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Mar 13 2014

How to be a douchebag

There’s a marvellous scene in Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket when the brutal drill sergeant played by Lee Ermey asks the raw recruits what they know about (Texas spree killer) Charles Whitman and Lee Harvey Oswald. He goes on to praise their marksmanship, points out that they learned to shoot in the marines, and tells his young charges that before they leave the camp, “you will be able to do the same thing.”

I was reminded of this scene when reading Clive Martin’s piece in Vice today entitled How Sad Young Douchebags Took Over Modern Britain. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the vicious, murderous accuracy of the sniping, I just felt deeply uncomfortable about the morality of the choice of target.

Lined up in Martin’s telescopic sights were the young men one sees in bars and clubs, primped and pumped up with bench-presses and anabolic powders, inked with tatts and soaking up admiration, primarily of their own gaze. They were variously described as ‘erections in vests’; ‘a Calvin Harris remix of a Springsteen song that doesn’t really work’ and ‘Ken dolls dipped in tea and covered in biro.‘ Like I say, you have to admire the sniping.

Beyond the creative insults, there is some genuine insight. Late in the piece Martin acknowledges:

 

But while it’s easy to scorn the banality – and the vanity – of the modern British douchebag, they’re only products of their environment. An environment that has very little to offer them any more, other than gym memberships, intentionally ripped clothes, alcohol and creatine. The institutions that gave British men a sense of wellbeing have been ripped apart. Nobody trusts the police any more; nobody wants to join the army because no one believes in its wars; traditional industries have been decimated and the only thing to replace them are stifling, mind-numbing positions in service and retail. 

Because of this, British men have tried to reimagine masculinity, in a hyper-realised, childish, desperate way. A new kind of machismo, built on fake bravado and vanity. British men are looking up to faux-hawked, peacocking, rich maniacs like Mario Balotelli for inspiration, because they really have nowhere else to look. Their bosses hate themselves and their dads hate them.

I can’t help but look at this emerging culture and wonder if they’ve basically retreated from a world that doesn’t want the young British male any more.

Boiled down, what we have here is Diane Abbott’s speech on the crisis of masculinity rehashed with added abuse for a hip, sneering audience, the MPs description of a Viagra and Jack Daniels generation served anew as ‘Monster cocktails and Creatine.’ Like her, the piece picks out a hugely salient but tiny minority and demands that they represent the grand themes of a generation. Where they differ is in their concerns. Abbott at least presumed to be concerned about the actual harm caused by her phantasms of moral panic – particularly the violence, abuse and exploitation of young women, but also the harm done to these men themselves. The Vice article does not even begin to make such accusations. There is no suggestion that the young men under discussion are abusive, criminal or violent, indeed they are mocked and denigrated for being fundamentally ‘soft’ under their muscle mass. Their only offence, it seems, is aesthetic. The author slates them as douchebags and arseholes, not because they have done anything to harm anyone, simply because they offend the author’s delicate sensibilities.

On first reading, I understood the piece as an exercise in arrogant, elitist, class-based anthropology. On closer inspection, I realised it was worse than that. At no point does the writer indicate that he has ever talked to the men he describes, ask them what motivates them, what their interests are. Does he even know that they are the ‘sons of the miners and the metrosexuals’ left in ‘mind-numbing positions in service and retail’? For what it is worth, the two guys I’ve known who most closely fitted the stereotype on display here were middle class kids with degrees, working on the creative design side of the media. Go figure. What we are presented with here is not social anthropology, but a sneering freakshow.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the social consequences of a post-industrial neoliberal society, in which the traditional gender roles that once operated simultaneously as safety blankets and straightjackets have been ripped away. One manifestation of this might well be a superficially puerile, hedonistic narcissism that is more likely to nourish self-destructive depression than fulfilment or social progress. Another might be an individualistic, scornful self-righteousness, cultural snobbery and deeply divisive cultural circus sideshow peddled by Vice magazine.  

There’s more than one way to be a douchebag.  

136 comments

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  1. 1
    Dunc

    Kids nowadays, with their jazz music and their jive dancing!

  2. 2
    avern

    “Douchebag” is pure sexist slander at this point. All it does is label a man as “someone who does not follow my ridiculous, arbitrary rules” and attempt to scorn them into “correct” behavior.

    I’m a bookish nerd who reads de Saussure for fun, but I admire the douchebag. He has a narcissism that seems far healthier than self-sacrificing patriotism taught to men in the previous century. They seem lighthearted and fun-loving, hardworking (the herculean efforts they put into their appearance are translatable to their careers it seems) and have strong, uncomplicated bonds with other men. They also are far less likely to pedestalize women and instead see themselves as a sexual prize, which I think is the main grievance people have with them.

    It seems like a far less stressful male path and they’ll probably outlive the men criticizing them. Kudos to the douchebag.

  3. 3
    kestra

    I’m always deeply, deeply skeptical of polemics that rely on how great shit was “way back when” as a justification for condemning the Now as banal, irritating, “soul-crushing”, or what-have-you.

    Nobody trusts the police *anymore*? What? Harken me back to that utopian period anywhere anywhen that the police were never bribable or corrupt, when the police treated all cases with equal diligence and care, when the police followed up on the complaints of the poor and disenfranchised as well as the wealthy and connected… And I show you a wealthy, connected, *privileged* person who’s never encountered the police in their life shooting off about how great it is that they are here to protect *us*. They don’t protect “us”, they are protecting “you”.

    “Mind-numbing service jobs”, huh? Yeah, cause assembly-line manufacturing is so intellectually stimulating. Again, a romanticized ideal of a time and place written by a person who, at that time and place, would have had *nothing whatever* to do with those wonderful jobs he so wishes these men were engaged in. You can paint pretty pictures with words about the past all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are fewer people fighting in armed conflicts *now* than there have ever been, that medicine is more effective at saving lives *now* than ever, that compared to human life a century ago we have made massive advances in the well-being, social rights, and opportunities afforded to everyone nearly everywhere.

    “No body believes in wars anymore?” Damn fucking right. Alrighty lads, who wants to go off from home and spend a great deal of government money to get shot? Anyone? ANYone? Yeah.

  4. 4
    Ginkgo

    Ally,
    “On closer inspection, I realised it was worse than that. At no point does the writer indicate that he has ever talked to the men he describes, ask them what motivates them, what their interests are. ”

    Do you remember a column in the Guardian by Hugo Schwyzer when he went on and on pontificating about everyhting that was wrong with young men, punctuating it with select snippets from conversations various young men, and when these snippets actually contradicted what he was saying, he went blithely on spinning them exactly the opposite way?

    You slammed him for it. You called out what he was doing and called it intolerable. You slammed him. You were dead on the money then and you are now again.

  5. 5
    Ginkgo

    The gensering of this Vice screed is telling too. What CM is describing is exactly the body-conscious hell people have been decrying forever when it’s young women who are on the recieiving end, but when it’s young men, fuck the losers.

  6. 6
    Ally Fogg

    Do you remember a column in the Guardian by Hugo Schwyzer when he went on and on pontificating about everyhting that was wrong with young men, punctuating it with select snippets from conversations various young men, and when these snippets actually contradicted what he was saying, he went blithely on spinning them exactly the opposite way?

    Ha. I think that describes most conversations I had with Hugo Schwyzer!

    He didn’t write for the Guardian much, but I think the piece you’re remembering was about a young college wrestler who withdrew from a tournament because he had to wrestle a woman competitor. He explained that it was down to his religious beliefs, Hugo attributed it to everything except that! And yes, I do recall giving him a bit of a savaging ;-)

  7. 7
    Ginkgo

    I think that was it.

    What was so on point was that he was just completely objectifiying the young man. He erased any subjectivity the kid had. And he’s not alone. There is a lot of that in the gender discussion. The debate about porn is lousy with it.

  8. 8
    Gunlord

    Fantastic critique of Martin’s article–if FTB had a “like” button I’d definitely be pressing it. I’m wondering, though, while you agree with Martin’s condemnation of postindustrial society’s treatment of men, what do you think about his emphasis on creatine and other muscle-enhancers? I’m not part of that scene and don’t know too much about it, but in your view, is it really a “catalyst” (in Martin’s words)? I wasn’t really convinced by his argument; he mentions how much money guys spend on the stuff but it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’ll act as he described, at least as far as I can tell. But I thought you’d know more about that social phenomenon, so that’s why I thought I’d ask you. Sorry if this seems like a weird question for a first time commenter, lol.

  9. 9
    imthegenieicandoanything

    The writer envies them, and he’s being paid to fill space in some publication that serves no purpose other than to waste time and let the reader imagine themselves to be better than others – or worse, depending on the topic.

    Information? Analysis? Thought? EFFORT? You must be new here!

  10. 10
    Ginkgo

    “Information? Analysis? Thought? EFFORT? ”

    Naw. Strokes – just as you say. Plain old-fashioned pandering.This piece says as muchabot the redership as it does about the writer, and it’s pretty bad.

    “The writer envies them,”

    That just reeks up off the page. It reminds me so much of all the sneering at young men’s long hair in the 60s coming from balding middle-aged guys.

    Gunlord, that doesn’t seem like a weird question at all.

    Here’s something to chew on – people have been observing the same thing in gay culture for decades. They have decried the pychology behind it as destructive. I don’t recall one that was this snarky and judgmental. straight men treat each other like shit, and there must be someo impulse or pay-off behind that.

  11. 11
    Ginkgo

    avern@ – “He has a narcissism that seems far healthier than self-sacrificing patriotism taught to men in the previous century. They seem lighthearted and fun-loving, hardworking (the herculean efforts they put into their appearance are translatable to their careers it seems)”

    Sin 1: – They are rejecting amle disposability.

    “and have strong, uncomplicated bonds with other men. ”

    Sin 2 – They are relying on other men for their emotional and social needs instead of worshipping the Sacred Feminine and lbeing emotionally dependent on it. They are insufficiently gynocentric.

    “They also are far less likely to pedestalize women and instead see themselves as a sexual prize, which I think is the main grievance people have with them.”

    Sin 3 – They are failing to sexually objectify women and are thereby denying these women a significant source of power over them. Worse, they expect to be appreciated for themsleves instead of their utiltiy to women in the form of adoration.

  12. 12
    Sasori

    Ok, people actually thought that was witty, I don’t understand it’s awfully try hard, reaching trust fund opinion journalism. He desperately want’s to be Hunter S Thompson, Evelyn Waugh or somebody. It’s also not even right about the fashion style and beefy look of the modern ‘lad’ having anything to do with service sector jobs. I think that the personality, outlook and worldview of people are affected by their material circumstances but the way they look can go either way. That’s just the way young guys look nowadays, if you go out in other places in Europe where manufacturing industry hasn’t collapsed you will find people who look similar (muscles, plunging necklines, 50′s haircuts, ed hardy equivalents, ‘distressed’ and/or skinny jeans, etc) in Sweden (thought there is a bit more of the hipster look), Germany, Italy etc, all of which have either not had the manufacturing decline or have decent average wages. I think this has way more to do with the growth and influence of the male beauty and grooming industry and maybe the ‘extended adolescence’ of guys who can’t really afford to settle down than anything else (that guy is also wrong about the effects of creatine and protean shakes which are not all that dramatic).

    This is a vaguely international (and somewhat cross class) culture just like the other youth ‘tribes’ like emo/goth/etc, hipster, metal, rave, etc etc, I think there is also a point that your friend quiet riot girl talks about, the desire of men to be desired and how this is not that different from other past fashions, Disco, Glam Rock, etc. There’s also loads of ‘slut shaming’ and stuff like that in the article which it would be attacked for if it was about girls werirng revealing clothes and having vaguely ‘Ganguro’ style etc.

    Also, I think the return of manufacturing industry, with better access to skilled and better payed employment would obviously be a good thing.

  13. 13
    Canon

    “not because they have done anything to harm anyone, simply because they offend the author’s delicate sensibilities”

    The key feature of the douchebag is that they harm everyone around them, chief. We have problems with their ilk in this city, and every city. They’re the ones constantly getting in fights (or beating up strangers when their erstwhile Fight Club members are too inebriated), committing sexual assaults of every degree of severity and generally vomiting wretchedness and evil out into the world in every possible way at every possible hour. They represent maleness and masculinity at its cultural nadir — they’ve earned their ‘douchebag’ appellation and more. Are they to be envied because they are, and I quote, ‘uncomplicated’? We may as well envy the dead.

  14. 14
    Ginkgo

    “They’re the ones constantly getting in fights (or beating up strangers when their erstwhile Fight Club members are too inebriated), committing sexual assaults of every degree of severity and generally vomiting wretchedness and evil out into the world in every possible way at every possible hour.”

    Britain, right? So that means they sound like they acting just like their female peers. The news has been full of that for a while now. “Getting in touch with their female side” is what we used to call that. I thought that was supposed to be the silver bullet cure for “maleness and masculinity at its cultural nadir.”

  15. 15
    mildlymagnificent

    They’re the ones constantly getting in fights (or beating up strangers when their erstwhile Fight Club members are too inebriated), committing sexual assaults of every degree of severity and generally vomiting wretchedness and evil out into the world in every possible way at every possible hour.

    It was soooo much better back when the mods and rockers staged their set piece battles a few decades ago. Or perhaps the hooligan soccer thugs were a more worthy and uplifting social group.

    The piece really does sound like a very pedestrian re-run of the standard pearl clutching ‘young folks these days, tut, tut.’

  16. 16
    carnation

    @ avern, @ Gingko

    “They also are far less likely to pedestalize women and instead see themselves as a sexual prize, which I think is the main grievance people have with them.”

    “They are insufficiently gynocentric … are failing to sexually objectify women and are thereby denying these women a significant source of power over them. Worse, they expect to be appreciated for themsleves instead of their utiltiy to women in the form of adoration.”

    This is simplistic to the point of childishness and ignores generations of youth and male cultures. It’s so absurd that it’s difficult to know where to begin…

    Most women don’t want to be sexually objectified, or, indeed, to exert or to possess a “significant source of power” over a man. It’s embarrassing that adults would hold and publicly states such crass opinions. Women, just like men, want to be appreciated for themselves. They want to meet someone who respects them and, generally speaking, start a relationship. The collection of halfbaked theories that these statements arise from belittle men as much as women. Men are the sad creatures in thrall to women’s sexuality, women are the wicked harpies using their sexuality, the “significant source of power”, over men. People, get real. Look at society. You are deluded.

    Subcultures based on expressions of masculinity aren’t new. Skinheads, for examples, their appearance was (is) a pastiche of working class male aesthetics. New Romantics (and hipsters?) subvert the masculine, both are “dandies”. Muscle boys have existed for a very long time and always will. And there are muscle girls, of course.

    The human condition contains a desire for approval and validation from peers, of course, but what you are describing is lurid nonsense. And so intensely half-witted and paranoid.

  17. 17
    avern

    @carny

    “This is simplistic to the point of childishness and ignores generations of youth and male cultures.”

    The hypocrisy of this statement is so rich it could be harvested as a fuel source.

    “Most women don’t want to be sexually objectified, or, indeed, to exert or to possess a ‘significant source of power’ over a man. It’s embarrassing that adults would hold and publicly states such crass opinions. Women, just like men, want to be appreciated for themselves.”

    You are such a feminist drone that you are incapable of complex insights and can only rely upon ideologically-approved platitudes. Men and women relish being sexually objectified and exploiting the power that comes with it. Men and women also want to be respected for their character and appreciated for their individuality.

    Newsflash: people have desires that contradict their values.
    Second newsflash: people can simultaneously have positive desires and negative desires.
    Third newsflash: how a person wants to be regarded (as a sexual object versus a fully formed individual with skills and dreams) depends on the person regarding them.

    The point that ginko and I were trying to make and that you are too simple-minded to absorb is that in a gynocentric society, women’s sexuality is regarded as more valuable than men’s, so when a man regards himself as a sexual prize, he’s failing people’s expectations and that makes both men and women ANGRY.

    “Subcultures based on expressions of masculinity aren’t new.”

    Duh. No one is denying this. Whom are you talking to?

    “The human condition contains a desire for approval and validation from peers, of course, but what you are describing is lurid nonsense. And so intensely half-witted and paranoid.”

    Translation: froth, froth, froth.

  18. 18
    carnation

    @ avern

    “You are such a feminist drone that you are incapable of complex insights and can only rely upon ideologically-approved platitudes”

    I’m not a feminist. However, feminists are very capable of complex insights. It’s the lack of insight, and the total absence of nuance, that your points displayed that caused me to comment. That was quite clear.

    Could you point out one of my ideologically approved platitudes, referencing where it was approved and by which ideology? I don’t think you will be able.

    “… in a gynocentric society, women’s sexuality is regarded as more valuable than men’s, so when a man regards himself as a sexual prize, he’s failing people’s expectations and that makes both men and women ANGRY.”

    You kick off with a sweeping statement that no serious intellectual would consider to be of any merit. We don’t live in a “gynocentric” society.

    A woman’s sexuality is regarded as more valuable as a mans? Really? How is this value measured and by whom? You appear to be confusing sexuality with reproductive utility. I hope… Either way, another seriously flawed point from you.

    The people made most angry by a person considering themselves a “sexual prize” seem to be MRAs, who write blog piece after blog piece about that subject, in the angriest and most embittered ways imaginable.

    Your initial comment was confused and bizarre. Your riposte was more of the same with a bit of ad hominem insult thrown in.

    Come back with something more substantive?

  19. 19
    Tamen

    A woman’s sexuality is regarded as more valuable as a mans? Really? How is this value measured and by whom? You appear to be confusing sexuality with reproductive utility. I hope… Either way, another seriously flawed point from you.

    I see you don’t remember the thread where several people argued that it was inherently more harmful to have nonconsensual sex with women than having non-consensual sex with men. I find it hard to read that as not implying that women’s sexuality is more valuable and sacred than men’s.

  20. 20
    mildlymagnificent

    I see you don’t remember the thread where several people argued that it was inherently more harmful to have nonconsensual sex with women than having non-consensual sex with men.

    I don’t remember that thread either, I’m afraid.

    The only people I’ve seen arguing that position have been blockhead men advancing rather silly ideas. If you can show me where people have advanced apparently serious views like this I’m happy to concede your memory is better than mine, though I might have some rude words for whoever-it-was.

  21. 21
    sheaf

    Re regarding Ally’s above article: I completely agree. Picking on people’s style because they are not in the same socioeconomic class or even in the same narrow subculture as oneself is something that should stop after people are 14 years old.

  22. 22
    closedmyaccount

    That “phenomenon” is not limited to Britain. These byproducts of decay spawn in quite a lot of places, and their appearance hasn’t gone unnoticed.

    Overcome your instincts and engange with them, and you’ll find your worst fears confirmed – their inner life is usually as hollow as their outer appearance warned you it would be. It’s disheartening. To some, it might even be offensive. But to call them douchebags doesn’t really say anything of substance about them – then again, what could ? Talking, or thinking, about them numbs my mind, and makes me want to sleep.

  23. 23
    Ginkgo

    carnation – “Most women don’t want to be sexually objectified, or, indeed, to exert or to possess a “significant source of power” over a man.”

    Hilarious. Whether women like it or not, they sure are willing to trade on it. And I do mean trade.

    The straight female role is prostitutional, from the ground up. Political lesbianism was a damned good attempt to disassemble this, but the weight of culture crushed it down.

    Dating is prostitutional. Engagement rings are prostitutional. Valentine’ day, with the imbalance in spending, is prostitutional. Withholding sex in marriage – not not feeling up for it occasionally, but intentional withholding as a bargaining tactic – is prostitutional.

    Straight women trade on sexual access in damned near every heterosexual interaction.

  24. 24
    carnation

    @ Gingko

    Your true colours are showing…

    What a deluded, sexist, hateful, embittered worldview you espouse.

    Love to you seems to be a four-lettered word.

    I pity you.

  25. 25
    closedmyaccount

    @24 carnation
    “Sexual intercourse in exchange for money or monetary value” is the narrowest definition of prostitution, and it fits the described activities like a glove. It’s one of the phenomena which have permeated so much of our culture that we’ve become blind towards it. If anything, it just proves that we’re very much like other animals.

  26. 26
    Tamen

    Mildlymagnificent: read the comments on Ally’s post about sexual aggression from women. People argued that penetration is inherently more harmful than envelopment, that fear of pregnancy makes it worse for women and others more or less thought through arguments in that vein from both men and women.

  27. 27
    mildlymagnificent

    Sorry, I’ve been through two likely looking threads and couldn’t find anything like what you’re mentioning here. (Unless it’s in one/some of those wordwall comments from that commenter that I believe all of us ignore.)

    Do you have a link?

  28. 28
    Tamen

    My previous comment was written on my phone while on the train – supplying links were too cumbersome – I am now at a proper computer and keyboard.

    Since comments with many links is automatically put into moderation I’ll just link the post and refer to the quoted comments with numbers: http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/09/04/the-startling-facts-on-female-sexual-aggression/

    So here is a list of most of the comments in that thread which either stated outright or heavily implied that it is inherently more harmful to have non-consensual sex with women than having non-consensual sex with men.

    Comment #7 ludicrous:

    And thanks for emphasizing that there is a world of difference between the sexes. My own opinion is that sexual aggression of male on female is not even in the same category of seriousness.

    Comment #13 Raging Bee:

    I went to college, and I saw some of the “aggressive” or “pressuring” tactics used by women looking to get laid; and believe me, it’s nothing compared to male aggression against women.

    Comment #14 =8)-DX

    So I think there are several things that have to be taken into account here – the oft-touted male upper-body-strength, cultural training (men are tought to aggressively defend themselves) as well as stereotypes of gender power dynamics (men dominate, women submit) and lastly the stronger pervasiveness and frequency of certain types of harassment for women rather than men will probably strongly colour experiences of sexual harassment, assault and rape as well as violence in general.

    Comment #27 ludicrous

    It is only funny if you pretend the playing field is level.

    The gender of the target makes a huge difference, you refuse to recognize that difference.

    Comment #37 Norman Hadley

    If we’re trying to pick apart how much of the men-won’t-be-that-traumatised idea is culturally entrained, I suppose the non-risk of pregnancy is a factor that no-one’s yet mentioned. That makes M/F sexual aggression qualitatively different from its inverse.

    Comment #41 Raging Bee

    I think it’s more likely that male rape is more traumatizing for men than men let on.

    I tend to doubt that, given the obvious and well-documented dominance of male voices in just about every public debate, including on isues more specific to women. If sexual coercion of men, of the types described in these studies, were consistently traumatizing to men, you can bet they’d be speaking out about it, and we’d be hearing it a lot clearer than we currently are.

    Comment #45 Raging Bee

    Another important objective difference between men raping women and women raping men, is the obvious anatomical disparity: a woman being raped by a man has something shoved forcibly INTO her body, while a man being forced to penetrate a woman endures no such bodily violation. This difference alone means that these two incidents cannot be considered equally traumatic, and it is sheer insulting folly to pretend they’re in any way equal, or can be made or seen so.

    If you want examples of truly equal trauma, you’d have to consider men being raped by MEN alngside women being raped by men.

    Commenyt #59 Lucy

    On a nighclub dancefloor, a guy walked past behind me and somehow found his hand up my skirt (horrible pokey feeling like having a meaty malevolent pink spider in your pants). I turned around, grabbed his crotch, eyeballed him and asked “how do *you* like it?”, he beamed at me and said “it’s great!”. Just doesn’t pack the same punch.

    Comment #66 Norman Hadley

    Yes, you’re probably right that fear of pregnancy is more of a historical artefact but there’s another possible reason to think that traumatision may be qualitatively different for women and that is to do with having interior genitals. Perhaps there’s something fundamentally more traumatic about being invaded.

    Comment #67 Lucy

    Penetrated people react differently to people who penetrate.

    Comment #126 is obvious troll so I only refer to it for completeness sake

    Comment #182 Learning Understanding

    Concerning the line of thoughts about men and women handling the emotional trauma of rape differently, I definitely think that the difference between being forcefully penetrated or being forced to penetrate someone is a large one for several reasons.
    [...]
    Comparing being held down and forced to submit to penetration, while in fear for your life is a different kind of beast than being forced or coerced to be inside of someone else. Both kinds of situations would feel humiliating or shameful, however i do think the one being penetrated would get a bigger dose of fear and humiliation in most occasions

    Comment #215 PatrickG

    To actually make a point: as a cis male myself, I’m going to weigh in on the penetration conversation. Yeah, being penetrated against your will is more traumatic than being forced to penetrate. Both are bad. One is worse. I speak from experience of both.

    Comment #246 Dani Wells

    I think it’s important that we realize that the effects of sexual assault/rape could be different for men. Freja talks about having more power irl and that being a factor in why men might not think penetrating someone against their will is the same as a woman being penetrated. Also, it’s the fear of violence that women have. I suspect coercion and sex talk or drinking is the most common way women get men to penetrate. On the other hand, men use FORCE. Just look at the lifetime figures for males raping females in the CDC study.

    There is the fear of pregnancy, the sheer violence of BEING penetrated (you bleed and bruise). It is definitely more traumatic that way for women than men.

    Comment #300 Eivind Berge

    It should tell you everything you need to know about the significance of women “raping” men that you need to rely on hoaxes to find men traumatized by it.

  29. 29
    carnation

    @ Tamen

    What on earth does that that have to do with anything in this discussion?

  30. 30
    Gunlord

    In reference to comment #300, I’m pretty sure Eivind Berge is an MRA. A rather “extreme” one at that, as he’s (in)famous for calling George Sodini an “MRA hero.” I wouldn’t take anything he says too seriously.

  31. 31
    carnation

    Tamen’s logic seems to be that some fools on a comment board made crass remarks about female sexual abuse if males, therefore straight women are prostitutional and don’t have sex unless part of a wider transaction.

    Delusional. Comically so.

  32. 32
    Tamen

    Gunlord @30: Yes, Eivind Berge identifies as an MRA. Are you implying that I should’ve excluded him from that list due to how he identifies rather than according to what he actually wrote?

     

    Carnation: @19 & @21:

    Tamen’s logic seems to be that some fools on a comment board made crass remarks about female sexual abuse if males, therefore straight women are prostitutional and don’t have sex unless part of a wider transaction.

    Can you provide a link to where I stated that women are prostitutional and don’t have sex unless part of a wider transaction?

     

    I thought not.

     

    You stated

    A woman’s sexuality is regarded as more valuable as a mans? Really? How is this value measured and by whom? You appear to be confusing sexuality with reproductive utility. I hope…

    Which to me looked as if you could think of no other way where women’s sexuality is seen as more valuable than men’s apart from when it comes to reproductive utility.

     

    I provided another area where male sexuality is implied to be less valuable and sacred and I referred to people in comments elsewhere on this blog stating that a woman having non-consensual sex with a man is inherently less harmful than a man having non-consensual sex with a woman. I remembered that you participated (as did Mildlymagnificent) in that thread hence why I chose that as an example. It’s not that this is something just a few people commenting on this blog thinks. The idea that sexual offenses against men from women are inherently less harmful than sexual offenses against women from men permeates our societies – it’s reflected in many laws and can be observed in the comment fields of any news article writing about male victims of female sexual offenders – and often in the articles themselves.

     

    How inviolable and the seriousness of violating something is linked to how it’s valued. Places where killings are common and many people don’t consider the harm done by killing others are said to be places where life is cheap. Societies which doesn’t take violence against women seriously are said to consider women’s lives to be cheap. Violating someone’s sexuality and then arguing that it’s not really as harmful is devaluing that person’s sexuality.

     

    Mildlymagnificent asked me for links to these comments as they were unable to find them for themself – hence the listing of comments in comment #28.

  33. 33
    Gunlord

    No, I mean Eivind is pretty extreme, almost certainly more so than any of the regular visitors here, be they feminists or MRAs (at least from what I’ve gathered by lurking). I don’t think he’s a regular commenter and I very much doubt he’s representative of how most people here feel about anything, be it male rape victims or anything else, really.

  34. 34
    sheaf

    Gunlord, several regulars here exhibit pretty extreme views, some of them to an extent that it is almost comical. Examples include proposals to allow weapons of self defense for women only, or ideas that disagreeing with them on facts is evidence of “misogyny”.

  35. 35
    Gunlord

    Huh, that is weird. Well, I take back what I said, maybe Eivind’s not an outlier after all. I suppose it’s inevitable, any blog that’s been around for a while *and* deals with gender politics is bound to attract a fair share of extremists, from both sides of the aisle. :p

  36. 36
    carnation

    Re Eivind – I could be wrong, but I think he might have been banned/edited from this blog?

    @ Ally – was/is this the case?

    @ Tamen

    I had (easily) refuted Gingko’s embarrassing statements about straight women’s prositutional everyday activities, you then attempted to justify him, and challenge me, using comments made in a different discussion about a completely different topic. So confused is your response that it would be a waste of time and effort to challenge each of the comments on their own merits, so let’s just stick to your words.

    Gingko stated that female sexuality has more value placed on it than male sexuality, and that this made people angry. You waded in and, after a bit of confusion, clarified that what you mean is the following:

    “How inviolable and the seriousness of violating something is linked to how it’s valued … Societies which doesn’t take violence against women seriously are said to consider women’s lives to be cheap. Violating someone’s sexuality and then arguing that it’s not really as harmful is devaluing that person’s sexuality.”

    The thing is, Gingko was attaching a financial value, evidenced by his nonsense about “prostitutional” activities. Sexual attacks have very little to do with the victims sexuality (as in their preferred activities/partners/expression) and a lot more to do with a huge range of other factors. Now you are also claiming that sexual abuse visited upon male victims is viewed as “not really as harmful” within society. And in doing so, you have the seed of a point – but it has nothing to do with the discussion that was taking place, and requires a very nuanced and balanced discussion about the nature of attack, assault, consent, coercion, patriarchy, victim-blaming and personal agency that is beyond the gift of most (of all political persuasions) on this blog. An excellent Ally Fogg article in the Guardian makes the point that political point scoring is too prevalent in this area:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/14/lgbt-victims-domestic-abuse

    As is typical with many commentators on gender blogs, you have confused and conflated points to try and promote your own worldview. Whilst it wasn’t as offensively stupid as Gingko, it was diversionary.

    I will accept that you didn’t specifically state what I said you did, but believe that an objective reader would deduce that you were “on board” with the inanity of Gingko’s beliefs when I said what I did.

    That was a lot of words to make a brief point, but I’m trying to be thorough and fair.

  37. 37
    Ginkgo

    carnation @ 24 – “@ Gingko
    Your true colours are showing…
    What a deluded, sexist, hateful, embittered worldview you espouse.”

    And you’re the one who likes to lecture us on feminism. There was a time when feministts denounced make-up and bras and all that as capitulation to the sexual tyranny of the patriarchy. There was a time when poltical lesbianism was the vanguagrd of feminism.

    There was a time when feminsits actually analyzed gender realtions instead of just repeating talking points from a catechism.

    Your true colors are showing. You know fuck all about feminism.

  38. 38
    Ginkgo

    carnation @ 36 – ‘…with the inanity of Gingko’s beliefs when I said what I did.”

    You people never change, do you? God forbid anyone say anything derogatory about a :”lady”.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100115868/the-campaign-to-stamp-out-misogyny-online-echoes-victorian-efforts-to-protect-women-from-coarse-language/

    What a blatant gynophile you are.

  39. 39
    carnation

    @ Ginkgo

    You haven’t been able to refute any points or counter-points that I’ve made, so you’ve instead indulged in ad hominem attacks and, therefore, acknowledged that your arguments are weak and insubstantive.

    You did, however, give me yet more material to publicly challenge you. This is too easily.

    “And you’re the one who likes to lecture us on feminism.”

    No, I only mentioned feminism to confirm that I wasn’t one. Examples of me lecturing on feminism, please? Or ignore this and tacitly acknowledge, once more, your inability to debate with me.

    “Your true colors are showing. You know fuck all about feminism.”

    I actually think it is YOU who knows “fuck all about feminism”, for this simple reason. It appears that your arguments are crudely lifted straight from an anti-feminist/MRA blog. Unfortunately, most anti-feminists, and virtually all MRAs, know “fuck all about feminism”, except what they read on the blogs of other anti-feminists/MRAs, and so the circle of ignorance continues.

    You seem angry about the prostitutional exchanges frequently initiated by straight women. Anybody who spends time in the real world, understands that your anger is unwarranted and delusional, but you seem quite sincere in your belief. So, let’s suppose that your lurid delusions are true, an obvious question arises.

    What does feminism have to do with straight women initiating prostitutional exchanges with straight men in everyday life?

    How does feminism support this?

    This will be fun.

  40. 40
    carnation

    @ Gingko #36

    Erm… Disagreeing that straight women prostututional from the bottom makes me a gynophile? Your crackpot beliefs expose you as a misanthrobe.

  41. 41
    Ginkgo

    “You haven’t been able to refute any points or counter-points that I’ve made,”

    Where did you make any points? I will gladly go look at them.

    “You seem angry about the prostitutional exchanges frequently initiated by straight women.”

    Bsaed only on your own prejudices against prostitutes. Prostitutes make the world go around these days. Have you heard of the market society?

    ” It appears that your arguments are crudely lifted straight from an anti-feminist/MRA blog.”

    It appears that unlike you I lived through the 70s and remember that hopeful time. Back then female dependence on men was a thing to be denounced and worked against.

    Of course there are those men who have good reason to defend it. You “appear” to be one of them.

    “except what they read on the blogs of other anti-feminists/MRAs, and so the circle of ignorance continues.”

    On you really need a course on political lesbianism? Do you really think it is something invented by MRAs? What do you have against political or any other kind of lesbianism anyway?

  42. 42
    Tamen

    I had (easily) refuted Gingko’s embarrassing statements about straight women’s prositutional everyday activities, you then attempted to justify him, and challenge me, using comments made in a different discussion about a completely different topic. So confused is your response that it would be a waste of time and effort to challenge each of the comments on their own merits, so let’s just stick to your words.

    Yeah, let’s look at my words.

    Gingko stated that female sexuality has more value placed on it than male sexuality, and that this made people angry. You waded in and, after a bit of confusion, clarified that what you mean is the following:

    Fail. Those are not my words. And herein lies the source of your comprehension problem.

    You waded in and, after a bit of confusion, clarified that what you mean is the following:

    The only one who voiced any confusion about that particular point was you.

    “How inviolable and the seriousness of violating something is linked to how it’s valued … Societies which doesn’t take violence against women seriously are said to consider women’s lives to be cheap. Violating someone’s sexuality and then arguing that it’s not really as harmful is devaluing that person’s sexuality.”

    I’m impressed you finally managed to quote me. Perhaps you’ll stick to what I wrote from now on when refuting my arguments. These are only clarification in the sense that I applied my original argument to cases that negatively impact women – I have found that people who initially didn’t get the argument about harm and devaluation of men often see it instantly when the same type of argument is applied on women. Just as you did now when thinking it was confusing when I applied it to men and now thinking that I’ve clarified it with examples with women.

    The thing is, Gingko was attaching a financial value, evidenced by his nonsense about “prostitutional” activities.

    And here you do it again… Gingko, me – to separate people. Got it now? Need I remind you again that you brought up “reproduction utility” as one possible way female sexuality was more valued than men’s so it’s not like I was the first to point mention men’s sexuality being valued less outside the transactional/prostitutional sense Gingko brought up. Had you not opened up that avenue I wouldn’t have commented.

    Sexual attacks have very little to do with the victims sexuality (as in their preferred activities/partners/expression) and a lot more to do with a huge range of other factors

    That is a very narrow definition of sexuality – there are in fact several other definitions of sexuality.. I also note that you didn’t adhere to that narrow definition yourself as reproduction utility is no better fit with women’s preferred activities/partners/expression.

    Nevertheless, non-consensual sex is even with that definition an violation of the victim’s sexuality as it violates the victims preferred activities/partners (the victim did not want to have sex with the perpetrator). In short – sexual attacks is a manifestation of lack of respect for the victim’s sexuality. Being raped violated and negatively impacted my sexuality.

    Now you are also claiming that sexual abuse visited upon male victims is viewed as “not really as harmful” within society.

    Also? Men’s sexuality seen as less valuable and trivialization of sexual violence against men is two sides of the same coin and not two separate arguements linked with an also.

    And in doing so, you have the seed of a point – but it has nothing to do with the discussion that was taking place

    It certainly does have something to do with how male sexuality is viewed and what value is placed on it. That it’s an argument meant to support Gingko’s assertion that all women are prostitutional is just a conflation in your head. You are for some reason incapable of seeing people you’ve tagged as MRAs (regardless of whether they identify as such or not) as people who may disagree with another or who may look at value of sexuality in more than one way.

    it was diversionary.

    That is pretty rich coming from you.
    It was a tangent spurred on by your speculating about reproduction utility being the only possible way women’s sexuality could be more valued than men.

    I will accept that you didn’t specifically state what I said you did, but believe that an objective reader would deduce that you were “on board” with the inanity of Gingko’s beliefs when I said what I did.

    I will accept that you didn’t specifically state what I said you did”? That was pretty weaselly phrased.

    I am trying to parse your sentence: So what you are saying is that you didn’t quote me, but you interpreted and rewrote what I wrote? And you think that people could deduce that I agreed with Ginkgo based on your re-writing of my words? You aren’t exactly strengthening your case here.

    Here’s some free advice: Try to more often quote what you are replying to rather than make assumptions and rewrite it to make it fit your narrative. Then you’ll appear as a more honest debater.

  43. 43
    lelapaletute

    @Gingko 23

    Straight women trade on sexual access in damned near every heterosexual interaction.

    Seriously? This is the level of debate you have sunk to? Calling all straight women prostitutes? Apart from the fact it is deliberately insulting and reductive to speak about ‘straight women’s’ behaviour as a class, and damn right ridiculous to thing there is a common theme that can be applied to ‘every heterosexual interaction’, it is frankly an outdated view that fails to take into account how much straight society has changed, mainly at the instigation of feminists who wanted, among a great deal else, to find a fuller, freer way to be able to love men, one free of petty need and petty trade.

    You speak about lesbian separatism as if that were the only possible way that the barter system of straight sex could have been disestablished – frankly, it has always struck me as throwing the baby out with the admittedly filthy bathwater (and the tub for good measure). Underneath such extremist theories more honoured in the breach than the observance, the real work has been going on on the ground for forty years and more, between couples negotiating a strange new world where they have to re-concieve what to value in one another, to learn how to rely on and support each other mutually, and to find a way round the rubble of the old system.

    I think you should try and remember that when you say, effectively, ‘all straight women are at bottom whores’, you are really no better than the mythical radfem who says ‘all men are potential rapists’. It’s peurile, provocative and pointless. And, not that it should matter to you, but very hurtful.

  44. 44
    gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 43, Carnation 16

    Like you, I am quite unimpressed by Gingko and Ahern, and find them shrill and over the top. Sorry, Gingko, but I would even agree with Lelapaletute when she says:

    I think you should try and remember that when you say, effectively, ‘all straight women are at bottom whores’, you are really no better than the mythical radfem who says ‘all men are potential rapists’. It’s peurile, provocative and pointless. And, not that it should matter to you, but very hurtful.

    But for all that I still think you are going too far in the other direction. First of all, whatever the reason, sex is still something that men seek and women grant. Which does mean it is (also) a power resource for women, like anything else that you have and others want. Power, like options, are always nice to have, even for those who choose not to make use of them. Secondly, however much we think society has changed, and however much we try ” to find a fuller, freer way to be able to love men [or women], one free of petty need and petty trade. “, both need and power are still there. They do not magically disappear in the face of love. Even if the thing you want most is to live happily ever after, you can still have quite strong and different ideas about how (and where) that life should be lived. Or, on a personal note, when I met my wife it was not only that I had an epiphany that I wanted to live a life of spiritual contemplation in her beloved company. Part of the driving force was also the (somewhat erroneous) idea that married people actually had sex together (among other things). So, Carnation is only right up to a point when he says that

    Most women don’t want to be sexually objectified, or, indeed, to exert or to possess a ‘significant source of power’ over a man. [...]Women, just like men, want to be appreciated for themselves. They want to meet someone who respects them and, generally speaking, start a relationship.

    However warm the relationship, it is always nice to have a little power, to have something to bring to the table, something that the other person needs and you can provide. It can give a little feeling of security when doubts assail you, it can make it a little easier to win some of the arguments and get some things your way. And if the relationship goes through a rough patch it leaves you with something to work with.

    Men, too want “to be appreciated for themselves [...] someone who respects them.” We do not want to be just walking wallets, tyrants, or punters. Yet you would hardly deny that men’s position was a lot better (and women’s a lot worse) back when the money and the decisions were all with the husband. The most loving and well-intentioned husband could treat his wife quite as well as anyone in this more equal age, but the fact that it was his choice to do so or not would make his position rather more secure. Or, at the other extreme, I would not like to live in a relationship where anything I could provide my beloved could easily get from somewhere else. Just in case that it ever got into her head to remind me.

  45. 45
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger: you have a depressingly utilitarian view of human relationships which is predicated on the assumption that everybody else is likewise as cynical, even if they don’t ‘admit it’ to themselves. This is not, in fact, the case. But we’ve had that discussion before with varying degrees of unfruitfulness, so I suppose we’d be as well not to do it again. Thanks at least for agreeing that simply being a heterosexual woman is not equivalent to being a prostitute.

  46. 46
    gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 45

    you have a depressingly utilitarian view of human relationships

    Maybe. As I see it you have both the love and the petty trades in most relationships. In various proportions, but never pure. After all, even saints take a poo every day. But I am happy to leave it there.

  47. 47
    carnation

    @ Gingko

    “Where did you make any points? I will gladly go look at them.”

    They are written in my earlier comments. They are very clear. Nobody else has had any problem identifying them.

    “Bsaed only on your own prejudices against prostitutes. Prostitutes make the world go around these days. Have you heard of the market society?”

    I have nothing against sex workers. That isn’t what is being discussed. What is being discussed is your contention that straight women essentially indulge in sex work “from the bottom up”.

    Of course I’ve heard of the market society. I don’t think you have, however, if you think that “prostitution makes the world go around these days.”

    That is a confused, weird point and world-view. Care to clarify what on earth you mean?

    “It appears that unlike you I lived through the 70s and remember that hopeful time. Back then female dependence on men was a thing to be denounced and worked against.”

    Actually, I did live through the 1970s. Society, facilitated by feminist theory, changed for the better. “Female dependence of men” is indeed a thing of the past, except in the minds of you and your kind.

    “Of course there are those men who have good reason to defend it. You “appear” to be one of them”

    I have no idea what you are talking about here – this is one of many increasingly erratic and diversionary comments.

    “On you really need a course on political lesbianism? Do you really think it is something invented by MRAs? What do you have against political or any other kind of lesbianism anyway?”

    See above. I have as much against lesbianism as I have against sex workers, that is: nothing. People, regardless of sexuality, sex, ability and so on are people to me and I treat them all accordingly.

    Gingko, if you honestly and truly believe what you have written, I feel an earnest sense of pity for you and wonder how dysfunctional the relationships that you found yourself in were.

    Sex and sexuality make up joyful parts of the human condition and, believe me when I tell you, in the overwhelming majority of cases have nothing to do with the market economy, “prositutional” activities or indeed anything beyond emotions, intimacy, a shared appreciation for sex, love, or a glorious combination.

    @ Gjganger

    Whilst your comments were more nuanced and less hysterical, I’m afraid that you’re coming from broadly the same ideological place as Gingko.

    Both of you, to different degrees, display a level of bitterness that is unpleasant to witness.

  48. 48
    avern

    @carney

    “I’m not a feminist. However, feminists are very capable of complex insights.”

    Lol, so basically, you’re a feminist that doesn’t self-identify as one. Probably because feminists have been humiliating themselves publicly for so long that the moniker is too baggage-laden for anyone except zealots.

    “It’s the lack of insight, and the total absence of nuance, that your points displayed that caused me to comment. That was quite clear.”

    It was your pathetic need to defend feminism’s tarnished name that caused you to comment. That was quite clear.

    “Could you point out one of my ideologically approved platitudes, referencing where it was approved and by which ideology? I don’t think you will be able.”

    Every single one of your statements. Approved by feminism.

    “You kick off with a sweeping statement that no serious intellectual would consider to be of any merit. We don’t live in a “gynocentric” society.”

    Hahaha! The fact that you believe that you have any clue what serious intellectuals consider is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

    “The people made most angry by a person considering themselves a ‘sexual prize’ seem to be MRAs, who write blog piece after blog piece about that subject, in the angriest and most embittered ways imaginable.”

    Change “MRAs” to “feminists” and you’ll have a factual statement.

    “Your initial comment was confused and bizarre. Your riposte was more of the same with a bit of ad hominem insult thrown in.”

    Looks like someone is trying to put his Word-A-Day calendar to good use!

    “Come back with something more substantive?”

    Learn the meaning of the word “substantive” and then ask me that question.

  49. 49
    Ginkgo

    Lela

    “I think you should try and remember that when you say, effectively, ‘all straight women are at bottom whores’, you are really no better than the mythical radfem who says ‘all men are potential rapists’. It’s peurile, provocative and pointless. And, not that it should matter to you, but very hurtful.”

    How ironic that you would point to something someone else says as hurtful. With all due respect, if you think that being called a whore is in any way, in any way, equivalent to being called a rapist, you are either a man-hating bigot who is trying to trivialize the amount of violence directed at men who are called rapist, or else you are trivializing rape. It is hurtful and contemptible.

    Gender is a construct, remember? It is a cultural construct. The gender system of this culture takes little female human beings and does everything it can to crush the humanity out of them to turn them into entitlement princesses who think that men are morally inferior beings who only real purpose in life is to serve and make them happy. It is the psychological equivalent of foot binding. Sorry if it hurts your feelings to hear me tell you I think your culture is vile and dehumanizing.

    Many, many resist successfully, but they pay a price one way or the other, quite often at the hands of men. Until and unless men and women return to a system in which they are broadly equal in what they provide materially to their households, this will remain the situation.

    “Gingko, if you honestly and truly believe what you have written, I feel an earnest sense of pity for you and wonder how dysfunctional the relationships that you found yourself in were. ”

    This standard shallow mind-reading. You are usually better than this.

    My comments reflect not my experience of being married to a woman, where we both contributed equally, nor to the working relationships with women I had in the Army. There a sergeant was a sergeant and a captain was a captain and what they contributed varied, but never on the basis of gender.They reflect my observations of how the genders interact in this market society, which objectifies every person into a commodity to be counted and turned into units of labor and units of consumption. Why should it surprise you that the whorish values of capitalism should inform the gender relations of that the culture arising out of capitalism?

  50. 50
    Lucy

    ““They also are far less likely to pedestalize women and instead see themselves as a sexual prize, which I think is the main grievance people have with them.”

    A) They aren’t far less likely to pedestalize women. They’re precisely as likely as every other man to pedestalize women – ie. not very.
    B) They aren’t far more likely to see themselves as a sexual prize. They’re precisely as likely as every other man to see themselves as a sexual prize – ie. suprisingly immune to all counter-evidence.

    What they are far more likely to be is down the gym with their bros, and on Facebook posting topless photos of themselves than either having sex or trying to have sex with anyone, unless you count their forays into unimaginative Californian porn. They are reassuringly asexual. Which is why they are so popular with their female gym-addicted female counterparts.

    “They are insufficiently gynocentric … are failing to sexually objectify women and are thereby denying these women a significant source of power over them. Worse, they expect to be appreciated for themsleves instead of their utiltiy to women in the form of adoration.””

    I think you’ve imagined a public grievance with them. And imagined this odd sexual landscape. Did you cobble it together from story books, indie films, computer games and a lonely, flickering TV?

  51. 51
    Lucy

    Ginkgo

    “Straight women trade on sexual access in damned near every heterosexual interaction.”

    That’s what happens when straight men demand sexual access in damned near every heterosexual interaction.
    If you don’t want to haggle, make a better first offer. Clue: stop trying to trade sex with women.

    —–

    “How ironic that you would point to something someone else says as hurtful. With all due respect, if you think that being called a whore is in any way, in any way, equivalent to being called a rapist, you are either a man-hating bigot who is trying to trivialize the amount of violence directed at men who are called rapist, or else you are trivializing rape. It is hurtful and contemptible.”

    And the violence directed at women who are called whores? The contempt you show for women’s safety when you label them that way? The trivialisation of women’s relationships, emotions and humanity? Save your hurt feelings and crocodile tears, you damned hypocrite.

  52. 52
    Lucy

    ““How ironic that you would point to something someone else says as hurtful. With all due respect, if you think that being called a whore is in any way, in any way, equivalent to being called a rapist, you are either a man-hating bigot who is trying to trivialize the amount of violence directed at men who are called rapist, or else you are trivializing rape. It is hurtful and contemptible.””

    Well let’s see shall we, here are some figures for what the consequences of being a whore are. Unfortunately figures aren’t available for what the violence consequences are of just being called a whore, slag, slut, etc or generally thought of as one, but anecdotal reports suggest it doesn’t increase pedestalization.

    More than half of women in prostitution have been raped and or seriously assaulted and at least 75% have been physically assaulted at the hands of the pimps and punters. 74% of women in prostitution identify poverty, the need to pay household expenses and support their children, as primary motivators for being drawn into prostitution. [Home office (2004). Solutions and Strategies: Drug Problems and Street Sex Markets. London: UK Government]

    As many as 85% of women in prostitution report physical abuse in the family, with 45% reporting familial sexual abuse. [Home Office Paying the Price, 2004]

    A report in the British Medical Journal about client violence towards women in prostitution stated that of the 125 women in indoor prostitution contacted, 48% had experienced client violence. The types of violence experienced included: being slapped, punched, or kicked; robbery; attempted robbery; beaten; threatened with weapon; held against will; attempted rape; strangulation; kidnapped; attempted kidnap; forced to give client oral sex; vaginal rape and anal rape. [Church, S., Henderson, M., Barnard, M. and Hart, G. (2001). Violence by clients towards female prostitutes in different work settings: questionnaire survey. British Medical Journal, 322. 524-525.]

    Women in street prostitution are 12 times more likely to be murdered than the rate for all women in same age group in the UK [Salfati, C. G. (2009). Prostitute Homicide: An Overview of the Literature and Comparison to Sexual and Non-Sexual Female Victim Homicide, pp. 51-68. In D. Canter, M. Ioannou, & D. Youngs (Eds.) Safer Sex in the City: The Experience and Management of Street Prostitution. The Psychology, Crime and Law Series. Aldershot: Ashgate.]

    Women in prostitution are 18 times more likely to be murdered than the general population. [New Philanthropy Capital (2007). Hard Knock Life. London: New Philanthropy Capital.]

    People are much less likely to be convicted of murdering a prostitute than of any other murder. The conviction rate of 75% for murder drops to 26% when it comes to killings of women in prostitution. [Raymond, K., Brothels and safe red light areas are the only way forward, in The Observer December 17 2006]

    An Australian study of women involved in street-based prostitution found very high rates of drug use (83% heroin, but also cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis and alcohol) and injecting, as well as risky use behaviours. They also found very high levels of mental health problems (e.g. 54% severe depressive symptoms), including suicidal thoughts* (74%) and attempts (42%). [Roxburgh, A., Degenhardt, L., Copeland, J. and Larance, B. (2008). Drug Dependence and Associated Risks Among Female Street-Based Sex Workers in the Greater Sydney Area, Australia. Substance Use & Misuse, 43, 1202-1217.

    * Female suicidal thoughts and risky self-destructive behaviours aren’t genuine like the male version. They’re only fake, like women, women’s relationships, sexual desires and emotions so please ignore.

  53. 53
    gjenganger

    @Carnation47

    I’m afraid that you’re coming from broadly the same ideological place as Gingko.
    Both of you, to different degrees, display a level of bitterness that is unpleasant to witness.

    The ideological similarity is undeniable. As for the bitterness, well, true, I am bitter about some things. I would point out that the truth of our propositions is independent of our feelings, whether the point in question is if all heterosexual interactions are dominated by women selling sex (surely wrong), or if the mechanisms of power games and favour exchange cannot be completely turned off even in very close relationships (my thesis).

    That said, I wonder how many bitter men actually have personal experience of women putting access to sex up for barter. I may be undermining my own argument here, but it seems quite as likely that their (our) problem is rather the frustration of not getting any, and the desparate insecurity of having a strong need that you can do nothing whatever to help fill, being dependent on what amounts to random and unpredictable charity. Arguably, to the extent that women systematically did exchange sex for favours, men in general would have a feasible and moderately dignified way of getting to sex. Which would be kind of sad, but still an improvement over howling your frustration at the moon.

  54. 54
    gjenganger

    @Lucy 51

    Ginkgo: “Straight women trade on sexual access in damned near every heterosexual interaction.”

    Lucy: That’s what happens when straight men demand sexual access in damned near every heterosexual interaction.

    Touche’!

  55. 55
    carnation

    @ Gjganger

    Will reply more fully later, but your choice of language is telling. Regarding sex as something women grant men “access to” demeans the act itself and both parties.

    As for bitterness, finding a willing sex partner(s) is not difficult, particularly not in this age of technology. The right sttitude is needed, of course, and a realistic and rational approach.

  56. 56
    johngreg

    carnation said:

    Regarding sex as something women grant men “access to” demeans the act itself and both parties.

    Such regard might demean the act and parties involved, perhaps dependant upon how sentimental and/or naive and/or young you are, but that does not mean that it’s not a probable fact for a small majority of men and women the world over.

    I know you dispute such concepts, but it’s a big world out there, and there are many more roads to Rome than are carried in your rather limited imagination and somewhat myopic world view.

  57. 57
    mildlymagnificent

    Gender is a construct, remember? It is a cultural construct. The gender system of this culture takes little female human beings and does everything it can to crush the humanity out of them to turn them into entitlement princesses who think that men are morally inferior beings who only real purpose in life is to serve and make them happy. It is the psychological equivalent of foot binding. Sorry if it hurts your feelings to hear me tell you I think your culture is vile and dehumanizing.

    That’s absolutely poisonous. Especially when you consider the likelihood of some/many of the people commenting here being a parent of one or more daughters (and/or a sibling to one or more sisters and/or related to various cousins, nieces, aunts).

    Does anyone, ever, see all of their children and relatives and friends and neighbours in such an appalling light? Nobody’s perfect and lots of people behave badly in various ways or in particular circumstances, girls and women as much as men and boys. But surely you’re not going to announce the same sort of blanket condemnation of all girls and all women that the idiot who wrote the newspaper piece did on the “terrible yoof of today”.

  58. 58
    Lucy

    You can’t trade on sex if you haven’t got a buyer.

  59. 59
    Lucy

    I used to have a boyfriend who was continuously trying to screw me. Wake up, there he was; getting dressed, there he was, brushing my teeth, trying to get to work, lunchtime, cooking tea, filling the dishwasher, driving the car. At a funeral. Right after I’d just thrown up from what turned out to be an operable condition, there he was. Then there he was telling his best friend about it.

    I expect he interpreted my “please not now, I’ve just had a shower”, “please not now I haven’t got time to go and have a shower after”, “please not now, I’m in severe pain”, ” please not now I’m grieving and at a funeral”, “please not now, we’re are in a crowd of people”, “please not not, could you just finish doing this single job I’ve asked you to do and then I’ll think about it”, “how about you make tea first and then maybe”, “how about you go and have a holiday with your friends! Here I’ll pay.”, “no I don’t want a threesome, not even if you buy me loads of porn for my birthday”, “okay I’ll have a threesome with you and another guy, as I’m not a lesbian, how about that?”, “Can’t you spend a bit of time talking to me first?”, “alright, but you have to do the laundry, I’m fed up of doing it”, “how about you take me out to dinner and we have a nice evening and then I’m sure when we get back we can have sex [unless I can get you drunk enough in the mean time]“, “Jesus alright if it will shut you up and stop you pawing me”, as withholding sex from him and bartering. I on the other hand saw it as exhaustingly fending off the utterly self involved attentions of an aggressive, porn-addicted knob-head.

  60. 60
    lelapaletute

    @Ginkgo 49:

    How ironic that you would point to something someone else says as hurtful. With all due respect, if you think that being called a whore is in any way, in any way, equivalent to being called a rapist, you are either a man-hating bigot who is trying to trivialize the amount of violence directed at men who are called rapist, or else you are trivializing rape. It is hurtful and contemptible.

    As I am sure you are WELL aware, I was not comparing or making an equivalence between prostitution and rape. I was referring to the fact that saying “all women are that” is just as reductive and offensive as saying “all men are this”. This is apparent to anybody without a colossal axe to grind. It’s tedious and obvious of you to try and misrepresent what I have said in this way.

    Gender is a construct, remember? It is a cultural construct. The gender system of this culture takes little female human beings and does everything it can to crush the humanity out of them to turn them into entitlement princesses who think that men are morally inferior beings who only real purpose in life is to serve and make them happy. It is the psychological equivalent of foot binding. Sorry if it hurts your feelings to hear me tell you I think your culture is vile and dehumanizing.

    Even if we were to take this unsubstantiated vitriol at face value (which I don’t, on the basis of, oh I don’t know, BEING a woman and knowing that this is about as far from how I regard men as it is possible to get), as a justification for saying ‘all straight women are whores’, it is then totally undermined by your next sentence:

    Many, many resist successfully, but they pay a price one way or the other, quite often at the hands of men.

    You go on to say:

    Until and unless men and women return to a system in which they are broadly equal in what they provide materially to their households, this will remain the situation.

    But the fact is, this is the case in many households. You even state later that it WAS the case in your own household. So how can you possibly justify making a sweeping statement that ALL straight women are prostitutes because they are entitlement princesses who demand to be kept by men they deem worthless, when you yourself acknowledge that not all of them think or behave in this way?

    If what you believe is that MOST straight relationships are unequal and transactional, then by all means say that, crack out some statistics to back up that assertion, and them make some suggestions for social and economic policy to change this. Don’t just make broad-brush generalisations designed to provoke unless you want to get pulled up on it.

  61. 61
    gjenganger

    @Lucy 58
    That is the basic gender imbalance, innit? Your average woman has a fair chance of finding some (over)eager suitors, which could serve as buyers if she ever was in the mind to trade. Your average man is more likely to be looking hard for somebody at all interested in what he has to offer. Various consequences follow. Nothing nasty on either side of that equation. The question – in society or a relationship – would seem to be how to mnimize the friction and find a compromise between the needs of the two sides. I would say that it is not a promising approach to either deny the problem, or expect the other party simply to adopt the same needs and preferences as yourself,

  62. 62
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger 61 How would you propose Lucy should have ‘compromised’ with the abusive partner she describes at 59?

  63. 63
    gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 62
    I would not propose anything to Lucy, because I know little about the details. In the abstract, for the relationship to work you would need to find some frequency and approach to sex that took the needs of both sides into account and that both could live with. As the man is described it does not sound like this would be possible, so the best practical advice might well be to dump him. If you felt strong and unafraid enough, I suppose you could give him an ultimatum about what he was to do and not to do for the relationship to survive, and hope he either took it or left of his own accord.

  64. 64
    Ally Fogg

    [just deleted my own comment because I realised I got the wrong end of the stick on something. If you saw it, please ignore! Apologies.]

  65. 65
    gjenganger

    @Ally 64
    I was replying to her post 58, NOT to her post 59. It says so. That makes a big difference, I would say.

    What Lucy described [in post 59] was an ignorant, selfish, solipsistic asshole, perhaps verging on the abusively so.
    Different people have different sex drives and (especially with younger people) it is common for a male partner to be more “over-eager” as you put it, and less fussy about the circumstances. However there is no excuse for someone losing consideration and empathy for their partner, no excuse for not considering the other persons wishes or needs.

    Based on Lucys description, I would agree with all of that.

  66. 66
    gjenganger

    @Ally 64
    No offense taken. Feel fre to delete my post 65 and 66 as well, if you think it is appropriate.

  67. 67
    carnation

    @ Gjganger 

    I actually despair…  Where are you getting your script from?  There are women with low sex drives, no sex drives, and very high sex drives.  There are men with the same.  It is nothing but a deluded myth to view sex as something that women grant men access too. Those that subscribe to this view reveal their lack of sophistication and understanding of the human condition and of human sexuality.  And it is that, not some transactional analysis, or halfbaked notion of barter, that prevents you from having a fulfilling sex life. In a nutshell – stop treating your own sexual wants and desires as something being withheld from you, and start seeking out someone whose desires are simialr to your own.   Seriously guys, it isn’t hard and it’s rewarding.   Stop with the embittered outbursts and look inwards – where did YOU go wrong, not what’s wrong with women/society.  It’s actually quite disturbing.

  68. 68
    gjenganger

    @carnation 67
    Unfortunately you do not convince me. “ start seeking out someone whose desires are similar to your own.” Well, what do you think I have been doing up till now?
    “Seriously guys, it isn’t hard and it’s rewarding.” You remind me of a mega-rich American, telling all and sundry that anyone can get rich. ‘I did it, so can you’. And, by implication, that if you are still poor it is solely your own fault. If I thought you were a man I would suspect you were boasting, but it would be interesting to hear what in your life justifies that assertion. If you are a woman I think that may have something to do with it

    ” It is nothing but a deluded myth to view sex as something that women grant men access too.” It is demonstrably the current social script. Men grow up to expect that sex is elusive and requires lots of trying. “Between the first ‘Will you?’ and the first ‘Yes!’ you must go through 371 rejections.” And women, I suspect, grow up to expect that lots of men will be trying it on (at the most inappropriate times) and the important thing is to decide what you want and when. Of course the social script is self-reinforcing, since both sexes learn to act on the basis of the script, and thereby confirm that this is how things work. Whether the underlying distribution of sexual desire is really the same in the two sexes is hard to prove either way – but I admit that I doubt it.

    Ally is more convincing than you are: “Different people have different sex drives and (especially with younger people) it is common for a male partner to be more “over-eager” as you put it, and less fussy about the circumstances.”

    Or Steve Biddulph from ‘Manhood’ (not any kind of MRA author), who tells men to prepare for when (not if) their womanfolk decides to suspend sex for a few months and years, for how cheated and rejected they will feel, and to take up the job of patiently changing themselves, their lives, and things around them generally until they have (single-handedly) rekindled that spark of desire in the couple. More constructive than bitterness, and more realistic than your “it isn’t hard, guys!” – but not exactly joyful.

  69. 69
    mildlymagnificent

    It is demonstrably the current social script. Men grow up to expect that sex is elusive and requires lots of trying.

    Well, that’s probably true for one night stands where you’re interested in sex and little else.

    But for most people most of the time, and that includes men, they’re much more interested in relationships – maybe FWB maybe longer term – and sex is just one among many things they’re keen to pursue. If the sex doesn’t work out, then you may finish up with a good friend you often see at events you both enjoy or the lack of sexual chemistry might kill the potential relationship entirely.

    As long as sexual relationships are friendly, cooperative partnerships where the two people concerned can *also* excite genuine passion in each other – they have the potential to be good for both parties. Maybe even long term or lifelong. The important point being that if you’re not good friends as well as responsive or passionate or ecstatic lovers, then any problems that arise in mismatched sexual desire are that much more difficult to talk about and to deal with.

    Perhaps men with the “lots of trying” mindset should “try lots” of activities with women and groups that include women and see whether some, or one special one, might, eventually, develop into a sexual relationship. If the sex doesn’t happen, you’ve still got lots of friends to spend enjoyable and entertaining times with. Whereas the try for sex first and last approach leaves you with no lasting friendships with women and occasional, unpredictably enjoyable, sex.

    (And there’s also the side benefit that women friends are the ones most likely to recommend a man as “a nice bloke” to other women who might be more interested in a sexual relationship. A man with no women friends doesn’t have that advantage.)

  70. 70
    carnation

    @ Ally

    Off topic, but did you see the news about AMIS? Awarded £419k. Very good news.

  71. 71
    gjenganger

    @ MildlyMagnificient 69

    You are a woman.

    As I understand you, you are saying that you should not particularly care about sex. You should care about friendship, companionship, and that is what you should pursue. If sex happens that is just great. A bonus. If it does not, well, the friendships were always the important part anyway. Surely good advice – if you are built that way. Quite likely leads to a fuller life than the alternative. Might even be a decent strategy for maximising the amount of sex you got (except that you could not fake it successfully if you were that cynical). Only the first step is to accept that sex is not particularly important to you and that you should aim for a life with many friendships and quite likely no sex. And some people may have different priorities. “Stop wanting what you want, and start wanting something else instead” is not easy advice to follow.

    The stereotypical female contact ad ends with “Friendship and maybe more” If the main thing you care about is the friendship, it does not matter if the ‘more’ is 20:1 against and would take five years to manifest anyway. If you actually care about the ‘more’, you will run out of patience before then. We both know the stories of the man who is extremely friendly and supportive and close to a woman. After a couple of years he lets on that he is angry and frustrated at having done so much for so long without ever getting anywhere. And the woman is aghast at the idea (not necessarily correct) that he never cared for her anyway and it was all just a ploy to get into her knickers.

    Or, if you prefer: If my wife does not care to play bridge with me, I will find another partner for Thursdays and not love her any less for that. If my wife does not care to have sex with me, I think it says somethings about just how much she cares for my needs, and for me as a person. And I do not have the option to find another partner for Thursdays, either.

  72. 72
    carnation

    @ Gjganger 

    Please accept that I say the following with sincerity, I am not “boasting”, nor am I trolling you.  I know nothing of your age or appearance, and to an extent this is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that you don’t appear to be getting your desires and wants met.   The ‘net is full of methods to meet people, some of whom will want what you want.  Now, will this involve a lot of rejection and hurt feelings?  Quite possibly.  Is it worth it?  Who knows – up to the individual to decide.  But what I can say with a degree of certainty is that the attitudes you are displaying will hinder you.  Reject that social script.  Do not view sex as a commodity – view it as recreation (I’m talking outwith a relationship here).  To view sex as something a woman “controls access to” does, indeed, demean men – it assumes that they slavishly follow their desires.  And it demeans women, and paints them as controlling. 

    All humans are capable of sexually satisfying themselves – so why the urge for a partner?  Well, it’s complex, but it’s that area to explore when looking for someone for this purpose.  Is it the cuddle afterwards?  The dynatmics?  The conversation?  The affirmation?  All of the preceeding?  Or maybe that you can’t tie yourself up.  What’s important is to appreciate and respect the breadth of human sexuality (rejecting the script, you see?) and move it beyond the commodification meme.  Desperation is unattractive, in men and women.  As is neediness (I’m not implying you are, I’m saying the cliche of men being “denied” sex is). Gjganger, I’ll say again, I’m not boasting and I’m not trolling.  I rejected the script a long time ago, and my life has been immeasurably better for it.  

  73. 73
    summerblues

    Why does it seem that anti-feminists are living in the past instead of the present? Aren’t we into Third Wave Feminism? It’s like a record with a scratch: women back in the sixties and seventies did THIS! Who gives a shit, that’s over.

  74. 74
    summerblues

    If I read Ally’s article and the comments below correctly, wouldn’t it be a good thing that men are taking pride in their appearance? Wouldn’t this be self-care and self-respect? You know, dead skin flakes from dry legs on sheets is not sexy. Sugar scrubs, moisturizers, even light make up…isn’t this good?

  75. 75
    mildlymagnificent

    As I understand you, you are saying that you should not particularly care about sex. You should care about friendship, companionship, and that is what you should pursue. If sex happens that is just great. A bonus.

    Not quite. Where do you think the references to a passionate and/or ecstatic sex life came from? As it happens, the man in question had been a friend for eight years before we got together and I’ve now been living happily with him for 38 years, married for 36 of them. And sex is still on the menu now that we’re into our 7th and 8th decades respectively.

    What I am saying is that friendship is a good basis for intimacy. My experience is that it’s been the best thing that ever happened to me and he’s said much the same. (But we’re not paragons of relationship virtue. Both of us had had desperately unsuccessful marriages before we got together. In fact, despite being deliriously happy with him from the start, I suspected that it was a kind of rebound thing, friends falling into each others arms or somesuch and that it wasn’t a long term proposition. I was wrong.) And I’ve also known dozens of happy marriages that were the result of people becoming friends at work and in sports clubs or church groups as well as from being part of a larger, varied social group. Some of those relationships failed, most of them are still going strong.

  76. 76
    gjenganger

    @Carnation 72, MildlyMagnificient 75.

    This will require some slow thinking. Thanks, both of you.
    Especially you, Mildly – I find you the easier to make sense of, if not (alas) to follow.

    As for me, I am currently married to my second-ever girlfriend. First one I asked, first one who said yes, and it took me about ten years to find her in the first place, With too many good things to throw away (or really hope to improve on) and, as you will notice, the odd regret.

  77. 77
    carnation

    @Gjganger

    I appreciate your comments.  Moving sideways from there, the grass is always greener, so to speak.  I have a lot of sex, but not much emotional intimacy.  At this stage in my life, that’s something that I am OK with – but I do feel I miss out.  Some manage polyamory, or open relationships.  I don’t think that they are for me, for a variety of reasons. 

    Part of the  reasons that I get a bit animated about this subject, is that I firmly bought into the “controlling”, “access” script – which I think should more accurately be called the “rejection script.” And with hindsight, it really ruined what was an otherwise happy relationship.  I mistook somebody not wanting to have sex at that particular time, with her rejecting me (sexually, and in other ways).  The truth is that there are many reasons why a person doesn’t want to have sex, and often they have nothing to do with their partner (though of course sometimes they do).  When I ended up in a relationship with an extremely sexually demanding woman, I thought that the cosmos was playing a trick on me, as I was the one doing the rejecting (and she was the one put out).  The truth was, though, at the time, I preferred consuming massive amounts of alcohol and drugs, that sometimes heightened, but more often deadened, the desire for sex.  But it got me thinking…  It was circumstances that made me not be in the mood, not me not wanting her.  And there’s something to be said for the dampening effect being pressured has on libido, as well as taking foregranted that a partner will always “be up for it”.  

  78. 78
    johngreg

    summerblues said (http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/03/13/how-to-be-a-douchebag/#comment-55550):

    Why does it seem that anti-feminists are living in the past instead of the present? Aren’t we into Third Wave Feminism? It’s like a record with a scratch: women back in the sixties and seventies did THIS! Who gives a shit, that’s over.

    I think part of the answer to your initial question would be that a lot of people, perhaps even a majority of people, who support equal rights do not at the same time support the often bizarre and often misandrist ideology and practices of current Third Wave feminism, especially the divisions of Third Wave feminism that fall under the description Gender Feminism, or RadFem feminism.

    A lot of people who currently support equal rights, but do not support current Third Wave feminism’s ideology, may feel, to some degree, that the feminism of the 60s and 70s was healhtier, less divisive, more truly egalitarian, less focussed on identity politics, victim-point scoring, and infantilization of women, and was overall more constructive, positive, and forward-looking.

    And lastly, disagreeing with certain aspects of feminism, whatever wave it may be, does not necessarily make one an “anti-feminist”.

  79. 79
    gjenganger

    @Carnation 77
    This I can understand (so I am skiving off work a little longer to answer).

    I mistook somebody not wanting to have sex at that particular time, with her rejecting me (sexually, and in other ways). The truth is that there are many reasons why a person doesn’t want to have sex, and often they have nothing to do with their partner.

    And even if it does, the caring can be there anyway. Yes, I have managed to learn that much over the years. But in each case you have two people with strong and conflicting needs, and it is rather a minefield to decide what is appropriate in each case. For one thing a justified no still feels like a rejection to your body, just like a cuddle can feel like a cuddle even if you know it is a paid-for massage. For another thing, who should give way to whose needs when? Is it time for “OK, I’ll put my needs behind yours, for now at least”, or for “I will not continue to live like this, so it changes or I am out”? Are we talking about “I really cannot handle more than this, so this has to be where we stop”? Or about “In this house we do it my way, so if someone has to adapt, it will be you!”? This is one place where power games and exchanges of favours start becoming hard to avoid, be it as a way of deciding who feels how strongly about things, or as a way of giving each other something, even if neither party can get what (s)he would really like . One attitude I have come across is “If I feel excited I have sex, and if I do not feel excited I do not. It is not within my conscious control to influence the process!”. This at a time when I routinely had sex whenever the chance was there, pretty much regardless of how I felt, simply because it was either do it now, or wait another four months for the next chance. The attitude was sincere, not manipulative, but even though I knew it, I found it hard to fully believe it.

  80. 80
    mildlymagnificent

    A lot of people who currently support equal rights, but do not support current Third Wave feminism’s ideology, may feel, to some degree, that the feminism of the 60s and 70s was healhtier, less divisive, more truly egalitarian, less focussed on identity politics, victim-point scoring, and infantilization of women, and was overall more constructive, positive, and forward-looking.

    Why was it different in the 70s? Because we had hope back then.

    We’d seen, and many women had been part of, the success of the civil rights movement and the anti-nuclear and the anti-war movements. We were seeing, for the first time ever, refuges opening for battered women. Contraception and abortion options were improving all over the place – for Western women anyway. Education and job opportunities were opening up all over the place.

    And it was really exciting to eventually get that pay-packet equal to the guys you’d been working alongside for years. Which inspired other women in other occupations to look forward to the same thing. And all of us were able to buy our own cars with loans that didn’t need cosigning by a man or sign our own leases/buy our own houses the same way – the feeling of throwing off the shackles was intoxicating. Our world was full of eager anticipation at our apparently unstoppable progress even while it was full of more inequality, more domestic violence, more rape and more sexual harassment than now.

    Now? Many women like me see our achievements of those times being challenged and whittled away in too many areas. I feel disappointed that our daughters’ generation is still having to argue and fight for things we’d truly, honestly believed were settled – and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Feminism now looks to me like the grim settling in for a much longer war in much trickier terrain rather than the thrills and excitement of our initial advances against overt but much simpler, straightforward opposition.

    We fell into the same trap as the civil rights activists. We thought we’d done really well in getting laws changed and obvious obstacles cleared from our path. It wasn’t enough.

    If you think that modern feminism isn’t as much fun as it was in the 70s, you’re probably right.

  81. 81
    lelapaletute

    Mildly @80:

    *applauds wildly* Exactly that. I think this is what vexes a lot of people about modern-day feminism as compared to the early days – back then, women were excited to get any concessions, because it was all so new. Now, women are brought up with an expectation of equality (after all, that fight was fought by our mothers, wasn’t it? The laws didn’t they?) and it makes us ANGRY when we discover that yes, the laws are changed, but no, the battle is not yet won, and not only do we have to keep fighting it, it’s no at all clear WHAT to fight and how (much simpler, if not easier, to conceptualise and demand the changing of an unjust law than it is to foster a change in a poisonous culture). So the movement is less joyful, more confused, more conflicted, because the battles we are fighting are too.

  82. 82
    devilsadvocate

    I appreciate your comments. Moving sideways from there, the grass is always greener, so to speak. I have a lot of sex, but not much emotional intimacy. At this stage in my life, that’s something that I am OK with – but I do feel I miss out. Some manage polyamory, or open relationships. I don’t think that they are for me, for a variety of reasons.

    Part of the reasons that I get a bit animated about this subject, is that I firmly bought into the “controlling”, “access” script – which I think should more accurately be called the “rejection script.” And with hindsight, it really ruined what was an otherwise happy relationship. I mistook somebody not wanting to have sex at that particular time, with her rejecting me (sexually, and in other ways). The truth is that there are many reasons why a person doesn’t want to have sex, and often they have nothing to do with their partner (though of course sometimes they do). When I ended up in a relationship with an extremely sexually demanding woman, I thought that the cosmos was playing a trick on me, as I was the one doing the rejecting (and she was the one put out). The truth was, though, at the time, I preferred consuming massive amounts of alcohol and drugs, that sometimes heightened, but more often deadened, the desire for sex. But it got me thinking… It was circumstances that made me not be in the mood, not me not wanting her. And there’s something to be said for the dampening effect being pressured has on libido, as well as taking foregranted that a partner will always “be up for it”.

    Don’t delude yourself – if she didn’t want to have sex with you at all – it was you. Stay away from women who perpetually withhold sex – it’s a violation of the trust of a relationship. It is considered domestic abuse by many domestic violence agencies as well. I dated an “abstinence” woman for a year – loved her like crazy – still do – she was quite literally an absolute angel other than that she wouldn’t have sex. I dumped her because she wouldn’t have sex. You are perfectly entitled within a relationship to have desires and to have those desires met within reason and within mutual understanding. If one of you never has their desires met, especially one so deep as the desire to be physically intimate with someone you love, it’s time to move on.

  83. 83
    sacharissa

    This sounds like the moralizing hand-wringing about the youth of today that is pretty much a constant. My parents’ generation were incomprehensible to their parents. I was amused looking through a family album to see pictures of my Dad as a young man dressed in a way that could be a textbook image of a young man in the 1970s. His parents disapproved of his long hair as did the parents of all the other boys sporting similar hairstyles. I’ve heard on documentaries that in the 1950s the parents of Teddy-boys would avoid being seeing with their sons in public. Disapproval of the youth is easy because many people do daft things when they’re young. I’ve noticed that many of the moralizers are the ones who did a lot of stupid things when they were young.

    In the event of a war these young men would be fighting and dying just like previous generations did but I cannot understand people who act like this would be a good thing. Many people said exactly the same before the First World War.

  84. 84
    gjenganger

    @Devilsadvocate 82
    Well, for any individual couple it is a matter, first, of settling on some agreement that both sides can be reasonably happy with, and second, of not staying around if what is on offer is below the minimum that you can live with. Whatever your desires, as long as they were made clear up front no-fault negotiation can do the rest.

    What is more interesting, at least on a political debating site, is what the unspoken, implicit contract should be, when two people join up. When you move in with your beloved you generally do not agree up front what you should do in this or that hypothetical situation. So, if one party wants both sides to stop having sex, and the other party wants both sides to continue, who is being unreasonably demanding, and who is behaving normally and entitled to respect for his/her choice?

  85. 85
    carnation

    @ devilsadvocate.

    Cool story, bro’. Off you go now, grown ups are talking.

  86. 86
    lelapaletute

    @Gjenganger

    So, if one party wants both sides to stop having sex, and the other party wants both sides to continue, who is being unreasonably demanding, and who is behaving normally and entitled to respect for his/her choice?

    This has been batted back and forth so many times it’s practically been graven in stone by now, but what the hell. In that situation, NEITHER party is in being unreasonably demanding, and BOTH are entitled to respect for his/her choice (insofar as it applies to them). They just have different wants and needs. It is perfectly acceptable for them to discuss these wants and needs with a view to reaching a compromise; but if they can’t reach a consensus, that doesn’t mean one party is ‘the bad guy/girl’, it just means they aren’t compatible and should move on. I don’t understand why you’re so keen to apportion blame/apply pressure.

  87. 87
    D506

    @86 lelapaletute

    I think a big part of the problem is that our culture is obsessed with the idea that relationships should always last forever, and anything else is a failure. That if two people love each other you can just ‘make it work’. If the couple in your example can’t find a compromise they should part amiably, accept each other as great friends and find people more compatible with their needs and desires. Culturally though, this is almost impossible.

    I think needs more often become incompatible rather than begin that way. What happens if they’d been, say, married for the last decade, have two kids, a mortgage and one of them is a stay at home parent? At the very, very least they’re going to be financially devastated if they part.

    Too often it’s impossible for everyone to have their needs met currently, and there just is no answer other than that someone is going to have to go without. I think we need some fundamental changes to the way our culture sees relationships, particularly in cases of dependence, if we are going to live in a society where everyone can have their needs met.

  88. 88
    gjenganger

    @Lelapaletute 86
    I totally agree with what you are saying. The reason I raised it is that once upon a time sex was a ‘conjugal duty’, so it was the person saying no that was held to be unreasonable. Nowadays, with all the talk about ‘sense of entitlement’, ‘enthusiastic consent’, ‘yes means yes’ and whatnot, I often get the impression that it is the person unwilling to go without sex that is seen as unreasonably demanding. Thinking back, where we used to disagree is that I think the pressure pretty much applies itself in this situation, whether you want it to or not. People have such a big investment in a relationship that there is a lot of pressure on either side to find an accomodation that could save it. Good we agree otherwise

  89. 89
    mildlymagnificent

    The reason I raised it is that once upon a time sex was a ‘conjugal duty’, so it was the person saying no that was held to be unreasonable.

    And we should all give a very loud cheer that those days are over – at least in law and the culture generally.

    There are far too many individual cases, and some communities, where women are burdened by extraordinary impositions. (Just ask someone who works in a maternity hospital. Most of them have legendary stories of staff having to drag a husband out of the bed of his wife who was obliged to “do her duty” despite being in hospital after the birth of a child explicitly because she was ill or injured by the pregnancy or the birth.)

  90. 90
    Schala

    There are far too many individual cases, and some communities, where women are burdened by extraordinary impositions.

    Funny but I only saw men being dragged into courts to “pay damages” to their unsatisfied sexually wives, for the crime of not having sex with them. And it wasn’t some sort of sex draught. It was real health issues making sex not happen. He still got charged to pay her damages for failing to fulfill his marital duty.

    This was in 2013. In France.

  91. 91
    lelapaletute

    @Schala: Link?

  92. 92
    devilsadvocate

    @gjenganger

    So, if one party wants both sides to stop having sex, and the other party wants both sides to continue, who is being unreasonably demanding, and who is behaving normally and entitled to respect for his/her choice?

    I’d say it really depends on the reason – if someone is ill or injured or pregnant – then obviously there’s some legitimate reason that has nothing to do with his or her partner for declining sex. However, the party who has been denied sexual satisfaction has every right to end the relationship for such a reason. Women often withhold sex as an attempt to control their partner. Men do it as well occasionally. In either situation it’s an abusive behavior. Completely ignoring my partner’s sexual desires for long periods of time is not really any different than saying “I have complete bodily autonomy, for the next six months I will neither speak to you nor acknowledge your viewpoints, desires, feelings, or existence. That’s my right, and you have no right to object.”

  93. 93
    mildlymagnificent

    Funny but I only saw men being dragged into courts to “pay damages” to their unsatisfied sexually wives, for the crime of not having sex with them. And it wasn’t some sort of sex draught. It was real health issues making sex not happen. He still got charged to pay her damages for failing to fulfill his marital duty.

    This was in 2013. In France.

    This is the *only* report you’ve seen? I find that strange.

    Women in France are killed by their partners at the rate of 6 per month http://mondediplo.com/2004/07/01ramonet . (Which is a much better statistic than Australia’s by the way. Almost 3 times the population but only 1 and a half times the incidence of this kind of murder.) Surely the circumstances of the woman in the years leading up to her death are reported sometimes. Or don’t French papers report on such things.

  94. 94
    Lucy

    Gjenganger

    “That is the basic gender imbalance, innit? Your average woman has a fair chance of finding some (over)eager suitors, which could serve as buyers if she ever was in the mind to trade. Your average man is more likely to be looking hard for somebody at all interested in what he has to offer. ”

    I think you’re thinking of your average supermodel (and possibly not even her). For the rest of us, it’s a round of trying to improve our faces and bodies and dress sense and personalities enough for somebody to take an interest in us, having doors left to swing in our faces, cases lugged alone, drinks unbought, lifts that don’t arrive, nasty jokes told within our hearing and after a certain dating age, a barren sexless landscape, while blokes our own age chase around after shiny, over-assertive 26 year olds with flicky hair. I know a number of perfectly pleasant women who haven’t managed to get anyone interested in them for years, who live largely celebrate lives, with tales to tell of indifference, rudeness, callousness and where the scourge of chivalry and pedestalization are things we only read about in Men’s Fairy Tales of Yore and from Backed-up Internet Bloke on message boards. I also know a number of women who’ve gone off sex for YEARS because of the way boyfriends have behaved towards them.

    Point being that if men want women to be interested in them and to want to have sex with them, then don’t act like it’s an entitlement, or in women’s gift, don’t assume women don’t experience exactly the same kinds of insecurities and knock backs men do, don’t treat it like something men do to women, don’t try to bully, cajole, sulk, manipulate, bribe or win by a war of attrition. Don’t try to replicate the wholly sexually-dysfunctional dynamic of porn and prostitution in a functional relationship with somebody.

    Just think about what would persuade you to have somebody stick their penis up you on a regular basis whilst walking the wafer thin social line between being social ostracism for not being sexually available enough and social opprobrium for being too sexually available, being impregnatable, experiencing hormonal fluctuations that affect your receptiveness and negotiating a horror show of threats and dangers to your wellbeing and all will fall into place.

    —-

    “Various consequences follow. Nothing nasty on either side of that equation. The question – in society or a relationship – would seem to be how to mnimize the friction and find a compromise between the needs of the two sides. I would say that it is not a promising approach to either deny the problem, or expect the other party simply to adopt the same needs and preferences as yourself,””

    I’d challenge whether he had an actual need to keep trying to spaff on or up somebody 7 times a day. I’d say that what he needed was to stop thinking about himself for long enough to put himself in somebody else’s shoes.

  95. 95
    Schala

    Women in France are killed by their partners at the rate of 6 per month http://mondediplo.com/2004/07/01ramonet .

    Replying to my news with this makes as much sense as replying to this:

    The sky is blue.

    with:

    I ate a sandwich with ham and mayonnaise.

    No link whatsoever between what I talked about and what you talked about.

    Also fun fact: The rate of spousal murder (women killing men) went down since the 1970s, maybe because of DV shelters. It used to be more or less equal. Speculate on the reason all you want, but to me the solution is obvious: DV shelters for men.

    My google-fu sucks, so no link about the France thing. You can try to find it if your google-fu is better.

  96. 96
    Schala

    I think you’re thinking of your average supermodel (and possibly not even her). For the rest of us, it’s a round of trying to improve our faces and bodies and dress sense and personalities enough for somebody to take an interest in us, having doors left to swing in our faces, cases lugged alone, drinks unbought

    You must live in some weird world where men don’t approach women at all, or be very low on the attractiveness scale if you don’t get ANY attraction shown to you, without having to do anything (this includes without having to go all made-up fashionista). Something that only happens to super model men, or very famous men (ie their famousness overrides their plain physique).

    Jensen Ackles gets women fawning over him and hitting on him all the time in Supernatural. So much that it gets weird, given that even male hunks don’t get this level of attention. But as an average looking trans woman, I get a decent level of attention (not his level of attention with people almost saying “let’s have sex” after 5 minutes), without make-up, without caring about my ‘dress sense’ or spending much on clothing (some is from charity shops).

    Sure, I’m only 31, but since I didn’t have the chance to start off without massive testosterone in my system, I’d say that’s extremely good.

    Thinking you need to play in the rat race to even get crumbles from the big pie is the issue in itself. Saying fuck the rat race gives you a major advantage: Self-esteem, genuineness, and not trying to prove yourself to every stranger you meet – in fact you don’t care what people think beyond the basics (meaning you still wash yourself, and wear mostly clean clothing). Then you’ll get people praising you for just showing up. Sure you might have detractors, but nobody can ever please anyone anyways. Why even try?

  97. 97
    Schala

    can ever please everyone*

  98. 98
    Lucy

    DevilsAdvocate

    “Don’t delude yourself – if she didn’t want to have sex with you at all – it was you. Stay away from women who perpetually withhold sex – it’s a violation of the trust of a relationship. It is considered domestic abuse by many domestic violence agencies as well. ”

    He didn’t say she didn’t want to have sex with him at all, just sometimes.

    But women don’t want sex for all kinds of reasons:

    Perhaps she is in the part of her monthly cycle where she isn’t ovulating (ie. 25 out of every 28 days), had high progesterone levels and sex was utterly unappealing.

    Or perhaps she is prementrual making her breasts feel like bruised bags full of rocks and her skin feel like it had sunburn and her mood perilously low.

    Or perhaps she is menstrual and feels humiliated by sex.

    Or perhaps she is post-menstrual and feeling meh about sex and resentful that she has to start taking hormone pills every day again.

    Or perhaps she is worried about DVT.

    Or perhaps she is worried about pregnancy.

    Perhaps she is pregnant.

    Or perhaps she was peri-menopausal, menopausal, post menopausal.

    Or perhaps she doesn’t feel like having to go and shower and dry and style her hair again and walk around with soggy, cold pants all day.

    Or perhaps she doesn’t want to be late for work.

    Or perhaps she doesn’t want to wash the sheets, clothes and be wiping up after a pair of unwashed sticky hands all day because nobody else did it.

    Or perhaps she doesn’t feel like something poking around in her internal organs.

    Or perhaps sex brings back uncomfortable memories.

    Or perhaps she wants a commitment.

    Or perhaps she is abstinent.

    Or perhaps she wants a child and feels that sex is empty, pointless and unfulfilling and she doesn’t see why she has to out up with a lifetime of female primary and secondary sexual characteristics and take contraception so that her male partner can fulfill his biological imperative of ejaculating while she doesn’t get to fulfil hers.

    Or perhaps she doesn’t want to have sex with somebody who consumes massive amounts of alcohol and drugs.

    Or perhaps she is a withholding hag who really wants to have sex but just doesn’t have it to punish her faultless boyfriend and hopefully ultimately, the wider Patriarchy.

    Who knows?

    —-
    “I dated an “abstinence” woman for a year – loved her like crazy – still do – she was quite literally an absolute angel other than that she wouldn’t have sex. I dumped her because she wouldn’t have sex. .”

    A) She wasn’t literally an angel, they are not real things.
    B) She dumped you. Passive-aggressively.


    “You are perfectly entitled within a relationship to have desires and to have those desires met within reason and within mutual understanding. ”

    Entitled according to what?

    “If one of you never has their desires met, especially one so deep as the desire to be physically intimate with someone you love, it’s time to move on”

    Or time to figure out why they don’t want to be physically intimate with you.
    “Shag me and shag me now or I’m going to dump you, it’s my right, Angel” was worth a punt I guess.

  99. 99
    Lucy

    Schala

    “Sure, I’m only 31″

    Precisely.

  100. 100
    Lucy

    Schala

    “You must live in some weird world where men don’t approach women at all, or be very low on the attractiveness scale if you don’t get ANY attraction shown to you, without having to do anything (this includes without having to go all made-up fashionista). Something that only happens to super model men, or very famous men (ie their famousness overrides their plain physique).”

    Sorry, but I don’t buy into this idea that men aren’t choosy about women. The beauty, self-help, romance and cosmetic surgery industries exist for a reason and their primary customers are female. Women spend billions each year on trying to get men interested in them.

    Men say they like women to be natural, yet look at their media representations of women.

    There are certain types of women who do not get male attention: tall ones, older ones, plain ones, clever ones, funny ones, assertive ones and so on. In fact there is a very narrow bracket of female attractiveness. Take the comedian Miranda for instance, do you think she has men fawning over her? Why do you think she has the self-mocking shtick she has?

    —–

    “Jensen Ackles gets women fawning over him and hitting on him all the time in Supernatural. So much that it gets weird, given that even male hunks don’t get this level of attention. But as an average looking trans woman, I get a decent level of attention (not his level of attention with people almost saying “let’s have sex” after 5 minutes), without make-up, without caring about my ‘dress sense’ or spending much on clothing (some is from charity shops).”

    No, average men won’t get women fawning over them, but neither do average women. Both men and women try to attract mates, it’s just that women generally have to disguise the fact that they’re doing it. In fact I think women put more effort than men into it. Not only are they on the diets, buying the clothes, padding the bras, putting on the high heeled shoes, reading the self-help books, joining the salsa dancing clubs, buying the dog, having the surgery, working on their body language, trying to attract attention, frequently getting knocked back and getting feedback on why from their mates, they’ll also be trying to do it without appearing too reticent, too forward, “laying themselves open” to danger, or social stigma, or rejection, or public humiliation, whilst covering their backs if it all goes wrong and ends up in court.

    —-
    “Thinking you need to play in the rat race to even get crumbles from the big pie is the issue in itself. Saying fuck the rat race gives you a major advantage: Self-esteem, genuineness, and not trying to prove yourself to every stranger you meet – in fact you don’t care what people think beyond the basics (meaning you still wash yourself, and wear mostly clean clothing). Then you’ll get people praising you for just showing up. Sure you might have detractors, but nobody can ever please anyone anyways. Why even try?”

    No reason, but let’s not pretend that a woman just has to walk into a bar and she’s got grateful men circling her. Most women’s dating lives are nothing like that.

  101. 101
    Lucy

    Sheaf

    “Gunlord, several regulars here exhibit pretty extreme views, some of them to an extent that it is almost comical. Examples include proposals to allow weapons of self defense for women only”

    Okay how about people being able to carry weapons for self-defence if they can demonstrate that they are:
    A) at an innate physical disadvantage to most physical assailants and therefore have a need
    B) demographically less likely to commit an offensive assault and are therefore insurable
    C) specifically and continuously targeted for assault and therefore have a motive
    D) currently having their civil right to free movement, assembly and sexual congress infringed by the threat of targeted assault and therefore have an ethical right and duty
    E) criminally responsible and therefore have the capacity

    ?

    That would open it up to the elderly, and the physically disabled too.

    Or the current method is good too. When people lose certain capabilities, other things start to compensate: I can can’t go jogging by the canal, but my hearing has got better for instance.

  102. 102
    summerblues

    Lucy @ 98,

  103. 103
    summerblues

    Sorry, messed up

    Lucy, thank you for #98. You said this so much better and more clearly than I ever could. My way would be screams filled with profanities.

  104. 104
    carnation

    @ Lucy
    @ Summerblues

    I think Devilsadvocate is a troll, the sheet stupidity of their comments seem designed to invoke a reaction.

    @ Schala

    Sadly, you aren’t a troll, and appear to believe every words that you type. Shall we assume that you want the “decent amount of attention” that you get? Because not every woman wants it. Not every man wants it, either, from women or men, as Ally has written about. But, because of your ridiculous beliefs, a woman allowing and encouraging “sexual access”, albeit criminally, would have reason to believe he’d “be up for it”, isn’t that right?

    It’s very difficult to discuss subjects that require empathy, nuance and an open mind with individuals who seem to believe that woman have an innate drive to commodity their sexuality and play games with their hapless partners (“betas”, no doubt). It’s simply incredible that adult humans possess the type of outdated, pre sexual-revolution, misogynistic, misandric theories that you and Gingko (and maybe a bit Gjganger) have.

    The people who commodify sex are you, Schala, and the dupes who subscribe to the “woman controls access”, “man constantly trying to gain access” crackpottery. It would be funny if it didn’t leave so many men bitter and unhappy.

  105. 105
    johngreg

    re carnation c. # 104:

    My initial response was to think that you are simply too young, naive, and inexperienced in the larger global picture to be aware of a rather large percentage of the global population that does in fact practice human sexual relations in much the way as described that you so detest.

    Then I thought maybe I’m too old, stodgy, and generationally isolated to be aware of some fresh new generational wave, similar (in its stated/claimed open-minded ideology) to the open-minded ideology espoused, but rarely actually acted upon, during the 60s.

    In the end, I think the most probable reality is that we are both right and wrong to some degree — both social descriptions (and the requisite gray areas between) are probably true to some variable degree across various demographical populations. I suspect that both the mis-described “outdated, pre sexual-revolution, misogynistic, misandric theories” you so detest, and your own warm-and-fuzzy naive versions of social-sexual behaviour exist.

  106. 106
    Schala

    Sorry, but I don’t buy into this idea that men aren’t choosy about women. The beauty, self-help, romance and cosmetic surgery industries exist for a reason and their primary customers are female. Women spend billions each year on trying to get men interested in them.

    Women, like men, have insecurities about themselves that are not necessarily borne by reality. And they also compete on stuff that has no mate value, like handbag brands or high fashion (seriously, I could say most guys don’t appreciate make-up, but this is debatable – but your Gucci handbag? Nope, only your girlfriends even care. Same for shoe brands. Shoe fetishists might have preferences.)

    Men compete on sports knowledge, mechanic ability and strength to lift weights, to name only a few I heard about. All stuff women don’t really care about, too. Having a handyman is useful, but not attractive. Having a strong man is useful, but not attractive barring serious threats (that his presence could remove) to your life on a daily basis. And sports knowledge? Only female sports fans are going to care, it’s like the Gucci handbags.

    It would be much like most non-geeks see attempts of male geeks to impress female non-geeks with videogame prowness as misguided and “loser like”. It will possibly impress or interest female geeks, similar to fashion buffs or sport buffs for the Gucci handbag and the sport knowledge/fandom. People pursue them because apparently, to a certain amount of people, it’s given them a sense of belonging, possibly tied around their sex (same-sex bonding). Not because of its mate-attracting utility.

    There are certain types of women who do not get male attention: tall ones, older ones, plain ones, clever ones, funny ones, assertive ones and so on. In fact there is a very narrow bracket of female attractiveness. Take the comedian Miranda for instance, do you think she has men fawning over her? Why do you think she has the self-mocking shtick she has?

    Tallness (especially very-tallness, above 6 feet 2 and so on) can be a problem for some. Age is a problem for most everyone who isn’t rich. Being plain is usually not an issue to have a man approach or show interest. Being funny is definitely not a block. And being assertive is not a block either.

    I’m assertive AND submissive. Some people think this is impossible. Funny, because it’s how I am.

    I’m a lone wolf, I do my own thing. I defy common sense and spit on its “everyone knows” notions and conventions until I tried it out myself and decided, through critical thinking, if it made sense. Lots of notions didn’t pass the smell test for me. Like double standards. Yet I’m shy, I’m conflict-avoidant generally (I’m not interested or equipped to win headbutts often) and I prefer to be the more passive “done to” partner sexually, and even socially (initiate conversations, hugs, touches, I leave that to the other – when I do its very awkward).

    No, average men won’t get women fawning over them, but neither do average women. Both men and women try to attract mates, it’s just that women generally have to disguise the fact that they’re doing it. In fact I think women put more effort than men into it. Not only are they on the diets, buying the clothes, padding the bras, putting on the high heeled shoes, reading the self-help books, joining the salsa dancing clubs, buying the dog, having the surgery, working on their body language, trying to attract attention, frequently getting knocked back and getting feedback on why from their mates, they’ll also be trying to do it without appearing too reticent, too forward, “laying themselves open” to danger, or social stigma, or rejection, or public humiliation, whilst covering their backs if it all goes wrong and ends up in court.

    Except the diets is based on misconceived perception. That they are too heavy when they’re not. Similar to not-fat men thinking they’re too skinny and need to gain muscle (or at least weight, to not look skinny) as young as 8. This is conformist thought, and barring unhealthy weights, is not going to attract that much more either way (women trying to lose weight, men trying to gain weight), except very shallow people. Provided they even succeed at changing their weight.

    The clothes are not necessary beyond clothing you’d buy for yourself.

    The padded bras can help if you have small breasts like me (A cups), but diminishing returns as soon as you go above average with the padding. Contrary to popular opinion, most men don’t prefer DDD cups, they prefer them average or so (B to C cup depending on where they live).

    The high heel shoes can help with shoe or ass fetishists, but that’s not most men. That’s a small subset of men.

    The salsa is funny, I’ll just say that. Men have to be bribed to go in dance courses alone since culture made it coded for girly. I watched Grease some months ago and was “wow, dancing was “not that girly” at some point”.

    The dog? What?

    And surgery? If you’re deformed maybe.

  107. 107
    mildlymagnificent

    Replying to my news with this makes as much sense as replying to this:

    No link whatsoever between what I talked about and what you talked about.

    I was merely trying to point out that one report of a man being sued for failing in his “conjugal duties” ought to be swamped by news reports which included the rather nasty details of the terrible sexual demands and impositions in some relationships – the worst of which finish up with murder. Perhaps our brash Australian approach to such things is not so common elsewhere. http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Honour-killing-in-the-suburbs/2004/11/05/1099547388469.html%E2%80%9D

    (And my google fu is more like google snafu.)

  108. 108
    Schala

    Reread my reply

    The obvious solution to murders of women by their husbands is DV shelters for male victims, if we are to believe statistics about the opposite. Which visibly went down as shelters or female victims appeared, but were equal before.

  109. 109
    sheaf

    Lucy,

    Okay how about people being able to carry weapons for self-defence if they can demonstrate that they are:
    A) at an innate physical disadvantage to most physical assailants and therefore have a need

    While tall and experienced with self defense, I certainly am not a very strong male, compared to most people who would act physically aggressive. Despite this physical disadvantage I do not have any need for weapons of selfdefense, even though I am far more likely to be the target of assault than you. In fact I have been the victim of violent assault that put me in the hspital for several weeks. Weapons would only have made the situation worse though and I now know when it is time to run.

    B) demographically less likely to commit an offensive assault and are therefore insurable

    Wealthy bankers for example? Guys with narrow faces(see here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886907000268)? I think for example that women whose need for such weapons stems from involvement in a violent relationship are unlikely t make this criteria, which I suppose runs directly against your original intention.

    C) specifically and continuously targeted for assault and therefore have a motive
    Ok, now it is rather clear that we can exclude most women from the list of pple qualifying, as well as old people. Young males are the primary instigators and targets of violence. This will make the list of people meeting the criteria short.

    D) currently having their civil right to free movement, assembly and sexual congress infringed by the threat of targeted assault and therefore have an ethical right and duty

    You are losing me even further. I am a consequentialist. Rights and duties have no bearing on ethical decision making in my worldview.

    In summary, your list of criteria seems highly impractical. A much more effective way of dealing with this situatins is improving checks on people with sociopathic qualities, recognizing such probem individuals early and restrict their access to weapons.

  110. 110
    carnation

    @ Schala 108

    “The obvious solution to murders of women by their husbands is DV shelters for male victims, if we are to believe statistics about the opposite. Which visibly went down as shelters or female victims appeared, but were equal before.”

    Using your methodology, banning ice-cream in New York during the summer would reduce the murder rate. Sales of ice-cream increase with the murder rate. Simple, isn’t it? So why hasn’t it been done…

    Well, because of the myriad of other factors contributing to the murder rate in New York. Once again, we come back to the total incompetence of people blinded by their own obsessions. So much has changed in law enforcement, societal attitudes and judiciary that to blindly obsess about shelters for men is to literally ignore reality.

    But at least there is an advocacy group within the MRM tendering for credible, reliable research into this and other important areas.

    Oh wait, there isn’t. They’re too busy doing… Well, they’re just too busy, it seems.

    @ JohnGreg

    Thanks for the interesting comments. My reality is my reality, but it is one shared by a large group of people. I will admit to being something of a stranger to the world of monogamy, marriage and so on (have been for quite some time), but the “controlling access” school of thought is self-evidently borne out of outdated concepts and is based, clearly, on sexist (and sometimes hateful) stereotypes of both men and women. And I really don’t think that that can be argued with.

    Put bluntly, women enjoy sex. This wasn’t always acceptable in society. Some people still have a problem with it but they are in a shrinking minority (a smaller minority have problems with men enjoying sex too). The “controlling access” theory at once demeans men as desperate pursuers, and posits women as misers and manipulative killjoys. It creates a hapless, passive victim and a controlling class. It’s bullshit and needs called out at every eventuality.

  111. 111
    Schala

    Using your methodology, banning ice-cream in New York during the summer would reduce the murder rate. Sales of ice-cream increase with the murder rate. Simple, isn’t it? So why hasn’t it been done…

    No link at all. Compare the summer NY rate with the summer Montreal rate. It will be at least 3-4x higher in NY. Hence it’s not ice cream. Those two cities are much closer to each other.

    But reread what I said.

    Shelters for DV female victims existed since then. Shelters for DV male victims have not existed since then.

    The numbers of female perpetrated DV murder has been reduced since then. The mumber of male perpetrated DV murder has remain unchanged.

    Maybe the women who killed their husbands have left to the shelter. But the men who killed their wives have had nowhere to run.

  112. 112
    Schala

    “Maybe the women who killed their husbands have left to the shelter. But the men who killed their wives have had nowhere to run.”

    I mean instead of killing, if its not obvious.

  113. 113
    carnation

    @ Schala

    So in the time period that you are talking about, there have been no other initiatives or changes that could have affected the murder rate? Why have you specifically chosen DV shelters rather than, say, the Duluth model (which I am not supporting, just citing as an example)?

    Your methodology is so unsophisticated, sloppy and, frankly, unhinged.

  114. 114
    Schala

    Why have you specifically chosen DV shelters rather than, say, the Duluth model (which I am not supporting, just citing as an example)?

    The Duluth model? A piece of shit that’s so far out of reality that it does more harm than it helps even the female victims, exists only for ideology’s sake (ie doesn’t go with what reality shows is true, at all), and ignores half the victims while painting maleness itself as the cause for violence?

    We might as well announce my cat licking her paw as the cause of world peace, it’s more likely.

  115. 115
    gjenganger

    @Lucy 94

    Both sexes have problems, can feel unloved, onsought-after etc. So far so good. And the problems are different – looks and age count more for women, status and confidence for men, I’d say. Maybe what people seek – on the average – is different. But I do think that as far as pure sex goes, it is easier for a woman than for a man in the same situation. That is based on the many credible stories of women who can not sit down in a bar without some male hitting on them, women complaining about the exaggerated sexual demands of their boyfriends, the flourishing prostitution market where may men and fewer women are happy to pay to shag somebody. I do not claim that women are happier, just that if it is only sex they are after they have an easier time finding it.

    Point being that if men want women to be interested in them and to want to have sex with them, then don’t act like it’s an entitlement, or in women’s gift,[...] don’t try to bully, cajole, sulk, manipulate, bribe or win by a war of attrition.

    .This gets tricky. So: Do not treat sex as something you have a reasonable right to expect in a relationship, do not treat is as something that the women decides on and you are powerless to influence, do not try to influence anybody in order to get it. What is left? Should we see sex as an act of God – like earthquakes -something that no human being decides on that just happens to happen when it happens? or what?

    I am not impressed by this talk of ‘pedestalization’, ‘chivalry’ etc. either. I can maybe sympathise with the kind of frustration and feelings of powerlessness that give rise to it, but it clearly has very little to do with reality.

    In general it is a slippery to start deciding on other people’s behalf what is a need and what is an inapprorpriate desire. It easily ends up in comparatives. You know: ” I have a desperate need” v. “You are a bit insensitive in trying to get what you want” v. “He is a shortsighted, narcissistic arsehole”. In the specific case of your former boyfriend I am happy to agree with you, though.

  116. 116
    johngreg

    carnation said (http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/03/13/how-to-be-a-douchebag/#comment-56510):

    … the “controlling access” school of thought is self-evidently borne out of outdated concepts and is based, clearly, on sexist (and sometimes hateful) stereotypes of both men and women. And I really don’t think that that can be argued with.

    I’m not really arguing with it so much as trying to expand upon it. I do not think the results of research are anywhere near clear enough yet to determine with any real surety or clarity what the balance on such behaviours is between learned behaviour and innate behaviour and the various gray areas therein.

    Much of what we can witness in human behaviour in regard to “mating behaviours”, aka socio-sexual behaviour, is mirrored to varying degrees in nature. And, so, unless one wishes to argue the biblical/theist proposition of absolute distinction between humanity and all the other wee beasties of the planet (I’ve forgotten the specific term for that), then it seems to be to be sound and logical to assume that at least some human socio-sexual behaviours are innate/instinctual (or, perhaps, the templates or groundwork for development of such behaviours may be innate), while others may be learned.

    The “controlling access” theory at once demeans men as desperate pursuers, and posits women as misers and manipulative killjoys. It creates a hapless, passive victim and a controlling class. It’s bullshit and needs called out at every eventuality.

    Well, I think you’re pushing idea of and degree of the “demeans” aspect a bit harder than necessary; nonetheless, even so, that does not prove, so to speak, that such behaviours do not exist innately on both/all sides of the sexual panormama. Neither does it prove to what degree such behaviour is determined between learned and innate behaviours. I do not for an instant believe either of the absolutist arguments that state socio-sexual behaviours are either 100% learned or 100% innate. I firmly believe that what evidence we have points to some degree of both playing a role in determining/favouring certain behaviours.

  117. 117
    carnation

    @ Schala

    Cool story. Buy address the point?

  118. 118
    Tamen

    carnation:

    @ Schala

    So in the time period that you are talking about, there have been no other initiatives or changes that could have affected the murder rate? Why have you specifically chosen DV shelters rather than, say, the Duluth model (which I am not supporting, just citing as an example)?

    I suspect Schala picked DV shelters as that is what peer-reviewed research have identified that as a likely explanation supported by data.

    Look up “Exposure reduction theory”.

    http://hsx.sagepub.com/content/3/3/187.abstract

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/crimes-violence/201012/women-s-shelters-and-domestic-violence-services-save-the-lives-men

  119. 119
    carnation

    @ Tamen

    I am 100% sure that she had no idea of the study. I will read and reflect.

  120. 120
    carnation

    @ Tamen

    Did you read the PT article? It says nothing to support Schala’s pov.

  121. 121
    Tamen

    That PT article:

    So what is the explanation for this striking decline in women killing their partners? Researchers including myself attribute the decline to the fact that women who often killed out of fear for their lives now had an alternative avenue of escape thanks to the availability of women’s hot lines and domestic violence services, including shelters.

    Schala:

    The numbers of female perpetrated DV murder has been reduced since then. The mumber of male perpetrated DV murder has remain unchanged.
    Maybe the women who killed their husbands have left to the shelter.

    I mean instead of killing, if its not obvious.

    I am afraid you have to tell me in more details why the PT article doesn’t support Schala’s statement? Perhaps it was you who didn’t read the PT article?

  122. 122
    carnation

    The PT article posited that, because of the number of shelter places for women, fewer women were murdering their abusive male partners. Basically, because they had somewhere to go, murder wasn’t the only option (that they could see).

    It doesn’t in any way support Schala’s point.

    Tell you what, you prove it does, I’m interested to see what you mean.

  123. 123
    Schala

    The PT article posited that, because of the number of shelter places for women, fewer women were murdering their abusive male partners. Basically, because they had somewhere to go, murder wasn’t the only option (that they could see).

    Maybe you need reading comprehension courses, because it is EXACTLY my point, word for word.

  124. 124
    Tamen

    So, what’s the difference between what I quoted from the PT article and what I quoted from Schala in my comment @121 ?

  125. 125
    carnation

    @ Schala
    @ Tamen

    I’ve been away for a few, great, ‘net free days. Whilst on my travels, I tried to describe MRA theory to a feminist friend over dinner. She was perplexed. I was embarrassed disclosing that I even knew of the existence of such persons and theories. But anyway…

    Let’s be charitable and assume that Schala was indeed referring to the PT article and HS journal.

    If the only factor in one current or former intimate partners murdering another, then perhaps your point would be valid. But, as it very obvious, it’s far more complex than that.

    From HS: “three factors that reduce exposure to violent relationships: shifts in marriage, divorce, and other factors associated with declining domesticity; the improved economic status of women; and increases in the availability of domestic violence services.”

    So, in a nutshell, a huge amount of societal upheaval was happening, as was an increase in “domestic violence services.” Not specifically shelters, *services*. Some of these services would be informative, raising awareness, lobbying for law enforcement to take DV seriously etc. Not the crude, clumsy “build shelters” model favoured by troglodytes.

    From PT: “Researchers including myself attribute the decline to the fact that women who often killed out of fear for their lives now had an alternative avenue of escape thanks to the availability of women’s hot lines and domestic violence services, including shelters. (Keep in mind that women who kill their partners are generally battered women, whereas men who kill are often striking out due to a break-up or threatened break-up.)”

    Your own sources damn your point. It stretches credulity to accept that you weren’t aware of the numerous holes in your point; one can only guess why you still posited such a glib point.

    Money, thankfully *is* being allocated, increasingly, to services aimed at men – but thankfully a blockheaded “build shelters” approach isn’t being adopted. Nuance, empathy, understanding and, above all, credible research is needed. An organisation like AMIS can, it seems, be trusted to do this. Sadly, the entirety of the online MRM can’t, obsessed as it is with feminism.

    I will say, once again, and with absolute certainty – there is not a shred of evidence to support your theory. Or, for that matter, most theories that you advance.

    One can only hope, for the sake of men in need, that their self-described advocates stay exactly where they are: on blogs. They do not help.

  126. 126
    carnation

    “If the only factor in one current or former intimate partners murdering another, then perhaps your point would be valid. But, as it very obvious, it’s far more complex than that.”

    Should read:

    If the only factor in one current or former intimate partners murdering another, was the availability of shelters, then perhaps your point would be valid. But, as it very obvious, it’s far more complex than that.

  127. 127
    Schala

    So, in a nutshell, a huge amount of societal upheaval was happening, as was an increase in “domestic violence services.” Not specifically shelters, *services*. Some of these services would be informative, raising awareness, lobbying for law enforcement to take DV seriously etc. Not the crude, clumsy “build shelters” model favoured by troglodytes.

    All stuff feminism DID NOT do for men.

    What’s your point?

    To me same deal: DV “services” if you prefer arrived FOR ONLY WOMEN. Rate of murder for women dropped.

  128. 128
    carnation

    No, Schala. You obsess about “shelters” – you have repeatedly parroted the “build shelters” line in other discussions on this blog. You’re obfuscating now because I’ve exposed the total lack of clarity to your point.

    Now, true to form, you’re blaming feminism (too inane to bother retorting to).

    Your point was build shelters to save men’s lives. You cited two sources. Neither supported your point. You lack the integrity to admit your own sloppiness, instead opting to try to cover your ineptitude with anti-feminism, sadly, it seems, unaware that you anti-feminism is part of the reasons for your sloppiness.

    Lame, Schala, lame.

  129. 129
    Schala

    Lame, Schala, lame.

    *puts feminist hat on*

    Ableist!! I win the debate.

  130. 130
    carnation

    @ Schala

    You are really embarrassing yourself. I will defer to your immature need to have the last word though. I look forward to it.

    For me, this discussion is concluded.

  131. 131
    Schala

    For me to be embarassed, I’d have to care about your opinion of me. But since you’re a notorious troll from the very start. I don’t see why I would anymore than I would by going on Radfemhub or Mich fest boards. If their opinion mattered to me, I would have died long ago by my own hands.

  132. 132
    Tamen

    Carnation:

    Money, thankfully *is* being allocated, increasingly, to services aimed at men – but thankfully a blockheaded “build shelters” approach isn’t being adopted. Nuance, empathy, understanding and, above all, credible research is needed.

    Not that I tink this’ll change your blockheaded view, but here is what happens if one build shelters for men and the awareness of their existence is spreading:

    In 2009 shelter’s in Norway housed 9 men (there were 2-3 shelters offering housing to men). From the 1st of January 2010 all shelters were obligated by law to offer services to men as well. After that one saw a sharp increase in male users and in 2010 37 men were housed, in 2011 79 men were housed and 117 men were housed in 2012 (6% of total number of clients who were housed). An additional 220 men were day-clients in 2012 (10% of the total number of day-clients).

    To povide some more details; in 2013 men had 129 stays (some men used the shelter more than once during the year) totalling 4664 nights. That is an average of 36 nights per stay for male clients – which is higher than the overall average of 30 nights per stay.

    24% of the men brought children with them to the shelter – a total of 39 children.

    63% of the men had been victims of abuse for more than 1 year, 30% of the men had been victims of abuse for 5 years or longer before coming to the shelter.

    There are 40 shelters offering services to men – having a total of 79 bedroom and 169 beds. 18 of these shelters reported having been full at least once during 2012.

    2012 is the latest year we have official statistics from all the the shelters – but I’ve seen one news-stories on one shelter which reported a pretty sharp increase in housed male clients and their children (7 men with 1 children in 2012 up to 13 men with 10 children in 2013) so I will not be surprised if the report next year shows in even further increase in the number of men housed by shelters.

    This is why I think building shelters and raising awareness of the existance of said shelters is an important thing.

    Sources:
    Report for 2012 from the umbrella organization for shelters in Norway (it’s mostly in Norwegian, but there is an English summary on page 12-17): http://www.norskkrisesenterforbund.no/filemanager/download_file/file/684785.pdf

    Norwegian article about the shelter in Fredrikstad who saw almost a doubling of male clients being housed from 2012 to 2013: http://www.f-b.no/nyheter/flere-menn-sokte-hjelp-1.8240975

  133. 133
    carnation

    @ Tamen

    “Not that I tink this’ll change your blockheaded view, but here is what happens if one build shelters for men and the awareness of their existence is spreading”

    What is my “blockheaded view”? What is it that I am propositioning that you find so offensive?

    Schala’s view is indeed blockheaded, she is rendered irrational by anti-feminism. Hers is a worldview that involves the repetition of “women have shelters, men should have an equal number of shelters”. It is beyond stupid; it is dangerous.

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that demand for refuge (shelter is an unfortunate term, in my opinion) places for men. I accept that. What I simply do not accept is that service provision for women should be adopted for men. It is simply wrong and stupid. Boys who have been abused will suffer a range of traumas different to that of girls who have been abused. Likewise for men and women who, as adults, find themselves in abusive relationships. Again, there is ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that in general women need a physical safe space in greater numbers than men, who, it seems, struggle with the very idea that they are in fact victims in the first place. One might reasonably assume that emotional support for these men, and changing attitudes to them in society, is a very pressing matter.

    The figures you gave indicate that in Norway the refuge reached capacity on a number of occasions. In the UK, I have found today, the story is worse – demand outstrips provision for men. For women, the situation is worse. This is not to “score points”, it is merely to illustrate that domestic abuse provision is lacking across the board.

    I do not deny for a minute that there is a grave problem facing male victims, I am stating that anti-feminists are, it seems, incapable of understanding the subtleties, nuances and complexities of the problems and finding effective solutions. Schala’s cognitive dissonance when it was pointed out to her that her own sources contradicted her is an object lesson in the limiting nature of negative ideology.

    Some links that informed my comments:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/domestic-violence-as-a-man-its-very-difficult-to-say-ive-been-beaten-up-8572143.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-13346134

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/dec/21/socialcare.uknews

    http://www.windsorexpress.co.uk/News/Areas/Windsor/First-male-only-refuge-opened-in-East-Berkshire-26102012.htm

  134. 134
    Tamen

    What is my “blockheaded view”? What is it that I am propositioning that you find so offensive?

    It didn’t occur to you to read your words that I quoted? I’ll try again and bold the most pertinent part of your statement for your ease:

    Money, thankfully *is* being allocated, increasingly, to services aimed at men – but thankfully a blockheaded “build shelters” approach isn’t being adopted. Nuance, empathy, understanding and, above all, credible research is needed.

    I consider being thankful that a “build shelters” approach isn’t being followed to be a blockheaded view since factual evidence points to shelters offering housing to men is indeed needed.

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that demand for refuge (shelter is an unfortunate term, in my opinion) places for men.

    Do you even know what the word anecdotal means? It is defined as “(of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.“.

    It isn’t anecdotal when all registered shelters in Norway are mandated to report data about all their clients to the authorities and those data show an increasing number of men being housed by shelters. It’s descriptive statistics rather than inductive statistics as the “sample” is the same as the “population”.

    I’d also like to point out the difference between need and demand. Without awareness of the need nor the availability of any supply demand will remain less than the need.

    I use and will continue to use the term shelter since that is the English term the shelters have chosen to use themselves in the report I linked to. The Norwegian term used by themselves is “krisesenter” which literally translates to “crisis center”.

    Schala’s view is indeed blockheaded, she is rendered irrational by anti-feminism. Hers is a worldview that involves the repetition of “women have shelters, men should have an equal number of shelters”. It is beyond stupid; it is dangerous.

    I am not Schala and she’ll have to answer for herself. But I did search for the quoted sentence on this page and unsurprisingly no-one have said those words. I searched for the sub-string “equal number of shelters” and no-one said that either. I re-read Schala comments on this thread to see if she had said anything that could be paraphrased as calling for an equal number of shelters for men. She hasn’t. She wrote that one should build shelter for men – which is not the same. So this is the second time in this thread that I have noticed you try to pass something off as a quote of someone else when it in fact was some sentence you yourself constructed – or as you said to me in comment #36: “…you didn’t specifically state what I said you did”.

    I had some advice for you back in #42 which apparently bears repeating: “Here’s some free advice: Try to more often quote what you are replying to rather than make assumptions and rewrite it to make it fit your narrative. Then you’ll appear as a more honest debater”. I wish you’d take it as I think it would be better for all, yourself included, if you did.

    In Norway shelters are publicly funded; 80% by the state and 20% by the municipality. Shelters covers a geographical area. Given those premises I actually think that there should be an equal number of shelters for men and women, because otherwise some geographical area won’t be covered for male victims. Note that I said shelters which are not the same as beds. The number of bed available for men and women shouldn’t necessarily be equal unless there is an equal demand. The number of beds for men (and women) ought to be increased proportionally with increased demand and it’s clear from the official comprehensive statistics (they include all publicly funded shelters) from Norway that the increase in demand from men needing housing (beds) are increasing as the availability of the service and the general awareness of male victims become more widely known.

    When the law was changed in 2010 mandating that shelters should offer services to “women, men and children” the law also stated that male and female clients should as a main rule be physically separated and with the change in the law came an extra-ordinary funding to help with the transition.

    I understand the need for physical separation, but I am concerned with how adhering strictly to that leaves several victims without any service. Victims who are refused housing because they can’t bring their older children of the opposite sex with them as well as victims of same sex DV. I saw on the Women’s aid webpage and the Shelter webpage that in the UK some shelters have an age limit for male children of 12, others 13 or 14, some 16 and almost none will allow the woman to bring a 17 year old male child.

    Again, there is ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that in general women need a physical safe space in greater numbers than men,

    We have to build shelters first, inform people on their existence and then continuously measuring the demand for them. Which incidentally is why the shelters are obligated to report data to the authorities in Norway. Only then can we establish how the demand for shelter housing (physical safe place) or other services from the shelter is distributed. Only then can we allocate the resources accordingly.

    [men] it seems, struggle with the very idea that they are in fact victims in the first place. One might reasonably assume that emotional support for these men, and changing attitudes to them in society, is a very pressing matter.

    Incidentally this is true and they are in fact arguments for building shelters for men.

    Building shelters for men would do the following
    a) Putting action behind the words that men are victims in the first place.
    b) Provide housing and other support in addition to emotional support
    c) Give a clear signal to society that DV against men and boys indeed is a very pressing matter.
    d) Create demand based on need.

    Calling building shelters a blockheaded idea would:
    a) Imply that male victims don’t need help in the form of housing or the other services provided by shelters
    b) demonstrate an inability to understand that providing emotional support and physical support in the form of housing and other services normally provided by a shelter are not mutually exclusive
    c) give a clear signal that DV against men and boys are a less pressing matter.

    We can’t put the cart in front of the donkey. One must provide a service before one really can measure the demand. And in fact this is a proven strategy when it comes to shelters as can bee seen when one looks at the first shelters for women:

    When the first shelter for women, Camilla shelter in
    Oslo, started in 1978, there was little knowledge of violence against women; prevalence,
    consequences and needs for help had not been mapped. With the offer of help the need
    emerged more clearly and more women sought help.

    Source: http://www.nkvts.no/biblioteket/Publikasjoner/Voldmotmenninarerelasjoner.pdf (page 12)

    I am stating that anti-feminists are, it seems, incapable of understanding the subtleties, nuances and complexities of the problems and finding effective solutions.

    I am stating that it’s your prejudice making you think so. Your propensity to construct straw men like asserting that Schala repeatedly said that men should have an equal number of shelters as women when she in fact have said no such thing only highlights the unintentional irony in your statement quoted above.

    Please note that I am judging you based on your words rather than what group I assume you belong to.

  135. 135
    carnation

    I had concluded my involvement in this discussion but, since you make a couple of interesting points, will respond. It’s highly unlikely that I will respond to anything further, but look forward to reading whatever you retort with. You are better able to make your points without resorting to juvenile nonsense that most of your peers.

    Re Schala. Schala’s views were and remain blockheaded. Life is simply too short to go through her lengthy comments on this blog, but I think I can safely say that her views include the following: there should be an equal amount of “shelter” places for women as for men (I’m also fairly sure, but less so, that she advocates for the funding for these places to be taken directly out of existing DV allocation. It’s worth remembering that Schala’s beliefs also include the “financial abortion” – what more evidence is needed of her buffoonery?). Blockheaded in that it ignores the societal, systemic and emotional mountains that need to be climbed regarding male victims. Blockheaded because it amounts to “feminists made shelters for female victims of DV. Male victims should get it too and feminists should have done it.”

    Resources for victims of DV are scarce and getting scarcer. In the absence of credible evidence of the demand for “shelter” places *above all other types of provision*, it is self-evidently blockheaded to demand, with weary repetition (on a blog with no political clout – sorry Ally). It would, as with so many of these areas, be sensible and noble to point out the lack of credible research and seek to change this. But it’s easier to blog angrily. I should know…

    My views on “shelter” places for men can best be stated like this: “It’s not what most male victims want or need. Housing advice is certainly an issue, but men are more commonly looking for a permanent place to live rather than the emergency short-term respite offered by most shelters. Other things that are common are advice and advocacy when reporting to the police, attempts to get counselling for the abuser, advice on whether to involve social services without risking losing the kids to custody etc.”

    Now, you Tamen, take issue with my use of the word anecdotal to describe the situation I discussed yesterday. One wonders if social research is your forte – I suspect that it isn’t. Norway has a population roughly an 11th the size of the UK, with a different culture, social system and laws. Yet you extrapolate the Norwegian experience to inform your views on what we are discussing and berate me for using the term “anecdotal”? A single study, from a country with an entirely different society, isn’t credible. Neither is it credible to take the Guardian’s word for it – which is why I said “anecdotal.”

    Let us, however, for the sake of argument, deal with your point. Using your methodology, it’s simply imperative that more “shelter” places for women are provided immediately, because of the greater number of women (and their children) who are being turned away. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Now, how much does it cost per bed per night? I don’t know, do you? Is there a cheaper option that’s equally as safe? What are the alternatives? Could resources better be spent on deterrent, rehabilitation of offender, awareness raising? Does a shelter place mean no provision for counseling for those that have suffered, raising the possibility of the victim returning to a similar relationship?

    I don’t have the answers, but I suspect it’s not as black and white and you and your erstwhile comrade like to think. You don’t have any credible evidence to contradict what I’m saying.
    A final point – I will restate, with absolute confidence, that anti-feminists are, it seems, incapable of understanding the subtleties, nuances and complexities of the problems and finding effective solutions. This is demonstrated time and time again. If you read the links I provided yesterday, you’ll see that Women’s Aid provided the “shelter” places for men already provided. Feminists started the debate on domestic violence. Feminism continues to demand provision (admittedly, mostly for women). Anti-feminists are just that: anti-feminists. They aren’t advocates for men in the real sense. They don’t agitate meaningfully for change. They aren’t providing refuges for men that need it. They are anti a progressive political movement that effected societal changes forever. Anti-feminism is a bitter cul-de-sac.

    Men are in dire need of credible advocates. You accuse me of prejudice, but I’m afraid that doesn’t hold water.

    Like I said, I’ve said all I’m going to on this and the discussion has derailed. Thank you for your comments.

    PS – I dislike the word shelter and put it in “” because I associate it with animal shelters and have always objected to its usage. Ditto for “battered women/men” – I believe it posits victims as weak. This is just a personal preference – don’t read too much into it!

  136. 136
    Tamen

    but I think I can safely say that her views include the following: there should be an equal amount of “shelter” places for women as for men (I’m also fairly sure, but less so, that she advocates for the funding for these places to be taken directly out of existing DV allocation.

    *sigh* You really are fond of Aunt Sally aren’t you?

    My views on “shelter” places for men can best be stated like this: “It’s not what most male victims want or need. Housing advice is certainly an issue, but men are more commonly looking for a permanent place to live rather than the emergency short-term respite offered by most shelters. Other things that are common are advice and advocacy when reporting to the police, attempts to get counselling for the abuser, advice on whether to involve social services without risking losing the kids to custody etc.”

    When you are “sensible and noble to point out the lack of credible research” and.you state assertions like this: “It’s not what most male victims want or need,” I simply can’t take your argument serious as the rhetorical technique of using lack of research as support for the stance that most men don’t want nor need sheltering is just silly and without any substance.

    Regardless of that you forget that those who do need shelter housing probably are those who are most in need for help.

    The other things you mention are important as well, but I disagree with your view of this as an either or situation.

  1. 137
    16th of March: Redesign | Too Much Time

    […] on modern-day in Britain is funny. Still, I also like Ally Fogg and I think he makes some fair criticisms here so read […]

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