Tackling the facts about the World Cup and domestic abuse »« #ViolenceIsViolence: Watching the reactions

The entirely Fact Free Friday open thread

So what’s on your mind folks?

If you’d like an oblique strategy starter, you could have a listen in to yesterday’s BBC Woman’s Hour, which was a special edition to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Joan Smith’s book, Misogynies. As a couple of you already noticed, it also includes a very brief cameo from me round about  the 40 minute mark.

Inevitably, as the last segment, our time was squeezed, and of the two or three key points I wanted to make, I actually made none. Still, as carnation has noted, I am (apparently) more Scottish than I look on the Radio.

A quick scan of the hashtags after revealed that I ruffled a few listeners’ feathers by having the audacity to offer some reasonably up to date and accurate statistics about violence against women.

On a similar note, I could only sigh and decline the argument on this rather strange response to my last blog. It left me thinking of only one thing:

homerfacts

Comments

  1. 123454321 says

    So what were the points you didn’t get chance to make then, Ally?

    And be careful now, if you ruffle too many feathers you won’t get invited back onto Woman’s Hour again, will you! They don’t like hearing things they don’t like to hear!

  2. says

    @kereta sewa
    Maybe you could explain how the blog provided “valuable information”? Is car rental somehow related to ender issues?

  3. carnation says

    @ Ally

    You and Mr Galloway have done wonders (with a rolling R) for the Dundonian (and nearby areas) brogue. Less brutal than Glasgow, less… Edinburgh than Edinburgh.

  4. Ally Fogg says

    So what were the points you didn’t get chance to make then, Ally?

    Primarily that there are plenty of gender-politics issues men can do address among ourselves which are external to feminism, which I think we should be getting on with. I don’t think those are necessarily a job for feminism, nor does a man have to consider himself a feminist to be involved in that.

  5. says

    Seems like the twitter discussion exploded:
    https://twitter.com/AllyFogg/status/475251890054529024

    It is always amusing to read people who are extremely convinced they are right although they are pretty much dead wrong. FWIW I think Ally did not lie with statistics and based on my limited authority (mathematics graduate, i guess I have to take stats courses as well *rolleyes*) is spot on.

  6. 123454321 says

    That’s what Mike Buchanan is doing for the UK, isn’t it? He’s raising awareness by speaking out about gender issues that affect men. Many men have now become completely disenfranchised by all facets of social politics – politics which have been driven through as part of an agenda over the last few decades using significantly skewed, female-friendly policies.

    I’m really not sure what you think Mike’s doing wrong. if there weren’t people around like Mike, men would continue to be trampled upon in every domain because I see no evidence that feminism would support men’s issues – ever. They’re just not interested, and listening to Woman’s hour confirms that. Although, I have noticed that woman’s hour appears to have adopted a policy whereby they now acknowledge in some of their reports that men can be victims. However, I can tell it’s just a box-ticking exercise and they don’t really give a fuck most of the time.

  7. WJ says

    I’ve been watching with fascination/ horror the reaction to Ally’s comments on violence is violence on twitter. It appears that even mentioning male victims of DV is victim blaming (presumably blaming female victims of DV), it also appears that many people who have taken issue with Ally’s posts have a very, very, low opinion of gay man- appearing to believe that they are much much more physically abusive than straight men.

  8. Paul says

    @10 WJ

    I haven’t been following twitter but it doesn’t surprise me that Ally’s getting it in the neck in some quarters.For any attempt to address the problem of dv in its entirety -rather than focusing on women and children as victims at the hands of abusive men- is likely to face a hostile reaction.And not just from feminists.For as i’ve said before i think thoughtout society there are many people of both sexes who just can’t/won’t accept the extent to which women can and do subject their partners and children to violence and abuse.Just as they can’t/won’t accept the extent to which women can also be the perpetrators and instigators of violence and abuse in society at large.

  9. Paul says

    ps there is an interesting discussion to be had as to why so many people-feminists and non-feminists alike- are reluctant to accept the extent to which women are involved in violence and abuse.Even when the evidence is staring them in the face.

  10. Juliet says

    Hi Ally,
    Since I got a cross post, here you go. My blog wasn’t a ‘rather strange response.’ It was written from the heart, from bitter, bitter experience and also the current reality for an extremely close family member who depends on me, in addition to a close friend I help daily, in addition to voluntary work. For you to read my post and dismiss it as, ‘Fact Free Friday,’ with a picture of Homer Simpson and the hyperlink you provided shows your behaviour for what it is – patronising, offensive, insulting and dismissive, from a man to a woman who is writing about male violence. If you had spotted anybody writing anything approaching this to a WOC, or a Trans* person, you would have been postering and making lofty judgments faster than anyone could say, ‘tosser.’ As it is, rather than looking at the overall direction of travel of the statistics and considering the trend they are describing, or considering for one moment this may be a topic weighted with emotion for a woman to write on it, you stick up a picture of Homer Fucking Simpson with the most mansplaining comment imaginable, about ‘ruffling feathers’ and implying the poor little bird couldn’t understand statistics.
    I don’t care about what you think about my blog, all it reveals is that your skin is wafer thin and you have an issue with intelligent women. 12,000 views later with only positive comments via FB, Twitter, DM and on the blog, I think you may be alone if finding it, ‘strange’. I will not be engaging with you again, you have proven yourself to have the sensitivity of an MRA rhino.

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

    For those of you who adhere to the party line and/or may be otherwise interested MSMag ramps up the outrage :
    http://msmagazine.com/blog/2014/06/06/protest-saturday-misogynistic-mra-conference-in-detroit/

    This Saturday, a group of protesters in Detroit will rally in Grand Circus Park and march to the Doubletree Hotel, demanding that the hotel cancel the upcoming Conference for Men’s Issues. The conference, hosted by well-known men’s right’s organization A Voice For Men (AVfM) is set to take place at the hotel from June 26th-28th, and many Detroit-area residents are concerned about the organization’s hatred toward women.

    /popcorn

  12. Paul says

    Hi Juliet

    I haven’t seen your exchanges with Ally elsewhere.But from what i have seen of his writing he’s never sought to play down the extent to which men can be violent to women.Additionally he’s never struck me as being someone who has a problem with intelligent women.And i’d certainly not describe him as having the sensitivity of an MRA rhino.

  13. Juliet says

    That’s nice for you Paul. However, I have had precisely the opposite experience. I wonder what the difference between the two of us is.

  14. marduk says

    Juliet, I don’t buy your sensitive dying swan act, I’ve read your foul-mouthed bitchy Twitter feed and so has everyone else, you thought those things and said so *before* you wrote your self-described “angry” blog post.

  15. nejishiki says

    Juliet:

    My blog wasn’t a ‘rather strange response.’ It was written from the heart, from bitter, bitter experience and also the current reality for an extremely close family member who depends on me, in addition to a close friend I help daily, in addition to voluntary work. For you to read my post and dismiss it as, ‘Fact Free Friday,’ with a picture of Homer Simpson and the hyperlink you provided shows your behaviour for what it is – patronising, offensive, insulting and dismissive, from a man to a woman who is writing about male violence. If you had spotted anybody writing anything approaching this to a WOC, or a Trans* person, you would have been postering and making lofty judgments faster than anyone could say, ‘tosser.’ As it is, rather than looking at the overall direction of travel of the statistics and considering the trend they are describing, or considering for one moment this may be a topic weighted with emotion for a woman to write on it, you stick up a picture of Homer Fucking Simpson with the most mansplaining comment imaginable, about ‘ruffling feathers’ and implying the poor little bird couldn’t understand statistics.

    Your emotions are not relevant to the (entirely empirical) question of how much domestic violence occurs, who perpetrates it, and who are the victims. You challenge none of the figures he cites.
    Here’s a handy guide:
    You are currently at DH2: Responding to Tone. Try better.

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

    Over at Toy Soldiers: Boko Haram kills hundred of men and boys in village raids and #theworldremainssilent

    http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/boko-haram-kills-hundred-of-men-and-boys-in-village-raids-and-theworldremainssilent/

    How about 400 to 500 dead men and boys? Infants boys torn from the mothers’ backs and then “shot dead before their eyes?”

    Are they important enough to mention?

    Imagine if the reverse happened. Imagine if Boko Haram spent several days traveling from village to village singling out women and girls and murdering them. Imagine the social media response. The news media response. In the international response.

    Now go and look for that response following the recent attacks.

  17. JT says

    @Juliet

    I like intelligent women. In fact, I love strong, determined intelligent women. In reality, from a equality perspective, does it really matter what gender is doing the violence to the other. Shouldnt we all just be concerned with stopping violence? If we are all really concerned with each other and we all really feel we are equal, then gender wont be an issue in regards to the violence perpetrated, the violence will be the issue.

  18. Paul says

    That’s nice for you Paul. However, I have had precisely the opposite experience. I wonder what the difference between the two of us is.

    @18 Juliet

    I’m not an unquestioning disciple who reads from the ”Gospel According To St Fogg”. But i do broadly agree with Ally on many issues.And i think anyone-male or female- who tries to challenge the status quo with regard to the way the issue of domestic violence is too often addressed is entering a minefield.

    I’ve got no beef with you so please don’t take this as an attack on you.I see as i find and from what i’ve seen Ally isn’t guilty of the things you’ve accused him off.

  19. Jacob Schmidt says

    patronising, offensive, insulting and dismissive, from a man to a woman who is writing about male violence.

    Your emotions are not relevant to the (entirely empirical) question of how much domestic violence occurs, who perpetrates it, and who are the victims.

    I find it strange that you highlight a description (accurate or not) of Ally’s words as an example of emotion on Juliet’s part.

  20. nejishiki says

    I find it strange that you highlight a description (accurate or not) of Ally’s words as an example of emotion on Juliet’s part.

    Why would you find that strange? It’s a description of Ally’s words by Juliet. If I go to some right-wing blog and read how Obama’s latest speech is a socialist, muslim and anti-christian obscenity, betcha I can guess a thing or two about the emotional state of the writer. Of course, you’ll be there to say “I find it strange that you highlight a description (accurate or not) of Obama’s words as an example of emotion on Joe Freedom’s part.” People’s words, and their congruence with reality, tell us something about their likely emotional states. If this is news to you…

  21. Jacob Schmidt says

    Of course, you’ll be there to say “I find it strange that you highlight a description (accurate or not) of Obama’s words as an example of emotion on Joe Freedom’s part.” People’s words, and their congruence with reality, tell us something about their likely emotional states. If this is news to you…

    a) Those same words could just as easily be written in any emotional state, up to and including boredom.

    b) The other two pieces you highlight (“It was written from the heart, from bitter, bitter experience” ; “considering for one moment this may be a topic weighted with emotion for a woman to write on it”) are actual references to her own emotions, while the piece in question is a criticism of Ally’s behaviour. For all that “[people’s] words, and their congruence with reality, tell us something about their likely emotional states,” you’d might as well have bolded pretty much the entire paragraph.

    That one bit in the middle just doesn’t fit with the others.

  22. Jumper says

    Has the internet exploded in irony yet? A twitter account called “every day victim blaming” with the mission to end victim blaming (who have hosted a couple of criticisms of violence is violence and ally’s recent posts) have just tweeted to him to say that men who are assaulted by their email partners often provoke the women into it and that the women who assult their partners are the real victims of abuse.

    Is this all part of some parody and I’m missing the joke?

    It seems that men assaulted by their partners can only fall into 3 camps
    Figments of the imagination of misogynists
    Gay men
    Men who we’re asking for it, and are obviously the real abusers.

  23. jon says

    I think they fall into category 3

    It really is depressing to see the amount of abuse if being heaped onto ally for his position. It turns out he is an MRA and hates women, also he doesn’t care about victims of DV- he’s just trying to build some kind of sinister platform. There really does seem to be a strand of twitter feminism that is an almost exact mirror of the MRAs movement they despise.
    I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised by the fact that many of the accounts giving ally a kicking were the same ones who spent the last couple of weeks telling a trans woman to shut up about the abuse she suffered- and accused her of being “the real abuser”.

  24. says

    There really does seem to be a strand of twitter feminism that is an almost exact mirror of the MRAs movement they despise.

    How so? There some hysterical and annoying MRAs but the movement as a whole does not seem to have similar characterisitcs with the largest mra space (r/mr) often being open to dissenting opinions. For example a recet example where sensationalist feminist conspiracy idiocy was posted got ripped to shreds in the comment section: http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/27iwhn/harvard_pubs_study_showing_women_perpetrate_more/

    This is completely at odds with the behavior of the twitter feminists we witness here.

  25. Ally Fogg says

    Yep, I seem to have spent most of the past three days down a Radfem rabbit hole.

  26. says

    marduk,

    thanks for the lik. I agree that self defense is not enough to explain interpersonal violence commited by woman

  27. marduk says

    @sheaf

    The really important thing is at the beginning, the consequences of the hypothesis that women and men abuse for the same reasons. NEW DIRECTIONS FOR TREATMENTS AND THE RUNNING + DESIGN OF SERVICES THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY WORK!!!! I say that in caps because the thing about DV is that virtually nothing actually works so far and if it wasn’t politicised into dishonesty, we’d be frantic in our search for something or anything that did. As it is the ideologues are just happy to keep taking the money and feel good about themselves for ‘helping’.

    Radical feminism and vested 3rd sector interests: Its why we can’t have nice things.

    This is what really, really, really pisses me off.

  28. marduk says

    @Sheaf:

    They begin by setting out the standard feminist/Duluth model which relies on man-as-perpetrator, woman-as-victim and women’s violence as always in self-defence. They say however it is worth checking to see if this is actually true because:

    “On the other hand, if both men’s and women’s violence is motivated by anger management concerns, lack of skills to communicate successfully with intimate partners, or because of jealousy perhaps resulting from an inability to securely attach to one’s partner, different types of IPV interventions are likely to be necessary and these interventions may not need to be so gender-specific. Instead, less gender-specific interventions that take into account these latter types of motivations for violence may need to address perpetrator-specific psychological issues as well as relationship-specific concerns. ”

    If you can step back from the ‘gender wars’ element of all this (which is a historical thing basically) and start to think of it as being a problem of people and sometimes best thought of as a problem of a relationship, you start to see the wood for the trees and there is hope.

  29. marduk says

    I wouldn’t take it too much to heart Ally. EVB is a sockpuppet and essentially the provisional wing of the same small group of TERFs you’ve already heard from. As if that wasn’t obvious, not that it is stopping them enthusiastically agreeing with themselves on other accounts! #Astroturf

  30. mildlymagnificent says

    This is completely at odds with the behavior of the twitter feminists we witness here.

    Who’s we? And where’s here? And who are these feminists?

    The only person qualifying as a “twitter feminist” I’ve seen here for the last week or so would be Juliet responding to Ally’s post. I’d think she’d have a more or less automatic ‘right of reply’ under the usual blog conventions where even people who are normally banned are given a chance when a post directly relates to them.

    For the rest of the last week to 10 days, I’d have a hard time finding any feminists apart from carnation and RB – and I’m not sure whether they’ve ever claimed to be feminists in the first place. Though they’d probably qualify as allies even if they claimed neither description for themselves. And I’d have an even harder time finding any women openly identifying themselves as women (other than myself), feminist or otherwise.

    That’s not really a problem by the way. Ally wants to provide a space for mostly men to discuss issues about masculinity/ sexuality/ sexual identity. That this often makes the environment pretty uncomfortable for women is quite natural (and I’m perfectly happy to stay out of discussions that upset/ annoy/ offend me).

  31. marduk says

    @mildlymagnificent

    The adverb here means “in this place” but also “at this juncture”.

  32. carnation says

    @ MildlyMagnificent

    Hello, just a note for you and anyone else who is interested. I come to this blog, as your correctly pointed out, to discuss masculinities and the place and role of men in today’s society. This blog is written by, in my opinion, a talented writer with a masterful command of his subject matter (men’s issues). Knowledge and understanding of any gender issue can only come about by first understanding feminism (IMHO). Study history and praxis of feminism, and you’ll learn a lot about social research, societal structures, media critiques, power structures, resistance and a whole lot more.

    I am not a feminist. I am not involved in any feminist activism, nor have I ever been. I have admiration for those feminists that brought about a massive social revolution, against opposition that was steadfast and nasty. Society is better, IMO, for the legal and social changes that were brought about.

    There aren’t many feminist campaigns active at the moment that I have any interest in, let alone support for. Unfortunately, there isn’t a prominent movement for men that I view with anything less than contempt.

    I am staunchly anti anti-feminist, however, believing that anti-feminism is invariably (though not always) rooted in patriarchal sexism or outright misogyny. And I find anti-feminists (and/or/AKA MRAs) to be, more often than not, appalling human beings, trolls and ineffectual online drones. And deeply misguided (and, interestingly, extremely prone to plagiarising feminist theory, with the sexes switched).

    That said, I enjoy a good discussion/debate/barney/flame war, and they’re quite often good for that.

    TL/DR – I don’t identify as a feminist because I don’t do any feminist activism and believe that most current campaigns are a bit… well, less than important. That’s not to say that there aren’t entire swatches of feminist analysis that I agree with; I do, but then I think that virtually everyone would.

    As a side-note, despite the hysterical hyperbole and victim mentality of many MRAs (and those sympathetic-to-MRAs-but-won’t-self-describe-as-such), dissenting voices are in the minority on HetPat, so I feel a bit of balance is often a good thing.

    Speaketh Carnation:

    If HetPat was a scent, what would it be? (you lose points for the obvious bull references.)

  33. says

    mildlymagnificent,

    Who’s we?

    “We” in this context is a common figure of speech.

    And where’s here?

    Here is referencing the situation on Ally’s twitter feed where a bunch of anumerical people got angry over the fact that Ally used a statistic that did not confirm their previous notions about domestic violence.

    And who are these feminists?

    Look at Ally’s twitter feed and you will see. Highlights include victim blaming , general uncharitability as well as overall incompetence.

    The only person qualifying as a “twitter feminist” I’ve seen here for the last week or so would be Juliet responding to Ally’s post. I’d think she’d have a more or less automatic ‘right of reply’ under the usual blog conventions where even people who are normally banned are given a chance when a post directly relates to them.

    This seems to be a completely different topic. Just read the previous posts. I did not address Juliet in the slightest.

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

    I suppose there is some irony in the fact that I was a Feminist as late as the 90’s. Anyone else?

  35. carnation says

    @ Andrew

    At what point did you realise that it was all a clever ploy to fool the world into allowing a hate movement to infiltrate the government and wage a war on men?

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

    @#46 carnation

    Never did and still do not. My comittment to Feminism even survived the S.C.U.M. manifesto and Dworkin. What it did not survive was my investigation as to why a nephew became a misogynist.

  37. says

    carnation,

    At what point did you realise that it was all a clever ploy to fool the world into allowing a hate movement to infiltrate the government and wage a war on men?

    Since I have considered myself a feminist until about a 10 months ago, I feel free to answer this as well. I was at the time helping a very close friend of mine with a massively emotionally abusive relationship with a girl I suspect can be confidently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder ( to give an idea about the extent, recently the name of his ex girl firend came up in a conversation and my friend still physically flinched). Because of this I became interested with the general situation of domestic abuse against men and I began to read about it online. The general impression I got back then was that there was an extreme amount of vitriol present, aimed at men and often not properly regulated by more moderate voices. I discovered that I disagreed with a lot of notions, including many uses of misogyny, patriarchy and privilege decided that calling myself a femiist was not a very good description of my own views.

  38. carnation says

    @ Andrew

    The SCUM manifesto was written decades ago and has had precisely zero influence on feminisms. Andrea Dwirkin… The RadFem poster woman who lived with a man. I am not too au fait with her writing but pretty sure it is as misunderstood and misquoted as Julie Bindel.

    The most prominent MRAs believe the gibberish I wrote earlier, though. Which is why it baffles me when people identify with such crass buffoonery.

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

    #49 @carnation,

    I suggest you read her before you make any assumptions. In any event as I said earlier, my comittment survived her (and others).

    The most prominent MRAs believe the gibberish I wrote earlier, though. Which is why it baffles me when people identify with such crass buffoonery.

    I know you believe that which is why your bafflement is a constant source of amusement (to me anyway).

  40. Carnation says

    This from your ideological guru:

    “The misandric Zeitgeist, the system of feminist governance that most are sill loathe to acknowledge is about to head toward its inevitable and ugly conclusion, and the results of that will inflict another deep wound on the psyche of the western world.

    In the men’s rights community, a minority in its own right, we have long lamented the cruel and destructive war that has been waged against men and boys for the past half century. We’ve shouted endlessly at a deaf world that we were on the path to destruction, and we have watched our predictions of men being reduced to indentured servants to a malicious matriarchy”

    It beggars belief that adults would read this and do anything other than laugh.

  41. Sigil says

    Interesting to see the same abuse denial, cannibalism and resulting criticism of feminists directed at their male allies that created the men’s movement years ago happening to a new breed of pro feminist male willing to speak up for men.

    Wait till you dig into how these women covered up female paedophilia in the 1970s in favour of painting paedophilia male. that a real horror show too.

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

    #51, @carnation

    Link please. I am curious and interested in seeing exactly who you suppose is my “ideological guru”.

  43. Sigil says

    “In the men’s rights community, a minority in its own right, we have long lamented the cruel and destructive war that has been waged against men and boys for the past half century. We’ve shouted endlessly at a deaf world that we were on the path to destruction, and we have watched our predictions of men being reduced to indentured servants to a malicious matriarchy”

    It beggars belief that adults would read this and do anything other than laugh.”

    Hilariously blind comment underneath an article about feminists covering up abuse and spitting venom at people that tell the truth about it.

  44. Carnation says

    @ Sigil

    Hi Sid, have you spent the proceeds from your share dealing successes?

    @ Andrew

    Paul Elam, Feminist Apocalypse or building a man bomb

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

    @ #55, carnation

    You saved a snippet but not the link? Oh well at least I have an idea where you are coming from now.

    Basically, my impression is that you have not looked into this MRA business in any depth at all.

    You also leave me with the impression that you believe that many/most/all people generally “outsource” their thinking to ideology and mindlessly follow their “dogmatic” leaders without really understanding what they are “supporting”.

    Try reading these papers if you wish to inform yoursef as to the source of a few of my opinions.

    Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology
    2011, 5(2), 1-9. 2011 Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology
    WHO LIKES EVOLUTION? DISSOCIATION OF HUMAN EVOLUTION VERSUS EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY
    http://137.140.1.71/jsec/articles/volume5/issue2/Ward_Vol5Iss2.pdf

    Non-cognitive Skills and the Gender Disparities in Test Scores and Teacher Assessments:
    Evidence from Primary School
    http://www.terry.uga.edu/~cornwl/research/cmvp.genderdiffs.pdf

    CEE DP 133
    Students’ Perceptions of Teacher Biases: Experimental Economics in Schools
    http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp133.pdf

  46. JT says

    @carnation

    I like that. You dont identify as feminist but you make it quite clear who the “nasty” ones are, as in, MRA’s. As much as I think there are many deplorable individuals in the MRM it seems to me there are quite a few in the feminist movement as well. It doesnt really matter that much what you say you are but it is pretty obvious where your allegiance is. The truth of the matter is, if we believe men and women to be equal in nature it stands to reason that there are just as many shitheads in both groups. That would be equally appliable to all the well intentioned people too. :)

  47. carnation says

    @ Andrew

    Nope, I’ve looked at it very deeply. You self identify as an MRA, which I applaud you for as most are too embarrassed to do so. But you must accept the justifiable criticism that following such a deluded, lurid and paranoid theories brings.

    Maybe you are a dissenting MRA, but put bluntly, the collection of blogs that constitutes the MRM isn’t big or diverse enough for real dissent. The term is toxic.

  48. That Guy says

    I agree with carnation on this point. the MRM from what I have seen appears to be made up of deluded and bitter individualswho blame women for a wide variety of social ills.

    I’m struck with a similar vibe from climate change deniers, who are trying to paint green organisations and policies as the big evil that’s choking out the poor helpless fossil fuel industries. It just doesnt jibe with reality.

    If there was really some kind of ‘gynocentric’ movement- then I’d expect that women would disproportionately be in positions of power, would get promoted over men and paid more than men in the workplace, and would be in a better position generally in society.

    in the limited cases where men are at a disadvantage, I can imagine this is not because of some sneering feminist aggression but because of the way in which men are generally meant to be viewed as powerful figures. To hark back to the previous post- female on male DV is probably not taken seriously because of society’s interpretation that “man is strong, woman is weak”.

    probably because of all this I bring with me, I find myself being much more critical of what Ally writes than most other bloggers I follow- but generally, I tend to agree (so far).

  49. carnation says

    @ That Guy

    It’s even more ridiculous than that. It’s looking at the massive effects on (largely) men because of globalisation and the decline of Western manufacturing and industry and blaming feminism.

    As a project, it’s as deluded and stupid as invading Iraq because of 9/11. It’s self-serving and notable for it’s comprehensive inability to do anything positive for men (aside from the <1% who get a bit of infamy/attention and maybe some employment/expenses).

    To me, MRA isn't an acronym – it's shorthand for an inactivist who is crudely anti-feminist (at best), gullible and very predisposed to chasing any kind of attention.

    @ JT

    I quote from the "leading and guiding" lights of the MRA blog collective. There is no real dissent from these positions.

    @ Andrew

    See above. Why do you identify as an MRA if you disagree with the fundamental tenents of MRA theory?

  50. gjenganger says

    @That Guy 59

    If there was really some kind of ‘gynocentric’ movement- then I’d expect that women would disproportionately be in positions of power, would get promoted over men and paid more than men in the workplace, and would be in a better position generally in society.

    I am not in favour of either feminist-bashing or feminist-emulation (unlike a lot of MRAs). But feminism is a gynocentric movement, like a kind of trade union for women. and your argument still does not hold. We did start out with a male-dominated society, a few centuries back, and the gynocentric movement has not had time to completely reverse that, even assuming they are trying.

    A good comparison would be 70s-80s politics. There was a time where socialism was in the ascendant, and culture and much of academe were heavily Marxist. In many university departments non-Marxists need not apply. At the same time the boardrooms etc. were solidly non-Marxist, of course, but socialists had considerable cultural power, and used it heavily, not without costs for some who did not agree. I would argue that feminism had at least that kind of cultural power today – though there is plenty of room for argument about exactly who dominates how much where.

  51. 123454321 says

    “Knowledge and understanding of any gender issue can only come about by first understanding feminism (IMHO). Study history and praxis of feminism, and you’ll learn a lot about social research, societal structures, media critiques, power structures, resistance and a whole lot more.”

    Nice sales-pitch.

  52. 123454321 says

    “Unfortunately, there isn’t a prominent movement for men that I view with anything less than contempt.”

    Carnation, why don’t you do as you preach to me and start one?

  53. carnation says

    @ Gjganger

    That’s an interesting argument, good examples: but I think that you’re wrong and, also, downplaying the residual but low-level opinion of feminism that many in society has.

    Using your analogy, though, it’s safe to say that Marxist academia amounted to diddly squat when it came to combating Thatcherism!

    Yes, it’s true that most social science graduates will be sympathetic to feminist theory, but only really as part of a wider progressive/liberal viewpoint. Stories are legion of quite incredible sexism within unions of the 70s/80s (including a few cracking anecdotes about Scargill and Brown).

    @ 123454321

    Very good point, and I have asked myself why I don’t do that. The reasons are varied – mostly I see the problems faced by males as being the problems faced by the (former) working class and think the solutions are too myriad and complex for a single issue movement. My viewws are also very sexist – employment initiatives should be skewed towards traditionally male industries. I am unashamed of this. But the Tories won’t, New Labour didn’t, and nobody else has a look-in. So, unfortunately, I don’t think with the best will in the world, Iam capable of effecting much change. I don’t view myself as a leader. And I’m no longer involved day-to-day in a sector that can effect change – I “sold out”, and enjoy the spoils of the private sector.

    I am involved, albeit in a very small way – I volunteer with a group that offers basic literacy skills to economically disadvantaged people, my “area” is mosly young males, I help with CVs and interviews.

    Please understand, 123454321, I don’t mean to preach – I dosmissed you as a bombastic, MRA dupe to start with, but I think there’s more to you than that. I’m not arrogant enough tothink that I can change your mind, but I think a few of the sources/ideas that I’ve sent your way would be useful for channeling your energy and concerns in a more constructive way. Does that make sense?

  54. carnation says

    @ Sheaf

    I had a quick scan (smartphone doesn’t jive too well with Reddit). However, my points still stand.

    You yourself used the word “conduct” – he conducts himself in an odious way, he acts like an angry, ill-tempered oddball, as does his employee, Hembling. And, OK, some on that thread take issue with some of his most egregiously offensive statements.

    But those on that threat still see “feminism” (as they misunderstand it) as the bete noir, the enemy of men and boys. That intellectual underpinning is rotten to the core and renders so much discussion irrelevant.

  55. gjenganger says

    @Carnation 64

    Well, Thatcher did have a hell of a fight to get there – it eluded Heath, for all that he was prime minister. But I do think that progressive people in general, and feminists more specifically, have had quite a few victories. It may not have seeped into the conscience of the proletariat yet (;->), but I would say that the superstructure is pretty much feminist in all kinds of areas. The education system, workplace procedures, language policing, what you can say in the media, … It does add up, as indeed it is intended to.

    Rather more interesting, I would really like to hear your ideas about ‘what to do for men’. The MRM is pointing out a number of areas where feminism is hypocritical, or where men, too, have problems. Which is all well and good, we are not all just oppressors. But then they seem to be pretty much mirroring feminism: For bad gender roles that hurt women you have bad gender roles that hurt men; for FGM there is circumcision; for sexist objectification of women there is sexist objectification of men; for women that do not get enough boardroom places, there are men who get too many workplace accidents, for fighting insults against women, there is fighting insults against men, … Ally, on his part, seems to be on the idea that men and women ultimately have the same nature, the same needs and desires.

    Nobody seems to be seriously asking the question: “What are the interests of men, as a separate group?” Which I really think would be useful. How can you think about what kind of society you want to end up with, if you do not know what your interest are? Personally I wonder whether the answer to finding various hypocrisies in feminist practice might be not to think “We want the same as them”, but instead to wonder whether some of their points should be wound back a bit instead. Should we prohibit misadric insults, or tell the women to relax a bit about misogyny, fight for equal numbers for truck drivers and soldiers, or accept a somewhat gendered labour market, aim for identical gender roles,, or for different but fair ones?

    I would love to hear your version, if nothing else as an alternative to the general MRA story.

  56. says

    carnation,

    I was taken issue with your statement about Elam’s position in the MRM as a guru and did not comment on feminism. I think it is fair characterization that most of the MRA mainstream expresses anti feminist sentiments.

  57. 123454321 says

    Carnation, that’s the second post you’ve written whereby I pretty much agree with all that you said. I’ll expect the third post of that nature in about 3 months time then ;-)

    The thing is, Carnation, is that you’re tackling things from a higher level perspective, which is an incredibly difficult stunt to pull off without the lower, building block foundations to back you up. You’ve probably already heard me say a zillion times that you can’t drive change without a number of fundamental prerequisites. There is a journey that we must embark upon, and that journey ultimately has to start with putting jigsaw pieces together before people start to unveil a meaningful picture. Currently, we live in a world where women are generally recognised as having….well…women’s issues. The awareness is there, the levels of acceptability have been defined, the boundaries have clear lines, the consequences of non-compliance are known, and people ‘generally’ have knowledge of and understand what is right and what is wrong when it comes to women’s issues. Whereas men? Well, the lines are all fuzzy and remain undefined in many areas, simply due to a complete lack of public awareness and thus compassion. To clear the way ahead for our journey of equality (for men) we need to lay some foundation stepping stones and there’s little point in looking at this from too higher level otherwise nobody will take notice – as there would be no ‘substance’ to back up your high level thinking. Every journey of change requires an awareness campaign aimed at a largish proportion of people which would, hopefully, lead them to understand the reasoning and benefits, and then, hopefully, buy-in to that campaign of change. Successful delivery, providing along the way you can fight off the oponents by finding benefits for them too, will ultimately reset the levels of acceptability and help you gain some ground with laying more stepping stones.

    Carnation, I’m afraid the stepping stones are very simple entities most of the time – but lots of them are required (think Great Wall of China) – and each one probably fairly mundane and insignificant in itself. I can think of lots of mundane and insignificant arguments that feminism has brought to the table in order to garner the respect, protection, rights and privileges that women have earned – and overall I think it’s a strategy that has worked well for them. The only tool that many men have at the moment – a tool that allows them to speak out and get heard – is the internet. I agree there are some idiots out there and that some of the sites being run (and individual ideas) ARE downright misogynistic, but my guess is that the vast majority of decent men have no association with misogynist behaviour and would merely like to see a readdress of balance. Some probably venture, unbeknown to them, into areas of misogyny based on their outright frustration at being ignored. I kind of get that, don’t you?

    Men using comments sections and blogs to raise awareness is one of those fundamental prerequisites required before we get widespread improvement with respect to knowledge, understanding and buy-in. Only then will levels of acceptability get defined and enable change to be implemented from a higher level. The internet is especially useful for men who – having generally been programmed to suppress emotions in their social and work-related circles – can take advantage of contributing towards the construction of these stepping stones without fear of reprisal or compromising their current social comfort zones, which they know supports their families.

    So all-in-all, I don’t think you’ll get anywhere if you remain with head in the clouds trying to find an all-encompassing, high-level solution for men’s issues. It’s a stepping stone approach with sleeves rolled up to raise awareness on as many issues (no matter how insignificant) until the male gender starts being taken seriously about male DM, suicide, homelessness, health spend and research, media portrayal, family law etc. I really can’t see anything else working for them.

  58. gjenganger says

    @12345 70
    No objection to consciousness-raising. Except that it does not follow that all these internet stones are actually moving in they right direction. It seems to me (see my last post) that a lot of it is simply uncritically copying feminism, which may not be the direction we want to go in.

  59. gjenganger says

    @12345 70
    To continue, someone on this forum recently asked: “Fine, you have found that women have less risk of going to prison than men, even for the same actions. Now, what is it you want: More women in prison, or fewer men?” Methinks that is a pretty essential question to answer. Together with “Why?”

  60. says

    72, gjenganger

    At least in the case of female rapists I would go with more women in prison given that this is a serious crime and given current figures about prevalence and actual persecution, seems to be pretty much not persecuted.

  61. gjenganger says

    @sheaf 73
    Yes, I would agree on that.

    But we do have an interesting question here. Until now there has been a lot of heavy pressure on coercion, enthusiastic consent, …, …, to protect women from too enthusiastic sex-seeking men. While too enthusiastic sex-seeking women, have been seen as a non-problem. Now, men and women, feminists and MRAs, have to come to terms with the idea that women do to men a lot of what men do to women. So, should we only conclude that we need the same, very strict standard for both sexes? Or should we also consider whether some of the things that were not seen as all that serious when they happened to men, may not be quite so serious as we thought when they happen to women either?

  62. Sigil says

    sheaf@ 69

    Even many mra’s don’t understand that Elam wrote those three pieces of deliberately controversial satire to draw attention to other issues and grow the movement by using those who would quote mine it and keep repeating it until there were significant breaches of the mainstream media.

    Now that’s done, and the few articles from 3 three years ago that people are still quote mining are still paying dividends, the tone is going in another direction.

    The strategy worked perfectly when Esmay was asked about the “x % of women enjoyed being raped” quote out of context on TV yesterday – he just replied it was a satire of how feminism abuses and manipulates statistics.

  63. gjenganger says

    @Sigil 75
    Well, if these guys were being deliberately grossly offensive in order to get attention, they can hardly complain if most people know them as the kind of guys who go around being grossly offensive. Which still leaves the alternative explanation: that they wrote this stuff because it was something they wanted to write, and they are trying to pass it off as a Macchiavellian plan to dodge the blame afterwards.

  64. carnation says

    @ Sid (AKA Sigil)

    You are an Elam fan-boy, living in a fantasy world. Amongst his many fantasies is one in which he cleverly gets his evil feminist overlord enemies to do his bidding. He doesn’t. He instead condemns the “movement” he has a leading role in to continue having their place amongst the “looniest and fringiest” of the lunatic fringe.

    Esmay is about the worst media performer that I have seen. The blog he represents seems to believe that any publicity is good publicity. Esmay doesn’t, as many of his fellow-travellors do, seem to crave any kind of attention (Matt O’Connor is a classic examples of one that does), but he did his blog no favours at all with that interview.

    AVFM’s base ramblings appeal to their base: which is, somewhat ironically, base.

  65. 123454321 says

    “It seems to me (see my last post) that a lot of it is simply uncritically copying feminism, which may not be the direction we want to go in.”

    But you can’t argue that feminism has successfully put women in a better place than where they were (which is great). But it has failed (correction, refused as part of its agenda) to address men’s issues.

    So why wouldn’t a similar strategy work for men?

  66. 123454321 says

    “Now, what is it you want: More women in prison, or fewer men?” Methinks that is a pretty essential question to answer. Together with “Why?”

    Personally, I think it’s a pointless question as the number of men or women who are in prison is meaningless to the debate. It’s the number of naughty people in prison that has a meaning, and specifically whether any of those naughty people have got off the hook because they have blue eyes, a nice smile, lots of money, not much money, or of the female variety, for example.

    The fact is that men and women (even if they are parents) are being treated differently, and that smacks of entitlement, privilege and biased perceptions which are currently endemic, perpetual, damaging and wrong.

  67. carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Thought experiment, why won’t it work?

    Is that written in stone?

    The MRM is different in every way to mainstream feminism, it does no activism, it is hostile, angry, insular, paranoid, ridden with conspiracy theorists and attracts a noteably low calibre of cadre. It is almost totally anonymous, self-serving and narcissistic. It has no ambitions to help vulnerable men and its entire core is a negative and delusional fixation on feminism.

    I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. If the MRM dropped the ridiculous anti-feminism, it would get rid of the infantile, the prejudiced, the attention seeking and the deliberately offensive. Then it could, possibly, do some good.

  68. carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “Personally, I think it’s a pointless question as the number of men or women who are in prison is meaningless to the debate.”

    I think it’s fundamental. Do we want a more humane society, or a less humane one? Do we want parenthood to have a deciding factor in sentencing? Do we want more credence given to background reports and circumstance, or less?

    When you say “men go to jail more often thanwomen, lock women up!” you are basically showing sour grapes and wanting more people to suffer. When you say “women’s circumstances are given greater consideration, this is positive and we support it. But we want this extended to men” then you are showing maturity and a progressive mindset.

  69. 123454321 says

    “The MRM is different in every way to mainstream feminism, it does no activism, it is hostile, angry, insular, paranoid, ridden with conspiracy theorists and attracts a noteably low calibre of cadre. It is almost totally anonymous, self-serving and narcissistic. It has no ambitions to help vulnerable men and its entire core is a negative and delusional fixation on feminism.”

    That reminds me of most online feminists.

    “When you say “men go to jail more often thanwomen, lock women up!” you are basically showing sour grapes and wanting more people to suffer.”

    Never said that I can’t recall anyone else saying that around here.

    “When you say “women’s circumstances are given greater consideration, this is positive and we support it. But we want this extended to men” then you are showing maturity and a progressive mindset.”

    …and i’m with you on that one. So what can bring about change?

  70. carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “That reminds me of most online feminists.”

    I tend to agree with you. However, huge numbers of feminists are involved in a raft of actual activism that helps huge numbers of people (mostly women, but some men).

    “Never said that I can’t recall anyone else saying that around here.”

    I have asked the question about humanity before and was ignored and told it was unimportant, can’t remember if it was by you. Mike Buchanan certainly didn’t have an answer.

    “So what can bring about change?”

    Actual activism. I’m brainstorming here, but let’s assume I lived in an area near a major prison. An organisation of people, probably ex-prisoners, who can mentor those in the judicial system, identify why this person is offending and what could help them. Of course a lawyer could and should be doing that, but an NGO/Third Sector type group of people could, through very hard slog, gain the respect of judges/magistrates.

    Once a grassroots was established, policy officers could work on the law-makers through lobbying.

    Timescale? Five to ten years, I’d guess. And funding would be required. It’s do-able though, but would need some very dedicated volunteers in the early years and meticulous planning. The most important thing would be to be able to show early successes “Prisoner A, a 21 year old man, was in and out a few times. After an order from the judge to attend classes and do work in the community (at the recommendation of NGO), he is now in a job and not offending”, that sort of thing.

    AVFM could do it, if they wanted. And the need in the host state for something like this is so acute.

    But, as i’ve said before, it’s easier to rail against feminism than to do actual work.

  71. gjenganger says

    @12345 78
    Because our situation is different and we do not necessarily want the same things they do.

    Roughly speaking, feminism (or women’s emancipation, if you prefer) started a couple of centuries ago where women were not full players in society as individuals, but only as parts of a family headed by a male. Women did not have full political or property rights, and were barred from most of the powerful and exciting roles in society. OK, most men did not have much freedom of action a few centuries ago either, but as society got freer and more educated, things opened up. And here the obvious cry for women was freedom from restraints, and protection from discrimination, violence, and oppression generally. The freedom to earn you own money, take your own decisions, become doctors and lawyers and pilots, be free from patronising and belittlement, was an obvious gain. The fight was obviously to get access to the things that had hitherto been reserved for men, and to remake society so it better fit women. With all the most exciting roles reserved for men, it was a bit of a no-brainer to argue that any difference was obviously due to discrimination. And because it was all a matter of increasing choice, there was no question of having to give up the two main advantages women did have: being the sex that took care of the next generation, and being on the average more sexually sought-after than men.

    Men do not have lots of exciting roles that we pine for but are barred from getting into. Most of the “women’s jobs” are not particularly attractive to men, and it is not obvious to me that anyone (least of all current truck drivers or soldiers) have a strong desire to turn male jobs into unisex ones. We are already much freer to be close to our children (etc.) than previous generations of men, and to take ‘women’s work’ – if we want to. Nor (I am sorry) can we really claim that we are oppressed, that women do not allow us to take our own decisions. That makes for a very different situation. Women could rebel against male-dominated society, make their demands, and count on men losing in order that they could gain. We can not. There is no obvious overhang of injustice that we can count on changing in our favour, nor is there a convenient third party (capitalism, patriarchy, the straight, white, male, majority, …) that we can stick with the bill. What we have is men and women, two groups with different needs and desires, and one society that we need to organise so that both groups can live with the result. And a lot of that is zero-sum, a matter of trade-off and compromise, not of “demand and you shall get”.

    Getting slightly more specific, it is quite true that so far the gender roles have given advantages and disadvantages to both sides (even if the balance was not even). Men have had the duty to be breadwinners, have taken more of the risks and the workplace deaths. That has then given us our role, our place in society and marriages. Take that away, though, and what do we get in return? Whatever we do, women will still be the sex that has the children and can claim authority over that part of life. And women will still be more sought after for sex than men, because we cannot reverse the sexual dynamics we have. The best we can hope from a unisex society is to be second-class women. Not my desire, but we need to think about what we want instead, then.

    Even more specifically, what do we want for the job market? 50% female truck drivers? To put men out of a job? Or more male kindergarten teachers? How many men yearn to work with little kids for a low wage in a female-dominated field (which it will still be)?
    On gendered insults, campaigning might get us to where men are as protected, as uninsultable, and as touchy as women are now. Is that where we want to be, or would some more unconstrained debate be better for all?
    On rape and related matters, campaigning in the current vein might lead to a consensus where men and women both had to be extremely careful, wait for enthusiastic consent always, not be too pushy lest you insult someone, etc. It would mean fewer rapes, yes, but it would also mean more hurdles, more complications, more holding back, and less sex. Is that where we want to go, or might we prefer a slightly different balance?

    In short, do we really want a society where men and women are (supposed to be) identical? Or should we think about what different roles we might want, and what the cost might be?

  72. says

    Juliet complains that her post was described as “fact-free”. Yet it is mostly a diatribe, the smattering of ‘facts’ it contains either unsupported by citation, &/or demonstrably false.

    Juliet claims

    Men are overwhelmingly committing the violence – 96% of all violent crime is committed by men.

    Unsure what nation(s) she has in mind, but for the US for 2012, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report found:
    Violent crime arrests:
    male … 278,167 (80%)
    female …. 69,074 (20%)

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/persons-arrested/persons-arrested

    The National Crime Victimization Survey found:
    Violent crime victimization rate per 1,000
    Male ….. 29.1
    Female .. 23.3

    http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4781

    So for Juliet to mention that

    [t]wo women a week are killed by male violence and one in four will be the victim of sustained domestic violence, more than 7 million women

    without comparing to number of men killed each week, etc., is disingenuous. For her to assert that violent crime is

    an unnatural social disease which is abusing and killing women, in far, far, greater numbers than men

    is plain delusional.

    In a footnote, Juliet casts doubt on the prevalence of male DV victims, claiming the 40% figure

    does not take into account retaliation / self-defense from abused women, a tendency by men to report early, or the number and persistence of the abuse.

    The final claim, also echoed by Polly Neate, has been thoroughly disproved above. Without citation, it’s impossible to asses the claim that men report violent relationships earlier than women. All indication are, however, that DV victimization of men is greatly under-reported. As for self-defense, Juliet must be thinking of the recent cases of Marissa Alexander and Jodi Arias, two poor, helpless women who lashed out only as a last resort. Nevertheless, without concrete supporting evidence, this claim is as worthless as the rest of Juliet’s drivel.

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

    @#60 carnation,

    What you could try doing is examining your basic precepts. That is probably the best advise I can give you at the moment.

    The downside from what I have seen so far, is that it will probably take you a considerable amount of time to do so and you might not even benefit from it.

    Anyway, the longest journey begins with a single step so good luck!

  74. marduk says

    @Matt Cavanaugh

    Her footnote that her sisters at Everday Victim Blaming (…totally with irony) keep tweeting without citation is from the Scottish Assembly (aka Gadd et al., 2000).

    As well as it being 14 years old, and the work it reports significantly older, thinking amongst experts and social attitudes have changed. In and of itself it is a qualitative study of around 40 or so men that is manifestly afflicted with sampling irregularities even at that being generalised to several billion people.

    It is better to stick to high quality sources and large scale metareviews like PASK when making judgements about these things.

    Fortunately one exists for this, see Issue 10. http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org/pages/details.htm

    I notice Juliet, Louise and chums are happy to cherry pick but for some reason don’t like mentioning data from the largescale reviews conducted by leading experts, probably because their dubious claims are shown to have no basis. Malice, dishonesty or sheer incompetence? Dunno.

  75. marduk says

    @Matt Cavanaugh

    Oh ok, they do cite a source.

    Our band of ‘experts’ think it comes from a popular book you can buy in airport bookshops and have scanned it to show us. How utterly, utterly adorable.

  76. says

    Here i a link to an attack article by everyday victim blaming. Content: “Ally is wrong because we say so, again. We are not in this togheter, it is the fault of the Male”

    http://everydayvictimblaming.com/submissions/ally-fogg-and-naming-the-problem/

    This again cites the 96% of all violent crime is committed by men statistic. To the best of my knowledge this is wrong with actual figures clustering around 80%. In any case even if this is true this does not concern the more special case of domestic violence where we are closer to parity. I feel confident in dismissing this article as another pile of gynocentric nonsense.

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

    @Ally,

    Twatter mentions about and at you for the last couple of days have been absolutely hilarious. I had no idea till now you were a “homosexual activist” and a “MRA” among other things.

  78. 123454321 says

    gjenganger, I agree with your sentiment at post 84, but….

    “In short, do we really want a society where men and women are (supposed to be) identical?”

    In terms of respect, welfare, compassion, blame, dignity, recognition, voice, fair entitlement and privileges, choices, freedoms, opportunities etc. I see no reason why men and women can’t enjoy the same rights whilst still carrying out their gender roles and retaining a strong element of gender independence. It’s the double-standards like these:

    women = strong, clean, heavenly, fresh, hard-working, always right, demands full respect, can’t be blamed, must be listened to, supported through positive discrimination” whilst: men = subservient, disposable, smelly, useless, lazy, always wrong, emotionless, full of shit, make way there’s a woman coming through crap that I reckon many men are quite rightly sick and tired of hearing from every angle of society.

    The story is endemic in western society and fully embedded to the point that it’s going to be hard to straighten out. And, yes, I think it does need straightening out.

    Carnation is right in that actively blaming feminism is probably not a great strategy in the long-term yet it’s hard to ignore that feminism, with all its screaming about wanting ‘true equality’ has ignored virtually everything related to men’s issues. That’s not equality in my book and it’s probably why many feminists have become disillusioned with feminism and broken off their engagement with the cult. It’s probably why many men have become frustrated and angry.

    “Even more specifically, what do we want for the job market? 50% female truck drivers? To put men out of a job? Or more male kindergarten teachers? How many men yearn to work with little kids for a low wage in a female-dominated field (which it will still be)?”

    I’m not suggesting that women should suddenly apply to be lorry drivers or miners, or men should all down tools and become carers. I am suggesting, however, that it’s damaging to feminism and women in terms of external perception when they are seen to be cherry-picking areas where they demand positive discrimination while on the other hand ignoring the areas which are akin to ‘men’s work’ i.e. dangerous and dirty. Basically, it makes women on the whole look like a bunch of spoilt entitlement princesses who want privilege and protection at the same time as looking down on the men who do the jobs that women don’t appear to want to do.

    The answer’s not easy but we could start by demanding some respect.

    “and what the cost might be?”

    The foundation blocks of garnering respect and admiration and taking some of the limelight away from one-sided feminism and directing it towards men for a change would cost precisely nothing. That’s why I’m standing right there on stepping stone number one. It’s a bit shaky – fundamentally because every rad-feminist is programmed to push you into the fucking river – but I’m standing on it, and it’s FREE to stand on and wave your hands around a bit.
    Mike Buchanan has gone a whole lot further and laid a bridge over the river. He just needs to strengthen it in readiness for the surging crowds of people who are getting a glimpse of the new limelight and are venturing his way!

  79. pikeamus says

    Is this a good place to complain a bit about today’s Guardian Witness header (titled “Sexual Violence in Conflict – How do we end it?”). The same paper that brought us this article then uses images and asks opinions* of women only in their discussion of this important issue.

    Sigh. It’s a minor groan really, it is still good that the issue is getting attention, but I had thought some more progress was being made on the recognition of male victims.

    *Sub header reads: We ask women from a number of organisations to tell us their hopes.

  80. Ally Fogg says

    You’re welcome to complain about it here, although I’m not sure it will do you much good!

    I’ve been keeping an eye on this, and I don’t entirely blame the Guardian. The summit itself seems very confused. It is being described in some places as The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, and in other places as The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence Against Women in Conflict

    Even the British government’s official page about it is a bit confusing.

    At one point it says: “Second, we will take practical steps to reduce the dangers women face in conflict zones around the world.”

    At another point it says: “We want to debunk the myth that rape in war is somehow inevitable or a lesser crime, to demonstrate the scale of this problem and its impact on every continent, and on men and boys as well as women and girls.”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/sexual-violence-in-conflict/about

    I think right across the board this is a product of lazy thinking that sexual violence = violence against women and girls, with men and boys added as an afterthought.

  81. gjenganger says

    @123454321 92 (lor, what a lot of numbers!)
    Thanks for the answer.

    In terms of respect, welfare, compassion, blame, dignity, recognition, voice, fair entitlement and privileges, choices, freedoms, opportunities etc. I see no reason why men and women can’t enjoy the same rights whilst still carrying out their gender roles

    Unfortunately there is a problem here. If gender roles are clearly different, the two sexes will have different advantages and disadvantages. Some jobs, activities, rewards, will come easier to one sex or the other. if you accept the principle, and the advantages, you have to accept the disadvantages as well. You cannot come and demand equal advantages in every single field where you are behind. For instance: I am quite happy with gender roles where women are more often the primary carers for the children, but we cannot accept that and then come and complain if the (female) primary carers more often end up with custody after divorce. That is what I mean by ‘costs’.

    I am suggesting, however, that it’s damaging to feminism and women in terms of external perception when they are seen to be cherry-picking areas where they demand positive discrimination while on the other hand ignoring the areas which are akin to ‘men’s work’ i.e. dangerous and dirty.[...]
    The answer’s not easy but we could start by demanding some respect..

    I have noticed the double standards, and they grate on me too, but we need to get beyond that. It is not really our problem if this is “damaging to feminism”. As for the respect, you do not get respect by moaning that people do not respect you, or even by demanding it, but by behaving as someone who deserves it. It is not for ‘the women’ to determine what we should do to be respected, or to get ahead. If you will allow me a military metaphor, reacting to the enemy’s moves is the way to lose wars. To win wars, you must make and push your own strategy, and make the enemy react to you, instead. I find that a bit lacking in the feminism-focused MRM talk.

    Coming back to the high-risk ‘men’s jobs': If we are complaining about how hardly done by we are, the only logical continuation is to try to get fewer men in these jobs and more women, to get more men into kindergartens, and in general to remove gender differences rom the job market. If that is not what we want, we must stop complaining, and instead say that the same freedom of choice that leads more men into driving trucks also gets more women into kindergartens, and maybe fewer women into boardrooms. And that we should respect individual choice, also when it leads to group differences, seeing neither group is that much worse off, overall. Of course neither approach prevents us from working to make conditions better for people who are suffering from workplace accidents, and who happen to be mostly men, but those of us who concentrate on internet debating, let us say, need to decide where we want to go with the various disadvantages men have, instead of just complaining about them.

  82. pikeamus says

    I’d have complained through the guardian witness contribution thingy, but alas my workplace still uses internet explorer from 2003 so fancy websites don’t function terribly well.

    I’m sure you’re right about the lazy thinking thing, it is still discouraging though.

  83. 123454321 says

    “It is not really our problem if this is “damaging to feminism”.”

    I maintain that it is also extremely damaging to everyone, particularly young boys who are being primed at a young age to accept shit being thrown in their direction.

    “As for the respect, you do not get respect by moaning that people do not respect you, or even by demanding it, but by behaving as someone who deserves it”

    Ok, but feminists have successfully obtained a fairly high level of respect in the past, in a vast array of areas, which relate to, and support women. In which case the argument for behaving like a feminist have still has merit.

    “…instead of just complaining about them.”

    Not much time on my hands at the moment but there is a causal link between complaining and the end-game outcomes i.e. earning respect and enjoying high-level governance which supports the social construct that directly supports your needs and protects your rights.

    If you don’t complain, nobody hears, nobody understands, and nobody cares. It’s the reason why women have more money thrown at them. They have collectively and successfully negotiated using their voices. Men have failed in that area.

    A dog that doesn’t beg gets no food.

  84. gjenganger says

    Feminists had a number of things:
    – Some manifest injustices to fix, that no one in good faith could really deny.
    – They worked out a consistent, reasonable, defensible idea of where they wanted to go. It is kind of hard for antifeminists to argue for gross inequality.
    – So, with a clear, reasonable goal, they demanded instead of just begging.

    In short, women ‘have money thrown at them’ (really?) not just because they make noise, but because they have made a convincing case to make noise about. Not saying that everything the women’s movement asked for was reasonable, or fixed a gross injustice, but the starting point was there, and I guess the rest is politics.

    As for dogs, well if you are powerless and living on sufferance you beg or you starve. Women deserved better and got better. So should we.

  85. Lucy says

    The problem with Ally Fogg is that he mistakes his interpretation of statistics with statistics. And he accuses anyone who disagrees with his interpretation of statistics as a denier.

  86. marduk says

    Nobody will read this but I will express myself anyway.

    Look at how Bindel manages to get through an article on sexuality and gender without mentioning the trans community once and steadfastly (and rather sneakily) avoids using the acronym “LGBT” (which must have taken the use of search/replace on several occasions). I note the moderators are squashing legitimate mention of her views on these topics. It is clear provocation giving her a platform under the heading of “Born that way” given her record that The Guardian itself recognises:

    “This column, which obscured any argument in discriminatory language, [...] abused an already abused minority that the Guardian might have been expected to protect.”

    Part of protecting people is allowing them speech when their abuser returns in my opinion. She has done nothing to rehabilitate herself either.

  87. Ally Fogg says

    Interesting post, marduk.

    I’ve just opened a new open thread so I’ll copy and paste it across there and close this one.

    Cheers.