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May 30 2014

Open thread: Would you like an open thread?

The other day HetPat regular Carnation left a comment suggesting that this blog (can I presume to call you all this community?) might benefit from a weekly open thread, and whenever conversations are running too far off topic, I (or others) could politely suggest the conversation is moved there.

Personally I have no strong opinions either way. If we were to do it, I would probably be even more hands-off with the moderation than I am on regular threads – I would continue to come down hard on overt bigotry – whether misogyny, misandry, homophobia, racism, transphobia etc – but if two commentators are viciously tearing strips off each other with equal culpability, I’d be tempted to leave them to it.

What do you think?

And while we’re about it, anything else on your mind? Whether relating to this blog, my moderation policy, suggestions for future topics etc, or just anything passing across your transam that may be of interest to others?

Spill yer branez below.

144 comments

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  1. 1
    Edward Gemmer

    I’m always interested in why men commit more crime and go to jail at higher rates than women.

    Also, lately I’ve been interested with the crime rates where men tend to be victims of violent crime at higher rates than women, juxtaposed with the seeming idea that violence against women is more publicized than violence against men.

    Then again, I represent a lot of criminals, so I think about odd things.

  2. 2
    lelapaletute

    My favourite post you ever wrote was your Personal Manifesto for Men and Boys. Would love to see some more things like that – positive suggestions or examples of where stuff is being done right; from a selfish perspective, it would be interesting to read suggestions on what feminists can do to support good intiatives, but I can understand why you might be wary of jabbing that hornet’s nest (not to mention it is pretty much against your creed). Open thread may be a good idea, although I think it might be a bit inhibiting to be sent off to the naughty corner from a main thread – although I suppose, inhibiting off-topic wittering might well be half the point :P

  3. 3
    Mike Buchanan

    @Ally

    As a guiding principle, if Carnation tells me I should do something, then I don’t. If she thinks I should stop doing something, then I do more of it. Your call, obviously, but I have no doubt she and other feminists (Lucy being an obvious example) will ask – politely or otherwise – for ‘offending’ conversations to be moved to the ‘open thread’ where fewer people will read the comments. The inevitable result will be to make your comment threads less interesting, and I for one will probably stop contributing. Now I realise that could be an incentive for you…

  4. 4
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Transom?

    Love the blog, Ally. Wouldn’t care if you binned the comments 99% of the time. I have no constructive suggestions there.

  5. 5
    carnation

    @ Ally Fogg

    Sorry to trouble you, but could you delete my comments #241 and #242 on the Quick Note about Nuance thread please?

    Re “anything else on our minds”…

    I’m wondering what type of debate you approve and disapprove of on your blog? I think I’m a guest in your… er, place, and sometimes I worry that I’m not displaying the requisite behaviour. I don’t mean sticking to the rules, I more mean engaging in the types of discussion you find worthwhile, engaging, interesting etc (and please excuse my next paragraph)

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Hi Mike. Mike, if I printed off a copy of one of your consultation documents and E-mailed you a photo of me pointing to it with my cock, would you accept that I’m a man and start addressing me as such?

    In all seriousness, I think you’d do well out of an open thread, Mike. You have a lot of talking points and people want to talk about them – I think you would find yourself engaging in a lot of lively debate!

  6. 6
    Pitchguest

    @f i’m not here, i’m gone

    It’s a good thing you don’t comment here more often, then. Ta. xx

  7. 7
    sheaf

    General question: Is the hetpat first directive still being enforced?

  8. 8
    Ally Fogg

    Evening all, thanks for the feedback, especially constructive suggestions. All noted.

    Carnation (5)

    I’m wondering what type of debate you approve and disapprove of on your blog? I think I’m a guest in your… er, place, and sometimes I worry that I’m not displaying the requisite behaviour

    This might sound cheesy, but quite sincerely, I generally consider above the line to be my domain, and below the line to be yours.

    Most of the moderation rules I here are enforced because people have asked for them and there’s a consensus on them. For example, when people complained about the amount of off-topic posts, I got a bit stricter about OT posts.

    For what it’s worth, I seem to recall having a few stern words with you about six months ago or so, but I haven’t found you especially mischievous lately. Can’t guarantee that those you argue against feel the same ;-)

    As I’ve said many a time before, I tend to let people give as good as they get. When people are being a bit rumbustious themselves I generally give them less protection than I would someone who is scrupulously polite and gentle.

    sheaf

    General question: Is the hetpat first directive still being enforced?

    Yes, although I think some people misunderstand it.

    It was never the intention that the first directive would prevent people from criticising or even being rude about feminists or feminism, or MRAs / MRM or whatever.

    What is forbidden is making grand sweeping generalisations and associations.

    The best illustrations of the difference might be this:

    Feminists hate men and want to establish female supremacy = NOT ALLOWED
    Feminism is riddled with misandry and some feminists are female supremacists = ALLOWED
    If you are an MRA you are a misogynist with a small penis = NOT ALLOWED
    The Men’s RIghts Movement is awash with paranoia and misogyny = ALLOWED

    (This is not to pass judgement on whether or not any of the statements above might be true. That’s irrelevant)

    I would add that I do read every comment that is posted here, but especially on busy days it is often little more than a skim read, so I might miss things.

    If you ever feel a comment has breached the first directive (or any other commenting guideline) do please point it out to me and I shall make a judgement.

  9. 9
    AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo

    @Ally,

    I would endorse the suggestion of a weekly open thread. My current expectation is that they will be at least as entertaining as the comments under your regular articles. Not to mention that If all else fails you could always discontinue them.

  10. 10
    sheaf

    Ok I would like to propose abolishment or amendment of the hetpat first directive. The above distinctions between sentences seem pretty academic at best, e.g. compare

    “The MRM overwhelmingly consists of small dicked losers” to “MRAs are small dicked losers”

    The messages of the two sentences are identical up to an epsilon environment and I do not think they have different functional properties within a debate and every plausible sentence prohibited by the directive could be similarily approximated in meaning with little effort, making the rule unnecessary as it stands now.

  11. 11
    Gunlord

    Open threads would be fine by me :o

  12. 12
    Ally Fogg

    Sheaf

    Ok I would like to propose abolishment or amendment of the hetpat first directive. The above distinctions between sentences seem pretty academic at best,

    The directive was not introduced to adhere to some grand philosophical, legal or ideological principle. It was only ever a practical, functional rule.

    We’d had a whole succession of blogposts which had ended up getting completely derailed and the debate utterly ruined by people making those kinds of generalisations, then people arguing about whether or not such generalisations were true.

    Enforcement of it was also entirely functional. There is no appeal process to the Supreme Court or anything. If someone said something that was going to kick off yet another tedious, repetitive debate about whether or not all feminists hate men, then I’d step in.

    Since we introduced it, we’ve had far fewer of those problems. So I see no reason to go back on it.

    But I’m more than open to discussing amendments. What did you have in mind?

  13. 13
    johngreg

    Ally said:

    The other day HetPat regular Carnation left a comment suggesting that this blog (can I presume to call you all this community?) might benefit from a weekly open thread, and whenever conversations are running too far off topic, I (or others) could politely suggest the conversation is moved there.

    Personally I have no strong opinions either way. If we were to do it, I would probably be even more hands-off with the moderation than I am on regular threads – I would continue to come down hard on overt bigotry – whether misogyny, misandry, homophobia, racism, transphobia etc – but if two commentators are viciously tearing strips off each other with equal culpability, I’d be tempted to leave them to it.

    What do you think?

    Yes, indeed, call us a community; we are. I think it would be a good idea to:

    - Have a weekly open thread.
    - Whenever other topic-specific conversations are running too far off topic — but let’s please be realistic about what “off topic” really means, in that, for example, disagreement, dissent, and contrary points of view are not off topic — politely suggest the conversation move to the weekly open thread.

    And while we’re about it, anything else on your mind?

    Yes:

    I think it would benefit us all if you could sort of tighten up your verboten words vs. acceptable words rules, and where, when, and how those words can or cannot be used. At the moment, I find it a bit perplexing and inconsistent. I know you’re a busy guy, but perhaps you could run up a set of diction rules for us. As you know, I completely, in all ways possible, disagree with the concept that any words should ever be disallowed or outlawed, but, after all, it is your blog, and if you can post a meaningful set of in/out word rules, I will certainly stick to it.

    Also, and I think this is a fair question here, I wonder if you could calrify why it is that you feel some individuals, and some blogs (and I think you know who I mean) are completely verboten to bring up, even (perhaps especially) when they are highly relevant to some of the discussion that goes on here? I continue to fail to see how you can square that with your stated policy of actual free thought, free speech, freedom of expression, and a generaly quite open minded editorial poicy, not to mention how can some commenter defend or backup some of their arguments if some of the relevant data is outlawed?

  14. 14
    johngreg

    Phhmphf. Of course calrify should be clarify.

  15. 15
    Sans-sanity

    “suggestions for future topics etc”

    How about continuing the ‘Maelstrom of anger’ series? I would like to see the remaining instalments (so long as I didn’t miss a comment at some point where you declared yourself over it).

  16. 16
    Carrie Griffin

    I am a person who reads basically every comment on every post out of general interest (despite never really commenting myself).

    While I am in favor of an open thread that off-topic comments could be gently pushed towards, I am concerned with the actual readability of an open thread because of the way FTB presents its comments. It’s usually fine in normal posts but can at times involve a lot more back and forth scrolling in attempting to follow a conversation. Since those usually address one specific topic (or are meant to, at least) it’s not usually a huge deal. But I suppose I’d be concerned that an open thread would be so muddled in its presentation that it wouldn’t actually be useful as a means of discussing anything.

    This is a very, very boring thing to be concerned about but someone’s got to care about the exceedingly dull things like comment organization, I suppose. It’s also entirely possible that everyone else on FTB has an open thread and no one’s bothered by this at all–Ally’s is the only one I read, so I don’t really know.

  17. 17
    Ally Fogg

    johngreg (13)

    I think it would benefit us all if you could sort of tighten up your verboten words vs. acceptable words rules

    There are no such rules.There might be circumstances in which pretty much any word might be necessary. Equally there might be circumstances in which a generally innocuous word becomes problematic.

    Where people get into trouble here it is generally because the sense of what they say is in some way corrosive, oppressive or distracting, it has little to do with their choice of vocabulary.

    Also, and I think this is a fair question here, I wonder if you could calrify why it is that you feel some individuals, and some blogs (and I think you know who I mean) are completely verboten to bring up, even (perhaps especially) when they are highly relevant to some of the discussion that goes on here?

    Again, there is no list, but it has become obvious through experience that there are a small number of people (to be honest, I think it is a list of one) about whom some people have such strong opinions that it can only be described as an unhealthy obsession, and as soon as she is mentioned it becomes completely impossible to hold a constructive and reasonable conversation about the topic in hand.

    I would be more inclined to allow some of those debates to continue if I thought there was anything left to say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before, but there isn’t.

  18. 18
    thetalkingstove

    I wonder if you could calrify why it is that you feel some individuals, and some blogs (and I think you know who I mean) are completely verboten to bring up, even (perhaps especially) when they are highly relevant to some of the discussion that goes on here?

    Not to speak for Ally, but possibly because people like you and Steersman and Pitchguest are *obsessed* with talking about those same people and same issues over and over and over and over and over and it’s really fucking boring to have to read another conversation about them?

  19. 19
    Ally Fogg

    CarrieGriffin

    Hello, and thanks for your post.

    I appreciate what you say about the comment system.

    When I started this blog here I tried various combinations of nesting comments, none of which proved entirely satisfactory, and we ended up with this by a kind of grudging consensus.

    There are rumours that a revised / redesigned Freethought Blogs platform might be forthcoming sometime in the year 2525 (or perhaps slightly sooner), whereupon we might look again!

  20. 20
    thetalkingstove

    @ Ally

    to be honest, I think it is a list of one

    Nah. Watson, Sarkeesian, Hansley, Surly Amy, Myers, Benson, Zvan. There are more.

    Anyone who says feminist stuff enough to grab their attention, basically.

  21. 21
    sheaf

    Ally, 12

    I think I misread your comment 8 somehow

    I think the rule is fine as it is, though I think statements like: “The MRM/feminism is awash with misogyny/misandry and paranoia/hysteria” are pretty problematic given the diverse nature of these movements. Of course people could read this generously, but most people I have observed have some kind of switch where they decide that an issue will stand or fall with the group associated with it (not unreasonable given how policy making actually works – humans do not rationally adhere to the socratic method) and therefore such statements will produce unnecessary strife.

  22. 22
    Ally Fogg

    sheaf (21)

    As I say, it was never our intention to antiseptically cleanse this blog of all anger, rudeness, insult and sweeping statements, otherwise there would be damned few of us left!

    I want people to be able to discuss and debate the MRM / feminism etc, as that is a pretty key element of this blog, and I want the rules to be as light-touch as possible while still allowing that to happen in a reasonably constructive way.

  23. 23
    Mike Buchanan

    Lest anyone should have any doubts about the opposition to men’s issues being discussed openly, they need only look at a letter from the Hilton hotel in Detroit which is due to host the first international conference on men’s issues in 3-4 weeks’ time. AVfM, the organisers, yesterday put up a post concerning a letter they’ve had from the Hilton. I won’t link to the blog piece but the letter is accessible there, and it starts:

    “Dear Mr. Elam:

    Regarding the International Conference on Men’s Issues scheduled at our hotel, the DoubleTree Suites
    by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby, we have received numerous calls and threats and are concerned for the safety and well-being of our employees, our guests and your attendees. The threats have escalated to include death threats, physical violence against our staff and other guests as well as damage to the property. The callers have indicated that they will be stationed within the hotel as guests, which raises our level of concern.”

    The letter goes on to demand that AVfM finance a number of armed policemen around the clock, and take out an insurance policy, or the event will be cancelled.

  24. 24
    Lucy

    What you need is a moderated sex war forum with a regular injection of reliable data and opinion to counteract the rhetoric. That’s all people really want when they comment on blogs and articles.

    And there should be a moderation rule that once somebody’s “fact based” rhetoric has been demolished, they shouldn’t be allowed to repeat it again the next day, and the next and the next in a Ground Hog Day remake starring Mike Buchanan.

  25. 25
    Lucy

    And there should be some effort made to recruit more female commenters if you want genuine debate and you want to counteract the trend for it to be an exchange between men warming to their/your theme of women and their supposed tendencies.

  26. 26
    Mike Buchanan

    Lucy, neither you nor Carnation (or some others) have EVER ‘demolished’ my evidence-based arguments, and repeating that you have simply makes you look very, very silly. You appear to think that claiming to have demolished them creates a reality, while it’s nothing more than a delusion. You may as well claim you can fly by flapping your arms, whereupon I’d challenge you to prove it.

    Ally was good enough to critique a good deal of our public consultation document, and while obviously he objected to large parts of it, he pointed to an area (relating to abortion) in which an assertion we’d made wasn’t well-based in evidence – so we amended the document within an hour. You’d rather spend more time claiming to have demolished our evidence, than actually engage with it – put simply, you’re not only misandrous, you’re downright LAZY.

    I invited you to email me so I could send you a presentation by Dr Nicola Graham-Kevan – an international authority on domestic violence – about female perpetrators, which blasted out of the water your silly assertions on the matter. You didn’t email me – whether because you simply don’t want to engage with the evidence, or because you’re lazy, I have no idea.

  27. 27
    sheaf

    Buchanan, is there any evidence this was done to hinder expression of mens issues or simply by trolls.

  28. 28
    Mike Buchanan

    @Lucy #25

    Why don’t YOU put in the ‘effort’ to ‘recruit more female commenters’? Oh wait, I think the answer lies in my last comment #26. By the same token, do you think more male commenters should be recruited to blogs run by women to ‘create genuine debate and… to counteract the trend for it to be an exchange between WOMEN warming to their theme of MEN and their supposed tendencies’? I’m sure the idea will be welcomed enthusiastically by Caroline Criado-Perez, Mumsnet, and countless others…

  29. 29
    Mike Buchanan

    @sheaf #27

    I honestly don’t know – but the letter from Hilton shows they’re taking the threats very seriously. But isn’t it academic who’s doing it, in a sense? The aim is to stifle men’s issues being discussed, possibly by forcing the Hilton to cancel the contract (an online petition is already seeking this, saying the recent 21yo murderer of 6 people was an active MRA, along with other lies) or making the security arrangements unaffordable. If so, I think they’ll fail. MRAs – both men and ‘Honey Badgers’ – will collectively stump up the money, I believe.

    Frankly I think it’s appalling that an organisation publicly committed to non-violence is being required to fund security measures. Would the same be true if death threats were made against speakers and attendees at a feminist conference? I very much doubt it – surely the police presence (7 armed policemen around the clock) would be funded out of public funds? I stand to be corrected but I can’t recall that such threats have been made with respect to feminist events in the past. Along with many MHRAs of my acquaintance, I’d be all for streaming the presentations at radfem conferences live on the internet.

  30. 30
    sheaf

    Along with many MHRAs of my acquaintance, I’d be all for streaming the presentations at radfem conferences live on the internet.

    Not just radfems, I would be for streaming ( at least academic) conferences in general.

  31. 31
    Ally Fogg

    Along with many MHRAs of my acquaintance, I’d be all for streaming the presentations at radfem conferences live on the internet.

    Apart from your pals in AVFM London who claimed responsibility for closing down Radfem13 last year, you mean?

  32. 32
    Mike Buchanan

    Thanks Ally. I have almost no contact with the group in question, but I thought closing Radfem13 down was a tactical error, and told them as much. As I say, I’d have been delighted to see live streaming onto the internet. Most MRAs who I know are all in favour of the world better understanding what radfems are saying and doing. We ask in return only that they leave us in peace to have our own conferences, presentations, and the like.

  33. 33
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Let’s get back to polittesse, Mr Buchanan? I miss our exchanges.

    Actually, I absolutely condemn what has gone on in Detroit, without equivocation. It cannot be defended and believe some within feminism will degrade themselves by doing so. Letters of protest to the hotel chain with examples of avfm’s antics and writings would I think be an acceptable form of protest.

    I suspect RadFems are involved, and think it confirms my dichotomous view of MRAs/RadFems: they need each other.

    But to describe AVfM as being concerned with “men’s rights” is absurd. It is nakedly anti-feminist. The two things are very different.

    Do you know if it is a for profit event?

    Re RadFem13, ad far as I know it went ahead, and the main protests came from trans-activists. That is from memory though, if anyone knows more I’d be interested to hear.

    @ 123454321

    Did you Google Paris Lees?

  34. 34
    Mike Buchanan

    @carnation #33

    Happy to return to polite exchanges but I get tired of repeatedly being branded a misogynist by people who don’t know me – people who know me, know I’m not one – and having the same arguments thrown at me repeatedly, with the expectation that I’ll keep responding to them. An example:

    “I suspect RadFems are involved, and think it confirms my dichotomous view of MRAs/RadFems: they need each other.”

    I’ve explained at length why I think this analysis is wrong. I’m not going to do so again. Better things to do with my time. Other than to say if the planet didn’t have a single RadFem left on it, MRAs would be partying. And – groan – it surely doesn’t need me to say that I wouldn’t approve of violent or other means to achieve that end. Radical feminism is so riddled with nonsense it almost defies belief. It’s a cult, and for radfems to engage with rational arguments would cause them crippling cognitive dissonance. So they don’t.

    “But to describe AVfM as being concerned with “men’s rights” is absurd. It is nakedly anti-feminist. The two things are very different.”

    Of course they’re different, but they’re obviously not mutually exclusive. Indeed most MRAs (of my acquaintance, anyway) are anti-feminist, while some call themselves non-feminists (though their words often give them away as feminists). I guess this latter group would follow sites such as ‘The Good Men Project’, referred to by anti-feminist MRAs as ‘The Good Boy Project’.

    “Do you know if it is a for profit event?”

    I haven’t a clue if it is, I have no involvement with the arrangements. Given the delegate numbers and reasonable ticket price, and the good venue, I’d be astonished if it made a profit of any size – but if it does, I’d congratulate AVfM on managing that for the first international conference on men’s issues. But here’s the thing.

    Globally there’s a huge amount of taxpayers’ money financing pro-feminist initiatives, ‘academic’ courses spinning utterly discredited conspiracy theories / fantasies / lies /delusions / myths, and (to the best of my knowledge) no public money anywhere in the world going towards explicitly anti-feminist groups. We shouldn’t be surprised, for we live in a deeply gynocentric world. Feminists can never have enough advantaging of women and girls, and consequent disadvantaging of men and boys. That insatiable appetite will come home to roost on day. It’s feminism’s Achilles heel.

  35. 35
    123454321

    “@ 123454321 Did you Google Paris Lees?”

    Not yet, but in my mind and on the agenda for tomorrow…..busy weekend and all that…..hardly any time…..

  36. 36
    marduk

    RadFem 2012 was a different thing in that Conway Hall is not just another venue for hire but one owned by a 200-year old charitable society with a very specific set of values as regards inclusion and equality. They do a regular newsletter on progressive humanist thinking for example, a group of people more apt to have a bust-up with TERF is hard to imagine in retrospect. When they first accepted the booking they didn’t realise who they were dealing with. They did invite the organisers to basically assure them they were going to try to act like decent human beings but when that was answered in the negative, the booking was pulled. You’ve got to wonder why the organisers felt it appropriate to try and hold it there in the first place.

  37. 37
    Mike Buchanan

    I’ve a vague recollection that one radfem conference – the one Ally referred to, I think – was to be held at an Irish centre of some sort. I have no more details.

  38. 38
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    I have never called you a misogynist.

    Writing on my phone from a park so will respond later.

    @ 123454321

  39. 39
    johngreg

    OK Ally, if you say so. But I think I have definitely been the butt of your dishumour on a few occasions wherein I’ve been barred (and deleted) from speaking about more than that one individual, and for using common words in common contexts that you didn’t like — at that particular moment in your rare wrath. But perhaps that’s just my own isolationist privilege speaking, and I’ll be More Clearer on the next go-round.

    Any and all apparent irony and or tongue-in-cheek intended.

    talkingstove said (http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/05/30/open-thread-would-you-like-an-open-thread/#comment-87949):

    Not to speak for Ally, but possibly because people like you and Steersman and Pitchguest are *obsessed* with talking about those same people and same issues over and over and over and over and over and it’s really fucking boring to have to read another conversation about them?

    You have a wee bit of a point there, however, I think it is important to note that when Steers, Pitch, and myself, for example, speak about those people and issues (and the ones you mention in your next comment following the one quoted above), it is almost always in reaction to; reply to; response to; rebut to, someone on (for lack of a better set of describers) the pro-FTB / pro-Skepchick / SJL/SJW team having brought those people or their ideologies and supposed statements and claims into the discussion in the first place. Not always, but certainly more often than not.

    Also, I think it should be noted that Steers, Pitch, myself, etc., are not obsessed with those people. What we are obsessed with (though, that is a silly and hyperbolic term in this instance, and is used as a typical silencing tactic) and deeply concerned with is what we perceive as the degree of dishonesty and hypocrisy, and the depth of manipulative topic/dialogue/conversation control enacted by many of those people under many circumstances, as well as the oft-times truly bizarrely mindless/thoughtless support and defense of those folks under any and all circumstances by their oft-times rather rabid supporters.

    Anyway, we are both veering off-topic and should probably carry it on, if desired, on the proposed Open Thread.

    And, speaking of that, when did the Should We Have An Open Topic topic become the Mike and Lucy show? Hmm? Youse got a lotta ‘splainin to do!

  40. 40
    Mike Buchanan

    @carnation #38

    “I have never called you a misogynist.”

    In that case I apologise unreservedly – it’s an almost inevitable element in attacks from feminists, regardless of gender – but my other point stands about MRAs NOT mirroring radfems. To my mind nothing could be further from the truth. Radfems’ lies about stats, evidence bases etc. are too well-documented (particularly in the area of rape and domestic violence) for me to go into here, while if an MRA on AVfM (and maybe other sites, for all I know) misrepresents evidence to support a MRA position, (s)he will be quickly and ruthlessly called out on it.

    I’ve challenged many feminists to retract demonstrably false claims they’ve made publicly – Julie Bindel, Kat Banyard, and Caroline Criado-Perez come immediately to mind – but none has ever been willing to retract their claims. That’s all I have to say on the point.

    Good to be exchanging views with you again. I hope to carry on doing so, but we all have our ‘buttons’ which, if pressed, cause us to switch off.

  41. 41
    Tamen

    So,

    what do people think about the recent attacks on ManKind Initiative for their latest #violence is violence video which went viral?

    Miguel Lorenta Acosta, an expert in forensic medicine and a governmental delegate/representative in the Spanish Ministry of Equality has written this blog-post (in Spanish): http://blogs.elpais.com/autopsia/2014/05/los-tramposos-y-su-v%C3%ADdeo-trampa-hombres-al-borde-de-un-ataque-de-nervios.html

    He writes that ManKind UK is a postmachoist group seeking to divert attention away from violence against women and disassociate domestic violence from the cultural elements that give rise to it through inequality and the man as the referee in charge of maintaining the order he decides.

    He goes on to state that the statistics (40% of domenstic violence victims are men. Source: ONS) cited in the video is false as that number is nowhere to be seen on the ONS webpage. He is mistaken here – the number may not be directly mentioned, but it’s easily calculated from the CSEW 2012/2013 report (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/focus-on-violent-crime-and-sexual-offences–2012-13/rft-table-2.xls) – here is a descripton on how they are calculated: http://www.reddit.com/r/FeMRADebates/comments/26yxu1/deceptive_editing_practice_in_the_popular/chvtv29

    He then analyses that video and says it’s edited to falsely give the impression that people laugh at the male victim. He also states that it appears to be edid to promote hatred against women as it shows women laaughing at a male victim.

    He then refers to a 1980 Strauss and Dibble study that found that men weren’t afraid of or felt at risk for violence from women – even when women had a firearm. Women on the other hand were afraid and felt at risk from even unarmed men.

    He also accuses ManKind Initiative for not caring about violence against men in general, only about violence against men committed by women. Even though this particular video was about female violence against women the ManKind Initiative website is very victim focused and rarely mentions perpetrators. The first page states that it’s helpline is for “men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by their current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner).” (my bolding)

    David Futrelle has joined the bandwagon and asks whether he Mankind video is a fraud: http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/05/30/is-the-mankind-initiatives-violenceisviolence-video-a-fraud/

  42. 42
    Ally Fogg

    Tamen (41)

    Not to pull the rug out from under the conversation now (happy if people want to discuss it here) but planned to address exactly that in a post in the next day or two.

    Thanks for the link to the piece in Spanish, would never have found that in a million years!

  43. 43
    Paul

    AF: DELETED AT POSTER’S REQUEST

  44. 44
    Paul

    @ 41 Tamen

    Feminists historically have had to run the gaunlet of abuse and scorn when trying to raise awareness of issues which affect women.And i think the same now applies to those trying to raise awareness of certain issues from the perspective of men.

    I remember Erin Pizzey saying that when she approached men for funding for the services she was offering to victims of domestic violence she found they were quite happy to help women and children but didn’t want to know as far as adult male victims were concerned.And i think even today many people of both sexes struggle to view men in the role of victim at the hands of abusive women.

    I have an interest in the Fathers Rights Movement and i’ve met men who’ve been seriously injured by their former partners.And i’ve seen the scars left by the violence which was inflicted on them .Yet even some of them struggle to see themselves as victims and related what happened to them in a jokey blokey way thus playing down the seriousness of it .

    There needs to be a seismic shift in cultural attitudes so that all violence is seen as wrong.And women who are either violent themselves and/or who instigate violence between men and/or who encourage their children to be violent have got to challenged every bit as vigourously as men.For at the moment the primary focus is on the violence of men and that doesn’t tell the whole story.

  45. 45
    Tamen

    Ally @41:

    Thanks for the link to the piece in Spanish, would never have found that in a million years!

    I am sure you would – it’s David Futrelle’s source and he links to it in his article on WeHuntedTheMammoth (formerly ManBoobz) so i can’t take credit for that find – although I looked at the parts which Futrelle left out in his article.

    Paul @44:

    I remember Erin Pizzey saying that when she approached men for funding for the services she was offering to victims of domestic violence she found they were quite happy to help women and children but didn’t want to know as far as adult male victims were concerned.

    Here is another example of problem with obtaining funding for male victims:

    Dolan points to a November 2006 UN report that followed an international conference on sexual violence in this area of East Africa.

    “I know for a fact that the people behind the report insisted the definition of rape be restricted to women,” he says, adding that one of the RLP’s donors, Dutch Oxfam, refused to provide any more funding unless he’d promise that 70% of his client base was female.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men

  46. 46
    marduk

    @Tamen

    1. He should actually read the Dibble & Straus paper, that was not what their study concerned, it was about the relationship between attitudes and perpetration. Apparently Mr Acosta doesn’t know how to spell the name of one of the most famous and controversial DV researchers in the world.

    2. The video was made by Dare, London, an advertising firm who do various 3rd sector things in between the corporates (e.g., Cancer Research). I’m not sure if accusing them of fomenting hatred is a reasonable allegation, just goes to show where projecting prejudice gets you (sued probably). They are also a female-owned business.

    3. Review of DV data here: http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org/pages/details.htm

    4. Acosta is deeply wrong in his thinking, allowing even for the Google translate which turns even the most acute Spanish commentator into a bloviating windbag in experience. It is a commonly made argument (that women and ‘children’ experience something completely different from men) that is worth tackling. There are three objections to this view:
    (a) the evidence is women commit violence for the same reasons men commit violence. The outcomes of all these studies are incompatible with the Duluth model but this is unsurprising as Duluth isn’t evidence-based (it is politics based). See: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/pa/2012/00000003/00000004 (2nd paper down, open access download). Therefore at the level of intervention and prevention a common approach would work.
    (b) the evidence is that women are most at risk of serious harms in violent relationships. This is politically incorrect to say but the evidence strongly suggests this. it does not actually constitute victim blaming [1] and in any case, what helps people and prevents harm is more important than what makes angry Twitter ideologues happy. Indeed, there was a paper given at a conference in Canada recently that made the case that the most efficient spending of DV funding would be to educate women that ‘violence is violence’ on the basis of pilot studies that showed it made women safer, never mind men. Again, another unspeakable but backed by evidence.
    (c) we know that the differences commonly cited as evidence that women experience DV differently from men are actually most common to mutual violence scenarios (i.e., chronic repeated abuse and the most severe levels of violence, e.g., Hester 2009).

    So what you have to consider here is how heavily you weight politics and how heavily you weight the real-life reduction of violence.

    [1] This also explains the larger numbers of women who have experienced DV and won’t present themselves for aid. This is considered to be a considerable mystery in feminist DV circles,particularly that their outreach seems to make things no better and sometimes worse. Apparently they don’t understand that if you have a less than pure conscience going to a group that is going to insist you are a victim is challenging for most decent people (and yes, I believe you can be violent and still be a human being with a conscience). This is why I believe their rhetoric in making invisible or denying female perpetration is actually harmful to women, counter-intuitive as it may seem. I want a woman to get the right help even if she knows she has a shared problem with violence with the person she needs to get away from. But they won’t even concede she even exists so she never shows up.

  47. 47
    marduk

    I think it is also useful to look at the Duluth model itself and what it says as the default model, the ‘hymn sheet’ if you will. If you’ve ever been attacked for having a view on this subject, it was probably because you contradicted something here:

    “When women use violence in an intimate relationship, the context of that violence tends to differ from men. First, men’s use of violence against women is learned and reinforced through many social, cultural and institutional avenues, while women’s use of violence does not have the same kind of societal support. Secondly, many women who do use violence against their male partners are being battered. Their violence is primarily used to respond to and resist the controlling violence being used against them. On the societal level, women’s violence against men has a trivial effect on men compared to the devastating effect of men’s violence against women.”

    They are free to their societal views but the empirically testable claims (aetiology, patterns, motivations etc) are all demonstrably false. We are in a strange position where no amount of evidence is allowed to question the scripture.

    I’d also point out that you did really just read an apology for a form of violence put forth by an anti-violence charity. I find it hard to wrap my mind around something how something so obscene could be lurking in plain sight and receive government funding.

  48. 48
    Archy

    How far offtopic can we go? Can I talk about a garden?

  49. 49
    Hunt

    I’d like to say that I like this blog a lot, not just because, though I have strong opinions about some of the stuff discussed, I’m reasonable sure the author knows a hell of a lot more about all of this than I do. Probably the most contentious thing I’ll say here is that I think it’s one of the few honest blogs of its kind on this network. I won’t get more snarky than that, and I think most of us know what I mean by “of its kind,” related to feminism, social justice, etc. For instance, I consider Deacon Duncan of Alethian Worldview conceptually separate, have been a fan of his for years. He is a brilliant and unappreciated blogger. By honest I mean democratic and open to diverse points of view. I ran a blog for a very short time. I could never bring myself to moderate/delete comments. I considered it for a while, but in the end I decided that each time I killed a comment a little part of my soul would die. For one reason or another, I just couldn’t do it. Perhaps that’s why I only blogged for a short time. Yes, I realize this blog probably doesn’t adopt quite that libertarian a view, but at least I can reasonably expect to be heard, and not just tolerated for a while before being expunged (I did say that was the end of the snark, right?) provided I’m not a total jackass.
    Anyway, I hope you can keep it up. This is brilliant.

  50. 50
    Mike Buchanan

    @marduk 47

    “I find it hard to wrap my mind around something how something so obscene could be lurking in plain sight and receive government funding.”

    Most people find it difficult to accept that almost all the societal assaults on men and boys are the result of the actions and inactions of the state. The state is deeply gynocentric.

  51. 51
    Ally Fogg

    Archy (48)

    On an open thread? There is no off topic.

    How does your garden grow?

  52. 52
    carnation

    @ Archie

    I don’t really wanna know
    How your garden grows
    Cos I just wanna fly

    Lately, did you ever feel the pain
    Of the morning rain
    As it soaks you to the bone

    @ Ally

    I think you’re the same as me
    We’ll see things they’ll never see

  53. 53
    whiskeyjack

    Maybe instead of the First Directive, you could have a brief statement of First Principles. Anyone not “getting it” can just be referred to them, and tiresome debates can be short circuited.

    For example (and I’m just spit-ballin’ here):

    1) Misogyny is a thing that happens.
    2) We all know — and we know this before we comment — that Not All X Are Y. Let’s not be tedious in establishing this every freakin’ time. And meanwhile, it’s not *in itself* a rebuttal to an argument.
    3) MRAs have a point, now and then, when they talk about the rights of boys and men.
    4) We like to be able to see the forest for the trees. We can make statements and/or engage in debate without getting bogged down in semantics and statistics (as applicable).

    Something like that. I’m sure these aren’t phrased exactly right, but a brief list of Basic Things We All Agree On Before Commenting might work. (“Dude, I hear what you’re saying, but remember Principle #4…” is all it would take for any one of us to defuse boring crap that makes me, for one, stop reading comment threads after a point.)

  54. 54
    sheaf

    53, whyskeyjack

    Your principles seem horrible to me:

    1) Misogyny in certain areas is very much up to debate and has been hotly debated on this blog I thik making it a principle that it happens would decrease most of the appeal of this blog for me.

    We all know — and we know this before we comment — that Not All X Are Y. Let’s not be tedious in establishing this every freakin’ time. And meanwhile, it’s not *in itself* a rebuttal to an argument.

    It is forbidden to say all x are y with the reason that it is the surest way to derail a blog and most of the time i saw people do it they were not only wrong but even the gist of their message was not even approximately true.

    4) We like to be able to see the forest for the trees. We can make statements and/or engage in debate without getting bogged down in semantics and statistics (as applicable).

    I disagree. Thorough analysis of semantics and especially statistics is key in finding out the truth about many matters.

  55. 55
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    I don’t necessarily disagree that being anti-feminist is mutually exclusive with being concerned with men’s rights. However, being obsessively and vehemently anti-feminist as AVfM doesn’t leave much room for anything else – the proof is in the activist pudding. They have effected no change, they offer no services for vulnerable men, they have earned the contempt of most people who witness their antics and writings. The only activism that they appear to be involved in is promoting their own website.

    This is not a civil/human rights organisation, it’s a bitter self-publicising blog.

    Feminism isn’t going anywhere. It’s a blog-o-sphere seems bigger than the manosphere, it’s provision for vulnerable women, it’s an academic discipline and it’s something that caused a societal revolution.

    The woman who volunteers at a DV shelter, or on a hotline for rape victims, would be bemused to know she’s part of a consipiracy to wage war on men. Those of us who know feminists react first with amusement and then with contempt to be told that their influence reaches all the way to the White House and to Downing Street and that the agenda is the oppression of men.

    On AVfM i have read about the feminist conspiracy to keep schoolboys drugged with Ritalin and about how feminism caused 9/11. I have been exposed to the pseudo-sexual fantasies of MRA victories over feminism, graphic depictions of rape victims who brought it on themselves, straight rip-offs of feminist (and post-feminist_ theories with the genders reversed and the very occassional piece of writing that I felt made a good point.

    Anti-feminism (I’m deliberately leaving the M word out, not because I don’t think it’s a major factor, but for linguistic expediency) of a type that has no basis in reality defines the MRA blog and set of ideas that you most readily identify with.

    There are no positive outcomes being created for men in need of support. There is no groundbreaking provision being supported or created. There are no conversations about how best to help men who need it.

    So in a very real sense, the rabid anti-feminism synonymous with AVfM means that men’s rights are ignored.

    Put bluntly, it seems MRAs hate (their imagined version of) feminism more than they care about the men they claim to be activists of advocates for.

  56. 56
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    As a follow up, the only MRA who makes any sense on this matter is Bernard Chapin. I disagree with his politics, but agree with his analysis.

    He posits that Libertarianism, or (small c) conservatism is the only way to lessen the effect of feminism. And he’s right.

    There would be catastrophic effects on most men too, of course, but women would be disporortionately affected.

    It’s a left/right issue as far as I can see. You support UKIP but AVfM have (deluded) pretentions of being a social justive movement. It doesn’t make sense.

  57. 57
    Hunt

    Put bluntly, it seems MRAs hate (their imagined version of) feminism more than they care about the men they claim to be activists of advocates for.

    AVfM is like a nutty pulp publication mid century for some cause that might have later blossomed into a serious discipline. You have to realize that feminism has been massively funded, here in America, federally, state and locally for forty or fifty years. Every college or university with a woman’s studies program channels funds into the corpus of feminist doctrine. There is no comparable establishment for men’s issues. There is essentially nothing. At all. Except nutty groups like AVfM. Something to consider.

  58. 58
    carnation

    @ Hunt #57

    I think they’re more like Neo-cons going on about “terrorists” and “terrorism”, or going a bit further back, McCarthyites and the “red menace”.

    I vaguely recall seeing a reference to “secret feminist training camps” on an MRA blog. I find it difficult to accept that a huge portion of commenters aren’t just trolls having a bit of a laugh.

    “You have to realize that feminism has been massively funded, here in America, federally, state and locally for forty or fifty years. Every college or university with a woman’s studies program channels funds into the corpus of feminist doctrine.”

    I think that statements like that buy right into the feminism-as-monolithic-conspiracy-theory trope.

  59. 59
    Mike Buchanan

    Carnation

    It would take me an hour to address all the points in your piece, and I’ve probably address them all many times on Ally’s blogs already. So let me just take these:

    “There are no positive outcomes being created for men in need of support. There is no ground breaking provision being supported or created.”

    We live in a gynocentric society so men collectively have no more sympathy for disadvantaged men, and men in distress, than women as a group – I refer you to the earlier point someone made that when Erin Pizzey went to her millionaire (male) backers after she was thrown out of Chiswick, they wouldn’t contribute a penny. Earl Silverman, a Canadian, ran a refuge for abused Canadian men for some years, and received not a penny of state support. In the end he committed suicide. To expect men in large numbers to collaborate to improve the lot of men, as women so naturally collaborate to improve the lot of women, is pie in the sky thinking. Which is why I fight for the MHRM to become more practical and political.

    “There are no conversations about how best to help men who need it.”

    Certainly no conversations in the mainstream media. I repeat my point that in the average month both Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism) and Caroline Criado-Perez (women on banknotes) get more MSM exposure than all the worlds MRAs have collectively over 30+ years.

    WHERE would these conversations take place, other than on the internet? Virtually no government funding except for as little in one or two areas (e.g. health). Virtually all MRAs (including myself) earn no income from their activities, and we’re outnumbered hugely by the individuals in well-funded advocacy groups, and well-paid politicians and civil servants forever advantaging women and girls over men and boys.

    We’re hoping to have such ‘conversations’ in Detroit, which is why feminists are trying to stop us by issuing death threats, and AVfM are now required to fund armed policemen. Why isn’t the city funding these policemen? Because few people gives a damn about men fighting for their human rights. But the number is growing fast.

  60. 60
    Mike Buchanan

    Carnation

    “As a follow up, the only MRA who makes any sense on this matter is Bernard Chapin.”

    You simply can’t help yourself? I can distinguish between opinions and facts, but you seemingly can’t. I’ll leave the thread now. Have fun debating with yourself.

  61. 61
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    I’m familiar with the tragedy of Earl Silverman. I hesitate to try to make a political point over something as truly awful as a man’s suicide, but believe it’s an important point. He could and should have been supported in negotiating the frustrating and complex world of local and state funding. Self-styled men’s advocates seem conspicuous by their absence.

    “Mr. Silverman appears incapable of coherent and rational problem solving with government or community partners,” Maria David-Evans, the exasperated deputy minister of Alberta Children’s Services wrote in a formal response to one of his suits. “This is clearly not because of discrimination or gender bias … but is based on the illogical, unjustifiable and unreasonable ideology needed to communicate his views about misandry conspiracies that he has come to believe.”

    “To expect men in large numbers to collaborate to improve the lot of men, as women so naturally collaborate to improve the lot of women, is pie in the sky thinking. Which is why I fight for the MHRM to become more practical and political.”

    So, do you expect men in large numbers to collaborate to destroy an imagined and disparate view of feminism?

    I think humans are programmed to help other humans, to be honest. And I have worked with many inspiring men, often with little in the way of academic qualifications, who are dedicated to helping younger men and boys make something of their lives. I think that’s a misandric comment, Mike!

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/05/14/another-mens-rights-activist-suicide-exploited-by-ideologues/comment-page-1/

    Feminism clearly and obviously cannot be blamed for Mr Silverman’s tragic death, or the non-realisation of his valid desire for a shelter.

    The thing is Mike, when I say “There are no conversations about how best to help men who need it.”, I am saying that’s because they are excluded, amongst MRAs, by the sheer volume and ferocity of the conversations about how to target feminism/feminists and about the “true nature” of feminism.

  62. 62
    carnation

    @ Mike Buchanan

    Not so sure you can distinguish between opinions and facts, Mike – society being “gynocentric” is an opinion, not a fact.

    Bernard Chapin’s analysis that feminist projects losing funding in a libertarian state is pretty much fact.

    I’m engaging you in good faith and avoiding sweeping generalisations, barbed comments and so on.

    My comment was aimed at you because you support UKIP (where J4MB are not standing) and Chapin supports them, for anti-feminist reasons.

  63. 63
    marduk

    @Mike

    Yes but that is how the game is played. I blame Tony Blair’s third sector BS, this is what social enterprises do when they are treated like businesses, they compete.

    The MRAs need to moderate and professionalise. I remember thinking about this when the tenders for DV funding came out, you couldn’t move for articles by the bigger groups in newspapers (and you haven’t seen articles by any of them since which proves the point better). That is because they had their unpaid interns cranking out press releases night and day. Its serious when someone’s cushy job and big office in London is on the line after all. The media aren’t misandrist, what they are is lazy and easily conned. What you have to do is to maintain a bit of discipline and stop lashing out at feminists and stay steadfastly on-message. Can MRAs do that? I doubt it unfortunately.

    Despite my misgivings, I’m a more of a radical feminist than Caroline Criado-Perez, so are most people. I’ve never seen her support a cause that was in the least bit controversial or interesting. So how does she get so much bandwidth? She used to be a digital marketing consultant. In the end though its up to feminists how they feel about her being one of their leaders and whether wikipedia sub-category pages, bank notes and counting the guests on Today are the most pressing issue of our day. Thats it, that is her platform for being on of the most famous feminists in the country, why are you getting so little traction with your issues? But what that should tell you there is a way of playing the game. You need to learn it, not complain about it.

    This didn’t need to used to be said to people in social movements (MRAs and ‘new wave’ feminists) because we all started from the same place in it usually, the socialist summer school where they gave lectures on how to do these things. Feminism has abandoned the liberal left (and Carnation, the best hope for unification here was always Marxist Feminism which never had any problem with having a compassionate view of the position of men and is now all but dead) and MRAs were never in it so its not surprising there is so much thrashing about.

  64. 64
    whiskeyjack

    @sheaf

    Right… but the content of my examples notwithstanding (since I said a couple of times they were just examples and not phrased well, to boot)… the idea itself… the *ahem* principle, you might say…

  65. 65
    whiskeyjack

    *gazes at all the pretty trees*

  66. 66
    sheaf

    whiskeyjack,
    I think we do not need such principles. You ca make a case for them, but if all your examples seem terrible I will go ahead and say so.

  67. 67
    whiskeyjack

    It’s more efficient, is all. Or it can be. If you want to discuss the principles, that’s fine — but if you don’t, it’s a lot more constructive to establish where we’re starting from, in general terms, than to spend the first few paragraphs qualifying things (and then still have people flip out and/or nitpick over a single turn of phrase rather than the substance of the argument).

    Or, you know, nitpick away. I just tune that shit out.

  68. 68
    TMK

    Hey Ally, i wrote you (friday it was i think) using the form at your webpage. Not sure if you got it…

  69. 69
    Hunt

    I think that statements like that buy right into the feminism-as-monolithic-conspiracy-theory trope.

    I don’t think it’s conspiracy theory to realize that feminism is what it is because a lot of money has been thrown at it, and MRM is what it is (or rather, isn’t) because almost none has. You get what you pay for. In a way, it’s amazing that MRM is a “thing” at all.

  70. 70
    sheaf

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/files/2014/06/equality.png

    From pharyngula. Any comments?

  71. 71
    whiskeyjack

    “Any comments?”

    *shrug*

    I’ve been there. I’ve had men get violent and/or abusive and/or inappropriately persistent when I’ve (politely) rejected them. I always wonder if I’m being naive when I *don’t* reject them. And I’ve been discouraged from taking action (such as when, at 16, a cab driver made incredibly inappropriate comments about me and didn’t want to take me to my home, but his, and my initial reaction was to call the cab company and complain) because “he knows where you live and he could be ‘scary’”.

    In that instance, the advice to just “let it go” came from my father, by the way. He’s a good man; he just knows how the world works.

    I don’t consider myself (nor do others consider me) particularly cowardly or victimish. Literally every woman I know has had similar experiences.

    It’s a thing. That happens. We’ve normalized it, and that’s a pity for both men and women, when you think about it. It’s a complex problem, but a fundamental lack of respect for women is, as far as I can tell, a serious contributing factor if not the root of the issue.

  72. 72
    Paul

    @ Ally-could you delete my 12.01am post. which is No 43. Thanks.

  73. 73
    Jacob Schmidt

    From pharyngula. Any comments?

    It’s rather mundane. It might be better if the man thought, “I hope she doesn’t use me” or some similar relationship based fear; fear of being laughed at isn’t the only thing men are afraid of. But the point would remain the same.

  74. 74
    sheaf

    73,

    I hoestly did not get the point. Does this have to do with prevalence of murder committed by men? Because if it does, I also worry more that males give me wrong telephne number than that they murder me, even though I m more likely to be murdered than a female.

  75. 75
    Archy

    Not too bad. Marigold and Zinnia seeds I planted a month ago are growing nicely. Portulaca and Lobelia seedlings are stupidly tiny when they start off :D

    I wish this place used disqus or at least nested threads, makes it a lot easier to see conversations and minimize the rest. It makes derails and offtopics a lot more easier to skip over.

  76. 76
    Tamen

    Archy:

    I wish this place used disqus or at least nested threads, makes it a lot easier to see conversations and minimize the rest. It makes derails and offtopics a lot more easier to skip over.

    I think Ally started out with nested comments, but got so many complaints that he asked whether he should keep them or not. He then discarded using nested comments.

    Nested threads are useless if the back-n-forth are more than 4-5 levels deep. Particularly where the width of the content-column is fixed at 728 pixels as it is here. The annoyance when trying to read a comment which has been formatted to fit into a width only allowing 2 letters per line is unnecessary and so is the annoyance of putting in effort writing a comment which ends up being unreadable due to being formatted this way.

    Trying to keep up on all the conversations by reading the comments which are new since last visit is also something nested comments is ill-suited for.

  77. 77
    Adiabat

    sheaf (74): It seems to me the more accurate portrayal, in terms of what women worry about when they give a guy his number, is “Will he call?”

  78. 78
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    Good grief, I actually agree with you…

    And the man generally worries about what to say and whether, or not, to put an “x”… And actually, the main worry for the man (or woman, if she’s asking) is how to ask for a number whilst not looking too over-keen. And how to ascertain that he/she is single.

    Thus far, I’d say that the Open Thread is going quite well. What do y’all reckon?

  79. 79
    sheaf

    77, Adiabat

    Yes this seems indeed to be the case, at least from my experience. I am quite dumbfounded by this comic, there seems to be a point to it that completely eludes me – we have two people thinking about their fears and one fear is evidentialy one that people actually regularly have while the other one is closer to paranoia than to rational thought. But the comic was posted by Myers so I do not think the intended message is that women are more prone to irrational hysteria than men. Maybe the message is something along the lines of “women live in fear of men in general”, but this is not empirically true and even if it was their fears would have to be fueled by unhealthy paranoia – I am not particularly afraid that some man will murder me (eve though I am in a more likely victim category), I am more afraid of heart disease and cancer when contemplating causes of death.

  80. 80
    sheaf

    78, carnation,

    yah I like it.

  81. 81
    marduk

    This is a bit tangential to the comic strip but it made me wonder about how anyone can really discuss sexual politics.

    One of the most striking things about the feminist approach to issues like this is how little respect for they have for the lived experience of men who date heterosexual women, and this would hold even if those men only ever dated feminist women (and not the general population). Sooner or later you get the “well yes in theory but life is more complicated than that and you can’t legislate for desire and sexuality” discussion. I see in the light of recent tragedies we’re currently instructing men that being an asshole doesn’t work, which is odd because it doesn’t not work either and men know that. Impasse.

    Of course they have absolutely no idea, they’d never done it themselves. The same is obviously true for men as well. Even the exceptions, while amusing, aren’t really exceptions (e.g., Paglia dating women and writing that “sorry guys, I had no idea” piece). I remember being told about the revelations in Naomi Wolfe’s book and how men should read it. But any man who has slept with more than one woman and has eyes to see with and enough decency to want to try to make someone else happy already knew everything in that book.

    Funny old life.

  82. 82
    carnation

    @ marduk

    I remember thinking much the same when I saw an MRA cartoon depicting a man being treated suspiciously because he was in a park with a child. It was standard MRA fantasy about men being constantly accused of being predators etc.

    I think if you choose to believe that all men might kill you, or that all women consider men criminals, then not only are you opting to live in a stunted and miserable world, you are entering into a strangely dichotomous world. Out on the fringes…

    A far more realistic worry than murder is trolling or obsessive pestering/stalking (depending on severity) behaviour which both sexes engage in, but with men can carry a bit more physical threat. But to be frank, most people are too pre-occupied with making a good impression to worry much about extreme reactions.

  83. 83
    Pete

    Carnation.

    My problem with a blanket dismissal of MRAs is that there are a large number of people who would identify as MRAs who are a)not anti-feminist per se, although probably dislike rhetoric or tactics used by prominant feminist groups and thinkers, and b)give money for and/or actively try to help with men’s issues. It is a common stick with which to beat MRAs that they just sit behind a keyboard moaning on the internet instead of doing something, and whilst it is a fair criticism, it is true of movements with any political position. Most feminists don’t do more than twitter or tumblr activism either. And of course on the flipside, when people who care about men’s rights, such as Mike Buchanan or the Mankind initiative or Ally himself, or infamously Father’s rights groups like FFJ, there is a feminist backlash and even sometimes explicit threats, often seemingly from the very same people who criticise MRAs for not really caring about men’s issues (see the AVFM conference as an example). I mean, whatever you think about the accuracy or morality of their views, trying to silence them is not on, and trying to silence them whilst simultaneously criticising them for being intactavists is even worse (I know you personally disagree with the attempts to silence, I’m just making a point about others).

    The other issue I have with the blanket writing off of MRAs as in direct opposition to RadFems is that it reminds me of attempts to discredit feminism by associating the term with only RadFems. Whenever anyone brings up or focusses on men’s issues, whether they are identified as MRAs or not, opponents just write them off as just another MRA who hates women and feminism, in the same way that people who stand up for women’s issues are often written off as just another man hating feminist. I’m sure Ally has experienced some of this.

    On another note, it was disheartening to read some of the comments from the above Futrelle article along the lines of “They’re trying to deflect attention away from DV against women and anyway women have it so much worse (what about teh wimmenz),” or “This was obviously staged,” or, “I’ve never seen men’s groups talk about violence in gay relationships (I have)” or worst of all “Erin Pizzey supports this group therefore guilt by association blah blah blah.” It’s irritating when it happens under feminist articles in the Guardian and it’s just as irritating when it happens when men’s issues are discussed. If you have issues with statistics used, fine but if you just want to complain that a particular group has it worse then do it somewhere else without trying to derail an ongoing discussion about a separate issue.

    I like the idea of a regular open topic btw.

  84. 84
    carnation

    @ Pete

    This is a topic that I am interested in. To me, an MRA is absolutely distinct from an actual activist or advocate acting on behalf of males. To me, MRA is not even necessarily a acronym: it is a functional term for someone who blogs, comments, or agrees with comments and blogs, from prominent MRAs. Anti-feminism* (imagined feminism) defines these blogs.

    I agree with the general principle of your comment – but it falls down because criticism of MRAs gets conflated with criticism of actual activists (not driven by anti-feminism). This is a perfect example of what Ally described as the “polluting the waters.”

    Re ““Erin Pizzey supports this group therefore guilt by association”

    I’m afraid that any group that has any positive association with avfm shouldn’t, in my opinion, be taken seriously. Too much delusion and misogny finds a home there, unfortunately.

    I don’t just disagree with the attempts to silence MRAs, I outright condemn them as immoral (the methods used, to be clear, I have no problem with peaceful protests or activism). A boycott of the owner of the venue (or the RadFem venue) would have acceptable, as well as contacting the venue’s owner with concerns.

    As an aside, in my opinion, avfm thrives on negative attention (well, any attention). The speakers want to stand there slapping themselves on the back at their fortitude as they declare another vainglorious victory against their imaginary enemy.

    The real question people should be asking is this:

    How will vulnerable males benefit from the Detroit conference? Or from the continuing existence of avfm?

    RadFem conferences do nothing for females and are counter-productive for feminists.

  85. 85
    Adiabat

    Sheaf (79): My guess is that the point of the comic was simply Oppression Olympics. The author tried to argue that men’s problems, worries, issues etc are minor when compared to women’s.

    The problem with it is that to achieve this they invented a paranoid response on the part of the girl, making those who aren’t the intended audience go “WTF?!” in response. The intended audience however isn’t likely to realise this though and would nod along thinking that men have no real issues, and that the girl’s response was both normal and reasonable.

    Marduk (81):

    This is a bit tangential to the comic strip but it made me wonder about how anyone can really discuss sexual politics.

    Empathy makes this possible; trying to understand somebody by considering things from their point of view. I don’t buy into standpoint theory, or many versions of “privilege theory”, as they discount empathy.

    The problem with those feminists commentators you mentioned isn’t that they won’t ever experience what they are talking about, it’s that they won’t even take a second to try and walk in someone else’s shoes, to climb into their skin and walk around in it (as Atticus would say). Everything is filtered through their theory and ideological worldview first, making empathy impossible.

  86. 86
    marduk

    @ Adiabat

    I dunno, empathy is quite a hard thing to attain.

    The reason I say ‘lived experience’ is that within feminist epistomology, lived experience otherwise occupies an unusually privileged, lofty position. More practically, the belief in the importance of testimony of lived experience is the basis of things like the EverydaySexismProject (and implicitly, that cartoon I suppose if we take its didactic intent seriously). Even more pragmatically though, if you tell someone something they know isn’t true, they tend not to believe you!

    I’m not sure if ideology makes empathy impossible. I sometimes wonder if there are parts of feminism/MRAism that have simply fallen into in-group out-group Psych101 tropes. We are good, they are bad, we are are diverse, they are all the same, we do bad things because of complex situational factors, they do bad things because it is in their nature etc.

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

  87. 87
    Adiabat

    Carnation: Just found this:

    We use independent research and evidence to better understand key issues and generate reports, briefings and media coverage that both increase awareness and understanding and lead to change. We work with leading thinkers to not just make the case for greater gender equality but develop new ideas on how to get there.

    A lot of what we do involves working with our supporters, through online networks, local activities and more.

    I don’t see what’s wrong with an activist organization focusing mainly on online consciousness raising, with the odd protest, conference and meeting here and there.

    Criticise what they say, sure, but writing them off because they mainly raise consciousness about issues they believe in is a bit silly. An argument could be made that such organisations make things easier for other organisations who do the stuff ‘on the ground’.

  88. 88
    Adiabat

    Marduk (86): I agree empathy is a hard thing to obtain. Dictionary.com has this definition:

    the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

    Emphasis mine. Over time empathy has morphed into something like ‘sympathy’ but originally it refers to an intellectual pursuit, one that takes practice and is a skill that needs to be developed. It also requires humility and a willingness to learn.

    The reason I say ‘lived experience’ is that within feminist epistomology, lived experience otherwise occupies an unusually privileged, lofty position.

    Which is why ‘feminist epistomology’ is garbage. Over centuries we have developed methods for reducing bias, for refining our ways of learning about the world; we call this the scientific method. ‘Feminist epistomology’ involves throwing all that away. The epistemological problems with ‘lived experience’ have been known about for a very long time, and sometimes someone without that ‘lived experience’ can have a more accurate and reliable view of something than the person experiencing it.

    The classic example used is the metallic rock that fell from the sky onto a pacific island. The ‘lived experience’ of the inhabitants who saw the event and worship the rock as a god is worthless compared to the rest of us who are aware of thousands such rocks landing every year, and are aware that the one on the island is probably nothing more than a dead nickel/iron rock we call a meteorite. Should we really consider the islanders view as more valid, or even equally valid, just because they have ‘lived experience’ of the rock?

    What matters is not lived experience but greater, and more bias-free, knowledge. Sometimes lived experience gives you knowledge, more often the inherent bias involved gives you what you think is knowledge but isn’t. Hence why we do controlled studies.

  89. 89
    marduk

    @Adiabat

    Well, I know there are lengthy counter-arguments to that from Miranda Fricker. Point is really, if its good for the goose why not the gander? The disinterest in men’s lived experience is quite remarkable really just in terms of debates within feminism. Quite a lot of theoretical speculation could be cleared up by, you know, asking someone.

  90. 90
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    The Fawcett Society are, rightly or wrongly, an entirely different entity to MRA blogs. You will not find grossly offensive rants about people based on sex and excused with an inaccurate label of satire, for example. Quite possibly precisely because of this, you will find them being able to access powerful decision makers. Again, rightly or wrongly.

    The Fawcett Society doesn’t seem (I am going on a bit of first hand knowledge and a look at their website) to get involved in much service provision, but are clearly involved in research, lobbying and policy.

    MRA blogs don’t get involved in service provision, research, lobbying or policy.

    Let’s say there was, for example, an Adiabat Society, looking out for the interests of males, I would have no hesitation in supporting it. What I won’t do is have anything other than contempt for the tabloidy, vile nonsense that passes for theory and conversation within the MRM.

    As for consciousness raising, it’s a mis-use of the term.

  91. 91
    johngreg

    !! Double good griefs. I actually agree with carnation, to wit:

    And the man generally worries about what to say and whether, or not, to put an “x”… And actually, the main worry for the man (or woman, if she’s asking) is how to ask for a number whilst not looking too over-keen. And how to ascertain that he/she is single.

    Thus far, I’d say that the Open Thread is going quite well. What do y’all reckon?

    I agree, I agree.

    But then, that’s probably just my doggie privilege speaking.

    #YesAllCats

  92. 92
    mildlymagnificent

    while the other one is closer to paranoia than to rational thought.

    Funnily enough, I saw it as highlighting the background nervousness underlying any and all likely thoughts of a woman in that circumstance. Consciously she’s wondering about all the conventional things we all expect – will he call, should I get a haircut, I hope he does(not) like hiking/ steampunk/ whatever because I do (not) have anything I could wear for such an outing.

    But we have to remember, most women have had unpleasant experiences of various sorts with handsy or pushy men. A quarter of women have had one or more _very_ unpleasant encounters with men. So underlying any predictably hopeful conscious thinking, there’s always a nagging doubt which wouldn’t be expressed in the form shown in the strip. Usually it’s brought to consciousness implicitly, in the form of “I hope he turns out to be as nice as he seems to be at first meeting” whether it’s in the thinking or in discussion with family or friends.

    The real question should be, will her friends or family get her to phone or text them that she’s safely home when she does eventually go out with him. And phone/text her if she doesn’t do so.

    For as long as women continue to do that, we’ll know that they don’t feel as safe and carefree going on dates with men as they might appear to be to people who don’t know them very well.

  93. 93
    Adiabat

    Marduk (89): I’m not familiar with Miranda Fricker, and Wikipedia or google isn’t turning up any arguments. Can you summarise an argument of hers?

    I agree with you about the hypocrisy you point out. The only way I can understand it is if the emphasis on lived experience isn’t serious; it’s a political argument intended to bypass standards of evidence. It allows them to make claims (such as how women will respond to giving a guy their number) that don’t align with reality, while providing a response that is effective at silencing opponents (“You’re denying my ‘lived experience!”).

    Feminist theory, feminist philosophy etc make a lot more sense in general if we remove the assumption that the people behind them are honestly trying to make theory or do proper philosophy, and are instead trying to make Political arguments.

  94. 94
    Adiabat

    Carnation (90):

    The Fawcett Society are, rightly or wrongly, an entirely different entity to MRA blogs.

    The Fawcett Society don’t do any service provision. They don’t do independent research; instead they produce ‘reports’ using other people research. But they do lobby and devise policy. Most of this online, as they said in the quote above.

    MRA’s do come up with policy; it may be policy you disagree with and think is crazy but it is policy. As for lobbying, they have run letter writing campaign to RAINN before their recent report ditching many feminist arguments (http://permutationofninjas.org/post/74655593549/e-mail-rainn-on-saturday-march-15-2014), and are signing a Whitehouse petition. Mike has formed a political party and is running for election, and considering his chances (any minor party’s chances!) I’d hazard a guess that he is doing it to raise consciousness about issues he cares about more than anything else. That is Activism.

    And MRA theory isn’t my favourite thing, but it’s no worse than what comes out of Feminism, with its government funded academics and massive “research” institutions.

    I honestly don’t know what you’re expecting from a group without resources or wider cultural support?

    So what various MRA groups are doing is no different from the Fawcett Society except for tone, but one receives large amounts of funding, wider cultural support and the ear of the government, while the other is slandered constantly by much larger and more influential outlets. They were ignored and called misogynists by feminists when they tried to be reasonable, now they are still called misogynists but get the occasional chance to spread their message in mainstream outlets. I don’t agree with you for one second that they’ll be able to access powerful decision makers if they just toned it down a bit. If they never toned it up in the first place I doubt any of us here would even know what “MRA” meant.

  95. 95
    drken

    @adiabat While “lived experience” isn’t social research, I’m not sure how that translates to dismissing somebody’s else’s experience as not real. To me, that seems to be the opposite of empathy. It’s one thing to tell somebody that that chunk of rock that fell from the sky is not a gift from the gods, it’s quite another to tell them it didn’t hit them in the head because science says that doesn’t happen. It’s also quite another to take that rock from them because they’ll just worship it instead of giving it the scientific study it deserves.

    (93) Actually, what science says about what a woman might worry about after giving a man her number is that you can’t generalize what any one particular person will worry about based on statistics. Some might worry about what to wear, some hope he’s not a rapist/murderer, some might worry about both these things. However, if you have empirical research saying that in this situation, women aren’t more afraid of men then vice versa (what I think the basic premise of this cartoon is), then I’d like to see it. Also, (at least here in the US) people’s fear of violence is generally much higher than what their actual risk is, so this is actually part of a much bigger problem.

  96. 96
    sheaf

    But we have to remember, most women have had unpleasant experiences of various sorts with handsy or pushy men. A quarter of women have had one or more _very_ unpleasant encounters with men. So underlying any predictably hopeful conscious thinking, there’s always a nagging doubt which wouldn’t be expressed in the form shown in the strip. Usually it’s brought to consciousness implicitly, in the form of “I hope he turns out to be as nice as he seems to be at first meeting” whether it’s in the thinking or in discussion with family or friends.

    I do not doubt that women make bad experiences with men. So do men, with both women and men. This does not mean that I would belief such fears are representative nor that they are well founded above a basis level of caution one should always have with strangers, given that a substantial portion of the population exhibit psychopathic tendencies.

  97. 97
    123454321

    Took a trip to the local shopping centre at the weekend and as I walked into M&S I was pleasantly welcomed by the sight of an assistant (male) dishing out some freebie chocolate as part of one of those tasting promotions. I could almost smell the waft of quality Belgian chocolate as I made my way up to the guy – my mouth watering as my eyes fixed firmly on the last remaining finest belgian cocoa-dusted truffle. As we smiled pleasantly at each other the assistant softly asked whether I’d like to try a chocolate. Being the polite, good-natured (yet eminently foolish idiot) that I am, I hovered my hand briefly as if unsure which chocolate to choose…. and then out of nowhere came some middle-aged woman plastered in 3/4 inch of gypsum and pressure sprayed with some disgustingly rancid, stinky perfume that could literally choke a buffalo to death. She stretched out her fingers (clustered with clumps of gold) just as the assistant said “err…ladies first” and to my amazement – despite the fact that I was obviously there first – right from under my nose she reached out and took two chocolates including the fucking cocoa dusted truffle! After settling for some shitty blob of toffee and politely saying thank you I walked off in a bit of a huff just to cop sight of the woman smirking smugly behind my back to her friend (who, incidentally looked like Miss Piggy who had already eaten 6 boxes all to herself). I’m fairly mild natured but it was at that point that I couldn’t help conjuring up evil thoughts of ramming my fist down the woman’s throat to remove the truffle and insert it up her arse to save her the trouble of digesting it.

    The moral of the story? Not sure. But it’s an open thread and I wanna know when this ‘ladies first’ shit is going to die out. Was she acting out of selfishness, opportunity, ignorance, or reasons of privilege?

  98. 98
    sheaf

    91, Johngreg

    You forgot
    #killallpuppies

  99. 99
    bugmaster

    Regarding the cartoon:

    I find it pretty interesting as part of the overall pattern. PZ sometimes posts these feminist cartoons, usually from Sinfest, and the message always is, “women can only feel safe, happy, and content in the company of other women; interacting with men is an activity that is at best unpleasant and at worst actively dangerous”. If this statement is true, then this is a problem that has a clear and obvious solution: total gender segregation. So, do there exist any feminist organizations that are pushing for this, via e.g. the creation of female-only gated communities, female-only workplaces, female-only conferences, female-only public transport, etc. ?

    The reason I find this curious is because, unlike some other feminist policies (and, let’s face it, unlike many political policies in general), this is one policy that has a clear, measurable goal; a clear path to implementation; and AFAICT has a good chance of actually working as intended (assuming the premises are true).

  100. 100
    drken

    @ 123454321 (97) The moral of the story is that people are selfish and greedy and won’t give up anything that they think gives them an advantage over others. They’re also prone to the sort of violent revenge fantasies that make me avoid MRA spaces. I once heard a couple of older (but not elderly) women make a comment about how nobody is giving up their seat for them on the subway. That probably would have guilted some men into giving them a seat back in the day, but nobody budged. The moral is, watching old people fail to deal with change is funny.

  101. 101
    Archy

    “I remember thinking much the same when I saw an MRA cartoon depicting a man being treated suspiciously because he was in a park with a child. It was standard MRA fantasy about men being constantly accused of being predators etc.”

    I couldn’t take photos of my cousin because of this pedophilia hysteria at a soccer game, where he was a high-school student…and the soccer uniform covers more of the body, has loose clothing so there’s even less ability to make out any body detail anyway. Plenty of men have told their stories of being treated suspicious at parks, so it is no “fantasy” but a reality men face today. There is a reason why primary schools especially find it so difficult to find male staff, largely because of the misandry men face today over the pedophilia hysteria. Maybe it doesn’t exist in your country, but it certainly exists in Australia. Fathers I know have told me they feel awkward with their own kids in public! Some airlines tell men to move away from children that are not their own if they are seated next to them.

  102. 102
    Ally Fogg

    If this statement is true, then this is a problem that has a clear and obvious solution: total gender segregation. So, do there exist any feminist organizations that are pushing for this, via e.g. the creation of female-only gated communities, female-only workplaces, female-only conferences, female-only public transport, etc. ?

    I would argue that the “clear and obvious solution” to that (perceived) problem is that those men who behave in such a way as to leave women feeling unsafe, threatened etc should change their behaviour, and that everyone else, male or female, should play their part in persuading them to do so.

    But as it happens there are some feminists (not including PZM) who do pretty much argue as you describe. Shelia Jeffreys is probably the most famous, it is broadly the lesbian separatist movement.

  103. 103
    Ally Fogg

    Archy (101)

    and there are also good reasons why (some / many) women might fear male violence.

    I think Carnation’s point is that cartoons like these exaggerate or caricature most people’s experiences to such an extent that they become almost divorced from people’s reality (and hence stop being funny, apart from anything else).

    I’m a father who takes kids to the park pretty much every day. I video my kids nativity plays. I sit reading stuff off my phone while there’s a swimming lesson going on. In 12 years of involnved fatherhood, no one has ever accused me of being a child molester or whatever.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t problems, just that it is easy to wildly overstate them. I think the comparison between the two cartoons is pretty sound myself.

  104. 104
    Gareth Bridges

    I have come to realise that next to censoring opinions there is increasing censorship of communication styles. Echo chamber, anyone?

    A former friend of mine was censored from an “Atheism +” (Does anyone still use that label?) organisation for his views. He then set up his own forum online and in the first week of its running banned someone because of their communication style. I can’t comment on whether it was inappropriate or not, because I didn’t get to read it. Such is the nature of censorship – the appropriateness or otherwise of that comment for my immature brain had already been decided for me. Needless to say I then criticised my (now former) friend as mentally ill and was also banned, and then the entire venture collapsed in days.

    But mental illness, by definition, is aberration from the norm. If you cut down on content and style in an open forum you can sustain an environment that is entirely mentally ill, yet has its own internal standards for sanity. Ally Fogg may mean well (although I doubt it) with his brace of rules on communication styles, but it just doesn’t work. Some of the most telling comments (not ever by me I might add) are not careful, reasoned arguments, but pithy, perceptive one liners.

    Also, what’s a heteronormative patriarchy? Sell it to me. Should I buy one, and do they meet the simultaneous demands of style, function and cost-effectiveness?

  105. 105
    gjenganger

    @Gareth 104

    You have a point in general terms, but applying it like this you have clearly lost contact with planet earth:

    Ally Fogg may mean well (although I doubt it) with his brace of rules on communication styles, but it just doesn’t work

    Specifically, the moderation on this site is tolerant to a fault. All kinds of people with vastly different opinions and sometimes quite obnoxious debating styles are allowed to write and keep writing. People have snowed the site under with loud, repetitive, boring comments full of phrases in bold, and they got months of tolerance and a few gentle warnings. Action is taken extremely rarely, and only when other people complain with some regularity. If you are this sensitive to restrictions from other people, I wonder if you could possibly be comfortable except where you (and not someone else) is dictating the rules.

    More generally, absolute anarchy has the general result that the most loud and monomaniac contributors will monopolize the space and shout down or drown out everyone else. Who then have to go elsewhere or stay at home. Any shared space (of any kind) needs some common rules or norms to govern activities so that things can work. The rules here are about the most permissive I have ever come across – which is why we get to discuss with so many different viewpoints, and why I (among other people) am allowed to play here. What more do you want?

  106. 106
    gjenganger

    @Adiabat 88

    The reason I say ‘lived experience’ is that within feminist epistomology, lived experience otherwise occupies an unusually privileged, lofty position.

    Which is why ‘feminist epistomology’ is garbage.

    On the contrary, the focus on ‘lived experience’ should favour empathy. It is a way of saying that if someone feels offended, is hurt on a daily basis, wants certain things that he/she/it can never get, then we need to pay some attention. We cannot just come and say that this person should not be offended, should not mind, or should want something else, even if our ideology suggests exactly that. That does not extend to people’s analysis, only to their experience. Someone’s feeling of marginalization and belittlement are real, but that does not mean that we have to believe in the misogyny, misandry, or Jewish/plutocrat conspiracy they attribute as the cause.

    ‘Lived experience’ may be rather too selectively applied in practice, of course. Personally I think a lot of people have the lived experience that the changes associated with an influx of people with a very different culture diminishes their quality of life, just like a lot of men have the lived experience that they have been judged as unworthy by women in general, and that they will never enjoy the chances that other, more attractive men get on a daily basis.

  107. 107
    carnation

    @ 123454321
    @ Archie

    You have both given classic examples of hysterical hyperbole, of a type that is not distinct to either extreme of the gender debate.

    A man eating chips on the tube with his legs open isn’t acting out his male privilege any more than a woman taking a free chocolate in M & S is acting out her female equivilant.

    I read somewhere once that taking the “red pill” causes extreme paranoia.

  108. 108
    W.M.

    Oh BTW, Ally, many thanks indeed for correcting some of the misinformation re: the recent Cohen piece.

     (Ooh dear, will probably upset Mr Gjenganger here with me ‘monomaniacalness’ - is that a word?
     Yet some matters are so flipping outrageous, that it just seems they can hardly  be left 
    unmentioned or unattended to.) 

    That the Guardian should publish its zillionth piece trying to pretend that women are treated
     more harshly by the justice system
    (contrary to all the statistical evidence), is hardly in itself that ironic or surprising.
     Yet I do wonder about what’s driving Cohen here.  Is it that being a leftwing
     intellectual, who is so vastly superior to the rest of the population, gives someone 
     a license to print misleading ideas?  Or does an instinctive wish for something to be
     true lead someone to get some research off the back of a lorry (pressure group), 
    and then go to press without even checking their facts? 

     I seem to remember you called Cohen out over some similar ‘wishful thinking’ re: statistics 
    to do with a rise in domestic violence, and he just blanked you and completely
     ignored it. If that’s correct, then I’m sorry but I think such conduct is just completely disgraceful
    , and does the ‘left-wing’ press no favours whatsoever. 

     

  109. 109
    carnation

    @ W. M.

    Cohen is a buffoon. He’s as left-wing at Hitchens.

  110. 110
    W.M.

    Dunno, Carnation, he appears to be well respected in left-wing circles and 
    he’s certainly no exception in doing this kind of thing. 

  111. 111
    gjenganger

    @W.M. 108

    Ooh dear, will probably upset Mr Gjenganger here with me ‘monomaniacalness’

    No.

  112. 112
    123454321

    “…..privilege any more than a woman taking a free chocolate in M & S is acting out her female equivalent.”

    er, taking free chocolate after having jumped the queue because she CHOSE to accept an opportunistic privilege card, me thinks. That smacks of taking the piss in my book. By the way, an almost identical situation occured just a few months ago in another shop dishing out freebies, so I doubt that particular situation is rare.

    Also, I went to a bbq the other day. There were men, women and children, old, young, black, asian, ginger hair, even someone with a bad foot – a jolly good mixture. Just a few seats, by the way. Care to guess which particular group got the seats? All acomplished with hardly a word said. That’s entitlement in by book, whichever way you dress it up.

    Teachers in schools these days still encourage boys to give up their seats for the girls. It’s not all teachers but that’s segregation training in an official environment not that long after you’re out of nappies. Is that right – i.e. to teach girls that boys should give up their seats for girls even when they’re perfectly able-bodied and just as capable as standing up as a boy? Is it more damaging to the boys, or the girls? What does this instil in people’s young minds, which potentially gets carried through their lives? Is it insignificant and pedantic to even contemplate challenging what is an age-old social orthodoxy? Should we promote change or leave things how they are?

    Chocolates, seats at a bbq, bus seats etc. I still see mass segregation at work.

  113. 113
    123454321

    Carnation, if someone is either offered, or accepts, a benefit of any kind based on the sole fact that they belong to a particular group or subset of a group, and if the frequency of the offering goes beyond the laws of probability such that it can’t be defined as a random event occurrence, and it happen over a relitively longish period of time such that it becomes an acceptable expectation whereby nobody even considers individualistic merit or the moral worth of the single person in question….that’s entitlement.

  114. 114
    Adiabat

    Drken (95) & gjenganger: It depends on what you mean by real: I wouldn’t dismiss the observation that a rock fell from the sky, nor that the event has caused them to experience feelings and thoughts of some kind. But by empathising with the Islanders, by putting ourselves in their shoes and intellectually identifying with them as people; their prior knowledge, their attitudes, their beliefs, I’m sure we would feel confident saying that their interpretation of the event, and their opinion of what the rock is correlates less with reality than what our interpretation of what happened would be, and what the rock is.

    Empathy is not sympathy. It is through empathy, really understanding how they have come to the view they have, that we can dismiss the Islanders views regarding what the rock is. No-one is doubting that they have ‘lived experience’, but that it gives them any special insight immune from scrutiny, or that it necessarily provides them with an interpretation of events that is closer to the truth.

    Also, about 1-in250,000 people die each year from being hit by a meteor, and questions about informing the Islanders that they are wrong, or abusing their property rights by taking the meteorite off them are moral questions unconnected to whether their lived experience provides their views with any truth value.

    Actually, what science says about what a woman might worry about after giving a man her number is that you can’t generalize what any one particular person will worry about based on statistics.

    Yes, there will always be people who think outside of the norm; that the first thing that they will worry about is getting attacked by a guy they’ve given their number to, instead of wondering whether he’ll call. But then that means the artist could put anything in that last pane, no matter how unusual or rare, as it’s possible that some woman somewhere may think it. The meaning of the cartoon in that case becomes “someone may think this somewhere”. The cartoon becomes pointless.

    But the setup of the cartoon seems to present the two responses as common, even normal reactions to the first two panes. I think this is where the “WFT?!” is coming from. However, I suppose, looking at the cartoon again, we could interpret the unkempt hair, frumpy clothing and unfashionable glasses on the woman as making a point about a particular stereotype of a woman and what she is likely to think in that situation. But then the joke is on the woman, it is highlighting her unusual personality, and her paranoia. In this case the cartoon just becomes cruel mockery.

    However, if you have empirical research saying that in this situation, women aren’t more afraid of men then vice versa (what I think the basic premise of this cartoon is), then I’d like to see it.

    I disagree about the premise of the cartoon, or at least I disagree that the cartoon conveys this message very clearly. Ignoring the point of the cartoon for now, which we can write off as either wrong or poorly implemented, I don’t really disagree that women worry more for their personal safety than men do. I disagree that they worry as much as Feminists seem to claim they do, but I would argue that the burden of proof is on them to show that they do.

  115. 115
    Adiabat

    123454321: Some old people are just rude people. I quite admire the fact they they’ve reached a certain age and decided that they don’t give a shit.

    However, I agree with your wider point that some people capitalize on the benefits of their traditional gender role when it suits them. The term ‘mass segregation’ seems a bit hyperbolic though, and is likely to turn people against the point you are making.

  116. 116
    gjenganger

    @Adiabat 114
    Not sure your example is the best one. Religion is not a matter of objective reality like physics, after all. You do not have to agree with your islanders, of course, but carting their meteor away for scrap, and telling them that they have nothing to be upset about since their beliefs are obviously nonsense, well I would not consider that reasonable.

  117. 117
    WM

    @ 111. Cheers gjenganger - sorry about that! :) 
    I do wonder also whether its really possible to rectify/compensate 
    for propaganda once it has been put out. So many people 
    were taken in by C.’s narrative, and I’d imagine only a small percent
     would have read as far as Ally’s corrections. So we can reach a point 
    where democracy starts to break down, because the elites do 
    what they want, and only a  few are properly informed of what’s 
    really taking place. 

  118. 118
    Adiabat

    Gjenganger (116): I’m confused now. I did say:

    questions about informing the Islanders that they are wrong, or abusing their property rights by taking the meteorite off them are moral questions unconnected to whether their lived experience provides their views with any truth value.

    So I’m not suggesting what you seem to think I am. I’m purely talking about epistemology.

    I don’t think destroying a people’s belief system or stealing things that are precious to them is reasonable either. I don’t even know how you get to that from what I am saying.

  119. 119
    carnation

    @ 123454321

    Until I was well into my 20s, I would rarely stand in a queue at a rave, concert or club – I’d wander to the front and subtley (and sometimes not so subtley) make it clear I wanted in.

    Appalling behaviour, male entitlement? Machismo? Bullying? Booze/coke? Boys being boys? Or just a rude young man stuck in an extended adolescent?

    @ Adiabat

    I don’t think you understand how policy and lobbying work. Online petitions, I suppose, represents activism. Ineffectual activism, but activism.

    Let’s imagine that, for example, AVfM London wanted local authority money to set up a DV victims support group, this is what would happen. They’d apply to the local authority, who would ask them all manner of questions about financial stability, experiencel, need, equal opportunities and the projected Social Return on Investment (SROI). At some point, a Decision Maker (DM) would be alerted to a new organisation with a new application. The DM would then ask a subordinate for a report on the organisation. AVFM London’s website would then be looked at. I would then hazard a guess that the application would be declinded.

    In America, I imagine it’s much the same. Let’s imagine Paul Elam tries to lobby his local Senator. Someone in his office would ask for a report and one would be compiled – of Elam’s rants about “pssy soap”, c*nts, what arouses him, that feminism caused 9/11 (not his words but hosted on the site) and other ridiculous and offensive stories and articles.

    Without such ridiculousness, most of the people who have heard of MRAs wouldn’t have heard of MRAs. You are correct. The Westboro Baptist Church is widely known, too. Is that a good thing?

    To compare the MRM to the Fawcett Society is to delude yourself, I’m afraid.

  120. 120
    gjenganger

    @Adiabat 118
    You are right. All you said is that just because we want to empathise and respect their beliefs, that does not automatically mean the their beliefs are right. And there I can only agree with you. Nothing to disagree with.

    I was clearly not paying attention (too busy with irrelevant things like work). Apologies.

  121. 121
    123454321

    “Appalling behaviour, male entitlement? Machismo? Bullying? Booze/coke? Boys being boys? Or just a rude young man stuck in an extended adolescent?”

    Appalling behaviour? Bullying? Rude? Young and ignorant? Selfish adolescent? Yes.

    Male entitlement? No. Why? Because women and girls do that too, sometimes more, and often get away with it to a greater extent precisely because they are female. So no.

    I’m talking about widespread, one-sided gender-based entitlements – like expecting a seat because you are female despite the fact that you are perfectly capable standing. Or being offered first choice because you are female. The only situations I can think of where men are offered first is when they are expected to pay the bill. Not forgetting the wine-tasting ritual which is based around a reassurance check that the wine won’t poison the guests. God only knows who dreamt that one up but the decision was obviously based on who is the most disposable. An easy decision; give it to a man!

  122. 122
    drken

    In America, I imagine it’s much the same. Let’s imagine Paul Elam tries to lobby his local Senator. Someone in his office would ask for a report and one would be compiled – of Elam’s rants about “pssy soap”, c*nts, what arouses him, that feminism caused 9/11 (not his words but hosted on the site) and other ridiculous and offensive stories and articles.

    Without such ridiculousness, most of the people who have heard of MRAs wouldn’t have heard of MRAs. You are correct. The Westboro Baptist Church is widely known, too. Is that a good thing?

    If you were a Christian, would you want people’s primary experience with Christianity to be the Westboro Baptist Church? What if every time a Christian asked for gov’t assistance to run a hospital or some other charitable function the Senator would check out their webpage and find “God hates Fags” all over it? Because that’s pretty much what it’s like here with American MRAs. It’s all violent revenge fantasies against women who hit men or (even worse) don’t want to fuck them, or reasons why I can err on the side of rape. That’s why Manboobz is so popular. The primary reason I’m so happy to have Ally on FtB is that it’s nice to have a MRA voice that isn’t horribly offensive or just trying to distract from women’s issues.

    A man eating chips on the tube with his legs open isn’t acting out his male privilege any more than a woman taking a free chocolate in M & S is acting out her female equivilant.

    Actually, they’re both acting out privilege. The women are taking advantage of their ability to get away with what would otherwise be unacceptable behavior to push to the head of the line because “ladies first”, while a man would get thrown out of the store. The man is taking advantage of the fact men can sit in pretty much any position they want on public transit while women might worry about people trying to take a picture under her clothes. The problem is that while the rude women might actually think they’re getting away with something, the man (or at in least my personal experience as being one) doesn’t even think about the way he sits. It’s just the water in which he swims. I don’t have a issue with him until he starts dismissing problems women have on mass transit, because if it’s not a privilege to sit any way you want, then it’s not a problem if you can’t.

  123. 123
    carnation

    @ 123454321

    The two examples you give are classic patriarchal, benign sexism. Do they really rile you that much? Sure, it’s patronising of a man to offer a seat to a woman capable of standing, but that isn’t female entitlement: it’s a mild form of patriarchy in action.

    Of course some women do expect to be paid for on dates, have doors open for them etc, a rather immature minority, but they exist. These women may be many things, but one thing they are not is feminists.

    I think, 123454321, that for whatever reason, you get upset about exceptionally mundane things, and see victimisation and entitlement where there is none.

    I would guess, by the way, that the man tastes the wine to inform his choice – the woman, historically, not having sufficient agency as a sommelier.

    Hysterical hyperbole in action.

  124. 124
    carnation

    @ drken

    “The primary reason I’m so happy to have Ally on FtB is that it’s nice to have a MRA voice that isn’t horribly offensive or just trying to distract from women’s issues.”

    Ally described the MRM as a “basket-case”, and the two most prominent MRAs online as “scumbags” – I don’t think he’d thank you for describing him as an MRA, and when he is, it’s usually in a pejorative way (hope you don’t mind me quoting you on that, Ally).

    Until a bloc from within the MRM condemns and distances itself from the rabid anti-feminist(/woman) masse, they will be viewed as you have described.

    Re the examples I gave – neither are acting out gender privilege: both are just a bit rude and inconsiderate. Not everything is about gender politics. Few things actually are. Unless you’re a gender class warrior, in which case you view everything through that prism – a rather depressing way to be.

  125. 125
    Adiabat

    Carnation (119): I don’t know what you’re trying to argue here: you are the one saying that they should provide services to be taken seriously. You seem to be criticising them based on something you’re suggesting they do (which they are ignoring).

    You’re not even criticising the MRM any more. You’re criticising yourself.

    Without such ridiculousness, most of the people who have heard of MRAs wouldn’t have heard of MRAs. You are correct. The Westboro Baptist Church is widely known, too. Is that a good thing?

    To the Westboro Baptist Church it is. The MRM has the additional advantage that they actually have some valid points to make.

    To compare the MRM to the Fawcett Society is to delude yourself, I’m afraid.

    Why?

  126. 126
    Adiabat

    Drken (122): Sometimes when someone says how horrible MRA’s or AVFM are I head over to the website and look at the top three posts. The top three articles right now on that page right now:

    AVFM’s “Campaign for Free Speech” reaches $25k goal in under 24 hours 12 hours ago
    Casey Carroll, Last Link To Duke False Rape Scandal, Wins National Title On Memorial Day 3 days ago
    Sweden’s Feminist Initiative wins a seat in the European Parliament 1 week ago

    All relatively mild compared to what is often said about them.

    Many more people will do what I just did. So what conclusion do you think these people will reach?

    P.S I heard that recently the men’s rights subreddit has had a influx of now-ex-feminists who checked it out after reading prominent feminists blame them on the killings in California, and found out that the depiction of them didn’t correspond to the reality.

  127. 127
    drken

    P.S I heard that recently the men’s rights subreddit has had a influx of now-ex-feminists who checked it out after reading prominent feminists blame them on the killings in California, and found out that the depiction of them didn’t correspond to the reality.

    I don’t remember anybody claiming the r/mensrights was to blame for the killings in California. I did hear a lot of whining from them about how people are blaming them. Some people can’t take criticism. If you don’t want people saying you like violence against women, don’t post Bill Burr videos about him talking about how awesomely amazing it is to punch women in the face, and how stupid women are for telling him he shouldn’t.

    AVFM also has Paul Elam telling feminists that if they are really for gender equality, they’ll give him money to cover security costs. Nope, I won’t be the “reasonable” feminist that attacks feminists anti-feminists don’t like so anti-feminists will like me. All you end up doing is bashing other feminists and never really get that seat at the table you were promised if you were a good boy. Besides, if like he says, most feminists are reasonable and are genuinely working for gender equality, why does he think they should feel responsible for the actions of the Rad-Fems? There’s also something about an essay written by an “ex-slut” who states that she’ll now date men MGOTW approves of. I’m sorry, women get to sleep with whoever they want and I don’t get to tell them they’re worse people because they won’t sleep with me. Because I’m a nice guy. That’s seriously fucked up. That’s serious entitlement there. So, yeah that’s what’s on AVFM.

  128. 128
    bugmaster

    @Ally #102:

    I would argue that the “clear and obvious solution” to that (perceived) problem is that those men who behave in such a way as to leave women feeling unsafe, threatened etc should change their behaviour, and that everyone else, male or female, should play their part in persuading them to do so.

    That depends on how severe the problem is, and on what your goals are. If you want to build a better world sometime in the future, then the slow educational approach is better. However, if your goal is to relieve the suffering of women which is approaching critical levels as we speak, then you can’t wait for the future, you’ve got to act forcefully right now.

    In addition, the impression I get from PZ’s cartoons is that the women depicted in them (who act as proxies for all women) are simply not interested in male company, of any kind. Sure, some of them might be interested in straight sex, but that’s just a biological urge, not a social one… Although, now that I think about it, I don’t recall seeing a cartoon that expressed any kind of a female sex drive, either, though perhaps I just forgot.

  129. 129
    carnation

    @ Adiabat #126

    A hearty LOL at you if you believe that.

    Magick.

  130. 130
    Archy

    @carnation 107

    “You have both given classic examples of hysterical hyperbole, of a type that is not distinct to either extreme of the gender debate.

    A man eating chips on the tube with his legs open isn’t acting out his male privilege any more than a woman taking a free chocolate in M & S is acting out her female equivilant.

    I read somewhere once that taking the “red pill” causes extreme paranoia.”

    Not sure if this is a diss or not but you can look up these cases.

    ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_sex_discrimination_policy_controversy

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/10669864/No-men-are-not-all-potential-paedophiles.html

    ht tp://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/men-too-scared-to-teach-for-fear-of-being-falsely-accused-of-childsex-offences/story-fni6uo1m-1226913910688

    ht tp://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10441319

    Is that hyperbole? My photographer teacher told the men in the class especially to be careful when photographing children. My parents were both teachers, and both of them knew males were treated differently.

    I am not a part of the MRA, and especially not a /theredpill’er. I am simply a man that has had the damn hysteria make it difficult for me to take photos of my cousin playing a damn soccer game and have heard from plenty of people on the issues surrounding the hysteria. Maybe it is worse in Australia. I chose not to be a teacher partly due to the hysteria myself. Primary school and younger level teachers especially get harassed more, male preschool teachers have had parents ask the schools to fire them simply for being male. I wish it was only a small problem but it does appear to be growing to the point it’s extremely difficult to get males in child-care or teaching children type environments.

    @Ally, I understand there have been violent men but people aren’t taking a proportional approach to their fears. Stats seem to suggest up to 20% of sexual abuse against children is committed by females yet the general consensus seems to think it’s more like 0.0001%. Although if we really went on stats alone, people would realize the parents especially and also close friends/family are the most likely people to harm children. I would hope that the cases are rare that a man is accused without reason here but it doesn’t change the fact a lot of men are nervous around kids due to the hysteria. I am well aware of the attitudes so much that I do my best to avoid kids I do not know, and even with kids I do know I feel somewhat nervous as being a single male can arouse suspicion even though I’ve been through abuse myself and would be very quick to stop someone abusing kids if I ever saw it.

    A lot of children grow up with less n less male role models in schools over this stuff.

    RE the MRA sites: I find /mensrights the most level-headed. Most sexism I’ve seen there has been quickly downvoted and the majority heavily disagree with Elliott, the redpill, PUA’s, etc. If they refocused their anti-feminism into anti-someparts of feminism they’d be ok.

  131. 131
    carnation

    @ Everyone

    So, this is an open thread, so I’m going to have my say about something:

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/education/castlebrae-head-suspended-after-allegation-by-pupil-1-3432295

    It seems a head-teacher has been suspended from his job following an allegation of abuse by a former pupil.

    The police are “not investigating” but the school is.

    This cannot be right – I do not disagree with his having been suspended following an allegation (once it is given some foundation), butfor it to make the national news is wrong – it cannot be justified.

    If the police were investigating, perhaps, then, there might be some justification. As it stands, this is simply unacceptable.

  132. 132
    Gareth Bridges

    Ally Fogg:

    You said,

    “I’m a father who takes kids to the park pretty much every day. I video my kids nativity plays. I sit reading stuff off my phone while there’s a swimming lesson going on. In 12 years of involnved fatherhood, no one has ever accused me of being a child molester or whatever.”

    That’s not to say that there aren’t problems, just that it is easy to wildly overstate them. I think the comparison between the two cartoons is pretty sound myself.”

    Well lucky you. Other guys hvae suffered terribly from unsubstantiated accusations. It is that suffering, and sense of injustace that provides the emotional impetus for the extremes of mysogyny to be found in MRA and MGTOW.

    Personally, like you, I’ve had a pretty trouble free run in this respect – but not totally without false accusations. I once got into a minor scuffle with a warrior for hanging out in a furtive and suspicious manner next to a playground. It came to blows, beause no way was I moving anywhere, and no way was I going to tell him that the reason I was hanging out there was because I was standing at my front gate – I happen to live across the street from a playground.

    It’s a bizare story – but you should consider what sort of society creates an environment where somebody feels entitled to make such a scurrilous and baseless accusation against a complete stranger.

    I know men who have had much more serious accusations made against them than me. I can’t comment on the truth of those accusations, but I can say that those men suffered horrendously and the accusations were unsupported by evidence.

  133. 133
    Gareth Bridges

    @ gjenganger 105.

    Thanks for your reply. It is barely possible to err too far to the side of permissiveness when it comes to moderating an online forum. The example I gave sealed it for me. One person liked long-winded, referenced arguments while the other liked dramatic, terse provocation. Nevertheless, the person I suspected was correct was the provocative one.

    I think there are statistical measures to identify site-bombing, and I would classify that as outside of “communication style”.

    If this is permissive here – then good. But it would be contrary to the rules that Ally Blog laid down in a much earlier post on this thread – which certainly restricted style. Plenty of other bloggers on FtB are censorial to the extreme.

  134. 134
    carnation

    “It is that suffering, and sense of injustace that provides the emotional impetus for the extremes of mysogyny to be found in MRA and MGTOW.”

    No, I really don’t think that it is. For that to be the case, misogny would have have had to exist. MGTOW, as it happens, doesn’t exist in reality. It’s nothing new.

  135. 135
    Adiabat

    Carnation (129): *Sigh*. If past form is anything to go by when you start posting pathetic comments like that it usually indicates that we aren’t going to get any more sense out of you from now on.

    I guess that’s the end of our exchange here.

    Drken (127):

    I don’t remember anybody claiming the r/mensrights was to blame for the killings in California.

    And if you’re going to bicker over basic, already established, things I don’t think our discussion is going to get anywhere either.

    I’m happy to have a discussion with you but I’m not going to go over what everyone here already knows happened in the aftermath of those shootings. It’s undeniable that various outlets, rightly or wrongly, have tried to place some blame on MRA’s.

  136. 136
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    If you come out with comedy such as:

    “P.S I heard that recently the men’s rights subreddit has had a influx of now-ex-feminists who checked it out after reading prominent feminists blame them on the killings in California, and found out that the depiction of them didn’t correspond to the reality.”

    You just expect to be laughed at. That’s a classic vainglorious MRA “gotcha” – and undoubtedly based in nothing more than fantasy.

    You descended into nonsense, I merely took pleasure in mocking you for it.

    Let’s commence normal formal hostilities.

  137. 137
    Adiabat

    Carnation (136): It wasn’t clear what you responded to as you gave no quote. Considering your past form of just posting insults when you have no argument to come back with I thought your response was just you doing what you always do (In fact I still think this is the case, when you start posting comments like that it’s a sign that you aren’t going to be making sense for the rest of the thread, judging from past behaviour).

    In the future perhaps you should point out what you are responding to.

    Anyway, instead of just asking for sources, you decided to mock me based on your belief that what I described was nonsense, and MRA fantasy. These two discussion threads disagree:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/26trxw/all_the_articles_proclaiming_this_subreddit_to_be/

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/26sq38/as_a_feminist_i_am_so_disappointed_in_feminism/

    This isn’t the first time, you have a record for just posting insults based on nothing more than your own ill-informed views, which invariably turn out to be wrong.

    Do you now apologise for your mockery, as it is in fact your own views and beliefs that are wrong? Or are you going to double-down?

    P.S You also didn’t respond to my question: what do you think people are going to conclude if they see one of your rants about AVFM and head over to the website, only to find rather mild posts? What conclusion do you think they will make about you?

  138. 138
    carntion

    Hi Adiabat

    “It wasn’t clear what you responded to as you gave no quote”

    “In the future perhaps you should point out what you are responding to.”

    Your quote is right there in my comment, in the quotation marks. Oops…

    Links to Reddit to “prove” your ridiculous claims about feminists joining the MRA cause. Eh, cool story bro’ – think I’ll just ignore such laughable tripe.

    I don’t rant about avfm. And if they spend any time on the site, they will see it for what it is – as Ally said “a basketcase.”

    “Considering your past form of just posting insults when you have no argument to come back with I thought your response was just you doing what you always do (In fact I still think this is the case, when you start posting comments like that it’s a sign that you aren’t going to be making sense for the rest of the thread, judging from past behaviour).”

    Yawn.

  139. 139
    Adiabat

    Carntion (138): I was, as is blatantly obvious, referring to your original mockery in post 129. It is not clear what you were responding to.

    Like I predicted in post 135, I don’t think any of us can expect any more sense out of you from now on in this discussion.

  140. 140
    carnation

    Hi Adiabat,

    Um, you actually said: “Carnation (136): It wasn’t clear what you responded to as you gave no quote”

    I gave a quote on #136.

    You made a mistake. It takes a bigger man to admit he’s wrong than to try to lie his way out of it.

    No harm fella, happens to us all.

  141. 141
    Adiabat

    Carnation (140): And the topic of conversation was your pathetic reply in 129, which you clarified in 136. In case you hadn’t noticed I always put the post I’m responding to in brackets at the beginning of each post; it doesn’t mean that that post suddenly becomes the topic of conversation. This is basic reading comprehension carnation.

    Your argument is basically that I didn’t notice your quote, despite the fact that straight after talking about 129 I responded to it. You’re making no sense.

  142. 142
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    I make perfick sense.

  143. 143
    marduk

    So, no names or pack drill but I tried to post a comment on a neighbouring blog and it get moderated!

    The argument of the piece is that men need to learn from the Rodger incident, to pay very careful attention to such incidents and ‘assertively’ stand up to such men.

    I pointed out the Rodger incident was completely misdescribed (he didn’t “shoot 6 people”, he murdered 6 people not all of whom were shot, he shot 11 people).

    I also indicated that three men who were stabbed to death probably had tried ‘assertively’ to stand up to someone but were unsuccessful, so what do actually want men to do in simple language that isn’t hidden behind code. These vague demands for “action” usually Peter out into “its your problem, you should solve it” or coded requests for what sounds a lot like Batman-style interventions but I live in hope.

    But alas, I was DENIED. This is derailing as we are not discussing men as victims of violence!

    Look, if someone wants to go on the record as not understanding the basic facts of an internationally reported incident before pontificating about it, that is really their problem and their shame to live with.

    But it does make me wonder how much road mono-gendered discussions really have to run on. I’d suggest very little, its a nice idea to have a topic you want to stick to but all too easily that turns into basically telling lies and ignoring not just facts (which is trivially dumb) but also ignoring relevant complexity in the situation you are discussing.

  144. 144
    BrainyOne

    Yes, I agree. They (meaning many of the social justice crusaders on this site) say they want changes in society, and in men, and in the social construction of masculinity which will reduce violence against women but when actual changes are proposed they get hostile. They are hostile because these changes involve: 1) a rejection of manipulation of men through sexuality, emotion, and supposed superior morality through lack of “validation”, which is the source of misogyny; and 2) a rejection of the men are strong, women are weak meme. They can’t bear to think of a world in which men have real self-confidence (not the pseudo-posturing of “machismo” and “toughness”; and real self-confidence also means being willing to acknowledge hurt and vulnerability) and look to themselves, and not women, as the source as their worth; and have nothing they need to “prove” to women. Even though, in such a world, male violence against both men and women would be reduced drastically. Just in case anyone gets the wrong impression, I know there are lots and lots of women who will and do agree with me 100% on this.

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