How I learned to stop worrying and love their #ListeningToMenFace »« Can we finally nail down those male victim statistics?

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  1. Ally Fogg says

    Marduk just left an interesting post at the bottom of the previous open thread. Shall paste it below to get things going over here.

    ————-

    marduk writes:

    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.

  2. Ally Fogg says

    Bindel wrote a piece a few years ago explicitly boasting about the fact that she refuses to use the LGBT term, because she does not want to be associated with “odd sexual practices”

    No really. She actually said that

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/nov/08/lesbianism

    What is perhaps more surprising (though no less outrageous) is that the survey she did for her book, which she discusses yet again today, gave people no option to be bisexual or orientation non-conforming / queer / whatevs.

    When she says “lesbian and gay” that is literally what she means.

  3. carnation says

    Re Bindel

    I don’t find her to be the bete noir many people do. She has said some prejudiced things about trans people but I also believe that she apologised for them.

    Regarding this particular article, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it was about sexuality, not gender identity. I have spoken to a trans-woman who took issue with being included in LGBT.

    There is a very broad spectrum of people referred to as trans, ranging from those with a fetish for cross-dressing, to intersex people, to those who wish to have gender re-assignment surgery and then live their lives as a straight man/woman. People who are transexual (or transgender) that is, those who believe the sex they were born is wrong should not be discriminated against in any way. Trans activists have been fantastic at striving for this.

    There are very distinct parallels within the T community – and in fact, I don’t really think that they are linked.

    That’s my tuppence worth.

    Interesting interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCs_jYrht0A

    I think her views on sexuality as a choice are ridiculously stupid, though.

  4. bugmaster says

    I have no idea who Bindel is, but FWIW, her original article reads like it was written by some good old-fashioned garden-variety bigot. It looks like she changed her mind since then and apologized; I can respect that.

  5. lelapaletute says

    So I drew Iran and Ghana in the office sweepstake. Errr… drinks on someone else?

  6. marduk says

    I will admit, its very easy to bash JB. I try to make myself remember she is actually a person with feelings and so on, if she is misguided it is genuinely so, regrettable though that is. She once wrote a piece that recanted a bit on her position on men, apparently she’d met one on a villa holiday and he was ok. I think she has a very different life than most of us.

    I’m more irritated with the Graun than her, everyone knows this a puff piece for her book so they didn’t need to roll over on this stuff necessarily. People say its editorial choices are part of some sort of agenda, I just think they are lazy and unthinking, its why they managed to run consecutive pieces of hatespeech without realising it. They’d probably run a piece backing the return of capital punishment if you could bury it behind enough seemingly right-on causes to get it waved through.

    But overall, I think trans bigots have already lost for the same reason the homophobes lost (not that homophobia doesn’t still exist of course but even Cameron knowing it was going to provoke half his party into a riot enthusiastically backed gay marriage because he saw the polling data and just couldn’t say no to it). I’m not a very outgoing person, I don’t hang with an exotic, adventurous or even an especially cosmopolitan crowd, but I know a few trans people and probably so do you. Just like my old man who knew a few gay people a generation ago and thought they were ok and just like anyone else. Just like my grandfather knew some black people. Anyone with half a brain can see the bigots are going to wind up on the wrong side of history and it won’t really be because of political theory or campaigns, it will be because of that woman at the supermarket checkout or that guy in accounts. Its already over for biogts. What they do is not merely hateful but at this point, stupid.

    @Carnation – The LGBT community has in the past been the poster child for the power of wide ranging alliances and common cause. Everyone is welcome under the rainbow flag. If it had been left to the “Sheffield Mafia” its not that lesbians would be persecuted today, its that most people would think they were an urban myth. Apparently breaking this up is the new game in town, it will be a disaster if they do.

  7. marduk says

    @Carnation

    “I think her views on sexuality as a choice are ridiculously stupid, though.”

    You reminded me of something.

    http://sarahditum.com/2014/06/07/female-sexuality-is-not-fluid/

    Extreme hilarity on that subject here as S. Ditum proves that sometimes you can’t tell the difference between one feminist’s feminism and a “ladmag” and both bends over backwards and turns somersaults at the same time to try and get out of it and predictably looks a bit silly doing so (see the comments).

  8. bugmaster says

    @marduk #8:

    > She once wrote a piece that recanted a bit on her position on men, apparently she’d met one on a villa holiday and he was ok.

    Ok, now I really want to read that piece (do you have a link ?). I was curious earlier to see if feminists ever implemented full-scale gender segregation as a countermeasure against the oppression of the patriarchy, and it looks like the answer is “yes” !

  9. Ally Fogg says

    bugmaster

    The original and notorious article was here

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/nov/02/whyihatemen

    As part of a series of light-hearted CIF pieces one Christmas she recanted, saying she didn’t hate all men any more, she’d met a couple of gay men who were OK

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/dec/27/goodbye-noughties-lesbianism-men

    I should say, I’m actually with Carnation on this, I’ve actually got some time for JB. I think she’s profoundly wrong about a lot of stuff, and of that some of her writing about trans people has been incredibly harmful and I quite understand why trans people have no wish to offer her any sympathy or forgiveness, but in my own dealings with her we’ve had cause to swap emails a few times and we’ve got on really well.

    There was one occasion where I made a joke on Twitter that sort of hinged on calling her a cunt. It was just a bit of mischief, but generated this almighty feminist Twitter pile-on with dozens of radfems retweeting me and saying “LOOK, HE CALLED JULIE A CUNT, HE’S WORSE THAN HITLER!”

    I emailed her to apologise quietly and she replied along the lines of “don’t be a daft cunt, it was only a joke. Buy me a pint next time I’m in town and we’ll forget all about it.”

    So politics aside, she’s a gruff northern working class lass of the type I generally get along pretty well with.

  10. mildlymagnificent says

    Forget the footy!

    Both the women’s and the men’s Australian hockey teams are in the World Cup finals this weekend! Though they’re both up against the Netherlands on their home turf with a home crowd. Still, better there than not.

    Green and gold forevah!!!

  11. carnation says

    I think an issue some LGBT activists have is that some in the T community only express their gender fluidity in the confines of the bedroom, and that that detracts from the prejudice directed at those who were born in the wrong body (please excuse any incorrect terminology).

    Regarding Julie Bindel, this article messed with my head. And hers, it seems, far more. It could have been written by Ally, except he would have probably proposed some solutions:

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/jul/16/ukcrime.gender

  12. Ally Fogg says

    You’re right, Carnation, I think that was a brilliant article and I’ve told her that before.

  13. redpesto says

    Re. Ally #15 – I remember reading that article and thinking that was the nearest she’s ever got to recognising that some male histories are more complicated than that of an evil abuser/rapist. Maybe it was simoply because she knew the man.Unfortunately, her ‘default mode’ is boilerplate ’80s radical feminism, so even if she does come across as nice in person, I remain unconvinced. One case in point:

    But has she turned over a new leaf, really? An anonymous source contacted me. This source happened to follow what was going on in Bindel and Brown’s public timelines, but also followed Julie Bindel on Facebook, and pointed out that a different conversation was happening there. So while on the one hand Bindel was objecting loudly on Twitter, claiming her transphobic phase was long in the past, Facebook was telling a very different story indeed. First Bindel suggested her Facebook fans make complaints to Cambridge council, in an attempt to have Sarah [Brown] removed from her job. [link]

    Other feminisms are available.

  14. Paul says

    I have a genuine respect for Julie Bindel because she’s upfront with her beliefs and doesn’t seek to disguise them with a sugary coating.She’s firmly nailed her colours to the rad fem mast so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

    Needless to say i often disagree with her and find some of her views downright offensive.And it’s a fact that if like me you believe in shared custody rights for fathers and greater recognition of the extent to which women can be highly abusive in their familial relationships there’s no way you can avoid being on a collision course with her.She’s unyielding in her views on these issues and would have no qualms about resorting to the equivalent of a bare knuckle fight to defend them.

    Radical feminists have had some success in controlling the narrative about dv in this country.And they and other strands of the feminist movement have had a lot of input into the way the problem is addressed by the police and other agencies. For the primary focus in the way dv is dealt with is now of women and children as victims at the hands of abusive men.And rad fems like Bindel will fight tooth and nail to keep it that way.

  15. bugmaster says

    @Ally #11:

    Thanks, the articles are pretty interesting. I do agree with Paul #17: whatever Bindel is, at least she’s brutally honest about her beliefs, and that is worthy of some measure of respect.

    It’s a little uncanny how closely her experiences with meeting men for the first time parallel the experiences of people of fundamentalist upbringing who meet gay people for the first time. They struggle with the same mental disconnect: on the one hand, they’ve been told all their lives that gay people are evil and Satanic and will come for your children in the night; on the other hand, their gay neighbours are the nicest people one could ever meet, helped them move the couch, and play a mean hand of Scrabble.

    From what I can tell, some people manage to compartmentalize their minds and live with this paradox 24/7; but some others choose to abandon fundamentalism in favor of common sense. So, there’s hope for Bindel yet…

  16. Pitchguest says

    Yeah, Ally, I want to know what you feel about this:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/13/a-definitive-ranking-of-the-weirdest-people-on-the-internet/

    Number one on her list of weirdest people on the internet: anti-circumcision advocates. Or more specifically, “anti-male circumcision obsessives.” Apparently, the act of male genital mutilation cannot be seen in the same light as female genital mutilation, because then they are “obsessed.” Marcotte’s exaggeration regarding these people are also quite damning. Apparently they think it’s worse than slavery and the Holocaust and for the most part “misogynists” eager to create an “edifice of male oppression.”

    Is male genital mutilation or, er, “circumcision” something to consider in terms of pros and cons? Is there any reason, you think, why it shouldn’t be thought of in the same light as female genital mutilation? In my opinion, both procedures have to do with removing a part of the body, usually without consent, and mutilating it for all time. A conversation with Hitchens and a Rabbi had the Rabbi say that his son “cried more at his first haircut.” I thought that was disgusting. Do you think Amanda Marcotte’s suggestion that people who think circumcision to be an affront “weird” (or one of “the weirdest people on the internet”) equally disgusting, or do you think she has a point?

    There’s already a conversation brewing on Pharyngula if you want to bring your two pence:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/06/14/key-issues-to-trigger-an-internet-fight/

  17. John Morales says

    What makes you imagine I think I need your encouragement, Pitchguest? :)

    (Does it smart that PZ doesn’t care for your two pence?)

    But sure, I’ll weigh in: male circumcision is a single, relatively minor procedure—admittedly with the usual risks of any resection—while female circumcision is a range of procedures ranging in severity from minor pricking to the entire removal of all the external genitalia including the labia, clitoral hood and clitoris.

    (Imagine having your penis entirely removed)

    So yeah, in many cases “the act of male genital mutilation cannot be seen in the same light as female genital mutilation”.

  18. Pete says

    The discussion about male genital mutilation is all well and good (for the record, I was circumcised as an adult for medical reasons and I was in pain for weeks afterwards. And we do that needlessly to babies???) but surely the real story is that Costa Rica beat Uruguay. Maybe having you as a supporter is a lucky charm Ally. Don’t suppose you could switch allegiances to England now (and I totally get it if you think that suggestion deserves a ban)?

  19. mildlymagnificent says

    lepaletute

    So I drew Iran and Ghana in the office sweepstake. Errr… drinks on someone else?

    I have to say that’s one of the things I miss. Haven’t been in a large office for almost 20 years now. I hardly ever think about it until Melbourne Cup Day or the less frequent international sports events come around. That was always fun.

  20. says

    Morales,

    But sure, I’ll weigh in: male circumcision is a single, relatively minor procedure—admittedly with the usual risks of any resection

    Minor procedure? You mean mutilating babies irreversibly in an attempt to stifle their sexuality is minor?

    —while female circumcision is a range of procedures ranging in severity from minor pricking to the entire removal of all the external genitalia including the labia, clitoral hood and clitoris.

    Removal of the clitoris? Given the actual anatomical position of the majority of the clitoris this is probably nonsense.

    (Imagine having your penis entirely removed)

    No, I don’t. Much of the vaginal anatomy analogous to the penis is internal, so external procedures will not have the same effect. But I guess “Morales is clueless about biology ” is old news.

    So yeah, in many cases “the act of male genital mutilation cannot be seen in the same light as female genital mutilation”.

    Yes, I agree. MGM is so much more prevalent that most comparisons are rendered moot. On the individual level I suspect the more severe forms of FGM to have more detrimental consequences on average and the less severe forms less.

  21. daveallen says

    But sure, I’ll weigh in: male circumcision is a single, relatively minor procedure—admittedly with the usual risks of any resection—while female circumcision is a range of procedures ranging in severity from minor pricking to the entire removal of all the external genitalia including the labia, clitoral hood and clitoris.

    (Imagine having your penis entirely removed)

    So yeah, in many cases “the act of male genital mutilation cannot be seen in the same light as female genital mutilation”.

    I can’t see why anyone couldn’t adopt a sensible categorical imperative along the lines of:

    “With the exception of medical resolution to a clear pathology – leave people’s genitals alone unless they give informed consent.”

    I could maybe sympathize with Amanda if she was bemoaning the fact that it’s hard to have a conversation about what to do about FGM without people butting in to decry MGM.

    Though to be fair – the opposite occurs, any drive to combat MGM is usually encumbered by demands to do more to oppose FGM.

    I’d suggest letting those who want to combat what they see as an ill do what they want to combat it or inform them as to why their efforts are counterproductive. I see it as simply an impediment to progress to encumber such efforts by trying to redirect someone else’s energies to your own pet projects.

    As to whether FGM is worse than MGM or vice-versa. To me it just has the same ring as people arguing over what manner of GBH is worse than what other manner of GBH. Broken nose or lost incisor? Unless you actually think some degree of GM is OK or advisable why not allow people to condemn the practice?
    By Marcotte’s apparent logic someone bemoaning the Bris is doing more to undermine FGM than someone who quietly supports both FGM and MGM.

  22. John Morales says

    sheaf @26, yes, male circumcision is a relatively minor procedure, as I wrote.

    Regarding FGM, perhaps you should educate yourself before pontificating.

    MGM is so much more prevalent that most comparisons are rendered moot.

    Only if you consider prevalence more important than severity.

    daveallen @27, since you’re not disputing anything I’ve written, I take it that you are riffing off my comment.

  23. daveallen says

    daveallen @27, since you’re not disputing anything I’ve written, I take it that you are riffing off my comment.

    It would be riffing whether or not you take it as disputation.

  24. John Morales says

    daveallen @29, did you or did you not intend to dispute anything I wrote?

    (If you did, you failed; if not, how I “take it” is correct)

  25. daveallen says

    did you or did you not intend to dispute anything I wrote?

    Are you really interested? My thought processes will probably bore you.

    Based on the context of your interaction with Pitchguest I thought it might be worth sharing the notions I did in that post.

    That’s it really.

    I mean if your post of #22 was intended as some sort of answer to PG’s post of #19 then I’d argue that my post of #27 does add some perspective I’d like to see shared. Because aside from the subtext of “let’s you and them fight” (which you pointed out yourself) I didn’t really see a problem with PG’s thrust.

    But I wasn’t really “disputing” anything. Your argument struck me as missing some perspective – rather than being wrong.

    To repeat the point that I’d actually prefer to see discussed – rather than whether or not I was attempting to counter anything you wrote:

    As someone who’d like to see an end to both FGM and MGM I find the endless sniping of those who disagree as to priority to stop interfering with the effort – in fact I’d see effective condemnation of either form of GM as a victory for both sides. Therefore find the Marcotte article dispiriting. It’s the sort of partisan offering that strikes me as nothing but counterproductive. Someone who works to oppose MGM is no undermining efforts to stop FGM than someone who works to highlight accidents involving the loss of eyes works to undermine the efforts of someone who works to highlight accidents resulting in loss of fingers.

    What do you make of such notions?

  26. daveallen says

    I expressed myself poorly there, I would like to say instead:

    As someone who’d like to see an end to both FGM and MGM I find the endless sniping of those who disagree as to priority to continually interfere with the effort – in fact I’d see effective condemnation of either form of GM as a victory for both sides as it helps set precedent. Therefore find the Marcotte article dispiriting. It’s the sort of partisan offering that strikes me as nothing but counterproductive. Someone who works to oppose MGM is no undermining efforts to stop FGM than someone who works to highlight accidents involving the loss of eyes works to undermine the efforts of someone who works to highlight accidents resulting in loss of fingers.

  27. John Morales says

    daveallen @31,

    What do you make of such notions?

    Well, I’m entirely with you regarding the undesirability of mutilation of people without their informed consent (particularly when such is done for ritual or cultural reasons and is medically needless), but clearly some of mutilations are more severe than others*, and accordingly I consider those have greater importance.

    Someone who works to oppose MGM is no undermining efforts to stop FGM than someone who works to highlight accidents involving the loss of eyes works to undermine the efforts of someone who works to highlight accidents resulting in loss of fingers.

    True—leaving aside that a far more apposite comparison would have been between losing an eyelid and losing an eye—but my point was that those practices termed FGM often have a much more drastic effect on their recipients than those which are (here) termed MGM.

    (In short, to equate the two is a false equivalence)

    BTW, nothing I’ve written here refers to whatever Amanda Marcotte wrote** (rather, it refers to those comments here which I’ve addressed).

    * @22 I stated the facts of what constitutes that to which the terms male circumcision and female circumcision refer — facts which entail that considering the two to be on a par is based either on ignorance or perversity.

    ** Something to do with a ranking of those people online who she finds most weird, if the title is anything to go by.

  28. says

    28, Morales

    Your link seems to be in complete disconnect with my post. I give you the credit of actually googling female genital mutilation though. Overall this is more effort than I would have expected.

    As for prevalence vs severity: Some FGM is more severe than MGM – i said as much – but not all is. in any case cirumcision is so much more prevalent that this is rather irrelevant. in the society i have most influence in FGM is forbidden while MGM is allowed and actively defended.

  29. John Morales says

    sheaf @26:

    Removal of the clitoris? Given the actual anatomical position of the majority of the clitoris this is probably nonsense.

    sheaf @34:

    Your link seems to be in complete disconnect with my post.

    <snicker>

    Here is the text of the link (citation references included), my emphasis:
    The WHO's Type I is subdivided into two. Type Ia is the removal of the clitoral hood, which is rarely, if ever, performed alone.[48] More common is Type Ib (clitoridectomy), the partial or total removal of the clitoris, along with the prepuce.[49] Susan Izett and Nahid Toubia of RAINBO, in a 1998 report for the WHO, wrote: "the clitoris is held between the thumb and index finger, pulled out and amputated with one stroke of a sharp object. Bleeding is usually stopped by packing the wound with gauzes or other substances and applying a pressure bandage. Modern trained practitioners may insert one or two stitches around the clitoral artery to stop the bleeding."[50]

    Type II is partial or total removal of the clitoris and inner labia, with or without removal of the outer labia.[51] Type II is known as excision in English, but in French excision refers to all forms of FGM.[52]

     

    (A total disconnect!)

    I give you the credit of actually googling female genital mutilation though. Overall this is more effort than I would have expected.

    Your efforts at condescension amuse me; I make a claim which you dispute on the basis of incredulity, I attempt to educate you by linking to a source with sufficient citations that you can verify for yourself, and from this not only do you fail to see the connection, but you imagine that I Googled to inform myself about what I’d already stated.

  30. daveallen says

    (In short, to equate the two is a false equivalence)

    And I don’t believe anyone involved in this particular discussion has equated the two.

    But as your disagreements with Sheaf illustrate – I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by comparing procedures when it comes to effort of preventing them.

    Have you any notions of how best to make the case against FGM to members of those who practice it? What are the main barriers there?

    I ask because I tend to think there’s a bit of a clash of interests in cultural sensitivity and efforts to oppose FGM. The opposition to MGM – for example – seems to be currently aimed at discussions within western society. To talk on the whole – a lot of circumcisions are carried out by those who otherwise respect individual rights.

    Risking defamation of ethnic and religious groups is clearly a problem of drives to oppose MGM – but not so much as it is with FGM. In a lot of cases people can talk as cultural peers on this issue (particularly in the US). Westerners who have already decided to ban FGM are the group I would hope to see progress with in terms of reducing GM in the present paradigm – because they’ve already accepted the salient arguments in regard to FGM.

    What seems to me to bedevil efforts to prevent FGM is that they are tied up in notions of patronizing foreign customs and scrutinizing the behavior of ethnic minorities.

    This presents a dilemma to me – because whilst I’m happy to decry the practice in fulsome terms, there’s a conflict of interest in assuming that arguments designed to appeal to westerners work in foreign contexts and what defamation might result from additional scrutiny of minority groups.

    How do we square that circle?

    My own frustration in the western paradigm is that we have effectively criminalized FGM, so the relativist arguments in opposition to MGM seem wholly moot in that light. I just can’t understand why they even come up.

    When dealing with dissuading foreign practices I can see some utility in talking about the severity of the operation, though when that’s done in absence of how to actually reach and appeal to those performing the operations it seems less like a genuine gripe – and more like partisan quibbling.

  31. marduk says

    They are not the same thing but having a position on MGM is not weird or wacky. “March of the straw men” writing like this is why Valenti has a legitimate career of growing prestige and Marcotte doesn’t. Marcotte is 37, all this was cute when she was in her 20s and blogging was ‘rad’ but we’ve moved on.

    I’m going to use this to segue into a related topic that has been bothering me for a while but is unmentionable Elsewhere for obvious enough reasons. In fact if you want to nuke this Ally, thats fine with me.

    As that woman for Sex and The City would start an episode:
    Is the media’s coopting on new-wave internet feminism exploitative?

    I’ve been bothered by this ever since Laurie Penny appeared on the scene and wrote a lot of personal articles that didn’t all, really, turn to be 100% exactly true. There are corrections added to some of her articles. A lot of people have a problem with “the voice of her generation”, I have a problem with her editors. Its always seemed to me like either she was being egged-on to write this stuff or else, it is what very ambitious young journalists do and should have been questioned. Readers of the NS know that Penny has been very carefully rowing back on certain things out of what seems to be belated self preservation instincts kicking in.

    Since then, the Guardian has what would appear to be an actual programme for ‘cadet’ writers from new-wave internet feminsm, we’ve got Lola, the Vagendas, Valenti etc. This is a great idea but I think the Guardian has a duty of care here, we can see the same Penny story playing out again, the clickbait is getting more manic and less fact checked all the time. Some of it is just ill conceived and I can’t understand how a conscientious editor could run it (e.g., a nasty attack on a man whose house had just burned down…the author didn’t seem to understand this was the backstory to what was going on, thats exactly the sort of stuff editorial is supposed to save you from yourself on).

    What I fear is that either out of ambition or subtle instruction, they are going to commit professional suicide before they have even started at the altar of sensationalism and clickbait. Or else put themselves in a position where Marcotte-style they are in their 40s and obliged to write like teenagers forever more. It isn’t even the controversial element that is the problem, its more the rate at which they are producing this stuff; how can anyone do a good job of writing carefully considered and researched work at that kind of pace? The problem with internet journalism is that it has the highest persistence of any kind of writing, you’re defined by it in a way that even a blog isn’t going to. Some sort of mentorship needs to be offered.

    And then there is the money issue. The Vagendas have some sort of deal with the Guardian and the New Statesman that means they are both churning out stories for the national media at a ridiculous rate. And yet both of them claim to be flat broke and have trouble with rent and putting food on the table.

    There is something going wrong here and taken together I don’t think exploitation is too strong a word.

  32. Ally Fogg says

    Agree with a lot of the above, but…

    And then there is the money issue. The Vagendas have some sort of deal with the Guardian and the New Statesman that means they are both churning out stories for the national media at a ridiculous rate. And yet both of them claim to be flat broke and have trouble with rent and putting food on the table.

    Even with their combined output at the Guardian and New Statesman, neither will be clearing more than about £200/ week, while attempting to live in London. So unless they’ve got significant income from elsewhere, yes, they may well be pretty cash-strapped.

    As for Marcotte, that piece was the most shameless piece of clickbait I’ve ever seen. I refuse to rise to it.

  33. says

    John Morales

    I see, you got confused. Th wikipdia article as written refers to the removal of the clitoral glans, not the entire clitoris. That you and the author of the wikipedia piece are anatomically incompetent is not a point in your favor.

    I make a claim which you dispute on the basis of incredulity,

    Not on basis of incredulity but on basis of elementary anatomical knowledge.

    I attempt to educate you by linking to a source with sufficient citations that you can verify for yourself, and from this not only do you fail to see the connection, but you imagine that I Googled to inform myself about what I’d already stated.

    You attempt to educate me? Given how past iterations of this went this at best absurd.

  34. marduk says

    http://www.newstatesman.com/media/media/2012/05/vagenda-joins-newstatesmancom

    I had hoped that would imply more than just the regular rate for their stuff, ideally some sort of salary or at least a decent retainer.

    I really don’t see what else they are supposed to or actually could do. They’ve reached the top of the market, they are writing as much anyone could (and I say, probably too much), they have some sort of strategic business relationship on top of that and its still not enough. So is a sustainable career in journalism now just impossible or is it just possible for certain people and if so, why not them?

    And I’ll say this for the Mail, they exploited the hell out of Samantha Brick but at least they made her wealthy doing it. I think the Vagendas should start by asking Valenti what she is getting if they haven’t already.

  35. Carnation says

    @ Ally

    Out of interest, if one was getting two or three articles printed in the Guardian/Independent a week, what could one expect to clear?

  36. Ally Fogg says

    There’s a massive difference between rates for print edition pieces and blogs.

    A one-off blog on the Guardian Comment is Free earns about £80. Those of us on retainers for a piece a week get slightly more than that.

    New Statesman were routinely paying about half that, last time I did anything for them.

    Independent don’t pay at all for most of their blogs, nor do many other online sites.

    Print pieces in various organs will usually start about 25p/word or sometimes a lot more, depending what and where. For some reason it seems to be that the more right-wing the shit you produce, the better it pays.

    The (literal) bottom line is that very few people can make a living as a blogger. From my experience, I can earn about as much in a day or two of commercial copywriting as I do in a month of blogging.

    Meanwhile at the top end, Guadian pays its star columnists less than the Mail or the Murdoch papers. George Monbiot voluntarily declares all his income and he earns £67k for one piece a week. The Mail pay some of their columnists upwards of half a million a year.

  37. Pitchguest says

    What makes me imagine you need my encouragement, John? Well, what makes you think I imagined to encourage you in the first place? But if I must speculate, your knee-jerk response to spin my comment into an attack and not providing a contribution of your own would be my first guess. The second would be that you’re a witless ideaologue and a dickhead with no ability to form coherent sentences together even if the instructions were right in front of you.

    What do you think, John?

    But enough about you and yours. The shameless clickbait artist has responded and has gone on to demonise the advocates for anti-male genital mutilation to an even further degree.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/06/14/key-issues-to-trigger-an-internet-fight/comment-page-1/#comment-810625

    Their actual argument, poorly concealed, is something closer to, “I hate and resent feminists because I am a misogynist. But I also know that baldly stating that I believe women are inferior and should be kept in a submissive position will win me no friends. So instead I’m going to try to argue that men are the real oppressed class, and I’m going to latch onto circumcision—distorting the reasons people do it, no less—because any other examples of “anti-male” oppression are even stupider and this is all I’ve got. Also, I’m really obsessed with my penis, though I will never admit it’s because I see it as the reason that I’m superior to half the human race.”

    Do you have anything to say to that one, John? Go on. Defend her. She’s only indirectly making an argument for the practice of cutting off a part of a male infant (“distorting the reasons people do it”), and inferring that these people are only vocal opponents of MGM because they’re “misogynists” and according to them women are the inferior species. Go on. Defend your mistress.

  38. Erik Johansson says

    I don’t get why it’s so hard for some feminists, like Marcotte, to acknowledge that circumcision is wrong. If you’re part of a movement that enshrine women’s right to their own bodies, and at least claim to be for gender equality, one would imagine that extending this “right to one’s own body” to men and boys as well would be a very, very small step to take.

    No one (sane) would deny that most FGM practices are far worse than circumcision, but at the same time:

    1) Most FGM is done in third world countries and cultures where we have very little influence. Circumcision on the other hand is still being done in western hospitals, in our own culture, and we’re actually in a fairly good position to get things to change. We don’t stop trying to fix domestic violence in our own countries just because there’s a war going on in Congo… so why deride those who try to do something about male circumcision just because the FGM going on in Nigeria is worse?

    and

    2) While circumcision is a milder form of genital mutilation than most FGM, there can be little doubt that most people would be first shocked, and then disgusted, if anyone were to suggest that western hospitals should offer to cut and snip away any part of newborn girls vaginas, no matter how mild or insignificant the end result would be. It would be seen as perverted, as trying to control women’s sexuality, telling them that their genitalia was imperfect “in need of fixing”, that sex was dirty and wrong, and so on.

    So to me, it seems quite reasonable to be mightily pissed off about western doctors seeing a newborn boy and then offering the parents “Hey you want me to cut some of his penis away?”. That simply just as sick as offering to cut some of a newborns girls vagina away. No matter how mild it is, it’s still just as perverted when you do it to a boy as it would be doing it to a girl.

  39. daveallen says

    I don’t get why it’s so hard for some feminists, like Marcotte, to acknowledge that circumcision is wrong.

    Perhaps in this instance it’s less of a feminism thing and more of a US thing?

    Most feminists I know are quite keen to oppose MGM because they see it as providing something of a precedent in making the case against FGM. But I’m in the UK where the majority of chaps get to keep their foreskins.

    I think in the US the proportion of men with circumcisions is close to 60%.

    And I’d imagine that in that sort of environment you are going to get a lot of investment excuses for why that is.

  40. Erik Johansson says

    daveallen: Oh I get that it’s very much a US/cultural thing. It’s just that this to me seems like a pretty clear cut instance where (US) feminists are in a position where they really should know better than the culture they exist in, because, as I said, “women’s right to their own bodies” is absolutely enshrined in the feminist movement.

    They really, really should have the hang of this “bodily autonomy” stuff by now. The recent dad in US who never though much of this stuff, who said “I want my son to look like me!” when the doctor asked, do at least have the excuse “I didn’t know better”. Feminists don’t.

  41. J. J. Ramsey says

    I don’t get why it’s so hard for some feminists, like Marcotte, to acknowledge that circumcision is wrong.

    What evidence is there that Marcotte thinks circumcision isn’t wrong? When she writes about who she calls the “anti-male circumcision obsessives,” the first thing she says is, “No, not people who are simply opposed to circumcising babies.” It’s pretty clear that what she objects to is not being anti-circumcision, but rather, for example, derailing a discussion about FGM into “What about the menz?!”

  42. Pitchguest says

    J.J. Ramsey:

    What Amanda Marcotte writes about is what exists in her head and nothing more. Who are these “anti-male circumcision obsessives” and where do you find them? Are they actually in such a number to be substantial and why, even if they do happen to exist, should Amanda Marcotte be so upset and deem them “one of the weirdest people on the internet” for being so strong in their convictions? Never, not once, during debates about circumcision have I witnessed the kind she describes. It’s complete hyperbole, the kind a radical feminist fabricates just to find something to demonise over. It’s pathetic.

    And is she not making an argument for circumcision, sorry, male genital mutilation? She certainly isn’t making a case against that’s for damn sure. She even says her imaginary “anti-male circumcision obsessives” DISTORTS the reason for circumcision! Outside of phimosis, a rare disorder to occur, there is NO REASON to genitally mutilate a man – even less in their infancy, which is where male genital mutilation most often takes place. “What about the menz”?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Amanda Marcotte and the ilk that supports her can go fuck themselves.

  43. Erik Johansson says

    J. J. Ramsey: Technically, you’re correct, Marcotte only spoke about those who oppose circumcision. However, go back to my hypothetical scenario of people’s reaction to western hospitals starting to offer mild versions of FGM, of comparable severity to male circumcision, to new parents. Is there any doubt whatsoever that feminists like Marcotte would react just as viciously as most of the anti-MGG in such a scenario?

    If US hospitals started offering mild FGM to newborn girls, how many seconds of thinking do you think a feminist like Marcotte would require before they (entirely justified) would bellow out “MISOGYNY!”? How many minutes after the news broke would it take until hordes of feminist washed over Twitter and comment sections angrily demanding that the heads of the people responsible?

    In other words, from my perspective, Marcotte is deriding people who, from what I’ve seen, is behaving pretty much like Marcotte herself, or your average angry twitter feminist. Except the anti-MGM people are fighting for a men’s right issue, instead of women’s rights… and that’s apparently enough for Marcotte to crown them the Nr.1 wierdest people on the internet.

  44. Holms says

    Proffessional outrage machine Pitchguest is on the case!

    What Amanda Marcotte writes about is what exists in her head and nothing more. Who are these “anti-male circumcision obsessives” and where do you find them?

    Based on his spluttering, dismissal of all things FGM and his attempts to paint men as the winners of the Most Wronged competition, I would nominate sheaf as one.

    You’re a borderline case yourself.

  45. Jacob Schmidt says

    They are not the same thing but having a position on MGM is not weird or wacky.
    marduk

    No, not people who are simply opposed to circumcising babies. I’m talking about the people who act like removing a foreskin is one of the greatest human rights abuses of all time…
    Marcotte

    I think you two are in agreement here.

    And is she not making an argument for circumcision, sorry, male genital mutilation? She certainly isn’t making a case against that’s for damn sure.

    Pitchguest

    I found myself at a loss for words for a moment.

    Do I actually need to explain why this is bullshit, or is this deliberate intellectual dishonesty?

  46. Jacob Schmidt says

    She even says her imaginary “anti-male circumcision obsessives” DISTORTS the reason for circumcision! Outside of phimosis, a rare disorder to occur, there is NO REASON to genitally mutilate a man – even less in their infancy, which is where male genital mutilation most often takes place.

    Pitchguest

    Unless you imagine that circumcision is being done with no reason in mind, there’s nothing wrong with noting that certain anti-circumcision proponents are wrong about what they believe is the usual motivation for circumcision.

    I did a brief search for studies for why people circumcise (to control sexuality (specifically, masturbation) used to be a reason, but I strongly suspect that cultural inertia and the idea that circumcised penises look better are far greater factors now) but I didn’t find much. I did find this, though:

    Two randomised controlled trials of male circumcision for HIV prevention compared data on sexual function and sexual satisfaction before and after circumcision and also between the intervention group (circumcised men) and the control group (uncircumcised men) in each of the studies. Participants in the trial among 4,500 men in Rakai, Uganda, reported no meaningful changes in any area of sexuality studied (including sexual desire or satisfaction, erectile function, ability to achieve penetration, or pain with intercourse) pre- and post-circumcision. More than 98 percent of the men in both the intervention and the control groups rated their sexual satisfaction as “satisfied” or “very satisfied” six to 24 months after enrolling in the trial (5). In the trial conducted among 2,684 men in Kisumu, Kenya, there were no reported differences in sexual function between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Sixty-four percent of the circumcised men who were available for follow-up at 24 months reported greater penile sensitivity after circumcision, and 54 percent reported enhanced ease in reaching orgasm (6).

    Circumcision does not seem to be an effective method for diminishing sexual pleasure. Of course, these trials were done on adults; perhaps doing them to children/infants produces a different effect.

  47. avern says

    “I don’t get why it’s so hard for some feminists, like Marcotte, to acknowledge that circumcision is wrong.”

    It’s simple. If male circumcision is acknowledged for what it is, mutilation and an egregious denial of bodily autonomy, than everyone, including feminists, would also have to acknowledge that there is a widespread violation of male persons going on in the US. This would have the effect of making feminist ideology seem even more ridiculous than it already does.

  48. johngreg says

    Holms said:

    Based on his spluttering, dismissal of all things FGM and his attempts to paint men as the winners of the Most Wronged competition, I would nominate sheaf as one.

    You are so wholly dedicated to thorough misrepresentation of what people with whom you disagree say, and the positions they hold, that it’s become almost funny. One can almost see the spittle-tears of your Marcotte Defense Rage dribbling down your Manly Gown.

  49. says

    Schmidt @53:

    It is very hard to measure this an any accurate way. The studies you quote seem to be based on subjective reports made by the respondents.

    I wonder if those studies corrected for any reporting and/or confirmation bias from the respondents? It’s not far-fetched to suspect that some of the people whith self-elected irreversible circumcision exaggerate or turn a negative outcome into a positive one or minimize a negative outcome.

  50. Erik Johansson says

    Jacob Schmidt: Does it really matter that what was once done as a way of preventing male masturbation these days has integrated into the culture and these days are done for banal and ignorant reasons instead of outright sinister ones? Does it really matter whether or not it was successful in reducing masturbation/sexual pleasure*?

    If the doctor present at the birth of your daughter had suggested that you hand your newborn daughter over to him, so that he could cut some of her genitalia away, saying “Don’t worry, it’s just some small part with no use, it’s just to make it look better!”, would you

    1) Think it over, find it quite reasonable, and give him your baby girl, or
    2) Consider him a dangerous sicko that needs to be kept away from your baby at all costs?

    Why is it so hard to see reaction (2) as entirely reasonable even when your baby is a boy, and why is it that those people who react with (2), even if some of they happen to be incorrect in some details, deserve to be derided as the “Nr1 wierdest people on the internet”?

    *Never minding for a second that there’s also studies that show that it do affect sexual pleasure negatively, since if you actually searched around I’m sure you saw those as well as the one you cited.

  51. Jacob Schmidt says

    Tamen

    It is very hard to measure this an any accurate way. The studies you quote seem to be based on subjective reports made by the respondents.[1]

    I wonder if those studies corrected for any reporting and/or confirmation bias from the respondents? It’s not far-fetched to suspect that some of the people whith self-elected irreversible circumcision exaggerate or turn a negative outcome into a positive one or minimize a negative outcome.[2]

    1) The studies in question were reporting personal satisfaction. I’m not sure why you seem to want an objective report on necessarily subjective matters.

    2) Indeed, the psychology of it is important. It is, unfortunately, effectively impossible to do a blind study on this matter. However, I would like to note that the reverse is also true: the idea that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure is quite prevalent, and men reporting reduced pleasure may be convincing themselves of something they already believe true.

    Erik

    Does it really matter that what was once done as a way of preventing male masturbation these days has integrated into the culture and these days are done for banal and ignorant reasons instead of outright sinister ones?[1] Does it really matter whether or not it was successful in reducing masturbation/sexual pleasure*?[2]

    1) Yes. The former is a harmful practice in an attempt to control a population. That’s two problems: the harmful practice and the attempted oppression of a population. The latter is a harmful practice done for bad reasons. That’s one problem: the harmful practice.*

    2) Yes. Circumcision is, inherently, a violation of bodily autonomy that carries a risk of harm, if a relatively minor one (assuming a medical setting). However, such is preferable to the same plus ongoing loss of function. Bodily function, and the possible loss thereof, to me, is something that matters.

    Never minding for a second that there’s also studies that show that it do affect sexual pleasure negatively, since if you actually searched around I’m sure you saw those as well as the one you cited.

    Well, no, seeing as I was looking for reported motivations for circumcisions, not the reported effects thereof. However, after a brief look I suspect there is less than you think. There is this study of circumcision in Denmark, which reports loss of function. However, the sample size is rather small (n=103 and n=75 for circumcised men and women reporting on circumcised partners, respectively), and the reported difference isn’t very large. Plus, Denmark is a country with low levels of circumcision (only about 5%); its entirely possible that those differences are a product of normalisation of uncircumcised penises, rather than anything inherent to circumcision.

    In any case, I am forced to yield to meta analysis:

    Searches identified 2,675 publications describing the effects of male circumcision on aspects of male sexual function, sensitivity, sensation, or satisfaction. Of these, 36 met our inclusion criteria of containing original data. Those studies reported a total of 40,473 men, including 19,542 uncircumcised and 20,931 circumcised. Rated by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network grading system, 2 were 1++ (high quality randomized controlled trials) and 34 were case-control or cohort studies (11 high quality: 2++; 10 well-conducted: 2+; 13 low quality: 2-). The 1++, 2++, and 2+ studies uniformly found that circumcision had no overall adverse effect on penile sensitivity, sexual arousal, sexual sensation, erectile function, premature ejaculation, ejaculatory latency, orgasm difficulties, sexual satisfaction, pleasure, or pain during penetration. Support for these conclusions was provided by a meta-analysis. Impairment in one or more parameters was reported in 10 of the 13 studies rated as 2-. These lower-quality studies contained flaws in study design (11), selection of cases and/or controls (5), statistical analysis (4), and/or data interpretation (6); five had multiple problems.

    Why is it so hard to see reaction (2) as entirely reasonable even when your baby is a boy, and why is it that those people who react with (2), even if some of they happen to be incorrect in some details, deserve to be derided as the “Nr1 wierdest people on the internet”?

    It’s worth noting that the set you’ve defined and the set Marcotte described are not the same. In any case…

    Because of the combination of gender weirdness, sexual obsessions, bad faith, and lack of all proportion, they get the number one spot.

    Marcotte

    … she’s already answered that question. You can dispute that ,if you’d like (I would; there are far weirder people out there), but acting like it hasn’t been addressed is both silly and an indication that you haven’t read the piece in question.

  52. daveallen says

    It’s pretty clear that what she objects to is not being anti-circumcision, but rather, for example, derailing a discussion about FGM into “What about the menz?!”

    If she wanted to be “pretty clear” about that she’s done an appalling job.

    Obviously she’s engaging in vague hyperbole in order to be as sensationalist as possible.

    Obviously.

    If her beef is with derailing conversations on FGM why doesn’t she mention that precise phenomena – rather than going about “people who think it’s as big a deal as the holocaust” (effectively nobody, of course) or who “distort the reasons why it’s done”.

  53. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh well. Win one, lose one.

    The Kookaburras won the men’s hockey World Cup against the Dutch. But the Hockeyroos only get the silver in the women’s, the Dutch team beat them.

  54. Pitchguest says

    There are proponents of idiocy like Amanda Marcotte and then there are proponents of Amanda Marcotte.

    Holms: Arguing against MGM and FGM in the same manner of urgency and disgust makes me borderline “obsessive” attempting to paint men as “the winners of the Most Wronged competition”? Hahahahahaha.

    Wow. You are a card, aren’t you? And please, tell me, intelligently, in what way has sheaf spluttered in dismissal of all things FGM?

    John Schmidt: You find yourself at a loss for words but then you actually make an argument for circumcision?

    Unless you imagine that circumcision is being done with no reason in mind, there’s nothing wrong with noting that certain anti-circumcision proponents are wrong about what they believe is the usual motivation for circumcision.

    I did a brief search for studies for why people circumcise (to control sexuality (specifically, masturbation) used to be a reason, but I strongly suspect that cultural inertia and the idea that circumcised penises look better are far greater factors now) but I didn’t find much. I did find this, though:

    I knew you were simple, but this is ridiculous. Are you really this dense?

    I really couldn’t give a rat’s arse the “reason” for circumcision, pardon, male genital mutilation. I already acknowledged it was done for religious reasons, you half-wit, and I already acknowledged the reason it’s done for medical purposes later in life, rare though it may be. But here I am urging strongly against the practice, but because Amanda Marcotte wrote an article where the number one on her list of “weirdest people on the internet” are who deems “anti-male circumcision obsessives” (completely hyperbolic and encased in extreme patheticism), you feel the need to defend her because she’s on your “team.”

    I repeat: in a conversation about circumcision between Hitchens and Harold Kushner, Kushner said that his son “cried more during his first haircut.” Hitchens, in reply, reeled in disgust and went into what some (Marcotte) would call a “diatribe” about the politics of circumcision, sorry, male genital mutilation. I’d understand if you were going to come down hard on those that thought circumcision (male genital mutilation) was worse than slavery or the Holocaust, as Marcotte assigns those “anti-male circumcision obsessives”, but in your defense you actually made an argument FOR circumcision. Just look at the research: 64 percent of the control group that were able to follow up after 24 months reported GREATER penile sensitivity and 54 percent reported enhanced ease in reaching orgasm. Oh, well, I suppose we should ALL get circumcised then! I’ll make an appointment right now!

    Oh, wait. No. That’s actually not how that works. Most practices of circumcision, excuse me, male genital mutilation are performed on male infants, denying them bodily autonomy and performed against their will. Kind of like how most female genital mutilation are performed on female infants or when they’re very young or sometimes even when they’re grown adults, against their will. What the hell does it matter if one is worse than the other after the fact? It’s a vile procedure either way and should BOTH be eliminated. Is this really all that difficult to understand? Do I need to draw you a picture?

  55. Minnow says

    This is the footy thread, right? Because I mean, like World Cup 2014: BLOODY HELL. I think that bears repeating: BLOODY HELL! Every game worth watching. And England playing exciting, attacking football. A team to love at last. I honestly don’t care if they lose so long as they lose playing like that.

  56. Jacob Schmidt says

    You find yourself at a loss for words[1] but then you actually make an argument for circumcision?[2]

    1) I’ll admit I’m somewhat annoyed. I used the past tense both because it’s accurate and to avoid the ridiculous “lol you said ‘at a loss for words’ but you’re still talking” response.

    2) Are you high?

    I really couldn’t give a rat’s arse the “reason” for circumcision, pardon, male genital mutilation.[1] I already acknowledged it was done for religious reasons, you half-wit, and I already acknowledged the reason it’s done for medical purposes later in life, rare though it may be.[2] But here I am urging strongly against the practice, but because Amanda Marcotte wrote an article where the number one on her list of “weirdest people on the internet” are who deems “anti-male circumcision obsessives” (completely hyperbolic and encased in extreme patheticism), you feel the need to defend her because she’s on your “team.”[3]

    1) You probably should. Understanding why people do things is necessary for effectively arguing against their position. 101 level stuff, here.

    2) Then why did you write that there was no reason? Sloppy writing? Further, why attack Marcotte for pointing out that certain people are wrong in what they believe what the reasons are?

    3) You probably shouldn’t guess at my motivations; you’re spectacularly bad at it.

    I’d understand if you were going to come down hard on those that thought circumcision (male genital mutilation) was worse than slavery or the Holocaust, as Marcotte assigns those “anti-male circumcision obsessives”, but in your defense you actually made an argument FOR circumcision. Just look at the research:

    I’m not sure why you imagine that noting the data constitutes an argument for anything. In any case, I said this: “I did a brief search for studies for why people circumcise (to control sexuality (specifically, masturbation) used to be a reason, … Circumcision does not seem to be an effective method for diminishing sexual pleasure.” I pointed out that one motivation for circumcision appears to be in vain. That is all.

  57. says

    Schmidt @58:

    Indeed, the psychology of it is important. It is, unfortunately, effectively impossible to do a blind study on this matter. However, I would like to note that the reverse is also true: the idea that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure is quite prevalent, and men reporting reduced pleasure may be convincing themselves of something they already believe true.

    I would strongly suspect that people sexually active who believe that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure is much less likely to elect having a circumcision than a person who believes a circumcision makes no difference or have a negative effect on sexual pleasure. If that is true then these studies would have a sampling bias skewing the selection and/or confirmation bias of the respondents.

    Further contributing to this is the fact that pro-circumcision campaigns in Africa such as thiscollaborative effort led by South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Department of Health, USAID/PEPFAR, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Sonke Gender Justice, UNICEF , IDMT , the United Nations System in South Africa and more than forty other civil society partners working in the field of HIV prevention and Health” tout the claim that circumcision has a positive effect on sexual pleasure as an argument for having a circumcision:

    “It eliminates bruising and tearing during sex, which makes sex more enjoyable for men and women.”

    Misrepresenting the ‘marketing’ for male circumcision in Africa is something that some people openly admit to:

    “If we see it purely as a medical intervention, it’ll be a mistake; it’s a social intervention,” said Jewkes. “I think culture is very flexible and to the extent that circumcision has been associated with manhood, I think that gives it enormous potential for equating it with better manhood.”

    http://www.irinnews.org/report/73285/africa-mass-male-circumcision-what-will-it-mean-for-women

    That article by the way quoted a woman who said that men who’ve been to so-called circumcision ‘schools’ were better men than those who hadn’t. The initiation ‘schools’ have an extremely bad track record:

    Of the three provinces in which initiation is most commonly practiced, the M&G was only able to get statistics from one, the Eastern Cape.

    In that province, the death toll for the five years from 2008 to 2012 was 323. During that time, a further 126 boys suffered genital amputations.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2013-06-09-initiation-carnage-circumcision-deaths-have-no-numbers-says-govt

    That can also serve as a reminder to people that it’s not only FGM that is conducted under poor and unsanitary conditions with crude instruments by someone who isn’t a medical professional,

  58. says

    I’d also add that although a double-blind study is impossible the studies could’ve made an effort to adjust for the bias by asking the respondents whether they thought circumcision would have a positive, negative or neutral effect on sexual pleasure before the respondents elected to have circumcision.

  59. says

    Holms

    Based on his spluttering, dismissal of all things FGM and his attempts to paint men as the winners of the Most Wronged competition, I would nominate sheaf as one.

    I dismissed all things FGM.? Are you serious? I think this is a dishonest accusation. You either put up evidence for that (unlikely) or I hope people will see you for the liar that you likely are.

  60. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg #47

    That’s very interesting. I don’t really think Monibot is worth that…

    Getting back to Julie Bindel (and ignoring the circumcision train wreck), I wonder what she’d think of the particularly offensive/stupid RadFem trope that “all men benefit from men’s violence against women”

    She’s an interesting case, alright.

  61. Jacob Schmidt says

    Tamen

    I would strongly suspect that people sexually active who believe that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure is much less likely to elect having a circumcision than a person who believes a circumcision makes no difference or have a negative effect on sexual pleasure. If that is true then these studies would have a sampling bias skewing the selection and/or confirmation bias of the respondents.

    Yes. However, most studies that show a negative impact of circumcision (such as the dutch one, above) are done on populations that have not elected to become circumcised by analysing the sexual satisfaction of people who are already circumcised and comparing it to that of those who are not. The bias you describe would not exist in those studies.

    Further contributing to this is the fact that pro-circumcision campaigns in Africa such as this “collaborative effort led by South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Department of Health, USAID/PEPFAR, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), Sonke Gender Justice, UNICEF , IDMT , the United Nations System in South Africa and more than forty other civil society partners working in the field of HIV prevention and Health” tout the claim that circumcision has a positive effect on sexual pleasure as an argument for having a circumcision:

    Interesting. Of that, I was unaware. That may well explain the results of the second study cited in post 53. The study was done because of HIV prevention efforts, to address concerns about loss of sexual function from circumcision. It is, to my knowledge, the only study to report an increase in sexual pleasure, so the results are quite anomalous.

    That can also serve as a reminder to people that it’s not only FGM that is conducted under poor and unsanitary conditions with crude instruments by someone who isn’t a medical professional.

    Indeed. My single largest problem with circumcision of any sort is that it is practiced by those who are not professionals in medical settings.

    I’d also add that although a double-blind study is impossible the studies could’ve made an effort to adjust for the bias by asking the respondents whether they thought circumcision would have a positive, negative or neutral effect on sexual pleasure before the respondents elected to have circumcision.

    Yes, that would have been preferable and more robust.

  62. Ally Fogg says

    Carnation (68)

    Getting back to Julie Bindel (and ignoring the circumcision train wreck), I wonder what she’d think of the particularly offensive/stupid RadFem trope that “all men benefit from men’s violence against women”

    Oh that’s page one of the Radfem textbook, so I’d be astonished if she didn’t subscribe to it publicly.

    But my guess is that if you got her to one side quietly in the pub she’d admit that it wasn’t really quite that simple.

  63. Minnow says

    Oh the agony for Ronaldo, a near spectator at what should be ‘his’ World Cup. Can’t resist a bit of schadenfreude, especially since it was Germany that handed out the punishment. And USA! That’s exciting, especially for those of us who have football loving US rellies.

    A month ago I thought I had outgrown international football. Now I am tense with excitement. Bloody football.

  64. H. E. Pennypacker says

    Thought I’d throw out some observations on how men and women experience violence.

    In the wake of the #YesAllWomen hashtag there’s been a spate of musings on men not believing women’s experience of harassment and violence. A lot of this seems to revolve around stories of men who found it strange that women would consider themselves to be in danger of experiencing violence. What keeps striking me as that the men in these stories were themselves considerably more likely to be victims of violence than the women in these stories (particularly when it comes to violence perpetrated by strangers which is what these articles are normally about).

    It seems to me that men are conditioned to view violence directed against themselves as not particularly awful or shocking. If you look across cultures most male initiation rituals involve subjecting the prospective man’s body to violence, they’re about enduring pain or extreme physical discomfort. Even within “Western” countries sports in which the body is subjected to violence is a large part of male socialisation. If I play football with a woman I would feel very uncomfortable tackling her as hard as I would when having a kick-about with my friends, let alone in a serious game.

    Actually this is made quite explicit in old-fashioned attitudes that by not exposing boys to (potential) pain and physical discomfort you are molly-coddling them and they will end up feminine and soft.

    I wonder if this is a crucial aspect of encouraging certain forms of male violence (eg. war). Acting violently always entails a risk of reciprocation (and in socially sanctioned forms of violence such as warfare an attempt at reciprocation is practically guaranteed). It seems to me that training people to consider themselves acceptable targets for violence would be extremely useful if you want to convince them to direct violence against others.

    I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this.

  65. Minnow says

    I think you make some good points HEP, but what about Rooney? Drop him, place him in the hole, or keep him out wide?

  66. says

    72, HEP,

    As someone who experienced military authority structures first hand, I can only agree that appealing to the toughness of recruits is a very powerful psychological mechanism that is actually employed. Similarly there is a very strong sense of chivalry amog soldiers. The commanding officers were extremely polite towards random females the company made contact with during marches. The exact reaso for this is unclear to me.

  67. Pitchguest says

    Jacob, you plainly defended Marcotte through her rationalizations and even offered your own rationalizations as to why people circumcise. How is that not forming a defense for circumcision? To guess at your motivations at that point was simple, and worse still predictable. Marcotte is part of your “side”, and I am part of the “side” of the “slyme”, so how could you possibly allign yourself with me? High? Hardly, but I’d borrow whatever you use to inflate your ego. Clearly it makes you forget reality.

    Are you honestly thick enough to believe that when I said “there is NO REASON to genitally mutilate a man”, I meant it in the way that there have been NO rationalizations for the practice to genitally mutilate a man? Because if you do, then *I* am the one at a loss for words right now. Hol-ee shit.

    Let me break this down for you. (And no, with that I don’t mean LITERALLY.) There are other practices that mutilate their children for cultural reasons. This one in Africa, for example.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27412311

    And ‘lo, the rationalizations for doing it are almost identical to the ones pertaining to circumcision, I’m sorry, male genital mutilation.

    There’s a poster on the Slymepit who’s given this more thought, if you care to read about it.

    http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=191939#p191939

  68. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @Sheaf

    I think for the army to do this, toughness must already be widely seen as related to masculinity. Thinking about it, if I experience pain in public my automatic reaction is to play it down despite not really consciously believing that “real men” should be able to bear pain.

  69. Minnow says

    I think there is a lot of interest there, but perhaps we should also say something about Suarez? Will he play? Will that lift Sturridge or deflate him? Can we wait to find out?

  70. mildlymagnificent says

    In the wake of the #YesAllWomen hashtag there’s been a spate of musings on men not believing women’s experience of harassment and violence. A lot of this seems to revolve around stories of men who found it strange that women would consider themselves to be in danger of experiencing violence. What keeps striking me as that the men in these stories were themselves considerably more likely to be victims of violence than the women in these stories (particularly when it comes to violence perpetrated by strangers which is what these articles are normally about).

    When we’re talking about physical assault on the street or in a pub, the main difference between men and women is that women are more worried about a random man/ men grabbing at breasts or groping the groin than a punch or a kick – that’s more likely at home or in another private space. I don’t know, but other blokes could tell me whether men have that kind of sexual/ sexualised grabbing and groping as their prime or specific concern about other men’s violence.

    I suspect that the difference is that grabbing / touching / groping / assault of women is always and everywhere a form of bullying and a hit / touch / punch at a man is a first step in a possibly fair fight even though it’s very often a bully starting it who expects to win.

    And this story that’s gone all over the place after starting life on reddit is an indicator that men who grab/grope women in public are expecting to get away with it. I’ve shortened it from the link that I’ve found. http://feministing.com/2014/06/05/guy-grabbed-my-chest-i-yelled-real-spooky-like-he-pooped/ (I never go to feministing, but that’s what turned up when I did the google thing.)

    A man … took an extra step to catch up to me and put his arm around my shoulder and grabbed my breast, and said “Hey”.

    I’m small. I’m blonde. I wear t-shirts, jeans and old sneakers. I practice monstrous voices as a hobby. One of these things came out to my advantage. …

    I pushed him off me, and in my most threatening bellow yelled, “HOW DARE YOU TOUCH ME?”

    The guy froze, his mouth open and face in total shock. I knew I caught him by surprise. It took me a few seconds, between him standing funny and the smell to realize that he crapped in his pants. …

    This was not the first time I was groped, and it will likely not be the last. I can only hope that this one man … will never touch a person without their permission again.

    That man approached touching that woman as though he would get away with it without any kind of reaction. He was shocked,/i> that a woman would react so strongly. That’s not what men expect when they challenge or attack another man. Which might be where the difference lies.

    And for men wondering about women’s fear of violence generally. These are the same women who are constantly told that it’s their responsibility to always walk or park their cars in well lit areas, never unlock/ open your door without checking who’s there, not to go jogging alone/ after dark, to carry their carkeys in their fist, to tuck a $20 note in the bra so they’ve enough cash to get a taxi to somewhere safe if they have to abandon their purse in their date’s car or a flat where a party’s on for fear of what some creepy and/or nasty man will do next. Most women have heard most of these essential things, but even those who’ve had the whole lot dinned into them for years don’t always and everywhere do all of them. It’s really tiring to stay alert to stay “safe” from men every minute you’re out of the house – and in it. (And we know full well that if she is attacked, there’ll be a litany of predictable questions about what she did to bring this on herself.)

  71. Minnow says

    That’s all very well mildymagnificient but it doesn’t help us much when considering Glen Johnson’s form. Is it a temporary glitch or is he just out of his depth at this level?

  72. says

    I suspect that the difference is that grabbing / touching / groping / assault of women is always and everywhere a form of bullying and a hit / touch / punch at a man is a first step in a possibly fair fight even though it’s very often a bully starting it who expects to win.

    I think you seriously underestimate how rare it is that someoe wants to start a fair fight. And also, while I can obviously not speak for women, the times I was groped did were not necessarily attempts to bully me in my experience. Some of them were clumsy attempts at establishing contact as well, so Isuspect your characterisation is just flat out wrong.

  73. Ally Fogg says

    H.E.P & MildlyMagnificent

    Good posts both. It is something I must blog about sometime, because it raises lots of important issues. It was something that crossed my mind recently as I was writing about / debating male victims of both domestic abuse and sexual assaults.

    I don’t think there is any doubt that (as a generalisation) men and women respond differently to both physical assault and sexual assault, whether from other men or women.

    I’m aware that if my (female) partner were to punch me, leaving a black eye or if I were to punch her, equally hard, also leaving an identical black eye, those two assaults would be understood very differently, not only by society at large but also by me and by her. Even though the physical impacts and effects were identical, the emotional and psychological impacts would be very different.

    To bring it back to the male reactions to #YesAllWomen – I have little sympathy, because it seems to me the detractors are basically saying that women should toughen up and if men can handle certain levels of societal violence, women should be able to do the same. I profoundly disagree with that, I entirely agree with the feminist stance of zero tolerance of violence against women, and would like to extend that to zero tolerance of violence against men.

    minnow

    Has to be Rooney tucked up alongside Sturridge, with Lallana or Welbeck on the left and Sterling on the right.

    Against Italy there was a real need for a five-man midfield to try to neutralise Pirlo, and it nearly worked, but I think England need to be braver against Uruguay and I think they have enough goals in them to take the risk, especially considering Suarez hasn’t played a single minute of football for six weeks.

  74. johngreg says

    sheaf said:

    I think you seriously underestimate how rare it is that someoe wants to start a fair fight.

    Don’t you mean, overestimate? As in it is very rare that fight starters want to start a fair fight, when what the usually want to start is a fight heavily weighted in their favour.

  75. johngreg says

    Ally said:

    I’m aware that if my (female) partner were to punch me, leaving a black eye or if I were to punch her, equally hard, also leaving an identical black eye, those two assaults would be understood very differently, not only by society at large but also by me and by her. Even though the physical impacts and effects were identical, the emotional and psychological impacts would be very different.

    I think this is a very valid point. And it really needs some good research to examine and eventually try to explain such phenomena — though I suspect that it may be at least 80% enculturation. I think the same may hold true, at least to some degree, for sexual assault (excluding rape). Whether or not the same holds true for rape … I don’t know.

  76. says

    Ally 81,

    To bring it back to the male reactions to #YesAllWomen – I have little sympathy, because it seems to me the detractors are basically saying that women should toughen up and if men can handle certain levels of societal violence, women should be able to do the same.

    I profoundly disagree with this characterization and having read a lot of discussion about this I can only scratch my head about how you can arrive at it. The overwhelming majority of “males” (the word needed here is egalitarians) objected to the sweeping and blatant justifications for hateful generalizations and behaviors towards males (here it is the right word, you know this thingy about there being a difference between convictions and circumstances of birth) as well as the presumptious generalization about the experiences of being a women that were brought forward. In most cases I do not think the word bigotry to be a useful description of attitudes, but in the case I think the message can be correctly identified as bigoted fear mongering.

  77. JT says

    @Ally

    But you are not going to get zero tolerance for violence because life doesnt work that way. So doesnt it stand to reason to tell both our boys and girls that they should toughen up? I have a 17yr old daughter and 20yr old son. The first thing I told them is to avoid fighting, the second run if possible, thirdly, when needed make them wish they hadnt started. As I tell my kids, they can take your body but they cant take your spirit, that you give willing or not.

  78. Thil says

    Channel 4 Elliot Rodger’s documentary is called “the virgin killer”

    firstly there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin regardless of your gender. Secondly I really wish the media would stop implying that being in anyway socially unusual makes you a potential killer

    maybe Elliot Rodger wouldn’t have got so angry about being virgin if shit like this didn’t make it seem like some kind of moral failing for a guy

  79. mildlymagnificent says

    I think this is a very valid point. And it really needs some good research to examine and eventually try to explain such phenomena — though I suspect that it may be at least 80% enculturation.

    Just as much enculturation as expectation.

    The general expectation is that men are usually stronger than women. The general culture _claims_ that it’s not a fair fight if someone bigger and stronger attacks someone smaller and weaker – that’s bullying.

    Of course, anyone who observes group behaviour at any level knows that when a bully starts something, they will attract many people to their “side”. Those people are fairly evenly split between those who do so as a form of self-protection to avoid becoming a target and those who actively enjoy being part of the stronger force even though they’d never start anything on their own.

    One of the annoying consequences for some sport playing women is that they’re forever having to defend their male partners from accusations of violence. Though anyone who’s paid attention at a “non-contact” sport event like a netball match realises that most participants in such competitions are going to be bruised or limping or otherwise visibly affected by all the “non-contact” contact.

  80. Jacob Schmidt says

    To bring it back to the male reactions to #YesAllWomen – I have little sympathy, because it seems to me the detractors are basically saying that women should toughen up and if men can handle certain levels of societal violence, women should be able to do the same.

    Really? It seems to me to be a conflation between “women are at significant risk of various forms of violence, and most of that violence comes from men” and the demonization of men.

    I’m aware that if my (female) partner were to punch me, leaving a black eye or if I were to punch her, equally hard, also leaving an identical black eye, those two assaults would be understood very differently, not only by society at large but also by me and by her.

    A personal anecdote. I have been hit by my partner. The violence itself doesn’t bother me, beyond the initial visceral reaction of unexpected violence. That I can’t trust my partner to not hit me bothers me, and that my partner disrespected me enough to hit me bothers me. But the punches and slaps in and of themselves? Nah.

    Channel 4 Elliot Rodger’s documentary is called “the virgin killer”

    firstly there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin regardless of your gender.[1] Secondly I really wish the media would stop implying that being in anyway socially unusual makes you a potential killer

    maybe Elliot Rodger wouldn’t have got so angry about being virgin if shit like this didn’t make it seem like some kind of moral failing for a guy[2]

    1) Given Rodger’s stated motivations, the name makes perfect sense.

    2) Given Rodger’s stated beliefs that others were failing him, I don’t think so.

  81. Paul says

    If i as a man hit another man who was twice my size and he retaliated and i came off worse then many people would say i only had myself to blame.Yet if a woman hits a man who’s bigger than her and he retaliates and she comes off worse then many people would view that very differently.

    Likewise if i get into a verbal confrontation with a woman and she gets on her mobile phone and summons backup from her partner/brother etc and it results in a fight then who’s to blame if either he or i or both of us get badly hurt ? Are we to be viewed as nothing more than testosterone charged males who have a propensity to violence ? Or are we also behaving as the woman who instigated it expected us to behave as males ?.

    A couple of years ago i got into an online spat with a couple of female posters over the issue of domestic violence.And basically the three of us all lost our tempers and became abusive.Yet some other posters of both sexes commented on me losing my temper but said nothing to the two females who were just as guilty as losing their tempers and becoming abusive.

    In any confrontational situation between a male and a female there are clearly double-standards which can and do favour females.Likewise the role females can and do play in encouraging macho attitudes in males which can manifest themselves in violence between males are often played down or ignored.

    I grew up in a community where some women actively encouraged their children and their menfolk to be violent.And where some women could also be extremely violent towards each other as well as to men.So i get extremely frustrated when public discourse tends to view women either primarily or exclusively as being victims of violence. For the fact is that if we’re serious about having zero tolerance to violence then that won’t happen unless women-as well as men- are challenged about their attitudes,behaviour and expectations .For in families and communities where there is a problem of violence the women can also be both perpetrators and instigators of that violence.

  82. johngreg says

    I love this.

    Jacob quoted Ally saying:

    I’m aware that if my (female) partner were to punch me, leaving a black eye or if I were to punch her, equally hard, also leaving an identical black eye, those two assaults would be understood very differently, not only by society at large but also by me and by her.

    Then Jacob said:

    A personal anecdote. I have been hit by my partner. The violence itself doesn’t bother me, beyond the initial visceral reaction of unexpected violence. That I can’t trust my partner to not hit me bothers me, and that my partner disrespected me enough to hit me bothers me. But the punches and slaps in and of themselves? Nah.

    So, Jacob dismisses Ally’s hypothetical example, incorrectly, as being personal anecdote, and then, to give credence to his, incorrect, claim, Jacob posts a very singular personal anecdote as support.

    HAHAHAHA.

    Jacob Schmidt in a nutshell.

    If you get my drift.

  83. Sans-sanity says

    @Jacob
    “A personal anecdote. I have been hit by my partner. The violence itself doesn’t bother me, beyond the initial visceral reaction of unexpected violence. That I can’t trust my partner to not hit me bothers me, and that my partner disrespected me enough to hit me bothers me. But the punches and slaps in and of themselves? Nah.”

    Do you know, I’ve heard the same sort of thing from women whose partners were violent.

    I wonder whether if Ally asked his wife how she thinks she would feel, he might find that she had similar expectations to how he thinks he would feel.

    Not that I think his asking would be a good idea of course….

    AF: “Oh honey, if I were to give you a smack in the eye, how do you think you might take it?”
    AFW(ife): “Wh…Why do you ask?”
    AF: “I was talking about it with some folks on the internet.”
    AFW: “I’m getting the cricket bat and you’re going downstairs.”
    AF: “The public wants to know!”
    AFW: “Downstairs now.”
    AF: “Science!!”

  84. Pitchguest says

    Oh, don’t be like that, john. Jacob is obviously gearing up his intellectual artillery as we speak.

    Wait, or was Jacob the one with the rhetorical assassins? I can never get these people straight.

    Anyway. It doesn’t matter. Lay it on me, Jacob. I am a master debater. *wink* *wink*

  85. Ally Fogg says

    So, Jacob dismisses Ally’s hypothetical example, incorrectly, as being personal anecdote

    No he didn’t.

    He was introducing his own anecdote with the words “A personal anecdote” not dismissing mine.

    As a general observation, something that came up a couple of times on the last thread and has just happened above… people talking ABOUT other commenters in the third person rather than talking TO them.

    Like: “Typical A, always doing XYZ”

    Can’t you see how outrageously fucking rude it is? It just reveals the person speaking to be a snide petty-minded tosser. It is getting way out of hand and I’m going to start banning people for it very soon.,

    And yes, right now I am talking to johngreg and Pitchguest but there have been plenty of other offenders.

  86. Minnow says

    Ha! Ally I completely agree with you. Can’t drop Rooney do play him in position. Sterling is going to be dangerous if you hog tie and blinfold him. Start Welbeck with instructions to take risks in the first 20 running at defenced, keep lallana in reserve.

  87. Jacob Schmidt says

    Jacob Schmidt in a nutshell.

    Oh, don’t be like that, john. Jacob is obviously gearing up his intellectual artillery as we speak.

    What the fucking fuck? You bloody tools.

    Yeah, Ally you got it.

    Do you know, I’ve heard the same sort of thing from women whose partners were violent.

    For me, the violence was no different than any other breach of trust and respect. In my experience, women view violence from their partners differently than that. To them, it wasn’t just a breach of trust, or just disrespect; the violence made it much worse than either.

    To bring it back to Ally’s hypothetical, I’m certain my partner would view violence from me very differently than I view violence from her.

  88. says

    Schmidt,

    why would you say that your are relatively more tough toward the physical component of the violence in itself? Is the reassurance that you could defend yourself if push came to shove?

  89. johngreg says

    Ally said (http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/06/13/the-footy-frenzy-friday-open-thread/#comment-96358):

    No he didn’t.

    He was introducing his own anecdote with the words “A personal anecdote” not dismissing mine.

    OK, Ally, let’s be pedantic here.

    If Jacob wrote:

    A personal anecdote: I have been hit by my partner….

    That, due to the colon, would be introducing a personal anecdote.

    He wrote:

    A personal anecdote. I have been hit by my partner….

    Which, due to the full stop, is a comment upon the previous paragraph.

    Now, we could give Jacob his due and assume he is not literate or accurate enough to use proper punctuation … but that’s dissing him.

    Or, we could assume he meant it as a comment on your comment … but that’s dissing him.

    Or we could be adults, and wait for Jacob to clarify what his actual intent was. In which case, should I be wrong, I will openly state that I was wrong, and apologize for mistaking Jacob’s inaccurate punctuation for something it was not.

    Or, should it be the case and should you be wrong, you could state that you were wrong, and apologize for mistaking Jaconb’s inaccurate punctuation for something it was not.

    Right? Right.

    Oh, and your original comment, upon which this little contretemps is based, was NOT a personal anecdote; it was, as I correctly stated, a hypothetical example. Like it or not.

    Either way, bottom line, you just like to pick on me ’cause you don’t like what I have to say, primarily because I am a Pit person. You give far, far more posting leeway to non-Pit-people of all stripes, than you do Pit people.

    :)

    Neener neener.

    Can’t you see how outrageously fucking rude it is? It just reveals the person speaking to be a snide petty-minded tosser. It is getting way out of hand and I’m going to start banning people for it very soon.,

    And yes, right now I am talking to johngreg and Pitchguest but there have been plenty of other offenders.

    That is an extraordinary statement of contempt based on very, very little actual fact.

    It seems to me that you let anti-Pit people say the most outrageous slurs and insults and generalized blatant lies (which you do not allow us to defend) against Pit people and, so far as I can tell, you haven’t once slapped an anti-Pit wrist — ‘course, I could be mistaken; we’re not all perfect. Right? Right.

    And you state that my suggesting, correctly (grammatically and punctuationally speaking) that Jacob dismissed your comment as a personal anecdote is “outrageously fucking rude”. Are you fucking kidding me!?

  90. Ally Fogg says

    OK, Ally, let’s be pedantic here.

    No, let’s not.

    Incidentally, I neither know nor care who is a ‘pit person’ here, and I give everyone an enormous amount of leeway to be an abject prick.

  91. Marduk says

    I’m losing track of this thread a bit but I’ve never thought violence had much to do with size, reach or weight.
    I’ve had a lot of practice of having the shit kicked out of me when I was younger and the truth is, most people find it quite hard physically and psychologically, even if someone is literally trying to kill you. Hurting people effectively is hard, I’d bet 80% of keyboard warriors would break their own fingers before they’d stop someone really intent on hurting them by hitting them. That would be if you could bring yourself to risk murdering someone if you got ‘lucky’ in the first place, most people can’t do that either, I certainly couldn’t.

    But some people apparently don’t find this, they are usually men but there is no reason they can’t be women. Its not about heavy weight boxing punditry, its about a total lack of inhibition, intent and the willingness to impose absolute terror. The ‘Begbie factor’ if you will. This has the square root of fuck all to do with what you tip the scales at.

    I just can’t imagine how someone with any experience in this area could ever think otherwise, it just doesn’t compute for me, just cannot understand what world you live in.

  92. JT says

    @Marduk

    This sums up your idea quite nicely. “Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog” ;)

  93. Marduk says

    @sheaf
    That isn’t a fair question to ask, its too tightly bound to gender scripts which around masculinity are so rigidly enforced even feminists (who are supposed to question this stuff) demand in newspaper columns quite regularly that we should ranging around the streets like Batman “challenging” dangerous men because men are violent innit so its no problem for us to use our powers for good.

    If you are a bloke and you can’t defend yourself, its generally viewed as *your fault* after all.

  94. johngreg says

    Ally said:

    OK, Ally, let’s be pedantic here.

    No, let’s not.

    OK. Let’s just make it up as we go along, then. No need for grammatical, rhetorical, or sentence structure accuracy on this bus, Marge!

    Thanks for allowing me to defend my position and make some clarifications … though, you didn’t really, eh?

    Hmm. Is that a certain midwestern perfessor peeking out from behind your left shoulder whispering “devils; devils everywhere! stomp ‘em now!“? Or am I just fogging my glasses in amaze?

    … an abject prick.

    Right. Lovely. Falsely accuse me of shit I didn’t do; reject clarifications and corrections; then call me an abject prick for disagreeing with you and a poster whose punctuation I read as presented while failing to correctly read their mind and their intent.

    Amazing. Lovely.

    Incidentally, I neither know nor care who is a ‘pit person’ here….

    Balls.

    Is this fuckin’ hangover Monday or something?

  95. says

    Marduk, 104

    I am not really sure how this connects wth my question . I was trying to understand Schmidts psychology in not being primarily bothered by the violence. For what it is worth, I believe people who have a habit of being violent have an easy confidence with it that an untrained person will have a hard time resisting. Hence I do not generally believe that abused parties can defend themselves even if they are bigger or stronger. This is one of the reason I was quite appalled when I learned about predominant aggressor policies ad am constantly fascinated about people online philosophizing about body mass as if real life violence was a boxing match.

  96. JT says

    @sheaf

    Most real life violence, both mental and physical is done by individuals who feel they can get away with it. Many abused people actually develop a toughness or thick enough skin to realize that they can now mete it out just as well as take it. That is typically the case for the cycle of violence in many individuals. In regards to size, the emotional component comes first. In other words, if you are a victim in your mind then your size doesnt matter much. But if you arent then boy oh boy, size can be a benefit. In the fight game it takes a great little man to beat a good big man. ;) The same is true in intellectual disputes.

  97. JT says

    This scene actually has a little bit of both physical and intellectual bullying going on. Pretty cool.

  98. Jacob Schmidt says

    Which, due to the full stop, is a [sentence fragment, the exact meaning of which is indeterminate].

    Honestly, johngreg, your pedantry is weak.

    That isn’t a fair question to ask, its too tightly bound to gender scripts which around masculinity are so rigidly enforced even feminists (who are supposed to question this stuff) demand in newspaper columns quite regularly that we should ranging around the streets like Batman “challenging” dangerous men because men are violent innit so its no problem for us to use our powers for good.

    I was trying to understand Schmidts psychology in not being primarily bothered by the violence.

    Nah, its a perfectly fair question to ask. I will comment on this later tonight, should I find myself the time. No promises; hopefully, sheaf, your curiosity will last.

    (Though I’ve no idea what the hell you’re talking about RE: feminists and newspapers, and quite frankly I don’t believe you.)

  99. says

    johngreg

    Which, due to the full stop, is a comment upon the previous paragraph.

    Now, we could give Jacob his due and assume he is not literate or accurate enough to use proper punctuation … but that’s dissing him.

    Or, we could assume he meant it as a comment on your comment … but that’s dissing him.

    Or we could infer what he meant from the context of the comment, which I guess is what Ally correctly did.

  100. John Morales says

    mildlymagnificent, I for one didn’t see it, since I don’t watch soccer.

    (But clearly, glorious minutes after a contender for goal of the tournament so far do not entail success in the tournament, because success is about not losing games)

  101. mildlymagnificent says

    I know that.

    But Australia is/was the lowest ranked team to make it into the Cup in the first place. And they’ve acquitted themselves better than Spain – which came in as defending champion.

    Losing is one thing. Losing with your head held high is another thing entirely.

  102. John Morales says

    Yeah, I know, mildlymagnificent.

    “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”.

    (One takes what consolation one can, no? :) )

  103. Minnow says

    Cahill was superb, not just the goal, he has had a great tournament. The cream of Millwall!

    As for success being about ‘not losing’ that is, well, balls. Only one team is going to ‘win’ this tournament, but many teams are thrilling, including England, and that is a win for everyone except for the joyless, drudges that dominated the professional game for so long and at such a cost.

    Best World Cup ever?

  104. Minnow says

    Australia, by the way could easily have 4 points at this stage and would have fully deserved them.

  105. John Morales says

    Minnow @117,

    As for success being about ‘not losing’ that is, well, balls.

    Yeah, I remember Eddie “The Eagle”.

    (Very successful, he was!)

  106. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @MildlyMagnificent

    Yes, I was perhaps conflating harassment (which you could classify as violence) and more obvious violence although I had in mind things I’ve seen about the latter.

    But “These are the same women who are constantly told that it’s their responsibility to always walk or park their cars in well lit areas, never unlock/ open your door without checking who’s there, not to go jogging alone/ after dark, to carry their carkeys in their fist, to tuck a $20 note in the bra so they’ve enough cash to get a taxi to somewhere safe if they have to abandon their purse in their date’s car or a flat where a party’s on for fear of what some creepy and/or nasty man will do next. ”

    I think is probably more about fear of something potentially worse than a lewd comment or a grope (not to diminish people’s experience of these). Really though, I think this supports what I was saying – we teach women to be very scared of violence in a way we generally don’t with men.

    I agree with Ally that “women should man up – us men aren’t scared” isn’t a very helpful response. But then also when i see people bringing out the Margaret Atwood quote about men being afraid that women will laugh at them and women being afraid that men will kill them my instant reaction is that men are several times more likely to be killed by someone – maybe it’s not particularly helpful to walk around in constant fear of being murdered.

  107. H. E. Pennypacker says

    Also, seeing as this is the footy open thread I thought I’d throw out a thought about something that particularly interests me: football as a stage for constructing and performing particular ideals of masculinity. In my opinion these often coincide with what are seen as national values because home life and taking care of children (women’s traditional role) is naturalised and seen as less cultural (the exception perhaps being national cuisine although this isn’t really seen as expressing cultural values as such).

    An example I’ve been thinking about recently is different opinions on diving. In England it’s vilified whereas in places like Spain, Italy and Portugal it’s not considered such a big problem. In England there’s a strong ideal of honesty – the ideal man is an upstanding citizen with unquestionable integrity. In many Mediterranean countries bending the rules (paying and accepting bribes, giving someone a job purely on the basis that he’s your brother) is not really seen as an inherently bad thing.

    But I think it also comes back to violence in a way. Particularly the idea I was talking about before about men being expected to bear pain and show there resilience which I think is much more common in England. Men are supposed to prove their masculinity on the football pitch by a constant testing of the body through hard physical challenges. You constantly here English commentators talk about hard tackles as “an honest challenge”.

    I don’t think these ideas are nearly so prevalent in the Mediterranean. Anthropology and history of the area constantly stress the concept of honour in explaining the culture and I think it’s particularly relevant to any discussion of male violence. Instead of proving their masculinity through the endurance of hard physical tests, men in these regions (traditionally) do it by not allowing any affront to their honour go unchallenged. A crucial part of this entails defending the honour of female family members (One study found that virtually every kinfe-fight in 19th century Ionia was started by someone suggesting that another mans wife or sister was a whore). But it also entails a sensitivity to any slight on one honour that can seem distinctly unmasculine from an English perspective that emphasises the ability to endure.

    I think a lot of this explains why English pundits have to pretend that Gerrard doesn’t dive while in other countries they have very little problem with play acting.

  108. Minnow says

    “Particularly the idea I was talking about before about men being expected to bear pain and show there resilience which I think is much more common in England.”

    This is an old prejudice, the idea of the effeminate southern man, that doesn’t bear any close scrutiny. Italian men are every bit as big on machismo as British men and aggressive physicality is practically the hallmark of Italian football.

  109. Minnow says

    “Yeah, I remember Eddie “The Eagle”.”

    I don’t think anyone ever accused Eddie of having great flair or skill, did they?

  110. Minnow says

    “You constantly here English commentators talk about hard tackles as “an honest challenge”

    One last aside, you are right that you hear a lot of dross from the commentary but what is generally meant by ‘honest challenge’ isn’t that it is hard but that it was a genuine attempt to play the ball rather than the man.

  111. John Morales says

    Minnow,

    I don’t think anyone ever accused Eddie of having great flair or skill, did they?

    He was gutsy as, and skilful enough to actually do the jumps — so, it was only in comparison with elite athletes that he seemed comical.

  112. carnation says

    Eddie The Eagle ended up bankrupt, sad :(

    He was an inspiration, worked very hard and never gave up.

    Off-topic, but it’s an open thread, has anyone been following Elam’s latest venture, the Detroit Conference? Everything those guys touch turns to fail, it’s bizarrely compelling to watch their latest antics

  113. redpesto says

    H E Pennypacker # 121:

    An example I’ve been thinking about recently is different opinions on diving. In England it’s vilified whereas in places like Spain, Italy and Portugal it’s not considered such a big problem.

    In England it’s not so much ‘frowned upon’ as ‘something foreigners do’. The idea that styles of play embody ‘national characteristics’ is a source of endless tabloid headlines and one of the many reasons why English football keeps failing to progress: in English ‘tippy-tappy’ is a term of abuse; in Spain ‘tiki-taka’ won them three major trophies (even if they have gone out of the current tournament).

    In any case, there’s always Orwell:

    “Football has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disegard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.”

  114. Minnow says

    “He was gutsy as, and skilful enough to actually do the jumps — so, it was only in comparison with elite athletes that he seemed comical.”

    Hey, I am not knocking Eddie, I really don’t know much about ski jumping. But from what you say, he clearly wasn’t a loser, even if he often lost. Kind of my point.

  115. Minnow says

    I’ve always thought that Orwell quote was a bit silly because the only reason we object to warfare is because of the shooting. If we can have warfare with shooting then hooray.

    And he is wrong about football anyway, like lots of literary types who don’t like sport. There is more than one kind of philistinism.

  116. Minnow says

    All right then, let’s call it. Who wins tonight England vs Uruguay?

    There’s gonna be goals.

  117. Minnow says

    123454321, personally I find it impossible to get past the shrill, hectoring, partisan prose and make a judgement on content. Can’t help feeling that if there was anything to it, it would be presented a little more seriously.

  118. SteveF says

    Particularly the idea I was talking about before about men being expected to bear pain and show there resilience which I think is much more common in England.

    In the States, the issue is less with diving, though we certainly think that should be removed from the game, but the often fake histrionics of writhing around on the ground in feigned pain trying to buy a card.

    There’s plenty of diving in US sports (basketball and hockey come to mind immediately) but there have been attempts to clean it up. There’s absolutely nothing like the rolling around on the ground like you’ve just been shot that we see in soccer. It does damage to the ability of the sport to penetrate the US market.

    To back up your point, doing so would be very lowly regarded — so lowly regarded such a thing is borderline unthinkable.

    Hell, taking a guy off on a stretcher is seen negatively. Guys who blow out their ACLs/Achilles tendons are expected to walk off the field (with assistance). The only time you see stretchers are when guys are head/neck injuries where you are worried about stabilizing the neck.

  119. marduk says

    @H. E. Pennypacker

    He isn’t one of my favourite people but I liked AA Gill’s “The Angry Island” where he extended the thesis that the British national character is defined by our propensity towards anger. Thus the stiff upper lip, queuing and so on are designed to keep these forces in check. Hence too the codifying of rules for games. Gill says that other nations could probably play games without heavily codified rules and argue loudly and passionately about perceived infractions but in Britain you could get your ears pulled over such things so better to have a referee and a rule book.

  120. JT says

    Well Ally, now that England is out you can see if any more DV cases against women happen in your neck of the woods. After all, I would imagine there are a lot of really pissed off male Brits right about now.

  121. Holms says

    #54
    “I don’t get why it’s so hard for some feminists, like Marcotte, to acknowledge that circumcision is wrong.”

    It’s simple. If male circumcision is acknowledged for what it is, mutilation and an egregious denial of bodily autonomy, than everyone, including feminists, would also have to acknowledge that there is a widespread violation of male persons going on in the US. This would have the effect of making feminist ideology seem even more ridiculous than it already does.

    But feminists do oppose circumcision, and for precisely the same reason you mention, rendering your point moot.

    #61
    Holms: Arguing against MGM and FGM in the same manner of urgency and disgust makes me borderline “obsessive” attempting to paint men as “the winners of the Most Wronged competition”? Hahahahahaha.

    No, but misrepresenting / misconstruing Marcotte’s position as you have done (‘a subset of those opposed to circumcision are really really obsessive, the rest are reasonable’ becomes ‘all people opposed to circumcision are really really obsessive’), purely to cast her as some kind of anti-male radical feminist qualifies.

    #67
    I dismissed all things FGM.? Are you serious? I think this is a dishonest accusation. You either put up evidence for that (unlikely) or I hope people will see you for the liar that you likely are.

    If you prefer, replace ‘dismissed FGM’ with ‘minimised FGM,’ or invert the sentence by saying that you ‘magnified circumcision.’

    The funny thing from my view is that both of you qualify as one of the obsessives mentioned by Marcotte.

    #98
    OK, Ally, let’s be pedantic here.

    If Jacob wrote: …

    This is transparently dishonest of you. You note that Ally’s example was hypothetical, that Jacob Schmidt’s was anecdotal, but then set aside that observation and all context to pretend that Jacob’s “A personal anecdote…” statement applied to Ally’s writing. You then have the nerve to whine self pityingly that you are bieng picked on unfairly…!

    #135
    In the States, the issue is less with diving, though we certainly think that should be removed from the game, but the often fake histrionics of writhing around on the ground in feigned pain trying to buy a card.

    I’m at a loss. Aren’t they one and the same? Falling down too easily starts the dive, the histrionics ‘sell’ it.

  122. says

    If you prefer, replace ‘dismissed FGM’ with ‘minimised FGM,’ or invert the sentence by saying that you ‘magnified circumcision.’

    First, magnifying MGM is clearly not the same as dismissing FGM. You step into the long tradition of idiots who claim shining a light on male issues somehow diminishes female ones.

    Second, I did nothing of the sort. The comparisons I made were of prevalence and legality and I did not invent anything there. What I wrote was simply a reference to facts about the matter. If you want, you can dispute anything I said, instead of openly lying about my position.

  123. Minnow says

    “Well Ally, now that England is out”

    Out? Out?! Are you mad? England aren’t out. We only have to beat Costa Rica and for Italy to twin all their games and we are through!

  124. redpesto says

    Minnow:

    Out? Out?! Are you mad? England aren’t out. We only have to beat Costa Rica and for Italy to twin all their games and we are through!

    It’s more complicated than that because goal difference might come into play and England currently stand on -2: the worst in the group.

  125. marduk says

    I see the Groin that our expert commentators claim the hoaxy hashtags thing started ‘this week”.

    Apparently even checking Wikipedia is considered too much like hard work these days.

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

    If you dig around in the dark nether of the net for five minutes you’ll find that Operation Lollipop predates O4WF by about 18 months but that does of course require access to a super-obscure investigative resource called “Google search”.

  126. marduk says

    Those of you unused to ways of the Final Boss Of The Internet (TM) should also be aware that their stated manifestos are also in themselves also hoaxes (they are often disappointed it turns out the google-fu skills of journalists are insufficient to locate them).

    Bottom line, they are just people who find Poe’s Law LULZY as part of their general approach to trolling. If they have a message other than LOL its not to take the internet too seriously and that the people you need to be really worry about are the ones who never let you know what they are up to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

  127. johngreg says

    Could someone translate marduk for me? I’m not being critical, I just don’t have any at all idea what s/h/it’s talking about.

  128. marduk says

    Perhaps that was a little obscure.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/18/sexist-racist-online-sabotage-wont-win-posing-online-feminists-leftists

    I’m saying that they have completely misunderstood what is happening and that part of this may be down to poor research skills.

    This is not an isolated occurrence, it seems many internet users post 2002ish are confused by the nature of an internet sub-culture around trolling that has existed since the early days of the net and whose ‘ideology’ is not misogyny, racism or anything else but that the internet is complete bullshit and you shouldn’t believe a word of it. Their intent is to repeatedly demonstrate to you that it is bullshit and also to have some laughs at the expense of gullible people who take it all too seriously.

    It is interesting to me that when, say, William Burroughs does this, people find it artistic, fascinating and culturally sophisticated. When someone does it on the net, the same people lose their shit completely and refuse to accept it.

  129. johngreg says

    Ah, thanks marduk. I just didn’t understand.

    I must say, I think you have some really good points in paras 2 and 3.

    Another tangential but perhaps related point is that there seems, in general, to be a profound and marked lack of a sense of humour amongst most SJWs and contemporary feminists, especially in regards to the critically important ability to be able to laugh at oneself from time to time.

    Oh, and in case you didn’t get it, my use of the truncation “s/h/its” refers to a variation on she/he/it, and is not meant to disparage.

  130. SteveF says

    I’m at a loss. Aren’t they one and the same? Falling down too easily starts the dive, the histrionics ‘sell’ it.

    That may be the understanding of it outside the States. In the States, one is viewed as a way of trying too fool the officials (which is viewed dishonorably) and the other just doesn’t happen at all (the rolling around writhing in pain). It would certainly be viewed as unmanly. The criticism would be quite vicious.

    Also, doesn’t the foul call decision have to happen quickly? There really isn’t any time to sell the foul call by writhing on the ground afterward, but there is a little extra time to try and get the allegedly ‘offending’ player carded. At least that’s what my experience has been in my limited time watching football.

    To my mind at least, it’s important to separate the two acts.

  131. redpesto says

    Costa Rica 1 Italy 0

    England are out. Not so much ‘frenzy’ as wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  132. Minnow says

    England out? Not something I can get too worked up about. I always saw this ‘world cup’ as a warm up for the real thing which is the European Championships in two years which England are now obviously well placed to run away with.

  133. marduk says

    Tangential roundup.

    (1) Returning to the theme of women’s violence being largely uncomprehended AND football, The Guardian has responded to the arrest of a female footballer who has apparently beaten up close family members (“visibly injured” doesn’t leave much waggle room) with a piece that could have been published under the ‘In praise of’ heading with built-in pre-emptive excuses made that has prompted some readers to understand the article as an opportunity to praise her goalkeeping acumen.

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/22/hope-solo-domestic-violence-arrest

    (2) Alas, Ally is this week’s “Wanker of the week”. Sorry to be the bearer of annoying tidings, but its the same people from a fortnight ago so I wouldn’t worry about it. There was still a WTF moment though:
    “You’ve attempted to erase decades of work done to demonstrate that domestic violence and sexual assault are gendered”. I had always assumed this was essentially a misunderstanding, I didn’t realise there had been an active campaign over decades that included “work” (that presumably can be tabulated, described and accurately measured) to actively misrepresent this social phenomenon. And why would you want to? I don’t actually believe this is true at all, but it is an interesting moment of the mask slipping.

  134. Ally Fogg says

    (2) Alas, Ally is this week’s “Wanker of the week”

    Yeah, they were kind enough to send me a link. I opted not to engage on the basis that:

    1. They’d gone to enough trouble to trawl back through (literally) five years worth of my online witterings to find pretty crappy evidence of my wankerdom, when if they’d only asked I could have provided far better examples of me being a complete wanker from the last few days. Probably.

    2. Their political critique seems to be pitched at the approximate level of of CBBC Newsround

    3. If you’re going to go to all that trouble, including actually finding photos of me and then photoshopping them, they could at least have the decency to make it funny. Be as rude as you like kiddies, but for fuck;s sake there’s no excuse for being so painfully boring and witless about it.

  135. Ally Fogg says

    Jebedee

    Ally: so I’m guessing your twice-modded opinion on today’s eye-wateringly bad Guardian article on men’s football (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/23/world-cup-women-sexism) was less than complimentary?

    Haha, no, I was scrupulously polite, honest.

    I merely pointed out the irony of the author saying we should turn our back on men’s football because some male footballers have committing domestic violence appeared on the very same day as the news reports about the US women’s goalkeeper being arrested for alleged domestic violence.

    It was presumably deemed ‘off topic’ I guess!

  136. marduk says

    @ally

    Indeed. Nice bunch aren’t they.

    They are riding a coach and horses through things like Schedule 9(1) and ICO exemptions. These were intended to protect people going about legitimate tasks, not to provide alibis for campaigns of anonymous harassment.

  137. marduk says

    While we’re being terribly high-minded about the myth of gold diggers and trophy wives…

    Ack, I’m not into self-hating but I had to groan a bit at this:
    https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedAndrew/status/474733253308719104/photo/1

    Then again, the truth is more complicated than that would suggest. Note that it is about age.
    Now, we all have only one age and can’t change it, so this is in some ways not very useful to us individually.
    What matters if how attractive people think we might be.

    Studies show men believe women’s looks are normally (or ‘Gaussian’ for the engineers amongst us, or ‘bell curve’ for the pseudo-scientist racists amongst us) distributed with decent spread. Which is to say, there are good looking women, there are bad looking women and most women are ok looking. This actually means, all things being equal, the average woman is at least fairly attractive or extremely attractive.

    The same studies show, and this is quite unusual for any stat generated from asking women as a group about virtually anything, severe, and I mean really severe, skew in this. Fundamentally, most women think most men are pig ugly and only about 10% of men are attractive. This is virtually no middle ground in this, the average man is hideous.

    Maybe the reason that women don’t necessarily cite looks as important is that if they did, the human race would have long since died out.

  138. marduk says

    …and what is really interesting here is that it shows that the ‘media representations’ argument which nearly all Grauniad feminists so ardently believe that it is not even worth supporting or questioning, is shown to be utterly false. Or at least it only applies to representations of men and their effect on women as consumers as the normal distribution is exactly what we’d expect “of nature” and that any skew to this would be considered the effect of ‘the media’. Turns out no amount of billboards, photoshop, Sports Illustrated or Playboy has any effect on men at all in their perception of the attractiveness of the woman in the street.

  139. SteveF says

    Are you referencing the OKCupid study? Is there another study out there arriving at similar conclusions?

  140. redpesto says

    marduk #152 quoted this:

    “You’ve attempted to erase decades of work done to demonstrate that domestic violence and sexual assault are gendered”.

    Of course it’s ‘gendered’ – in the sense that there is data available re. male and female victims. I think what they mean by ‘gendered’ is ‘all about female victims.’ Somehow Ally’s article that points out the smaller proportion of male victims has the capacity to ‘erase’ everything done over the last 40+ years of feminist activism. That’s one mighty phallic power.

  141. W.M. says

    Oh by the way, Ally, since this is an open thread n’ all, I mean to ask (not to catch you out), but because I’d
    be genuinely curious as to your opinion on this matter.

    You know that I mentioned recently a Lords debate from earlier this year, in which it was made clear that New Labour (under Gordon Brown) had created a 40 million pound fund for ‘women-only skills training’. This came to and end in 2013: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2014-03-06a.1444.0

    So I guess the question would be, does that kind of thing amount to significant and real discrimination against men, in your view? If such a grant were to be renewed (say towards the beginning of the next parliament) and another .
    40 million chunk were to be designated ‘women only’, would this be problematic, or something you’d be (to use
    Mandy’s words) ‘intensely relaxed’ about? Also, is this not actually an indicator that the ‘women’s/feminist’ lobby have sometimes been having a tangible influence on policy, as opposed to what you’ve suggested in the past, that
    they make suggestions which don’t have any consequences in the real world (like the ‘amiable vicar’ analogy
    that you used here in an earlier thread).

    Just give you a small clue as to my own feelings about things like this fund – and that’s that they piss me off big time! :) Sorry, just really wondered what you might have to say about this.

  142. marduk says

    @redpesto

    They mean ‘gendered’ in the sense of something that is only and without exception done by men to women.

    As I say, I don’t really believe any deliberate “work” to create that agenda was actually done however, the vanishingly small cadre of radical feminists who do believe this as an ideological (bordering on theological) tenet didn’t even exist as such when the first shelters and so on were being initiated and it is from that system of shelters and activism surrounding them that the misapprehension it was a gendered behaviour began.

    This is how paranoid MRA conspiracy theories start though I suppose and they have only themselves to blame for it.

  143. Ally Fogg says

    redpesto / marduk

    I think there’s a really interesting question there as to what people mean by the word ‘gendered’

    I get the impression that different people are using it to mean slightly different things, or even that the same person is using it to mean slightly different things at different times.

    At a very simplistic level, I think it means ‘follows a gendered pattern’ – so in the case of something like domestic violence or sexual abuse, I have no problem with agreeing that there are differences in the type, nature and impacts of domestic violence depending on the genders involved. That’s not to say that any one type of violence or abuse is necessarily more serious, more important or more real than any other, just that it is manifested in ways that are affected by gender.

    However there are other times when people talk about a gendered phenomenon meaning that it is only done by one gender or only happens to one gender. I think this meaning is (in this context) inaccurate and unhelpful, but it does get used.

    Then there is the really interesting, slippery post-structuralist idea that abstract phenomena can have a gender. Violence is gendered male, not because only men use violence, but because it is understood culturally and psychologically to be a male phenomenon, so even when a woman behaves violently she is behaving like a man, therefore violence remains male, irrespective of how many women might use violence and how many men do not. We see this reasoning when some feminists try to explain away gay and lesbian domestic violence as being one party adopting a male or a female role.

    And finally, there is (at least) one more definition, which is that domestic violence and sexual abuse are gendered because they serve a systemic and structural function of enforcing patriarchal power roles. By this logic, men’s violence against women is inherently different to women’s violence against men because it is happening against a social context where male violence against women is political violence that serves to keep all women fearful and submissive and all men privileged – including those men who are not themselves violent – the theory holds that we are benefiting from other men’s violence to women.

    I could be wrong, but I have a hunch that when that blog above was talking about ‘gendered violence’ it was this definition they were thinking about.

    For what it is worth, I personally think there are elements of truth to all of the arguments above, but also that all of them are inadequate and incomplete.

    YMMV

  144. Ally Fogg says

    W.M.

    I’d file that one under ‘intensely relaxed.’

    That £40m was over five years. It was (originally) contained within the Learning and Skills Council, which at the time (before it was broken up) was distributing more than £12billion per year in attempting to improve the adult education, skills and employability of the British public.

    Within that, there were various reserved funds. Some of them were for former Welsh sheep farmers. Some were for people who had grown up in travelling communities and never went to school. Some were for disabled people. Some were even designed to get men into nursery childcare and other roles where men are under-represented. And one fund, worth £8m a year, was to get women into careers where they are traditionally under-represented.

    As I understand it, it actually proved very successful, economically speaking, so turned out to be an investment rather than a gift.

    Now, as a general rule, I prefer for opportunity funds to be used according to needs rather than identities and characteristics. I wrote several times (including in the Guardian) about how wrong it was that some learning funds in the era of New Labour were offered with priority going to (literally) everyone except young, white, heterosexual, non-disabled men, when all the data was that (working class) men of that description were more in need of upskilling than anyone.

    However if you are asking whether I think the existence of a (now defunkt) £8m annual training fund for women was evidence of government quaking before the power of the feminist lobby, or whatever it is you are suggesting, then I have to tell you that you are being utterly bloody ridiculous.

  145. Carnation says

    @ Ally

    “And finally, there is (at least) one more definition, which is that domestic violence and sexual abuse are gendered because they serve a systemic and structural function of enforcing patriarchal power roles. By this logic, men’s violence against women is inherently different to women’s violence against men because it is happening against a social context where male violence against women is political violence that serves to keep all women fearful and submissive and all men privileged – including those men who are not themselves violent – the theory holds that we are benefiting from other men’s violence to women.”

    That’s an excellent precis of a broad academic theory. I object strongly to the caveat that all men benefit from other men’s violence against women but think that there is a lot of truth in the preceeding part. I think a lot of male violence against women is rooted in inadequecy – the man feels his manliness is under attack if challenged and needs to assert/re-assert dominance. Of course, there will be some women who act out the same scenario, but they are going contrary to accepted gendered norms.

    Most violence, particularly occassional bursts, probably isn’t as a result of this, however. Projected self-loathing, I would guess, accounts for more, but possibly not the most systemic and/or severe.

    “I wrote several times (including in the Guardian) about how wrong it was that some learning funds in the era of New Labour were offered with priority going to (literally) everyone except young, white, heterosexual, non-disabled men, when all the data was that (working class) men of that description were more in need of upskilling than anyone.”

    This is maddening. The blatant and obvious SROI from state sponsored assistance to this demagraphic is so obvious, yet the chance was missed. I think it was/is missed in part because it flew in the face of New Labour’s 50% going to uni mantra. We will see the damage done for generations.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and this is a proudly sexist position – state sponsored heavy industry (or massive housebuilding), in former industrial heartlands, would soothe so many social ills. The level of state intervention would be anathema to any of the main political parties though.

    And so people, but mainly men or working age, suffer.

  146. marduk says

    I have invented a new gender/social theory concept in the bath with a glass of wine.

    Given that these are increasingly memetic these days rather than found in scholarly texts (e.g., intersectionality, mansplaining) then I might as well write it here as anywhere else.

    The concept is called “impostering” and it is related to intersectionality in the 2nd order.

    Impostering is commonly encountered in terms of age (chronology), geography and socioeconomic status. One of the most common incidences of impostering is where one generation assumes the mantle of the preceding generation with regard to a younger generation. A common example would be older boom generation types, whose childhood included consumer durables and whose adolescence involved a lot of drugs and disposable fashions who suddenly adopt their own parent’s childhood memories, up to and including allusions to ‘wars fought on your behalf’ that they were no more combatants in than the people they are lecturing.

    Other examples of impostering take the character of (another concept I’ve invented) ‘insectional collapse’ or ‘row and column conflation’ or less formally, Chaka Khan Syndrome. This would be where, for example, someone demands a board room quota at a bank because there is FGM in sub-Saharan African. Intersectional collapse masquerades as concern across varied intersections but actually leads to empowerment for everyone with any common connection (i.e., the row or column although the space is actually n-dimensional) except the person at the intersection themselves and the complement of said matrix (assume white middle-class educated cisgendered able-bodied males) which produces a curious subset whose existence leads to the ontological collapse of the original system of classification (ie. if a process of liberation liberates everyone except the oppressor and the victim, who has it liberated?) reminiscent of the logic of the Marxist dialectic.

    The ultimate fallacy of impostering is that everyone has just as much claim and no claim at all to the impostered as the person claiming it for themselves.

    This is of course complete nonsense but I had fun writing it.

  147. pikeamus says

    I expect we’ll be getting a new open thread soon, but I just thought I’d direct people’s attention to this story (trainee barrister jailed for false rape claims) in Guardian today. I’m sure it’ll generate some discussion at least.

    I think WAR (Women Against Rape) are pretty off base to suggest that there shouldn’t have been a prosecution of this woman. The accused man spent 37 days locked up, which must have been horrendously difficult psychologically, not to mention the tens of thousands of pounds and hours of police time wasted. You can’t ignore all the harm caused just because you are concerned that this might have a negative impact on the reporting of real rapes.

  148. John Morales says

    Ally @165,

    Then there is the really interesting, slippery post-structuralist idea that abstract phenomena can have a gender. Violence is gendered male, not because only men use violence, but because it is understood culturally and psychologically to be a male phenomenon, so even when a woman behaves violently she is behaving like a man, therefore violence remains male, irrespective of how many women might use violence and how many men do not. We see this reasoning when some feminists try to explain away gay and lesbian domestic violence as being one party adopting a male or a female role.

    Hm.

    ‘Then there is the really interesting, slippery post-structuralist idea that abstract phenomena can have a gender. Housework is gendered female, not because only women do housework, but because it is understood culturally and psychologically to be a female phenomenon, so even when a man does housework he is behaving like a woman, therefore housework remains female, irrespective of how many men might do housework and how many women do not. We see this reasoning when some non-feminists try to explain away gay and lesbian housework as being one party adopting a male or a female role.’

    (I admit the last sentence doesn’t quite duplicate the example phenomenon addressed other than in its gender-converse parallel construction due to the different nature of the specific phenomena)

  149. marduk says

    @pikeamus

    WAR say this of any false allegation case.

    They are seriously over-reaching when they claim it is a “miscarriage of justice” though. Their somewhat crazed press release makes no actual case for this, they come across as sounding like a bunch of teenagers who don’t understand what everyone is talking about. They also substantively misrepresent the case and what happened.

    http://www.womenagainstrape.net/content/rhiannon-brooker-%E2%80%93-victim-not-only-rape-miscarriag

    They are entitled to their opinion, however hysterical and ‘off the wall’ but why does the Guardian always run it, as they said there were dozens of groups involved but always they (and they alone) cite WAR every time. Presumably this comes via Bindel or similar.

  150. marduk says

    …especially because I don’t think they can really be serious.

    The idea of not prosecuting someone for perverting the course of justice because they pick a certain crime to tell lies about is completely untenable. Its daft to even think there could be a debate to be had, it would destroy the integrity of the entire legal system and our unwritten constitution. Given she was convicted on twelve counts of an offence that carries a maximum penalty of life some might say three and half years was extremely light punishment.

    I could take the political rhetoric that some dude getting falsely convicted is little compared to the thousands of cases where victims don’t get justice etc. etc. but that is an argument for a journalist or a man in a bus queue, you can’t actually ask a judge to take that attitude to law in his own court and you can’t ask the CPS to either.

  151. W.M. says

    @166. Cheers Ally, many thanks for the reply.

    ‘Course, I didn’t say anywhere that the government were quaking before the power of the feminist lobby,
    as you put it, it just that its relations with that particular interest group do often appear to be a bit
    too cosy and convivial an awful lot of the time. (Bit similar with the arms lobby, really – I don’t think the government
    are ‘scared’ of them necessarily, but they do tend to get what they want rather too often.)

    It is true that 8 million pounds a year may not sound a great deal of money, especially in the context of the wider
    budget for public education, but as you’ve hinted yourself here, it did bleed into a wider culture of identity-based
    funding from which men (& particularly poorer & working class men) were often deliberately excluded. If Labour gets back into power, it wouldn’t surprise me if they started doing exactly the same things all over again, since apart from like one article from yourself in the G., no-one in politics or the media really seem that bothered about it.