their partners, as well as slap, kick, bite, punch and hit with an object. Men were more likely than women to strangle, choke, or beat up their partners.

    Well, there’s certainly a bit of gender-differences in the TYPE of violence — one instance of strangling or choking being a good deal worse than one punch or bite.

    Also, in any relationship, the weaker party may need to actually commit violence, while the stronger party need only threaten it.

    So yeah, I’m beginning to get the feeling these studies don’t all say what Mike says they say.

  164. 164
    John Horstman

    @karmakin #147: In your consideration of ‘Gender Feminism’, you’re mistaking “gender” – a social system of behavioral norms – for “gender identity” and/or “gender expression” and/or “gender performance” and/or “gender performativity”, which certainly are functions not just of social context, but also individual biology, physical environmental context, personal history, etc. “Gender” is definitionally a social construct, in its entirety – it specifically and explicitly refers ONLY to social constructs – though such constructs may well (I would argue are to some extent) be informed by modal biological traits of certain population segments (i.e. ‘males’ and ‘females’, though the existence of intersexed people also indicates the constructed nature of the categories into which we divide people on the basis of sex). Technically, individuals can’t ‘have gender’ in any sense – they can express it, enact it, embody it, construct it, reinforce it, and even be constructed by it, but as a social schema, gender is not located in any particular individual.

    Also, “Gender Feminism” is a straw category that serves as a catch-all for “feminisms we don’t like”, created by the backlash of groups of gender-essentialist* feminists proclaiming the label Radical Feminists (taking “feminist” to mean those opposed to patriarchy, which the RadFems are in a narrow sense; I’m also not willing to elide the historical identification of Radical Feminism, which is rather different from the present one used by transmisogynist/cissexist feminists, hence the qualification of the label) and MRAs, as carnation points out in comment #154.

    *My above description might suggest that this is a contradiction in terms, but it is not. The argument of gender essentialists is that genders – the social systems – are entirely (or perhaps just predominantly) the result of innate biological characteristics. This is an idea that is absurd on its face, as one needs only a single counterexample to disprove a universal claim, and no gendered characteristic is universal among a population with a given biological profile. This is easily demonstrated with cross-cultural and transhistorical comparisons that show differences in gender, as well as the identification of even a single gender-non-conforming individual in a given population.

  165. 165
    otrame

    Ally, I have obviously not read enough of your posts. I will correct that.

    What you wrote in the OP is excellent, since it implies support from state policies should be there for those that need it, male or female. When a problem is more common for men, the state should work to correct the problem. When a problem is more common for women, the state should work to correct the problem. Violence against humans should be considered bad, and when shelters are needed, they should be available to anyone who needs them, etc.

    I like the realism of #10. In America there is little social awareness of how much infant and prepubescent genital mutilation takes place outside of a hospital setting and why, so Americans may not be aware of how difficult it will be to actually stop it by simply making it illegal. I agree with you that making it socially unacceptable, while slower and more difficult, is the first step. I know social notions can change rapidly in some circumstances. In 1976, when my eldest son was born, I had to repeatedly explain why I did not want him circumcised and nearly ended up with a psych consult over it because “everyone” wanted their boys circumcised (unless they were Jewish because a bris doesn’t usually happen in the hospital). In 1982, when my second son was born, they asked “want him circumcised?” and when I said no, they moved on to something else. Just a start in the right direction that can be pushed more.

    Also, a little advice for MRAs who actually want to get something accomplished: Repeatedly going on about how “feminists” don’t “care about men” makes you look like whiny idiots.

  166. 166
    H. E. Pennypacker

    I was going to post earlier stating that whilst I agree that many feminists would give some support to the list I have reservations about just how uniformly wholehearted this support would be. It seems some people tried to get in ahead of me and prove my point by attempting to minimise the importance of male victims of violent crime *.

    I can’t help but think of Barbara Ellen mocking the notion that men might have any need for postnatal care and recentering women: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/15/barbara-ellen-postnatally-depressed-fathers or Lucy Mangan decrying a men’s health initiative because apparently we should only be helping women: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2011/nov/30/women-need-sheds-more-men. Or Jezebel infamously celebrating intimate partner violence that was directed against men (or mocking Chris Brown for being raped).

    Obviously they don’t speak for all feminists and I tend to agree with you that most would probably get behind Ally’s list in theory. However, there are a lot of problems when you get into the details.

    Ally has used non-controversial phrasing – to take 7 for example:

    “Provision and funding for social support and therapeutic care for victims of violent crime, including intimate partner and sexual abuse, should only be made on basis of need, not gender”.

    This could mean that we just need to provide slightly more care for men than we do for women or it could mean that we need to provide more care for men than we do for women depending on how you quantify need. You could claim that men are less in need of care when they have been victims of violent crime (or as has been claimed in this thread that they are less deserving). Or you could point out that men are almost twice as likely to be the victims of violent crime and therefore we should have more funding for male specific services than female ones. I’m very confident that the latter proposal would be rejected out of hand by the vast majority of feminists.

    The biggest issue though is funding. Ally points out that none of these necessarily entail reducing support for women but if funding for gender specific health campaigns, DV centers, support for victims of sexual violence etc. is not increased then distributing funding more equitably would necessarily entail reducing the funding going to women focused projects. I am sure most feminists would oppose this.

    Even if by some miracle the coalition decided it was going to pump more money into DV shelters, if they said that due to the discrepancy between services available to the genders in this area that all the money was earmarked for exclusively male project I suspect this wouldn’t sit too well with most feminists.

    I’m not saying feminism is evil like some commentators (or even that it a problem per se, it’s obviously generally been a force for good) but I think there is definitely the possibility of tension between feminism and advocating for things which will benefit men and boys**.

    * I didn’t look through your whole source Ally but from what I could see it was self-reporting as victims of violent crimes from an extensive survey and to be honest I think there’s every reason to believe that men getting in fights wouldn’t necessarily identify themselves as having been the victim of violence.

    **I think a lot of the time things can positively impact both genders but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t tensions.

  167. 167
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Well written, Ally. Thank you. These are excellent ideas.

  168. 168
    Paul

    @H.E. Pennypacker

    Interesting post. Feminists are a diverse group and whilst i’m sure some are broadly supportive of those fighting on behalf of men and boys there are those who are hostile and/or dismissive .And imo it’s therefore inevitable that those fighting on behalf of men and boys will find themselves on a collision course with some feminists at least. However people shouldn’t view feminists as being the be all and end all for they like those fighting on behalf of men and boys need to make their case to those who hold most of the real power in this country- who are mainly white middle class men.

    Although class considerations should take priority over everything else identity politics has been absolutely crucial in raising awareness of and fighting for the needs of specific groups in society. So feminism without doubt has played a key role in doing that for women and girls.But feminists are not a homogenous group and some people -myself included- believe the feminist movement in this country is dominated by white middle class women who don’t necessarily have the best interests of working class , ethnic and religious minority and trans women at heart. They are as one cif journalist recently stated more interested in sharing power with the white middle class men who currently control most of the levers of real power. And i have concerns that the mens movement in this country may also be dominated by white middle class men who don’t have the best interests of working class and ethnic and religious minority men and boys at heart let alone the women and girls from those same backgrounds.

    I applaud Ally for providing a useful and workable framework to conduct the necessary and what i hope would be an inclusive debate about issues specifically affecting men and boys. However in somes respects that’s the easy bit .For there’re so many different and competing factions coming to that debate that finding a consensus that at least the majority of these factions can live with is going to be really difficult..And to suggest otherwise is imo somewhat naive.

  169. 169
    123454321

    “And i have concerns that the mens movement in this country may also be dominated by white middle class men who don’t have the best interests of working class and ethnic and religious minority men and boys at heart let alone the women and girls from those same backgrounds.”

    I would have to strongly dispute this.

  170. 170
    123454321

    Where did this myth come from that middle-class, white males have all the power?

    What complete and utter tosh.

  171. 171
    123454321

    And before anyone equates power with money, women account for the vast majority of key purchasing decisions in the family, which is where the hard-earned cash ends up.

  172. 172
    Mike Buchanan

    @ 123454321 (170)

    “Where did this myth come from that middle-class, white males have all the power? What complete and utter tosh.”

    Agreed. And when they DO have the power they hand it over to women on a plate, regardless of the consequences. A third of FTSE100 chairmen are members of the 30% club which campaigns for more women on boards. Michel Landis, the global CEO of the French multinational Sodexo, earns £3.3m p.a. and is a director of Catalyst which campaigns for more women on boards. These people are handing out board directorships t women despite knowing they’re damaging their firms’ future financial prospects by doing so, and thereby acting against the interests of their firms’ shareholders, the shareholders. But this isn’t enough. It’s NEVER enough, is it?

    The common derisory term for these men is ‘male, pale, and stale’ neatly combining sexism, racism and ageism in just four words. Let’s think how the world would look without the contributions of such men for the past 200+ years. It’s not a world in which even the most militant feminist would wish to live. It is however a world in which I’d wish them to live for a year or two, to get a dose of cold reality. Then they’d be praying for men to rescue them from their hellhole. Men WOULD rescue them. It’s what men do. Always have, always will. Then feminists would start bitching again. Always have, always will.

    I appear to have gone OT again. Sorry about that.

  173. 173
    Mike Buchanan

    @ 12345…

    “And before anyone equates power with money, women account for the vast majority of key purchasing decisions in the family, which is where the hard-earned cash ends up.”

    I think making ‘the vast majority of key purchasing decisions’ means that women like to go shopping while their partners (or the taxpayers on whom so many of them depend) are out working? Why are women not campaigning for a reversal of THAT relentless paradigm?

  174. 174
    Ally Fogg

    Lucy [160]

    I’m sorry, I’m not being deliberately obtuse, but it has become obvious to me that I really don’t understand what point you are making, and what point of mine you are taking issue with.

  175. 175
    123454321

    “Why are women not campaigning for a reversal of THAT relentless paradigm?”

    …probably the same reason they didn’t campaign to go fight wars, do dirty, dangerous jobs, appeal to insurance companies to end the gender discrimination, give men free bus passes at the same age as women, offer men seats on lifeboats, allow men to retire earlier because they die earlier etc.

    It gets tiring writing these lists because they get so bloody long.

  176. 176
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @175

    Actually women did campaign to be able to join the army.

  177. 177
    freja

    @146, Adiabat

    Note that I’m not asking for something that has to be tortured to make it have that meaning. I want a quote of an MRA seriously saying that, for example, short skirts automatically equals consent. Provide it and I’ll have a word with them.

    So you’re OK with claims that short skirts usually equal consent? Claims that when consent is ambiguous, it can be assumed? As long as the speaker doesn’t directly say that the consent is automatic?

    I don’t think that is a valid argument. To do that all an anti-abortionist would have to do would be to support medical research in the area. I not aware of them being opposed to research. The recent development of various new keyhole techniques were never opposed as far as I am aware.

    No. Not opposing people who save babies is not the same as actively working to save babies yourself. If we accept Mike’s premise that embryos are babies, it means that spontaneous abortion is the cause of 50% of all human deaths. More than war, crime, traffic, and all diseases combined. And worse, it doesn’t target old people who’re already close to death, it kills only babies. Reducing spontaneous abortions should be the number one healthcare concern for anti-abortionists. In fact, it should be their number one overall concern.

    Now, if Mike wasn’t able/willing to do activism and run for office in order to implement his ideas, I can see why he would settle for just passively not opposing initiatives to reduce spontaneous abortions. But that’s not what he’s doing. J4MB is actively campaigning for massive changes in order to allegedly save babies. They’re willing to invest millions, impose a cost to society of billions, and significantly reduce the liberty, safety, and quality of life for women in the name of allegedly saving babies (who will then grow up in abject poverty, which they’re OK with). Because no sacrifice is too large when it can save babies.

    And yet, the phenomenon which kills 50% of all babies is not even mentioned in their consultation document. They don’t seem ready to implement a single policy which could reduce the death toll on these 50% of alleged babies. They’re not willing to cut spending on research in, say, lung cancer (which kills only a fraction of what spontaneous abortion does), in order to increase research aimed at reducing incidents of spontaneous abortions.

    This is completely inconsistent with the position that an abortion is the same as a child dying. But it is completely identical to the position that women need to be punished for having sex, while the men who impregnated them should pay no cost. Of course, men will pay a cost, as they do in all countries where abortion is outlawed, but only a fraction of the cost imposed on women.

    I agree and I think that is obvious. I also agree with Mike that it is unfair that other people have to pay for their recklessness.

    The recklessness of who? All people who induce pregnancy, or women only like Mike thinks?

    People are working on changing it; I saw a documentary on it a while back but can’t remember many details. I’m not sure they are a good idea myself; I’d much rather the divorce courts are reformed to remove bias.

    The question then remains what exactly constitutes bias.

  178. 178
    Mike Buchanan

    @ HE Pennybaker (176)

    Some months ago there was a TV documentary about male and female soldiers in Afghanistan. The role of some of the female ‘soldiers’ was to ‘educate’ Afghan woman about patriarchy theory, feminism etc. It’s good to know where our taxes go. Doubtless this brought much happiness into Afghan women’s lives. Whatever. One of the female ‘soldiers’ was asked what she did when she found herself in one of the frequent firefights with the Taliban, bullets zipping though the air etc. She replied cheerily, ‘Oh, like the other girls, I hit the deck and let the boys sort things out!’ We can be sure that she was on the same money as the men who were far more prepared to put their lives on the line.

  179. 179
    Mike Buchanan

    @ freja (177)

    I’ve tried to post less today but I wanted to respond on the issue of ‘spontaneous abortions’. There’s no reason you would know, but I’ve been an atheist for 40+ years. Our proposals on abortion law isn’t rooted in religious considerations but in the issue of reducing mental health risk to mothers (used to offer ‘abortion on demand’ in practise), and the value of the unborn. Our view is that the value of the unborn rises as time progresses. I had a very lengthy meeting a few weeks ago with a (female) 27yo French TV documentary maker. She informed me the time limit for elective abortion was (from memory) 12 or 13 weeks in France, and was utterly shocked when I said it was 24 weeks in the UK. She said confidently I must be mistaken, and a day or two later emailed me to express her amazement at the UK law.

    We’re giving consideration to alternative proposals such as reducing the time limit, and the whole purpose of the consultation exercise is to gather views to help us develop our 2015 general election manifesto. So I thank you for contributing to that process.

  180. 180
    mudskipper

    Mike and 123454321–

    Do you have any suggestions on how to change the fact that women make most of the family key purchasing decisions?

    Right now, for example, women do most of the household shopping since they traditionally they are responsible for the household. They are the ones who buy the groceries, household sundries, family personal care items, prescriptions, children’s clothing, school supplies, toys, and so on. Heck, in many families, they even buy the husband’s clothing, with his complete blessing, since he can’t be bothered. They also tend to be the key purchasers of bigger ticket household items, like appliances and furniture.

    So, in concrete terms, how should women campaign to reverse this “relentless paradigm”?

  181. 181
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Right, that may well be true but it doesn’t mean that “[women] didn’t campaign to go fight wars” isn’t demonstrably inaccurate. To be honest you won’t find any disagreement from me that war is an area that has a far more negative effect on men than it does on women. In fact I do have an issue with many feminist treatments of unequal service in the military but my problem is that they usually imply that women not being allowed in the army is a bigger injustice than men being expected to go and die in large numbers.

  182. 182
    Mike Buchanan

    @ HE Pennypacker

    Interesting. Thank you. Here’s an idea. All front-line troops should be gender feminists, maybe for the next 50 years. Let’s get some REAL gender equality in place. I must add this proposal to our public consultation document.

  183. 183
    123454321

    Mudskipper 180

    “Do you have any suggestions on how to change the fact that women make most of the family key purchasing decisions?”

    Look at it the other way around. Are you sure you want to change that?

  184. 184
    Maureen Brian

    Mike @ 179,

    Here’s a meta-analysis of the impact of abortion on mental health in the long term – http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(08)00369-7/abstract

    It doesn’t say what you would want it to say. In fact, a search on Google Scholar on “abortion mental health” – produces 247,000 papers – seems only to prove that too much depends upon the methodology employed by the researchers. Also, no-one seems to know how to identify those women who had mental health problems before they asked for an abortion and correct for that in the analysis.

    Just too many variables! Some interesting reading there, though.

  185. 185
    Paul

    @170 -1234etc

    Where did this myth come from that middle-class, white males have all the power?

    What complete and utter tosh.

    I said White middle class males make up the majority of those who control the institutions,corporations etc where most of the real power lies in this country. That’s a fact. However to acknowledge that isn’t the same as saying all white middle class males have that power -they clearly don’t.

    The point i was making -which seemingly went right over your head- was that those addressing issues which affect men and boys are wrong to view feminists as being primarily responsible for the fact that men and boys can and do face discrimination in this country.The vocal feminist lobby in this country has a certain amount of clout and there are feminists in positions of power and influence.But most of those at the top who hold the real power in politics, the judiciary, business etc in this country are still white middle class men.Now some of the wives,girlfriends and mistresses of these powerful men may well wield an enormous amount of covert power and influence with them – ie they may be the power behind the throne- but it’s still the men who actually exercise that power. Can’t you see that ?

    Let me try and put this another way. I believe in equal rights for fathers and i believe that fathers have an equally important role in their childrens lives as mothers and should be treated as being equally important..However fathers often get a raw deal in this country especially after the relationship with the mother has broken down.And can find themselves powerless to prevent themselves from being either marginalised or excluded from their childrens lives. And they often won’t go to the Family Courts to either improve or gain access to their children because they feel that not only do the Family Courts discriminate in favour of mothers they also rarely enforce access orders. Now getting that changed does put fathers rights activists on a collision course with some feminists but do you honestly think feminists are primarily responsible for causing these problems in the first place ? Because if you do think that i’m afraid you’re wrong.

  186. 186
    carnation

    @ Paul

    Excellent comments.

    The only parts I disagree with is the notion that the men’s movement is middleclass men centric. It is anti feminist far more than pro men. The feminist tree obstructs the MRA wood. Big time.

  187. 187
    Paul

    ps I should add that i do believe that feminists have had some success in having input in policy making in some areas .But if men and boys are facing discrimination in those areas then activists have to take a leaf out of feminists book and make sure they lobby those with real power so as to get things changed. Simply attacking feminists and feminism won’t achieve that.

  188. 188
    mildlymagnificent

    Offhand, after dispensing with the irrational reasons like apathy and prejudice, I’d say the main “rational” reason is MONEY: taken together, Ally’s proposals would cost a lot of it, it would have to be raised through tax revenues, and the need for said programs would be greatest when the funding is lowest.

    OK then. I’ll happily chair the meeting where the agenda is to rank Ally’s ten points in order of which are –
    - same cost as now but with different outcomes,
    - little to no cost,
    - inexpensive and easy,
    - inexpensive and hard,
    - can be broken down into inexpensive parts now, more doubtful or expensive or difficult parts later,
    - needs-more-work-to-quantify-costs-and-benefits,
    - expensive and easy
    - expensive and hard
    - only a dream.

  189. 189
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul (187)

    “… activists have to take a leaf out of feminists book and make sure they lobby those with real power so as to get things changed.”

    Thanks Paul. Let me assure you British MPs and peers don’t give a damn about men and boys, and you may as well lobby a goldfish. They may give you some face-to-face time but nothing will ever come of it. The bottom line is this. MPs are fearful of ‘women’s votes’ and have no sense that men may ever vote for THEIR interests. So far they’ve been right, which is why we’re committed to getting men (and some women) to vote for men’s rights, to tip the balance in marginal seats at general elections.

  190. 190
    mildlymagnificent

    However fathers often get a raw deal in this country especially after the relationship with the mother has broken down.And can find themselves powerless to prevent themselves from being either marginalised or excluded from their childrens lives.

    Which is when we get right back to Number One on Ally’s list.

    Get men’s roles and responsibilities for raising children sorted out as more important and significant starting at birth and there’ll be cascading effects all the way through. From men establishing good relationships with their children when they’re small and helpless to understanding better what it’s like to be in the company of small people for large parts of the day through to making a good argument in their own favour about care and custody of children should the relationship with their mother break down.

  191. 191
    123454321

    Paul,

    Not much time to debate, unfortunately. If I did, i’d be explaining how power ultimately can lead to good and evil. In the case of men, the vast majority of power is channeled towards protecting their families, and wives/girlfriends. That is usually their quest, whether related to outright physical protection or financial spend. You need to think one level deeper before you try to explain power. So rather than thinking who exercises the power, think who gets the benefit. That’s why Mike is right to bring tax into the argument as well as thinking who gets to spend the money. it appears there is a set of unbalanced scales whereby men get the shitty end of the stick.

    The reason why feminists are to blame is down to the culture of belittling men’s rights via their successful campaigns, whilst at the same time ignoring men’s issues.

  192. 192
    PaulF

    66. ‘and I have to say the silence from them has been utterly deafening thus far.’

    It’s probably because all these things are very nice in theory, yet as others have pointed out, have next to zero chance of being enacted while the current group of gender feminists control policy with regards to gender in government.

    (For this we’d require some sort of political pressure, which is presumably where we’d need activism of the kind that Mike advocates, but the concept of which you’ve completely trashed and dismissed.)

    Indeed your argument thus far on this blog Ally is that the likes of Harman or Featherstone should not be held responsible for any problems facing men in society (& should not be thought to damage the reputation of feminism), because gender policy has very little impact on public life, real influence residing instead in apparently non-gendered areas of power, i.e. what you refer to as “patriarchal power”, held mostly by men. Yet you’re having to admit here tacitly that gender policy does matter, by coming up with various schemes and ideas in this particular domain yourself. It’s all very well to call Mike’s proposals stupid and self-contradictory, yet that doesn’t seem very consistent either!

    What I suspect you might say to counter this argument – though who knows, I could be wrong – is that you don’t contend that gender policy doesn’t matter, merely that the position of the government Minister for Equality carries no weight or significance, and so too for the Equalities Department in government.

    Well I doubt that is true actually, but even this has not quite been your position, as far as I can see, for in the past you’ve referred in this way to ‘gender policy’ in general, and when pointed in one thread here to lots of schemes and initiatives, such as government committees and commissions only for women, your response was that this state of affairs was welcome and desirable, because ‘this is a recognition of relative weakness, the powers that be throwing a bone from the table to make up for the fact that there are so few women in positions of actual power.

    Actual power, then, apparently resides outside matters to do with gender, and instead in more male dominated concerns. To quote from you again here on Hetpat: “Most power, real power, is invisible and usually goes unnoticed”. Thus by your own logic, the plans you propose in your manifesto would not make any real difference to society, because they don’t affect this true, ‘invisible’ power, in which real influence is supposed to reside!

  193. 193
    R2-D2-

    Success in life has nothing to do with gender. We live in a meritocracy, people can make it under their own steam. Anything other than that is social engineering.

  194. 194
    mildlymagnificent

    We live in a meritocracy, people can make it under their own steam. Anything other than that is social engineering.

    Let’s look at some people who do seem to make it under their own steam. The most expensively trained group of all – doctors. (I can’t seem to find the other reports about this which showed that 7% of the surveyed GPs actually left the profession because of this.)

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/patients-harass-female-doctors-20131006-2v2as.html
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-07/more-than-half-of-female-doctors-sexually-harrassed-by-patients/5001954
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/07/female-doctors-sexual-harassment

    Nearly one-third of the doctors who reported sexual harassment said they had been improperly grabbed or touched during a consultation.

    The research, conducted in 2010 and set to be published on Monday, revealed that 54.5 per cent of female doctors surveyed had been sexually harassed by their own patient. Requests for inappropriate examinations and improper exposure of body parts were the most common forms of sexual harassment, while 36 per cent of the women said they had been subjected to sexually-charged remarks….

    “They are being disadvantaged in terms of earning an income and are making themselves less available in the healthcare system.”

    These women have got through the long and gruelling education and training for doctors – on merit – and the society loses the benefit of that training for something so crude, pointless and stupid that it makes many of them change their consulting rooms, move to another district, of abandon the whole thing.

    There’s more than merit involved in careers.

  195. 195
    Ally Fogg

    PaulF [192]

    (For this we’d require some sort of political pressure, which is presumably where we’d need activism of the kind that Mike advocates, but the concept of which you’ve completely trashed and dismissed.)

    I don’t trash and dismiss political activism. Quite the opposite, I actively support and engage in it. I do crticise J4MB because A/ I don’t think it is a very effective form of activism, but much more importantly, B/ about 3/4 of the specifics of what J4MB is campaigning for is downright abhorrent and wouldn’t help most men and boys much at all, or anyone else for that matter, with the exception of those richer people who hate paying taxes to support the less well off in society, and those men who wish to abandon all responsibility for their share of raising children.

    Indeed your argument thus far on this blog Ally is that the likes of Harman or Featherstone should not be held responsible for any problems facing men in society (& should not be thought to damage the reputation of feminism), because gender policy has very little impact on public life, real influence residing instead in apparently non-gendered areas of power, i.e. what you refer to as “patriarchal power”, held mostly by men.

    Well, you’re eliding two different issues there. Patriarchal power is one strand, one manifestation of hegemonic power.

    It’s a minor, theoretical point, but I don’t believe power really lies with individuals at all. It lies in structures and systems, and most individuals (even rich and powerful ones) have very little choice in the extent to which we support and participate in those systems.

    Yet you’re having to admit here tacitly that gender policy does matter, by coming up with various schemes and ideas in this particular domain yourself. It’s all very well to call Mike’s proposals stupid and self-contradictory, yet that doesn’t seem very consistent either!

    Policies, whether economic, social or whatever else, have real and tangible impacts on people’s lives, so they do matter. Even without completely solving the underlying problems, we can still make real if limited differences (for better or worse) to the lives of individuals through changes of political policy and governance.

    One axis on which politics influences people is gender. So an economic policy might have disproportionate negative impacts on women, or on men. So too might an educational policy, or a social policy, or a judicial policy.

    For that reason, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Education Secretary, the Home Secretary, Minister for Health etc actually have far, far more influence on gender issues than does the Minister for Equalities (or “Women and Equalities” to give the official and bizarre job title)

    Of the 10 proposals above, not a single one would come under the brief of the Minister for Equalities, and if you were to invent a Minister for Men, none of the proposals would come under his brief either.

    I’d hazard a guess that if someone else were to come up with a manifesto for improving the gender-specific welfare of women, none of those would come under the brief of the Minister for Women and Equalities either.

    All of this is also why I’m far from convinced about the general theory put forward by Mike Buchanan and others that feminists have significant influence over political parties or governments. Whatever influence they have is utterly, utterly dwarfed by the influence of Goldman Sachs, Rupert Murdoch and BP.

    So no, I don’t think I’m being inconsistent at all.

  196. 196
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally (195)

    “One axis on which politics influences people is gender. So an economic policy might have disproportionate negative impacts on women, or on men. So too might an educational policy, or a social policy, or a judicial policy.”

    I couldn’t agree more. But if there are disproportionate negative effects on one gender, it’s always (or virtually always) the male gender, and has been for 30+ years in the UK. Why is that, if not due to the impact of feminists? With respect to legislation, politicans’ fear of the ‘women’s vote’? And outside of legislation, e.g. the far gentler treatment women experience at the hands of the justice system, good old-fashioned chivalry and deference to women, especially when powers of discretion are in the hands of men well up the social scale?

  197. 197
    freja

    @147, karmakin

    It’s not the label Gender Feminism that’s important, it’s the ideas behind it.

    The label of gender feminism is used to argue in circles. Almost all feminists=bad. Almost all feminists=gender feminists. Therefore: Gender feminism=bad. And when asked why almost all feminists=bad, the answer almost inevitably goes something like this: Gender feminism=bad. Almost all feminists=gender feminists. Therefore: Almost all feminists=bad. And on and on it goes, with feminists=bad being used to show that feminists=gender feminists, and gender feminism=bad being used to show that feminists=bad.

    But the proponents of the idea of a monolithic entity encompassing the vast majority of all feminists rarely bother to give concrete examples of specific common feminist notions and why they’re bad. Sometimes they manage one or the other, but rarely at the same time. So basically, they give a lot of examples of bad feminism and a lot of examples of common feminism, but the common feminism is rarely bad and the bad feminism is rarely common.

    And there’s actually quite a few examples of GF arguments that are pretty common in Feminist circles.

    Saying that there are specific claims or arguments which are common among feminists has little to do with claiming that most feminists belong to a specific ideological branch which was invented by someone who hates most feminists.

    A good example would be the complete dismissal of EvPsych.

    That’s a very specific example (but thank you for being concrete). Feminists differ wildly in the extent they believe we’re shaped by evolutionary demands, they’re just generally negatively inclined towards a small niche within psychology whose proponents have actively courted anti-feminists and misogynists in order to achieve popularity. When I share various findings with men from fields which provide evolutionary explanations for human behaviour but paints a more negative image of men and suggest their problems in society can feasibly be attributed to biology, they often become extremely upset (especially if they’re MRA types) and immediately start disputing those findings.

    The only difference between them and women/feminists is that they’re usually not confronted with such findings in their everyday life, because they’re either from fields less mainstream/less frequently used for arguments in the gendersphere than evopsych (developmental psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, economics/game theory), or are not considered as interesting or marketable as the the “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”/“Rape and slut-shaming is just human nature” kinds of evopsych.

    It’s hardly surprising that feminists are negatively inclined towards it, and suggesting this means they’re on the same page ideologically and politically is kind of like saying (American) minorities must be liberal hippies just because they’re reluctant to vote Republican.

    Actually, the core idea behind Gender Feminism, the notion that gender is almost entirely a social construct, could very easily just be called Feminism these days, as it’s that common.

    That’s a different assertion than feminists just not liking evopsych. I agree that many feminists get defensive about claims of statistically significant inborn sex differences, but you can’t judge that reaction independent of social and historical contexts. As I mentioned above, in my experience anti-feminists get even more defensive if you turn the tables.

    In theory I like the idea that Carnation made about teaching kids, all kids about relationships from an early age, however I do think that this is one of those things where it has to be done right or it could all go terribly wrong. We have to make sure that we can actually change wants and desires, and we’re not ending up causing people to repress them.

    If kids are inclined to rape, I think they should suppress those urges, just like paedophiles should. I don’t think we need to aim to teach future rapists to get off in a different way before we teach them what constitutes rape, anymore than I think we need to teach people not to get angry before we teach them that hitting is wrong, or teaching people not to want things that aren’t theirs before we teach them about what constitutes stealing.

    And I’m not even talking about the men, assuming a strictly modal man rapes women model. If we can’t change them at a root level, then quite frankly we’re just making things worse.

    I think a huge first step would be to just teach the law. The teacher who was asked by her students “How can [the Steubenville rape victim] be raped? She wasn’t awake to say no.” didn’t need to fundamentally change the students’ sexuality to get the point across that you aren’t supposed to assume people are available for sexual intercourse with you just because they aren’t actively doing anything to prevent it, and that rape is a crime but asking for clarity isn’t.

    The other side of the coin is that it’s my experience that nobody wants to deal with the concept that this particular script is led by women as much as it is men. This is often seen as victim blaming.

    That’s because it’s inefficient. If some women (and I think it’s far less common than claimed) deliberately signal rejection and consent at the same time, men who practice consent-based sex will either ask for clarification or leave these women alone, and nothing will happen except those women wont be very popular. But if some men follow the Warren Farrell school of consent and go “She might want to have sex with me or she might not, so I’ll just go ahead”, those men will end up as either rapists or as someone who support rape no matter what women do.

    The more people buy into the idea that women can do things that aren’t inherently about sex but which give men a blanket permission to have intercourse with them anyway and that it’s up to women to actively prevent men from getting the idea that they want to have sex, the more women will be in danger of rape. Putting the onus on women to avoid sending men these allegedly mixed or false signals has not decreased rape in countries like India and Pakistan, quite the contrary. It might be satisfying to lecture girls about leading guys on and telling them they’re causing rape when they say no while meaning yes, but there is no indication it would lower the incidences of rape the slightest.

    Truth is this is probably one of those things that is much more highly biological than social, and it makes it very resilient to change…our efforts to change it thus far on a strictly male responsibility IMO has resulted in a lot of misogyny (real misogyny) appearing in our society.

    Wait, what exactly are you trying to say here? That men are biologically disposed towards rape? That those surveys showing that women sexually assault and rape men to a much higher degree than previously thought are false? That teaching both sexes about consent and the legal definitions of rape and sexual assault is putting all the responsibility on men?

    So like I said. We have to be careful. Or we could target the other common vector in these things…binge drinking.

    Why? Male on female rape is more common and accepted in countries where alcohol is outlawed. Rapists don’t rape spontaneously because they get tempted or see an opportunity, they mostly rape premeditated and because they think/know they can get away with it, mostly due to people making excuses for them.

    In countries where women follow the alleged anti-rape strategies given by anti-feminists, and always wear modest clothing, don’t go out at night, don’t drink alcohol, avoid being alone with strange men, don’t work with men, and try their hardest to never give the impression that they’re interested in sex with men the only thing that follows is that rape become more legitimised, and those women get raped when they’re together with men from their family, when they ride the bus, when they walk the street, when they go out the back to fetch water, when they’re home alone and men break in, and probably a dozen of other places I haven’t thought of.

  198. 198
    Ally Fogg

    I couldn’t agree more. But if there are disproportionate negative effects on one gender, it’s always (or virtually always) the male gender, and has been for 30+ years in the UK.

    Blatantly false.

    Which gender has been more affected by monstrous cuts across the public sector since 2010?

    Which gender has been more badly affected by slashing Sure Start and children’s centres?

    Which gender had its retirement age raised from 60 to 65 recently?

    need I go on?

    (and yes, of course you can put these in contexts of other policies which affect men more harshly – not least employment rates in the public sector in the first place, but that doesn’t change the fact that your claim is quite blatantly, categorically false)

  199. 199
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    I don’t have any insights into Sure Start and children’s centres, but with respect to the public sector, are you suggesting that when two-thirds of public sector workers are already women, women shouldn’t be proportionately affected by cuts? If so, you’re suggesting the proportion of women in the sector should be increased, at a time when four out of seven unemployed people are men.

    The raising of the women’s age is the removal of a privilege – why is gender equality wrong when women lose historical privileges as a result? Surely the real outrage is that men have retired later for many years, including those in hard manual labour, and despite men living shorter lies?

    ‘Need I go on?’

    You don’t ‘need’ to, of course, but I’d very much like you to. Thank you. Just popping out for an hour or so, will respond on my return to any further examples of disproportionately negative impacts of the state’s actions and inactions) on women.

  200. 200
    mildlymagnificent

    karmakin

    I don’t want to pile on after Freja’s already dealt with your arguments, but there’s one point that really matters.

    Truth is this is probably one of those things that is much more highly biological than social, …

    This is a terrible argument. My experience is that most men are not ravening beasts who don’t care about women’s feelings about sex or about being grabbed and groped. Claiming that men who rape or pester women are unable to control themselves because they’re overwhelmed by irresistible lust has two horrible consequences.

    1. It gives cover to rapists who use this kind of common parlance to gain acceptance, or at least toleration, among their social groups.
    2. The idea that men can’t be raped by women is mostly underpinned by the notion that all men everywhere are up for it any time, any how.

    Both of these things are bad. More than that, it’s downright insulting to most men.

  201. 201
    lelapaletute

    Mike1 173:

    “I think making ‘the vast majority of key purchasing decisions’ means women like to go shopping while their partners (or the taxpayers on whom so many of them depend) are out working?”

    I just don’t even. I can’t even start. Do you have ANY IDEA how offensive that is?

  202. 202
    freja

    @189, Mike Buchanan

    Thanks Paul. Let me assure you British MPs and peers don’t give a damn about men and boys, and you may as well lobby a goldfish.

    Then why do you believe that feminists, who’re supposedly more irrational and anti-male than anyone else, can be lobbied/attacked into complying?

    @192, PaulF

    It’s probably because all these things are very nice in theory, yet as others have pointed out, have next to zero chance of being enacted while the current group of gender feminists control policy with regards to gender in government.

    If policies that benefit men have zero chance of being enacted, why bother supporting anything? And yet, MRAs have never been reluctant to support any kind of anti-feminism, even if the anti-feminist in question did nothing to actively implement any of his/her suggestions. An anti-feminist writing about how society is supposed to be can expect a ton of support, especially if they have as large a platform as Ally here, but someone writing about it in a way that doesn’t primarily hurt women will either attacked as a feminist ploy or ignored.

  203. 203
    Lucy

    @Ally

    “I’m sorry, I’m not being deliberately obtuse, but it has become obvious to me that I really don’t understand what point you are making, and what point of mine you are taking issue with.”

    Okay look, you said:
    ” 62% of the victims and 80% of the perpetrators were male. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered as women. ”

    Which gives the impression that men face a higher risk of violence than women do. This is certainly how this comparison is used by men’s rights folk and the Internet hoard to vilify women who talk about being afraid to go out after dark, to jog in the park, walk in the woods, use public transport, do overtime, etc. Such women are variously termed as paranoid, hysterical and undeserving of the amount of state attention they get from crime prevention strategies. And if this isn’t the intention, then why make this comparison?

    My issue isn’t with identifying assaults and murder of men as a social problem, of course it is. Nor with it getting as much research and state funding as is practical and necessary. My issue is with the bald comparison of this statistic with the female one. Because the profiles of violence against males and females are different: different perpetrators, different causes, different effects. I don’t know how different because these stats aren’t adequately broken down.

    For the sake of drawing conclusions about gender violence, it matters if assaults on men are higher because men take part in riskier activities than women. And it matters if a higher proportion of the male victims are also perpetrators. And it matters if assaults on men are higher because they make up most of our law enforcers. And it matters if assaults on men are higher because men take part in more group violence like riots and gangs and hooliganism, which necessarily involve more individuals, than women do.

    What would be more informative if you are going to compare male and female stats would be to talk of relative risk, not relative numbers. E.g. Who is more likely to be attacked jogging on Wimbledon Common, a man or a woman? Otherwise, if that doesn’t appeal, then leave the comparison out of it altogether and talk about the phenomenon of male violence and talk about the phenomenon of female violence as two separate phenomena.

  204. 204
    freja

    With regards to the men here complaining that women make most purchasing decisions, have any of you tried actually telling your wife/girlfriend that you want to do the grocery shopping? And if she insists you need to buy the food she specifies because she needs it for cooking, have you tried doing the cooking instead? Ditto for cleaning and buying cleaning products?

    When it comes to taking a holiday, have you tried being the one who searches for the best/cheapest hotel and airline, and books the tickets? How about offering to be in charge of buying birthday and Christmas gifts from both of you? Taking your child out shopping for clothes and school supplies?

    Those are all things which will increase your spending and decrease hers, and which many women regard as duties they would like to be without. I’m always grateful when my boyfriend does the grocery shopping, even when he uses my money to do so.

  205. 205
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Lucy

    ” it matters if assaults on men are higher because men take part in riskier activities than women.”

    So victim blaming is fine when men are the targets?

  206. 206
    freja

    @205, H. E. Pennypacker

    So victim blaming is fine when men are the targets?

    Have anyone here actually said it’s OK to commit crimes against people as long as those people are male? And do you have anything to say about J4BM’s stance on women taking responsibility for themselves?

  207. 207
    123454321

    “Which gender had its retirement age raised from 60 to 65 recently?”

    Erm, excuse me, but which gender has had to put up with retiring 5 years later for umpteenth years?

  208. 208
    123454321

    “The raising of the women’s age is the removal of a privilege – why is gender equality wrong when women lose historical privileges as a result? Surely the real outrage is that men have retired later for many years, including those in hard manual labour, and despite men living shorter lies?”

    Oops, sorry, Mike, I only just read that you answered that one.

  209. 209
    123454321

    @ Freja 204

    “With regards to the men here complaining that women make most purchasing decisions, have any of you tried actually telling your wife/girlfriend that you want to do the grocery shopping? And if she insists you need to buy the food she specifies because she needs it for cooking, have you tried doing the cooking instead? Ditto for cleaning and buying cleaning products?”

    Here we go again. What about cleaning the drains, putting out the rubbish, most of the DIY, mowing the lawn, ferrying the kids about, wiring up the sound system, fixing the TV when you’ve pressed the wrong button on the remote, doing all the dirty jobs when you don’t want to ruin your nails.

    There you go, hopefully that is just about as offensive as your blinkered vision post.

    For the record, i do all of the jobs on my list and yours, and know plenty of other men who do too!

  210. 210
  211. 211
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ freja

    So it’s only victim blaming if you say that it’s OK to commit a crime against someone on the basis of their gender? I don’t understand what your point is. Are you claiming that “it matters if sexual assaults on women are higher because women put themselves at risk more than men” also isn’t victim blaming? You would be OK with MRAs advancing the theory that the sexual assault of women isn’t as big a problem as statistics suggest because actually many of those women were putting themselves at risk?

    I have no idea what J4MB’s stance on women taking responsibility for themselves is but I’m assuming it’s hilariously/depressingly awful like their stance on most things. If you care to enlighten me on what you’re referring to I’d be happy to give you my opinion on it.

  212. 212
    maudell

    123454321

    Yes, of course feminists have worked hard to change the spending discrepancy in households. I’m not sure why you think that feminists are so deeply enamoured with buying groceries, diapers and dishwashers. I’m also unclear as to how J4MB’s social conservative utopia will reverse this trend.

    Most feminists are quite against the assuming the role of women as homemaker. That’s how women can end up spending their own money for the basics, by reducing these assumed gender roles (whether they are men=provider or woman = homemakers, both are harmful). Maybe we can get a bit closer to a society where people participate based on capacity/talent/inclinations rather than arbitrary traits such as gender or ethnicity (I realize that gender and ethnicity are not the same exact thing). Of course, we can’t remove socialization from the lot, but it would be a step towards more freedom for all (gender roles are as confining on men), and more women paying taxes, more men buying household stuff with their wife’s money. I can’t see how that’s inconsistent with feminist (I guess it’s inconsistent with the GENDER FEMINIST hiding under the bed).

    Mike Buchanan
    You sure comment a lot on your program for someone who doesn’t want to discuss it here. I am puzzled by your suggestion that throwing mothers under the bus with their children (many of whom are boys) will help boys. Those children don’t deserve to be punished. Society helping men and boys means that taxes go to helping them from the start.

    Lucy
    I understand your point about different violence mechanisms towards different groups. However, I do think you are blaming the victims and your portrayal of violence on men is quite prejudicial (hooligans, gangs, etc.). Seriously, it’s blatant victim blaming. Different types of violence may require different types of remedies, but come on, a little empathy for victims of violence wouldn’t hurt. I’m sure you can find anecdotal evidence of your point (ie 2 hooligans together, I guess), but it’s quite something else to claim that those rare situations make up for the variance in murders between men and women. Men are more at risk of this type of violence, even if they never ‘provoke’ another person.

  213. 213
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Mike

    I think you’ve forgotten to factor into your tax calculations all the women paying tax through VAT.

    And don’t we always here about how consumer spending is beneficial to our economy?

    So it turns out men are to blame for all our economic problems because they’re not spending enough!

  214. 214
    Mike Buchanan

    @ HE Pennypacker

    “I think you’ve forgotten to factor into your tax calculations all the women paying tax through VAT.”

    I haven’t ‘forgotten’, the 72% statistic relates to income tax, and was obtained as a result of our FoI request to HMRC. As for VAT, I very much doubt any analysis has been done on that. After all, companies / retailers very often won’t know the gender of the person paying the tax – and wouldn’t record it anyway – some payments are in cash, a lot of VAT is paid by companies and self-employed people rather than private individuals…

  215. 215
    Paul

    @191- 123454321

    You’re not getting the point i’m trying to make. Of course power manifests itself in many different ways and some of it is covert such as sexual, emotional and parental power. So i’ve never had time for those who argue that men are powerful and women are powerless -vis a vis UK society – because such is the level of interdependence between the sexes in this country that clearly isn’t the case. Although the level of interdependence can vary and with it the potential for abuse.

    Cherie Blair was widely seen as being the power behind the throne when her husband was PM but it’s impossible to quantify her power in the same way it is to quantify the power her husband had. Just like it’s often impossible to quantify the power some women may have over their menfolk who appear to be more powerful than they are .Female power -often covert-plays it’s part in underpinning and reproducing patriachial power structures and not all feminists seem prepared to acknowledge that. In fact some feminists refuse to accept that covert power is power at all. And they’re wrong in my opinion.

    But going back to the point i was making to both yourself and Mike i stand by what i said. Simply attacking feminists and feminism -and remember feminists aren’t a homogeneous group and feminism isn’t a homogeneous ideology- isn’t the way forward for those of us interested in issues which affect men and boys.It’s not as clearcut as that. Although i accept that some feminist input in policy- making in some areas has been a contributory factor in causing problems for men and boys .But simply attacking feminist ideology isn’t in itself going to change that.

    On the previous thread Mike mentioned a an incident on the tv programme ”Educating Yorkshire” where a boy and girl had got into a fight and by all accounts there was fault on both sides .Yet only the boy was disciplined which was clearly unfair. But surely you don’t blame feminism for that double standard.For there’ve always been double standards in our society which can benefit both sexes.And one of the gripes i have with some feminists is that they seem to be quite happy to complain about the double standards which favour males but rarely if ever acknowledge the double standards which favour females.But i’d never be so foolish as to blame feminism for creating those double standards.Just as i’d never be so foolish as to believe that ensuring fathers have equal custody rights with mothers- as a for instance- can be achieved by simply attacking feminists and feminism.

  216. 216
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul

    “On the previous thread Mike mentioned an incident on the tv programme ”Educating Yorkshire” where a boy and girl had got into a fight and by all accounts there was fault on both sides .Yet only the boy was disciplined which was clearly unfair. But surely you don’t blame feminism for that double standard?”

    I can’t speak for 123454321, obviously, but might I make a point here? (No! I hear my critics shout, haha). I don’t blame feminism for that double standard, which has VERY deep cultural roots. But feminism tends to underplay or even deny women’s historical informal power – as you point out – while demanding ever more formal power, not just through women’s merit and hard work (with which I obviously couldn’t argue, and wouldn’t wish to), but also through special advantaging over men in many fields. The campaign to increase the proportion of women on major corporate boards (despite the evidence about impact on financial performance) being only one.

    All-women prospective parliamentary candidate shortlists is another. Far more men than women are interested in politics, especially if we exclude women whose sole interest in politics is pursuing ‘women’s interests’, and it’s long been the case that far more men WANT to become MPs, so all-women PPC shortlists are an outrage to democracy. They mean that the least able woman in the country in a contender to contest a seat than the most able man in the country. Maybe we should be grateful such shortlists weren’t been around when Winston Churchill first wished to stand as an MP. If they had been, we’d all be speaking German now, and life’s tough enough as it is.

  217. 217
    JT

    @ Ally

    Do you have an email so I can send you something?

  218. 218
    Ally Fogg

    MikeBuchanan

    are you suggesting that when two-thirds of public sector workers are already women, women shouldn’t be proportionately affected by cuts?

    No I’m not. What I’m saying is that you can’t complain bitterly about all the political steps that impact more upon men, because men happen to be in a position where any steps towards equality will remove their advantages or privileges, and then when something happens in the other direction (eg equalising pensions or public sector job cuts impacting women more) you say “ah, but that doesn’t count, it’s different, because women were unfairly advantaged before.”

    Um, hello?

  219. 219
    Ally Fogg

    JT –

    sure… ally(at)allyfogg.co.uk

  220. 220
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    “No I’m not. What I’m saying is that you can’t complain bitterly about all the political steps that impact more upon men, because men happen to be in a position where any steps towards equality will remove their advantages or privileges…”.

    What advantages and privileges do men in the UK enjoy today?

  221. 221
    Ally Fogg

    Lucy

    Okay look, you said:
    ” 62% of the victims and 80% of the perpetrators were male. Men are more than twice as likely to be murdered as women. ”

    Which gives the impression that men face a higher risk of violence than women do.

    That’s just a simple matter of fact. I’m not ‘giving an impression’ I am stating a quite unarguable fact!

    For the sake of drawing conclusions about gender violence, it matters

    This is possibly where we are breaking down, because I wasn’t attempting to draw conclusions about gender violence or inviting anyone else to draw conclusions about gender violence.

    My point was almost the exact opposite – that everyone (by which I mean MRAs and feminists, but also the media, politicians etc) talk almost exclusively about gender violence and that is, in fact, only a small part of a much bigger problem with violence – and primarily male violence.

    What would be more informative if you are going to compare male and female stats would be to talk of relative risk, not relative numbers. E.g. Who is more likely to be attacked jogging on Wimbledon Common, a man or a woman?

    I don’t know specifically about jogging on Wimbledon Common, but as a general rule, a man (especially a young man) who is out and about minding his own business, walking down the street or wherever, is indeed vastly more likely to be a victim of random violence than anyone from other section of the population.

  222. 222
    Ally Fogg

    What advantages and privileges do men in the UK enjoy today?

    Depends if you are talking legal advantages and privileges, or cultural advantages and privileges.

    There are very few of the former remaining, mostly because they have been systematically abolished by all the bits of legislation that you’ve objected to over the past 40 years.

    If you’re talking cultural, then there are many, but I really can’t be arsed starting all over again for the umpteenth time, when your only response every time is to say:“But that doesn’t count because REASONS.”

  223. 223
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Ally

    “Depends if you are talking legal advantages and privileges, or cultural advantages and privileges.
    There are very few of the former remaining, mostly because they have been systematically abolished by all the bits of legislation that you’ve objected to over the past 40 years.”

    Thank you. On the contrary, there are MANY legal and cultural advantages remaining, but for decades they’ve favoured women over men, never vice versa. The idea of cultural disadvantaging of women is an left-wing conspiracy theory designed to disguise the enduring reality that men and women typically make different choices in life, which lead to different outcomes. This may change if women’s work orientation changes, but I see few signs of that happening – other than women being keen to get into a few well-paid public sector lines of work e.g. medicine – and more importantly, nor does Catherine Hakim. So we’ll presumably carry on the same path, denying these realities, and privileging women ever more in order to manufacture greater equalities of outcomes, whatever the cost. Do you honestly think this insane direction of travel can continue uninterrupted?

    A rhetorical question, I’ve taken more than enough of your time.

  224. 224
    Paul

    @Mike

    What advantages and privileges do men in the UK enjoy today?

    Seriously Mike i can’t believe you typed that question with a straight face.

    The fact that men and boys experience disadvantage in some areas relative to women and girls doesn’t mean they don’t also have advantages as well. And likewise just as women and girls have some advantages relative to men and boys they also suffer from disadvantages as well. And social and cultural factors also have to be taken into consideration when looking at relative advantages and disadvantages for both sexes. I genuinely can’t believe you don’t see what for me is stating the bleedin’ obvious.

  225. 225
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul

    I wrote:

    “What advantages and privileges do men in the UK enjoy today?”

    You wrote:

    “I genuinely can’t believe you don’t see what for me is stating the bleedin’ obvious.”

    Perhaps you’d like to share with us all what is to you, ‘bleedin’ obvious’? Thank you.

  226. 226
    Paul

    “What advantages and privileges do men in the UK enjoy today?”

    Mike- well it depends.If you’re an educated white middle class male -as a for instance-you’re likely to earn more on average than anyone else for most of your working life. And you’re more likely than most to be in the position to access real power and influence in the ”Corridors of Power ”.in this country. You’ll probably be enjoying a better lifestyle than most,living in a nice area.owning your own home,having a decent pension fund. Buying into good quality legal advice and healthcare when you need it. etc etc etc

    Come on Mike ,i don’t want to be rude to you because you’ve generally been extremely polite on the last couple of thread here.But the question you’ve asked is a silly one.

  227. 227
    bugmaster

    I think Ally was right the first time: we don’t need a gendered social policy, we need a humanist one. Most people in the comments are arguing about which gender has which privileges, who makes more money, who is more affected by recession, etc. etc.

    These are all valid questions, meaning that they have answers that can be empirically validated, and from a sociological point of view they are quite interesting. However, social policy is not a zero-sum game. It’s not about fine-tuning the power balance between two warring factions. It’s about improving the quality of life for everyone, and you can’t get to that point merely by arguing who has it worse in what situations.

  228. 228
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Paul

    The question I asked was:

    “What advantages and privileges do men in the UK enjoy today?”

    You started your reply with:

    ‘… if you’re an educated white middle class male… you’re likely to earn more on average than anyone else for most of your working life…’

    Well, most men in the UK today don’t fall into that category, so you’ve immediately omitted the majority of men, the very ones who are being most disadvantaged, the ones we’re most concerned about. But let’s move on.

    ‘… and you’re more likely than most to be in the position to access real power and influence in the ”Corridors of Power ” in this country. You’ll probably be enjoying a better lifestyle than most, living in a nice area. owning your own home, having a decent pension fund. Buying into good quality legal advice and healthcare when you need it. etc etc etc.’

    The assumption here seems to be that inequalities of outcomes result fully (or even mostly) from inequalities of opportunity. I simply don’t buy that in modern-day Britain, except to the extent that the state actively impedes social mobility, for example by closing down so many grammar schools, once a key element of the route into the ‘corridors of power’ for working-class people including several Labour prime ministers, and of course Mrs T.

    The reason there are more men than women in the ‘corridors of power’ today has NOTHING to do with men keeping women down, but Catherine Hakim… sorry… I can’t continue that sentence without reaching for a bottle of Talisker first, so I’ll leave it there.

    Good to debate with you, as always. Best wishes.

  229. 229
    Mike Buchanan

    @ bugmaster

    “However, social policy is not a zero-sum game. It’s not about fine-tuning the power balance between two warring factions.”

    If I had £10 for every time I’ve heard the ‘zero-sum game’ assertion, I’d have enough to buy a villa in Provence and take Petronella and Harriet Harman (our increasingly ill-tempered Doberman) with me. I’m sure they’d both be happier. I’d probably be happier too. But since the Left has yet to invent a money tree to shake, there’s a limit to the money that can be allocated to any area (e.g. supporting victims of DV). So if over 99.5% of public money for victims of DV goes to organisations supporting female victims (as it does) how can that NOT result in a virtual absence of support for male victims of DV?

  230. 230
    JT

    If you’re an educated white middle class male -as a for instance-you’re likely to earn more on average than anyone else for most of your working life.(Paul)

    And if youre black youre more likely to be a criminal………..but………do we really want to go there? Of course we can always say that is because of the options people have ……..but……..then all we have to do is look at some of the white trailer park trash…..oops…….shouldn’t go there either. Agency, agency………. is life fair?……nope. Any chance we will all make it fair?, not likely. As far as Mike goes he has some good points and some not so good ideas. I applaud him for what he wants to do and in the same breath want to give him a slap upside the head and say……..Really, really, really????????

  231. 231
    Mike Buchanan

    @ JT

    “As far as Mike goes he has some good points and some not so good ideas. I applaud him for what he wants to do and in the same breath want to give him a slap upside the head and say……..Really, really, really????????”

    Haha thanks JT – at last, some constructive criticism I can engage with!

  232. 232
    JT

    Mike

    Im curious, have you ever been abused, beaten, taken advantage of? Have you ever had to deal with the court system in regards to parental rights? In the past was it ever suggested that you take Ritalin? Did you grow up in a single parent home? Im just wondering????

  233. 233
    Mike Buchanan

    @JT

    No, none of those ever happened to me, and as I’m 55, I guess Ritalin wasn’t around to prescribe when I was a schoolboy. Why do you ask? Can someone not be an advocate for men’s (and boys’) human rights without having some sort of damaged ‘back story’? I happen to think men should be valued as human beings, not just for their utility to women and children. And yes, I know that differentiates me from the vast majority of women and men at the current time. But the times they are a’changin’. Have no doubt about that. The day is coming when people – men in particular – will marvel at how men were so blind to the assaults on men (and boys) for so long. When will that day arrive? I don’t know. Will that day arrive? Yes.

  234. 234
    bugmaster

    @Mike #229:

    So if over 99.5% of public money for victims of DV goes to organisations supporting female victims (as it does) how can that NOT result in a virtual absence of support for male victims of DV?

    When I said “we don’t need a gendered policy”, I meant just that. We need an organization that supports victims of DV, period. We do not need two competing organizations, one for men and one for women, wasting their resources on fighting for funding instead of doing their jobs.

    If a victim of DV asks for you help, and you respond with, “sorry, I’d love to help you, but you’re the wrong gender, so get lost”, then you’re actively making the world worse.

  235. 235
    Mike Buchanan

    @ bugmaster

    “If a victim of DV asks for you help, and you respond with, “sorry, I’d love to help you, but you’re the wrong gender, so get lost”, then you’re actively making the world worse.”

    Thank you. Couldn’t agree more. And that’s PRECISELY what faces male victims of DV in the UK – and globally, from what I can gather – when they seek help, because feminists have seized 99.5%+ of public funding for victims of DV. Erin Pizzey has been writing and speaking about this for 40+ years. What has the state done to help male victims of DV in that time? Precisely nothing. It could, of course, be argued that men should have done more to campaign for male victims of DV, but that’s to ignore one key aspect of male psychology. Men collectively care for men no more than women collectively care. Changing that age-old reality is just one of the challenges facing the MHRM.

  236. 236
    JT

    Can someone not be an advocate for men’s (and boys’) human rights without having some sort of damaged ‘back story’?(Mike)

    Of course they can and Im sure there are many wonderful people such as yourself doing a great job for all those who suffer. BUT, there is something to be said for the one’s who know of what you speak……….your words ring hollow to me.

  237. 237
    freja

    Ally, I accidentally posted this in the previous thread here instead of here. Would you be kind to remove it?

    @211, H. E. Pennypacker

    So it’s only victim blaming if you say that it’s OK to commit a crime against someone on the basis of their gender? I don’t understand what your point is.

    There are some fundamental differences between things like male-on-female rape (which I think is what you allude to based on recent debates around here) and say, male gangs fighting other male gangs.

    Rape is largely a one way street. One party does the raping, the other party gets raped. Gangs fighting other gangs is usually a two way street, with both parties participating and being simultaneously victims and perpetrators. When rape victims are being criticised it shifts blame away from the perpetrator, but the same cannot be said about gang wars where the victims were also perpetrators.

    Saying “Don’t get raped” means “Prevent someone else from committing crimes against you” but saying “Don’t join a gang” is means “Prevent yourself from committing crimes against others”. Punishing or at least criticising and opposing violent gang members can (though it wont always) have the effect of making the world a safer place by reducing violence, whereas punishing or criticising rape victims wont prevent the rapist from committing future crimes, and will often encourage him (in case of male-on-female rape) and other rapists to continue because it shows that they can get away with it.

    Another aspect is that the ‘safety advice’ given to potential female rape victims require them to put unfair restrictions on themselves (don’t walk home, don’t get a cab, don’t let strange men into the house, don’t flirt marry or date, don’t wear revealing clothing even in the summer, don’t drink alcohol, don’t talk about sex, etc.), which don’t just restrict their freedom, but will also often damage their career and social life as well as making them targets of harassment and hate. And it wont even reduce the prevalence of rape. On the other hand, not joining a criminal gang wont prevent most people from living out their daily lives normally, and people not joining gangs is positively correlated to a lack of gang violence.

    And finally, the advice to rape victims is contingent on their sex. I have never heard anyone suggest that it was OK to sexually penetrate men who were passed out drunk at parties or had very little clothing on. The kind of violence women get warned about is akin to a hate crime where they’re targeted because of their sex but are told it was because of something they did, similarly how some people see it as OK to attack young black men wearing hoodies, and then blame the hoodie. Women are basically told that there are some things men will (and should) get away with which they might (and should) be punished for doing, and that the focus should be on getting them to behave so that men wont punish them.

    Different situations call for different tactics. You can’t blame gang members while simultaneously telling them it wasn’t their fault, and you can’t hold them responsible for their crimes while simultaneously saying that they shouldn’t be held responsible. On the other hand, you can (and should) blame rapists for rape while simultaneously telling rape victims it wasn’t their fault, and you can hold rapists responsible for rape and simultaneously say that victims shouldn’t be held responsible. The latter makes sense, the other doesn’t.

    Are you claiming that “it matters if sexual assaults on women are higher because women put themselves at risk more than men” also isn’t victim blaming? You would be OK with MRAs advancing the theory that the sexual assault of women isn’t as big a problem as statistics suggest because actually many of those women were putting themselves at risk?

    I’m saying that if it turned out that women were more likely to have their wallets stolen because they often carried them in handbags which were easy to grab, while men usually carried them safely in the inner pocket of their jackets, I don’t think anyone would object to pointing it out and trying to change women’s behaviour by making them use pockets (while still striking down on theft of course). The difference is that the advice would be grounded in reality, wouldn’t require life-changing sacrifices, wouldn’t disadvantage women compared to the rest of the population with no compensation for it, and would be centred on preventing the crime rather than on trying to convince the perpetrator that you don’t deserve it, and therefore not encourage criminals to think their crimes were justified.

    And if it turns out that men are more likely to get punched because they’re more likely to threaten and punch others, while women rarely engaged in serious or threatening violence, I don’t see any reason for why we shouldn’t try to change men’s behaviour by making them less eager to threaten and punch others. In fact, unlike the above example with the wallets, having men use fewer threats and punches wouldn’t just benefit the individual man but also all the people he would otherwise have threatened or punched.

    Whether violence against men is actually caused by the violent behaviour of themselves and other men is a different question, and so is how far we can realistically change men’s behaviour and how we’re supposed to do it. I don’t think more punishment and condemnation is the answer in cases where the behaviour is already condemned by society and punished by the law. Perhaps there’s even merit in the idea that fighting is a normally harmless part of some people’s development, and that trying to stop ‘consensual’ fighting (i.e. if both parties are looking for a fight) could make it worse. But I don’t know. All I know is that saying “We should change the behaviour of violent criminals to reduce violent crime” is a far cry from saying “We should change the behaviour of non-violent non-criminals to prevent violent criminals from committing violent crimes”.

    I have no idea what J4MB’s stance on women taking responsibility for themselves is but I’m assuming it’s hilariously/depressingly awful like their stance on most things. If you care to enlighten me on what you’re referring to I’d be happy to give you my opinion on it.

    Their stance on abortion and support for poor children is the obvious example. The argument has consistently been that if women don’t want to go through the strain of pregnancy or don’t have the income to provide for a child, they should just avoid becoming pregnant in the first place. Never mind that not becoming pregnant is considerably more difficult than getting a paternity test.

    A paternity test is something which will be relevant for a man less than twice in his whole life on average. Birth control (at least the kind Mike advocates) will easily be constantly relevant for 30+ years.

    A paternity test costs around £50 according to Mike, or less than £100 on average for a whole life. Unless things are very different in the UK, that will hardly even supply you with birth control for a year.

    A paternity test will serve its function almost regardless of what happens. The pill will serve its function with 99% effectiveness if you take them in the right order and otherwise use them correctly, provided you don’t have (or haven’t had) heart abnormalia or heart diseases (including high blood pressure), a blood cloth, severe migraines, breast cancer, disease of the gallbladder or liver or diabetes with complications or diabetes for the past 20 years, or diarrhoea (at least according to the info I could find). Also, you shouldn’t vomit, be too overweight, smoke and be 35 or older, or take certain medicines including some types of anti-biotics.

    A paternity test is side-effect free. The pill have various possible side-effects such as headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and increased blood pressure, has been linked to more serious health concerns, and prevents you from taking various medications.

    A paternity test can be taken after you screwed up and doesn’t require planning. Birth control needs to be taken before it becomes relevant and doesn’t leave room for you to correct the mistake a month later.

    So what exactly possess Mike to say that birth control is easy and that women who get pregnant should hold 100% of the responsibility, while men need to be protected from their own decision to not get paternity tests?

    Then there’s the whole idea that every area where women are underrepresented or do worse than men is their own fault, while men aren’t even responsible for their own crimes and should get state assistance every time they fall behind. Divorce is another area. Men and women are typically disadvantaged in different ways after a divorce because they made different kinds of mistakes in the marriage, but J4MB only think it’s fair to protect men against their own mistakes. There doesn’t actually seem to be a single area in which J4MB doesn’t hold women responsible for whatever happens to them while simultaneously ensure men suffer no consequences regardless of what they do.

  238. 238
    Mike Buchanan

    @ freja

    I invite you to respond to something I’ve now posted three times in Ally’s other piece:

    I said:

    “So what ‘empathy and consideration’ do you deem a man deserves, who’s potentially going to be tricked into working 20+ years to support a child or children who aren’t his own, unknown to him (as many men are)?”

    You replied:

    “Why should men need to be protected from their own decision to not get a paternity test (or not getting a prenuptial), when women aren’t being protected from their own mistakes.”

    I will never excuse men who treat women badly, deceive them etc. Do you condemn women who commit this form of paternity fraud, or cause contraception to fail, e.g. ‘forgetting’ to take the contraceptive pill, even whilst knowing their partner doesn’t want to have a child? And if so, what alternatives to compulsory paternity testing do you propose to stop women committing paternity fraud?

    Women are protected from their mistakes all the time, for example by their very lenient treatment by the justice system. There are 80,000 men in British prisons, and 4,000 women. The government wishes to close the women’s prisons, and put men in them.

    Do you SERIOUSLY not see how privileged British women are in the modern era? And how disadvantaged men are?

  239. 239
    bugmaster

    Thank you. Couldn’t agree more. And that’s PRECISELY what faces male victims of DV in the UK – and globally, from what I can gather – when they seek help, because feminists have seized 99.5%+ of public funding for victims of DV.

    Right, so your solution to a one-sided gender-based policy is… what ? As far as I can tell, it’s a combination of a). another one-sided gender-based policy, only one that favors your gender for a change, and b). fighting the feminists with all your might.

    Is this approach really productive ? Why not just have a policy that says, “we want to help victims of DV”, period ?

  240. 240
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    The ADHD diagnosis being unfair to boys thing sets my teeth on edge.

    Did you know that girls are considered hyper for having activity levels that are considered normal for boys?

    There is no science behind that. It is a cultural assumption and it is why my eldest daughter was considered “severely ADHD”. I was told that had she been a boy, the “severely” would have been dropped.

    So please, scrap that lousy argument that boys are treated unfairly. As a person with ADD, married to a person with ADD and having 3 of our 4 kids have ADD, I can tell you that being diagnosed with a learning disability is not a bad thing. It means that you can get the help you need. It means you will not be called lazy, crazy or stupid for a problem you cannot control. It does not make a child’s life harder. It makes it far less frustrating and confusing. If boys are being diagnosed more than girls, why not worry that girls may well be going undiagnosed? Why assume that somehow boys are being cheated?

    We see this with dyslexia too. Boys are more likely to hide their disability by acting out, as is more culturally more acceptable than having a perceived weakness. Girls are more likely to pretend to be too “shy” to read aloud or find some other less noticeable way to hide their disability. So, boys are more likely to get attention and that leads to testing and treatment. So, more boys being diagnosed with dyslexia does not indicate that boys are being mistreated. It means they are more likely to be noticed and helped.

  241. 241
    MrFancyPants

    bugmaster@239:

    Why not just have a policy that says, “we want to help victims of DV”, period ?

    To be fair, there’s a reason why people focus on specific things. Mainstream feminists often (and correctly) point out that feminist goals are good for men, too. Combating gender stereotypes is good for both men as well as women, for example. With that in mind, one might ask “then why don’t feminists just call themselves humanists?” The answer should be fairly obvious: because saying you’re a “humanist,” while laudable, only serves to minimize the gender disparities. I can’t personally fault Mike for focusing on DV as it specifically affects men for that reason.

    That being said, how he’s going about it is offensive. Take this quote for example:

    There are 80,000 men in British prisons, and 4,000 women. The government wishes to close the women’s prisons, and put men in them.

    Why did he use that as an example of female privilege in society? It makes no sense. The fact that men commit more felonies than women is an established fact. What’s the solution? Jail more innocent women? Free more felonious men?

    And of course there is Mike’s vocal support for AVfM. I won’t reanimate that corpse of a conversation in this comment thread. Suffice it to say that that support greatly detracts from his message certainly in my opinion, and from many others’ as well. I think Ally has proposed a number of good points in this posting; it would be interesting to see if Mike & Co modify their political platform to be more in line with what Ally has suggested.

  242. 242
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Freja and Lucy,
    I think (If i’m wrong, let me know) Ally’s point is that people who join gangs usually do so for underlying reasons, like poverty and lack of community support. People who get get drunk and start fights with bouncers may well have chemical addictions and no healthy coping mechanisms for frustration. That many boys grow up in environments of toxic masculinity, that tell them crying or needing help is something “real men” don’t do, while hitting is what “real men” do has to be considered. As men see how women and men perceived as effeminate are treated, I don’t blame them for being frightened of losing their “man card”. If we want to see a decrease in all kinds of violence, both from and toward men, we have to acknowledge how patriarchy hurts them too. All of Ally’s suggestions would be helpful in healing that hurt. I’m wary of the phrase “man on man” violence. Yo my ear it sounds too much like “black on black” violence. While I agree that women get the shittier end of the violence stick, the stick itself is pretty much fecal smeared from end to end.

  243. 243
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I want to point out that the MRA types often push the same tired stereotypes of men that in turn damage those men. They seem terrified of “feminizing” men and insult other men by comparing them to women. (and at the same time claim they are not misogynists) They claim that men can’t help but rape (or at least sexually harass) at the sight of too much skin or a passed out woman, so it is up to women to prevent rapes. Then they also claim it is misandry for women to fear any man could be a potential rapist. They don’t want men taught not to rape even though most rapists, even of men, are men. They rail against women in the workforce, claiming the woman’s place is in the home raising the kids, then don’t understand why men are not seen as being capable primary caregivers and complain that women don’t pay enough taxes. They complain of unsafe work places, then treat unregulated capitalism as if it ever concerned itself with worker’s rights or safety. Profits matter to those in power. Those people were traditionally men and yes, they happily traded other men’s lives for their own gain far before feminism gained any ground. Blaming the women’s rights movement for the damage men in power have done to men with out it is ridiculous. It’s idiocy and bigotry rolled up in denial. Ultimately men like Mike and his supporters will do no good for anyone and hurt everyone. Mike doesn’t care about unwanted baby boys who in his ideal world, would starve on the streets as a way of punishing their mothers. That tells me all I need to know about his real goals. By every possible means he wants to grind away women’s basic rights and force them backwards by about a hundred years. If that causes suffering to men too, that’s fine wit him. After all, the children of women Mike disproves of are merely unwanted surplus. They can suffer right along with their mothers and sisters.

  244. 244
    leftwingfox

    Great list, Ally.

    I also agree with you on #10. Harm reduction strategies seem ideal whenever cultural acceptance makes banning impossible to implement or practice.

  245. 245
    MrFancyPants

    Rereading that quote of Mike’s that I used as an example (paraphrased: “80,000 men, 4000 women, government wants to close the women’s prisons and put men in them”), I realize that I misinterpreted what he said. I thought he was decrying the number of men vs. number of women who are jailed, and pointing to that as an example of societal prejudice.

    Clearly, he was not. He was saying that he believed the government was going to free the women, in order to incarcerate more men, I think.

    Mike, what is your support for that conclusion? Where will these felonious 4000 women be sent, if released from prison? If you Brits are seriously considering releasing 4000 felons before their sentences are up, you have far bigger problems than gender issues. I’d love to see the citations & background for that statement.

  246. 246
    JT

    While I agree that women get the shittier end of the violence stick, the stick itself is pretty much fecal smeared from end to end.(Jackie)

    And these are the comments that are gifts to hard core Mra’s because it confirms there world view of the feminists thinking women have it worse. It also keeps moderates very leery of wanting to join forces with you knowing that you really don’t think the violence they have suffered or suffer could ever be as bad as yours.

  247. 247
    Mike Buchanan

    @ Jackie (243)

    I am happy to limit my remarks to the content of Ally’s post but while I’m being directly criticised or challenged in this comment stream, I feel the need to respond. I repeat my wish that my critics would engage with me on my own blog, and let this comment stream relate to Ally’s OP.

    Jackie, the vast majority of criticisms of J4MB rely on misrepresenting us. I think when you have to rely on misrepresenting someone to criticise them, then you have the problem, not them. There’s so much that is incorrect in your latest comment it would take me half an hour to correct it, but I’m pushed for time. So I’ll just focus on one sentence, ‘They (MHRAs) don’t want men taught not to rape…’. The idea that men are collectively and innately inclined to rape women is among the most ridiculous feminist assertions, and that’s saying something. It follows that the idea that men can be ‘taught not to rape’ is equally ridiculous. Rape is something carried out by a very small minority of men, and these men tend to be serial rapists. So telling women that men are collectively responsible for rape, and men can collectively stop it, is a deeply dangerous thing to do, for obvious reasons. Well, I hope they’re obvious.

    I recommend a new video by Diana Davison on the subject of ‘rape culture’:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/diana-davison-its-a-rapey-rapey-rapey-world/

  248. 248
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Freja

    I had a whole reply written out and then accidentally closed the tab so this will be a little shorter than I’d planned because I can’t be bothered to type it all out.

    Lucy has two separate sentences, one saying that it matters if men engage in riskier activities and one saying it matters if they are also perpetrators as well as victims which seemingly indicates that whilst the latter would refer to gang members, men getting in fights etc. the former would also refer to men engaging in “riskier activities”.

    Also, you seem to me to be misrepresenting what victim blaming is. It’s my understanding that any focus on what someone can do to prevent themselves becoming the victim of crime is immoral because it places the responsibility on the victim rather than the perpetrator (regardless of the efficiency or restrictions caused by preventative measures). So if by “riskier activities” Lucy did mean situations where the victim wasn’t also a perpetrator (and if this isn’t what she meant why did she include it as an extra category?) then it would seem reasonable to conclude that it’s victim blaming.

    Now, to be honest I just realised that actually Lucy was talking about “gender violence”. I wasn’t sure what this is so I googled it and the first page was http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/wc/gender-violence/what-gender-violence and it seems that “gender violence” is any violence committed against anyone who isn’t a heterosexual adult male:

    “The term “gender violence” reflects the idea that violence often serves to maintain structural gender inequalities, and includes all types of violence against women, children and adolescents, and lesbian and gay people.”

    In which case obviously the only statistics on male victims of violence that matter in identifying gender violence are the statistics on what proportions are children or gay. I don’t really see what Lucy’s point is because Ally seems to me to be specifically saying we should move away from these sorts of definitions towards attempts to end interpersonal violence in general (partly because this would benefit men but also because i would probably be a more effective way of tackling violence against women). If her point is that we shouldn’t care as much about violence committed against men because a high proportion of it – by definition – isn’t gender violence then why didn’t she say this (in which case I’d point to the highly self-serving definition of gender violence in the first place).

    Finally, I’m going to have to take issue with this:

    “I have never heard anyone suggest that it was OK to sexually penetrate men who were passed out drunk at parties or had very little clothing on. ”

    I have never seen anyone suggest it is OK to do the same to women.

    First, can we agree that a man being forced to penetrate is also rape? Second, are you seriously suggesting that society takes men’s consent more seriously than women’s?

    Here’s an article published in a popular magazine: http://www.vice.com/read/sex-drugs-and-rock-n-roll-morning-wood-and-pop-crushes

    Some choice quotes:

    “This is going to sound quite rapey, but morning wood leaves men in an unusually vulnerable state. They’re sedated with sleep and last night’s scotch with a penis as upright as the Empire State Building. I could plop myself on top and fuck him for a whole minute before he even wakes up and knows what’s happening.”

    “Time to take advantage of that nocturnal penile tumescence! It’s best to ease into it with a nice blow job. Men can’t say no to head, they just can’t. ”

    “Crawl under the sheets and start sucking while your man is still sleeping. He’ll slowly wake up and be confused, but happy because it is scientifically impossible for men to be annoyed while there’s a tongue on their cock.”

    Do you that a publication the same size as Vice could get away with an article claiming it’s impossible for women not to consent?

    And with regard for J4MB, just as I suspected their position sounds absolutely ludicrous to me.

    I am starting to become more sympathetic to MRAs though.

  249. 249
    Peter L

    Most importantly, bravo to Ally F for this brilliant and well-considered proto-manifesto! You have a gift, sir, for phrasing and focus, with a ready wit and a willing and tolerant engagement of all views. I would hope you could consider elevating yourself into some political sphere, or at least public speaking on this matter on a regular basis.
    Yet I am not just here to cheer you on. I would like to add the following before disappearing into the outside world of autumnal fresh air and an outdoor swimming pool, (2 miles from my luxury apartment in the N-West.).
    See, I just can’t shake the overarching view and experience that feminism as it were, back in ’68 onwards was the most potent and society-changing social movement of all. It did ‘quite a lot’ in terms of positive change. Trouble is it always had a man-basing element, a divisive collectivism (yeah yeah collectivism is usually divisive), a happy under-the-radar double standards outlook and a pathological portrait of male behaviour, none of which is acceptable to a working-class guy with a good line in awkward questions. Can I use that lens to analyse the manifesto? Thanks.
    1. Fatherhood. There are guys who unfairly lose access to their kids, and who are painted as violent when they’re simply not, a handy accusation. I personally know of 3 men who are all good local Northern/Celtic lads who have been barred from seeing their children. It’s a sea of emotional pain that should not be there. Has feminism ever pushed for these men’s human rights to see their own offspring?
    “Revise family court proceedings so that a resident parent who deprives children of agreed contact with the non-resident parent may no longer be considered an appropriate primary carer”. Terrific Ally. Will The Women’s Resource Center support you? Would NOW in America? See, I refuse to believe they would, so in that sense feminism – by definition, practical action and core philosophy – would not help in that regard. It’s antagonistic to shared parenting given the ‘nature of men’ (dark and meaningful innuendo within many a feminist textbook). And listen up…it’s her child, right?

    2. Education. There are many initiatives to help young women and girls into work e.g. WISE, and this one: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/education/girls-told-to-aim-high-by-britains-career-women-at-event-hosted-by-miriam-clegg-8888790.html
    “Inspiring Women campaign which aims to see 15,000 women from a range of occupations visit 250,000 young women in state education to talk about the range of jobs and entry routes available”.
    So, 15000 women are helping their own gender…again feminism means effectively ignoring the plight of working-class lads by omission. It’s a one-sided movement, by definition. It hogs the issues of the day.
    3. Employment and training. If I get time, I’ll provide the list I put together a year ago on the tsunami of women-only courses. Not to mention funding e.g. £200,000 for the Leeds getaway girls (“those lads can just sit at home for all I care”). Again, if there’s an issue, feminists have never sought to help boys, even when they’re sinking educationally.
    4. Mental health, suicide etc. Well…we’ve got C.A.L.M. – which isn’t publically-funded. I tentatively would wish to put something out here….that if a man loses access to his kids, is the victim of an exaggerated or false allegation, lives in a country with gender-specific law or is more likely than a female criminal to be incarcerated for the same offence…he’s more likely to be depressed or suicidal. Who is creating this type of environment? I would venture to suggest feminist ideologues?
    5. Men’s Health. Let’s take the rap on this guys, we need to look after ourselves a bit more and maybe ‘man down’, and screw the risk-taking and look closer at Health and Safety.
    6. Violence against men and boys…terrific clause Ally. Let’s take the rap on that one too, i.e. we need to learn to channel energy more constructively. Yet…VAW laws kind of destroy the democratic right of all citizens to feel safe, and insult men by omission. If men are three times more likely to be victims, why is the White Ribbon campaign ignoring the majority? (Oh sorry, awkward working-class man raised hand at the wrong time and used a statistic, I can see Islington girl rolling her eyes and tut-tutting).
    7. Victim support. Try and get some of the £6m or so given to Women’s Aid, Refuge etc. out of their accounts and given to male services. “Feminists got the money for women victims, you interloper, and anyway the textbooks I’ve read say men can’t be victims. Woman attack man? It was in self-defence you twerp. I’ve given you 30 seconds, now off you go”.
    I could go on mate but there’s a large chunk of Sunday I want to spend with friends and a Sunday lunch.
    I was just wondering if there’s a thread here that anyone can spot?
    And with that, off he goes into the real world.

  250. 250
    Mike Buchanan

    @ MrFancyPants (245)

    “Rereading that quote of Mike’s that I used as an example (paraphrased: “80,000 men, 4000 women, government wants to close the women’s prisons and put men in them”), I realize that I misinterpreted what he said. I thought he was decrying the number of men vs. number of women who are jailed, and pointing to that as an example of societal prejudice. Clearly, he was not.”

    On the contrary, I was. More men than women commit the more serious crimes for which incarceration might be expected, but it’s nothing like the 20:1 ratio the prison populations would suggest.

    It’s well known that for committing the same crimes as women, men are far more likely to be incarcerated, and they serve markedly longer sentences. We have a large number of cases illustrating these points on our blog. An example is when a woman makes a false rape allegation, takes up police time, possibly ruins a man’s life, and even when she admits to what she’s done, she’s likely to get a caution only. It takes a high and often persistent level of crime for women to be incarcerated. I can think of an example of a woman who made false rape allegations against nine men over a period, and only then was she charged, convicted and jailed. Needless to say, without anonymity, many of those men’s lives were ruined, ‘There’s no smoke without fire…’.

    Philip Davies MP made an extraordinary speech in which he lambasted the justice system for treating men so much more harshly than it treats women. We presented him with a ‘Winston’ award as a result. Both the speech and his award are downloadable here:

    http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/rt-hon-philip-davies-mp-is-awarded-a-winston/

    An example of a woman admitting fraud, and receiving NO punishment as a result (indeed she was allowed to retain £14,000 of the £24,000 she netted from her fraud):

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

    “He was saying that he believed the government was going to free the women, in order to incarcerate more men, I think. Mike, what is your support for that conclusion? Where will these felonious 4000 women be sent, if released from prison?”

    The government doesn’t plan to free the women, but to put them into more pleasant accommodation than the current women’s prisons (to which men will then be sent). Needless to say nothing of the like is being planned for men.

  251. 251
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Peter L

    Most of your points don’t demonstrate that feminism is causing men’s problems, simply that it isn’t the solution to them (which is why I disagree with “what men need is more feminism”).

    Take, for example, your suggestion that we should “Try and get some of the £6m or so given to Women’s Aid, Refuge etc. out of their accounts and given to male services.” Wouldn’t the ideal solution be to get an additional £6m given to male services?

    Now as I pointed out further up I think the issue funding is a difficult one and is a potential source of conflict between gender-specific advocacy for men and women. Given that the coalition are very unlikely to put more money into supporting victims of domestic violence would it be better to reduce the amount given to women only services so as to help men? Would this not be more equitable but at the same time would such proposals not face opposition from a large proportion of feminists?

    These are valid questions but why do you start from the position that the ideal solution would be taking money away from women’s services to benefit men’s?

  252. 252
    mildlymagnificent

    So, 15000 women are helping their own gender…again feminism means effectively ignoring the plight of working-class lads by omission. It’s a one-sided movement, by definition. It hogs the issues of the day.

    I’d say the difference is that men have been let down by their traditional avenues into work being steadily and inexorably cut out from under their feet – see apprenticeship figures starting at 1968 (for example) and then now – and they only really noticed when they were more or less gone rather than that numbers were just down “for a while”. My personal experience with boys at schools which were running “work experience” programs where the kids went to a sort of training sort of trade education course one day a week instead of school damaged their already inadequate education and taught them little to nothing worthwhile to get them into work. (That might just be the local program implementation, but I suspect it’s more of a futile last stand trying to recreate a lost world.)

    We really need to rethink work and job preparation and transition from school from the ground up. If we look at what women did to create something from nothing for girls moving through school to qualification to work, we can surely do the same for boys – as long as we don’t kid ourselves that we can re-establish something we’ve lost. We need something new and better for the boys we have in the world we have.

  253. 253
    H. E. Pennypacker

    Also on the subject of “gender violence” the other results google turns up mostly refer to “gender-based violence” (despite putting “gender violence” in quotation marks when searching) which seems to mostly be defined as violence against women: http://www.who.int/gender/violence/gbv/en/ http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/gender-violence

    or state that the women is usually the victim but then going on to only talk about women as victims (to the extent of explicitly excluding male children who are victims of sexual abuse): http://gbvguide.org/intro/about-this-guide/defining-gender-based-violence

    This seems to me a very unhelpful model for discussing the problem of violence and finding solutions.

  254. 254
    Peter L

    @ H E Pennypacker
    If feminism excludes men as being worthy of consideration for state assistance, it does cause a problem. If it solely blames men for e.g. IPV, it causes a problem. If it has double standards on e.g. exploitation of the body, it causes a problem (page 3 very bad, Chippendales fine). The best example is closing women’s prisons (but leaving men where they are). As an ideology, it really doesn’t like men very much. They’d just love a curfew for men and compulsory DNA testing for men and for criticism of feminism to be illegal. The last one’s been proposed by the C of Europe btw, the others are ten years down the road I guess.
    Apologies for this but I need to be emphatic…the whooshing sound over your head was your missing my point: not that we start by taking money away from e.g. Refuge, but that they wouldn’t give it to male victims because they don’t recognise them as victims..because they’re men. Ideally we need to get funding for all victims and split it according to need (one of Ally’s points). My point is that feminist would never consider a man to be a victim in a dual gender DV situation. Let alone split the money between the genders. They’re just not very nice people in term of their bias. I hope that’s clear now.
    Terrific research on gender-based violence, H E P, as stated men get it worse than women, and no, just because it’s a fellow guy kicking me in doesn’t make it OK.
    @ thanks to MM – good comment overall. Again, my point is that – for heaven’s sake, if we want to be compassionate, why are we doing it just for one gender? Doesn’t that tell you everything you need to know about the way feminist think and act? And btw, the ‘let’s set up a parallel’ initiative just doesn’t work for me: we’re all human and all deserve help – based on need, not on ideology.

  255. 255
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Peter L

    I agree with you on some things. There are many problems with various strands of thinking that are defined as feminist but feminism’s still not some evil enemy that has seriously disadvantaged men. If anything it’s benefited men. Just to give a couple of examples off the top of my head:

    - Abortion also benefits men. If I get a woman pregnant and we don’t want to keep the baby I’m going to thank the good (nonexistent) Lord that feminists thought for and secured the right for her to have an abortion.
    - Challenging gender roles. If I want to be a stay at home Dad this is now possible (admittedly still more difficult but that’s hardly the fault of feminists) were as it would have been almost impossible without feminism.

    And this is only looking at direct benefits, I’m ignoring the fact that I’d rather live in a society where women are allowed to have jobs and hold positions of power etc. because that agrees with my values.

    I agree with with you that feminist opposition to recognising male victims of IPV (at least when the perpetrator is female) is highly problematic and something I’m very critical of but it seems extraordinarily unlikely that there would be a wealth of male DV shelters if it wasn’t for feminism (there’d probably be a lack of DV shelters for both sexes). Now, rectifying the problem may involve challenging some feminists (not all I might add but probably a sizeable proportion) but they’re not the cause of the problem.

  256. 256
    JT

    Abortion also benefits men. If I get a woman pregnant and we don’t want to keep the baby I’m going to thank the good (nonexistent) Lord that feminists thought for and secured the right for her to have an abortion.(HEP)

    But what if you did want the baby. What if for some reason during the pregnancy your wife or partner decides(after agreeing) to have an abortion. Guess what, pro choice means you’ve got no choice. How’s that for equitable?

  257. 257
    freja

    @242, Jackie teh kitteh cuddler

    I think (If i’m wrong, let me know) Ally’s point is that people who join gangs usually do so for underlying reasons, like poverty and lack of community support. People who get get drunk and start fights with bouncers may well have chemical addictions and no healthy coping mechanisms for frustration. That many boys grow up in environments of toxic masculinity, that tell them crying or needing help is something “real men” don’t do, while hitting is what “real men” do has to be considered. As men see how women and men perceived as effeminate are treated, I don’t blame them for being frightened of losing their “man card”.

    I agree that this is probably what Ally meant, and I agree with him about it. But that doesn’t change that the focus, the ultimate goal, should be to change the behaviour of people who join gangs, become addicts, commit violence, etc. That change is probably often best facilitated through increased support and demolishing the structures which currently make the behaviour harder to avoid, such as peer pressure and lack of alternatives, but it is still about changing people’s behaviour.

    In contrast, I don’t think we need to change that some girls get too drunk sometimes when they’re just gettting familiar with alcohol and sometimes pass out or fall asleep at a party, we need to make it safer for them to do so. As long as it doesn’t turn into alcoholism or excessive binge drinking for years, the behaviour is relatively harmless. Most people I know have tried passing out drunk a few times and not remebered everything that happened before, and it doesn’t seem to have hurt them much, but the same cannot be said for the ones who comitted crimes, whether they were caught or not.

  258. 258
    123454321

    Raise your hand if you’re completely offended and sick of hearing the “all men are potential rapists” argument.

    For crying out loud, don’t people realise how profoundly dumb, illogical and damaging that statement is!

    Tell you what, how about MRAs all start preaching that every Mother is a potential child klller.

    Yes? …..Nah, MRAs wouldn’t do that because they wouldn’t dream of stooping to such an incredibly lower than sub-zero level.

  259. 259
    freja

    @248, H. E. Pennypacker

    Also, you seem to me to be misrepresenting what victim blaming is. It’s my understanding that any focus on what someone can do to prevent themselves becoming the victim of crime is immoral because it places the responsibility on the victim rather than the perpetrator (regardless of the efficiency or restrictions caused by preventative measures).

    Actually, that sounds a lot like a common strawman of victim blaming. Most people who’re told to stop telling women to cover up to avoid rape almost immediately respond with “So what you’re saying is that you can NEVER give ANY advice to people on how to protect themselves?” and that point the debate stop because they refuse to acknowledge the difference between the actual opinion of their opponents and their own strawman. For instance, I have only ever heard feminists praise the book “The Gift of Fear” which “provides strategies to help readers avoid trauma and violence by teaching them various warning signs and precursors to violence” exactly because the book does so without victim blaming.

    Victim blaming is placing the responsibility on the victim, not saying that there are things which people can do which can make them safer. I admit the line can be blurred and that some people are too categorical about it (mostly because of the massive victim blaming in rape cases), but there is a massive qualitative difference between saying someone who was assaulted while going about their daily life hurting no one should take responsibility for the assault, and saying that someone who attacked another and got hurt when that person defended themselves is at least partially responsible for what happened.

    And furthermore, if men are assaulted more because they’re more likely to do things like walking home alone, going outside at night, getting drunk in public, not avoiding bad neighbourhoods or skeevy looking people, etc., while women have already decided those risks are not worth it and are staying home, it’s not a case of men being targeted more often because of their sex or being especially at risk, it’s a case of men and women getting different messages about how many sacrifices they’re supposed to make for their own safety. The solution in this case isn’t to give men special protection or make campaigns about how wrong it is to assault men, the solution is to make the advice more equal/functional and the streets safer for everyone.

    So if by “riskier activities” Lucy did mean situations where the victim wasn’t also a perpetrator (and if this isn’t what she meant why did she include it as an extra category?) then it would seem reasonable to conclude that it’s victim blaming.

    From what I could tell, Lucy was actually talking about cases where perpetrators were also victims quite a lot. But I’m not Lucy, I made my own argument to Ally that I think blindly copying the strategies used to reduce violence against women wont necessarily make men any safer.

    Now, to be honest I just realised that actually Lucy was talking about “gender violence”.

    I’m not Lucy. Stop arguing against my claims by pretending they’re identical to Lucy’s, and if you can’t do that, at least point me to where Lucy was talking about gender violence so I have a chance of reading it myself.

    “The term “gender violence” reflects the idea that violence often serves to maintain structural gender inequalities, and includes all types of violence against women, children and adolescents, and lesbian and gay people.”

    I think that category is too broad. There are many types of violence against women, children and adolescents, and lesbian and gay people that aren’t about maintaining the status quo. That doesn’t mean the concept is meaningless, though I wouldn’t narrow it down to gender. There’s a difference between football fans getting into fights with supporters of the opposing team, and football fans assaulting a black football player because they think only whites should play the game. And there’s a difference between a man assaulting a woman to get her wallet and a man assaulting a woman to “teach her a lesson/take her down a notch”.

    I don’t really see what Lucy’s point is because Ally seems to me to be specifically saying we should move away from these sorts of definitions towards attempts to end interpersonal violence in general (partly because this would benefit men but also because i would probably be a more effective way of tackling violence against women).

    Which I agree with him about. But I can also see Lucy’s point that difference types of violence sometimes arise for different reasons and that there probably isn’t a one size fits all solution. And I think focusing on recent developments and feminism as causes of male violence is completely meaningless, because men have always fought other men even (and often especially) in the most patriarchal of cultures and violence has actually been decreasing for the last decades.

    I have never seen anyone suggest it is OK to do the same to women.

    Steubenville? Daisy Coleman? Rehtaeh Parson?

    First, can we agree that a man being forced to penetrate is also rape?

    Yes, but what does that have to do with the issue? Neither me (or Lucy whom you seem to have decided is my clone) have said that men who are raped should change their behaviour, we’re saying that it isn’t victim blaming to want to change the behaviour of men who commit crimes. Is getting raped a crime? Do we have any proof that men who’re raped have committed other crimes? And if yes, do we have any proof that committing those other crimes was what caused the rape? If the answer to these questions is no, then it’s not relevant.

    Second, are you seriously suggesting that society takes men’s consent more seriously than women’s?

    You’re avoiding the subject. I talked about the kinds of common forms of violence against men in which men are often active participants. Now you’re pointing in some other direction and saying “See?!?! Some other men somewhere else are subjected to a different form of violence than what you’re talking about, and they’re also being treated badly just like the women who’re subjected to it. Therefore whatever you said about those other men who aren’t the men I’m talking about now is invalid.”.

    With all due respect, you seem to have stopped arguing about what I said, and switched to arguing about the position you’ve decided I hold. Your definition of victim blaming was pure strawman, and now you seem to have started to believe that I was trying to win the Oppression Olympics by claiming that women are treated worse than men, and you seem to have decided to go for the gold yourself.

    The problem of female-on-male rape should be treated pretty much like the problem of male-on-female rape, with focus on changing the behaviour of the perpetrators and those who support them. Even though I think there might be more men who support rape in general (at least I’ve heard more men saying that women who flirt or get drunk are asking for it and that men can’t be raped by women because they’ll enjoy every moment of it, but my experience might not be representative), I think the ultimate responsibility for rape is on the perpetrators, who in the case of female-on-male rape are women. That is why I want girls to receive consent-based sex education alongside boys, which I have already stated here before.

    Here’s an article published in a popular magazine:

    Actually, I don’t think the terribleness in some of those quotes are victim-blaming, because they’re not holding the men responsible for anything or claim that there is anything they should have done to prevent it, they’re arguing that it’s something men enjoy not something men deserve because they’re sluts and whores. That’s a different flavour of awful than the one women are subjected to.

    And with regard for J4MB, just as I suspected their position sounds absolutely ludicrous to me.

    You could have just read their statements where they suggest outlawing 98% of current abortions and cutting financial support to children whose mothers got pregnant without being able to financially care for them in order to punish the mothers.

  260. 260
    freja

    @258, 123454321

    Raise your hand if you’re completely offended and sick of hearing the “all men are potential rapists” argument.

    For crying out loud, don’t people realise how profoundly dumb, illogical and damaging that statement is!

    Then perhaps you should start getting offended when people say “What was she thinking going to this guy’s house to drink? Didn’t she realise she was setting herself up to be taken advantage of?”. Women are constantly told that if they get raped, it’s because they made a mistake. Usually, that mistake is not acting on the possibility that the men/boys they’re with could be rapists and trusting them instead. It’s no wonder they start making risk assessments every time they’re near a man.

    If you want it to stop you have to attack it on all fronts, including the one where it’s used to blame women and excuse rape as something which will inevitably happen and can only be avoided via a vigilance bordering on paranoia. Feminists have been saying for decades that the idea that women can’t expect to be safe with men is sexist towards men. If MRAs weren’t more anti-women than they’re pro-men, they’d have picked up on that.

  261. 261
    mildlymagnificent

    Freja

    Do we have any proof that men who’re raped have committed other crimes? And if yes, do we have any proof that committing those other crimes was what caused the rape? If the answer to these questions is no, then it’s not relevant.

    Well, Lisak and Miller’s research shows that repeat rapists are also pretty violent generally.

    Lisak & Miller also answered their other question: are rapists responsible for more violence generally? Yes. The surveys covered other violent acts, such as slapping or choking an intimate partner, physically or sexually abusing a child, and sexual assaults other than attempted or completed rapes. In the realm of being partner- and child-beating monsters, the repeat rapists really stood out. These 76 men, just 4% of the sample, were responsible for 28% of the reported violence. The whole sample of almost 1900 men reported just under 4000 violent acts, but this 4% of recidivist rapists results in over 1000 of those violent acts.

    I think it’d take a bit more work in this field to come up with causes rather than simple correlations. From the point of view of police forces or publicity campaigns or support services though, that correlation is probably enough to work with for the time being.

  262. 262
    mildlymagnificent

    Whoops. That quote was from here. http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

  263. 263
    123454321

    Freja,

    If a man and women, strangers or non-strangers, were to participate in a night of drinking, do you think there would be a greater probability of them engaging in consensual sexual activity?

  264. 264
    MrFancyPants

    Mike @250:
    Interesting. I was prepared to listen to you until you started with this example:

    An example is when a woman makes a false rape allegation, takes up police time, possibly ruins a man’s life, and even when she admits to what she’s done, she’s likely to get a caution only.

    The data show that “false rape” claims are extremely rare and actual rapes are hugely under-reported. Moreover, there is evidence that rape victims sometimes retract their accusations when pressured by police. Here is a story of police in London systematically doing exactly that.

    To make your point, you need to give citations of research that drives me neither to your blog, nor to a blog called “fighting feminism,” nor to AVfM, because when you do that it sounds just like you’re back to the same old tired carping-against-feminist schtick. Surely, if this problem is as bad as you say it is, then there are independent/unbiased studies of systemic sexism in the British justice system. Here’s the thing: I don’t doubt it. But I want you to point me to independent research confirming that this. (And DEFINITELY not a politician.)

    On this topic of rape, in an earlier comment you stated:

    The idea that men are collectively and innately inclined to rape women is among the most ridiculous feminist assertions, and that’s saying something. It follows that the idea that men can be ‘taught not to rape’ is equally ridiculous. Rape is something carried out by a very small minority of men, and these men tend to be serial rapists. So telling women that men are collectively responsible for rape, and men can collectively stop it, is a deeply dangerous thing to do, for obvious reasons.

    This is a strawman, and you are demonstrating that you don’t know much about feminism. I have never heard a mainstream feminist academic or activist state this–in fact, they state exactly the opposite: they say that blaming the victims by saying that they were dressed too provocatively, for example, implicitly assumes that men cannot control themselves and will automatically try to rape such a woman. Every mainstream feminist that I know of or have read or heard states outright that such thinking is sexist and damaging to men. This is one of the things that western journalists often highlight when reporting on muslim use of the hijab, for example, and we all collectively snort derisively when muslim clerics tell the journalists that it is necessary because men cannot control themselves–because we know better. Men are not innately inclined to rape, and the only people who will say otherwise are fringe extremists.

    The statement “teach boys not to rape” is absolutely no different from “teach kids not to steal.” By saying the latter, we are in no way assuming that all kids are thieves; we are simply asserting what is right and what is wrong to kids who are still developing proper moral judgement. There are many, many examples of acquaintance rape by younger men that are the result of circumstance, opportunity, poor judgement and, frankly, lack of proper education along these lines. A couple of recent examples are the stories of Daisy Coleman here in the USA, and of Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia. These are the types of rapes that “teach them not to rape” campaigns aim to prevent.

    The point is that such teaching with respect to sexual assault is presently absent, while the victim-blaming is rampant. There is absolutely no assumption that “all men are collectively responsible for rape” or that “men can collectively stop it.” What’s being said is that we (all of us, men and women both) can change the culture in which we live in a positive way that will lead to fewer examples like the two that I just gave you.

  265. 265
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Freja

    I refer to what Lucy said because it was her comment that I said sounded like victim blaming to me. I thought that would be fairly obvious. It would be bizarre for me not to refer to what she was saying given that my comment was about what she’d said. And it’s also worth pointing out that much of what you seem to be arguing against is a point that I never made – I never suggested that telling men who were in gangs or getting in fights to stop these behaviours would be victim blaming. I made it clear at the beginning of my post that it depends on how we interpret “riskier activities” and so there was little point in engaging with your arguments about men who were engaging and also victims.

    Again I think you’re wrong about what victim blaming means. Searching on google for victim blaming one of the first articles: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-l-dunn/victim-blaming_b_4132630.html which cites this article as an example of victim blaming: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/10/sexual_assault_and_drinking_teach_women_the_connection.2.html

    Now it would seem to me that by your definition the second article isn’t victim blaming. Nowhere is it suggested that women are responsible for rape if they’re drinking and it states in the first paragraph that we should be “teaching [students] that by definition a very drunk woman can’t consent to sex” *. It is explicitly about the fact that if we were to educate young women about the dangers of getting so drunk that they can’t consent then we will probably reduce the incidence of rape **.

    And I think focusing on recent developments and feminism as causes of male violence is completely meaningless

    You’ve completely lost me here.

    Steubenville? Daisy Coleman? Rehtaeh Parson?

    I saw a lot of disgusting victim blaming but I don’t recall seeing anyone saying that it was OK.

    Yes, but what does that have to do with the issue?

    You said earlier “I have never heard anyone suggest that it was OK to sexually penetrate men who were passed out drunk at parties or had very little clothing on” (emphasis added) so asking whether you defined being made to penetrate as rape was a perfectly legitimate question.

    The reason I brought up the Vice article was because my point was partly about the advice given to men and women about being raped being victims because it is generally assumed that men cannot be victims of rape (except sometimes by other men)***. Men aren’t told that it’s their fault if a woman has sex with them whilst they’re unable to consent, they’re told that if that happens to them it isn’t rape.

    I’m not starting an Oppression Olympics but your comment seemed to suggest that men don’t suffer from people thinking their consent can be assumed but women do (I may well have misunderstood you so apologies if so). Just to make it clear I believe that sexual assault and rape effect more women than men in probably every country in the world and have a far greater overall negative effect on women than they do on men.

    I’m not sure why you seem to find it so problematic that my focus hasn’t been exclusively on victim blaming. It seemed to me as settled that whether or not I would construe Lucy’s statement as victim blaming depended on the interpretation of “riskier activities” and so couldn’t really be settled until she made her position clear. Also, you quite clearly strayed much further from that topic by asking me about J4MB’s opinions on abortion. The reason I was confused was because I assumed you must have been referring to their position on violence or victim blaming because those are the things we were talking about.

    * Presumably very drunk men can because, you know, men’s consent can always be assumed.
    ** Just to be clear, I’m not saying the article isn’t problematic – not least the title of it – just that by your definition (which seems to involve holding victims responsible) it isn’t victim blaming.
    *** My apologies if this wasn’t very clear.

  266. 266
    H. E. Pennypacker

    Also, for a second, the contrarian in me was tempted to argue that it’s also victim blaming in the case of men who are also perpetrators of violence just to be annoying. I was thinking you could claim that even when committing violent acts men were in fact victims of a patriarchal culture that encouraged them to commit and be subject to violent acts. In a sense they could be given the status of pure victims if we denied their moral agency in committing violent acts in the first place. I then realised that the reason why telling people who are both perpetrators and victims of violence to change their behaviour is not problematic is because we consider their behaviour to be immoral. It seems to me that most people who engage in classic victim blaming (women invite rape by getting drunk, wearing short skirts etc.) view these behaviours which they believe to increase the chance of assault to be immoral. They’re seeing things from a totally different perspective where wearing revealing clothing is in itself an immoral act and it’s this transgression of moral boundaries that makes it seem OK to these people to assign fault to the victims.

  267. 267
    123454321

    Does a woman who gets tipsy, has sex with a man, wakes up, regrets it, and subsequently accuses him of rape, constitute as a rape victim whilst he is condemned as a rapist?

    I understand it’s a complicated question, but it’s an important one.

  268. 268
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ 267

    It’s not a complicated question. The answer is no. I’ve never seen anyone argue that a tipsy woman can’t consent. Where on earth did you get that bizarre idea from?

  269. 269
    123454321

    @268

    But it happens, doesn’t it? I mean, from what I have gathered from the news there are women who submit false rape claims when they haven’t even been near the man! Wasn’t there a recent case whereby the woman randomly picked someone off of Facebook or something of that ilk?

    So it’s not too far stretched to suggest that there must be cases whereby the woman wakes up after a few drinks, claims rape, goes to court and wins. Does that happen in the real World, and if so, I wonder how often?

    I’m not claiming to know the answer, i’m just curious about what you think?

  270. 270
    MrFancyPants

    123454321@269:
    In the USA, a legally intoxicated person (woman or man) cannot give consent. On the face of it, then, if you have sex with someone who is legally drunk, then by definition you’ve raped that person. However in reality, the situation is much murkier. Studies have shown that judges & juries are far more likely to rule that a case was sexual assault if the victim were drugged beforehand, and if not, they often find that no assault occurred. There have even been rulings in which a victim who was so intoxicated as to have passed out and was assaulted did not meet the legal standard of criminal sexual assault, because the judge ruled that she might have given consent before passing out.

    Given these facts, I would say that your rather odd scenario would be very unlikely to result in a court case, much less a rape conviction. (Note that this applies even more strongly in the case of a male victim, as the prevailing cultural attitude is that men cannot be raped.)

  271. 271
    H. E. Pennypacker

    You asked if she constituted a rape victim not whether it happens. I’m sure it does happen. I think people tend to both underestimate and overestimate how often it happens. From what I recall there aren’t many studies into it. Some people take the lowest possible estimate and assert it as fact whilst others go on about it so often that you’d imagine it happens all over the place. For a reasonably in depth discussion of how common false rape claims are look here: http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2013/01/12/the-truth-about-enlivens-2-false-accusation-figure-part-1-noh/

  272. 272
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ 270

    Note he asked about women who were ‘tipsy’ which clearly wouldn’t meet the standard necessary for it to be illegal. Out of interest do you know how drunk someone has to be to be considered legally intoxicated? Just being drunk seems to be setting the bar pretty low.

  273. 273
    H. E. Pennypacker

    Also, just to be clear my comment at 271 was about false rape claims in general because the discussion had moved in that direction and I don’t think I’ve ever seen data on it that states how often the people involved had been drinking.

  274. 274
    MrFancyPants

    @271:
    As I stated, in the USA the FBI estimates false rape claims at 2% to 8% of reports, nationwide. Apologies for being US-centric, but I don’t have the british data. At any rate, I usually use the higher of those two numbers in discussions like these and say that rape reports are valid in ~90% of the cases.

    Re: “tipsy” versus legally intoxicated, that is rather vague. Most people recognize that this vagueness can cause problems–as you mentioned, people generally don’t know how many drinks will make them (or others) legally intoxicated. Hence consent is a troublesome issue. This is why, for example, college campus student organizations recommend to their students that the standard should not be just “consent,” but rather “enthusiastic consent.”

  275. 275
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ 274

    My post at 271 was for 123454321 and I think the post I linked to was also discussing the US data. It’s also worth noting that even if we use a number of roughly 8% of reports being false a very large proportion of rapes go unreported so the proportion of false rape claims to rapes is far smaller.

    I agree with the model of enthusiastic consent but I don’t think it solves the issue. You can be pretty damn drunk and still consent enthusiastically. I’m always slightly wary of saying “as long as someone consents enthusiastically everything’s OK” because, leaving the legality of it aside for a second, they could still be so drunk that I’d consider it immoral.

  276. 276
    123454321

    @274

    That’s a pretty high percentage of false rape claims considering the severity of the offence. As per the usual story with respect to statistics, we can safely say that the true percentage would be somewhat different.

    Do you think the true percentage of false rape claims would be higher or lower then what statistics show us?

  277. 277
    123454321

    “a very large proportion of rapes go unreported…”

    …in which case you can’t determine whether or not they are false.

    Based on what you just said, the percentage of false claims could go up.

  278. 278
    MrFancyPants

    @276:
    I misspoke somewhat when I gave those numbers as being “false rape reports.” Those numbers are actually for what are called “unfounded reports.” What actually constitutes an unfounded report varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, some even going so far as to consider evidence of a previous consensual sexual relationship to be enough to make a rape accusation “unfounded.” Hence the numbers I gave you are almost certainly inflated, since “unfounded” rape accusations in this sense are not all false.

    When we combine this with the documented fact that rape victims are sometimes shamed into retracting their accusation, I think it’s safe to say that the lower end of that spectrum (~2%) is probably the more accurate estimate.

    Moreover, we know that many rapes go unreported. I’ve seen numbers as low as 30% and as high as 60%. Many researchers seem to settle on 40%, but of course it’s impossible to know for sure. For men, probably the number is much higher, since as bad as the stigma of being a rape victim is for women, it’s much worse for men. Whatever the actual number, clearly the proportion of false accusations to actual rapes that happened, whether reported or not is even smaller.

    I think it’s safe to say that false reports are extremely rare, as a result.

  279. 279
    123454321

    “the numbers I gave you are almost certainly inflated, since “unfounded” rape accusations in this sense are not all false.”

    But you don’t know that because they are unfounded. So the numbers could be deflated.

    “rape victims are sometimes shamed into retracting their accusation”

    Could this be because they are unfounded? If so, perhaps the higher end of the spectrum could be more accurate.

    “Moreover, we know that many rapes go unreported”

    Rapes or false rapes, or both?

    “but of course it’s impossible to know for sure”

    Now that we can both be certain of.

  280. 280
    mildlymagnificent

    That’s a pretty high percentage of false rape claims considering the severity of the offence. As per the usual story with respect to statistics, we can safely say that the true percentage would be somewhat different.

    Unfortunately, that 6 or 8% number comes from the FBI aggregating statistics from around the country. Whaddyaknow, the laws in each state differ on the definition of rape itself so the aggregate is already a bit dodgy. More importantly, individual police jurisdictions dump a whole lot of discontinuations into the “false” category.

    1. So, where the victim misidentifies the perpetrator that doesn’t go into the perpetrator unknown basket, it goes into the “false” basket. Even though the evidence of the rape, apart from the identification, is incontrovertible.

    2. More often, police officers talk victims into retracting allegations without ever investigating so they have no way of knowing if any crime has or hasn’t been committed. But it goes into the “false” category anyway.

    3. Later retractions. Many police departments categorise all retractions of allegations as false reports regardless of the circumstances. Even where the victim states that they just can’t face the court process and even when they suspect that the victim has been intimidated by the perpetrator. (Which overlooks the additional offence of interfering with a police investigation or whatever it counts as in that jurisdiction.)

    Most reviews of these numbers and the known problems with their collection and collation come up with the conclusion that the rate of false reporting for rape is much the same as for other crimes, about 2%. But there’s no good way of sorting this out until there’s more consistency across the US about definitions and procedures.

    Perhaps the various projects around the country to deal with the backlog of rape kits might wake a few people up to the problem.

  281. 281
    bugmaster

    @Freja #259, 250:

    I admit that I don’t understand what constitutes “victim blaming” and what does not. You say:

    Victim blaming is placing the responsibility on the victim, not saying that there are things which people can do which can make them safer.

    But then you follow up with:

    Then perhaps you should start getting offended when people say “What was she thinking going to this guy’s house to drink? Didn’t she realise she was setting herself up to be taken advantage of?”. Women are constantly told that if they get raped, it’s because they made a mistake.

    Let’s say that I invest millions of dollars into an ad campaign that says, “Be advised: going alone to a guy’s house to drink will increase a woman’s chances of being raped” (don’t worry, I don’t actually have any millions of dollars to invest into anything). First of all, do you agree that this statement is true ? Secondly, does this constitute victim blaming ? Why or why not ?

    I believe that saying something like, “this woman got raped, but she went alone to a man’s house to drink, so it’s her own fault”, is a clear example of victim blaming. However, as far as I can tell, this message is distinctly different from the one above; but perhaps the difference is all in my head ?

  282. 282
    bugmaster

    @MrFancyPants #241:

    To be fair, there’s a reason why people focus on specific things. … I can’t personally fault Mike for focusing on DV as it specifically affects men for that reason.

    Right, but there’s a huge difference between saying, “our current DV shelters are not adequately serving men; we need to change our policies to be more inclusive”, and “let’s set up some male-only shelters, in direct opposition to the female-only shelters ! Fight the matriarchy !” That’s exactly what the radical feminists are doing, only with the genders reversed. What’s the point ?

  283. 283
    MrFancyPants

    But you don’t know that because they are unfounded. So the numbers could be deflated.

    No. All false rape reports are unfounded, but not all unfounded reports are false. So if 8% are unfounded, and 50% of those are false, then the actual number of false reports is 4%. As you can see, the number of false reports can only go down, not up, since “false” is a subset of “unfounded,” not a superset.

    “rape victims are sometimes shamed into retracting their accusation”

    Could this be because they are unfounded? If so, perhaps the higher end of the spectrum could be more accurate.

    There are various reasons why victims retract an accusation or decide not to file a report. The link that I previously posted indicated that London police systematically pressured victims into retracting accusations for the purpose of making their departmental conviction rates look better than they actually were. That was an example of official pressure, but societal pressure & shaming are also to blame.

    I did manage to find some UK data here. That report from the “United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service” (I don’t know what that is; perhaps you do if you are in the UK) states that over a 17-month period, the percentage of false rape accusations was 0.6%. That would tend to corroborate my estimate that 2% number was more accurate.

    “Moreover, we know that many rapes go unreported”

    Rapes or false rapes, or both?

    Actual rapes, of course. I’m not certain that not reporting an event that didn’t take place even makes sense; we all don’t report things that didn’t happen every day.

    “but of course it’s impossible to know for sure”

    Now that we can both be certain of.

    Quoting me in this fashion is deceptive. I didn’t say it’s impossible to know everything for sure–only that it’s impossible to know the exact percentage of unreported rapes. By definition, data that you don’t have is impossible to know. However, we do have plenty of data on sexual assault & rape, and the numbers indicate that it happens with frightening regularity, and that in the overwhelming majority of cases an accusation of rape is true.

  284. 284
    MrFancyPants

    bugmaster@282:

    Right, but there’s a huge difference between saying, “our current DV shelters are not adequately serving men; we need to change our policies to be more inclusive”, and “let’s set up some male-only shelters, in direct opposition to the female-only shelters ! Fight the matriarchy !” That’s exactly what the radical feminists are doing, only with the genders reversed. What’s the point ?

    I see your point. Yes, ideally we could advocate for gender-neutral shelters and everyone would be okay with that. There are issues with that, however. I had some small experience with victim advocacy and shelters when I was a graduate student, and this exact topic came up when the city was considering opening the battered women’s shelter to men as well. The strongest objection was that the residents were afraid of having male residents in the same building.

    That fear may be irrational, or unfounded, or whatever, but the point of the shelter is to give the residents a place to feel safe. If they are telling you that a policy change is going to make them feel unsafe, then you don’t make that change. If this is true of women, I see no reason not to believe it would be true of male victims of DV, too.

    For the record, the city decided to pursue building a separate permanent shelter for men, and set up temporary lodging for battered men in the interim. Everyone was satisfied with that outcome.

  285. 285
    mildlymagnificent

    That fear may be irrational, or unfounded, or whatever, but the point of the shelter is to give the residents a place to feel safe.

    Fear is fear. Some women fear the sound of a man’s voice, let alone being in a man’s company. I know, myself, that for a very long time I could be frightened even by men I knew well just by them looking a bit fed up or coming up behind me or startling me in some way.

    The other problem for women’s shelters, and maybe for men’s shelters, I wouldn’t know, is that they frequently have abusers trying to get information about residents or misrepresenting themselves as a method of getting inside the buildings. Allowing shared accommodation would require detailed, even intrusive, questioning to check that the man seeking shelter was actually a victim and not someone posing as one as a way to get at a resident. Seeing as the objective is to make the place seem safe and welcoming, needing to make these kinds of checks would make it a bit more like a police interview than a welcome sign.

  286. 286
    JT

    The statement “teach boys not to rape” is absolutely no different from “teach kids not to steal.” (Mr.Fancypants)

    Of course it is absolutely different. One is telling children not to steal the other is telling a male child not to rape. Remember, both sexes are capable of committing rape just as they are both capable of being thieves.

  287. 287
    MrFancyPants

    JT@286:

    The statement “teach boys not to rape” is absolutely no different from “teach kids not to steal.” (Mr.Fancypants)

    Of course it is absolutely different. One is telling children not to steal the other is telling a male child not to rap

    In that narrow sense, yes, it’s different. But this is why we don’t cling to and enforce narrow interpretations of rules: because situations are different. What matters here is that the perpetrators of rape (against both male as well as female victims) are disproportionately male. As with any other problem, we address the most pressing aspects first. “Teach boys not to rape” addresses that disproportion and puts the spotlight on boys to tell them. “Teach kids not to rape” waters that message down.

    Focusing on a problem in this fashion seems entirely reasonable to me. We’re not telling boys that they are all rapists, we (as adults) are guiding them and helping them form a moral landscape in their heads. This kind of focus is the reason why “feminism” is not simply “humanism,” and why Mike’s activism specifically in support of men’s DV centers as opposed to “DV centers in general” is (in my opinion) completely acceptable, and good.

  288. 288
    mildlymagnificent

    “Teach boys not to rape” addresses that disproportion and puts the spotlight on boys to tell them. “Teach kids not to rape” waters that message down.

    I’d disagree with that. My view is that you need only talk about rape long after several years of educating kids, from kindy onwards, about consent and respecting people’s boundaries. Tickling is the obvious one for littlies – if your little friend doesn’t like being tickled, or touched in other ways, then you must stop doing it.

    Once you get into talking-about-rape territory, you still focus on consent. Rather than “enthusiastic” consent, I’m coming round to preferring Crystal Clear Consent. The big issue here is that consent applies to both parties in every interaction – so it then becomes quite straightforward to explain that consent applies just as much to men as to women. It also makes it quite clear to all participants that they do have choices and they should be able easily to recognise when someone is overstepping acceptable boundaries. Their boundaries. that they set for themselves and only they know what they do and don’t want to do and who they do and don’t want to do it with. Anyone who tells them that “everyone” does this, or if you’ve done it once you’re obliged to continue doing it – is wrong.

    One of the reasons I’m putting “enthusiastic” second is that we’re usually talking about teenagers when we’re talking about this kind of education. Enthusiasm is all very well for engaging in sex. But we need equal enthusiasm/ interest/ dedication to using suitable contraception effectively and to consent for each and every sexual activity. It’s one thing to be keen on sex. It’s another entirely to have initial consent – for one activity – to be taken for granted as a green light for any and every kind of activity and for all future possible occasions for sex. .Yes might mean every time everywhere, it might mean here and here only or once and once only. .

  289. 289
    Tamen

    MrFancyPants @287:

    In that narrow sense, yes, it’s different. But this is why we don’t cling to and enforce narrow interpretations of rules: because situations are different.

    Yet the rest of your comment read like an argument for letting feminists cling to such a narrow interpretation.

    What matters here is that the perpetrators of rape (against both male as well as female victims) are disproportionately male.

    Good to know that female perpetrators doesn’t matter, because that is basically what you are saying.

    That aside, research show that 20%-50% of perpetrators of sexual violence are women. A recent study showed that 25% of rapists are women and that by the age of 18 50% of the perpetrators of sexual violence are women.
    http://tamenwrote.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/new-study-prevalence-rates-of-male-and-female-sexual-violence-perpetrators/

    The CDC’s NISVS 2010 Report show that for lifetime figures about every 5th rape victim is a man raped by a woman. If one looks at victimization in the last 12 months 50% of rape victims were men (gender distribution of perpetrators were not given for the last 12 months figures, but 79.2% of the 4.8% men who reported ever having been made to penetrate someone else reported a single female perpetrator). Even assuming no overlap between the 1.6% men who reported being penetrated without consent almost all of those reported a male perpetrator) the majority of male victims of rape still reports a female perpetrator, making your belief-based* assertion that male rape victims are disproportionately male far from such a sure thing as you assert.

    * I wrote “belief-based” because you offered no citation to that assertion.

    A survey of more than 70.000 students in Minnesota found this:

    A history of sexual violence perpetration was reported by 4.8% of male and 1.3% of female adolescents.

    Making women a bit more than a quarter of the perpetrators.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9382908

    Ally’s post about female sexual aggression have even more surveys.

    “Teach boys not to rape” addresses that disproportion and puts the spotlight on boys to tell them. “Teach kids not to rape” waters that message down.

    Well, it certainly waters the importance of getting consent down for girls. How it waters it down for boys I really don’t get. How can hearing that your consent matter weaken your belief that other people’s consent matters too? That’s not a rhetoric question, I’d really like to hear how your (I am making the assumption that you’ve thought this through) reason why that would water down and weaken the boys’ respect for girls’ consent.

    This kind of focus is the reason why “feminism” is not simply “humanism,”

    And I suspect that kind of focus is why only 23% of US women currently identify as feminists. There used to be a time when the majority of women called themselves feminists (in 1986 56% of US women called themselves feminist).

  290. 290
    freja

    @261, mildlymagnificent

    Well, Lisak and Miller’s research shows that repeat rapists are also pretty violent generally.

    The Lisak and Miller study is about male rapists, what does that have to do with men who are raped?

    @263, 123454321

    If a man and women, strangers or non-strangers, were to participate in a night of drinking, do you think there would be a greater probability of them engaging in consensual sexual activity?

    Not the issue. The people who say these are usually fully in agreement that the victim might not have wanted it, they just think it would be ‘obvious’ that the perpetrator wouldn’t go ahead anyway and that the victim should have expected this. But to answer you question, no. In my experience people who’re vomiting and passing out from alcohol are considerably less likely to have sex, because they’re physically incapable of initiating it.

  291. 291
    inappropriate

    It’s sweet that you’re trying so hard to help people without rustling any ideological jimmies, Ally. The problem is that in the current climate this will never gain traction because of the mindset that men’s issues and women’s issues constitute a zero-sum game, and that women’s issues are more important. It’s a nice car with no fuel in the tank. The only way we can move past this is to replace feminist theory with post-feminist theory, which is unfortunately going to involve… brace yourself… telling women they’re wrong :(

  292. 292
    lelapaletute

    @inappropriate, 291:

    “The only way we can move past this is to replace feminist theory with post-feminist theory, which is unfortunately going to involve… brace yourself… telling women they’re wrong”

    I’m a feminist (nothing post about it); I’m a woman; I think Ally’s ideas are excellent and would back any attempt to get them put in place to the hilt. So what am I wrong about and need telling exactly? And are you effectively saying that Ally’s policies are all mouth and no trousers specifically because they DON’T offend and alienate feminists? Because that seems needlessly confrontational to me.

  293. 293
    freja

    @265, H. E. Pennypacker

    I never suggested that telling men who were in gangs or getting in fights to stop these behaviours would be victim blaming. I made it clear at the beginning of my post that it depends on how we interpret “riskier activities” and so there was little point in engaging with your arguments about men who were engaging and also victims.

    Actually, you assumed victim blaming from the start. “So victim blaming is fine when men are the targets?” (you, post 205).

    Again I think you’re wrong about what victim blaming means.

    Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act are held entirely or partially responsible for the transgressions committed against them. Wikipedia.

    Searching on google for victim blaming one of the first articles: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-l-dunn/victim-blaming_b_4132630.html which cites this article as an example of victim blaming: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/10/sexual_assault_and_drinking_teach_women_the_connection.2.html

    Now it would seem to me that by your definition the second article isn’t victim blaming.

    I already said that the line between victim blaming and genuine advice can be blurred, but that’s the case with most ethical and social phenomena. It is the opinion of almost all feminists and anti-rape activists I’ve talked to that “The Gift of Fear” falls within the line of genuine prevention while the author of “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk” goes too far, adding another voice to an already overwhelming chorus of people focusing on victims’ behaviour and drowning out those who focus otherwise. It’s a matter of individual judgment, but just because you don’t see the difference does not give you the right to claim other people don’t either.

    It’s a simple case of you arguing that all X=Y in the eyes of your strawfeminists, and me showing that X1=Y but X2=/=Y in the eyes of most real feminists*. The moment gave you an example of advice to potential victims which isn’t considered victim blaming is the moment you should have gone “OK, it seems that I’m not that knowledgeable about exactly what people mean when they criticise victim blaming, perhaps I should ask for clarification” instead of insisting that “No! If X1 is victim blaming, then so are all Xs because there is no difference.”

    It’s those kinds of choices which makes it so frustrating to debate anything related to feminism. From the “Feminist X have said Y, therefore all feminists believe Y” and the “Person Z who’s against feminist(s) X have said that feminist(s) X believe Y, therefore feminist(s) X believe Y”, to the “Feminists have criticised X article/story/blog/statement. X article/story/blog/statement contains Y. Therefore feminists are against Y”, it just makes you tired and cranky.

    If you want me to explain why I think the article you linked to is victim blaming, or why I think feminists and anti-rape activists might see it that way, feel free to ask (or read what’s already been written). But I’m not going to spend my time debating your little pet peeve (reactions to a particular article) until you acknowledge that your claim that victim blaming was defined as “any focus on what someone can do to prevent themselves becoming the victim of crime” was ignorant, and that continuing to argue this point after I provided you with a clear-cut example of such which is not considered victim blaming was ill-advised.

    You’ve completely lost me here.

    A lot of claims equating violence against men with violence against women argue that violence against men is tied to female dominance (or ‘feminisation’ as Mike likes to call it) the same way much violence against women is tied to male dominance. I was pointing out that this violence is usually even more common in patriarchal societies so giving men more power is hardly the solution.

    I saw a lot of disgusting victim blaming but I don’t recall seeing anyone saying that it was OK.

    No, not directly. Just a lot about how the rapists shouldn’t be blamed or punished, how it’s normal and expected, how it was mutually done, how the victims got what they deserved, etc.. Which translates to the same thing when it comes to consequences for the victims.

    You said earlier “I have never heard anyone suggest that it was OK to sexually penetrate men who were passed out drunk at parties or had very little clothing on” (emphasis added) so asking whether you defined being made to penetrate as rape was a perfectly legitimate question.

    It’s a perfectly legitimate question alright, but not really relevant here because I’m talking about what happens to the victims, not who the perpetrators are. In order for the situations to be compared, the violation should be as similar as possible. I don’t care about the sex of the perpetrators, you can choose as your example a couple of girls using a sex toy to penetrate an unconscious guy’s anus while filming it if you want.

    The reason you can’t always directly compare being forcibly penetrated with being forced to penetrate is that the actions carry different cultural implications, and that’s probably the main reason for why male and female perpetrators aren’t considered the same either. The penetrating party is considered dominant and much less affected by the other party, while the party being penetrated is considered to be subservient and shaped by the penetrating party.

    This is the reason women who have sex with many men are considered to be used up, while men who have sex with many women are considered to be using them. It’s the reason some people consider the man on the receiving end to be more gay than the man who penetrates. It’s the reason the man who gets penetrated is considered the other man’s bitch. It’s the reason some cultures see it as wrong for a less powerful (younger, female, etc.) person to penetrate a more powerful person but not the other way around. It’s the reason why the sexual orientation of homosexuals of both genders is often thought to be created by forceful penetration. It’s the reason penetrating someone is often seen as “taking” them. It’s the reason sex without a penis or a substitute for one isn’t considered real sex. It’s the reason why men who want to humiliate women stick stuff/body parts into them and film it and those who want to support such actions wear t-shirts saying things like “Matt 1, Daisy 0”. etc., etc..

    This doesn’t just hurt men btw. Lots of people make a big deal out of how female-on-male rape is overlooked and not treated seriously enough, but they don’t have a word to spare for female-on-female rape. I’ve seen statistics suggest that female inmates are at higher risk of sexual assault than male inmates, and that most of these assaults are carried out by fellow (female) inmates, and yet that’s mostly overlooked when people talk about prison rape, because penetration is rarely involved so it’s not considered to be serious.

    So no, someone being penetrated is not the same as someone being made to penetrate. It could be equally serious, but culturally, it’s in a different category and comes with a different reaction. Victims who have not been penetrated are not as often acknowledged as victims but are also less likely to be shamed, while victims who have been penetrated are often thought to be defective in some way for it to happen to them, whether they’re acknowledged as victims or not. Because latter is a case of victim blaming, and since that’s what this conversation is about, that’s the example I’m using.

    I’m not sure why you seem to find it so problematic that my focus hasn’t been exclusively on victim blaming. It seemed to me as settled that whether or not I would construe Lucy’s statement as victim blaming depended on the interpretation of “riskier activities” and so couldn’t really be settled until she made her position clear.

    Well, I still think the overall point is relevant, and we can’t look at the greater male victimisation in a vacuum.

    Also, you quite clearly strayed much further from that topic by asking me about J4MB’s opinions on abortion.

    That was my first post to you, of a grand total of two lines. It wasn’t an already overly long discussion where I suddenly brought it up out of nowhere. And since J4MB engages in victim blaming, it’s still plenty on topic.

    * in case it was unclear, X refers to advice to help people avoid becomming victims of crime, X1 refers to an example of such advice, “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk”, and X2 refers to another example, “The Gift of Fear”, and Y refers to victim blaming. Both CW:SGT and TGoF contain advice aimed at victims, but only CW:SGT is criticised as victim blaming. Ask yourself why.

  294. 294
    pikeamus

    @Tamen (289):

    Do you get many replies to your posts on here? I ask because I don’t follow the comments on here terribly closely most of the time but I frequently see a well researched post from you and then the text version of a deafening silence below. I rarely check back a few days later to see if the situation has changed.

    I thought the idea that teaching boys that their own concent was important might help them consider the consent of others more deeply was very interesting. I had not heard anybody make that arguement before; it seems like a position definitely worthy of strong consideration.

  295. 295
    Adiabat

    Wow, active thread. I should check in more. I promised replies though:

    Freja (142):

    I have never seen a feminist claim that patriarchy was exclusively created by men and that women don’t participate. Do you have any concrete example?

    Gerda Lerner in “The Creation of Patriarchy” argues that the move from hunter gatherer societies to agrarian societies is the point where women became property of men and this was the basis for all following social organisation. I.E men enslaved women and began the “patriarchy”; the set of social norms ensuring male dominance over women. (The book is all a load of bollocks of course, rife with poor methodology and selective choice of ‘evidence’; it’s similar in many ways to how conspiracy theorists construct their arguments).

    But you don’t need to read the book, the internet is rife with feminists saying this, especially tumblrfems. In my mind if you have to ask for an example for something so basic then that means that you should probably ‘go and educate yourself about feminism’.

    I hardly think it’s controversial that in human societies, different demographics are assigned different roles and considered to have different qualities, with members of some demographics being ascribed higher status and/or more value than others, without the need of any intentional conspiracy.

    Ah, one of the aforementioned “watered-down” versions of the term; I don’t deny that within feminism there are a multitude of definitions for ‘patriarchy’, often each feminist has their own. Broadly speaking “Patriarchy” is often used to refer to all the social mechanisms and cultural elements within society and the effect of these, and that these give men power over women (or just ‘elevates’ men over women somehow depending who you talk to). (And sometimes the term is used just to refer to gender roles and not to wider cultural elements).

    Some people drop the last bit and use “patriarchy” simply to refer to effect of the social mechanisms and cultural elements within society, without stating a conclusion on who is ‘elevated’ or not. I have no problem with this usage, though I think using the word “patriarchy” is even more of a misnomer in this case. I believe that the term ‘kyriarchy’ was created to describe this.

    So no, what you’re saying above isn’t controversial. However the conclusion many feminists go to from there is.

    Now, when faced with the patriarchy claim many critics of feminists point to areas where men are harmed by various cultural elements, essentially saying “unless you include these in your model your conclusion cannot be accurate”. They also argue against various claims made by feminists that support it: “You’ve interpreted this in a particular, unjustified, way to bolster the claim that women are overall the victims of our society. Remove it and your case for patriarchy is weakened”. I’m sure we’ve both seen the endless debates about who is more “privileged”.

    Instead of the above my response is: Yes some elements of society make things difficult for women, and yes some make it difficult for men: we can work against those cultural elements. Yet to reach a conclusion on which group is ‘elevated’ above the other (or who is oppressed and who is oppressor, depending on the feminist’s personal definition of patriarchy) would require awareness of all cultural elements and their myriad intersectional effects on both groups*, plus a methodology to assess and compare them against each other which is free, as much as possible, of observer bias and gives a reliable result that is reproducible by anyone (including your critics). This is the level of work required to make that claim, and I see no evidence that feminists have even done 1% of it (notwithstanding the fact that the second part is likely to be technically impossible to do – not my problem of course).

    So do you see why I have a problem with feminist’ claims that “we live in a patriarchy”?

    * You could make an assumption to simplify this part of the problem (as long as you state it when you claim we live in a patriarchy), such as having an understanding of all elements with the most significant affects. But how do you measure that this has been done? Plus feminists have repeatedly shown themselves blind to the ones that affect men until an MRA has pointed it out. Plus there’re ongoing debates on the effects of many of them which should be resolved first; stating a conclusion before these are resolved hints at the fact that the person claiming “patriarchy” has arrogantly decided the “right” answer in these debates.

    Seriously? I’ve asked repeatedly about…[paragraph listing stuff without links]

    The only one I’m aware of on your list is the Warren Farrell example. I know that your interpretation is largely baseless and is an unfair reading of his argument. In the past you’ve linked me to articles on avfm to “prove” how horrible they are, though the article in question stated several times that it was a parody, and Elam repeated that several times in the comments. I’m not really interested in things that only become bad when you apply several levels of “interpretation” to get at “what they really mean”.

    I can’t comment on the other examples, but I would advise that if MRA’s are as horrible as you claim you should have enough examples so that you don’t need to bring up what are obvious attempts at smear.

    RE: Questions on MRA’s

    I’m afraid I’m not the best person to ask about MRA’s. I’ve read a few articles on avfm (they were reasonable enough) and I read a couple of blogs semi-regularly (again very sensible and egalitarian). Obviously I’ve seen Right (and Left) leaning-posters who I disagree with, but being right-wing doesn’t automatically make you evil. I’ve also seen stupid people say stupid things, but they exist everywhere.

  296. 296
    H. E. Pennypacker

    @ Freja

    Yes my initial accusation was that she was victim blaming. As I’ve pointed out there were perfectly valid reasons for me to assume that “risker activities” didn’t refer exclusively to activities that involved the perpetration of violence. You argued that it did and I made it clear that whether I would consider it victim blaming depends on whether your assertion is correct.

    OK, maybe my phrasing wasn’t precise enough.

    “any focus on what someone can do to prevent themselves becoming the victim of crime”

    To clarify I meant

    “any focus on how the victim can change their general behaviour to reduce their chances of becoming the victim of a crime”

    Also it’s quite clear that by the wikipedia definition you posted the article is not victim blaming. The post you linked to certainly doesn’t provide any evidence of it holding victims partially or entirely responsible. Also many of the criticisms that the article you link makes of the Yoffe article could be applied to TGoF:

    Rape survivors who were attacked even though their were warning signs which they ignored may feel (even more than they already do) that it was their fault –as if coping with the rape itself weren’t enough.

    Cops will focus on telling women to look out for warning signs rather than on finding their rapists.

    Believing that rape is the result of an individual failing (on the part of the victim (for not seeing the warning signs), not the rapist, no less) rather than a systemic problem, people will fail to organize meaningful collective action to end sexual violence.

    Assuming that they’ll be blamed for not seeing the warning signs, survivors will be less likely to go to the police or reach out to others for emotional support.

    Gender inequality will be exacerbated. Men can talk to people who are nice and charming to them but women can’t?

    I don’t get why you keep thinking that I agree with Mike. I’ve stated numerous times that I find every one of his party’s policies awful and yet you keep asking me if I have the same opinions of him. I find it hilarious that you took such issue with me referring to what what Lucy wrote when the debate was about my response to something she’d written (and in the context of you defending her) yet you keep suggesting that I agree with someone I’ve made it clear I vehemently disagree with.

    Can you explain to me exactly what you mean when you say that I’m equating violence against men and violence against women and point out where I’ve done it (I’m not saying I haven’t I just want to see exactly what it is that qualified the assumption that I think British society is part of an evil Harriet Harman led conspiracy because there seems to be quite a lot of miscommunication going on in this discussion).

  297. 297
    Adiabat

    Freja (177):

    So you’re OK with claims that short skirts usually equal consent? Claims that when consent is ambiguous, it can be assumed? As long as the speaker doesn’t directly say that the consent is automatic?

    I just want a source for what you claimed. Are you now saying that you know of no MRA who says that consent is automatic, as you claimed before?

    But now I’d like a citation of an MRA claiming that ‘skirts usually equal consent’. And one claiming that ‘when consent is ambiguous, it can be assumed’. Please provide context as well so I can assess whether that’s what they are actually saying.

    RE:

    Reducing spontaneous abortions should be the number one healthcare concern for anti-abortionists.

    I don’t think your reasoning in these paragraphs is valid at all. Advances are still being made to reduce spontaneous abortions so it is reasonable to assume it is being funded adequately.

    Do you really expect Mike to have as one of his policies: “We are happy at the funding for this problem and wouldn’t change it”?

    Sometimes just throwing more money at a problem isn’t the best solution. Often leaving things alone to continue as they are is the best thing.

    The recklessness of who? All people who induce pregnancy, or women only like Mike thinks?

    All people, to the degree that they are responsible for bringing a child into the world that they cannot care for properly without state aid. However, as women have vastly more contraception choices, all public funded here in the UK (and rightly so!), along with many more options post conception such as the morning after pill, abortion, adoption, baby ‘drop boxes’ etc then the mother is often being much more reckless than the father, whose ‘recklessness’ might consist of nothing more than a one-in-a-million split condom.

    Like I said, I agree with providing help regardless of who is responsible for the situation. But I still don’t think it’s fair.

    The question then remains what exactly constitutes bias.

    Not… really. Can you explain what you mean?

    *I think that covers all replies to me. If you feel the conversation has moved on too much feel free to ignore.*

  298. 298
    karmakin

    Just a riff for something that Adiabat said, for me one of the things that bothers me…and you see it in both Feminist and MRA circles is the idea that you can just “patch in” relatively simple fixes for problems and then they just work. Actually now that I think about it, the OP kinda sorta does that as well (although not nearly to the same extent.

    Generally speaking any change has to be relatively comprehensive. As an example, I do not think it’s enough to “teach men not to rape”…or to make it gender neutral, to teach the initiator not to rape (although in our society that’s a very strong male gender role to be the initiator), when you’re leaving in all sorts of cultural forces that are working against you. The type of rape we’re talking about here is fairly formulaic. You take that the expectation is for the initiator to do “pursuing”, combine it with with the attractiveness of ego (I.E self-confidence), generally speaking marinade it in alcohol, and boom. You have a very dangerous situation.

    Just patching on-top of it some matter of self-awareness isn’t going to do much of anything, other than frustrate the individuals who might be lacking in the ego department. Each individual part needs to be tackled on a holistic nature…both “supply” and “demand”, at the same time, as part as the whole. Every coin has two sides (not to say that they’re always equal..they’re often not..but it’s usually there)

    About the OP, the problem is that we’re talking strictly legal/structural changes. The problem is that there’s one big cultural/social problem that needs to be changed before any of 1-10 are going to be politically viable. The notion that men cannot be victims, only victimizers. And like I said..that’s no simple patch. That’s a complete recalibration of how we think about gender and a rejection of most identity politics.

  299. 299
    MrFancyPants

    pikeamus@294:
    Part of the reason for that might be that there’s really nothing to respond to. His entire comment was essentially a gratuitous link to his own blog, a variety of comments indicating that he doesn’t like feminists, and a handful of partially cited numbers, most of which (if taken even at face value) supported my contention. Also, it’s rather laughable that when it serves their ends, these MRA-types conveniently ignore prison rape.

    It’s depressingly easy to refute his contentions. Take this comprehensive survey, for example, which appeared in the first page of a quick google search result and states in the introduction:

    Though the vast majority of violent sex offending involves males assaulting female victims, females
    account for a small percentage of known offenders, and males account for a small percentage.

    Some interesting highlights from that survey (page 7):
    * Only 32% of rapes were reported to law enforcement
    * 1 in 270 “females” were raped, for 1 in 5000 “males” (scare quotes b/c I hate referring to people by their gender)
    * 99% of offenders in single-victim incidents were male

  300. 300
    karmakin

    FBI only recently started tracking made-to-penetrate as rape, which is where most of the numbers from that study came from.

  301. 301
    Gjenganger Guardian

    Thanks. Excellent program – and useful to keep in mind during all the interminable debates. We do need to think through what needs specifically men have, without being limited by our ideology, or the need to keep the feminists on board. Then we can do the compromises afterwards. And with a couple of exceptions it looks like that is what you have done.

  302. 302
    Gjenganger

    One exception: Point 10.

    Requiring circumcision to be done by qualified personnel under hygienic conditions is an excellent idea. The public information campaign against circumcision is another matter. Like it or not, ‘negotiated phasing out of infant circumcision‘ is not going to happen. People who believe in circumcision have nothing to negotiate – what you are talking about is the systematic application of social pressure to force them to stop doing what they believe in. And they know it. If you want them on board, you have to make it clear in your campaign that circumcision is OK, will remain OK, it is just that it should be safe. As someone who believes in the right of parents to form their children (foreskin included) as long as it is not clearly damaging, I would regretfully disengage from any campaign for making procedures safer that was coupled to an anti- campaign, on the grounds that I will not work to defeat my own principles.

  303. 303
    Lucy

    My point about riskier activities is a point of logic rather than victim blaming. It is logically flawed to draw conclusions about the likelihood of something happening because of a certain factor without isolating that factor. That is by using the SAME scenario as the point of comparison.

    Ally was implying that the differentiating factor between the likelihood of male and female assaults, was their gender. In fact, it is much more likely to be their activities.

    And given that this is the case, a more sensible comparison would be something along the lines of:
    People who go out more, are alone more, travel more, involve themselves in violent and criminal activity more, work in law enforcement, are twice as likely to be murdered than those who don’t. Well yeah, no kidding.

    If gender *is* a genuine differentiating factor, then the only way to establish this would be to eliminate all the other differentiating factors. And I would suggest that if we did this, we might find that the comparison yields a different result.

    ——

    If I was doing any victim blaming, then that comes with my point about provocation. And by provocation , I mean the legal definition of it, rather than what is often falsely termed provocation (e.g. being black, female, female & sexual, in public); some variety of:
    “If the victim’s wrongful conduct contributed significantly to provoking the offense behavior, the court may reduce the sentence below the guideline range to reflect the nature and circumstances of the offense.” (Operative word being “wrongful”).

    Violence that is consensually entered into is morally different to violence that is not.

  304. 304
    sheaf

    MrFancyPants,

    take a look at this blog post by Ally:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/09/04/the-startling-facts-on-female-sexual-aggression/

    It lists a number of studies showing much higher prevalence of sexual assault and rape committed by women than commonly believe. In light of this data your 99% figure is false, depending on antiquated notions of rape.

  305. 305
    MrFancyPants

    sheaf@304:
    Thanks, yes, I’m aware of that post. Several points in response:

    - The studies that Ally mentions are largely behavioral polls of college students (with a few exceptions, of course), whereas the survey study that I linked was general population law enforcement statistics. These are different things, and not directly comparable; Ally himself made that point. Can women be sexually aggressive? Undeniably. Are the behaviors described by those studies all “rape,” even by modern notions? I don’t think so.

    - Most of the studies that Ally links are from the same approximate year, or even earlier, than the study I posted. Hence the same “antiquated notions of rape” were likely used across the board (barring marital rape, which doesn’t appear to be a big college issue, and which was largely absent from the data in the study I posted since it was only finally outlawed in all 50 states in 1993, partway through the survey results of that study).

    - My contention throughout this conversation has been that men are disproportionately the offenders. Nothing that has been posted so far contradicts that. Ally himself draws that conclusion: “Where there is a direct comparison (eg the very first reference) they tend to show that men are at least twice as likely to sexually aggress as women.” (emphasis mine.) I contend that 2:1 is “disproportionate” (although I believe the wider evidence still shows that to be incorrect, and that the proportion of male offenders is much higher).

  306. 306
    JT

    Violence that is consensually entered into is morally different to violence that is not.(Lucy)

    How do you differentiate the two in many cases? I have seen a multitude of bar fights that originated with a verbal argument. In fact, many times the more aggressive person during the verbal part ended up being on the receiving end of the physical beating. Did they consensually enter into the fight, maybe, maybe not, but they sure did exacerbate an already volatile situation to their own detriment. Now, is what I just said Victim blaming?

  307. 307
    JT

    - My contention throughout this conversation has been that men are disproportionately the offenders(Mrfancypants)

    Well, are you suggesting that this is because of some biological reason or is it a cultural phenomenon? I think if its biological then what do you suggest we do about it and if its cultural then maybe you better start telling some mothers to “teach their boys not to rape” just a little bit better.

  308. 308
    sheaf

    MrFancypants,

    -2 over 1 is completely different from 99%. Why are you using this number in such an undifferentated way if you are aware of a large body of contradictory data?

    -The study you posted is from an earlier year than the CDC study showing much higher perpetration rates among women.

    My contention was that the 99% is nonsense. WHenever I see data that looks this onesided my immediate impulse is to question it – Setting a low probabilistic prior for it. Most of the time I am right with this methodology. I would invite you to try it yourself in the future, it will make your decision making much more robust.

  309. 309
    pikeamus

    @MrFancyPants(299):

    Tamen’s post also included a link to his own blog yes. It also included a link to a pubmed article, a link to a previous blog from Ally, an argument against your position that the consent message would be watered down by making it non gender specific and a side comment about the decline of people who identify as as feminists (a non-judgemental statement with accompanying link to back up the referenced numbers, in response to a side comment from yourself I might add). He did not at any stage give any indication as to his opinion on feminists. Summarizing his post as

    His entire comment was essentially a gratuitous link to his own blog, a variety of comments indicating that he doesn’t like feminists, and a handful of partially cited numbers,

    is not arguing in good faith.

  310. 310
    MrFancyPants

    JT@307:

    Well, are you suggesting that this is because of some biological reason or is it a cultural phenomenon? I think if its biological then what do you suggest we do about it and if its cultural then maybe you better start telling some mothers to “teach their boys not to rape” just a little bit better.

    I am not suggesting either. I don’t think that men are biologically incapable of refraining from sexual assault; I do suspect that the problem is largely cultural, but I’m certainly no expert. And, indeed, this conversation started with a disagreement over the message of “teach boys not to rape,” with me holding the position that it’s a good message and does not imply that all men are inherently rapists. So you’ll find no disagreement from me here.

    sheaf@308:
    The numbers are not comparable. The CDC study you referred to only covers “intimate partner” assaults, whereas the study I cited covered all sexual assaults. Do I think the 99% number is accurate? Probably not, especially given more modern notions of what constitutes sexual assault. It’s certainly not “nonsense,” however–that is historical data on sexual assaults taken from justice department records.

    pikeamus@309:
    When someone begins a rebuttal by misrepresenting my position, I am little inclined to answer him. At no time have I said that female offenders don’t matter. And insofar as arguing in bad faith goes, he drew faulty conclusions from a study focussed on intimate partner assault to draw conclusions about all women, did it a second time for a poll of college students to make the same conclusion, did it a third time drawing a conclusion about all women from a study of high school students, linked to Ally’s post that I have already demonstrated is not a collection of rape statistics, and finished with a faulty conclusion about why some women do not identify as feminists. The entire thing was an exercise in intellectual dishonesty intended to bolster a faulty premise. If, in fact, 50% of perpetrators of sexual assault are women, as he contends, then it should be easy to find a study of sexual assaults from justice department records from, say, the last five years that demonstrates that. For whatever point you want to prove, you can find data on a limited demographic to support your case, I’d wager; it is less easy to do that with data on the general population.

  311. 311
    123454321

    Sorry fellas but “Teach boys not to rape” has got to be one of the most offensive campaign slogans I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s almost like drawing a conclusion from a statistical analysis of muggings which reports that the majority of muggers happen to be black (or white because I have no idea what the stats are here) and then advertising a campaign with the slogan “teach black people not to mug”. Geez, it doesn’t take more than a few brain cells to see how offensive that is!

    It’s no wonder boys are growing up feeling worthless when they’re portrayed as potentially eval from the outset.

    Disgusting that people in today’s supposedly civilised society can’t see that.

  312. 312
    123454321

    Freja 290

    “But to answer you question, no. In my experience people who’re vomiting and passing out from alcohol are considerably less likely to have sex, because they’re physically incapable of initiating it.”

    I didn’t suggest vomiting and passing out. I said a night of drinking.

    I think most people would agree that after a few drinks the probability of consensual sex occurring between two people increases.

  313. 313
    123454321

    On the severity scale of 1 to 10 (10 is severest), where do people pitch their score when it comes to females deceiving males by purposefully getting pregnant or lying about who the Father is?

    After all, this is a frightfully despicable infliction of power resulting in fairly dramatic consequences for the male. i know if I had been tricked like this I would feel like I’d been raped of my own sperm. And if I’d been told I was the Father when in actual fact i wasn’t, i’d feel absolutely devastated in more ways than you could imagine.

    How many of these cases do we think there are across UK?

    Do we feel we should be protecting these males with better education? I would guess yes should be the answer.

    But how about a slogan aimed at young girls teaching them not to be deceitful when it comes to boys and pregnancy?

    Food for thought?

  314. 314
    sheaf

    MrFancypants:

    Numbers that do not reflect reality can be called nonsense. You can call it historical data if you want to. The notion does not reflect reality is the important one, not whether it can be called nonsense.

  315. 315
    sheaf

    123454321, (313)

    On the severity scale of 1 to 10 (10 is severest), where do people pitch their score when it comes to females deceiving males by purposefully getting pregnant or lying about who the Father is?

    I am a pretty monogamous individual. I would not have an affair, and would also expect so from my partner. This would be a much worse betrayal. I would feel tricked at the most fundamental level. Cannot really say how I would take it, but not well.

    If you want to read something quite terrifying, then try this: http://doccool.com/cheated-on-husband-for-better-genes/

    I seriously hope this is not true.

  316. 316
    mildlymagnificent

    But how about a slogan aimed at young girls teaching them not to be deceitful when it comes to boys and pregnancy?

    Food for thought?

    The first thought would be about numbers and ratios of men/women sabotaging contraception and deceiving or coercing the partner into continuing a pregnancy or having it aborted.

    I know there’s a newish line of research on men – usually already identified as abusive – undermining or sabotaging their partner’s contraception and stated desire to avoid pregnancy and then applying coercion for her to continue any pregnancy occurring as a consequence. I also know that abortion clinics make concerted efforts to ensure that women requesting abortion are doing so because they want it and are not there just because of parental or partner pressure – but I don’t know what current/newer research there is in the area.

    My own suspicion is that we probably need some kind of one-size-fits-all approach to contraception-pregnancy-abortion much like making consent of both parties central to positive sex education which reduces rape. Though I’m having trouble with finding a single message combining “making an unwilling partner pregnant doesn’t make you a bigger or better man”, “forcing an unwilling woman into having an abortion is a bad thing and so is forcing her into continuing an unwanted pregnancy” and “making an unwilling partner father a child is a really shitty idea” as a coherent package. Then again, I’m not involved in sex education nor in public health promotion so I’d probably do better to leave it to them.

    I suspect that we need to get a more accurate picture of the numbers of people affected and the severity of effects of these various stupid/ nasty/ ghastly behaviours on children and men and women before putting too many eggs in one particular basket. In the meantime, better sex and relationships education all round will always be a benefit even if the programs aren’t precisely perfect.

  317. 317
    sheaf

    Though I’m having trouble with finding a single message combining “making an unwilling partner pregnant doesn’t make you a bigger or better man”, “forcing an unwilling woman into having an abortion is a bad thing and so is forcing her into continuing an unwanted pregnancy” and “making an unwilling partner father a child is a really shitty idea” as a coherent package.

    How about: “Parenthood is a choice”?

  318. 318
    MrFancyPants

    sheaf@314:

    Numbers that do not reflect reality can be called nonsense. You can call it historical data if you want to. The notion does not reflect reality is the important one, not whether it can be called nonsense.

    It doesn’t take much research to corroborate that number you deem “nonsense,” using the same guidelines: namely, criminal justice numbers. Using the google search “general rape offender statistics,” a link to the New York State division of Criminal Justice Services pops up on the first page, with a short “Myths and Facts” section. Under that section is the myth that “Only males commit sex offenses.” Expanding that bullet point, we find the following:

    Of the 12,992 people whose cases were disposed of between 2005 and 2006 for sexual offenses in New York State, 97% were male (New York State Sex Offender Management Grant, 2007). Therefore, we estimate that 3% were female.

    That’s not a poll. It’s not opinion. It’s not a sample of teenagers in secondary school. It’s not just intimate partners. It is the general population of New York State–not 30 years ago, either, and not using “antiquated notions of rape.”

  319. 319
    sheaf

    MrFancyPants,

    You did not corroborate your number. You found 97% in sample that is trivially biased. Try to find biases yourself, before bothering others.

  320. 320
    mildlymagnificent

    How about: “Parenthood is a choice”?

    It’s only a start. It isn’t even clear that the choice in question should be openly and explicitly agreed by both parties. Most people who engage in these behaviours would give a statement like this lip service at least.

    The big issue is the psychology/sociology around the ways people deviate from these commonly stated social values. There’s lots of wishful thinking around relationships and baaaybeees. ‘You’ll love it when you see those tiny little fingers and toes.’ There are still far too many people who feel (‘think’ would be much, much too strong a word) that having a child will bring couples closer together or make life “better” in some vague way. They might nod and go along with people telling them that it doesn’t work that way – that pregnancy and childbirth is not a cakewalk and that caring for a helpless infant can be a soul-destroying burden and what you see on those TV ads is not the way it works, let alone that living on benefits is not the way to a comfortable or easy life. The nodding and superficial agreement with well-meant advice is often not enough to subdue some people’s feelings about relationships and their desire for a family.

    It might be better to tell people that the desire to have, or merely to produce, a baby can be a quite strong drive even if you don’t specifically acknowledge this to yourself. You might rationalise it in various ways, but the responsible, grown-up thing to do is to refrain from reproduction, even agreed reproduction, until you’re in a good, or good enough, place to be a good enough parent.

    This is where it gets tricky. You see far too many young women, and some young men, who really do want a baby but they want it because they want “someone who will love me”. Many people making the ‘parenthood is a choice’ decision in this category have miserable family backgrounds and they have absolutely no role models, no idea and no capacity to work out for themselves how they could do better in parenting than their hopeless or absent families did with them.

    Others have been brought up with, or absorbed from peer groups, barmy essentialist ideas that you’ll never be a real man or a real woman or have a real love unless you have a child to prove it. (I suspect that’s what underlies some of those abusive men insisting on their partners having a baby whom they have neither the intent nor the capacity to actually parent. They just want to know that they’re a real man who has a woman, or women, tied to them permanently by a child and they have living, walking, talking evidence of their manhood/virility. It might be a silly or even toxic notion of manhood to most of us, but this is literally all they’ve got to bolster their self-limited self-image.)

    We won’t solve it here. We won’t solve it now. But my own preference is something like a combination of Ally’s listed items 1 plus 4 plus 6 being incorporated into or acknowledged in sex and relationships education.

  321. 321
    Tamen

    MrFancyPants @299:

    Part of the reason for that might be that there’s really nothing to respond to. His entire comment was essentially a gratuitous link to his own blog,

    That gratuitous link to my blog was because I have access to the complete paper and cites parts not included in the abstract. At the beginning of my blog post I provide a link to the paper I write about and cite. Here is the direct link to that paper: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1748355

    a handful of partially cited numbers,

    Which numbers did I not cite?

    Also, it’s rather laughable that when it serves their ends, these MRA-types conveniently ignore prison rape.


    Oh, I do not ignore it. I have read the BJS reports on sexual victimization in jail, prisons and juvenile facilities.

    I suspect you haven’t and that you’ll be surprised to learn that women in fact are the perpetrators for the majority of sexual abuse against female inmates and that women are the perpetrators of >25% of sexual abuse against male inmates – 60+% of sexual abuse against male inmates were perpetrated by prison officials, 67-64% of male victims of sexual abuse from prison officials reported a female perpetrator.
    Source: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri0809.pdf
    In addition it’s even worse in juvenile facilities:

    Among the estimated 1,390 youth who reported victimization by staff, 89.1% were males reporting sexual activity with female staff and 3.0% were males reporting sexual activity with both male and female staff. In comparison, males comprised 91% of adjudicated youth in the survey and female staff accounted for 44% of staff in the sampled facilities.

    Source: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry12.pdf

    The paper you linked to: Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault
    is from 1997. Back then both FBI defined rape in a way that excluded all male victims as well as a subset of female victims and BJS defined rape in a way that required the victim to be penetrated by the offender.

    If you are arguing that the definition of rape should be constrained to male perpetrators penetrating female victims I’d suggest you do so directly rather than keep referring to studies and papers which define rape that way.

    I also note that you didn’t answer my question:

    How can hearing that your consent matter weaken your belief that other people’s consent matters too? That’s not a rhetoric question, I’d really like to hear how your (I am making the assumption that you’ve thought this through) reason why that would water down and weaken the boys’ respect for girls’ consent.

    That shouldn’t be hard to answer – you don’t even have to read any cited papers to do so.

    MrFancyPants @310:

    The numbers are not comparable. The CDC study you referred to only covers “intimate partner” assaults, whereas the study I cited covered all sexual assaults.

    The NISVS 2010 Report does NOT restrict itself to sexual assault from intimate partners – it even says this in it’s Executive Summary on the first page:

    The primary objectives of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey are to describe: The prevalence and characteristics of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence

    Should that sentence be too hard to parse then tables 2.5 and 2.6 page 22-23 where the types of perpetrators of sexual violence are broken down into the following categories:
    Intimate partner, family members, person of authority, acquaintance and stranger should make it very clear that the NISVS 2010 Report does NOT restrict itself to intimate partner assaults.

    It is blatantly clear that you haven’t read the CDC study at all and yet decided to spout your assumption as fact. Your credibility suffers greatly by such “mistakes”.

    Karmakin @300

    FBI only recently started tracking made-to-penetrate as rape, which is where most of the numbers from that study came from.

    That is a matter which still remains to be seen. The “new” definition of rape used by the FBI are at best ambiguous about whether victims of “made to penetrate” is considered rape:

    “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics apparently still use a definition of rape (according to this webpage) that requires that the perpetrator penetrate the victim.

  322. 322
    Tamen

    pikeamus @294

    Do you get many replies to your posts on here? I ask because I don’t follow the comments on here terribly closely most of the time but I frequently see a well researched post from you and then the text version of a deafening silence below. I rarely check back a few days later to see if the situation has changed.

    No, I generally don’t get much response to comments of mine, least of all those which are well-cited and which I have spent some effort on the rhetoric/logical composition. I have my thoughts as to why which I’ll keep to myself.

    I thought the idea that teaching boys that their own concent was important might help them consider the consent of others more deeply was very interesting. I had not heard anybody make that arguement before; it seems like a position definitely worthy of strong consideration.

    I’ve argued that idea for quite some time. I am not the only one having it. In fact Abigail Rine read some comments from me where I wrote about the NISVS 2010 numbers and prompted by the Mad Men episode where Don Draper was raped she wrote this:

    Many feminists have written, particularly in the wake of Steubenville, of the need to teach boys the importance of consent. I agree – but I think we must begin by teaching them the importance of their own consent, and the sacredness of their own bodies, and to empower them to speak out if anyone, anyone, ever violates that.

    in a post called What About the Boys.

    Abigail Rine is a feminist, but unfortunately feminists who thinks like MrFancyPants that teaching girls not to rape (and by extension; boys about the sanctity of their own consent) waters down the efforts against rape are in my experience a vocal majority. I should point out that mildlymagnificent who in this thread have identified as a second wave feminist spoke against the idea that also teaching girls not to rape waters down the effort against rape.

  323. 323
    mildlymagnificent

    I should point out that mildlymagnificent who in this thread have identified as a second wave feminist spoke against the idea that also teaching girls not to rape waters down the effort against rape.

    I did?

    I obviously have very specific ideas about the best way to teach the concepts and the behaviours, but against?

  324. 324
    Tamen

    mildlymagnificent @322:
    I suspect you are misparsing my sentence. I don’t think you’re against teaching girls not to rape, but rather that you’re against the idea put forth by MrFancyPants that teaching girls not to rape also would water down the effort against rape. I based this on your comment @288 where you first quoted MrFancyPants and then stated your disagreement with him:

    “Teach boys not to rape” addresses that disproportion and puts the spotlight on boys to tell them. “Teach kids not to rape” waters that message down.

    I’d disagree with that.

    I apologize if I misunderstood you, but I hope I didn’t.

  325. 325
    mildlymagnificent

    Oh OK. My underlying disagreement with that is that a lot of people have a cartoon villain picture in their heads of who commits rape. Telling kids “don’t rape” doesn’t tell them what they should do to guarantee they never do that. They know they’re good people so the villain picture in their head doesn’t apply to them.

    It’s not about who you are, it’s about what you do. Teaching everyone to respect boundaries – and to establish their own boundaries – from early childhood onwards is a much better introduction to good behaviour of all kinds. But especially sexual behaviour.

    And not being about who you are, and rather being about what you do, means that you can also cut across the notion that if you’re a woman you can’t be a rapist. Yes, you can. If you ignore, dismiss or contravene a sexual partner’s consent, or give no opportunity to consent or refuse at all, rape is most likely the best word to describe the ensuing sexual interaction.

  326. 326
    123454321

    sheaf 317

    “How about: “Parenthood is a choice”

    I like that but I hope you don’t mind if I extend it to give a little more impact…

    “Parenthood is your choice and no one else’s”

    or something along the lines of de-emphasing or inferring a gender bias.

  327. 327
    123454321

    Mildlymagnificent 320

    I agreed with all of your post until you got to this bit:

    “(I suspect that’s what underlies some of those abusive men insisting on their partners having a baby….”

    First off, I suspect there are just as many abusive women insisting that they want a baby, if not more – it appears that men don’t report domestic abuse for various reasons, probably due to there being zero media campaigns encouraging them to do so. Why bring in the correlation in the first place because there could be plenty of non-abusive men trying to insist on their partner agreeing to a baby?

    Your entire paragraph perpetuates the myth that only men are abusive, coercive and evil. It’s done in a very covert style which whooshes over most people’s heads but has the power to subconsciously indoctrinate based on the more times it gets said, it must be true.

  328. 328
    123454321

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard feminists maintain the stance that the patriarchy and white males hold all the power. So I’m going to repeat:

    It’s not the power that matters, it’s what those with ‘the power’ choose to do with it and how their choices directly or indirectly affects others as a result of their actions/inactions.

    i maintain that any so-called ‘power’ that men have is used (in the main) to support the evolutionary progression of the World around them as well as a clear, explicit intention to protect their women and children at their own expense. This is true regardless of whether we’re talking about political power, financial power or physical power.

    Over the last few decades, feminists have not recognised this one jot. They have, instead, chosen to ignore everything that men do do, whilst embarking on campaigns that promote positive outcomes for the female gender only. The media has been awash with campaigns supporting the interests of women and girls and it’s got to the point that many men are sick of it.

    My point is that despite all the power that feminists have attained over the last few decade they have hardly ever used their power to selflessly encourage more campaigns that would rightfully straighten up some of the inequalities that men and boys face. It’s clear that they only look after themselves!

    Their problem lies explicitly within this critical oversight. They’ve had plenty of time to unleash their collaborative power to demonstrate true power of equality. But they have failed. This is probably why MRAs attack feminists the way they do. Had feminism raised a few campaigns to help solve men’s issues, things would be different. As it stands, they have screwed things up, I reckon.

  329. 329
    mildlymagnificent

    Your entire paragraph perpetuates the myth that only men are abusive, coercive and evil. It’s done in a very covert style which whooshes over most people’s heads but has the power to subconsciously indoctrinate based on the more times it gets said, it must be true.

    No. My view is that the research to ascertain the numbers involved in the differing types of nastiness/ deception/ violence/ coercion has simply not been done in a way that allows us to determine their impacts, let alone their relative (or regional or occupational or any other characteristic) prevalence or urgency or importance. Nor whether these kinds of behaviours on the part of men and women are mirror images of each other or are two different sets of behaviours with only apparent similarities or some are and some aren’t.

    We have established figures for some things that researchers have been paying attention to – but little reliable stuff about the equivalent or opposite for the other gender(s). And many of these older published papers are really academic work based entirely on social assumptions and presumptions – the obvious ones here being men are always the aggressors in both rape and IPV. The last 10 years has seen a big improvement here – but it’s really only a start.

    We have more recent research now getting started on the links between pregnancy coercion and IPV by men against women, but it’s really only painting a fuller picture of male violence against women rather than a new or original or surprising perspective on relationships. On the other hand, absolutely nothing useful that I’ve seen about any reverse scenarios of demanding/ manipulative/ violent women deceiving or coercing men into unwanted fatherhood. Or are IPV and pregnancy deceit/coercion completely separate issues when it’s women doing it? No way to know that I’ve ascertained. There are anecdotes about this kind of behaviour by some, several, particular kinds of, women but I’ve not seen any work on the characteristics, psychological or sociological or epidemiological, of such women – not even estimates of the numbers of children born this way. So there’s nothing on whether there are any particular features, personalities, behaviours of the men they use in this way or what the distinguishing features of their relationships might or might not be. And what kind of parent do they always-usually-sometimes become? Who knows?

    Perhaps I’ll get around to writing a to-do list for researchers and circulate it to sociology, epidemiology, gender studies faculties around the world and see what happens. Every time I think of one issue, it raises two more questions. I fear that merely writing such a list would become a treatise in itself.

  330. 330
    123454321

    MM – I agree with pretty much everything you just said.

    Now let’s get to work and find the answers to these questions.

    “Perhaps I’ll get around to writing a to-do list for researchers and circulate it to sociology, epidemiology, gender studies faculties around the world and see what happens”

    Fantastic, but don’t forget that throughout your journey of discovery that any resistance you encounter is often a defence mechanism against losing privilege, rights and entitlement. You may need to remind people of this on more than a few occasions.

  331. 331
    sheaf

    123454321, (325)

    I like your version better.

  332. 332
    Gjenganger

    Hi Ally

    Point 6 is the one place where I think you are sacrificing the interests of men for the interests of women.

    One minor point is the continuation of the campaign on ‘violence agaist women and girls‘. In a genderless campaign against violence, a strong voice that treats men as perpetrators and women and girls as victims (why not ‘women and children‘? what have boys done to be excluded?) is going to be both divisive and counterproductive. But OK, that could be worth it as a compromise to keep the women on board.

    The big problem is ‘enthusiastic consent’. We could certainly do with some clarity on the game rules for courtship and sex, but – however useful it may be for combating violence generally – ‘enthusiastic consent’ seems to be tailored exactly to the needs and desires of women, ignoring those of men. The two sexes have very different situations and perceived needs here, even without getting into possible biological reasons for the difference. Basically, men try and push, and women resist and permit. For men, sex is like food during a famine: in short supply, to be enjoyed when available, and worth some hard work and risk even when the odds are low. For women, mere sex is an oppressive glut. You can have a stiff prick for the asking, as long as you are not too particular who it is attached to. The bigger problem is fending off all the pestering idiots who insist on pushing for sex even when it is obvious you are not interested.

    Enthusiastic consent‘ comes across more or less like this:
    - Do not try actively for sex, wait for your partner’s enthusiasm to arise.
    - It is always good not to have sex; it is sometimes OK to have it.
    - If you have any doubts, refrain.
    - If you have no doubts, worry, check, and check again.
    - For good measure ask once more, and continue to monitor your partner for signs of flagging enthusiasm.

    For women as a group ‘enthusastic consent’ is great. It means getting rid of the pressure and being free to have sex as and when they decide – there will generally be a willing man around. For men it means at best accepting that sex is something where their desires do not matter and there is nothing they can do but wait humbly for the favour of the goddess to manifest. At worst it means that their desires are in themselves wrong, an imposition.

    Now I have obviously exaggerated a bit for effect here. But before anybody tells me that I have completely misunderstood ‘enthusiastic consent’, let me point to some evidence:
    First, the discussion on Feminism 201, which shows clearly the endless talking and soul-searching, the person-to-person work, the worry, and the missed opportunities that come because you are never quite sure that your partner is really sufficiently entusiastic.
    Second, the term itself. A phrase like ‘enthusiastic consent’ will always be taken to mean (also) that your partner should be visibly panting with enthusiasm and that anything else is wrong. As I am sure the coiners of the term were well aware. If you want people to understand your proposal differently, no theoretical elaboration will suffice: you need to call it something else.

  333. 333
    Raging Bee

    Sorry fellas but “Teach boys not to rape” has got to be one of the most offensive campaign slogans I have ever seen in my entire life.

    Seriously? You’re offended by the idea of teaching boys about right and wrong behavior? If that’s the case, then your opinion is utterly worthless in any responsible adult discourse.

    It’s no wonder boys are growing up feeling worthless when they’re portrayed as potentially eval from the outset.

    How is teaching people not to do bad things “portraying them as potentially evil?”

    Read the following words of a real man in the real world, number-twit: as a man who started out as a boy (with or without that “female brain” you were whining about earlier), I can say, from personal experience and that of many other real men I’ve heard from, that your brand of self-righteous stupidity is of absolutely no use to men or boys dealing with real injustice. Morons like you do NOT represent men’s legitimate interests, you do NOT understand what men deal with or why they end up dealing with it, you do NOT care about such issues at all, and you do NOT have anything worthwhile to offer to any significant number of men or boys to improve any part of our lives. So please stop gumming up decent blog posts like this with your asinine self-important yammerings. Fuck off and die. You’re an embarrassment to men and boys who already have enough embarrassment to deal with, thankyouverymuch.

  334. 334
    Gjenganger

    Hi, Ally:

    A final point of disagreement (still from point 6) is on outlawing physical punishment. From a gender politics point of view there is nothing wrong with this. It is simply a bad idea.

    Major violence agaist children is clearly wrong, but that is illegal already, and rightly so. The kind of slaps that are still legal are certainly not good, either for the child or as a means of discipline, but it is not a serious crime with serious effects. Basically it is bad parenting, like feeding your kids on chips and icecream, or dumping them in front of the TV six hours a day, but we do not call in the police for bad parenting. Anyway, parents can do their children much worse harm without ever laying hands on them or doing anything that the law could possibly prosecute. Parenting is a stressful and demanding task, and many people do it badly, but except for the most extreme cases the results are still better than what you could achieve in a care home. Until we get to the point where we should consider putting the children into care, we should let parents get on with it with the resources they have and the good sense God gave them. By all means help them and exhort them to avoid violence, but calling in the law on an already stressed family is as like to make things worse as to make them better.

    There are other problems with your proposal. Odds are that half or more of all families will hit their child at least once. Bringing in a law that you know most people will break is not good. It can bring the law into disrespect, and it leaves a situation where most people get away with breaking the law, and people are punished only because they are unlucky or because the authorities are out to get them for some other reason. To be sure the principle works for traffic offenses, but the punishment for speeding is fairly minor, you only lose your license after repeated offenses, and the social penalty is fairly mild. For hitting your child the situation would be very different.

    The following anecdote (from memory, a newspaper some years ago) illustrates the problem: A father is taking his 5 yr (?) daughter to casualty with some kind of broken tooth problem. She gets hysterical, refuses to cooperate, refuses to open her mouth, and generallly makes it impossible to help her. At some point, presumably during a break in the proceedings, her father loses it, takes her into a corner, and gives her a quite serious spanking. Which is clearly wrong, likely even the father would agree. Anyway, he is observed by a nurse who reports him to the police. The police investigates, prohibiting him from returning to his home and family while the investigation goes on. After six months or so he is given a non-custodial sentence and allowed to return home. Meanwhile his employers have heard about the matter, and since he works as a teacher, he is fired as unfit to teach. All in all the action of the authorities has taken the father away from his daughter for six months, has left him unemployed and without a salary, with the daughter unavoidably suspecting that it is all her fault. Have the authorities not done much more damage to that girl than a single spanking could ever do?

  335. 335
    CitymanMichael

    Brilliant post. Certainly made me think from different angle to the bias which I believe exists against men & boys.

    Most MRA’s could see the positivity in Ally’s proposals but they also can see the futility in trying to get any one of these proposals onto the manifesto of any of the mainstream political parties. eg., the Tories had in their manifesto to give anonymity to rape accused and quickly changed their mind once in power. It appears that the feminists lobby with their max demographic vote (or the threat of) call the shots. I also remember Ken Clarke daring to suggest that a 16 year old boy having sex with his 15 year old girlfriend was a “different” rape to a balaclaved stranger raping a woman. He very quickly had to eat his words.

    So my question is how will any of the mainstream parties put men & boys legitimate needs to the forefront without any pressure whatsoever.
    At any rate, I thank Ally for this contribution.

  336. 336
    Raging Bee

    Point 6 is the one place where I think you are sacrificing the interests of men for the interests of women.

    I just reread point #6, and found nothing that fit that description. You have no clue what you’rea talking about.

    For women as a group ‘enthusastic consent’ is great. It means getting rid of the pressure and being free to have sex as and when they decide – there will generally be a willing man around. For men it means at best accepting that sex is something where their desires do not matter and there is nothing they can do but wait humbly for the favour of the goddess to manifest.

    Oh GROW THE FUCK UP ALREADY! Yes, men have to make an effort to make women want to have sex with us. It’s part of life. Quit being such a disgusting crybaby and deal with it ferfucksake. If you want to get laid but don’t want to make any effort, then either you need to go elsewhere and find women who are more worth your effort (that’s how you make your desires matter, dumbfuck!), or you need to really rethink your priorities.

    Seriously, boy, do you really think we should scrap the principle of enthusiastic consent just so losers like you can…what…bother women at random without having to hear them say no? Do you even have any idea what specific ideal outcome you’re pushing for here?

  337. 337
    Raging Bee

    First, the discussion on Feminism 201, which shows clearly the endless talking and soul-searching, the person-to-person work, the worry, and the missed opportunities that come because you are never quite sure that your partner is really sufficiently entusiastic.

    If that’s how your dating strategy is going, then you’re wasting time with the wrong women. It’s supposed to be FUN, dumbass — you know, find a woman you ENJOY being with, and who ENJOYS being with you, so then you’ll both want to have sex for that reason. If your dates are that stressful, it’s probably because you’re wasting time with women who look best (or rather, who best conform to your received standards of beauty), without regard for more important things like personality compatibility or shared interests.

    And what the FUCK is that bit about “missed opportunities?” Are you complaining about having to spend time chatting up one woman while seeing other women who you think might be easier? What do you want, a stable full of chicks waiting for YOUR approval?

  338. 338
    karmakin

    @Raging Bee #335 Not to speak for someone else, but yesterday I did a bunch of reading on a thread that went over some of the stuff that Gjenganger is talking about. I think he’s confused on some things…overstating the notion of Enthusiastic Consent (It doesn’t involve constant asking or require any sort of vocal consent), although I will admit that’s something that’s done on both sides.

    A better way of putting it is that it’s a conflict between an “ask system” and an “act system” of dating. That is, you’re with someone, do you ask someone if you want to kiss them, or do you make physical moves toward it? Generally speaking what is meant when the feminist community talks about enthusiastic consent they’re actually talking about an Ask system. That’s what we enjoy.

    Unfortunately, we’re a minority. (I use the word we in this case because I’m a male who by nature is more of an asker than an act-er although for the health of my relationship I had to alter this nature of me a bit)

    The problem, is that a majority of those who are initiated upon (and this is mostly women due to gender roles and all that) have a very negative response to askers. Or at least that’s the perception. It makes askers look weak and wimpy and non-sexual.

    So what we end up doing is that we’re demanding that people switch from one model to the other without doing ANYTHING to change the relative value of the market-place. The suggestion I saw, and I agree with it, is that for the ask system to be viable, there’s a responsibility to push back hard against “wimp-shaming”, which simply isn’t being done.

    Which is why I talked above about separating the spheres. This means recognizing that the person who is or desires being thoughtful and considerate in social activity can also be aggressive and overly confident in the sexual sphere.

  339. 339
    JT

    @Ally

    Dont you think Raging Bee has crossed over the line yet. The “real man“ seems to be raging for sure.

  340. 340
    Gjenganger

    @Karmakin 337
    Thanks.

    A better way of putting it is that it’s a conflict between an “ask system” and an “act system” of dating. That is, you’re with someone, do you ask someone if you want to kiss them, or do you make physical moves toward it?

    Very well put.

    So what we end up doing is that we’re demanding that people switch from one model to the other without doing ANYTHING to change the relative value of the market-place.

    If you can do that you will not need all the pressure and moralising. Once it is clear that asking will get you laid and trying it out will get you ignored, the rest will follow. Not sure how realistic that is, though.

    There is also another problem with ‘enthusiastic consent’, though. In any relationship it privileges the one who is least interested in sex. Arguments like “Look, we are married, we need to agree on things, should we not take my wishes into account sometimes too?” seem to be banished a priori.

  341. 341
    Raging Bee

    The problem, is that a majority of those who are initiated upon (and this is mostly women due to gender roles and all that) have a very negative response to askers. Or at least that’s the perception. It makes askers look weak and wimpy and non-sexual.

    Enthusiastic consent does not have to mean going all the way from 100% acting to 100% asking. Just be aware of your date’s face and body language, and of the overall mood between the two of you, and have a good general sense of what’s an appropriate step at a given instant (i.e., don’t grab her breast before she lets her body “melt” into yours, etc.); and when you “act” (i.e., lean forward to kiss her lips, move a hand toward her breast, whatever) do so slowly and not forcefully, and be ready to back off if she seems not to want it. It’s tricky and complicated, but it’s not THAT tricky. And yes, there will always be missteps — just as there missteps in all other aspects of human growth and social development.

    If these PUA wannabees are expecting a risk-free, rejection-free dating experience, it ain’t gonna happen. (And it wasn’t happening before “feminism” was a word either.)

  342. 342
    Raging Bee

    There is also another problem with ‘enthusiastic consent’, though. In any relationship it privileges the one who is least interested in sex.

    What’s your alternative — ignoring your partner’s lack of interest? You wouldn’t want some woman ignoring your lack of interest, would you?

    Arguments like “Look, we are married, we need to agree on things, should we not take my wishes into account sometimes too?” seem to be banished a priori.

    Where have you been? That ship sailed a long time ago when we agreed that sex was supposed to be fun and consensual, and marrying someone didn’t make him/her into just a fucktoy.

    Are you actually saying we should go back to the practice of not requiring mutual consent at all?

  343. 343
    Raging Bee

    …for the ask system to be viable, there’s a responsibility to push back hard against “wimp-shaming”, which simply isn’t being done.

    If that isn’t being done, it’s probably because it CAN’T be done. If a woman gets turned off because you ask her if she wants you to, say, grab her ass, then how, exactly, would you counter that?

  344. 344
    Gjenganger

    @341 Raging

    Are you actually saying we should go back to the practice of not requiring mutual consent at all?

    No, just that you should automatically look for a compromise that took account of the needs and desires of both sides. Like you do when deciding what to have for dinner, where to go on holiday, how to spend your evenings, …

  345. 345
    karmakin

    @340: See, I agree with that. But that’s not really the message that’s being sent.

    The problem is that people ARE demanding a risk-free dating/flirting scene. But it’s not the “PUA Wannabees” that are doing it. Rejection is always a risk in that. But when we escalate a misstep to the level of sexual assault, it undermines it all. When that happens, the message that is being sent is the demand for a 100% ask culture…and even that isn’t good enough because you might be wrong on if you should ask in the first place. (One thing that’s often ignored is that asking can be as creepy and violating as doing it).

    I do think that the “theme park” mentality that some people have regarding these situations…especially when alcohol is involved is quite privileged and entitled and it does a lot of harm to perceptions of human interactions.

  346. 346
    karmakin

    BTW, to get a little bit personal, here’s a better way to put what Gjenganger is saying. In my relationship, generally I’m expected to be the initiator. With my wife, the day to day living stuff can push sex out of the way..it’s not really on her mind. It’s not that she doesn’t want it, it’s just not what she’s thinking of. So it’s my job to push that stuff out of the way so she can enjoy it.

    When I ask verbally, it’s much easier for her to get bogged down with the day to day stuff and just give a quick no reaction….which is what she doesn’t want. When presented non-verbally (and more aggressively) it allows her to much easier push that stuff out of the way so she can enjoy herself.

    We did the other thing.

    We’re much happier now.

  347. 347
    Raging Bee

    No, just that you should automatically look for a compromise that took account of the needs and desires of both sides.

    Yes, and not having sex without explicit mutual consent is a perfectly reasonable part of any such compromise. There are other parts, of course, like addressing whatever problem may be causing a lack of desire — but none of that involves taking the principle of enthusiastic consent off the table.

  348. 348
    JT

    @Karmakin

    Its all about communicating and what works best for the couple. I, like you, used to always ask but that was not a good style of communicating for my wife. As she is less verbal than I we needed to find better ways to communicate with each other. An interesting read(not that I agree with all of it) is a book called the “The five love languages”. It really opened our eyes to how we receive love and give love. Very rarely do people do it the same way. :)

  349. 349
    Raging Bee

    The problem is that people ARE demanding a risk-free dating/flirting scene. But it’s not the “PUA Wannabees” that are doing it.

    It doesn’t matter who’s doing it — it just can’t happen, and it isn’t happening either. “Enthusiastic consent” does not make dating risk-free or rejection-free for women or for men.

  350. 350
    Gjenganger

    @Raging 346

    not having sex without explicit mutual consent is a perfectly reasonable part of any such compromise

    Mutual consent: obviously. Explicit consent: optional. By the time you also require enthusiasm it is no longer a compromise, but letting the party who wants sex least have it all her own way.

  351. 351
    karmakin

    @Raging Bee. 348: And that is why I call myself an egalitarian rather than a feminist or a MRA. (Although I lean to the feminist side). The feminist community pushes to make it risk-free for women, the MRA community pushes to make it risk-free for men.

    I think they’re all stupid.

  352. 352
    JT

    By the time you also require enthusiasm it is no longer a compromise, but letting the party who wants sex least have it all her own way.(Gjenganger)

    You do realize that sometimes the person who wants it least is the man? You might want that to read “all their own way” ;)

  353. 353
    karmakin

    And that’s why I was using initiator and initiated upon above. Even though it’s MOSTLY men in the former and women in the later, that’s not universal.

    Just as an aside…to make it even more complex. Even though as an initiator I’m more of an asker, when initiated upon I enjoy being more strongly acted upon.

    This stuff is COMPLICATED.

  354. 354
    Gjenganger

    @351 JT
    I do realise. But I put ‘her’ deliberately, since I think it is more often the woman, statistically.

    Also I learned my English back when you picked a suitable singular pronoun (usually ‘he’), and using ‘they’ to refer so a singluar noun was simply a grammatical error. That was changed, as part of a deliberate exercise of political conditioning. It is over and sone with, but that does not mean I have to collaborate.

  355. 355
    JT

    I do realise. But I put ‘her’ deliberately, since I think it is more often the woman, statistically.(Gjen)

    Ah statistics, those pesky things. Pisses me off when feminists use the same argument for using the male designation when talking about rape. Statistically they are probably correct but it is still an offensive generalization.

  356. 356
    Raging Bee

    Mutual consent: obviously. Explicit consent: optional. By the time you also require enthusiasm it is no longer a compromise, but letting the party who wants sex least have it all her own way.

    This statement is so fucking stupid and childishly simpleminded that I hardly know where to begin debunking it. I’ll just start by cutting the crap and saying that I’ve been in two long-term sexual relationships, and I know from my own experience that this statement is simply dead wrong. Full stop. The mere act of having to wait for consent (enthusiastic or otherwise) does not automatically mean either party “has it all his/her own way.” This is just an immature childish cry of “She’s getting everything her own way!!” the minute he stops getting everything HIS way. Seriously, boys, stop letting your dicks do your thinking for you, and start looking past your immediate physical desires — there’s a much bigger picture that you’re simply not seeing here.

    I do realise. But I put ‘her’ deliberately, since I think it is more often the woman, statistically.

    Given shat you’re saying about “her,” I’m pretty sure you’re using “her” deliberately because you would never apply the same principle to a man as you just applied to a woman.

    I think they’re all stupid.

    In other words, you’re running away from the issue by pretending both sides are same.

  357. 357
    JT

    In other words, you’re running away from the issue by pretending both sides are same(Bee)

    Nah, considering both sides can be equally stupid he confronts the issue head on. That is probably why Karmakin identifies more with being an equalitarian rather than an MRA or Feminist. ;)
    Now, you on the other hand. :)

  358. 358
    karmakin

    Hardly running away. And I don’t think both sides are the same in every way.

    I just happen to think that both sides do want to “free-roll” solutions and force the entirety of the fix on the other person. I happen to believe that the solutions to these problems are going to be wide-ranging and be large-scale cultural changes that everybody is going to have to sacrifice for.

  359. 359
    JT

    @Karmakin

    Bang on sir!

  360. 360
    Gjenganger

    @JT, karmakin
    I’m off for now. Thanks for sharing, and for making numerous points better than I could.

  361. 361
    JT

    See ya, my pleasure.

  362. 362
    123454321

    raging Bee 332

    nice tantrum. you sound like a snotty little teenager with a lot to learn.

    nice shaming tactics too. shame that you wast so much time ….water off of a duck’s back and all that….

    I don’t wish for you to die. Just to grow up. Sad, so sad…

  363. 363
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Ragind Bee,

    I’ve read some of the comments against enthusiastic consent and I’ve formed some opinions about the commenters.

    The guys arguing with you about enthusiastic consent are arguing that they should be able to fuck a woman whether she likes it or not. I wouldn’t waste anymore time on them. They see time spent talking to a woman that does not end in them using her as a masturbatory aid as time wasted. In fact, they seem to feel cheated that the women around them are not mindless pussy dispensers. While I commend your ability to remain in this thread despite the toxic levels of misogyny, I don’t think you’ll sway them. They can’t wrap their heads around the idea that women are people. Of course they don’t think boys should be taught not to rape. I don’t think they see much besides stranger in the bushes rape as rape at all. They see a woman having the ability to decline sex she doesn’t want and enjoy the sex she has as some sort of horrible oppression of men. They think they are owed sexual service on demand. This is chilling. More and more I suspect that they are personally invested in expanding the so called “gray areas” in rape and putting the onus of preventing rape on the potential victims. That combined with their views on how women should be systematically disadvantaged has me entirely squicked out.

  364. 364
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    JT @256

    You think that you should have the right to tell another person she must endure a forced pregnancy and birth in order for you to have equality?

    You are goofy as a peach orchard boar.

    You are arguing that you have should have control over a woman’s body, but you don’t think you’re a misogynist?

  365. 365
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Domestic crisis centers do house men too. I have volunteered for a couple of them locally. While women may be housed in the existing shelter and men are put up in hotel rooms, the same services are provided. In fact, as the men get their own private rooms and women sleep 10 to a room, I’d hardly call the men disadvantaged.

    Rape Crisis Centers also provide aid to men.

  366. 366
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    Mike B,
    That was a load of horseshit. You’re denial is noted and completely expected.

  367. 367
    lelapaletute

    Raging Bee: Your points would carry a lot more weight if you left out the incoherent, abusive ranting. It’s boring, it’s counterproductive, it is often completely undeserved and it is beneath this blog and this subject matter. For god’s sake, knock it off.

    Gjenganger: Still on this hobby-horse, then? You really are one day going to have to explain to me how having sex with someone you know full well doesn’t desire it; is not enjoying it; wishes they weren’t doing it; are actively hoping for the moment you get done so it will be over with; BUT, critically, has either explicitly or tacitly consented/submitted for one of a range of other reasons (sense of obligation/pity, browbeaten into it by constant nagging, guilt) is anything other than catastrophically unarousing, or at very least how it is superior to a wank if release is all you crave rather than any kind of shared experience. Unless, of course, what you get off on is the power of getting someone do something they don’t want to do. You have hitherto claimed that this is ‘a guy thing’ that women don’t understand. Any other men out there support this view, and can explain why this kind of sex could be in any way desirable/preferable to a wank?

    Enthusiastic consent doesn’t mean they have to be screaming imprecations of lust and encouragement from the chandeliers; it just means that both parties have to want the encounter to take place (for whatever reason) and for this to be clear. Is that really so very much to ask? Yes, it may result in less sex happening; but the sex that would be happening would be better sex, because it would be wanted sex. To make up the sex shortfall (whoever is experiencing it), there is the gift of wanking, and goodness knows there is enough paraphernalia available now to facilitate any physical sensation you require to get you off; why is a fundamentally unwilling but temporarily quiescent woman requisite?

  368. 368
    123454321

    Jackie 362

    That was one huge pile of dinosaur shit that you just laid in one paragraph. there is so much wrong with it I wouldn’t know where to start.

    I don’t know of one single MRA who hates women. The toxicity emanates from people like you and your damaging agenda of misandry.

  369. 369
    Ally Fogg

    Gjenganger 331

    One minor point is the continuation of the campaign on ‘violence agaist women and girls‘. In a genderless campaign against violence, a strong voice that treats men as perpetrators and women and girls as victims (why not ‘women and children‘? what have boys done to be excluded?) is going to be both divisive and counterproductive.

    I disagree. I think any public education efforts (including education of children) should acknowledge that there are many different forms of violence, that happen for different reasons, with different supposed justifications etc etc etc.

    And social / judicial / penal policies also have to recognise that the motivations and psychological origins for sexual violence, for example, are not the same as the motivations for football hooliganism, and even that the motivations and psychology of a male date rapist are likely to be different to the motivations and psychology of a woman who sexually abuses her stepson…. or whatever other combinations.

    My point is that a lot of the work (not all, but some) that is done on issues like domestic violence against women is good and I have no wish to abolish it. It’s just that there is so much else we could do as well.

  370. 370
    Ally Fogg

    Gjenganger 333

    I profoundly disagree.

    I’m not for a moment suggesting our courts and prisons should be full of parents who have given their toddlers a slap for running across a road without looking. The public interest bar at which someone is liable to prosecution should be set reasonably high.

    What outlawing physical punishment would do would be to move the goalposts. Those who give their kids an inconsequential little slap provide the context and justification for those who beat them black and blue.

    Outlawing violence against children would make a strong social and political statement that violence is not acceptable. No ifs, no buts, no excuses. Then the parent who does beat their kid black and blue can’t turn around and say “Oh it was only a wee slap, it will do him good.”

    There are a lot of countries in Europe that have done this. None have found their prisons full of decent parents. All have seen a significant reduction in usage physical punishment and physical abuse.

  371. 371
    123454321

    Ally,

    Ok, so based on your statement there, you would have no objection to a campaign slogan “end violence against men and boys” ?

    So long as there were supposed justifications, which there are, and that nothing was demised with respect to the female campaign. It should be ok, yes?

  372. 372
    123454321

    “Oh it was only a wee slap, it will do him good.”

    Ally, do you think you could have written “Oh it was only a wee slap, it will do her good.” without feeling uncomfortable?

    Don’t get all defensive. I have a point, don’t I !

  373. 373
    Paul

    The government should ban the smacking of children but i’m uneasy with the prospect of parents being criminalized for giving their kids a slap on the back of the legs as a last resort once every blue moon.And whilst i think children should be cherished they still need to be disciplined from time to time.And some parents feel unable to discipline their children even in non-physical ways for fear it’ll be viewed by the authorities as being abuse.

    Children can be highly manipulative and extremely adept at playing mum off against dad and parents off against teachers etc etc. So the adult world needs to sort itself out not only with regard to how children should be disciplined but also as to what constitutes abuse.

    The following link has been doing the rounds on the net and shows a boy on a London bus really pushing his luck with his mum and threatening to report her to the police and social services when she tells him he’s not going to like it when they get home.And parents from all backgrounds are up against variations of this sort of challenging behaviour from their children on a daily basis.And children do threaten their parents with violence and actually subject them to violence -which is a problem which isn’t often openly discussed in this country. Although in some cases i think parents who’re physically assaulted by their children are simply reaping what they’ve sown and their children are giving them payback.

    There is a problem in our society with children from all blackgrounds being abused physically,sexually,emotionally and verbally by those who’re supposed to be caring for them.And sometimes this abuse is passed down the generations.And it needs to be stopped.and banning the smacking of children is a step in the right direction in bringing that about. But parents need support ,understanding and in some cases practical help in order to help them effectively discipline their children when they step out of line.What they don’t need is an omnipresent fear of being criminalised and a situation where their children are the ones calling the shots.

    Anyway here’s the vid showing what some British parents are up against with their children.

  374. 374
    mildlymagnificent

    No, just that you should automatically look for a compromise that took account of the needs and desires of both sides. Like you do when deciding what to have for dinner, where to go on holiday, how to spend your evenings, …

    Yup. Talk about it.

  375. 375
    JT

    You are arguing that you have should have control over a woman’s body, but you don’t think you’re a misogynist?(Jackie)

    Thats a fancy word there Jackie. Misogynist, hmmm, Im curious, do you even know what it means?

  376. 376
    JT

    @366

    Lelapaletute have you never consented to sex and been less than enthusiastic about it but you did it because you loved your partner? I know I have, my wife browbeats me into it every once and a while. ;)

  377. 377
    mildlymagnificent

    The following link has been doing the rounds on the net and shows a boy on a London bus really pushing his luck with his mum and threatening to report her to the police and social services when she tells him he’s not going to like it when they get home.

    Which just goes to show how inadequate some parenting approaches are. That video shows a child who’s never learned how to behave. Whatever techniques this family has been using have turned out to be abject failures.

    I remember when we were looking to choose a primary school for our eldest. The conversation with the principal got around to corporal punishment, because at that time it was still legal in schools but not used. The principal said he’d never used it either at school or at home. He used the example of one father who was transferring his 10/11 yr old son. He exhorted the school to hit the kid – that was the way to get him to behave. The principal wanted to know why the father was still hitting the kid. If the method was so successful, how come the kid hadn’t learnt good behaviour after 10 years of this?

    That behaviour on the bus? Waaaay back when the child was a toddler or early primary, behaviour like that with me or my husband would have resulted in getting off the bus at the next stop then waiting for another bus – which would only be used if the child had agreed to behave all the way home. Say what you mean and mean what you say – and do it right from the start.

    This family has obviously mucked it up in some way. Allowing or encouraging them to further muck it up by adding corporal punishment into the mix is a very bad move.

    I might add, I’m a fairly strong supporter of the occasional, very occasional, smack on a toddler’s fingers when they’re too near a hot stove or other dangerous household equipment – including the bathroom taps. But this kind of warning cannot work effectively if the child is also smacked for non-life-threatening occasions. It dilutes the message.

  378. 378
    JT

    @372

    Paul, I think you might appreciate this. :)

  379. 379
    Suido

    Every time I come to Ally’s blog, I wonder at how MRAs would have been as suffragettes. Because if they get this mad at the injustices they see for men today, they would have been unbelievable firebrands if they’d been born over a hundred years ago and of the other gender.

    Or, you know, it’s much easier to be a downtrodden, angry male these days than it was to be a woman in those days because feminists don’t hold a candle to men as sexists, historically.

    Great post Ally. I’ve had a few arguments around FtB about point 10, and I agree with you 100% on the issue. Given the current cultural paradigms, pushing circumcision underground will cause more harm than allowing it to be done by medical professionals. Until there is support from within Jewish and Muslim communities, a ban is the wrong tactic.

  380. 380
    Tamen

    Ally
    I have a comment trapped in moderation – it’s located between comment @320 and @321. Is the content objectionable or has it been trapped in the spam-trap (it unsurprisingly perhaps contains a few links).

    I waited to ask until I’ve saw you make a comment in this thread after I wrote that comment.

  381. 381
    Ally Fogg

    12345etc

    “Ok, so based on your statement there, you would have no objection to a campaign slogan “end violence against men and boys” ?”

    I have no problem with that slogan whatsoever. I’m not really a slogan kinda guy, but I have written similar sentences many a time.

    Ally, do you think you could have written “Oh it was only a wee slap, it will do her good.” without feeling uncomfortable?

    The sentence I wrote did make me uncomfortable. That’s my whole point.

  382. 382
    Ally Fogg

    Just a general point about the enthusiastic consent debate, which I have been staying well out of…

    I think it is a mistake to imagine that calls for enthusiastic consent (and similar phrases such as “Yes means Yes” ) are purely an onus upon men to restrain their behaviour.

    One aspect to it that hasn’t been discussed here is that an enthusiastic consent model requires women (as a generalisation) to change their behaviour too – to challenge their own coyness, traditional feminine decorum and be more upfront about their desires, wishes and needs. That’s the other side of the bargain, if you like. And it is not necessarily easy for women.

    This is why arguments for enthusiastic consent have to be taken as part of a package that also challenges slut-shaming and traditional gender roles in sex and a broader sex-positive agenda.

  383. 383
    lelapaletute

    @JT (376):

    Lelapaletute have you never consented to sex and been less than enthusiastic about it but you did it because you loved your partner?

    I have, on several occasions, consented to sex I did not want, if that is your question. It was not done out of love (as I find it hard to encompass a definition of love that includes lying to your partner about your sexual feelings, or them not caring about those feelings). It hasn’t happened for a long, long time now, thank heavens, precisely because I have been in a loving, healthy relationship with a man who knows the difference between good sex and bad sex. Where I have had sex I did not want, it has generally been when I was in a bad, unhealthy relationship with a selfish person whol lacked any kind of empathy, and our sex life was one of the major symptoms of a general theme in which he disregarded my feelings and actively manipulated my vulnerabilities to get what he wanted, when he wanted. What can I say? I was young and stupid, as I’m sure we all have been from time to time.

    On one separate occasion, outside of a relationship, it was because the highly ‘persistent’ individual involved would not let me leave the room we were in without me having made a scene I did not feel confident enough to make. It was all very ‘playful’, grabbing my hand, hugging me, falling on his knees in front of the door etc, whilst continuously begging for sex and refusing to take my repeated ‘no’ for a final, definitive answer. After this had gone on for the best part of two hours, after a long and difficult evening, to be honest I was so exhausted and frustrated I gave in just to be able to go to sleep. To this day, he probably doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Whereas while I don’t consider it rape, it is a memory that makes me shudder to this day, and I will never understand how he can have enjoyed an act I so clearly did not want and so clearly did not enjoy. In all other of our interactions he had seemed like a thoroughly decent guy.

    I know I have, my wife browbeats me into it every once and a while.

    I’m sorry to hear that. When I’m not interested, my partner doesn’t pressure me. Likewise, when he’s not interested, I don’t pressure him. We consider this a better expression of our love and respect for one another than having mechanical sex on demand. Fortunately, we tend to enjoy mutual interest often enough that a problem doesn’t arise :P

    When my libido did temporarily go MIA for a month or two, I was just as concerned as he was, if not more so. I did have sex then, as and when he was willing, in spite of my innate disinclination, but this was a personal quest to try and locate my missing mojo, not as a result of feeling any pressure from him. Eventually I worked out that the pill I was on was the culprit, and changed it – problem solved!

    An alternative story from my past, to put paid to Gjenganger’s canard that women withhold and allow, and men pursue and request. In a previous relationship, my then boyfriend lost all interest in having sex with me. I was more immature then than I am now, and took it pretty personally, but I still didn’t think emotional blackmail or pressure was a constructive way to address the issue. I sat down with him one night, and asked him why he thought we weren’t sleeping together any more, and f there was anything I could do to help him feel more comfortable about it. Turned out, he had fallen out of love with me but didn’t know how to tell me, and had felt bad having sex with me when I wasn’t in full possession of these facts. We talked it all out, broke up cordially, and the anxiety I had been feeling about his disinterest evaporated.

    I do not understand how bullying or guilting your partner into sex is anything other than selfish, demeaning, and a collossal turn-off both parties. Sex isn’t something one person has and the other one wants; it’s something you do together.

    Am aware that is probably a slightly heavier answer than you were looking for :P It is worth bearing in mind when having these conversations that rare is the woman who hasn’t been (or won’t be) raped or sexually assaulted at some point; even rarer is the woman who has not got a traumatic memory of being heavily pressured to have sex they didn’t want at some stage. From the statistics some on these threads are throwing around, rare is the man likewise. So it might be a good idea not to directly ask people about their personal experiences when discussing general issues unless they have volunteered this information already, to avoid triggering. Just a tip, not a scold.

  384. 384
    Gjenganger

    @Ally Fogg 382

    I think it is a mistake to imagine that calls for enthusiastic consent (and similar phrases such as “Yes means Yes” ) are purely an onus upon men to restrain their behaviour.
    One aspect to it that hasn’t been discussed here is that an enthusiastic consent model requires women (as a generalisation) to change their behaviour too

    OK, I had missed that. It may well be that once we have as new heaven and a new earth and mankind has been remade in Richard Dawkins’ image, ehthusiastic consent will be a perfectly appropriate way of managing our sexual behaviour. Meanwhile I tend to concentrate on the aspects that apply in the here and now, which is asking men for restraint.

    If both men and women have to make major changes to their behaviour first, it might take a while before we got there, though. Would it not make more sense to begin with some rules for sexual behaviour that suit the people we actually have around, rather than the ones we will have once we achieve Utopia?

  385. 385
    Gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 367, 383

    Still on this hobby-horse, then?

    Yes, miss. Sorry miss.

    You really are one day going to have to explain to me how having sex with
    someone you know full well doesn’t desire it; [...] is anything other than
    catastrophically unarousing, or at very least how it is superior to a wank if
    release is all you crave rather than any kind of shared experience.

    What can I say? I have a strong preference for sex over abstinence, and for
    women over rubber dolls and washrags. You think I am wrong in this, and should
    rate rubber dolls much more highly, compared to women. Your opinion is noted.

    I do not understand how bullying or guilting your partner into sex is anything
    other than selfish, demeaning, and a collossal turn-off both parties.

    Low level bullying, guilting etc., however deplorable, are common currency in
    relationships. The problem is that people have conflicts, and when selfless love
    fails to yield an acceptable result, they resort to other tactics. When the
    conflict is over cleaning up the house or finally inviting your mother-in-law
    over for a visit, nobody finds it strange if people sometimes apply a good deal
    of pressure. Sex, for some reason, is expected to be the only area of human
    endeavour where blissful love always reigns supreme.

  386. 386
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger:

    If both men and women have to make major changes to their behaviour first, it might take a while before we got there, though. Would it not make more sense to begin with some rules for sexual behaviour that suit the people we actually have around, rather than the ones we will have once we achieve Utopia?

    But how do you begin to change behaviour without instituting rules, customs or expectations that promote the desired behaviour? Moreover, the principle of enthusaistic consent works well for most people having enthusiastically consensual sex. The only people so far who take issue with it do so on behalf of those people who have difficulties obtaining enthusiastic consent. I really don’t feel there is much that can be done about that, as social policy doesn’t (and in my opinion, shouldn’t) extend to facilitating people to pull. There is no statutory or human right to a minimum amount of sex.

  387. 387
    Gjenganger

    @Ally Fogg 369

    My point is that a lot of the work (not all, but some) that is done on issues like domestic violence against women is good and I have no wish to abolish it. It’s just that there is so much else we could do as well.

    Sounds about right to me.

  388. 388
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger:

    Yes miss. Sorry miss.

    That’s Ms. to you, thank you very much :P (joke, joke!)

    What can I say? I have a strong preference for sex over abstinence, and for
    women over rubber dolls and washrags. You think I am wrong in this, and should
    rate rubber dolls much more highly, compared to women. Your opinion is noted.

    I don’t think anything of the kind. I just don’t think your preference for flesh over synthetics, and other people’s flesh over that of your own hand, has any bearing on your obligation to treat the women you want to have sex with as people, and thus prioritise their being conscious and consenting before you have sex with them, unlike the rubber dolls and dishrags, to whom you may do as you please. I find your equation of the two categories as being on a sliding scale of options a trifle disconcerting in the context of this discussion.

    Low level bullying, guilting etc., however deplorable, are common currency in
    relationships. The problem is that people have conflicts, and when selfless love
    fails to yield an acceptable result, they resort to other tactics.

    Yes, but they shouldn’t be, is the point. And how do we stop this behaviour without first acknowledging that it is wrong?

    When the conflict is over cleaning up the house or finally inviting your mother-in-law
    over for a visit, nobody finds it strange if people sometimes apply a good deal
    of pressure.

    Actually I do, and we have discussed my proposed alternatives to nagging and bullying in these situations many times. We don’t HAVE to accept mutual manipulation as the only way of managing relationships just because it’s common practice at present.

    Sex, for some reason, is expected to be the only area of human endeavour where blissful love always reigns supreme.

    I think it is particularly important to remove manipulation from sex because it involves using people’s bodies, which I do not regard as seperable from their selves. It doesn’t have to be left to serendipity – it is possible to work at it (together) without one party bullying the other. It’s called dialogue.

  389. 389
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 386
    In other words “Enthusiastic consent works well for lots of people like me”. I could turn this around on you:

    The principle of ‘no means no’ works perfectly well for most people who set their own sexual limits. The only people so far who take issue with it do so on behalf of those people who have difficulty deciding and saying what they do not want. I don’t feel there is much that can be done about that as social policy cannot (and, in my opinion should not) extend to facilitating people who cannot make up their minds and then blame other people for the results. There is no statutory or human right to avoid being propositioned.
    Not that I would ever say anything like this, but I hope it makes my point.

    Thanks for ‘on behalf of’, by the way. A lot of people might have left that out (or worse).

  390. 390
    Gjenganger

    We don’t HAVE to accept mutual manipulation as the only way of managing relationships just because it’s common practice at present.

    Who says it is the only way? I try to avoid it too. I just think the practice is unavoidable, and we might as well take that calmly.

    Anyway, leaving it to mutual simultaneous desire can work for sex, but only because you have decided (arbitrarilly, in my opinion) that in case of disagreement, the party who does not want sex automatially takes precedence. It would not work for washing up – unless you decided that it was immoral to expect people to wash up when they were not enthusiastic about it, and you should therefore leave the dishes mouldering in the sink until such a time as enthusiasm appeared.

  391. 391
    lelapaletute

    The principle of ‘no means no’ works perfectly well for most people who set their own sexual limits. The only people so far who take issue with it do so on behalf of those people who have difficulty deciding and saying what they do not want. I don’t feel there is much that can be done about that as social policy cannot (and, in my opinion should not) extend to facilitating people who cannot make up their minds and then blame other people for the results. There is no statutory or human right to avoid being propositioned.
    Not that I would ever say anything like this, but I hope it makes my point.

    Except that moves the goalposts quite substantially in the course of the argument. Yes, ‘no means no’ is a good policy. ‘Yes means yes’ is a better one, as it deals with the grey area of someone being propositioned (no problem there) and saying no; being asked to reconsider, and saying no (kind of invalidates the whole ‘no means no’ thing, but ok); being nagged, pestered and guilt-tripped to change their mind, and then for a range of reasons (fear, guilt, shame, frustration, boredom, desire to be left in peace) eventually submit (not really ok at all, if not always straightforwardly illegal).

    This is not ‘not being able to make up their minds’; this is making up their minds and their made-up mind then being disregarded, called into question, resisted and pushed against. And their is a statutory right not to be harassed. And a moral obligation not to harrass.

    Obviously this trajectory could lead up to rape if followed further along. It won’t in all cases, or even most, but it’s part of the pattern of thought: that women (and men) can and should and must be persuaded, cajoled and coerced into sex they do not want if some other party wants it enough.

    And you’re welcome for the ‘on behalf of’.

  392. 392
    Gjenganger

    @lelapaletute 388

    We don’t HAVE to accept mutual manipulation as the only way of managing relationships just because it’s common practice at present.

    Who says it should be the only way? I try to avoid it too. I just think we might as well accept calmly that it is not going to go away.

    Anyway, mutual, simultaneous desire only works for sex because you have decided (arbitrarily, in my opinion) that when there is a conflict the person who does not want sex takes absolute precedence and may not be challenged. It would not work for washing up – unles you decided that it was immoral to ask opeople ot wash up when they did not feel like it, and you should therefore leave the dishes mouldering in the sink until such a time as enthusiastic desire manifested itself.

  393. 393
    lelapaletute

    Anyway, leaving it to mutual simultaneous desire can work for sex, but only because you have decided (arbitrarilly, in my opinion) that in case of disagreement, the party who does not want sex automatially takes precedence. It would not work for washing up – unless you decided that it was immoral to expect people to wash up when they were not enthusiastic about it, and you should therefore leave the dishes mouldering in the sink until such a time as enthusiasm appeared.

    The difference is, the party most enthusiastic about the washing up can do it unilaterally. Not so sex. This is, I think the crucial difference you are not understanding because you seem to think of sex as an abstract thing women dispense, as opposed to an activity a couple undertakes together. Not wanting to have sex is more like not wanting to go salsa dancing when your partner does, or going off it after years of happy salsa dancing together. It could cause problems in the relationship, but it is not a domestic chore that needs to be completed by one person or another.

    A partner can of course also decide they don’t want to have to do the washing up by themselves all or even most of the time, and make this clear to their partner, and ask for them to do their part, and (if it is important enough to them) make it a relationship-critical deal breaker. You could do all this with sex too (and salsa dancing!), if your partner is not enthusiastic enough about it to meet your needs. It would not be appropriate to get on your partner’s case every night about the washing up you know they don’t want to do, to stand over them and demand they do it, etc etc.

  394. 394
    Gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 386
    I dodged an important question here:

    But how do you begin to change behaviour without instituting rules, customs or expectations that promote the desired behaviour?

    True, but by and large I think you have a duty to start where you are and change things stepwise, taking people with you as you go. Not design a new and completely different society and try to impose it on a bemused world. To me it brings communism to mind: FIrst you create the Soviet Union. Then you create Soviet Man, who will be happy and productive within the framework of the Soviet Union. Then you have the Workers Paradise, and everybody is full of joy. It did not work like that, didi it?

    But then, Unlike you, I think the effects of ‘enthusiastic consent’ are going to be stifling rather than liberating for lots of people, until such a time as we have all changed our natures to fit the new rules.

  395. 395
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger

    Who says it is the only way? I try to avoid it too. I just think the practice is unavoidable, and we might as well take that calmly.

    And why do you think the practice is unavoidable? People used to think caning children was unavoidable to enforce discipline in schools. Then we stopped doing it and the world failed to collapse.

  396. 396
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger

    But then, Unlike you, I think the effects of ‘enthusiastic consent’ are going to be stifling rather than liberating for lots of people, until such a time as we have all changed our natures to fit the new rules.

    As, indeed, I’m sure some teachers felt stifled when they were no longer able to beat unruly children into submission, and had to learn new ways of gaining respect and authority in the classroom. I’m afraid when people have what they previosuly considered a right questioned or taken away from them (in this case, the right to demand sex from unwilling people) they will feel ‘stifled’. But they’re not, they’re just making room for the rights of other people. Think of it like having a whole two seat bench on a bus to yourself, then having to pull your knees in to accomodate another passenger. It feels like you’re squashed, but you’re actually not, and you’ll get used to it before you get to your stop.

  397. 397
    lelapaletute

    Now trying to think if I can extend this metaphor to accomodate ‘baggage’… :P I really should be banned by law from metaphors and similes, I use them far too much to make my points and it can be pretty distracting and inaccurate. Sorry!

  398. 398
    CitymanMichael

    It is generally believed & biologically common sense that men use intimacy to get sex and women use sex to get intimacy

  399. 399
    Gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 393
    Well, to my mind, either “I will not wash up so if you want clean dishes you have to do it” or “I will say nothing, but if your spontaneous desire for sex does not improve I will dump you” are quite as strong and nasty power moves as continuous nagging. And ultimately either one or the other has to be available as a way of handling conflicts.

    BTW I would disagree with

    sex as an abstract thing women dispense

    Statistically, I think current gender roles (and biology), tend to put men as the person who tries and women as those who say yes or no more often than the other way around. It happens to fit with my personal experience, which may show sometimes in my choice of words, but it is obviously individual. Either sex could have the role of naysayer, and lots of lucky buggers manage their mutual enthusiams without this kind of conflict. It is the statistics and the gender roles that makes this into a gender policy issue, not the principles.

    Finally this is getting like a bunch of law firms. Each of your posts give rise to three answering posts from me, and vice versa. Unless you write something that just cries out to be answered, I shall leave you coming set of posts standing.

  400. 400
    JT

    It is worth bearing in mind when having these conversations that rare is the woman who hasn’t been (or won’t be) raped or sexually assaulted at some point; even rarer is the woman who has not got a traumatic memory of being heavily pressured to have sex they didn’t want at some stage. From the statistics some on these threads are throwing around, rare is the man likewise. So it might be a good idea not to directly ask people about their personal experiences when discussing general issues unless they have volunteered this information already, to avoid triggering. Just a tip, not a scold.(Lelapaletute)

    I tend to view individuals from the survivor lense rather than the victim one. I believe people have enough agency to understand what will or will not trigger them and don’t personally don’t put that onus on others. As far as the sex thing goes. There are times when we engage in sex not because its mutually physically satisfying but because we love our partners and wish them enjoyment. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing event. ;)
    Isnt it wonderful how we all express our love and respect for our partners in such different and rewarding ways. Im glad your program works for you and your significant other. :)

  401. 401
    Gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 396
    One more

    As, indeed, I’m sure some teachers felt stifled when they were no longer able to beat unruly children into submission, and had to learn new ways of gaining respect and authority in the classroom

    Sure. Likewise peasants felt stifled when encosure removed their access to common land, and Arab Israelis felt stifled when the country they lived in was transformed into an explicitly Jewish state. You feel stifled when you are forced to lose space to other people. Whether the change is right or wrong, good or bad, is an entirely different question.

  402. 402
    Gjenganger

    @400 JT.
    So well said. Again.

  403. 403
    Raging Bee

    Oh, did I shame you, number-crank? If that’s the case, it’s probably not my “shaming tactics,” it’s your shameful behavior.

    I don’t know of one single MRA who hates women.

    After all the raw sewage we’ve been smelling from MRAs, at least since 2011, you really expect us to take a statement like that seriously? If you’re going for “plausible deniability” here, you need to work on being plausible.

  404. 404
    lelapaletute

    @ JT: fair point re triggering, and I am likewise delighted for you and yours!

    @Gjenganger:

    Well, to my mind, either “I will not wash up so if you want clean dishes you have to do it” or “I will say nothing, but if your spontaneous desire for sex does not improve I will dump you” are quite as strong and nasty power moves as continuous nagging.

    I honestly do not see how they are. They are clear statements as to what you want, and how you intend to proceed. It is then up to the other person to deicde how they wish to respond to that. This is treating all parties like the adults they are, without being abusive. And who said anything about ‘saying nothing’? I have repeatedly stated that I tihnk these issues are best worked out through dialogue, i.e. explaining one’s position, listening to one’s partner explaining theirs, and trying to reach an agreement from there. It is possible to do that without simply badgering them to change their mind because you want them to.

    Whether the change is right or wrong, good or bad, is an entirely different question.

    And I think I have made a pretty good case for why a ‘yes means yes’ shift in sexual culture is a good thing, which you haven’t answered (easily missed in this volume of posts – see 391. Do you have any reason why it would be a bad change, other than simply that it IS a change (which inevitably causes some teething problems as people get used to it?)

    Please feel under no obligation to respond to anything I post. I enjoy debating with you, as you are articulate and polite (if sarky :P); but as a wise man once said, Comment Is Free!

  405. 405
    lelapaletute

    @CityManMichael:

    Is that so? Personally, I use sex to get sex and intimacy to get intimacy. Sometimes, the one is a by-product of the other, which is pleasing. Being quite a boring monogamist, I most favour the sex/intimacy cocktail, but I have been known to have either one straight up, and enjoyed it massively in its own right. Clearly I am some sort of biological freak :P

  406. 406
    Gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 404 I could not ignore that one.

    So would i favour a ‘yes means yes’ shift in sexual culture? This will be long and wobbly. I find your 391 post hard to interpret because it was in answer to a tongue-in-cheek and rather misfired posting of mine.

    Clearly requiring an explicit yes to an explicit question would cut down on the ‘almost-rape’ scenarios, which is good. I am still against, because it is setting the bar where too many people of either sex are not comfortable with it. As JT and Karmakin point out, some people do not do this level of verbalisation, and prefer an ‘act’ culture over an ‘ask’ culture. Other people shy away from explicit questions as too embarassing and too hard to deal with if refused. These people would be at a disadvantage under an ‘explicit yes’ rule, and have a right to fight against a system that penalises them. Simply saying that everybody should change and become comfortable with the new rules is not good enough. The changes are too deep and too demanding. It is just another case of one group setting rules that suits it, and expecting everybody else to adapt.

    You do have the right to keep it all unsaid, if you prefer. Getting over the hurdle can be hard – I suspect that a lot of man and women get drunk before sex because they want to do things that they know they would shy away from if they were sober. By the same token there has to be the right to push, up to a point, be it because it might be necessary for a mutually satisfactory outcome, be it because you have the right to argue your side in the discussion on how things should be arranged. You ‘pester-until-successful’ example is way over the top, of course, while it is perfectly legal it is nasty and selfish behaviour.

    So, from the depths of my inexperience, what might be an alternative? I’d see it as a coordination game, with the object of finding a mutually consenting partner to have fun with without undue trouble and embarrassment, and without anybody getting hurt. The criterion is consent, not enthusiasm, because there is nothing wrong with accomodating someone you care for (or want something back from) even if you are not in the mood right now. The moral requirement would be that each participant try to determine in good faith that (s)he has that consent, and does not just bulldoze away until (s)he hears the magic word ‘no’. Getting it right is not necessarily easy, given that many participants are starving for sex, drunk, immature, insensitive, low on self-confidence, or desperately ignorant of how it all works. Avoiding ambiguous situations is too much to ask, unfortunately, for many a youngster that would translate as ‘go away and mature and come back when you are 30′. All you can ask for is trying the best one can to get some evidence that the other party actually wants this to happen. Both sides then have to accept that even with good faith there is a certain amount of risk that it might all go wrong, so both should do their bit to avoid it. The initiator should be ready to accept the possibility that people might not be interested after all, might be embarassed to say a straight no, or might freeze and be unable to react if surprised. People in a flirting environment should similarly think ahead about when they would say stop if accosted, and be prepared to say it, loudly, if things are getting out of hand. Esentially both sides should work to avoid mishaps, that gives a level of protection against failure.Hopefully with a bit of mutual help we might all more or less manage.

    There is still no substitute for understainding each other well, for talking things through in detail (if people feature that kind of thing), for considering the interests of the other as much as your own. These are very good things and highly recommended, but you cannot enforce them as a minimum standard, any more than you can enforce that sex should happen only within a long-term relationship.

    I am sure this sounds rather juvenile, but you did ask. Proposing is much harder than criticising. Hopefully somebody with deeper understanding of these things can come up with something better, that is not ‘enthusiastic consent’.

  407. 407
    Raging Bee

    These people would be at a disadvantage under an ‘explicit yes’ rule, and have a right to fight against a system that penalises them. Simply saying that everybody should change and become comfortable with the new rules is not good enough. The changes are too deep and too demanding. It is just another case of one group setting rules that suits it, and expecting everybody else to adapt.

    This is BS because it’s based on the false premise that “enthusiastic consent” always means VERBAL consent and nothing less. As I said @341 above, consent, or lack of it, can be ascertained second by second by face and body language, not merely by spoken words. Hell, I’m able to do this even when I’m drunk, and I’ve never been called a smooth operator; so I really don’t see why this is such a huge problem. If you really can’t handle dating and sexual exploration without stumbling into “almost-rape” territory, then maybe you should just lay off it, jack off as appropriate, and get some advice from someone with more experience.

    And no, “these people” do NOT have a “right” to fight against a perfectly reasonable rule just because it inconveniences them. There’s a lot of laws that invonvenience me, but that doesn’t give me any right to flout or ignore the laws.

  408. 408
    Gjenganger

    @Raging 407
    I read your @341, and I cannot improve on Karmakins answer @345. I agree with your @341 as written, but I really cannot see how you can say both that you believe in ‘explicit yes’ and that you can manage the whole thing just on body language.

    As for your ‘reasonable rule’, surely we should set our rules in function of how they affect various groups. That is how we determine which rules are reasonable in the first place. The fact that ‘these people’ are inconvenienced is no less and no more relevant than the fact that you are advantaged by it.

    For your information you can call me whatever you like, but I am really uninterested in discussing who is an utter moron, who is spouting bullshit, etc. I ignore most of your mails, because it is too hard to find the worthwhile points among the insults. If you want us to continue to exchange posts, could you please try to separate the two out?

  409. 409
    Paul

    @377 MM

    Which just goes to show how inadequate some parenting approaches are. That video shows a child who’s never learned how to behave. Whatever techniques this family has been using have turned out to be abject failures.

    I disagree and i think you’re wrong to make the assumptions you have.And if i felt the video was an example of the consequences of inadequate parenting i clearly wouldn’t have used it to make my point.

  410. 410
    freja

    I think it’s telling how often MRAs drag up the statistics that women rape men almost as often as vice versa when it comes to portraying women as sociopathic and argue that anti-rape prevention aimed at men is wrong, but as soon as it comes to the notion of enthusiastic consent/yes means yes, they act like Gjenganger and completely ignore how it would help male victims and focus on how unfair it is for men.

  411. 411
    Paul

    ps i would agree however that poor parenting in whatever shape or form can and does lead to bad behaviour amongst the young. And tthat there are social and cultural differences in attitudes towards parenting which can lead to conflict with the authorities in this country. However i repeat i didn’t see the parent featured in that vid as being inadequate.Maybe she was in need of more help,support and understanding than she was getting but i certainly didn’t thnk she was inadequate.

  412. 412
    elementary_watson

    I kind of understand the uncomfortableness some have with the *absolute* demand of *enthusiastic* consent, because it can be used to justify ignoring one’s sexual partners sexual wishes.

    Let’s say that one partner in a relationship makes this statement: “Whenever we have sex, I’ll be the one on top. Either you’re fine with that, or we don’t have sex.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I would quit the relationship as quickly as possible, because that person made it clear the they don’t care about their partner’s feelings about this, regardless of whether I prefer that position or not.

    On the other hand, if that person is only enthusiastic about sex when they can be the one on top … then that means that the person in question is only insisting on the concept of enthusiastic consent, and that should be above criticism, shouldn’t it?

    I think it is “normal” and healthy to be willing to make compromises to accomodate a person one wants to have sex with; if one person is unwilling to make any compromise at all, then that means that this person can pretty much unilaterally dictate how sex is done in the relationship. (It also means that said person probably doesn’t really want to have sex with the other person that much.)

    “Make sure to get enthusiastic consent before engaging in sexual activities” sounds pretty reasonable, but it can be stretched very far into the realm of “don’t dare to try anything remotely sexy before I explicitly allow you to do so” (demanding the other person to be passive about their sexuality) or “these are the hoops for you to jump through before I might be in the mood to have sex with you” (demanding the other person to put a lot effort effort into wooing one) or “if you do or say anything that turns me even a little bit off, this sexual encounter is over” (demanding the other person to walk on sexual eggshells).

    Maybe the better advice would be “don’t try to have sex with a person who doesn’t also try to have sex with you”.

  413. 413
    Gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 404
    More thinking, shorter answer:
    You can expect people to get used to new tax laws, say, with some resonable effort. Changing the way you propose yourself to potential bedmates, the way you react ot advances, goes way too deep into your personality. Adapting to this kind of change will take multiple generations, if it is possible at all. Besides, we are not talking about setting specific rules for a specific partner. These rules are meant ot apply to everybody, everywhere. Even when both would be happier skipping the talking, they will feel pressured to do it the officlal way so as not to be bad people.

  414. 414
    sheaf

    I think it’s telling how often MRAs drag up the statistics that women rape men almost as often as vice versa when it comes to portraying women as sociopathic and argue that anti-rape prevention aimed at men is wrong, but as soon as it comes to the notion of enthusiastic consent/yes means yes, they act like Gjenganger and completely ignore how it would help male victims and focus on how unfair it is for men.

    Telling of what?

    The first one I would only expect them to do.

    The second one would help men? How?

  415. 415
    Raging Bee

    … but I really cannot see how you can say both that you believe in ‘explicit yes’ and that you can manage the whole thing just on body language.

    Dude, I explained all that in plain english @341; what don’t you understand about it? You judge what’s appropriate (i.e., don’t grab her ass if she hasn’t let you kiss her yet, or if you’re still in a public place), you make slow and non-forceful moves, you observe her reaction, and you stop or slow down if she doesn’t seem to enjoy it. I know it’s a bit more complicated in practice, but the explanation should be easy to understand — it’s pretty much how humans have done sex since before we grew these big brains!

    As for your ‘reasonable rule’, surely we should set our rules in function of how they affect various groups. That is how we determine which rules are reasonable in the first place. The fact that ‘these people’ are inconvenienced is no less and no more relevant than the fact that you are advantaged by it.

    In this case, the inconvenience of some men — which isn’t really increasing that much as a result fo this rule anyway — is outweighed in importance by the need of women to avoid pressure and coercion, and to be able to say no without having to start a huge fight. (And what the fuck makes you think I’m “advantaged” by the “enthusiastic consent” standard? Is this yet another standard pointless MRA dig at my manhood or something? Because it’s getting boring.)

    I ignore most of your mails, because it is too hard to find the worthwhile points among the insults.

    The preceding paragraphs of your comment disprove your statement — you’re perfectly capable of finding the substance of my comments, when you want to. And no, I’m not about to stop calling moronic shit moronic — that is, in fact, the appropriate response to moronic shit.

  416. 416
    Raging Bee

    I suspect that a lot of men’s problems with the “enthusiastic consent” rule, arise from the fact that those guys are trying to have sex with women they’re not all that enthusiastic about, and who aren’t really enthusiastic about them. It’s the PUA-wannabee culture I saw a bit of in college: go to a frat party, look for a non-”ugly” girl who isn’t already being chatted up by someone else, and try to chat her up even if there’s ZERO common ground or shared interests between you and all you really want from her is a fuck. Expecting “enthusiastic consent” in such situations may be unreasonable — but then again, it’s much more unreasonable to expect to get a worthwhile sexual experience in such situations in the first place.

    If all you’re getting is half-assed consent, that may not be “rape,’ but it’s still something you should walk away from. Hold out for something better than that, and you’re less likely to regret it afterword.

  417. 417
    Gjenganger

    @415 Raging

    Dude, I explained all that in plain english

    I am fine with your procedure. But when it is done by body language it is no longer explicit, and no longer guaranteed to be easy to interpret. Which I thought was the whole point.

    Is this yet another standard pointless MRA dig at my manhood or something?

    You are a man, are you? It is by no means obvious from your posts.

  418. 418
    JT

    And no, I’m not about to stop calling moronic shit moronic — that is, in fact, the appropriate response to moronic shit.(Bee)

    That is reasonable. It becomes unreasonable when you tell people to “fuck off and die”. You remind me of people raging in their cars. For whatever reason when they get behind the 5000 pound vehicle they think they are beyond reproach. Internet seems to invoke the same behavior in some people as they do things they would never do face to face. Its interesting that Lelapaletute talks about triggers because man you sure do trigger some memories for me. Good thing this aint live.

  419. 419
    freja

    @295 and 297, Adiabat

    Gerda Lerner in “The Creation of Patriarchy” argues that the move from hunter gatherer societies to agrarian societies is the point where women became property of men and this was the basis for all following social organisation. I.E men enslaved women and began the “patriarchy”; the set of social norms ensuring male dominance over women.

    That I.E. did not follow from what you just said. The book, according to your own words, tells about when society became patriarchal, not that men did it to women.

    But you don’t need to read the book, the internet is rife with feminists saying this, especially tumblrfems.

    It would be a good idea if you could point me to a actual feminists saying this, preferably influential ones and preferably without lots of disagreement from other feminists. Because so far, all I’ve seen is anti-feminists arguing that this is the feminist position and feminists saying it is not.

    So no, what you’re saying above isn’t controversial. However the conclusion many feminists go to from there is.

    Again, any example?

    Now, when faced with the patriarchy claim many critics of feminists point to areas where men are harmed by various cultural elements, essentially saying “unless you include these in your model your conclusion cannot be accurate”.

    A patriarchy doesn’t imply men will be favoured in all areas. There are also advantages for black Americans in areas like sports and hiphop, but that hardly means they’re the dominant class or that racism doesn’t exist.

    The only one I’m aware of on your list is the Warren Farrell example. I know that your interpretation is largely baseless and is an unfair reading of his argument.

    How? He specifically said “it is also important when her nonverbal “yeses” (tongues still touching) conflict with those verbal “noes” that the man not be put in jail for choosing the “yes” over the “no.””. How is that not advocating that men shouldn’t have to respect a woman’s no?

    Then there is JudgyBitch’s “So two of the boys involved in the Steubenville “rape” case were found guilty and will now face imprisonment and a lifetime membership on the Registered List of Sex Offenders. That is a tragedy for the boys, for justice and for the victims of actual rape [...] Comparing a stupid, drunk, helmet-chasing whore who gets fingered while passed out to an actual rape victim is completely and utterly absurd.[That girl had no friends at the party, not one person had enough respect for her to step in, she was not part of the social tribe and there is no way in hell she did not know that.”

    And, about the Jimmy Saville case: “So basically, the girls were groupies. They wanted all the benefits of hanging out with a big star and they understood it came with a price and they paid it, perhaps reluctantly, but with full knowledge that the trips to London and the fags and the sweet weren’t free. [...] And now they are claiming the MEN abused THEM? Looks to me like it was the other way around. The situations and incidents Karin describes as abuse were nothing more than girls out famewhoring. Desperate for male approval and love and attention and power by proxy, they tried shooting for the moon.”

    I’ve linked to these things before btw.

    In the past you’ve linked me to articles on avfm to “prove” how horrible they are, though the article in question stated several times that it was a parody, and Elam repeated that several times in the comments.

    I don’t recall linking to that article specifically. I recall linking to different articles which weren’t claimed to be satire, and which sounded extremely similar to the one Elam claimed was a parody.

    I’m not really interested in things that only become bad when you apply several levels of “interpretation” to get at “what they really mean”.

    Like how “the move from hunter gatherer societies to agrarian societies is the point where women became property of men”=“enslaved women and began the “patriarchy””?

    I just want a source for what you claimed. Are you now saying that you know of no MRA who says that consent is automatic, as you claimed before?

    Are you claiming you know of no feminist who’ve said “Men created patriarchy”? Because so far, the only citation you have is someone saying that patriarchy followed agriculture, which requires far more interpretation than any of the claims you accuse me of having made of MRAs.

    I haven’t heard anyone saying they’re pro-war either, but I have heard plenty of people saying that various wars are justified. Likewise, MRAs keep talking about women’s female ‘responsibility’ in case of male-on-female rape cases, and I’ve never seen them disagree with dress codes, curfews, and other restrictions on women allegedly designed to protect them, the way I’ve seen plenty of feminists disagree that judges should automatically side with the mother in custody cases.

    And one claiming that ‘when consent is ambiguous, it can be assumed’.

    Actually, when a woman’s nonverbal “yeses” conflict with her verbal “noes”, consent is ambiguous. And at least one very prominent MRA thinks that assuming consent and go with the nonverbal “yes” shouldn’t result in any negative repercussions.

    I don’t think your reasoning in these paragraphs is valid at all. Advances are still being made to reduce spontaneous abortions so it is reasonable to assume it is being funded adequately.

    And advances are still being made in the treatment of various cancers and other illnesses. And yet, I’m constantly asked to donate anyway and the government is constantly trying to find ways to reduce incidents of various illnesses, such as restricting access to cigarettes and alcohol for minors, putting extra taxes on it, guaranteeing people smoke-free environments, paying for campaigns to reduce risky behaviour, fighting obesity and diabetes, etc.. From what I’ve seen, the number of non-spontaneous abortions has also steadily declined for the last several decades, and yet Mike has no problem legislating about it anyway.

    Sometimes just throwing more money at a problem isn’t the best solution. Often leaving things alone to continue as they are is the best thing.

    If throwing more money at a problem wont make a difference, why are MRAs constantly asking about funding for things like prostate cancer? And why are people legislating about a variety of other health concerns? Do you have any proof that the funding to prevent spontaneous abortions is so high that more funding wont make a difference, and that people are already doing enough to reduce the number of spontaneous abortion that no further campaigning or legislation is necessary?

    All people, to the degree that they are responsible for bringing a child into the world that they cannot care for properly without state aid. However, as women have vastly more contraception choices, all public funded here in the UK (and rightly so!), along with many more options post conception such as the morning after pill, abortion, adoption, baby ‘drop boxes’ etc then the mother is often being much more reckless than the father, whose ‘recklessness’ might consist of nothing more than a one-in-a-million split condom.

    Except J4BM wants to ban abortion. And I think you overestimate how many choices are realistically available to women. But would you concede that a man who has unprotected sex with a woman (who hasn’t told him she’s using birth control) is as responsible as she is? And that a man who pressures a woman into having unprotected sex even more so?

  420. 420
    freja

    @412, elementary_watson

    On the other hand, if that person is only enthusiastic about sex when they can be the one on top … then that means that the person in question is only insisting on the concept of enthusiastic consent, and that should be above criticism, shouldn’t it?

    Being above criticism and being right for a relationship are two different things. If a guy says that he will only have anal sex, I would not enter a relationship with him. If a guy says that he can only be satisfied by anal sex, I would not enter a relationship with him. Sexual incompatibility is a perfectly valid reason for not wanting a relationship with someone as them living on the other side of the country is. It’s no one’s fault, but that doesn’t mean it can’t make a relationship too hard for it to be worth it for one or more of the parties, and that is their decision to make.

    Maybe the better advice would be “don’t try to have sex with a person who doesn’t also try to have sex with you”

    If that makes it easier, I’m all for it.

  421. 421
    captainahags

    Elementary_watson @412,
    You’re not the only one doing it, but it seems there’s multiple people nitpicking about the exact definition of enthusiastic consent and how it applies within the confines of the relationship, while completely ignoring the larger issue at play. Yes, there are times within a relationship where one partner might do something unenthusiastically because even though they aren’t that into it, their partner is. The problem is that this type of behavior is often extrapolated outside of a relationship, into scenarios where the participants are not in a relationship. The argument essentially seems to be “well, if it’s okay to sometimes have sex with your partner when they’re not totally into it/clearly not really enjoying it, but technically consented, it’s okay to do the same with someone you’re not in a relationship with” and that is pretty much the exact opposite of enthusiastic consent as it’s generally been defined AFAIK.

  422. 422
    freja

    @414, sheaf

    Telling of what?

    The first one I would only expect them to do.

    The second one would help men? How?

    Because enthusiastic consent is a standard meant to protect people from being raped and making it easier to prosecute rapists by robbing them of the excuse “S/he didn’t say no and/or didn’t fight back”. This is good for rape victims. If many men are rape victims, it’s even better for them because they’re more likely to assumed to be consenting unless shown otherwise than women are, and are also assumed to be more able to stand up for themselves and fight back. Male rape victims need this change of sexual standards even more than most female rape victims, and yet MRAs never advocate it and always attack it

    The point is that MRAs always put men in the role of victim or potential victim, right up to the point where it can’t be used to blame women any more and might lead them to agree with feminists, after which they’ll switch to portraying men as potential (but ever innocent) perpetrators. Kind of how they always bring up either male rape statistics to argue that men accusing women of rape should receive more support, or claims about false rape accusations against men to argue that women accusing men of rape should be met with suspicion and punishment.

  423. 423
    Raging Bee

    I am fine with your procedure. But when it is done by body language it is no longer explicit…

    Of course it is: if you lean forward to kiss her, she can either move forward toward you (explicit yes) or move her head away (explicit no). Same with grabbing her ass: smiling and/or not stopping you is an explicit yes, batting your hand away, or moving back a little and looking at you disapprovingly, is an explicit no.

  424. 424
    JT

    @freja

    I think it would be best to define what you think an MRA is. I know many individuals on line who are for more attention be given to men who technically are advocating mens rights who DO NOT fit your mold. You use terms like MRA’s never or MRA’s always. When you talk in that fashion you sound just like the radicals you so wish to denounce.

  425. 425
    Raging Bee

    You are a man, are you? It is by no means obvious from your posts.

    Not sure what clues you’re looking for…maybe I should just give myself a more manly name, like Raging Big Dick Monster Atomic Tractor-Pull Stud?

    In any case, if you’re not sure, ASK FIRST before you make some totally-off-base insinuation about “female brain” or whether I’m “advantaged” by this or that rule or whatever.

  426. 426
    elementary_watson

    @freja: Sexual incompatibility has only a little to do with what I was getting at. It’s more the notion of “if this other person wants to have sex with me, she/he has to do everything the way I want it done” that can pretty much poison a sexual relationship/sexual encounter.

    I would be totally compatible with a woman who would like to have cunnilingus before each sexual intercourse (okay, that alone is too little to make any claims about compatibility, but you understand what I’m getting at), but a woman demanding cunnilingus before sex? Nope, won’t happen.

  427. 427
    jamessweet

    Loved this, posted to Facebook. I’m not sure I agree fully on every single point (when would that ever happen, anyway?) but this is really great as a manifesto. I especially liked everything under the first bullet, “Fatherhood”, as I can personally relate to the impact of society’s general ambivalence (sometimes antipathy) towards active fathering.

  428. 428
    Raging Bee

    The problem is that this type of behavior is often extrapolated outside of a relationship…

    I’ve noticed this too, and it’s clearly a diversion. All of this public debate about degrees of consent is supposed to apply more to DATING, than to already-established relationships, because it’s in the dating and pickup scenes that two people don’t yet fully know each other, haven’t yet decided (or are still in the process of deciding) whether to get intimate with this new prospective partner, and are changing their minds about each other as they interact. This is a totally different situation from an already-declared relationship where most of the pitfalls of dating don’t apply.

  429. 429
    lelapaletute

    @elementary_watson 426

    I would be totally compatible with a woman who would like to have cunnilingus before each sexual intercourse (okay, that alone is too little to make any claims about compatibility, but you understand what I’m getting at), but a woman demanding cunnilingus before sex? Nope, won’t happen.

    That’s fine. It doesn’t happen. I agree with you, someone making that a demand rather than a request or preference is probably a selfish lover and not much fun to date/sleep with/be in a relationship with. By all means, pass on her.

    The important thing is that the principle of enthusiastic, or (for a less contentious word) clear consent has been maintained. She has made her decision about the kind of sex she will consent to; you have heard her decision, respected it, and made your own autonomous decision on the basis of that. No-one got hurt, no-one got raped, no-one raped anyone else ‘by accident’ or ‘by mistake’ by following ‘mixed messages’, no-one applied any undue pressure to anyone else. I call that a win all ways round, EVEN THOUGH IT DID NOT RESULT IN SEX FOR ANYONE. Shocker, eh?

    Clear consent doesn’t mean people only ever have exactly the kind of sex they want, all the time, no compromise. It gives people the right to choose to only have that kind of sex (although my belief would be that anyone who made action with them so spectacularly one-sided would probably end up not getting much of any sex at all).

    Most people will, on occasion, perform sex acts upon which they are not as keen as their partner, because their partner enjoys them and they find their partner’s enjoyment, er, enjoyable. The point is, they choose to perform those acts and their consent to perform those acts is clear. Not ‘Oh well, she didn’t say no when I put it there’ or ‘oh, he didn’t seem to mind’ or ‘OK, she complained a bit, but it was my birthday’ or whatever. They consent, and their consent is clear. This doesn’t HAVE to be verbal (although I’m a pretty verbal person, so for my own peace of mind I’d probably favour that with someone I didn’t know well and wasn’t too sure of their body language or tacit cues). Active participation/accommodation is enough. I don’t really know how to explain this further without getting appallingly explicit, but for God’s sake surely people know the difference between the behaviour and demeanour of someone they are doing something with and that of someone they are doing something to? Surely it isn’t really that difficult?

  430. 430
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger:

    Even when both would be happier skipping the talking, they will feel pressured to do it the officlal way so as not to be bad people.

    Oh Lord. There’s not going to be like a government pamphlet with itemised stages of the officially approved process for getting it on (although goodness me, I’d love to see that manual. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘insert tab A into slot B). There will just be a general understanding that sex does not proceed unless both parties clearly consent to it. In the