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Me and my #MaleTears: Facing the consequences of ironic hatred

I used to work in a feminist bookshop – it was much like any other bookshop, except it didn’t have a humour section.

That gem is perhaps the best example I know of the self-armouring joke. It plays on a cruel and unfair stereotype, but those whom it targets are left defenseless, unable to criticise the joke because to do so would validate it.

It sprang to mind when reading a paragraph in Amanda Hess’s piece in Slate which celebrates ‘ironic misandry’ as a weapon in the arsenal of modern feminism. As one of her interviewees states:

“It’s a good way to weed out cool dudes from the dumb bros.” As Zimmerman puts it: “The men who get annoyed by misandry jokes are in my experience universally brittle, insecure, humorless weenies with victim complexes,” while the “many intelligent, warm, confident feminist men in my life … mostly get the joke immediatly and play along. They’re not worried I actually want to milk them for their tears.”

Prior to reading these lines, I had always been happy to file items like ‘Male Tears’ mugs under the ever-expanding List of Shits I Could Not Give. I really don’t bristle when I see the hashtag #KillAllMen, however I do object to the fingertrap which establishes that if I do get annoyed it means I must be a brittle, insecure, humorless weenie.

So as one who is far too old, ugly and battle-hardened to worry about the opinions of hip young feminist Tumblrista, it falls to me to stick my head above the parapet and say actually no, this is not just harmless fun.

Inevitably, there is a moral spectrum here. There are many occasions when feminists or anti-racism activists raise perfectly legitimate issues of racism or sexism, only to be met by entitled whining about loss of privilege. Think of those who grumble about not being allowed to sexually harass strange women in the street, or who complain that political correctness means they’ve lost their free speech to call black people by the n-word. An ironic reference to male tears or white tears under those circumstances is probably entirely justified. It is the feminist or anti-racist equivalent of a reference to the world’s tiniest violin.

The line can be crossed, I think, in a couple of ways. The first is in ironic celebrations of violence. I can see no significant moral difference between Paul Elam‘s satirical ‘Bash a violent bitch month’, misogynists’ so-called banter in the form of rape jokes and threats, or a feminist’s satirical ‘Kill All Men.’ I’ve made no secret of where I stand on the so-called ‘TERF wars’ within feminism, but when Caroline Criado-Perez posted a collection of the images and tweets she’d collected that relished violent fantasies, I can no more excuse or justify those than I could the equivalent hate-speech from radical feminists towards trans people.

Of all the violent memes in circulation, the one I despise the most is ‘Die in a fire.’ It was always deeply unpleasant, but a few months ago I was rubbernecking a twitter argument involving someone I know. He was instructed to die in a fire. While I am sure his detractor did not, I knew that this man is a Manchester firefighter who only a few weeks before had experienced two of his courageous colleagues doing exactly that.

The other serious problem with ironic hate is that it quickly crosses over into ironic and studied indifference to real hatred. The last time I wrote about male suicide, I checked the Twitter links to see what people were saying and found a tweet by a self-identifying feminist that simply linked to the article with the words ‘Male suicide. LOL.’ Similarly, when I got caught in a recent avalanche of hate from a small coterie of radical feminists, they took to discussing my broad work and interests, leading to this charming contribution.

male_suicide_tweet2

I’m no angel, and in writing this I’ve had to consider my own occasional habit of writing things like ‘Eat the rich’ or ‘first up against the wall.’ I do think there is a slight difference in that I’d be pretty confident none of my readers have lost friends or relatives in revolutionary insurrections or outbreaks of class-based cannibalism, but when all is said and done, it is probably equally unjustifiable. I shall do my best to practise as I preach.

As with all issues of free expression, I do not urge bans or legal intervention as a solution. I urge everyone to accept responsibility for the consequences of their words. If you use violent imagery and hateful expressions, people will assume you are violent and hate-filled. If you wish to portray yourself as a campaigner for human rights and equality, and you play with the language of violence and oppression, don’t be surprised or complain if others assume you and your movement are violent and oppressive. This shouldn’t be a particularly difficult rule to grasp.

By the way, I did used to work in a feminist bookshop. It didn’t have a humour section.

Comments

  1. Jan says

    What I don’t understand about people who post stuff like that is the insinuation that innocent people would be safer surrounded by women. I’ve been abused (in every way) by more women than men and stood up for and protected by more men than women. I don’t use that to minimise male violence, to discount or contradict the personal testimony of people who have experienced the opposite gender representation in abusers vs good people. or pretend that there isn’t a problem with sexism, but I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t true, either, and given the statistics I doubt I’m even close to being alone in it. How does doing away with “men”, or leaving men to do away with themselves, with no distinction drawn as to their character, help women like me, given that they’re supposedly so concerned about women? Maybe they’d think I’m a “bad woman” or “anti-feminist” for telling the truth about what’s been done to me.

    I was going analyse their actions further, but you know, I don’t think I can be bothered, you’ve probably covered it all anyway, Ally. It’s all just so damn weird in both moral and tactical respects.

  2. says

    I read a Jessica Valenti article today about men who get offended at jokes about men. Now the original jocular assertion that ‘women are smarter than men’ doesn’t bother me. In the scheme of things it doesn’t amount to much. I might worry that attitudes like that might effect people’s willingness to take seriously issues faced by boys in school. But the argument that if you did find that kind of jokes offensive you were a sexist and misogynistic was way off base. I was more offended that I told I’m not allowed to be annoyed about it.

  3. says

    My parents were a mixed race couple. I usually start talking about how badly white women treated my mother when something like this comes up.

  4. Lucy says

    Jan: “What I don’t understand about people who post stuff like that is the insinuation that innocent people would be safer surrounded by women. ”

    Well maybe they know the crime statistics:

    2009-10, men were perpetrators in 91% of all violent incidents in England and Wales.
    99% of child sexual offences
    98% of robberies
    98% of sexual offences
    97% of dangerous driving offences
    96% of muggings
    94% of woundings
    94% of motoring offences causing death or bodily harm.
    92% of drug offences
    89% of criminal damage
    87% of all traffic offences
    86% of assaults
    81% of domestic violence
    81% of speeding offences

    Then maybe the watch the world news with its perpetual carnage, overwhelmingly carried out by overwhelming numbers of men, predominantly against (by policy) disenfranchised and unarmed women and children.

    I guess a girl might have limited patience with things like the biannual and centenary commemoration services where women and children are strong armed into mourning their sacrifice. And “but men are more likely to be the victim of (entirely non) random assaults”.

    If anything is dangerous, it’s propaganda.

  5. Lucy says

    RobertBadden: “My parents were a mixed race couple. I usually start talking about how badly white women treated my mother when something like this comes up.”

    Because feminists are all white?

  6. Thil says

    Firstly Personally I think that the statement “you are wrong to feel a sense of moral justification in being offended by an ironic joke” is entirely correct ….regardless of which group is the subject of the joke. I’d be interested to know if these women would be comfortable with the idea of judging women harshly for getting offended by “ironic misogynist jokes”?

    Secondly what I don’t think is entirely correct is trying to infer something about a person based on them getting offended. Especially something based on their gender

    Thirdly “The other serious problem with ironic hate is that it quickly crosses over into ironic and studied indifference to real hatred” that’s only a problem if someone misinterprets the joke teller’s intent and I don’t believe in blaming people for how others misinterpret them

  7. says

    Lucy: No, just a lot of them.

    I hear a lot these days about HIspanics this and illegals that, without much distinction made between those of us who have been legally in the country for generations and those who just recently arrived .
    There’ been penty of times over the years I’ve had Anglos of both geners say something to me about Hispanics, only to backtrack when I tell them I’m one. I don’t believe them then they say ” I wasn’t talking about you.”

  8. Lucy says

    Thil: “I’d be interested to know if these women would be comfortable with the idea of judging women harshly for getting offended by “ironic misogynist jokes”?”

    Because sexism is provoked by exactly the same things and has exactly the same effects regardless of the direction it is going in?

    You guys do *get* that your boots stamped on our faces for 400,000 years, right? Because it’s like you kind of don’t.

  9. says

    Robert: “Lucy: No, just a lot of them.”
    What proportion?


    “I hear a lot these days about HIspanics this and illegals that, without much distinction made between those of us who have been legally in the country for generations and those who just recently arrived .”

    In England? From feminists? White ones? That sounds like American vocabulary.

    “There’ been penty of times over the years I’ve had Anglos of both geners say something to me about Hispanics, only to backtrack when I tell them I’m one. I don’t believe them then they say ” I wasn’t talking about you.””

    I can’t see what this has to do with feminists, white or otherwise.

  10. Thil says

    “Because sexism is provoked by exactly the same things and has exactly the same effects regardless of the direction it is going in?”

    Firstly I don’t believe that the joke teller has any responsibility to be concerned with how their joke will be taken. Secondly I don’t see how the fact that misogyny is more harmful makes misandry any less harmful or acceptable?

    “You guys do *get* that your boots stamped on our faces for 400,000 years, right? Because it’s like you kind of don’t”

    Humans didn’t even exist that long ago and anyway it’s debatable whether or not misogyny goes all the way back to the origin of humanity.

    Also I think it’s ultimately unhelpful to frame this in terms of “us” and “you”. My reaction to that wasn’t to feel guilty or get inspective, I just feel annoyed with you for trying to blame me for things that happened before I was born that I had no part in

  11. Marduk says

    Problem is my response to that kind of thing isn’t #MaleTears, its just that I completely lose interest. Note also how hideously pale and privileged the “ironic misandrists”. Others aren’t so bloody stupid.

  12. Lucy says

    “Humans didn’t even exist that long ago”
    Archaic Homo sapiens, the forerunner of anatomically modern humans, evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago


    “and anyway it’s debatable whether or not misogyny goes all the way back to the origin of humanity.”

    Alright, let’s go with a conservative estimate and date it to the Epic of Gilgamesh in the 18th century BC.


    “Also I think it’s ultimately unhelpful to frame this in terms of “us” and “you”. My reaction to that wasn’t to feel guilty or get inspective, I just feel annoyed with you for trying to blame me for things that happened before I was born that I had no part in”

    Yes well the victors always do think that’s highly unhelpful. But I don’t notice any Official World Government apology or reparations that might go some way to drawing a line under the greatest and most genocidal injustice the world has ever seen, so expect women to remain a little bit exclusive for the foreseeable future.

  13. Lucy says

    “By the way, I did used to work in a feminist bookshop. It didn’t have a humour section.”

    Those holocaust books aren’t a laugh a minute either.

  14. says

    “I can see no significant moral difference between Paul Elam‘s satirical ‘Bash a violent bitch month’, misogynists’ so-called banter in the form of rape jokes and threats, or a feminist’s satirical ‘Kill All Men.’ I”

    Except that despite having been the legal property of others for most of their known history, having their culture and religion brutally eradicated and millions of them being missing from the world population figures, I’ve yet to see a group of women start a riot, let alone pose any serious danger to men.

  15. Thil says

    “Yes well the victors always do think that’s highly unhelpful. But I don’t notice any Official World Government apology or reparations that might go some way to drawing a line under the greatest and most genocidal injustice the world has ever seen, so expect women to remain a little bit exclusive for the foreseeable future”

    I don’t recall wining anything and I would ask you kindly to judge my words based on their own merit, not the fact that a man is saying them

    No government has the responsibility or the right to apologise for all the misogyny in the world ever because no single government is responsible for it.

  16. Thil says

    “Except that despite having been the legal property of others for most of their known history, having their culture and religion brutally eradicated and millions of them being missing from the world population figures, I’ve yet to see a group of women start a riot, let alone pose any serious danger to men”

    women aren’t a race Lucy, they’re a gender. they don’t have their own culture because they have no ancestral connection to each other.

    a women in japan is no more closely related to a woman in England than she is to a man in England

  17. Thil says

    14

    He wasn’t endorsing the sentiment behind that joke. Do want to not take stuff out of context?

  18. Petteri Sulonen says

    There is still the matter of punching up vs punching down. Ironic misandry is, in general, punching up. Ironic misogyny is, in general, punching down. That’s a fairly crucial difference.

  19. Thil says

    Petteri Sulonen

    I don’t see that it’s punching at all and even if was I don’t see what difference the power imbalance makes?

  20. Prairie Bob says

    As someone who is more or less feminist in inclination and has felt the fallout of someone else’s ironic misogyny, all I have to say is: Oh no. Not again.

  21. mildlymagnificent says

    I don’t believe them then they say ” I wasn’t talking about you.”

    I do. This is one of the foundations of prejudiced thinking.

    It allows people to maintain their sometimes grotesquely twisted view of a group while acknowledging the virtues of individuals they happen to know or respect for some reason unrelated to that mental picture. They maintain their prejudices against groups by giving you’re-not-like-the-others pass cards to individuals. It’s most obvious when governments do it. Those “honorary white” visas that the South African apartheid governments used to offer to selected sports and entertainment stars are the most egregious cases I can think of.

    But people do this all the time in different ways. A woman lawyer/ engineer/ truckdriver who objects to her workmates describing women as illogical or lazy or weak gets told “We’re not talking about _you_.” That way they can maintain both the illusion that they know what the group, “all women”, are really like and also respect an individual, “exceptional” woman who doesn’t fit that mould.

    I used to be very careful when responding to people who remarked that I was “not like other public servants” because they perceived me as a) working hard, b) knowing what I was talking about, c) reasonable in my arguments or some other characteristic that didn’t fit with their prejudice that public servants were overpaid, idle, know-nothing jobsworths. It was hard to be gracious about it being a compliment without reinforcing the idea that I was in any way exceptional. I was just doing my job and most other public servants were also good at their jobs.

    You can see the same process at work about all sorts of things. Young people, old people, politicians, unemployed people, redheads, teachers, council workers, unionists. All those groups and many others have various kinds of prejudiced views held quite commonly by lots of people who may have nothing more in common than their view about the horribleness of their favourite kicking targets. When you introduce your friend Joan or John to a friend or relative with such views, they’ll happily converse with this socially acceptable person about ordinary family, weather, sports topics. When it turns out that they’re a teacher or a council official or are currently unemployed, it’s very likely they’ll blithely grant them a “you’re not like those others” card and continue talking about soccer or the chance of a fine day tomorrow.

  22. Prairie Bob says

    Thil (comment #10):
    “Firstly I don’t believe that the joke teller has any responsibility to be concerned with how their joke will be taken. ”

    Oh, I think they do have some. I don’t want to say that they are responsible for all possible misinterpretations, especially from someone desperately looking to misinterpret, But if you’re going to do sarcasm, irony, satire and such; then it is on you to take at least some care to ensure that your intentions are going to be understood.

    How much is up to debate I guess.

  23. Thil says

    @Prairie Bob

    There’s a difference between people taking what you said the wrong way because you failed to get your meaning across, and people taking what you said the wrong because they’re stupid & you didn’t go out of your way to dumb it down as much as possible

  24. Prairie Bob says

    So then, there is some responsibility then.

    If it’s a joke that relies on context, then you should take at least some care to make sure that your audience will be aware of the context.

    I’m thinking of the recent Colbert thing. Without the reference to the Washington Redskins, it’s just a racist joke. Whoever tweeted that out of context made a racist tweet. In context, it illustrated just how racist and stupid that football (hand egg) name is.

    According to Colbert, that was not him that made that tweet but someone at Comedy Central who was given the exact wrong job.

  25. Ally Fogg says

    Thil / Bob

    I think situations where one person affronts or offends another person inadvertently or accidentally are extremely rare.

    I think it is far, far more common that someone says something knowing full well that someone else will be offended or affronted but they do it anyway because they simply do not care that someone else won’t like it or, perhaps most commonly of all, because they actively want to affront, offend or insult other people.

    I think that’s fair enough. If you’re arguing with someone and you think they are a complete dickhead, or if you actively despise another group of people (whether conservatives, religious fundamentalists, feminists, gay people, whatever) and you say something that you know will upset them, fair enough, that’s your right. But you do have to own that intention, I think.

    I have very little patience or admiration for people who come out with stuff like “hey OK, so I said feminists are a bunch of ugly hairy bitches, I was just exercising my free speech. If you get offended by a little thing like that you should just toughen up. It’s your problem not mine.”

    That is just blatantly disingenuous bullshit.

  26. smhll says

    The other serious problem with ironic hate is that it quickly crosses over into ironic and studied indifference to real hatred.

    I tend to agree. My “Be the change you want to see in the world” mug got dropped and broken, but I won’t be replacing it with one that says “I bathe in male tears.” Yuck. (Maybe I’m too old to for the kind of ironic “humor” that pisses in people’s faces in a larky sort of way.)

  27. Thil says

    @Ally Fogg @26

    I think that when stand ups deliberately tell offensive jokes they’re generally doing it for one of three reason. Either they want the exposure that comes from being known as a Frankie boyle wannabe, they are annoyed by “political correctness” and want to piss off people who they perceive as being overly concerned with it, or they genuinely have something against the subject of their joke. I like to believe I can generally tell which is which and my impression is that at least among mainstream comedians, the third reason is comparatively rare.

    “hey OK, so I said feminists are a bunch of ugly hairy bitches, I was just exercising my free speech. If you get offended by a little thing like that you should just toughen up. It’s your problem not mine.”

    My response to that is “if you didn’t want people to listen to you why did you speak? And if what you said didn’t matter why did you choose to say something so hurtful?”

  28. Bugmaster says

    @Lucy #15:

    … having their culture and religion brutally eradicated …

    In our conversation on one of the older threads, you told me that you cannot bring up any examples of true female culture, since, under the iron fist of the patriarchy, female culture was not allowed to form into its proper, beautiful shape. But now you’re saying that such a culture did exist but was “eradicated”; does this mean that you’ve finally thought of an example ? If so, what is it ?

  29. Pete says

    The comments of Petteri Sulonen and Lucy in this thread are pretty instructive.

    Radical feminists making misandrist comments or jokes always see themselves as “punching up” but, at least in the UK, this is very often a distortion of reality. Men probably still do, on average, have certain advantages in this country but the life chances of well off women here are vastly better than those of poor men. If one were to plot bell curve distributions of privilege separately for each sex, the two curves would almost completely overlap, with the male curve only slightly shifted to the right. Many of the most frequently misandrist women fall well to the right of the female privilege curve, which also puts them to the right of most men in the UK. I.e., in practice, their misandry is “punching down” to a significant extent. This can and does get taken to extremes, as we saw this week with Michelle Obama’s joke: a very mild example of misandry but one which came from someone in an extremely privileged position relative to virtually all of the joke’s targets.

    Much of the time this is pretty harmless. The TERF (and to some extent SWERF) wars are an exception: it beggars belief to watch a relatively privileged group of women try to claim victimhood while persecuting what are, by any measure, much less privileged sections of society. Without wishing to open a whole different can of worms, it’s a little reminiscent of Israel’s attitude to the Palestinians.

  30. Schala says

    2009-10, men were perpetrators in 91% of all violent incidents in England and Wales.
    99% of child sexual offences
    98% of robberies
    98% of sexual offences
    97% of dangerous driving offences
    96% of muggings
    94% of woundings
    94% of motoring offences causing death or bodily harm.
    92% of drug offences
    89% of criminal damage
    87% of all traffic offences
    86% of assaults
    81% of domestic violence
    81% of speeding offences

    This is all for arrested or convicted, not crimes that happened or even reported (since a male victim of DV who gets arrested and no charges against his female partner, is not gonna count, even if he did call them).

    Women get this thing called female privilege. It makes them be seen as less guilty, for the exact same crimes when committed by them. Extremely more so for sexual crimes, where they’re seen as so criminally incompetent and so criminally innocent that it’s not even worth suspecting them as *potential* criminals.

    Because 99% of child sexual offenses? Even if men were truly evil, somehow, women would commit more than 1%. And well, they do commit more than 1%, they just don’t get arrested, charged, convicted and do no prison for it. And the vast majority is ignored because it’s not even reported. Their very victims are told the crime is impossible, because “women wouldn’t do this”. As if they talked about flying with good thoughts a la Peter Pan, seen as just as impossible.

    Same for the sexual offenses. 98%. Come on, even if they would only get counted for female on female rape, the rape would be higher than 2% of all sexual offenses.

    All those rates tell me is that we undersuspect and greatly underreport women pedophiles and rapists.

  31. Schala says

    Men probably still do, on average, have certain advantages in this country but the life chances of well off women here are vastly better than those of poor men.

    Even poor women have advantages over poor men.

    You don’t need to counteract male privilege with class privilege. Male privilege gives a slight boost if you’re at or close to the top, but female privilege gives a better safety net if at or near the bottom. Thus on the poor people vs poor people, women win.

  32. says

    @Schala

    Can you give me an idea (or links) by what you mean by “female privilege”? In what ways are women’s privileges better at the bottom? We’re not talking about benevolent sexism, where men open doors for women, are we?

  33. Archy says

    “Paul Elam‘s satirical ‘Bash a violent bitch month’, ”

    Where he protested Jezebel’s STAFF joking manner over hitting their bf/exbfs? I’m not a fan of his style of writing but so many people seemed to focus on this whilst forgetting that Jezebel article which gives context.

    Male tears = In Iraq many men are being targetted and killed. In Nigeria, many boys and men are being targetted and killed. In Gaza, many men are being targeted and killed. Of course in all 3 conflicts there are women and girls being harmed but there are far more men and boys dying, being singled out for death….even infant males!

    Even in the west there are men who have grown up genitally mutilated against their will (because it is mutilation to do non-necessity surgical removal of body parts against a persons will, especially when they are too young to consent). In the west we have a lot of men that lack support for domestic and sexual violence victimization

    These “jokes” against men are nothing but bigotry, excuses like “punching up” are not valid, bigotry is bigotry. Punching up is quite different between race and gender, race is far far far far far more oppressing than gender, keep in mind white women had enormous levels of protection whilst black people of either gender were still slaves. Trying to compare 2 very different sets of oppression is problematic.

    These “jokes” make them look like snarky bitchy/jerky/assholey pathetic people. Yet give it a week or a month and there will be a feminist asking “Why aren’t there more male allies in feminism?” and they will ask that with an epic level of ignorance to how men are treated in the movement.

    Most days I read articles on feminism etc but it’s stuff like this which is making me lose faith in feminism bigtime. Are there other feminists calling these ones out or do they just write them off as “Not all feminists are like that”? Because as a man, seeing so many of a group want my support yet allow so much tripe to be said without critique…makes me really not want to support them at all. You don’t gain allies by being jerks to them.

    This “Oh it’s so funny cuz da menz have all da power hyuck hyuck” attitude towards being an asshole to men is absolutely pathetic and I’d never support people like that. It’s not brave or edgy, it’s just another form of bigotry and keeps the cycle of hate going on n on. Good feminists need to speak up far more and distance themselves from the ones like this if they want the movement to mean anything legitimate in many peoples eyes. Hell most women I know would never wanna be this version of feminism.

  34. Chaos-Engineer says

    Original article: By the way, I did used to work in a feminist bookshop. It didn’t have a humour section.

    Did they not carry anything by Margaret Cho, or even Diane DiMassa’s masterwork, “Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist”? That doesn’t sound like much of a bookshop. Or maybe they were an academic bookshop, and only carried scholarly works instead of general-interest titles?

    #30: If one were to plot bell curve distributions of privilege separately for each sex, the two curves would almost completely overlap, with the male curve only slightly shifted to the right.

    How would you even go about quantifying such a thing? Is there a metric like, “All other things being equal, a women who gets groped X times a year on the subway is exactly as privileged as a man who never gets groped but also earns Y dollars less per year than she does.”

    Also, if a women makes a whole lot of money, is she “punching down” if she tells jokes at the expense of subway gropers?

  35. Archy says

    “Can you give me an idea (or links) by what you mean by “female privilege”? In what ways are women’s privileges better at the bottom? We’re not talking about benevolent sexism, where men open doors for women, are we?”

    There are more support services and availability of homeless shelters, domestic violence support, etc for women AFAIK in some countries. It’s pretty obvious there are female privileges, surprised to see someone actually ask that question.

  36. cosmicrays says

    You should go back to your list of things you don’t care about and revisit “Boys are stupid throw rocks at them”.

    It’s the exact same issue, except your elders were fighting that fight before you got on the scene.

    Oh, and Paul Elam? If you or any journalist would do the research, his ‘Bash a violent bitch month’ was explicitly a parody of a Jezebel “Have You Ever Beat Up Your Boyfriend, We Have”: jezebel.com/294383/have-you-ever-beat-up-a-boyfriend-cause-uh-we-have

    Any JOURNALIST that does not do this research, and does not mention it should die in a fire. Because it marks you a shitty, lazy journalist.

  37. mildlymagnificent says

    Punching up is quite different between race and gender, race is far far far far far more oppressing than gender, keep in mind white women had enormous levels of protection whilst black people of either gender were still slaves.

    What “protections” did white – or any – women have at that time in Europe or in English speaking countries? Slave women were liable to have some or all of their children sold off, and women who separated or divorced were not allowed to keep their children. Children were the property of the husband. Men were free to physically control and “chastise” their wives and other women in their households. (Though this summary points out that a lot of family violence was quite public rather than private until the latter half of the 19th century. http://www.bunker8.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/history/36809.htm) Even when a law was passed in England making it illegal to “take” women and girls from the street, it only protected younger girls. Once you got to 16(?) it was advisable for a girl/woman never to be on a street alone or you could be abducted without it being an offence, before that it was open slather even on very young girls. Women who married had to
    give all their property to their husbands as well as any earnings they might acquire during the marriage. The Married Women’s Property Act wasn’t passed until 1882 in England, parallel legislation in other places was even later. The concept of rape in marriage didn’t even come into consciousness until the late 20th century.

    John Stuart Mill was one person who lived during these times and his opinion was directly opposite to yours. He published an essay on the topic in 1869. It’s worth reading. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Subjection_of_Women The whole text is here http://www.constitution.org/jsm/women.htm – but it’s near unreadable on the screen.

    One quote among the many quotable quotes.

    “That the principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes—the legal subordination of one sex to the other—is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.”

    And seeing as women slaves have had a mention, I can’t go past an opportunity to link to the wonderful speech of Sojourner Truth http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/sojtruth-woman.asp

  38. Anton Mates says

    Chaos-Engineer @35,

    Also, if a women makes a whole lot of money, is she “punching down” if she tells jokes at the expense of subway gropers?

    No, but a joke like “We need more male suicide” isn’t at the expense of subway gropers; it’s at the expense of men who are suicidal. And that absolutely is punching down. Privilege is multidimensional, sure, but that doesn’t nullify the punching up/punching down concept.

    More generally, whichever direction ironically misandrist statements are intended to punch in, they’re going to end up disproportionately hitting less privileged people unless they’re phrased very, very precisely. If you tell a “joke” about how all men are rapists, you may have someone like Dominique Strauss-Kahn in mind, but he’s not gonna be the one hurt by the attitude you’re endorsing. It’ll be the big black guy who gets identified as a likely suspect for every sexual assault within a 100-block radius, or the trans woman who has to be legally barred from women’s bathrooms in case her dick drags her into the next stall to rape the occupant.

    The same is true of misogynist jokes, of course. And racist jokes. And anti-feminist jokes. Aim your verbal aggression widely and you’ll inevitably hit the most vulnerable targets.

  39. Archy says

    Yes in peacetime the men had more rights. In wartime many men lost much of their rights and became slaves themselves many women a higher level of protection by not being thrown into battle against their will if they weren’t invaded. It is an enormous level of protection to not be forced into battle, whether out of benevolent or hostile sexism, or whatever reason. This is how complex oppression is.

    Did women in that time period have a higher death-toll from violence than men?

    I probably didn’t make it clear but blacks and slaves for instance in the U.S had far less protection than white women in that country did they not? Was it legal to kill white women? This will vary country by country.

    Comparing racial issues to gender issues is problematic for this reason and others which was my point.

  40. Steersman says

    Ally:

    … it falls to me to stick my head above the parapet and say actually no, this is not just harmless fun.

    Good for you, and I quite agree. Looks like what that “ironic misandry” provides to some “feminists” is some tailor-made plausible deniability: “refers to the ability of a powerful player or intelligence agency to pass the buck and avoid blowback”.

    Though I’m not at all sure of the wisdom of you condoning reference to or use of “male tears or white tears” in circumstances of “entitled whining about loss of privilege”. Seems to me that any, or virtually any, condemnation of entire classes or groups qualifies as egregious stereotyping – sexism, or racism – and thereby seems counterproductive at best – criticize the individual, not the class, unless the entire class has engaged in the specific transgression – or, at worst, looks like the use of “the nuclear option”. And as you later suggested, that latter action tends to cause the discussion to degenerate rather rapidly.

  41. Ally Fogg says

    Just a general reminder to everyone to keep on topic. I’ve hovered over a couple of the recent comments and decided to let them stay as I can still just about see the skeleton of a chain of a link to the article, but this is not a thread on which to debate female privilege or gender effects in criminology – both of which have come up plenty of times before and doubtless will again.

    Thanks all.

  42. Ally Fogg says

    Incidentally, I’m leaving up the comment by Cosmicrays as an example of what a completely brainless asshat looks like, just in case anyone has forgotten.

    But also because it allows me to address the point that “BUT THEY SAID A BAD THING FIRST!!!!” is the excuse used by absolutely everyone when this kind of abuse is discussed. My six-year-old is starting to cotton on to the fact that it is morally bankrupt. I retain hope that AVFM fanboys may one day catch up with him.

  43. mildlymagnificent says

    I probably didn’t make it clear but blacks and slaves for instance in the U.S had far less protection than white women in that country did they not? Was it legal to kill white women? This will vary country by country.

    Legal to kill white women? Lots of places, even now, have provocation or crime of passion provisions which amount, in effect, to turning the murder of any woman by her husband or partner into the lesser manslaughter charge or not-a-crime-at-all justifiable homicide. http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Government-abolishes-provocation-defence/2005/01/20/1106110863452.html

    It is an enormous level of protection to not be forced into battle, whether out of benevolent or hostile sexism, or whatever reason. This is how complex oppression is.

    And it’s especially complex for places like USA, Canada, Australia and NZ. These countries may send armed forces to conflicts all over the world, but the rest of the country is rarely, and certainly not proportionately, affected by bombing or invasion or fighting going on around them. The equivalent violence is generally suffered by civilians – women, children and other non-combatants – who are unrelated to the forces of countries like ours. Look at Australia and USSR in WW2. Our fighting casualties were about 39000 killed. There were probably fewer than 1000 people killed by Japanese bombing raids on Darwin and Broome – and most civilians had been evacuated before then anyway and many of those killed were troops of other countries. Soviet Russia on the other hand had somewhere between 8.7 and 13.5 million military deaths. Civilian deaths directly due to military activities were somewhere between 4 and 9 million (along with 6 million deaths indirectly due to the war). If we use only the low estimates, that adds up to 8.7 million military deaths compared to 4 million civilian deaths. (Russia’s a good comparison because their armed forces included far more women than other countries, so the fact that not all civilian casualties are women is, marginally, more comparable.) And then there were places like the Netherlands and Poland where the civilian casualties were many, many times greater than the military casualties – civilian 198,000 + 5 million, military 17,000 + 240,000, or Hungary where they were more or less equal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

    Of course, quite apart from death and injury from military activity, when countries are fighting, invaded or occupied there’s an additional huge risk of violence for women of being raped by troops of any country (including their own).

    So the risks for women as against men during war is complicated in that some women can entirely escape all forms of wartime violence merely by being somewhere where there is no fighting – like southern Australia or the 48 mainland states of USA. In other places, civilian women and men may be affected equally, or far, far more, than the military forces of their own country because other countries are fighting their battles, or their troops are en route, around their homes.

    Just look at the total estimated casualties at the bottom of that wiki table. Total military deaths 22 to 30 million. Total civilian deaths directly attributable to military activity, 19 to 30 million. Then of course there are the indirectly caused civilian deaths, another 19 to 25 million. There’s a huge mismatch between which individual countries suffered more of one kind of loss than others, but overall, there’s not a lot of difference. Certainly not what you’d expect by looking at the individual figures for Canada, NZ, Australia, South Africa and USA, nor what you’d think by looking only at Ethiopia, Yugoslavia, Greece and Philippines.

  44. mildlymagnificent says

    Whoops! Sorry Ally. I’d been faffing about writing that with interruptions and distractions of various kinds. Didn’t refresh before posting.

    You can delete it if it’s going too far OT.

  45. Pete says

    This is deliberately off topic so please moderate away, Ally!

    I just wanted to say that I think this blog – compassionate and balanced but never boring – is the best thing on the internet on the topic of gender. It’s in the nature of social issues that most blogs are written and books sold by zealots on both sides. This is disastrous for the silent majority hoping to make the world a little better: firstly the zealots alienate the other half of the population, making compromise and progress more difficult; and secondly they (and the absence of moderate voices) polarise many of their readers into these extremist camps.

    Ally, you are a rare and special flower. Ever thought about political office?

  46. lelapaletute says

    Always pretty stunned when people hold up the higher weighting of women’s refuges and rape support services as examples of women in aggregate having ‘female privilege’. Yay! When I get into the ‘been raped/have to flee my violent home’ club, of which women are disproportionately the members, I’ve got a sweet package waiting for me! *sigh* This is kind of like saying Stephen Hawking’s privileged because he gets to ride around in a snazzy chair all day. It is bullshit.

  47. says

    From

    But ironic misandry is more than just a sarcastic retort to the haters; it’s an in-joke that like-minded feminists tell even when their critics aren’t looking, as a way to build solidarity within the group.

    It is a sad thing that liberating women from oppressive gender roles apparently isn’t enough to build solidarity within feminist groups these days. I’d hoped that they would move in a more humanist direction as they have secured increased rights and equality for women, but alas. Frankly I am not sure who’ve played who, the anti-feminsts or the “misandry”-feminists, but both parties seem to be besides themselves with glee to have something to rally their forces around – something which doesn’t actually require any work or thought.

    Meanwhile one should look around to see who really benefits from this; one example is the traditionalists with their “real men don’t cry” crap and certainly not the real men who cries real tears while they’re contemplating or committing suicide, while they’re being raped or dealing with it’s aftermath, while they’re suffering at the hands of an physically or psychologically abusive partner, while they’re scared of death while either fighting or just living in an area of armed conflict, while being maimed or killed in workplace accidents, while losing contact with their loved children after the relationship with their mother breaks down and so on. No one has asked them how they appreciate the ironic male tears drinking and bathing.

  48. Marduk says

    @lelapaletute

    Annoyingly, I think the point is actually legit. Men lack services disproportionately to their need, although I’m not sure this is very relevant to what we’re talking about really and not what I’d lead with. Privilege is to do with stereotype and expectation so this is not that surprising, we all get caught out with the binary.

    I do think that Slate piece was very unhelpful at the time when the other thing people are talking about is the Womenagainstfeminism tumblr. After weeks of careful “silly girls have misunderstood” arguing, it turns out that they were right all along as they’d see it.

    Its been a bad week for the feminism brand all round really. Compare and contrast:
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/09/lucy-mangan-terf-war
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/frank-maloney-sex-change-reaction-4031120#.U-ipkPldV8E

    You know something is going wrong with your social justice movement when you are outflanked on the left by professional boxing.

  49. Archy says

    Offtopic I guess, you can delete if you want Ally.

    “Always pretty stunned when people hold up the higher weighting of women’s refuges and rape support services as examples of women in aggregate having ‘female privilege’. Yay! When I get into the ‘been raped/have to flee my violent home’ club, of which women are disproportionately the members, I’ve got a sweet package waiting for me! *sigh* This is kind of like saying Stephen Hawking’s privileged because he gets to ride around in a snazzy chair all day. It is bullshit.”

    Nothing bullshit about it. I’ll make it easy to understand. (numbers made up to show disproportionate support) Let’s say 500 women need dv shelter places, and 200 men need dv shelters but there are 3000 shelter places for women and 20places for men. One gender has the privilege of having a disproportionate level of services to support them. The men who are in that same club do NOT get the sweet package. I am pretty stunned that this is even in question? You will get more support services being a female victim of DV or rape than you will as a male.

    “kind of like saying Stephen Hawking’s privileged because he gets to ride around in a snazzy chair all day. ”

    The appropriate analogy would be if a person gets motor neurone disease yet lives in an extremely poor country and can’t afford the snazzy chair then Stephen has privilege vs the person in the poor country.

    Healthcare in the west is one of western people’s major privileges, but you generally need something bad to happen to require it. For instance I had free surgeries to remove my cancer, that makes me extremely privileged compared to those that have to pay.

  50. Schala says

    Legal to kill white women? Lots of places, even now, have provocation or crime of passion provisions which amount, in effect, to turning the murder of any woman by her husband or partner into the lesser manslaughter charge or not-a-crime-at-all justifiable homicide.

    And women (and ONLY women) can use “pre-emptive self-defense” or battered wife syndrome to excuse first degree murder. What’s the difference?

  51. Schala says

    The equivalent violence is generally suffered by civilians – women, children and other non-combatants

    Did you mean “men” as other non-combatants, or do you count all penis bearers as combatants until they retire?

  52. Schala says

    Yay! When I get into the ‘been raped/have to flee my violent home’ club, of which women are disproportionately the members, I’ve got a sweet package waiting for me! *sigh* This is kind of like saying Stephen Hawking’s privileged because he gets to ride around in a snazzy chair all day. It is bullshit.

    Men are about just as likely to need the services as women. But have much less opportunity to seek the non-existent services.

    So no, it’s like Stephen Hawking having to crawl around (if he can at all) and being unable to speak vs Stephen Hawking in his snazzy chair.

  53. Edward Gemmer says

    I rather enjoyed The Amazing Atheist’s commentary on the matter; jokes can be funny because they offend people. That’s part of the joke. If the joke didn’t offend anyone, they wouldn’t be funny. I don’t find such things offensive and I often enjoy them, so I’m firmly in the target audience of bathing in men’s tears and the like. The common response is that that joke “punches up” while similar jokes about women “punch down.” I find this to be just a lazy excuse to justify a double standard.

  54. cosmicrays says

    Heh, I am one of AVFM’s biggest critics you moron.
    But parody is parody.
    That piece was explicitly marked as parody and linked to a truly horrible piece.

    Did they not teach you Jonathan Swift?

  55. cosmicrays says

    AVFM banned me years ago for bitching about how often Elam shoots himself in the foot through its stupid parodies.

    But speech is speech and ugly and stupid as Elam’s parody is, it WAS explicitly and clearly parody what is demanded is that Journalists who might claim to be professionals and have a code of ethics live up to it. And part of that is mentioning not only that it was parody, but pointing to what it was parodying.

    For you to ignore Jezebel is as idiotic as any journalist who wants to tell us now how to solve the Palestinian Israeli conflict without ever looking at the root causes.

    Your journalism is lazy, shoddy, and unintelligent.

  56. daveallen says

    And part of that is mentioning not only that it was parody, but pointing to what it was parodying.

    Ally’d probably just end up infinitely regressing to the point of ur-grievance if he has to adopt a standard of acknowledging the stimuli of every phenomena he mentions. Journalism ain’t lazy or shoddy just because it draws a line some distance from the encyclopedic.

    Elam’s bit may have been satirical – and Ally did say as much – but there’s a difference between satirical and irreproachable. Humour doesn’t just get to bypass critique just because it’s aimed at lampooning the attitudes of others.

    As for the apparent implication that we should compare appreciation of Elam to appreciation of Swift (a local boy – they maintain a breeding population of Yahoos in Carrickfergus in his honour) you may want to consider that “A Modest Proposal” does not sum up with the words “I’m only joking – but this wouldn’t be wrong”.

    Seeing as the theme of the blog is needlessly irritating humour presented as being “for the cause” why would Ally’s neglecting to mention the stimuli behind Elam’s quip be any more pertinent to his failing to explain the sociology behind the sale of feminist merchandise boasting about the consumption of male tears?

    Crap humour aimed at getting a rise out of people is crap humour aimed at getting a rise out of people regardless of whether its purported satire or not, and we can discuss the efficacy and humour behind any given bit of satire just as we can any other attempt at comedy.

  57. Steersman says

    Edward Gemmer @ #54:

    … jokes can be funny because they offend people.

    Sure: no one (?) has a right to not be offended. But surely Ally’s point was that some people can and do wind up crossing a line into the gratuitously nasty, that their jokes aren’t making any credible points or making credible criticisms but are merely an excuse or pretext for egregious bigotry and hate. Somewhat apropos of which, I wonder whether you would think that no combination of rape joke and context or circumstances is beyond the pale. You might be interested in this Secular Woman post on the topic. Though I might suggest in passing that the site tends to be more a part of the problem than part of the solution in trying to isolate itself from criticisms.

    The common response is that that joke “punches up” while similar jokes about women “punch down.” I find this to be just a lazy excuse to justify a double standard.

    Yea, maybe. More like “ad hominem up versus ad hominem down”. Or “sexism up versus sexism down”. But still a “crime” in either case. Curious though that, apparently, some of those insisting that all cases of rape are identical have some difficulty recognizing the same principle when it comes to sexism. And vice versa.

    However, I think there is some merit in considering context and extenuating circumstances in considering responses to various “crimes”: presumably the basis for Dawkins’ “rape grading” and criticisms thereof; the essential element of an inherent discrimination in affirmative action policies; and likewise in manifestations of sexism.

  58. says

    Personally, I’ve encountered plenty of feminists who hide their actual misandry behind a thin and tattered cloak of “irony”. Notably, they generally outright refuse to discuss the subject without sardonism, for the “plausible deniability” reasons mentioned. a certain malefem blogger springs to mind, or at least much of his commenters.

    Ironically, much of the irony is unintentional; such as when he says he’s never encouraged harassment of MRAs, when he was banned from /r/MensRights for spamming his MRA-mocking blog, and then started posting his responses to people who mention him in that subreddit in /r/AgainstMensRights, then sending them a PM with the link, probably hoping to bait them into commenting in a hostile environment. Or the time he said feminists cared about men’s issues, then said in the comments that “made-to-penetrate” shouldn’t be counted as rape. It took several days of people being upset with him before he finally realized he had made a critical mistake. Then gave a pseudo-apology where he implied that the feminists who called him out were sincere, while “MRAs” making the exact same criticisms were just doing it to score points.

    And then there’s “Big Red”, who went to a talk about men’s issues to yell at the top of her lungs about how feminists support men’s issues – after telling others to STFU, of course. Not only did her blog specifically say she went there to troll, but at the exact same event she literally laughs and sings about how little she cares when someone tries to talk to her about male suicide.

    Or Dr. Jackson Katz, who is considered a leading feminist expert on “men and masculinity”, and says men need to call out other men who are sexist against men*, but himself thinks the term “violence against women” doesn’t blame men clearly enough.

    The worst part is that when some feminists do actually try to help men, they get looked at sidelong because the misandric feminists dominate the discourse. Heck, those feminists may throw them under the bus; FeministCritics is on several web blocking services, and the primary admin is a feminist. Some ex-feminists ended up quitting the movement because of what happened when they tried to talk about men’s issues.

    * But not women, oddly enough.

  59. Ally Fogg says

    Pete (46)

    Apologies for the delayed response to this, somehow missed it at the time,

    You are most kind.

    Indeed, you are so kind that at first you were one of those spam bots that say things like “wow this site is truly beatific and best nicest thing on this topic I read anywhere on web. Click here for Ug boots.”

    :)

  60. Jacob Schmidt says

    Prior to reading these lines, I had always been happy to file items like ‘Male Tears’ mugs under the ever-expanding List of Shits I Could Not Give. I really don’t bristle when I see the hashtag #KillAllMen, however I do object to the fingertrap which establishes that if I do get annoyed it means I must be a brittle, insecure, humorless weenie.

    Meh, depends on what is meant by “annoyed.” Generally speaking, yeah, it’s a silly and childish tactic; I find the “male tears” thing somewhat funny under certain circumstances (in response to brittle, insecure, humourless weenies, for instance), but beyond those circumstances I think it’s a little tedious.

  61. says

    As Ally pointed out, Jacob, the definition of “humorless” in these contexts is generally synonymous is “disagrees with my joke”. Notice how Zimmerman divided men into Us (malefems) and Them (“humorless weenies”). If you flipped the genders, many of these exact same feminists would be crying bloody murder. Especially if you were discussing rape jokes.

    Interestingly enough, people in the comments of that Slate article are trying to make reasoned, cogent criticisms of it, only to, of course, be mocked. The best argument anyone can muster is that there are no women who literally bathe in male tears, as opposed to the fact that women actually get killed by men. By that logic, if someone joked about finding Valenti, gutting her, and wear her intestines like a hat on a float designed to look like an orgy in the 2012 Saint Patrick’s Day parade, that would be okay because it’s impossible. In reality, she’d be perfectly justified in calling the cops.

    And from a more practical standpoint, being a member of a movement that’s commonly accused of ignoring men’s issues and hating men, then proudly advertising how you mock men’s feelings is probably not going to win any converts. In fact, it’s things like that which I commonly see ex-feminists cite as reasons for leaving the movement. It’s actively counter-productive, unless your idea of “productive” is “reinforces the in-group”.

  62. mildlymagnificent says

    Did you mean “men” as other non-combatants, or do you count all penis bearers as combatants until they retire?

    Sorry. I was in my WW2 mind rut at the time. I had the picture of most able-bodied men in the eligible age range being subject to conscription, while other men – those in “reserved occupations” – were prohibited from signing up regardless of age or health.

  63. Schala says

    Conscription generally applied to a portion of the 18-25 cohort. And while many signed of their own free will, there would be a ton of men in the 25-65 age range left in the homeland.

  64. mildlymagnificent says

    I think that 18-25 age range would be a non-WW2 period. At least in Aus and US the conscription age range was 18-35 in those years. In Australia there was also a requirement for single men older than 35 to join the “citizen” forces (rather than the regular army) – most of whom didn’t serve overseas, but some did, notably on the Kokoda Track.

  65. says

    I can see no significant moral difference between Paul Elam‘s satirical ‘Bash a violent bitch month’, misogynists’ so-called banter in the form of rape jokes and threats, or a feminist’s satirical ‘Kill All Men.’

    So, you have no concept of social power structures… is that what you’re trying to say?

  66. Ally Fogg says

    Nope.

    I’m saying that the phrase “SOCIAL POWER STRUCTURES!” is not a voodoo magic word which instantly exempts those uttering it from the consequences upon others of their words and deeds.

  67. Foible says

    Thank you for including links to both hate speech collections. I hope everyone takes the opportunity to read both lists. I have to wonder how you can consider them equivalent in any way shape or form. Did you even read them? I ask because I feel only a hardened misogynist could find these equal. Perhaps I should point out some of the major differences.

    The posts from Caroline’s collection were directed at her, sent to her, or posted under hashtags intended to get the attention of females. The posts from the other list were culled from discussions on female friendly websites.

    Caroline’s list is all threats, the other list is mostly discussions about trans people that trans people find offensive. Your list aggregator is trying to label legitimate discussions as “hate speech” and maybe hoping we don’t check for ourselves. The second list also relies heavily on posts culled from a satire thread about castrating all males, hardly trans specific hate speech. I believe I even participated in a similar thread here on FtB.

    Here’s the biggest difference. On a very fundamental level the nature of the threats are not the same. The threats on Caroline’s list are personal and direct, the image of an ax wielding shadow across a cowering woman is haunting me still. The worst I found on the other list is someone saying she wishes they’d all die. This difference in the type and level of violence follows typical male/female violence patterns. I don’t think you’ll find females anywhere on the internet using the cowering woman image, or any image like that, as a threat toward females. It touches on a universal fear in females so no female can use it without feeling empathy for the character portrayed. Evidently your trans community has no such compunctions, this is raw male violence on display.

    I wonder if Ophelia or some of the other women bloggers here would find these two lists as equivalent as you do.

  68. says

    @Ally Fogg – August 12, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    I’m saying that the phrase “SOCIAL POWER STRUCTURES!” is not a voodoo magic word which instantly exempts those uttering it from the consequences upon others of their words and deeds.

    I’m suggesting that when people have different social power, their responsibilities are different.

  69. Danny Gibbs says

    “It’s a good way to weed out cool dudes from the dumb bros.” As Zimmerman puts it: “The men who get annoyed by misandry jokes are in my experience universally brittle, insecure, humorless weenies with victim complexes,” while the “many intelligent, warm, confident feminist men in my life … mostly get the joke immediatly and play along. They’re not worried I actually want to milk them for their tears.”
    So does that mean her dividing line is between what the person making the remark does or does not want to do? Well based on that a person that doesn’t really want to rape someone but makes a rape joke should be okay right?

    See that’s the problem with using “Its okay when my side does it but wrong when your side does it” as a measurement of conduct in conversation (again unless she’d be okay with men saying they want to bathe in the tears of women, on the presumption that everyone knows that said guy doesn’t really want to do that).

    But what I think worries me is that she seems to put the onus on men to be okay or not okay with the joke rather than on herself to be mindful of whether or not a joke is okay.

    I used to work in a feminist bookshop – it was much like any other bookshop, except it didn’t have a humour section.
    Must have been an old bookstore. Apparently such a bookstore would have books on how men should both simultaneously know that jokes offensive to men are seriously (unless feminists say they are) and how men should be sensitive to the way jokes are offensive to women.

    70:
    I’m suggesting that when people have different social power, their responsibilities are different.
    What differences do you mean?

  70. Ally Fogg says

    Foible

    First, I very deliberately and consciously did not attempt to grade or rank any of the examples I gave (and there were a lot more than two.)

    It is absolutely a mug’s game to say “This type of abuse is a bit immoral, harmful or offensive, but it is not as immoral, harmful or offensive as this other type of abuse which is even more immoral, harmful or offensive….”

    Hate speech is hate speech. I have zero interest in debating whether X hate speech is more hateful than Y hate speech, which quickly drifts in to Dawkins logic.

    It also quickly leads into apologism for hate speech (“oh come on, our kind of hate speech isn’t so bad really”) for which I have a similarly limited amount of patience.

    I wonder if Ophelia or some of the other women bloggers here would find these two lists as equivalent as you do.

    Oh purrleaze.

    For what it is worth, to the best of my knowledge, most of the women bloggers here have very informed, ntelligent and compassionate understanding of trans issues, and the viciousness and harnfulness of transphobic abuse such as that documented on the link. I would expect most of them would be as repulsed by your apologism as I am.

  71. Ally Fogg says

    atheist

    I’m suggesting that when people have different social power, their responsibilities are different.

    I don’t disagree with that, but this does not mean that anyone has no responsibilities at all.

  72. says

    Are blacks who make angry statements about the killing of Michael Brown, saying that the white power structure should be torn down, just the same as whites who angrily accuse blacks of bringing such violence upon themselves through their moral corruption? No? Then why are feminists who make mean snark about oceans of male tears the same as thuggish MRA’s who “jokingly” argue for more violence against women? It seems to me your thesis ignores the social context in which these things occur.

  73. 123454321 says

    “I’m suggesting that when people have different social power, their responsibilities are different.”

    You’re right, they do have different responsibilities. But having power (or not) does not morally excuse anyone from adopting a respectful set of behaviours when addressing others from a different social order.

    If you’re trying to say that social power structures do (or should) provide a valid mechanism/endorsement to support insult and abuse, that would be an extremely worrying concept you’d be talking about!

  74. says

    @123454321 says August 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    You’re right, they do have different responsibilities. But having power (or not) does not morally excuse anyone from adopting a respectful set of behaviours when addressing others from a different social order.

    OK. Nit successfully picked, I guess.

  75. 123454321 says

    “the same as thuggish MRA’s who “jokingly” argue for more violence against women?”

    Not seen that very much to be honest. Perhaps I haven’t been looking. Is it common?

  76. Ally Fogg says

    Yes, thanks 123etc, I’d disagree it is a “nit” to be picked, it is a fundamental premise of the points I’m making, but otherwise you’ve worked it out between you.

    “Are blacks who make angry statements about the killing of Michael Brown, saying that the white power structure should be torn down, just the same as whites who angrily accuse blacks of bringing such violence upon themselves through their moral corruption? No? Then why are feminists who make mean snark about oceans of male tears the same as thuggish MRA’s who “jokingly” argue for more violence against women? It seems to me your thesis ignores the social context in which these things occur.”

    Just to be clear, I am absolutely not condemning angry and meaningful attacks on power structures, indeed I actively support them.

    I’m saying that ‘Kill whitey’ is not really morally defensible as a meaningful attack on power structures. And while I might sympathise with someone using it in the heat of argument (particularly in a week like this one) I wouldn’t sympathise with someone writing a detached blog post in Slate about why shouting ‘kill whitey’ is, like, totally cool and hilar , you guys.

    And to repeat what I said to Foible, I am not arguing that all these things are the same. I am arguing that not one of them is ethically defensible.

    Those are not identical statements.

  77. says

    @123454321 – August 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Not seen that very much to be honest. Perhaps I haven’t been looking. Is it common?

    Go here and read. It’s a really common thing among the MRA’s.

  78. 123454321 says

    “And while I might sympathise with someone using it in the heat of argument (particularly in a week like this one) I wouldn’t sympathise with someone writing a detached blog post in Slate about why shouting ‘kill whitey’ is, like, totally cool and hilar , you guys.”

    Yep, good analogy. Where someone has taken time to make a strategic choice and apply a considered decision in such a way that it has a designed potential to harm others, that is completely different to a ‘heat of the moment’ act of neglect.

  79. Danny Gibbs says

    @74:
    Are blacks who make angry statements about the killing of Michael Brown, saying that the white power structure should be torn down, just the same as whites who angrily accuse blacks of bringing such violence upon themselves through their moral corruption? No? Then why are feminists who make mean snark about oceans of male tears the same as thuggish MRA’s who “jokingly” argue for more violence against women? It seems to me your thesis ignores the social context in which these things occur.
    Because the side that you’re on in a power dynamic isn’t what determines if something you is morally reprehensible and/or offensive. Your line of logic is basically saying “People should not be bothered by something a feminist said because they are feminist.” or “People shouldn’t be bothered by something a black person said because they are black.”

    Saying “I won’t defend kill whitey” and “I won’t defend blackie” doesn’t inherently mean they are the same or just as bad. In fact those two statements alone give zero implication as to which one is worse. And frankly I think you trying to suss that out is a good example of why getting into “which is worse” is pointless. Two things don’t have to be equal for them both to be considered bad.

    Go here and read. It’s a really common thing among the MRA’s.
    Not surprising you’d like him. Do you have a specific instance in mind though? The comment threads here have been torn apart arguing over the honesty of some of the commentary at that place.

  80. says

    @Danny Gibbs – August 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Go here and read. It’s a really common thing among the MRA’s.
    Not surprising you’d like him. Do you have a specific instance in mind though? The comment threads here have been torn apart arguing over the honesty of some of the commentary at that place.

    I linked to Futrelle because he has literally hundreds of well-documented instances. I have no idea what you mean about people arguing over his honesty. But if you don’t like him for whatever reason, then how about:

    Consider the campaign of harassment & the violent threats against “Charlotte” described at Jezebel. Or, consider the SPLC’s writeup of the MRA’s and their larger neo-misogynist movement.

  81. Schala says

    No? Then why are feminists who make mean snark about oceans of male tears the same as thuggish MRA’s who “jokingly” argue for more violence against women? It seems to me your thesis ignores the social context in which these things occur.

    Yeah? No.

    I don’t think men have more power than women. If anything, if “being listened to” is power, women have thousands of times more power than men. Like say, white people.

    Black people and male people get the same result when resented, lower quality of life on all measures. Female people don’t get the oppression hammer in this way. The issues women have are of a completely different nature to most oppressor/oppressed dynamics, with them having it better on almost all the usual suspicious measures (incarceration, suspicion of crime/profiling, health and life expectancy, education attainment). The big problems that feminism ought to fix are all tied to lack of agency, but by trying to be the small player, and score points for being frail, I’m not sure it’s ever gonna happen. Must be addictive or something, to be considered the underdog, while having certain drawbacks, not the typical ones.

  82. Danny Gibbs says

    I have no idea what you mean about people arguing over his honesty.
    Such as taking a quote from Warren Farrell that’s nearly 40 years old (and was itself taken out of context of what Farrell actually said) and using it to say he Farrell supports child rape. Or even taking things that Paul Elam has said out of context (and while I nowhere near agree with all that Elam says, if he’s so horrible then what he says should be able to stand on its own without altering context).

    If “Charlotte” = Big Red then let’s not act that was one sided. In fact the likes of Jezebel didn’t seem to have a problem with her when she was screaming over men trying simply speak about their issues. No what they said to her wasn’t right but let’s not act like those horrible things just came from nowhere.

    As for the SPLC. Well yeah some of their indictments make sense. And some of their indicments include saying Mensactivism.org uses “lurid headlines”. Well apparently someone changed the definition of lurid to mean “copy/past from the source you’re linking to”. If that makes mensactivism.org lurid and misogynistic does that mean that the sources they link are also lurid and misogynistic?

    But I won’t say Futrelle himself is all bad, but I do think asking for specifics isn’t too much.

  83. says

    As for the SPLC. Well yeah some of their indictments make sense. And some of their indicments include saying Mensactivism.org uses “lurid headlines”.

    I really don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call the MRA’s a “hate group”, as the SPLC does. Also, how is someone being rude to some dude the equivalent of an entire harassment campaign designed to ruin that persons career?

  84. says

    87
    atheist

    I really don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call the MRA’s a “hate group”, as the SPLC does.

    Except they don’t:
    “It should be mentioned that the SPLC did not label MRAs as members of a hate movement; nor did our article claim that the grievances they air on their websites – false rape accusations, ruinous divorce settlements and the like – are all without merit.”

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/

  85. Danny Gibbs says

    87.
    I really don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call the MRA’s a “hate group”, as the SPLC does. Also, how is someone being rude to some dude the equivalent of an entire harassment campaign designed to ruin that persons career?
    I’m pretty sure no one here is saying they are the same thing but you keep getting hung up on that.

    A rib puncture a lung in a car accident isn’t the equivalent of having being shot in the spleen. Does that mean that one is okay and the other is not?

  86. Schala says

    You sound delusional.

    That’s gaslighting! And stop mansplaining to me.

    See, I got the feminist dictionary.

  87. Archy says

    “I really don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call the MRA’s a “hate group”, ”
    SPLC didn’t actually say that. If you’re going to argue about a group, please stick to facts.

    RE all the hate directed as per the Jezzy link + manboobz = Were the trolls or violent people actually self-identifying as MRAs or could they simply be trolls trying to stir up trouble? Simply being male and being anti-feminist doesn’t make someone an MRA.

    All this snark online seems to accomplish is cause more rifts, more gender wars, more trolling, more threats of violence. Neither feminists nor the MRM on the whole have the upper moral ground, both have plenty of bad people in their mix, both have their issues. It’s interesting to hear you talk about power structures because of the MRA and the feminist movement, only one actually influences laws that I’ve seen. Early VAWA and the duluth model clusterfuck were heavily influenced by some feminists were they not? Yet they proved to be harmful to some male victims of DV.

    For all the good that feminism does, there are times when it does cause problems for men so really feminists hold more social power than MRAs do. I see OODLES of feminist campaigns get big media attention, and barely any attention for the MRAs (which is usually negative and usually completely wrong).

    Women often can commit domestic violence and get FAR less repercussions as a result. Nearly every single time I’ve personally seen domestic violence in public or private, it has been a woman hitting a man. I know there is a lot of male perpetrated abuse but is it far more often hidden whereas female perpetrated abuse often happens publicly without much in the way of support for the male victim. So in Paul’s rebuttal to Jezebal’s laughing at hitting bf’s….the social power is with the Jezebels who can pretty much freely hit men without much issue, men doing the same to women will often have onlookers intervene. There are videos on youtube where you can see actors playing this out and see how women’s abuse of men is largely ignored (and sometimes cheered on!). These are times where maletears are treated like a joke.

    That said, Jezebel is one site that does huge amounts of harm to the feminist label with their snarky attitude. I’ve seen plenty of women dislike this type of feminism, and many of my female friends don’t identify as feminist because of this type of stupidity that goes on. Hell I am probably more supportive of the feminist movement than most of my female friends because I still have faith in the good it can do, but when you get both young and old women whom are greatful for earlier feminism but see a modern variant as snarky n bitchy n negative where they don’t want to identify as feminist then you have a big problem. A poll online showed something like 80% of people believed in equality between the genders yet only 20% identified as feminist, what’s that tell you? These actions of laughing at “male tears” simply drives more good people away from the movement because it’s seen as a petty highschool-like snarky environment.

    Pretty much everyone I know including little kids understands that being a jerk to people will drive them away. It’s not rocket science.

  88. Tendentious? says

    @ Lucy 15

    Except Paul Elam was being deadly serious when he wrote:

    “…for men who are being attacked and physically abused by women – to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.

    And then make them clean up the mess.”

  89. 123454321 says

    #85 Atheist,

    Man, that link you sent, which supposedly provides evidence that men talk more than women is so completely wrong in my experience. By example, for most couples that I know of, it is the female who comes across most of the time as the one who ‘wears the trousers’ (so to speak) and dominates the conversation at least tenfold. What comes across to me is that it is usually the woman who publicly, knowingly and happily oozes a plentiful supply of social/family controlling behaviour while the man retreats into his sea of acceptance. This phenomenon has become more apparent over the last few decades. I’m not saying that the man should be more controlling. I’m saying that I’ve noticed in the family unit an increasing weakness in men yet conversley a confident strengthening of women where the outcome is likely to be half good and half bad.

    Half good and half bad ain’t good enough for me.

  90. says

    @Danny Gibbs – August 13, 2014 at 2:23 am

    87.
    I really don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call the MRA’s a “hate group”, as the SPLC does. Also, how is someone being rude to some dude the equivalent of an entire harassment campaign designed to ruin that persons career?
    I’m pretty sure no one here is saying they are the same thing but you keep getting hung up on that.

    I guess the reason I get hung up on the distinction, is that if folks aren’t saying the two are equivalent, then the other possibility is that folks are just complaining about incivility. I don’t understand people who complain about incivility, because it seems nitpicky to me. I guess that’s why I get hung up.

  91. says

    @123454321 – August 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Man, that link you sent, which supposedly provides evidence that men talk more than women is so completely wrong in my experience. By example, for most couples that I know of, it is the female who comes across most of the time as the one who ‘wears the trousers’ (so to speak) and dominates the conversation at least tenfold.

    Perhaps this is actually your personal experience? But, first, it is worlds apart from my experience, which is mostly men talking and women listening. Second, and more importantly, while someone’s subjective experience is meaningful, it carries less weight than scientific studies. Especially on a topic like gender relations, where people’s subjectivities can be so different.

  92. 123454321 says

    Yes, personal experience, and I agree that scientific studies would come closer to measuring and understanding the reality of the matter. Was that link a link to a reliable, unbiased, scientific study, though?

    I’d be interested to hear what other people’s perception of the ratio of distribution is between modern couples (married or not) when it comes to….well, I can only describe it as ‘wearing the trousers’ !

  93. mildlymagnificent says

    I’d be interested to hear what other people’s perception of the ratio of distribution is between modern couples (married or not) when it comes to….well, I can only describe it as ‘wearing the trousers’ !

    Well, if you read that link carefully it deals with that issue. It’s worth a couple of read throughs. The basic distinction they end up with that in private or relationship-style interaction, women are either equally or more vocal than men are.

    Once you’re into workplace and public interactions, men do speak _a lot_ more than women. And not just speak. Firstly they’re much more likely to interrupt any woman who does get a word in. Secondly, it’s been demonstrated in several studies in in meetings and workplaces, and in classrooms, that the perceptions of participants and of observers are that once girls or women get anywhere within 50% of talk time, everyone perceives that the girls/women are hogging the floor.

    (There are plenty of proud schoolteachers who proclaim the virtues of their “equality” classrooms who’ve been brought quite sharply down to earth by observers recording and noting precisely how much attention and/or talking time is granted to the boys in the class as against the girls. It’s never equal, and I’ve never heard of it favouring the girls. They have an even worse time afterwards if they try strategies to remedy the proven imbalance*. Boys in classrooms can get close to rioting if they feel, however wrongly, that the girls are getting more attention/ airtime/ space than they are.)

    *I used to have several references for this, but they went to heaven along with my last computer when it died.

  94. mildlymagnificent says

    Oh. One thing to bear in mind. I said “once girls or women get anywhere within 50% of talk time, everyone perceives that the girls/women are hogging the floor“.

    It’s worth checking any studies that talk about measuring talk and attention time in mixed groups for participants’ perceptions of the group itself. There’s a reasonable number of studies showing that both men and women (and teachers and other authorities responsible for a group) believe that a group with more than about 30% women is not just majority women, but dominated by them. If people are already under a misapprehension about the group composition, that could very easily spill over into perceptions about the conduct of the group.

  95. Jacob Schmidt says

    Man, that link you sent, which supposedly provides evidence that men talk more than women is so completely wrong in my experience. By example, for most couples that I know of, it is the female who comes across most of the time as the one who ‘wears the trousers’ (so to speak) and dominates the conversation at least tenfold.

    Given that it’s pretty well known that we tend to overestimate the amount that women speak, I don’t trust anyone who says this.

  96. Archy says

    Is it related to area? Because google seems to suggest women speak far more than men in the U.S?

    One article says “It has been claimed that women speak about 20,000 words a day – 13,000 more than the average man – and scientists say a higher amount of the Foxp2 protein is the reason women are more chatty”

  97. mildlymagnificent says

    Google is pretty unreliable for this sort of thing. It tends to pick up at least as many commonly held misunderstandings as it does accurate information. Much, much better to use Google Scholar for this sort of thing, where you’re really testing whether your own or the common understanding is or isn’t correct.

    For instance, in an American study of over a 100 classes Sadker and Sadker (1985) found that boys spoke on average more than three times as much as girls, that boys were eight times more likely than girls to call out answers, and that teachers accepted such answers from boys but girls were reprimanded for calling out.

    This extract is from Joan Swann’s essay/chapter in Counterbalance: Gendered Perspectives on Writing and Language http://www.amazon.com/Counterbalance-Gendered-Perspectives-Writing-Language/dp/1551111276

    (You can only get to the text by searching on ‘women talk more than men’ or similar. But only in Scholar, general googling will just get a lot of women’s magazine level psychologising or similarly inept sociology or evo psych nonsense.)

  98. Ally Fogg says

    It’s not an area I know much about, but I had it in my head that women tend to talk much, much more with family and friends but that men tend to talk much more in formal or competitive situations like work meetings.

    Which would suggest both sides of the argument above are broadly true but making slightly different points.

    I’m scratching my head trying to remember, but I’m sure I also saw something in the literature on educational performance that suggests the old research about teachers encouraging boys and silencing girls is out of date and that more recent studies have found the exact opposite – girls are now actively encouraged to be more vocal than boys, even in mixed classes.

    Don’t take my word for it though.

  99. mildlymagnificent says

    girls are now actively encouraged to be more vocal than boys, even in mixed classes.

    I’ve gathered the impression this is really hard to do. That extract I quoted earlier also had another section where a quite senior teacher had worked really hard and actually achieved parity in girls and boys participation in his classes. The only remaining problem was that he _felt_ as though he was giving the girls 90% of the time and attention even though the observers and the records confirmed equality.

  100. 123454321 says

    “It’s not an area I know much about, but I had it in my head that women tend to talk much, much more with family and friends but that men tend to talk much more in formal or competitive situations like work meetings.”

    I reckon Ally has it right there – and this fits pretty well in my experience – with some exceptions to the rule. I’m sure there could be a geographical/cultural side to this too, as someone said above.

    It’s a really interesting concept that women may talk more in their family/friends circles while the opposite is true in a business environment. I suppose this would fit with orthodox perceptions that men are more comfortable and confident as bread-winners in their business circles, where as women are more confident in their homely circles.

    I still maintain that the whole point of going to work is to earn money to bring home in order to support your family in two ways: essentials such as food, shelter, clothes, education, pay bills etc. the other reason is purely down to leisure and playtime (we all do it!). These two aspects are generally controlled from the home environment, which is where women spend more time than men (in general). so the end-game ‘point of power’ lies with women because they have more spending power and control over decision-making.

    I don’t think many people get this as they see the ‘power’ being at the earning end rather than at the spending end. That is a completely wrong assumption in my humble opinion and absolutely misses the whole purpose of life and what we as a race strive for.

    Thinking this through I now thoroughly understand why some people in my circle of friends could talk the hind leg off of a donkey!

  101. Jacob Schmidt says

    It has been claimed that women speak about 20,000 words a day – 13,000 more than the average man – and scientists say a higher amount of the Foxp2 protein is the reason women are more chatty

    Oh, its been claimed, but good luck running that number back to a primary source. The protein has nothing to do with how much one talks, but is linked to speech development; it explains why girls tend to learn to talk sooner than boys, but the study that made the link did not, in any way, establish that women talk more.

    The only remaining problem was that he _felt_ as though he was giving the girls 90% of the time and attention even though the observers and the records confirmed equality.

    That’s another matter: we tend to overestimate female participation, not just the amount women talk.

    It’s not an area I know much about, but I had it in my head that women tend to talk much, much more with family and friends but that men tend to talk much more in formal or competitive situations like work meetings.

    That’s, broadly, my experience as well. While looking around, there are a fair number of references to a study showing that men and women talk about the same (about 14 000 a day). Observation bias plus certain contexts where women speak more could easily keep aloft the idea that women are super talkative.

  102. Jacob Schmidt says

    These two aspects are generally controlled from the home environment, which is where women spend more time than men (in general). so the end-game ‘point of power’ lies with women because they have more spending power and control over decision-making.

    That’s a rather simplistic notion. In a good system, that might be the case: the one who deals with the consequences of spending should control where the spending goes. In many relationships, the majority of the spending choices are likely made by the “home-maker,” who will mostly be women. In a good relationship, the “bread-winner” will defer to the “home-maker” in this, since it makes more sense. But that has to happen by choice. At any point in time, the “bread-winner” can simply break the system.

    This is a fairly common thing, too. My section leader, for instance, is effectively charge of scheduling days off, when to order new materials, etc. All those things go through management, who, by and large, defer to the section leader, because again, she’s the one who deals with the consequences of those choices. This is a good system. But you’d be very silly to think that there aren’t managers who micromanage and override their employees, and you’d be just as silly to posit that the power differential favours the section leader over the manager.

    If you require someone to give you power, then it isn’t really yours; you’re just using it at another’s allowance.

    (This, of course, is only general, and doesn’t take into account idiosyncratic matters that pop up in interpersonal relationships.)

  103. Jacob Schmidt says

    Oh, also:

    These two aspects are generally controlled from the home environment, which is where women spend more time than men (in general). so the end-game ‘point of power’ lies with women because they have more spending power and control over decision-making.

    This kind of ignores who the spending is for. Much of it may well be at the behest of the “bread-winner” with the “home-maker” handling the actual purchasing and procurement, since that falls under their responsibilities in that particular arrangement; it is hardly a show of power to buy someone else something they asked for with their money.

  104. Danny Gibbs says

    @104:
    I’m scratching my head trying to remember, but I’m sure I also saw something in the literature on educational performance that suggests the old research about teachers encouraging boys and silencing girls is out of date and that more recent studies have found the exact opposite – girls are now actively encouraged to be more vocal than boys, even in mixed classes.
    I’ll say that in my school days teachers did encourage girls to the point of leaving boys out when trying to contribute.

    It may not be universal to say that that is the case but I do think it would well worth it to everyone to not depend on data that favors your cause so much that you hold onto it even after its out of date.

  105. 123454321 says

    “If you require someone to give you power, then it isn’t really yours”

    I beg to differ. If someone’s boss gives them money, it’s theirs for the taking and theirs to spend. The money has been transferred and where the money ends up is where the power lies.
    Where a man working away from home in a dangerous line of work brings home his salary to provide for his wife and kids – whereby the wife subsequently controls the expenditure – it is with her where the real control and power lies. Where the money came from is almost irrelevant – it’s where it ends up that counts.

    Sadly, we sometimes see proof of where the power really lies when things go wrong in the family unit. A friend of a friend experienced a situation where, as per above, he worked long hours in a dangerous job providing for his wife and two young children. He suddenly lost his job and could no longer be used by his selfish wife as a convenient meal ticket who hurriedly decided to meet another man. She kicked out her husband (making it really awkward for him to see his own kids), turned the kids against their ‘deadbeat’ dad, claimed vast amounts of child support from him which he could hardly afford (while getting money from the new guy as well to set up a new home), won the court case, secured the home, and basically came out way on top with respect to the divorce settlement. The solicitors confessed to the friend of my friend that he hadn’t got a leg to stand on and not to bother fighting.

    You try telling that guy that, as the main earner and breadwinner, he had all the power! Nah, on second thoughts, I wouldn’t bother as he’d probably rip your face off.

  106. Jacob Schmidt says

    Where a man working away from home in a dangerous line of work brings home his salary to provide for his wife and kids – whereby the wife subsequently controls the expenditure – it is with her where the real control and power lies.

    You skip over the part where the husband has to allow this for this to even happen. Once more, acting only within the allowance of another isn’t power.

    He suddenly lost his job…

    You do realize that you’ve submitted an anecdote wherein the power differential lies between two people, neither of whom are “breadwinners”, yes?

    That’s about as reasonable as proving that bricks are light by hauling around bags of feathers.

    (Yes, yes, I realize that he was the “breadwinner” prior to losing his job; the problems only arose after he lost it i.e. after he ceased being the breadwinner.)

    You try telling that guy that, as the main earner and breadwinner, he had all the power!

    If you can quote me saying anything like “all the power,” by all means, do so. There are many factors that go into power differentials between people. For someone reason, you seem to think that, if being the main income gives any kind of power, being the main income source must give all the power.

  107. Schala says

    This kind of ignores who the spending is for. Much of it may well be at the behest of the “bread-winner” with the “home-maker” handling the actual purchasing and procurement, since that falls under their responsibilities in that particular arrangement; it is hardly a show of power to buy someone else something they asked for with their money.

    Besides rich men who own Armani suits, let me tell you the spending on wardrobe is at least 3-4x larger for women than for men. They got way more options, and way more variance, and few people will fault women for indulging in a bit of vanity tied to their wardrobe. Men barely have any vanity options, and those few they have get laughed at (tight pants, leather pants, speedo bottom).

    The spending on food is likely to be 50% (if they’re 2) for them, but they’re likely to pick health options for the entire family. Ergo, even if he prefers white bread, buy brown bread because “better for his health”. The stereotype is that men buy food they like (taste), women buy food they “should” like, for health reasons. Generally, the ideal would be to buy tasty food and not neglect the healthy side, but don’t go overboard on both. Eating too bland food makes eating a chore. Eating too tasty food is likely to make you overweight.

    If spending is made on decoration, she is likely to have the first and the last word on the looks of everything, from the couch to the walls in the apartment/house. If he has medieval decoration he likes, and she isn’t a medieval fan, it’s likely to be thrown in the attic, or garage, or even sold off. Sure sound like having the upper hand and “having someone work for you which you can override at any time” right?

  108. Schala says

    You skip over the part where the husband has to allow this for this to even happen.

    It would be considered DV for him not to provide for his wife (holding onto the money). And illegal in many places, including India and even the Middle-East.

    It’s considered DV for him to have separate (not joint) bank accounts that he doesn’t tell her about (or doesn’t let her access). Of course the reverse is not even considered. Or the idea that privacy and discretion could even be reasonable.

  109. Archy says

    In my experience, the city’folk talk more than the country’folk but that could just be limited exposure to city’folk as I am more rural. I’ve definitely seen women talk far more than men in private settings though here in Australia, and notice women do more phone-calling to each other than the men that I’ve seen. Might be different overseas?

    Re men in business talking more: Could be that men hold higher positions more. I know women are more likely to be part time workers and thus be lower on the ranks?

    Although I live in an area where the stoic male stereotype is quite alive (which I personally break from) and that could influence the talking ratios.

    It’d be interesting to see a study on how much people speak in different areas such as stoic oldschool areas (usually rural areas here), vs say a university. Blue collar vs white collar, older generations vs younger, etc.

  110. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #111

    That’s amongst the stupidest and weakest MRA theories in existence. The mind boggles that actual adults can buy into such inane babble.

  111. Burt says

    Besides rich men who own Armani suits, let me tell you the spending on wardrobe is at least 3-4x larger for women than for men.

    And that’s supposed to be a privilege? Society analyses and polices the way women dress at a level far higher than men. The media is ruthless on this.

    I’m not saying that women don’t innately prefer dressing up to men (I have no idea how you’d prove that either way) but claiming men are disadvantaged because they don’t have a range of fancy outfits ignores the cultural context.

  112. 123454321 says

    “That’s amongst the stupidest and weakest MRA theories in existence. The mind boggles that actual adults can buy into such inane babble.”

    Especially for you, Carnation, with cuddles and kisses.

    The lifecycle of a Bee:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbasics.htm

    Bees are one of three main castes. Queen, worker or drone.

    The queen is the one bee that reproduces, but even that she can’t do by herself. She is the one bee that goes out and mates, during one period of her life, that lasts a few days, and then she lays eggs for the rest of her life.
    The workers, depending on their age, feed brood, make comb, store honey, clean house, guard the entrance or gather honey, pollen, water or propolis.
    The drones spend their days flying out to drone congregation areas (DCAs) in the early afternoon and flying home just before dark. They spend their lives in hopes of finding a queen to mate with. If a drone is “fortunate” enough to mate, his reward is to have the queen clamp down on his member and rip it out by the roots. He will die from the damage.

    Where does the true power lie, Carnation, in a colony of bees, and would you rather be a Queen, a worker, or a drone? Before you answer this you really need to reflect on what your definition of ‘power’ means in this context.

  113. says

    Scmidt

    If you require someone to give you power, then it isn’t really yours; you’re just using it at another’s allowance.

    That seems to be wrong on the face of it. If the owner of a company installs someone as manager, the manager stll has power, even if it was only bestowed upon him.

  114. 123454321 says

    This reminds me of Shrodinger’s cat, which is a true representation of reality, as defined by quantum physics. Nothing actually exists unless you look at it (more specifically, once you measure it). That doesn’t mean to say that something doesn’t actually exist, just that it may as well not exist because it is not measurable from your frame of reference.

    True ‘power’ doesn’t really exist in a system without the power being realised in some form. The fact that the money (power) in our working/social economy generally flows from the breadwinner to the home controller (usually the woman) means that the power follows the same principles as physics and can only be correctly and effectively measured and recorded at the point where it is expended and used. Claiming that business men or male breadwinners ‘hold the power’ because they have a choice is moot, because in our social cultures it is simply not the case that the money is withheld – the Mother and her kids are nearly always at the receiving end and it is HER with the spending power and control and who gets supported far, far more by our Government. The money (power) is nearly always transferred to the wife and kids so that is where we should measure the value of the power.

    It’s the opposite to what you would naturally think, which is typical of Quantum mechanics and just as quirky and perplexing as feminist theory!

    Your problem, Carnation, is that you’re like a goldfish in a bowl. You’re seeing a distorted view of reality and you’re not considering what REALLY happens outside of the bowl in the big, wide World’s complex, macroscopic social economy.

  115. Schala says

    And that’s supposed to be a privilege? Society analyses and polices the way women dress at a level far higher than men. The media is ruthless on this.

    I’m not saying that women don’t innately prefer dressing up to men (I have no idea how you’d prove that either way) but claiming men are disadvantaged because they don’t have a range of fancy outfits ignores the cultural context.

    More options is better. I don’t care if more power means more responsibilities. In this very case, it’s still better.

    You could very much “dress like a man” (jeans and a t-shirt, no make-up, hair let down no hairdo) and be fine. You won’t get beaten up, refused housing, refused jobs or anything that a man in a skirt would likely get.

    So yeah. My freedom of expression now is probably the biggest tangible female privilege I have (“not being arrested as much” is hard to appreciate as an advantage, since it’s something less taken away, rather than something more you have – if you never got arrested anyways). And yes, it’s worth all the “risk” of “being criticized by the media” (what are the chances an individual woman, who isn’t famous, gets criticized personally by the media??).

    Come on, what are the chances my picture and a whole article critiquing my sense of fashion appears in a woman’s magazine or a newspaper? Oh zero?

  116. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #120

    Let’s discuss power. What power do I have right now? Aside from the limited but theoretical power of the private citizen, I also have a degree of economic power. That is, where to spend my money. Because I have no ties, I have a relatively large amount of disposable income. That power amounts of virtually nothing in the grander, or the micro, scale of things. It would matter even less if I set up home with a partner and allowed her (or him, if I dramatically change my ways) to buy the things that I would otherwise buy. As a consumer, I exercise what tiny amount of individual power that I have by not supporting industries I disagree with, and supporting those that I do. And donating to charity, etc.

    Now, because of a combination of luck, life choices and circumstances, at the moment, and on a couple of occassions in the past, I’ve had the economic means, and the necessity, to employ someone. That’s a bit more power. Personally, I always like to pass onto other the opportunity that I was given – that is, a fair amount of responsibility for those whithout a lot of experience, often from a difficult background. Why? Because it’s what I care about, and without a chance being taken on me, my life wouldn’t be as fulfilled as it is now. So it’s a power that I weild with a degree of social conscience.

    The leader of a local authority has a vast amount of power. A senior civil servant a huge amount, arguably more than a minister, in some cases, in some departments. Those employed in investments have massive amounts of power. Some trade unions do too. Think tanks do. Collectives – like Mumsnet – do too.

    The wife of a leading trade unionist, employer or politician has no official power. That is obvious. No more so than the old school friend of said illuminary, or sage advice giving stalwart.

    Much MRA theory revolves around the embarrassingly stupid premise that powerful men are controlled by their wives/partners, usually using “access” to sex. It is as demeaning to men as it is devoid of reality. Likewise the buffoons who claim that violent men are driven to it by women, or to impress women. It is confirmation bias. Women are to blame, feminism enables them, men are mere puppets. It’s such childish drivel that it would only find a home in an intellectually stunted arena.

    75BC, I have hope for you. I think at some point you’ll move out of the intellectual ghetto that you currently inhabit.

  117. 123454321 says

    “The leader of a local authority has a vast amount of power. A senior civil servant a huge amount, arguably more than a minister, in some cases, in some departments. Those employed in investments have massive amounts of power. Some trade unions do too. Think tanks do. Collectives – like Mumsnet – do too.
    The wife of a leading trade unionist, employer or politician has no official power. That is obvious….”

    No it’s not obvious. In fact it’s WWWWWWWrong with at least 7 capital Woublewoos.

    Ok, let me put it like this, because you’re obviously confusing business-led authority with where the true power lies. Let’s pick a business. Any old business will do – let’s say a hairdressing business or perhaps a large clothes retailer.

    Can you tell me with a serious face that the customer has no power? Let’s go one step further. Let’s suppose that the business gets all of it’s marketing wrong and the customers chose to spend their money elsewhere.

    Where would that leave the business? Who has the real power, the customer or the business? Once you’ve answered that, ask yourself who has the main chunk of decision making in relation to spending power in the Western World today?

    You keep getting hung up on compartmentalised units of the economy i.e. the businesses and authorities. They are literally nothing without the decision-makers and customers supporting them with their power. Without them they don’t even exist! Do you still not get it? You don’t get it do you….

    Tell you what, think about what would happen to the owner of your gym when you’re next pumping up those nice big plump muscles of yours if you and the rest of the fitness fanatics were to cease with their subscription. Who REALLY holds the power when it comes to their business?

  118. Jacob Schmidt says

    That seems to be wrong on the face of it. If the owner of a company installs someone as manager, the manager stll has power, even if it was only bestowed upon him.

    In a sense, sure. But within the context of this discussion, the question is whether said power can be used against the owner. And it can, in ways, but the owner has the means to simply stop giving you power.

    Bees are one of three main castes. Queen, worker or drone.

    Ahahahahahah, that you take that bullshit seriously is downright hilarious.

    Sure sound like having the upper hand and “having someone work for you which you can override at any time” right?

    No, I don’t find your list of stereotypes convincing, and that’s before I consider the extent to which that occurs because the men simply don’t care.

    (I let my partner pick our decorations; I didn’t care too much, and got what I did want by simply saying “I want this.”)

    It would be considered DV for him not to provide for his wife (holding onto the money). And illegal in many places, including India and even the Middle-East.
    It’s considered DV for him to have separate (not joint) bank accounts that he doesn’t tell her about (or doesn’t let her access). Of course the reverse is not even considered. Or the idea that privacy and discretion could even be reasonable.

    On the one hand, you’re exaggerating; it is not illegal for any given person to control finances, only to control them to the detriment of the other. On the other hand, that doesn’t matter: it might be illegal for me to punch a smaller person, but I’m still larger and stronger (i.e. more powerful) than said smaller person.

  119. says

    In a sense, sure. But within the context of this discussion, the question is whether said power can be used against the owner. And it can, in ways, but the owner has the means to simply stop giving you power.

    Bu these means may not be as clear cut as sometimes portrayed because of legal and social reasons and the consequence are some seriously muddy waters in many situations.

  120. Jacob Schmidt says

    [But] these means may not be as clear cut as sometimes portrayed because of legal and social reasons and the consequence are some seriously muddy waters in many situations.

    I think I covered that well already:

    This is a good system. But you’d be very silly to think that there aren’t managers who micromanage and override their employees, and you’d be just as silly to posit that the power differential favours the section leader over the manager.
    If you require someone to give you power, then it isn’t really yours; you’re just using it at another’s allowance.

    (This, of course, is only general, and doesn’t take into account idiosyncratic matters that pop up in interpersonal relationships.)

    If you can quote me saying anything like “all the power,” by all means, do so. There are many factors that go into power differentials between people.

    There are generally laws as to when and how an employer can fire; there are laws that address financial situations within relationships. There are social aspects to both, as well. It’s not necessarily clear cut or definitive, but it’s clear who the dynamic favours in general.

    Ally

    We’re pretty far off topic here, and I presume to take your figurative silence on the matter as you not caring.

  121. says

    Schmidt:

    There are social aspects to both, as well. It’s not necessarily clear cut or definitive, but it’s clear who the dynamic favours in general.

    Do you have data that shows who is really favored in relationshps? I hear a lot of complaining by mras about extremely unfair family court hearings and given that these legal incredients are likely important as well as who is actually making the money my intuition does not really help me in this case.

  122. Jacob Schmidt says

    Sheaf

    Nothing definitive; the research into economic abuse is parse. It does correlate with other forms of DV and (presumably) the severity of DV. For instance, on the subject of India mentioned earlier, there’s a correlation between DV and malnutrition in women; I seriously doubt this would occur were women in control of sufficient finances to properly support themselves.

  123. says

    Schmidt,

    the study you cited does not seem to control for income. If abuse is more frequent in low income families, this would be an obvious confounding variable.

    Also the causal inference resented in the study does not rule out psychological stress causing malnutrition.

    Be that as it may, I believe that economic coercion is certainly a way to abuse people and I dont doubt any people wth higher income use this. Nonetheless the overall power mechanics are more complicated with regards to the law.

  124. Carnation says

    @ 75BC

    “Who has the real power, the customer or the business?”

    Well, let’s look at some examples. McDonalds has had one of the most consistent, well publicised and well regarded campaign of customer power against it. It’s still in rude health. Same with Starbucks and Amazon. The list goes on. And, remember, that’s with a bloc of customers, not just a single one, or a group. Ratners is a rare example.

    Cast your mind back, Fathers 4 Justice attempted a boycott of Marks & Spencer, on some laughable premise. They got nowhere. And that’s with a fair amount of publicity.

    Your theoretical standpoint accepts the spurious claim that women spend more money than men, and then attributes serious political power to individual household managers.

    My friend, that is simply ridiculous.

  125. Jacob Schmidt says

    the study you cited does not seem to control for income. If abuse is more frequent in low income families, this would be an obvious confounding variable.
    Also the causal inference resented in the study does not rule out psychological stress causing malnutrition.

    Source:

    The researchers found that women who reported more than one instance of domestic violence in the previous year had a 11% increased likelihood of having anemia and a 21% increased likelihood of being underweight, as compared to women with no such history. This difference was not explained by the mother’s demographic information. The associations between domestic violence and nearly all nutritional outcomes were similar for children.

    The data suggest a relation between domestic violence and malnutrition among women and children in India. The authors note that preventing domestic violence could be just as effective as a pharmaceutical approach in combating anemia among women. The authors believe that one possible explanation is empowerment, such that perpetrators of domestic violence often use several types of abuse, including physical and psychological, to control the behavior of their family members. In India, the withholding of food as a type of abuse could be a factor in the link between physical domestic violence and nutrient deficiencies that cause anemia and underweight. Additionally, domestic violence has been strongly associated with a woman’s inability to make decisions for herself and her family, including the choice of types and quantities of food she prepares

    The authors’ second explanation is that the link between domestic violence and nutritional deficiencies may also reflect the effects of psychological stress. Women and children who experience domestic violence tend to have higher levels of psychological stress, which has been associated with anemia and being underweight.

    I had assumed “demographic information” included income level. It’s also worth noting that anemia does’t have much variation with poverty, though there is some (graph). You are correct with regards to psychological stress, however, and the authors note that.

  126. 123454321 says

    Jacob, you cite a study that specifically chose to include women and children as part of the data but omits men. Do you have a link to a study that shows the malnutrition levels of the male-folk within the same demographic? Incidentally, I searched that entire site for reports/documents with “women” in the title and found nearly a thousand. I then searched for “men” and found half that amount. Of the half which I thought contained the word “men”, the word “men” actually turned out to be part of the word “women”. so it looks like we’re starting out on a biased footing. Just sayin’.

  127. 123454321 says

    Carnation, you’re clutching at straws. If people stopped eating at McDonalds they’s be fucked, and you know it. The power lies with the customer, the decision-maker, the spender. Give up.

  128. Jacob Schmidt says

    Do you have a link to a study that shows the malnutrition levels of the male-folk within the same demographic?

    Significantly less:

    The prevalence of anaemia in females (20-50 years) was 70.1%, which included 48.7% of mild, 19.9% of moderate and 1.5% of severe anaemia cases. The prevalence of anaemia in Males (20-50 years) was 53.2%, with 34.3% suffering from mild, 17.7% from moderate and 1.2% from severe anaemia.

    Those number come from northern India, which has much higher rates. Another site suggests different numbers:

    In India 55.8% women and 24.7% men have anemia with highest prevalence in Assam and Jharkhand (69%) followed by Bihar (67.4%).

    Unfortunately, this source is fairly removed from the primary source, and I have trouble getting to the primary source due to a paywall. The numbers for women match what the other studies report, however, so I’m inclined to accept them.

    Though I say “significantly less,” these numbers are still stupendously high.

    This study suggests approximate parity between men and women (44% vs 50% respectively), though it includes a much larger age range. a much smaller population sample, and is set in northern India.

    (Also: the above matter of “demographic information” mentions mothers; I’m not sure if the authors are being loose with their terminology, or of “mother” refers to the mother of the potentially anemic individual.)

    (Here’s to hoping the spam filter doesn’t stop me.)

  129. Jacob Schmidt says

    If people stopped eating at McDonalds they’s be fucked, and you know it. The power lies with the customer, the decision-maker, the spender.

    So individuals do not have power. Large groups do. Glad we cleared that up.

    Oh wait a minute:

    Your theoretical standpoint accepts the spurious claim that women spend more money than men, and then attributes serious political power to individual household managers.

    My friend, that is simply ridiculous.

    Looks like that was already addressed. The customer|business relation is a tad more complicated than “the customer has the power.”

  130. says

    Schmidt, 132

    From the material and methods section:

    We included several socioeconomic and demographic variables: age, religion, caste, education, living standard, employment status, urban-rural status, illness, breastfeeding, number of children, and decision-making autonomy (table 1)

    Like I said, income was not controlled for. The authors make claims that their measures also approximate material wealth and this is plausible though they do not directly account for it, whch would have been preferable.

  131. Jacob Schmidt says

    I don’t have access to the original study; my usual means of obtaining such things (through the university database) is currently defunct. I’ve no idea why.

    age, religion, caste, education, living standard, employment status, urban-rural status, illness, breastfeeding, number of children, and decision-making autonomy

    As far as I’m concerned, those 4 factors are sufficient in determining that the malnutrition correlation is not due to lack of funds. Hell, unless they’re using a wildly different definition for “living standard,” availability of funds to buy food should be included.

  132. Jacob Schmidt says

    Ugh. By “those 4 factors,” I mean caste, living standard, employment status, and number of children.

  133. 123454321 says

    Oh for God’s sake, malnutrition, which is what I thought we were talking about is not exactly the same as anaemia, and besides, women are affected more than men in with anaemia in child-bearing years and at periods of menstruation due to blood loss – not necessarily due to malnutrition. Women are also measured differently to men, falling into the aneamic category more easily. They are generally more available for testing and tend to put themselves forward as being ill more so than men. They are the ones bearing the children and consequently they are monitored more closely – everyone knows that! I’m not surprised with the results I’m hearing and I don’t know what you’re trying to prove because women are more sickly than men in any case.

  134. says

    “So individuals do not have power. Large groups do. Glad we cleared that up.”

    Yes. For small, medium or large conglomerate or individual businesses trying to make their dough, it is the combined power of the individual customers who have the real buying power.

    Within the family unit, it’s fairly well recognised that the female controls the spend, especially where kids are involved. When things go tits-up, it is HER that gets the attention of the family court.

    Women are treated differently to men in so many ways and nearly every time the outcome benefits the female at the expense of the male. Just take a look at the comments on this harrowing article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2726219/Yasmin-Thomas-victim-disgusted-walked-free.html

  135. mildlymagnificent says

    Within the family unit, it’s fairly well recognised that the female controls the spend, especially where kids are involved.

    I think it’s common to think that that’s a universal rule. It allows us to think that circumstances that don’t line up like that are down to individuals who are exceptional and unusual rather than an all too common minority that we really shouldn’t be very much surprised by.

    I had one client that brought me up very short one day. I’d given the 5 year old some “fun” homework and was telling mum how to help (not much, but make sure she knows what’s expected). “But she hasn’t got any coloured pencils” said mum, (the worksheet required picking things out in different colours) “Dad doesn’t approve of things like that.” (Dad wasn’t a member of any weird cult, just a run of the mill Roman Catholic, but lacking any of the usual Catholic enthusiasm for family life.)
    But it brought to mind a friend I’d had years before. She was the mother of a 4 year old at the time and she didn’t know how to do jigsaw puzzles – her dad didn’t allow any of that sort of nonsense in his household, not even as birthday or Xmas gifts. They were forbidden, along with colouring books, playing cards, monopoly, scrabble and any other board games or toys.

    As for “control the spend”, I’ve known several women who had to manage their own and their children’s clothing by sewing, mending and making do or doing without in very similar fashion to my grandmother’s depression generation. Their husbands had set a clothing allowance, as well as a housekeeping allowance, back when the children were at school – and were still paying the same amount 15+ years later. I might add that these men were professionals with paypackets well into the top 10 or 20% of, for example, engineers whose pay had increased quite a lot more than cost of living in the intervening years. These women had to get their husbands to accompany them when shopping for things like shoes and, for instance, outfits to wear to their children’s weddings and he would graciously offer to pay for these wild extravagances from his credit card. One woman “justified” buying an unnecessary item like a recipe book by working her way through and cooking every recipe one after the other. (I doubt that her husband insisted on this. She seemed so intimidated that I suspect she was preempting any accusations of wasteful spending by being able to point out that she’d used every single page of the book.)

    I’m pretty sure I’m not such a special individual that I’m the only one who’s ever known women with these kinds of problems. Though it’s possible that many/most women don’t tell everyone about these things. In all these instances, I’d known the women reasonably well, sometimes up to 10 years, before they disclosed these facts.

  136. Schala says

    On the other hand, that doesn’t matter: it might be illegal for me to punch a smaller person, but I’m still larger and stronger (i.e. more powerful) than said smaller person.

    Not if you can’t punch the smaller person under any circumstances, including self-defense (ie our culture regarding female-on-male DV). Then the person who avoids any consequences for their action is way way better off.

  137. Schala says

    She was the mother of a 4 year old at the time and she didn’t know how to do jigsaw puzzles – her dad didn’t allow any of that sort of nonsense in his household, not even as birthday or Xmas gifts. They were forbidden, along with colouring books, playing cards, monopoly, scrabble and any other board games or toys.

    You saw Violet in Tru Blood season 7?

    She’s some entitled, narcissistic, controlling, sadistic woman, who wants to be worshiped for existing.

    You know how rare both Violet and your “jigsaw puzzles are evullzzz” guys are? Very.

  138. Jacob Schmidt says

    Not if you can’t punch the smaller person under any circumstances, including self-defense (ie our culture regarding female-on-male DV).

    Right. Domestic violence against women doesn’t exist.

    (That a system is ostensibly in place to protect a given class does not mean said class is free from harm, that said system is remotely sufficient, or that said system is capable of responding quickly enough to problems within interpersonal relationships. And that’s before I consider the fact that woman can be and are arrested for DV, albeit at a significantly lesser rate than men. And all of THAT is before I consider that the system with respect to economic abuse does not exist as you described.)

    They are the ones bearing the children and consequently they are monitored more closely – everyone knows that![1] I’m not surprised with the results I’m hearing and I don’t know what you’re trying to prove because women are more sickly than men in any case.[2]

    1) What? The numbers don’t come from hospital data, but from blood testing the general populations; you can’t make the “women are monitored more closely argument,” since it doesn’t apply here, and you don’t even substantiate it in the first place.*

    2) Women are sickly because they’re more sickly? The question is why: malnutrition within abusive relationships seems to be a plausible cause.

    Within the family unit, it’s fairly well recognised that the female controls the spend, especially where kids are involved. When things go tits-up, it is HER that gets the attention of the family court.[1]
    Women are treated differently to men in so many ways and nearly every time the outcome benefits the female at the expense of the male. Just take a look at the comments on this harrowing article:[2]

    1) It’s fairly commonly assumed, I’ll grant that. I’d even be willing to grant that it’s usually the woman who makes the choices, but there’s nothing to indicate that these choices in general exclude the men against his wishes.

    2) Entirely irrelevant.

    * Incidentally, “everyone knows” that men can’t be raped, that black people are violent, etc. I’ll happily ignore any appeal to “common knowledge,” as “common baseless assumptions” is too frequently a better descriptor.

  139. Jacob Schmidt says

    You know how rare both Violet and your “jigsaw puzzles are evullzzz” guys are? Very.

    ‘“[J]igsaw puzzles are evullzzz” guys’ specifically? Yes.

    Men controlling their children and spouses to a similar extent? No.

  140. 123454321 says

    “…..didn’t know how to do jigsaw puzzles – her dad didn’t allow any of that sort of nonsense in his household, not even as birthday or Xmas gifts. They were forbidden, along with colouring books, playing cards, monopoly, scrabble and any other board games or toys.”

    I’m sorry, but that’s just not representative of most modern families. It really isn’t.

  141. says

    “You know how rare both Violet and your “jigsaw puzzles are evullzzz” guys are? Very.”

    Schala, I only just this second read that after I just posted the same thought! That type of guy must be, like, one in a million. Also, I’me sure that for every guy like that there’s a woman.

  142. says

    “Women are sickly because they’re more sickly? ”

    Errm, yes, that’s right. Or at least it appears so from all of the stats I’ve ever encountered.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10660612/Women-are-almost-42-per-cent-more-likely-to-take-sick-days-than-men.html

    “….but there’s nothing to indicate that these choices in general exclude the men against his wishes.”

    Women can be pretty manipulative, you know, as well as covertly coercive when it comes to getting what they want from men in a relationship. They’re MUCH better than men and can apply various tactics to get what they want. Men can be like this too, but women use sexual power, which men don’t have as a bargaining tool.

    Women have far more going for them than men in this respect, and some thrive on it. I have no problem with that but it pisses me off no end when I hear feminist drivel about how bad women have it!

  143. Jacob Schmidt says

    Errm, yes, that’s right. Or at least it appears so from all of the stats I’ve ever encountered.

    Sorry, I can’t anyone who presents tautologies as arguments seriously.

    Women can be pretty manipulative, you know, as well as covertly coercive when it comes to getting what they want from men in a relationship. They’re MUCH better than men and can apply various tactics to get what they want.[1] Men can be like this too, but women use sexual power, which men don’t have as a bargaining tool.[2]

    1) Unsubtantiated, and blithely feeds into the idea that men are incompetent in this field.

    2) Quite frankly, I flat out do not believe men are such sex starved animals that women have “sexual power” over them, and I would take the “manosphere” far more seriously if they dropped that nonsense.

    I have no problem with that but it pisses me off no end when I hear feminist drivel about how bad women have it!

    There’s an interesting admission: you apparently don’t care about supposed inequality, but you’ll use it against feminists.

  144. Carnation says

    @ 75BC

    “Carnation, you’re clutching at straws. If people stopped eating at McDonalds they’s be fucked, and you know it. The power lies with the customer, the decision-maker, the spender. Give up.”

    Excuse my McEnroe, but you CANNOT be serious. If a seriously large number of persons got together, then they could cause economic hardship to a corporate entity. This *has* happened, and I have given you examples.

    You are engaging in puerile delusion. There is almost no evidence to suggest that women spend more than men. And there is nothing credible to suggest that household spending power equates to meaningful power over the main income provider for that household. This is banal MRA fantasy, based on nothing more than crude stereotypes, misreading of a study and confirmation bias. Your intellectual paucity has been confirmed by the source your provided earlier. Nobody cognitively sufficient would accept a link to an MRA blog as evidence of anything, other than MRA theory, at its most embarrassingly docile.

    Question for you: do you believe that women’s consumption is behind all/most/a large number of the wars in history?

  145. Paul says

    @150

    I believe that males and females are inter-dependent on each other albeit in varying degrees so i’m not suggesting a one size fits all approach here.However i do believe that females can and do wield maternal,sexual and emotional power ..But because it’s not tangible power and therefore impossible to quantify it’s easy to play down or ignore the impact it can have.So there’s never been ,to my knowledge. any serious discussion as to the-albeit covert- power women can and do wield over their partners,children,friends etc etc etc.However to acknowledge it’s existence in a developed country like the UK fundamentally challenges those who believe that women are powerless.For the fact is that women can and do play their part in encouraging those very attitudes and beliefs which feminists-for instance- argue are problematic.

  146. mildlymagnificent says

    I’m sorry, but that’s just not representative of most modern families. It really isn’t.

    Of course it’s not! But we’re not concerned with the fair average quality family here. At least I hope we’re not. We’re talking about abusive/ coercive/ controlling men. As I managed to say, all by myself, in #143.

    I think it’s common to think that that’s a universal rule. It allows us to think that circumstances that don’t line up like that are down to individuals who are exceptional and unusual rather than an all too common minority that we really shouldn’t be very much surprised by.

    Surely it’s not that hard. I also know/knew some women who would best be described by anyone, not just by you or the worst of the MRAs, as absolute cows. Those women are a minority, just as the men I’ve described are a minority.

    Making a better society means we should raise our children in such a way that those minorities become as small as possible and that people should be more willing to name – and respond to – coercive/ abusive behaviour when they do see it.

  147. Carnation says

    @ Paul

    “However i do believe that females can and do wield maternal,sexual and emotional power ..But because it’s not tangible power and therefore impossible to quantify it’s easy to play down or ignore the impact it can have.So there’s never been ,to my knowledge. any serious discussion as to the-albeit covert- power women can and do wield over their partners,children,friends etc etc etc”

    Every “power” that you have listed is not distinct or unique to females (allow gender latitude for maternal). And each can be a impediment, giving the holder of this “power” no advantage what-so-ever.

    You have veered into the world of Elam-esque absurdity to describe the “covert power women can and do wield” – not too far a leap to talk about these self same females with their covert powers lying to have men locked up because they are fed up with them. Or to say that they can’t be trusted in the same way men can. I know you’re not saying that, but you’re giving cover to a mindset that does. And that’s dangerous.

  148. Paul says

    You have veered into the world of Elam-esque absurdity to describe the “covert power women can and do wield”

    @Carnation

    Just like some used to believe there was a ”red under every bed” you seem see a ”rabid mra under every bed” which isn’t conducive to healthy debate.

    I made it clear in my post that i think men and women are generally inter-dependent on each other albeit in varying degrees.And that the issue of covert power-for instance the power women can wield over their partners and children- is one that is never acknowledged especially by those who’re quick to view women as being powerless.The fact that you’ve responded with your typical kneejerk reaction is predictable but unhelpful.For to deny the existance of covert power and the impact it can have -for good or bad and irrespective of whether it’s a man or woman who has it- seems to me to be breathtakingly naive.

  149. Carnation says

    @ Paul

    This is a gender politics blog, with a number of very active commenters who are indulgent of MRA theory. Therefore it’s to be expected that I will spot and “call out” those who rely on such theory as the bedrock of their ideology.

    If you didn’t get this latest theory from an MRA blog, you might as well have. It’s just ridiculous.

    You write that to deny “covert power” is naive but acknowledge that it can’t be quantified. How then can it be properly acknowledged?

    Society, I think, places more value on mothers and motherhood, but only at a very superficial level. That’s not covert. I’m not sure what age you are, but a common experience of women is being “led on” by men using the promise or hint of an emotional experience to obtain a purely or mostly sexual one. Major problem? Not in the grander scheme of things and of course has a female equivalent.

    The simplistic “women control access to sex” script has no place outside of a playground. It’s simply wrong. Same as men promise a relationship to get sex.

    If this covert power you speak of shows itself in other ways, I’m interested in what you have to say, but iirc you are a firm proponent of “holding women to account” for violence men inflict (mostly on other men) to impress women. It’s simply cretinous thinking.

  150. 123454321 says

    Just enough time to say that you, Carnation, are so far taken over by feminist indoctrination that your neurons must be hard-wired and welded together so fast that it would take a 170 amp mig welder to undo the damage.

    What you wrote just there was a train crash. It’s plainly obvious that you will never acknowledge that more women than men use sex as a leverage tool to get what they want from men. Not all women are like it but many are. Women have far more sexual power. You only have to go to a pub for an hour to see the evidence. You really are living in a cocoon. Dear oh dear.

  151. Carnation says

    “… It would take a 170 amp mig welder to undo the damage”

    That’s very specific. Please continue.

    Oh, one final thought, couldn’t men just equate sex with love and deprive women of their alleged sexual power? What about gay men? Sexually retired men? Happily monogamous men? Who are these frustrated and comically inept men gifting such power to women? And which women are we talking about?

  152. Jacob Schmidt says

    So…how about them redsox?

    Your blatantly presuppositional rhetorical question shows quite clearly that you are the most wrong and horrid of people, Archy.

    (I’ve no idea how the redsox are doing, as my last attachment to them was having their logo on my bedsheet as a child, despite not being a baseball fan of an sort.)

  153. Holms says

    @160
    Just enough time to say that you, Carnation, are so far taken over by feminist indoctrination that your neurons must be hard-wired and welded together so fast that it would take a 170 amp mig welder to undo the damage.

    Oh, not tig then?

    This is the sort of pettiness that I thought was tremendously witty back when I was 15. Which suits you by the way, as your arguments appear to be lifted directly from the scripts of innumerable lazily written sitcoms I no longer watch, in which it is assumed that getting married is an automatic death sentence to a man’s sex life, populated with wisecracking but lazy husbands who don’t know how to take care of themselves married (shackled) to exasperated nagging harpies.

    You’ve disagreed with the results of the study linked to in #85 because your personal experience differs, and as every sceptical thinker knows… personal experience trumps a review of 63 studies? Because 12345… says so! Oh and this is made especially rich when the only data you have provided in this conversation is the life cycle of an animal that is not a human and has a totally different social structure, the bee.

  154. 123454321 says

    “Oh, one final thought, couldn’t men just equate sex with love and deprive women of their alleged sexual power?”

    Men separate sex and love more so than women tend to. I guess it’s all in the biology but true and evident nonetheless. Besides, I’m not talking about men depriving women of their sexual power. I’m talking about how women play on their sexual power to their advantage. Men don’t do this to the same degree.

    “What about gay men?”

    That’s an extra layer of complexity which wouldn’t help us derive the issues we’re talking about which apply to the majority.

    “Sexually retired men?”

    No bargaining tool for the female in that case.

    “Who are these frustrated and comically inept men gifting such power to women?”

    Yes, I kind of agree that men who allow themselves to be bargained with via sex are somewhat comical. It’s a bit demeaning to men in a way, but, like I say, women know they can use sex as a bargaining tool and they do, and they get away with it in many cases.

    “And which women are we talking about?”

    Lots of women, seriously, lots of women, not all, but there are plenty more women using sex as a bargaining tool than men.

  155. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #165

    “Lots of women, seriously, lots of women, not all, but there are plenty more women using sex as a bargaining tool than men.”

    This is one of the first MRA theories I encountered online, and remains one of the simplest to debunk. Like many MRA theories, it plays on existing misogynistic stereotypes and seems designed for a very specific demographic.

    So let’s ask ourselves some questions.

    You say “I’m talking about how women play on their sexual power to their advantage.”

    Which women? Married women? Married couples make up around half of all households in the UK. So let’s exclude the wives.

    Lots more will be in committed relationships.

    Around 34% of the population are aged 50 or over, so let’s be blatantly ageist and exclude the women.

    Gay men account for around 8% of the male population. So they won’t be interested.

    26% of the population are aged 20 – 39. Let’s assume that they are generally accepted to be the peak years of female attractiveness (I don’t accept this, but we’re talking about MRAs here).

    I’m afraid that I can’t quite work out how many sexually desirable single women there are in the UK. I’ll admit there are a fair number round about where I live/work/play, but I haven’t been bargained with, so I’m at a loss as to where they fit in in your theory.

    OK, so we’ve established that it is a small minority of women who would be at least *able* to bargain with their alleged sexual power. Let’s move onto the men.

    How many men would be so pathetically base and easily manipulated? How many are single? How many are “in the mood”? How many are well rested, confident and “in the market” so to speak? Let’s go ahead and assume it’s another small minority, shall we?

    So, if a woman was single, young and happened to come across an unattached man who had something that that woman wanted, said woman might try to “bargain” using her “sexual power” with the man. And that man might be… what, duped? Taken advantage of? What?

    And then, oh, the horror! “hey get away with it in many cases.”

    So what are you talking about? And how big a problem do you think this is? Do you lose sleep over this? Has it happened to you?

    My friend, there have been a number of sexual revolutions in this country. If you think women “bargain” with their “sexual power”, I’m afraid simply don’t meet many women – you read about them. It’s a crass myth.

    Remember what I said about the misogynistic stereotypes being aimed at a certain demographic? I’m sorry to say, it is aimed at the embittered and inexperienced. Women are as diverse as men, Some are manipulative. Some are devious. The vast majority aren’t.

    I’m basing this on personal experience and a few articles, but I think that the female sex drive is stronger than the male, after the mid 20s. I also think that there are more sexually frustrated women than men.

    But let’s face facts – to consider “more women using sex as a bargaining tool than men” a serious issue is beyond parody.

  156. 123454321 says

    Carnation, You’ve completely lost me with your efforts to debunk – you failed roughly around the time that you decided to exclude wives, those in committed relationships, and the older generation. Yeah, how convenient for you and your stats! But, I’m afraid, my friend, that I’m going to be all inclusive with my selection set and suggest that ALL of those groups you mentioned contain women who, compared with their male counterparts, have a tendency to use their sexual power to benefit them at the expense of their partner.

    Many men would be nodding at this point, but you, Carnation, will keep shaking your head until your ears drop off, which they may as well because you’re stone deaf to common sense anyways.

  157. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #167

    “women … have a tendency to use their sexual power to benefit them at the expense of their partner.”

    What is this power you speak of? How is it exercised? Is it political power? Economic power? What is it?

    Do all women have this power? If not, which ones do?

    Are all men powerless in the face of this covert power? If not, which ones are?

    You write that women “get away with” using this power. What should happen to them?

    How serious a problem is the application of this covert power?

    These are absolutely genuine questions.

  158. mildlymagnificent says

    women who, compared with their male counterparts, have a tendency to use their sexual power to benefit them at the expense of their partner.

    At the expense of their partner?

    Let’s presume for a moment that you’re totally and completely right in this general description. What does this mean? What are the details? The only thing that comes to my mind is a picture – in the old Blondie and Dagwood cartoon style. Then … nothing.

    What is this expense that the partner is suffering? That they get any action only when it’s mutually desired and/or agreed – sounds like a good deal to me.

  159. 123454321 says

    “What is this power you speak of?

    FFS Carnation, are you seriously trying to say that men and boys have more sexual power than women and girls? Seriously, you think men have women wrapped right around their little fingers because they know that women would be queuing up to get their end away with them? Stop talking shit all your life. ‘Power’, as per your question, is hard to define in this context because its such a wide, deep, complex topic that spans so many areas. Regardless, most people would agree that women have more sexual power than men and flaunt and wield their sexual power to advantage them in a culture where men, for some reason, play along.

    How is it exercised?

    I suggest you visit a large city centre in UK on a Saturday night and count the number of girls wearing dresses hardly covering up their arses, high-heeled shoes they can hardly walk in, push up bras that obviously aim to push each nipple up each nostril, revealing a cleavage you could park a bike in etc. all of whom are exercising their sexual power to help them compete and choose the right mate. Would that be a good enough example?

    Is it political power?

    Nah.

    Economic power?

    In an indirect way, potentially, yes. But not always.

    Do all women have this power?

    No.

    If not, which ones do?

    I’d say this is based on two factors. Firstly the woman would have to have an element of relative female attractiveness in the first place. Secondly, she needs to be prepared to wield her tool – I never said that all women use this tactic, just that more women than men do. I defy any woman reading this that she hasn’t used, at sometime in her life, her female sexual power to try and gain herself an advantage or get what she wants from a man.

    Are all men powerless in the face of this covert power?

    No, but more men are likely to succumb to sexual temptation than women are likely to succumb.

    If not, which ones are?

    I guess that would be the men who are covertly lured by sexual temptation without realising that the outcome of events will leave them, overall, in a worse position.

    You write that women “get away with” using this power. What should happen to them?

    They should be educated to respect other human beings (even if they happen to be male) and taught at school how to treat men and boys, just as boys in school are taught how they should be respectful to girls. Girls and boys in schools today are given special lessons about the laws of consent. But it’s all one-sided, biased, and unfairly taught. All of the preachings are based on how boys should respect the choice of girls. All of the scenarios are based around boys harassing girls, boys wanting sex, girls having the right to say no (but not boys – nobody ever mentions anything from the boys’ point of view unless it’s about them wanting sex). It’s unbalanced and very damaging – it’s the usual, typical feminist style. This is where girls are taught that they have the sexual power (and the power to say no) where as boys are taught that they are the ones who always demand sex. It’s no wonder that girls quickly learn how they can use this sexual power to their advantage.

    How serious a problem is the application of this covert power?

    To the guy who, after being lured, just got screwed and thrown out in the garbage with no access to his kids but has to make payment for 18 years? Or the guy who got lured and is now on the end of a false rape accusation? Or the guy who gets lured and ends up Fathering a kid which isn’t his own? I guess potentially very serious.

  160. carnation says

    @75BC

    I’ll refute the hit parade of MRA theories you threw out there, but just a quick question: how does a father a child that isn’t his own?

  161. mildlymagnificent says

    It’s no wonder that girls quickly learn how they can use this sexual power to their advantage.

    What advantage? Exactly? I can see the advantages in having sex with the person you desire at times when you desire it. But what else? You seem to suggest there’s more. But I’m not getting it.

  162. Archy says

    “But let’s face facts – to consider “more women using sex as a bargaining tool than men” a serious issue is beyond parody.”

    ***Not agreeing or disagreeing on whether it’s a serious issue or not, just answering what I think CAN happen.

    Many people are married. The stereotype goes that men want sex more than women, if true that does leave women more likely to be the one being asked, instead of the one asking. Divorce can be quite a tricky and expensive thing so a man in a sexless relationship has to weigh up the costs of divorce both of the reality, and what he fears may happen (many horror stories on divorce which may or may not apply these days). Lack of sexual intimacy can be negative to experience, especially from your partner who is meant to be in love with you. He is not entitled to sex of course but that lack of sex still can be somewhat harmful just as lack of other forms of intimacy can be harmful for those who yearn for it.

    Doesn’t that leave her with some power, some bargaining ability? Of course there is far more power by withholding finances but still the lack of intimacy and the fact that divorce isn’t just a happy walk away….still gives her some power. Do X for me or you don’t get Y, the person wanting Y is at a disadvantage when for instance the sex drives are not matched.

    Interestingly enough on some sites for domestic violence, Sexual violence (but more so emotional abuse I would say) includes withholding sex and affection (usually as a form of punishment). Now if sexuality had no power, surely there wouldn’t be a possible manner in which to use it for abuse or bargaining, etc?

    That said no idea on how many women use it, not going to venture into that territory but merely showing that can be some power in sexuality.

    @169 Mildymanificent – “What is this expense that the partner is suffering? That they get any action only when it’s mutually desired and/or agreed – sounds like a good deal to me.”

    Withholding affection is classified as abuse in some cases but I believe it’s meant to be only considered abuse when done to punish another. It’s not that hard to understand the negative effects of lack of affection in a relationship, depression, insecurity, self-esteem issues, etc. Humans are social creatures, and in relationships it’s expected that they are affectionate with each other and at least try to meet each others needs. When those needs are only met as rewards though it’s a pretty toxic relationship though.

    Of course sex should always be consenting but not all relationships are easy to leave, there can be severe financial consequences in divorce especially as single incomes are often not enough in some areas to afford a somewhat decent life. Cost of living where I am makes it incredibly difficult to have a home with a single income. Add the horror stories of abuse as I mention above it can be quite a significant fear of men in this example to divorce and probably pushes many to put up with far more negativity than they otherwise would. Even the fear of divorce’s outcome on men is enough to cause some to stay in bad relationships.

    It’s pretty common to see abused men stay due to the issues of divorce (and women too) and that gives the abuser quite a lot of power.

    ” how does a father a child that isn’t his own?”
    I am guessing he refers to being father, being told you’re the father, of a child who you didn’t actually concieve with her. Eg, she cheated but said you were the father. If he doesn’t suspect early enough of her cheating then he has no choice but to pay child support in many areas AFAIK if she names him as the father, there is no opt-out ability. A few people stay to make it work for the kids when they otherwise might leave so it’s an extremely unfair and quite frankly abusive thing to do to someone, heavily pressuring them to stay with court-ordered backing to at least be financially responsible for a choice and action they had no involvement in.

    “What advantage? Exactly? I can see the advantages in having sex with the person you desire at times when you desire it. But what else? You seem to suggest there’s more. But I’m not getting it.”

    I would guess favours, I’ve known a few people who will give women extra attention n favours in the hopes of a relationship or sex with them. Given that there is either a reality, or a perception that men want sex more than women, it does give some bargaining ability to women. Eg, I’ve never heard of a man having sex with a boss for promotions, but I have heard of it with some women. No idea if it’s widespread or not, I would guess it’s pretty rare. Sex workers also use this power for an income. I wouldn’t be surprised though if the stereotypes of all these issues actually reinforced the power dynamics far more than the actual reality of availability of sex between the genders.

  163. Schala says

    FFS Carnation, are you seriously trying to say that men and boys have more sexual power than women and girls? Seriously, you think men have women wrapped right around their little fingers because they know that women would be queuing up to get their end away with them? Stop talking shit all your life.

    It’s a professional troll, what did you expect? I’d just ignore Carnation if I were you, way more heat, no light to be had.

  164. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    I’m generally a good sport with a very tolerance for thus sort of thing, but I’ve had one too many “troll” accusations following my comments.

    Could I invoke whatever directive or agreed standard of behaviour that disallows such accusations please?

  165. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 176

    No, you are not a troll. They are just being rude. Ignore them.

    That said, I think you are wrong about power in general, and ‘sexual power’ in particular. Archy got it pretty much right, but I’ll add my bit.
    Power is simply a capacity to change the world to your liking. It can be quite low-key, power is not limited to the Saddam Husseins. Like money (another kind of power), you do not have to use it, but it is always good to have, just in case.
    Being able to supply something that other people want is a kind of power. If you are the only GP in a 20-mile radius, people will be willing to do you the odd favour and cut you some slack if you get stupid – simply because they want to be sure of a quick appointment next time their kids get sick. Sexual power is like this, something people want and will do favours to get.

    So, some of your comments:
    – Men could get out from under women’s power by no longer wanting sex without love? Of course we could. And Europe could get out from under the power of Gazprom and Putin by not importing gas and no longer heating their houses in the winter. Only the cure is worse than the disease.

    – Exclude people in marriages and committed relationships from your counting?
    That totally misunderstands the situation. In any marriage you hope you will live in eternal bliss, always trying to make your mate even more happy, and agreeing about all decisions. Reality is often different, though. And when you disagree, when you go through a rough patch, when things are hard, it is an advantage to bring something to the table the other one wants. If it is ‘no sex. as long as we are so angry’, the one who needs sex the most will likely be the first to climb down and say he is sorry. And if it is a question of doing a lot of work to keep the marriage together, or to change so that you can get along, again the person who needs most from the marriage (including sex) is likely to do most of the adapting. Like it or not, such crude factors do matter, it is not all about love. One social scientist noted that two-career, high-income families tended to watch less TV, both be very involved with the children, and divorce much less. Surely it is not too cynical to note that a mate that brings in a lot of money and is a committed child carer is less likely to be divorced than one who brings in little and spends more time with the TV than with the children? Well, providing a fulfilling sex life is one way to build the credit that will get other peccadillos overlooked.
    It may well be that not many women would explicitly trade sex for favours. But they have the option (which is always nice) and the simple fact that you do not want to have sex when you are not happy works fine as ‘make me happy – or else’ without any explicit bargaining. Admittedly, many men might actually prefer bargaining. ‘My wife will only have sex with me when I buy her an expensive dress’ is sad and pathetic – but it is still better than ‘my wife will not have sex with me for any reason, ever’.

    I can see the advantages in having sex with the person you desire at times when you desire it. But what else?

    I can see the advantage too. But it only works that way if the person you desire chooses to be available when you desire it. If A desires much more than B, his experience will be that it is always no and nobody gives a shit about what he wants anyway. He then has a choice: Either he stops trying, and has sex the one or two times a year where both parties happen to be inspired at the same time. Or he grabs any chance he gets, whatever he happens to be feeling at the time. While B enjoys the luxury of having sex with her partner every time she desires it.

  166. Carnation says

    @ GJGanger

    “Power is simply a capacity to change the world to your liking.”

    That’s a reasonable statement. And the fun part of this discussion is that I know exactly what 75BC et al are talking about. I just disagree with it, and act dumb to challenge those who believe in this to justify what they are talking about.

    The trope of women using their covert sexual power to change the world to their liking is simply outdated. Let’s look at it another way – man sees attractive woman. He wants to change the world to his liking. So he, what? Manipulates her? Exploits her? Suggests something?

    Individual agency is central to this. And so is self esteem.

    Those who feel powerless and who, on some level, doubt their individual validity rail hardest (with some justification) against those who state these same individuals are favoured or privileged in society. As Chris Rock memorably said (inaccurately, but it made a point) “ain’t a one-legged white bus-boy would change places with me, and I’m rich!”.

    Back to this alleged sexual power – it is sheer misandry to suggest that men are so easily led. It is absolutely disgraceful to posit that men will only/mainly/sometimes do a good turn for a desireable woman because of her attractiveness. This POV demeans humans. Last night I was thinking about this thread – I ushered three women to go ahead of me off a bus. Because I wanted to have my way with them? No… They were old enough to be my mammy’s mammy. And ye canny shove yer granny off the bus.

    Not so long ago, a heavily built, facially scarred man was given similar lattitude to exit a bus I was on. Was that his alleged fighting prowess? Or my cowardice power? Or just that one of us had to move, and I’m a nice fellow?

    Regarding sex as a bargaining tool in a relationship – as I have said before, if this happens, you are in a dysfunctional relationship and both of you should end it. It isn’t working. It’s simply passivity to stay in a relationship with such an inbalance of desire and standards. With all due respect, I think this is something that’s affected you personally, so I choose my words carefully. I think a new way of thinking, and possibly acting, would really benefit you.

    I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, outside of one’s 20s, the female sex drive seems higher. Now, we have discussed whether it’s easier for a woman to “get sex” than a man. I agree that, yes, it is. But put the word “satisfying” in front (let alone “safe” and/or “socially acceptable”) and that changes dramatically. In fact, it seems to me to be easier for men.

    And let’s be frank – this is nothing more than extremely micro-politics. The personal in this is absolutely not political.

  167. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 178
    That rather does make sense. And I guess I should have learned not to butt into other people’s conversations. Still,

    It is absolutely disgraceful to posit that men will only/mainly/sometimes do a good turn for a desireable woman because of her attractiveness.

    I certainly would do it on occasion if I thought it might actually help – or for a short, warm glow and a nice fantasy afterwards. Is that disgraceful? Anyway, I suspect that the entire interaction style of men with women is coloured by a kind of weak reflex flirting, coming from the fact that unlike men they are potential mates. That does not mean I would endorse the more apocalyptic statements of some of the others.

    As for being called a troll, Ally said that if

    you play with the language of violence and oppression, don’t be surprised or complain if others assume you and your movement are violent and oppressive.

    So, if you play dumb, …

  168. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    Just briefly:

    “As for being called a troll, Ally said that if “you play with the language of violence and oppression, don’t be surprised or complain if others assume you and your movement are violent and oppressive.” So, if you play dumb, … ”

    Not quite, though I knew that would be picked up – I believe that virtually all of those who support this theory cannot articulate it, without resorting to individualistic personal experiences, or outright misogynistic stereotyping. It is without academic foundation. So I played dumb to give them enough room to reveal themselves – I already knew what they meant, but they hid it using a semi-literate discourse that masked the unsophsiticated stereotyping that underpins this nonsense.

    “I certainly would do it on occasion if I thought it might actually help – or for a short, warm glow and a nice fantasy afterwards. Is that disgraceful?”

    But I’m also sure, given that you’re a decent human, that is a n attractive woman of 21 asked for help you’d do it, perhaps for the reasons you listed, but I seriously doubt a 55 year old woman who wasn’t attractive would be refused by you. Because it comes down to being nice.

    But far more fundamentally, you *felt* that a power was being exerted over you by one woman. But that’s you. That’s all about you and how YOU feel, not about her and what she represents to YOU.

    Stop projecting your own feelings of inadequecy onto others*.

    * by you I mean all those who buy into this, I realise that you are amongst the least convinced/fundamentalist.

  169. Archy says

    “But I’m also sure, given that you’re a decent human, that is a n attractive woman of 21 asked for help you’d do it, perhaps for the reasons you listed, but I seriously doubt a 55 year old woman who wasn’t attractive would be refused by you. Because it comes down to being nice.”

    I help out older women, but I put far more attention into women around my age since my time is finite and I am single. Doing nice things for people can help them feel more attracted to you, the female friends I have who do nice things and go out of their way to help me rise significantly in attractiveness to me.

    For those who are young and inexperienced in the ways of the world it can lead to people being used where the user will give just enough flirting and attention to mimic mutual attraction, whilst receiving the benefits of the additional attention and favors.

    “Back to this alleged sexual power – it is sheer misandry to suggest that men are so easily led. It is absolutely disgraceful to posit that men will only/mainly/sometimes do a good turn for a desireable woman because of her attractiveness. This POV demeans humans.”

    Well if sex is far easier to get as a woman, as you say even if unsatisfying then you have a dynamic in which women as a group have something men as a group want more of than the reverse. Individual men must weigh up the difference between getting sex even if it costs them time n energy (or even money in some cases) vs no sex. Keep in mind that not everyone has easy access to sex, and in areas with far more men than women this increases that sexual power held by women quite a bit since there are far fewer opportunities. This can and does lead to some men putting up with things they normally wouldn’t as they want the sex or dating or intimacy, etc since no sex can be damn annoying and quite a lonely life to live. It can also mean some men will do more for a woman in the hopes of getting intimacy/love/sex/whatever. Not all men will do this, especially those who are privileged in the attraction department and have extra choices, or those who find a good partner.

    “Regarding sex as a bargaining tool in a relationship – as I have said before, if this happens, you are in a dysfunctional relationship and both of you should end it. It isn’t working. It’s simply passivity to stay in a relationship with such an inbalance of desire and standards. ”

    Not everyone can just end it easy. There are many variables like how much it costs to divorce, being unable to afford living separately, depending on area you may end up paying lifetime alimony to that person or get gutted financially in the divorce. Some women may lie their ass off and threaten to falsely claim rape, threaten to kill themselves, take the kids, etc as emotional abuse tactic to keep him in the relationship. Religion and culture can play a part, I think it is catholics that tend to dislike divorce. Some stay together for the kids even at the expense of their own happiness.

    Whether these threats and negative outcomes are real or not, the FEAR of them is enough to scare many men into staying in relationships they do not want to be in. I’m sure there are many reasons too affecting both genders as to why they stay, so on the surface it’s easy to say “just leave” but the reality for many isn’t that simple. Human relationships are stupidly complex.

  170. Carnation says

    @ Archy

    Um, yeah, men lie and falsely accuse in to the family and divorce courts too. They have also been known to use rather overt threats of violence to maintain control of a relationship.

    The naivety and learned helplessness of men who stay in unhappy relationships is a far greater issue for men than the uselessly opaque “female covert sexual power” myth.

  171. Carnation says

    “Keep in mind that not everyone has easy access to sex, and in areas with far more men than women this increases that sexual power held by women quite a bit since there are far fewer opportunities.”

    I don’t accept this. Myths such as the one you are espousing *hinder* men by commodifying sex. Sex isn’t something women “give” to men, it’s something they do with men. See the difference?

    If a man (or woman) is missing sex and wants a sex partner, it is not remotely difficult to find one in this era that we live in – provided, of course, to that you approach it in the right way.

    The late Elliot Rodger was proof that, regardless of looks and relative wealth (he was good looking and moneyed), the wrong attitude to sex and sexuality will work against you.

    Tact, realism and not being shackled with entitlement, resentment and misogynistic stereotypes opens up a world in which sexual possibilities abound and in which the sheer stupidity of this theory is revealed.

  172. JT says

    Tact, realism and not being shackled with entitlement, resentment and misogynistic stereotypes opens up a world in which sexual possibilities abound and in which the sheer stupidity of this theory is revealed.(carnation)

    Oh so true carnation. But here is the thing, for the few males who possess those attitudes, they are easy fodder for the women who understand that their “sexuality” does have some form of power. ;)
    It would be so much easier if you guys would at least agree on some of the obvious points you are making. :)

  173. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 183

    Tact, realism and not being shackled with entitlement, resentment and misogynistic stereotypes opens up a world in which sexual possibilities abound

    This is reasonably good advice: “Face facts, do your best, be optimistic, do not whine, never expect anyone to help you”. But your insistence that anyone can have a great sex life sounds remarkably like the US cliché that anyone can get rich – so if you are poor it is your own fault(!) I am not convinced this is true, and it most certainly is not a good way of convincing the disadvantaged.

  174. Carnation says

    @ JT @GJganger

    Gents, it’s a round-about argument. Who has the power, the person wanting something or the person with the thing that the person wants? It’s just not realistic. It is not a societal problem. It’s so hugely irrelevant.

    Your argument boils down to “the good looking woman is good looking, so men can’t help but bestow upon her power”. It’s just balderdash.

    It’s also completely wrong. But, like lots of myths, has a grain of truth. A single man, with no obviously glaring personality defects (and quite a few with them) of perfectly average attractiveness will find himself, after the age of 30, with many potential female suitors. Body clock and all that, innit? (I acknowledge that this is a sexist myth but has a grain of truth somewhere within it – it’s often misused by misogynists as “evidence” of women wanting to be provided for financially).

    “But your insistence that anyone can have a great sex life sounds remarkably like the US cliché that anyone can get rich.”

    I didn’t say great, but they can very likely have a sex life. I’d love to write for the Guardian, debating gender politics, but it isn’t going to happen. So here I am talking with you guys. How do I know it isn’t going to happen? Well, primarily because I’ve never submitted a piece. If I did, would it get anywhere? Who knows, but I doubt it. Is that because Ally Fogg used his covert sexual power to get his job? As much as I’d love that to be true, it isn’t. I like sex.

    @ Ally Fogg

    Or is it??

    A major part of the reason I am so deeply hostile to MRA theory is that it holds back men. Belief in this particular theory will stunt or prevent relationships. And that’s sad.

  175. JT says

    Lol, Caranation. The example I showed you has a direct effect on Western society. And yes, sexuality was a key component in the transfer of some power. I realize that may force you to take a slightly different world view, but hey, I have faith in ya. :)

  176. StillGjenganger says

    Who has the power, the person wanting something or the person with the thing that the person wants?

    That one is easy. On pure theory, the power goes with the resource, not the need. If I need money and Bill Gates has it, he is the one with the power, not I. That does not mean I am forced to sell him my house if I do not want to, but he could get a lot of people houses (and daughters) if he wanted to. If someone is able to beat the sh*t out of you he has a power that he may or may not choose to use. You do not ‘bestow’ that power on him by ‘choosing’ to be afraid.

    It is not a societal problem. It’s so hugely irrelevant.

    That may well be. But you would get a more sensible discussion on this if you did not try to deny that being able to supply something very sought-after – like sex – does gives you a measure of power.

  177. Carnation says

    @ JT

    I didn’t read the article. Have patience.

    @GJganger

    Interesting example about Bill Gates. A few householders up in Aberdeen caused him no end of problems. That’s a person will real power: to hire & fire, buy, create and destroy. Bit more significant than flirting, isn’t it?

    “If someone is able to beat the sh*t out of you he has a power that he may or may not choose to use. You do not ‘bestow’ that power on him by ‘choosing’ to be afraid.”

    Or by realising that it’s exceptionally unlikely that he *will” attack you and acting accordingly. More aptly, should this man be “held to account” for the power that others imagine he has? Should all of his actions be defined by it? Or should those afraid of him take a bit of accountability for their own attitudes?

    “…if you did not try to deny that being able to supply something very sought-after – like sex – does gives you a measure of power.”

    Power over who? How much power? Define the power? It’s just infantile. We are talking about literally the most mundane day-to-day, minutiae of life. What are we talking about? A few doors held open? The occassional dinner paid for by some sap who hasn’t heard of feminism? What?

    Some solid examples of this power, please, and an explanation of its importance in 21st century society.

    I’m expecting the less sophisticated of you to think “Warrell! Date fraud!” JT and GJganger will discuss interpersonal relationships, positing the man as the poor horny victim.

  178. Carnation says

    @ JT

    Dude, that seemed to be more about love, espionage and extremely poor management than some poor sap being duped using “covert sexual power”.

    Or is love a covert female power, too?

  179. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 190
    Not sure what we are discussing at this point, or what I am supposed to be arguing against. It sounds to me like you are saying that only absolute power counts as power – which would mean that BIll Gates, Barack Obama, the Pope, and your average toddler are all equally powerless – but maybe I am misjudging you.

    Your post does not sound like the start of a great, meaningful discussion (my opinions are infantile, you already know what I am going to say, you are requiring all that additional information in support of I-still-do-not-know-what). And anyway I do not really have much to add to my previous posts, so I think we should call it a day. Some other time.

  180. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    Eh, nope, I’ve lost you. I’m saying that “covert sexual power” doesn’t exist in any meaningful way. It has no intrinsic value or meaning. It doesn’t affect anybody day-to-day, except those who choose to believe that they are affected by it. It’s simply a myth. There is nobody being denied their human rights because of a woman’s “covert sexual power”.

    Sadly, huge numbers of people choose to remain in relationships that aren’t worth remaining in. You might argue that this is because if “covert sexual power”, I counter that it’s because of emotional illiteracy and low self-esteem.

    For every man considered “pussy-whipped”, there will be sneers at an attractive woman enjoying success because she used her “covert sexual power” to get where she is.

    I have as much respect for men as I do for women. That’s why I know this is a phenomenon that exists only on MRA blogs, and in the minds of those whose esteem is lower than it should be.

  181. D506 says

    @Carnation

    “Power over who? How much power? Define the power? It’s just infantile. We are talking about literally the most mundane day-to-day, minutiae of life. What are we talking about? A few doors held open? The occasional dinner paid for by some sap who hasn’t heard of feminism? What?”

    I think you’re being intentionally naive by acting like control over sex isn’t power, or isn’t relevant. Frankly, it has far more effect on the day to day lives of most people than who the president is, or what gender most Fortune 500 CEOs are.

    I would strongly compare it to a marriage in which one person makes 50k yearly and the other makes 15k. I suspect you would have no difficulty in identifying that as a power differential that leaves one partner vulnerable, even if there’s no real ‘power’ in a 50k salary. The former could be using that power to take control over major decisions (where to live, what car to buy, which house to buy, etc.), or to go ‘with’ while the latter goes without. Certainly the poorer party should leave in the face of that sort of abuse, but there are many factors that make this difficult.

    That said, despite the stereotypes I don’t think ‘control over sex’ is gendered. I agree with you that assuming sex is something women give and men need is deeply offensive and discriminatory to men and, frankly, wrong.

  182. Carnation says

    @ D506

    Well, as best I can follow from the bricolage of explanations that have came in, women’s “covert sexual power” mainly exists outside of relationships, but can also exist within relationships. So… Your example, whilst interesting, isn’t (IMHO) valid.

    The entire concept rests on lies. That men always want more sex than women. That men want sex purely for pleasure and not for emotional reasons. That women innately bargain with sex. That men have something that women want, and that the woman wants it enough to use her “covert sexual power” to get it. And as I pointed out, that there are enough desireable women and men full of desire to actually make this a thing.

    I truly believe that this theory was articulated by men who glean their sociological imaginations from Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and SATC.

  183. StillGjenganger says

    OK, I can follow that.
    I would never talk about ‘covert sexual power’, and I think many of your opponents are a bit over the top. I would say that the current situation of men asking and women granting gives women, statistically, an advantage they can choose exploit , be it for money (prostitution), for a better relationship, or sex life. Of course there are other advantages, this is just one more to count against the other ones that men (indubitably) have. Does it deny anybody their human rights? No, but neither do most of the ones males enjoy, such as being considered more authoritative.

  184. Ally Fogg says

    Is that because Ally Fogg used his covert sexual power to get his job? As much as I’d love that to be true, it isn’t. I like sex.

    Now you mention it, I’ve only ever really been commissioned regularly by the female editors at the Guardian. Here was me thinking it was all down to my astute vision, wisdom and splendid wordsmithery. Turns out I was just using my covert sexual power and they were all trying to get into my voluminous yet chaste bloomers.

    I feel dirty and exploited.

  185. Ally Fogg says

    Oh, and meant to say, sorry I haven’t been around much these past few days. Nice to see you’ve all been carrying on without me.

    For what it is worth, I’m broadly with Carnation on this. So-called sexual power is what people resort to using when they are deprived of all other types of power. See any episode of Mad Men or a Jane Austen novel.

    If you don’t like the fact that some women get minks the same way minks get minks, commit yourself to changing society so they don’t need to.

  186. JT says

    Lmao Carnation, where the hell did you get “Love” from that article? Or is “affair” synonymous with love in your world? Most people who are having affairs are mostly doing it so they can get some sex on the side. And in the articles case she was giving it while getting money and information. Youre right about the duped part, which reaffirms the idea that sex, if used properly, can gain you some power. ;)

  187. Carnation says

    @ JT

    that’s very cynical, ain’t it? It lasted many years… He was manipulated but it was for love, no?

    You realise male spies have done the same?

  188. says

    Fogg, 198

    For what it is worth, I’m broadly with Carnation on this. So-called sexual power is what people resort to using when they are deprived of all other types of power. See any episode of Mad Men or a Jane Austen novel.

    Ouch, that s just depressingly stupid. Because people might prefer overt power does not mean less overt power does not exist. An fictional evidence is just…. /facepalm

  189. Ally Fogg says

    Power, as Foucault famously observed, is everywhere.

    A baby exerts power over its parents by crying to be fed.

    However as I understand it, this conversation was sparked by people claiming that women’s sexual hold over men was sufficiently noteworthy to make it reasonable to claim that women have similar or even more power than men as a consequence of their supposed sexual power.

    That’s just silly.

  190. JT says

    @Ally

    But some women’s sexual power is more than some men’s overall power. What is silly is that people attempt to make it an all or nothing mentality.

  191. Paul says

    @Ally

    However as I understand it, this conversation was sparked by people claiming that women’s sexual hold over men was sufficiently noteworthy to make it reasonable to claim that women have similar or even more power than men as a consequence of their supposed sexual power.

    I haven’t read the whole thread so i don’t know who said that. However there’s an interesting discussion to be had about covert power and the way it’s used -whether that covert power be sexual.emotional or parental.And the specific way that women can use it in their relationships with their partners,children ,friends etc.Therefore challenging the myth that men are always powerful and women are powerless.

    Mothers for instance can wield an enormous amount of covert power over their children.Wives can wield it over their husbands.This isn’t meant in any way to detract from the power that some men have and the fact that some women can face sex discrimination.However given most men and women are inter-dependent on each other-albeit in varying degrees and given women are the primary carers of children in most cases it seems more than a bit silly to suggest that women don’t wield power and influence .And given that most working aged couple households nowadays require two incomes that power and influence isn’t always covert.

    Cherie Blair -although unelected and unaccountable- was thought to be the power behind the throne when her husband was PM. It’s an extreme example but nevertheless it’s an example of a woman wielding covert power and influence with a powerful man.And if the truth be known i’m sure Cherie Blair wasn’t some freak of nature.And potentially it cuts both ways .We don’t for instance know how much covert power and influence Dennis Thatcher wielded when his wife was PM.

  192. 123454321 says

    “A major part of the reason I am so deeply hostile to MRA theory is that it holds back men.”

    What a crock of shit. Allow me to catch my breath….

  193. says

    “claim that women have similar or even more power than men as a consequence of their supposed sexual power.”

    I don’t think anyone has said that women have more power than men, or at least I don’t think they meant to say that – just that women have more ‘sexual’ power than men, much of which is executed covertly. So covert, in fact, that some people around here don’t even fucking recognise it.

    Ok, so does Carnation (or Ally) think that men have more sexual power than women? Don’t forget we’re talking on average here. Or perhaps you think it’s a dead 50:50 split?

  194. says

    Hear, hear for Paul #204 and Archy #181 who eloquently make good points.

    I mean, I knew all about (and recognised) covert female sexual power when I was a mere teenager and assumed that EVERYONE else in the World recognised this ‘sexual force’. It’s everywhere. How can some of you guys have missed it! I’m genuinely shocked and need time to work this out – there’s something not quite right. I’m going to start at the point where, so far, I am recognising and acknowledging that there are some people associated with feminism who refuse to acknowledge the importance and validity of female sexual power, especially when it is covertly, or overtly for that matter, applied in order to gain a benefit. There must be a simple, valid reason other than the types of nonsense reasoning that Carnation has attempted so far, which when you reread Carnation’s posts, there aren’t any valid counterarguments other than…”I don’t agree” —– and Ally hasn’t even tried as it’s probably on his ‘couldn’t give a shit list’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2029781/I-use-sex-appeal-ahead-work–does-ANY-woman-sense.html

  195. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally 202
    Fair enough – I can only agree with you there.

    @Carnarion 195

    That men always want sex more than women … that women innately bargain for sex

    Are you still playing dumb? Those are wild exaggerations, as I am sure you know. If you really want a debate rather than a shouting match, how about avoiding that kind of strawman argument?

    @11111*11111 et al.
    What is the point of talking about covert power? Women have (sexual) power or they do not. What does the ‘covert’ add, except a hook for obfuscation and conspiracy theories?

  196. says

    Gjenganger

    What is the point of talking about covert power? Women have (sexual) power or they do not. What does the ‘covert’ add, except a hook for obfuscation and conspiracy theories?

    that it is a kind of power that is often not measured by a metric frequently used to assess power. For example the psychological power people with high confidence can exert.

  197. JT says

    What is the point of talking about covert power? Women have (sexual) power or they do not. What does the ‘covert’ add, except a hook for obfuscation and conspiracy theories?(StillGj)

    Exactly. And anyone who argues that some women dont use it to their advantage are just full of sheit. That would be like saying some men dont use their physical size to their advantage. I have several female relatives who are masters at it. :)

  198. says

    I’m convinced that most men are susceptible to this type of vulnerability simply because they are programmed to allow various types of covert, sexually-related manipulation to go right over their heads without it bothering them, after all, it has been going on for thousands of years!
    Next time you’re all having fun out and about with your groups of friends, literally count the number of times men and women jokingly threaten their partners with punishment surrounding the withholding of sex. You might notice a themed ratio in your results. While you’re at it, count the number of direct criticisms (sometimes done in a jesting nature) aimed at partners whereby the opponents are humiliated, mocked, made to feel small, or intentionally debased in public. Notice which sex apologises more frequently and also which gender submits to being wrong.

    Are these undertones meaningless?

  199. JT says

    1234…….

    And what is “covert” about what you are describing. Seems pretty much in the open.

  200. says

    “What does the ‘covert’ add….?”

    Well, from discussions so far it appears that female ‘covert’ sexual power isn’t that well recognised. Perhaps it’s time to unleash the secrets and raise awareness of what I believe is THE most powerful type of power on Planet Earth. I reckon a few people need to spend some time watching a few David Attenborough classics and attempt to extrapolate the animal instinct theory to that of humans. We are animals, after all!

  201. says

    “that it is a kind of power that is often not measured by a metric frequently used to assess power. For example the psychological power people with high confidence can exert.”

    Nicely put.

  202. mildlymagnificent says

    Next time you’re all having fun out and about with your groups of friends, literally count the number of times men and women jokingly threaten their partners with punishment surrounding the withholding of sex.

    I’ve only ever heard that sort of thing from people whose partners are getting themselves plastered. The idea of having to share a household, let alone a bed, with an alcohol-fumed, slurring, lurching, belching frankenstein version of someone who looks a bit like one’s partner is not an attractive prospect.

    And Everyone Knows That.

  203. JT says

    I believe you exagerate greatly in regards to that power being the most powerful on planet earth. Talk about hyperbole.

  204. says

    “let alone a bed, with an alcohol-fumed, slurring, lurching, belching frankenstein version of someone who looks a bit like one’s partner is not an attractive prospect.”

    Oh ok, that sounds exactly like the type of comment I was trying to describe – the type of comment that rarely comes out of the man’s mouth.

    And by the way, who gets the bed and who gets the spare room or sofa?

  205. says

    “I believe you exagerate greatly in regards to that power being the most powerful on planet earth. Talk about hyperbole.”

    So what do you think is top of the mountain in terms of power?

  206. says

    So what do you think is top of the mountain in terms of power?

    Large scale institutional power by dictators who completely control their countries, institutional powers by leaders of the most powerful countries.

  207. says

    “Large scale institutional power by dictators who completely control their countries, institutional powers by leaders of the most powerful countries.”

    I don’t know how you can assign more hierarchical power to specific, economic-related leaders and institutions which came into existence tens of thousands of years after the complex metrics and intricacies of sexual power allowed for them to be there in the first place.

  208. StillGjenganger says

    @123454321 222

    Never mind the ten thousand years, and the intricate metrics.
    The largest power is the one that can get almost anything it wants with little or no cost or counterpower. OK, you could argue about where Obama or Cameron fits in, But the most absolute power is the power of Saddam Hussein or Kim Young Un’ over their countries, the power of an armed group that can kill and mutilate those around them with impunity – or maybe the power of parents over their small children. The power of lackanookie does not really come close.

  209. StillGjenganger says

    @Sheaf 210
    OK, that is at least reasonable.
    I still think you are better off without the ‘covert’, though – it sounds too much like you are planning to argue “Of course there is no evidence for it! That is because it is COVERT, geddit?”

  210. JT says

    Well, in my personal life a gun in my mouth ranks pretty freaking high in terms of power, or lack thereof. But in the overall scheme of things the one who has the most shares of the company who makes the guns is probably pretty powerful.

  211. Archy says

    “I don’t accept this. Myths such as the one you are espousing *hinder* men by commodifying sex. Sex isn’t something women “give” to men, it’s something they do with men. See the difference?”

    I know sex isn’t something women “give” to men. It’s still either a perception or reality that women want less sex than the men, it still gives rise to market forces otherwise female prostitution wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as it is today. Even you agreed it’s easier for women to get sex (which is probably unsatisfying and I know full well the risks of rape n abuse and fears of strangers many women hold).

    “Um, yeah, men lie and falsely accuse in to the family and divorce courts too. They have also been known to use rather overt threats of violence to maintain control of a relationship.”

    I realize this, I was only commenting on factors that influence the men to stay, not why the women stay.

    “If a man (or woman) is missing sex and wants a sex partner, it is not remotely difficult to find one in this era that we live in – provided, of course, to that you approach it in the right way.”

    Do you bother reading what I say? Tell me how to find a sex partner in an area with 2-3x more men than women like many mining towns? If he is married, he cannot cheat on her and if she won’t have sex with him then he has no sex partner. There are many reasons why it’s difficult to find a sex partner. Men who have social anxiety for instance are especially at disadvantage as still today society expects men to ask out women, and not the reverse.

    “The late Elliot Rodger was proof that, regardless of looks and relative wealth (he was good looking and moneyed), the wrong attitude to sex and sexuality will work against you.”

    That is true. He was most likely autistic to some degree lacking the ability to read body language which is a major disadvantage for people who are meant to approach and ask out others. He was also batshit crazy.

    “Tact, realism and not being shackled with entitlement, resentment and misogynistic stereotypes opens up a world in which sexual possibilities abound and in which the sheer stupidity of this theory is revealed.”

    Yes, of course, only misogynists dare to believe in the theory that women can get sex easier than men, does that include yourself above? Some of the nicest men I know who AREN’T entitled or misogynist are single and haven’t had sex for years. There are many factors at play.

    Tell me, if one gender wants more sex than the other, is aroused far more often, does that not create a major imbalance? In a relationship how do you think a once a day sex lover would go with a once a year sex lover?

    I doubt this is MRA theory, I’m sure many feminists can understand that if one gender’s sex drive is lower than the other than there is a power imbalance as one gets ALL their sexual needs met, yet the other does not. I’ve heard this theory talked about plenty by people who not MRA’s, even most women I know would probably agree with it.

    The stereotypical flipside is other forms of affection being desired more in women and men rationing it out. Whether that is reality or perception is anyone’s guess.

  212. Archy says

    “However as I understand it, this conversation was sparked by people claiming that women’s sexual hold over men was sufficiently noteworthy to make it reasonable to claim that women have similar or even more power than men as a consequence of their supposed sexual power. ”

    Just stating I don’t think they’re equivelent. Men hold more power via control of resources and positions of institutional power. Power via sexuality is pretty limited to maybe getting a raise and individual relationships. I’ve never argued that it gives some high level of power.

    Honestly either I am nuts, either my country is quite different, or some people in this thread either don’t pay much attention to the world or we’re misunderstanding each other on the level of power being discussed…but I can’t believe there are people that can’t plainly see there is power in sexuality. Having sex to get a promotion wouldn’t work without it.

    @212, exactly. I’ve seen oodles of times women threaten to withhold sex, and oodles of time men cave in. It’s a common “joke” to not piss off your wife/gf or you get denied sex. Hell some domestic violence websites state withholding sex as punishing IS DOMESTIC ABUSE.

    Maybe Australia is different but there is quite a bit of power held with wives and girlfriends. Sure it’s not as much power as financial power and other forms, but it’s still some power. I don’t think anyone is arguing women hold more power than men overall. Even in relationships there are multiple forms of power such as money, size/intimidation, sexuality, etc.

  213. Mr Supertypo says

    I have to admit, in all my years, I have never ever ever stumbled across a woman who withhold sex…never! All the women I have been with they have always been enthusiastic. But I have met women, who get offended and angry if they dont get sex. The kind of women who manipulates or the “guardian of the gate type” never. So I cannot relate to this topic.

  214. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #205

    If a man buys into the theory that women have “covert sexual power” that they use a bargaining tool, then that man will be suspicious of women and believe in a misogynistic myth. This will hold them back from successful relationships with women and increase their bitterness.

    “Well, from discussions so far it appears that female ‘covert’ sexual power isn’t that well recognised. Perhaps it’s time to unleash the secrets and raise awareness of what I believe is THE most powerful type of power on Planet Earth.”

    Perhaps it’s not well recognised because, outside of the imaginations of misogynists and the easily led, it doesn’t exist? Maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of society is just ticking all tickity-boo, blissfully unaware that they are covertly being manipualted using power intrinsic to women?

    I don’t doubt you believe it’s the “most powerful type of power on earth”. That’s inane hyperbole, and ignores love, fear and greed, to name but three motivational drivers.

    @ Archy

    You’re more nuanced, but still attribute way too much credibility to this nonsense. Do you think Caroline Flint’s “covert sexual power” helped her or hindered her?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1019770/Hello-boys-Meet-Caroline-Flint-flirtatious-MP-whos-turned-Downing-Street-catwalk.html

    To assume that men are easily swayed by a woman’s attractiveness is deeply patronising but raises an interesting question. The “covert sexual power” myth relies on the man being weak and compliant (as well as heterosexual/interested/in possession of something the covertly powerful woman has). Does it not follow, then, that some covertly powerful women *don’t* use, or want to use, their powers on a man, but the man is angry with them for feeling powerless? Perhaps he hinders her, rather than helps? Perhaps she is passed over for a raise/promotion, lest the man be seen as weak and giving into this power?

    Or maybe “covert sexual power” should have been left with the adolescents on Reddit instead of being adopted as an article of faith by those for whom a woman is always to blame?

    @ all

    Actually, come to think of it, you’re all right. I much prefer getting my soya latte off the gorgeous female Polish barista, rather than her equally able, but terminally male colleague. Covert sexual power in action. She must be coining it in.

  215. 123454321 says

    Carnation, I wish you’d stop connecting every thought or theory put forward by a man relating to the social interactions of men and women with the word “misogynist”, which in my mind is far more patronising to men than anything else written on this thread!

    You appear almost offended, Carnation, at the plausibility or potential credibility of the theory that women might have more sexual power than men. There is a reason behind your refusal to acknowledge this.

    “To assume that men are easily swayed by a woman’s attractiveness is deeply patronising”

    Ok, I agree with you here, but you need to face the facts – because it’s true, men ARE the weaker sex when it comes to sex, and women KNOW this. An example: I agree that those stupid asshole white van drivers who randomly whistle at women are imbecile, simpleton, dunce-cretins who promote the fact that men are sex-craved, out of control males who are too weak to hold back their sexual thoughts. Their absurd actions also leave the individual female victim with various feelings. Ask one woman and she’ll feel threatened; ask another and she’ll feel awkward or embarrassed; another might feel angry; and some may even feel empowered. But all of them know that the reason the man whistled at her has to do with her being considered sexy.

    Many Fathers (and Mothers) teach their daughters about male sexual drive and how they ought to ‘be careful’. I don’t hear of many boys being issued with the same guidance at home or at school. How do you think this is received by boys and girls? Do you think it is the boys who are made to feel they have some type of sexual power whereby girls are attracted to them, or is it girls who come out of the edification process feeling like this? If women and girls don’t have that much sexual power over men then why bother publishing “Nuts” and even more to the point, why ban “Nuts” ?

    I think you know very well, Carnation, that women and girls have more sexual power and that they do use it covertly in various guises to benefit themselves from time to time. You just don’t, for some reason, want to promote this idea as it, for some reason, makes you feel bad or would put you in a worse position than you are currently in, for some reason that i haven’t quite worked out yet.

  216. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #231

    “I wish you’d stop connecting every thought or theory put forward by a man relating to the social interactions of men and women with the word “misogynist””

    I very rarely use the word misogynistic on this blog, let alone “every thought or theory put forward by a man.” However, I absolutely reserve the right to condemn as misogynistic (and misandric) an attempt to depict women as having an inate awareness of a covert power that they possess and use to exploit and manipulate men.

    You, not I, are patronising men: “men ARE the weaker sex when it comes to sex.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. Some men are. Some women are. To make a long story short, some *people* are.

    “But all of them know that the reason the man whistled at her has to do with her being considered sexy.”

    No, not true. Dude, this is really basic stuff… Loudly hassling someone from the safety of a vehicle has little to do with paying a compliment and a lot more to do with objectification, power dynamics, loathing and sexism. The kindest reading is boorish male bonding, the least kind chilling misogny (yes, I know but if the shoe fits).

    And to be honest, I doubt you’ll find many, even on this blog, who disagree with me.

    @ Adiabat – the floor is yours.

  217. Carnation says

    @ Schala

    Where’s today’s wall of text?

    You’ve linked to Reddit, an article with “MRA” in it. Priceless.

  218. 123454321 says

    “I absolutely reserve the right to condemn as misogynistic (and misandric) an attempt to depict women as having an inate awareness of a covert power that they possess and use to exploit and manipulate men.”

    But you’re usually happy to depict men as having an innate awareness of the powers that they possess and choose to inflict on women in order to to manipulate them. Strange!

    “Loudly hassling someone from the safety of a vehicle has little to do with paying a compliment and a lot more to do with objectification, power dynamics, loathing and sexism. The kindest reading is boorish male bonding, the least kind chilling misogny (yes, I know but if the shoe fits).”

    I’m agreeing with you but maintain that there is a potential for various interpretations and perceptions i.e. that the act can be construed by both parties as being a compliment. I know women who like being whistled at. Sad but true.

  219. Carnation says

    @ 75BC #236

    “But you’re usually happy to depict men as having an innate awareness of the powers that they possess and choose to inflict on women in order to to manipulate them. Strange!”

    Where did I do this?

    “…there is a potential for various interpretations and perceptions i.e. that the act can be construed by both parties as being a compliment. I know women who like being whistled at. Sad but true.”

    So do I. But not all the time, and not in all circumstances. But you’ve agreed with me that this has got very little to do with a woman’s covery sexual power, and everything to do with the man who is choosing to enter into a woman’s life uninvited.

    Where’s the bargaining? Where’s the woman benefiting?

    Out of interest, what do you think is more common in society, women being wolfwhistled at or women using their covert sexual powers to bargain with weak men?

    And which do you think is a greater societal ill?

  220. D506 says

    “You, not I, are patronising men: “men ARE the weaker sex when it comes to sex.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. Some men are. Some women are. To make a long story short, some *people* are.”

    I don’t think this is a fair dismissal. It would be like denying that men hold the majority of financial and institutional power because some women earn more or hold higher institutional positions. That a poor man is less likely to become or less capable of becoming an elected official than a rich woman doesn’t mean men aren’t advantaged over women in elections.

    Frankly, I think it’s incredibly naive to think that women don’t have more ‘sexual power’ than men do, or that women don’t or can’t use this to get what they want, and far more often than men do. Crudely stated, that enormous numbers of men are willing to pay for sex while very few women are willing to pay for sex should make very clear where the ‘value’ is.

    That men and women both want sex and enjoy sex doesn’t mean there can’t be imbalance in power, for the same reason that despite being equally capable men have far more political and earning power than women.

  221. Archy says

    @230 Carnation.

    I’ve been gardening so my mind is pretty blank but I have no idea what that article is meant to achieve. They’re hassling her over her style at her age? Tabloids disgust me to no end.

    TBH I don’t see any sexuality being displayed there. First time I’ve ever heard of her but she may benefit from beauty privilege (there were studies showing attractive people earned more than their peers for instance).

    “To assume that men are easily swayed by a woman’s attractiveness is deeply patronising but raises an interesting question. ”

    It only works on some men. I am a HUGE guy, my size alone is a power and I can use it for intimidation but it doesn’t work on all people.

    “Does it not follow, then, that some covertly powerful women *don’t* use, or want to use, their powers on a man, but the man is angry with them for feeling powerless? Perhaps he hinders her, rather than helps? Perhaps she is passed over for a raise/promotion, lest the man be seen as weak and giving into this power?”

    Absolutely. I’ve seen some women feel like they’re only getting ahead due to their looks, hell I’ve heard along the grapevine of an employer that hires only atttractive women purposely.

    “Or maybe “covert sexual power” should have been left with the adolescents on Reddit instead of being adopted as an article of faith by those for whom a woman is always to blame?”

    Who’s always blaming the woman? My views are simple. Some people benefit from being attractive, some people will give more benefits to attractive people, some women use sexuality to get what they want (although it doesn’t work on all men).

    When in a monogamous marriage where divorce would be quite costly (tough time with finances, messy issue with childcare, etc) then sex itself can be used as a bargaining chip or withheld as punishment…which in this type of relationship increases it’s power since it’s quite difficult to leave and find a better source of intimacy. I would hope that this is quite rare and not part of the majority of relationships, I view it as abuse just as I view withholding affection as punishment as abuse. A couple SHOULD be trying to keep intimacy up and not treat each other like dirt.

    SOME men who have a real hard time finding a partner will probably be more influenced by the power of sexuality a woman MAY use. Even if she doesn’t mean to there are benefits to being attractive, not her fault. I would say it’s quite common amongst those who are “used” by bad women, again most women are not like this. Dangling hope, or flirting with someone can gain benefits since there are still quite a few men who feel doing nice things is part of the courting ritual and try to pass the muster.

    “Actually, come to think of it, you’re all right. I much prefer getting my soya latte off the gorgeous female Polish barista, rather than her equally able, but terminally male colleague. Covert sexual power in action. She must be coining it in.”

    Well..yes, attractive waitresses do usually get more tips than less attractive ones. “predictors of male and female servers’ average tip earnings” google search, that’s one study.

  222. Archy says

    “Your ideological fellow travellers are harrassing a(nother) woman online, for having the audacity to be successful in a male dominated sector.”

    You might want to read some other sources. The article you linked, look at the comment section for the sources for this next bit.

    I am a lil hazy on the details but from what I’ve seen she is being harassed because there is alleged evidence (screenshots, etc) of her:
    -Cheating on her partner with 5 different men.
    -Had sex with a man that apparently wrote positive stuff on her game
    -Apparently had sex with someone that got her game into a game jam?
    -Apparently had sex with someone on IndieCade Chair
    -Had the first round of Steam’s Greenlight denied, then reported being harassed which I believe was referring to the wizardchan issue, then having her game accepted.
    -Is accused of crying wolf with the wizardchan issue where only 2 people made a comment on their forum, where she wasn’t apart of (and they only allow males to talk there), had it linked to her by someone else.
    -Is accused of bullying and lying about wizardchan.
    -Is accused by someone on twitter of sexually harassing them (I believe it is a male)
    -Is accused of ruining a production for women (makes concept art for a woman’s game idea to try help them get it made) and doxxing someone
    -Using DMCA to silence someone on youtube
    -Alleged connection to reddit moderator whom apparently went deleting an insane amount of posts, last night I saw a thread with over 12,000 comments all autodeleted.
    -Is accused of doxxing herself with fake info as a ploy for getting attention to her game.

    It’s a big shitstorm of alleged dodgy ethics in game journalism and her alleged pretty bad behaviour. No idea what is true but the evidence is easy to look at, it’s posted on soooo many sites, Kotaku’s facebook page gets it in comments every few minutes when I saw it earlier today. I haven’t seen a single bit of evidence that she is being harassed for being successful. There are some misogynists but most stuff seems to be about her bad behaviour, hell even female gamers are tearing into her online. The conspiracy seems to be she’s sleeping with industry people to get her game accepted, crying wolf to gain attention to try ride the feministfrequency style of gravytrain of support money.

    It’s really not hard to find this info out, and misrepresenting why she is being harassed is pretty odd. And no, I am not aligned with them, I simply lurk n read a variety of sites including the /mensrights and /feminism reddits, various sites for gaming, etc. From what I’ve seen the only proof of her being harassed on the phone is her saying so on twitter, which is about as valid as all the alleged stuff above. It’s a surreal situation.

    Please note I am saying it’s all alleged, I have no idea, no proof, make no judgment on her. I think it’s going overboard and the harassment needs to stop.

  223. says

    Archy241

    That seems like a reasonable summary of what is know. I find the blogpost that pretty much publicized her sex life to be quite a breach of ethical boundaries. OTOH the people who gave some games positive reviews or similar stuff while allegedly beng her fuck buddy, would if this is true, have abused the trust of their readership.

  224. 123454321 says

    “But you’ve agreed with me that this has got very little to do with a woman’s covery sexual power, and everything to do with the man who is choosing to enter into a woman’s life uninvited.”

    Carnation, you really are hard work. Trying to cure your shortsightedness is tediously frustrating to say the least. It is well known (or at least I thought it was) that women have an element of sexual power over men that doesn’t work the same the other way around. It’s just nature at work. Men, I guess, are programmed to sow their seed while women have to choose carefully who they allow to fertilise them, also hoping that the Father of the child will stick around to lend a helping hand through the difficult times! The male does display (the same in some ways as the female) but given the first opportunity he is likely to take that opportunity an thus sow his seed to proliferate his genes (we’re talking back in the caveman era, by the way). The female also displays but doesn’t necessarily take the first opportunity. She has to choose more carefully because when she gets pregnant…well, that’s it for a while – no point in flirting for sex any more! Extrapolating that caveman analogy to modern day, it probably means that men aren’t quite as choosy, where as women are. That’s nature at work. In general, I think that’s a fairish reflection of reality IMHO. So if we deem women to be more choosy then it’s fair to assume that she’ll turn down more men before she finds her mate – on average don’t forget. You can literally see evidence of this in every bar you visit. If women over thousands of years learn that they have this choice advantage over men, and that men come flocking to have sex with them (or at least they know that men are willing to give them all this attention), then it’s highly probable that women will learn to exploit the tools that they have in order to gain various perks and advantages. Enter sexual power. From that point it’s reasonable to assume that some of this power will be executed covertly, deviously and sometimes with detructive malevolence in mind. You can’t walk away from this, Carnation, it’s real and you need to stop thinking with blinkered vision.

    Out of interest, what do you think is more common in society, women being wolfwhistled at or women using their covert sexual powers to bargain with weak men?

    The latter of course.

    And which do you think is a greater societal ill?

    The latter of course. I’d prefer a woman to wolf-whistle at me rather than have her lead me on using her sexual power just so she could get pregnant only to fuck me off after a while, taking all my hard-earned cash and being difficult over access to my child while the government supports her every move. Yeah, wolf whistling is so frigging high up the priority list of social ills – way up above Father’s rights! Terrible.

  225. Steersman says

    123454321 (#243):

    Enter sexual power. From that point it’s reasonable to assume that some of this power will be executed covertly, deviously and sometimes with destructive malevolence in mind.

    Accompanied by fanfare, red carpet, dancing girls, play-by-play announcers …. :-)

    But an interesting, and quite relevant, topic – and one that seems to have had some currency for at least 2500 years if the play Lysistrata is any indication:

    Lysistrata (… Attic Greek: Λυσιστράτη, “Army-disbander”) is a comedy by Aristophanes. Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC, it is a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace — a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society.

    In other words, “No nookie until you beat those swords into ploughshares”, although one might argue that that might qualify as a wise and ethical use of power even if the description suggests an early manifestation of “the law of unintended consequences”. In addition, in 1929 the British Conservative Stanley Baldwin said, in criticizing several of his opponents, that “[enjoying] power without responsibility [has been] the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages” – when some escorts can, reportedly, command upwards of $2000 per hour for their favours, and when there are, by all accounts, a great many more female escorts than male ones, it seems rather untenable to insist that the “fair sex”, in general, doesn’t have substantially more sexual power than males do. And on which “power corrupts …” may have some additional relevance.

  226. Steersman says

    Ally Fogg (#198):

    For what it is worth, I’m broadly with Carnation on this. So-called sexual power is what people resort to using when they are deprived of all other types of power. See any episode of Mad Men or a Jane Austen novel.

    If you don’t like the fact that some women get minks the same way minks get minks, commit yourself to changing society so they don’t need to.

    Say, I like that bit about minks and power! Mind if I quote you on it? :-)

    But while I have probably missed something (long thread), I can’t quite see how you can be “broadly with Carnation on this”, at least if “this” is her (?) prior (#193):

    I’m saying that “covert sexual power” doesn’t exist in any meaningful way. It has no intrinsic value or meaning.

    Seems a little inconsistent with your acceptance of “sexual power is what people resort to using when deprived of all other types of power”: if it can command the yielding up of minks – arguably a measure of money which, I would think you would agree, qualifies as power – then I would think that that qualifies in turn as a quite clear manifestation of power, though not particularly covert: diamonds are a girl’s best friend and all that.

  227. Carnation says

    @75BC

    Eh, I’m afraid you’ve again trundled into the realism sod the absurd. There’s that bricolage of lurid MRA fantasy again… Evil family court, evil females getting pregnant to make money and punish men. It’s laughable that adults believe this nonsense.

    @ Steersman

    Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend though, are they? They are a stereotype typical girl created by a sexist media’s best friend. Huge, and very important, difference.

    That said I agree with your point re Ally. But he did say “broadly”.

    I’ll continue this on the open thread, let’s let it rest here.

  228. Steersman says

    Carnation (#246):

    I’ll continue this on the open thread, let’s let it rest here.

    Sure, if that’s what Ally wants, although the topic under discussion – covert & overt power, undercover or not, so to speak – seems consistent with the OP: misandry & misogyny, ironic or not – which, one might argue, have their roots in perceptions and misperceptions of various power differentials. (And depending on available time, at least in my case.)

    But I thought your point about stereotypes is an important one that should be addressed here, not least because of context as it relates to a number of your other comments, and, I think, those of a few others. You said (#246):

    Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend though, are they? They are a stereotype typical girl created by a sexist media’s best friend. Huge, and very important, difference.

    Yes, I’ll quite agree with you that it generally pertains to a “stereotypical girl”. But the sticky wicket is that stereotypes tend to exist in the first place because they are a more or less accurate characterization of some segment of a larger population:

    In social psychology, a stereotype is a thought that can be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality. …. In [a] tripartite view of intergroup attitudes, stereotypes reflect expectations and beliefs about the characteristics of members of groups perceived as different from one’s own, prejudice represents the emotional response, and discrimination refers to actions [which are frequently deemed to be immoral]

    That is, diamonds are most likely not every girl’s best friend, but it hardly seems unreasonable or untenable to suggest that they are for some girls. And if in fact that is true then I can’t see there’s much harm, and probably a lot of wisdom, in acknowledging it; things go off the rails, real fast, if people pre-judge (prejudice) the entire population of girls on that basis, and discriminate (unfairly) against them for that “sin”.

    But I think that case illustrates what I think Ally called his “First Directive”: thou shalt not engage in categorical accusations; thou shalt not try to “crucify” entire populations for the “sins” of a few members in them. Easy enough to do inadvertently – maybe my “diamonds” aphorism was a case in point, although I might point out it doesn’t say “all girls” even if it may suggest that – but it seems many others, on both sides of any given fence, are all too quick to rush to judgment – which tends to cause no end of grief.

    At best, it’s kind of like kids counting stars: “Did you count that one? You mean the one to the left of that patch of three in a triangle? Triangle? I don’t see no freaking triangle! (What have you been smoking?)” Totally imprecise, and the cause, I think, of no end of confusion and animosity. And at worst, or maybe only halfway there, it tends to manifest in an inability or unwillingness to separate the wheat from the chaff, in a “my country (group), right or wrong” type of attitude – a case in point being a recent article in The Washington Post titled “Women who hate on feminists hurt all women”, which I think qualifies as the nicest bit of “four legs good, two legs bad” (or maybe it’s “two legs good, three legs bad”) that I’ve seen in awhile.

    But some guys are dickheads, and some gals are twats (maybe all of us some of the time, some of us all the time) – the negative stereotypes – yet most of us seem to at least try to be reasonably fair and honest – the positive ones. I think there’s some merit in trying to keep that in mind, and to understand the nature of, and the problematic consequences of, careless and imprecise reasoning.

  229. Carnation says

    @ Steersman

    OK, some good points.

    But let’s return to the stereotype. Are “diamonds a girl’s best friend”, or is a historical (but shrinking dramatically) discrepency in financial independence a man’s best friend and diamonds a way of demonstrating this for egotistical purposes?

    I don’t doubt, for example, that men tip female waiting staff marginally more. But are they being actively exploited, or are they, basically, showing off? Or are they being chivalrous? As an example, I tend to tip older waiting staff more, assuming they are hardworking and have had limited chances in life for career progression (apologies for anyone who is happy in the hospitality industry and finds these comments patronising). Flipside of that is, I feel a lot more comfortable buying a bar-man a drink than a bar-woman, because there are no connotations to it.

  230. Steersman says

    Carnation (#248):

    OK, some good points.

    Thanks. I always (?) find it of some value to concede a point in my opponent’s – or interlocutor’s – position, even if only to “set them up” for the coup-de- grâce …. ;-) Although I also think there’s some merit, and relevance, in the aphorism, attributed (correctly or not) to Hume, that says “Truth springs from argument amongst friends.”

    However, I kind of think you’re missing the point – at least the main one in view of many of the comments here, and are engaging in some of that problematic categorical thinking that I discussed in my previous comment. For instance, you said:

    Are “diamonds a girl’s best friend”, or is a historical (but shrinking dramatically) discrepancy in financial independence a man’s best friend and diamonds a way of demonstrating this for egotistical purposes?

    Seems to me that you are in general, to coin a phrase, straining at the gnat while swallowing the camel whole. I can’t see that it makes a helluva lot of difference, at least to a first approximation, why a person has some degree of power, only, or largely, that they in fact do have it: that the circumstances – differential biology in large part (the “ultimate causes”) – tend to put a premium on a woman’s sexual favours – the proximate causes – hardly detracts from the fact – the effects – that for some women at least, “diamonds are their best friends”.

    And it is that “some” which still seems to be a bit of a hurdle for you – and no few others here, apparently, although I note (#232) that you’ve used the qualifier to some effect. But while the following is a previous comment (#168) of yours, I think it also illustrates your apparent aversion to accepting that the diamond aphorism has some accuracy:

    75BC: women … have a tendency to use their sexual power to benefit them at the expense of their partner.

    Carnation: What is this power you speak of? How is it exercised? Is it political power? Economic power? What is it? Do all women have this power? If not, which ones do?

    While I think those are good questions, they look to be rather “hyper-skeptical”, and designed more to evade having to accept that many women, at least some, do in fact have substantial degrees of sexual power, even if that may depend on the market (“location, location, location”). And while I’ve elaborated on that in some detail above, you might want to peruse this post by Maggie McNeill – “The Honest Courtesan – wherein she says:

    I feel that a woman’s sexual power is one of her greatest assets, and for her to reject that is as foolish as a man would be if he purposefully disdained the use of his physical strength, or any person would be if he intentionally denied himself the facts of a problem so he couldn’t use his thinking ability. A woman who rejects her sexuality cripples herself and weakens her ability to make her way in the world; to insist that a woman’s sex appeal only be used for her own direct sexual satisfaction and absolutely nothing else is like having a car one only uses to go to movies or parties, but never to work or the grocery store. ….

    Seems to me that – particularly in light of her “up-close-and-personal” experiences in the profession, both as an escort and as a madam, and in light of her rather voluminous and perspicacious observations on men and women in rather intimate and frequently more honest circumstances – I think we might be justified in accepting that, in general, “women’s sexual power” is anything but a trivial or abstract thing; as the joke has it, “most women are sitting on a gold mine”. And that the diamonds aphorism merely acknowledges that fact in suggesting the benefits of ensuring that after the party is over they have something to cushion themselves from the “grim meat-hook realities” of “modern” societies.

  231. 123454321 says

    “Eh, I’m afraid you’ve again trundled into the realism sod the absurd. There’s that bricolage of lurid MRA fantasy again… Evil family court, evil females getting pregnant to make money and punish men. It’s laughable that adults believe this nonsense.”

    Once again, your usual and predictable response to a concept that you don’t like because for some reason it doesn’t sit well with you, probably because when the truth gets exposed it will disbenefit you in one way or another. Shame.

    You’re outnumbered in this thread, Carnation. Doesn’t that tell you something!?!

  232. 123454321 says

    “I’ll continue this on the open thread, let’s let it rest here.”

    I’d love to join you but might not be hanging around for a while! Might be reading but not writing. I’m sure plenty of others will respond to your bullshit on my behalf :-)

  233. Carnation says

    @ 75BC

    “You’re outnumbered in this thread, Carnation. Doesn’t that tell you something!?!”

    Yes, there are too many MRAs here!

    @ Steersman

    An escort’s “sexual power” isn’t covert, like 75BC is talking about. Nor would she use it to spermjack him and then fleece him through the family court (this doesn’t happen anywhere except Reddit, but it’s what was being discussed earlier).

    I’ll concede the following, and then I think, as they say in the motion picture industry, “it’s a wrap”. I do not doubt that many of the men fervent in the belief that women have “covert sexual power” are sincere. However, that is because they feel powerless. They feel powerless because of their own issues – not because manipulative harpies are lording it over them with their secret superpower. That’s ridiculous.

    Sexist stereotypes about in the media that contradict this. But nothing credible in the real world does. And there really isn’t much more to add. One either believes that women are conning men using their special sexual powers (more often, and with far, far worse consequences than common sexual harassment according to 75BC) or one believes that people just get on with their lives, and that some more attractive people have privileges that others don’t.

    End of story.

    This has been an unusually good-natured discuss and I’ve enjoyed it a great deal. I can only assume that you’re a bunch of beauties and that I’ve been covertly influenced. We’ve also discovered that Guardian editors have a penchant for the Dundonian twang and wit.

  234. Steersman says

    JT,

    “Thnk you; thnk you ’ver much ….” :-)

    But interesting topic, another battleground for the war between the sexes – one which they say will never be adequately resolved because there’s too much fraternization between the combatants …. :-)

  235. Steersman says

    Carnation (#):

    I’ll concede the following, and then I think, as they say in the motion picture industry, “it’s a wrap”.

    Yea, maybe – close to in any case. However, I can’t leave this highly questionable and somewhat disingenuous argument without raising an objection or two:

    Carnation: An escort’s “sexual power” isn’t covert, like 75BC is talking about.

    While you have indeed said that “‘covert sexual power’ doesn’t exist in any meaningful way”, it seems to me that “covert” is a bit of a red herring, particularly as you have conceded that some women – escorts in particular – have significant levels of overt sexual power: the “power” exists, whether it is explicitly used or not – which seems to be the crux of the matter. And McNeill makes a pretty credible case – did you, perchance, read the article? – that that power is an essential element – though not the only one – in marriages; one might argue that marriage is in itself a testimony to the power of sexual attraction (i.e., the power to move), and which seems to show some significant asymmetry in expression and frequency.

    However, while I will concede that some men probably “feel powerless”, and may go overboard in ascribing nefarious motives to the women in their lives, I also think that you’re much too quick to discount the rather large amounts of factual evidence that there are in fact no few “manipulative harpies”, both inside and outside the profession of prostitution. And I think I could credibly argue, on some “experiential” evidence, that there are probably more, per capita, outside than inside. But for instances, while I don’t have the link handy at the moment, I recollect seeing a tome by an escort titled something along the line of “Johns and Marks”; and I remember listening to another escort who decried the rather callous and manipulative attitudes of some of her “sisters” to their clients – all largely predicated on the fact that many men frequently allow their “little head” to be doing the thinking for their bigger one.

    And that latter, I think, sort of speaks to why some men might feel that sense of powerlessness. Which seems to be of a piece with the aphorism, “I want. But I don’t want that I should want.” I don’t know, of course, whether you’ve read anything about addictions, or experienced anything similar to it, but they tend to come in a rather large variety, sex being only one of them, and in many degrees of severity; having “a monkey on your back” is, apparently, no picnic – which isn’t improved much when some people try to take unreasonable or unfair advantage of that fact.

  236. StillGjenganger says

    do not doubt that many of the men fervent in the belief that women have “covert sexual power” are sincere. However, that is because they feel powerless. They feel powerless because of their own issues – not because manipulative harpies are lording it over them with their secret superpower. That’s ridiculous.

    I will not deny that there is a lot of exaggeration on the men’s side here. But, regardless of the reason, a lot of men surely feel powerless because they are. Powerless. Even if the problem lay all in their own personality that would not make it easy to solve. And statements like “If you just had a different personality you would not have a problem” or “Go into therapy and try again in ten years. You’ll be fine.” do not really cut it.

    One either believes that women are conning men using their special sexual powers (more often, and with far, far worse consequences than common sexual harassment according to 75BC) or one believes that people just get on with their lives, and that some more attractive people have privileges that others don’t.

    There is a realistic third alternative. ‘Sexual power’ is real, not some kind of all-powerful magic – and it is something that women generally have more of than men. While everybody wants sex, it is on the average easier for women and harder for men to get that desire satisfied. It takes two to have sex, of course, but the ‘terms of trade’ are against men. If you want to shoot down the concept of sexual power, this is the version you need to argue against.
    The problem is not whether women use this advantage to bargain for other things, but just the fact that they have it. If, as Ally suggests, women got so powerful in all areas of life that they could get what they wanted without ever having to resort to bargaining with sex, that would not leave men better off. Instead of being forced to pay in order to get what they desired, they would simply be unable to get it at all – while women found this same problem much easier.

  237. Carnation says

    @GJganger

    You’ve pulled a Godfather 3 on me, I simply cannot allow this to go unchallenged:

    “‘Sexual power’ is real, not some kind of all-powerful magic – and it is something that women generally have more of than men. While everybody wants sex, it is on the average easier for women and harder for men to get that desire satisfied. It takes two to have sex, of course, but the ‘terms of trade’ are against men.”

    If you changed “everybody wants sex” to “everybody wants satisfying sex”, then you would be making a decent point. I think you would agree, as we have discussed, that many (not most, in my opinion) men would be open to an experience that would leave most (not many, in my opinion) women unsatisfied and, for patriarchal reasons, feeling judged, denigrated and generally “othered”.

    So yes, it does take two people, but to look at it “in terms of trade” is to hugely misread the situation and to releage yourself to the realm of self-imposed powerlessness.

    Exactly how are men powerless in the face of attractive women? Powerless to do what?

    Some people choose to believe that Muslims are actively seeking to establish an Islamic state in the UK. Why? Because they are bigots and like to fit theories to suit their own warped worldview. This is no different.

  238. StillGjenganger says

    many (not most, in my opinion) men would be open to an experience that would leave most (not many, in my opinion) women unsatisfied and, for patriarchal reasons, feeling judged, denigrated and generally “othered”.

    Sex is sex. ‘Satisfying sex’ is whatever fits into your argument. We agree mostly about the facts, but the simple explanation for what we are talking about is that men want sex more than women do, but women want other things too. As you frame it, both sexes want exactly the same things with exactly the same intensity, but women (poor things) have a much harder time of getting what they want. Not impossible, but your version, being the more complicated one, would need more arguments to establish.

    to look at it “in terms of trade” is to hugely misread the situation and to releage yourself to the realm of self-imposed powerlessness.

    “Self-imposed” powerlessness? So you are saying that it is equally easy for men and women to satisfy their sexual needs? Well, that is where we actually disagree, you know, so telling me strongly that I am wrong does not really add to the situation. Try arguments?

    Exactly how are men powerless in the face of attractive women? Powerless to do what

    Of course they are not. I am not powerless in the face of a single, unreasonable employer either. But If I need a job and few are hiring, it is not unlikely that I will end up accepting some employment terms that I do not really like.

  239. Carnation says

    “So you are saying that it is equally easy for men and women to satisfy their sexual needs?”

    That depends on the men and women and their needs. Of course, virtually all men (and women) can satisfy themselves quickly and efficiently by themselves. So why all of the drama about powerlessness? Because it just isn’t that simple, is it? Sex *isn’t* just sex, is it?

    “As you frame it, both sexes want exactly the same things with exactly the same intensity, but women (poor things) have a much harder time of getting what they want.”

    Both men and women want to be wanted by someone that they also want, who can satisfy their desires. So far, so good…

    So you’re saying that men are far more basic and unsophisticated than women, and that because of this, women (which women still hasn’t been made clear) are able to exercise power over these poor unevolved men. How they do this still hasn’t been made (aside from some hysteria from 75BC trotting out the usual MRA fantasies).

    If you want a pertinent example, read some studies on the BD SM scene. You’ll find some interesting trends. There are more men than women signed up to various sites, but women tend to take it more seriously in terms of what they want and regarding it as a lifestyle (or how close to a lifestyle). Because of this, there are a surplus of women looking for a smaller number of men. This smaller number of men often have more than one lover, sometimes numerous. Often the women do too. Despite all of this, the sum total of the “trade” is pleasure for pleasure. And I think that equates to everyday life, too. People want to have sex, but want to enjoy doing it. I don’t think you’re quite one of them, but most people talking about “sexual power” and powerlessness seem aggravated that women exercise their right to sexual autonomy. If we lived in very chaste times that meant women (and men) were shamed into abstainance, I don’t think this issue would cause such anger amongst a minority of men. But because women (thanks to feminism) can and do exercise increasing levels of sexual autonomy, it makes a minority of men angry. They see this as bullying, because of their solipsism.

    It isn’t. It’s people wanting to be treated with respect and nothing more.

  240. StillGjenganger says

    Your BDSM example is indeed illustrative. On networks, or in a club scene, there are many more men than women. Females (subs at least) are moreover very choosy which men they want. Understandably so, by the way, hardcore Dom is a highly skilled occupation that is difficult to do right. Net result: women can choose between 10-20 different men. They still find it very hard to find the perfectly satisfactory partner, but they have plenty of chances for having a bit of fun, trying things out or gathering experience meanwhile. And if you are one of the rare creatures who actually like topping or bottoming with strangers, you can earn a very good living doing it. In BDSM men would find it much harder to meet the perfect partner – seeing as they have fewer people to choose from (that would not necessarily be the case for ordinary couples). In fact they find it very hard to meet any partner at all, so they have almost no choice and no chance for trying out things. So they grab at whatever chance they get, and are willing to try relationships that are quite far from what they really desire, and that require enormous amounts of adapting, Because it is that or nothing.
    Now the perfect meeting of minds may well be equally hard to find for both sexes. But it is not hard to see that women have more options, more chances, and more leverage when it comes to negotiating the details of a relationship. The sum of it all may be pleasure for pleasure, but clearly women will get more pleasure, and on better terms, than men will. And more men are likely to get nothing at all. Can you really not see that this puts women in general in a more powerful position, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

    You have a point about the reaction to women’s sexual autonomy. If sex outside marriage was prohibited for all, no one would have anything to envy. As it is a lot of men notice, quite correctly, that women clearly have a better deal than they do when it comes to sex, and also notice that ‘sexual autonomy’, ‘respect’, etc. means very different things for people who (figuratively) have 3-4 willing partners queuing outside their hotel room, and for those whose autonomy consists in waiting for someone to take pity on them.

  241. JT says

    Steersman

    Carnation just likes to battle. Rather than just acknowledge that some women have and use their sexual advantage(power) she deflects by going back to the word “covert”. I was talking with a co worker(woman) about that and she pointed out that not all women consciously use it so in essence it could technically be covert in those instances.

  242. Archy says

    “I don’t think you’re quite one of them, but most people talking about “sexual power” and powerlessness seem aggravated that women exercise their right to sexual autonomy. ”

    Most that I see aren’t annoyed at women exercising their right to sexual autonomy, they’re annoyed at the standards being so high that they’re left out. You just talked about how a small portion of men get access to a larger number of women.

    Anecdotally from what I know even unattractive women I know of have less trouble than unattractive men at finding sex.

    From a quick googling around, it seems women recieve more messages than men on average in online dating. Anecd. I’ve noticed nearly always it’s men who complain online of never being replied to whereas women mostly complain of having too many messages to reply to. No stats on this, but feel free to prove me wrong as it’d be nice to know this isn’t the case.

    Now one issue with sex is that generally, it’s much harder for women to orgasm than for men. In fact everything I’ve ever heard of and seen about human sexuality indicates that men get aroused much faster, much easier, and much more often than women do.

    One article on sex drive differences in men and women. ht tp://www.webmd.com/sex/features/sex-drive-how-do-men-women-compare

    Now if it is true that women want less sex than men overall, then there desire for individual times of sex (not sure how to word it, “how many times have you had sex) would be fulfilled whilst men’s has not. To be blunt, women’s demand has an equal or higher supply, whilst men’s demand has a much lower demand. Already that does give some weight and power to women’s position in sexuality. Of course overall there are so many variables like feeling safe, enjoyment of sex etc which may make sex better for men but it does show how some women could use sex for power or bargaining.

    Honestly I don’t think women get a better deal, I do think however sex is easier for women to get but it may not be sex they want. That could mean women are more picky, and/or unlucky with biology, could mean men need to lift their game to ensure women feel pleasure, etc.

    @Carnation, do you understand how some men who are desperate can have very little choice in sex partners? Even for attractive men sex is harder to get but for unattractive men it can be extremely difficult especially if they are shy (since men are expected to make the first move still). The desire for sex and intimacy is extremely strong in many people, it doesn’t force people to act but it can have a large impact on what they do. Some men with very few options have to weigh up getting laid but putting up with negativity that others may not and not getting laid. Some men pretty much have to pay for sex as it’s probably their only practical chance at it (disabled or extremely unattractive men, those in remote locations, etc).

    Infact I’ve known a few people who stayed in abusive relationships because they felt like no one else would “have them”. Their insecurity didn’t make them powerless but it did influence their ability to choose as the fear of being alone for them seemed to feel worse than staying in a shitty relationship. Some men for instance will put up with shitty behaviour from a woman because of some attention feels better than none.

    “So you’re saying that men are far more basic and unsophisticated than women, and that because of this, women (which women still hasn’t been made clear) are able to exercise power over these poor unevolved men.”

    The male sex drive is less complicated. It seems the term power may mean something different to you? It’s not a remote control. For instance one of the powers I have is a huge, tall, somewhat strong body which size-wise intimidates some people + I have a somewhat boomy voice. That combo can get me quite a lot of “presence” and “command” in a conversation for instance. In highschool I noticed male teachers were better able to control rowdy kids and I believe that has quite a lot to do with the men having better boomy-voice, better throw of the voice, deeper and more authority in their voice. It doesn’t mean kids or others are powerless though does it?

    Unless I have missed part of the convo, where is the idea of powerlessness coming from? Less power doesn’t mean powerless. Powerlessness in sexuality would mean it’s probably automatically rape, eg an unconscious body is powerless to act.

    Note that there are generalizations in this post, not applicable to all people, and some of it is just simply stuff I’ve noticed in life which could be skewed by confirmation bias. Happy to see stats to disprove it, I’d love to know the genders are closer together on these issues.

  243. says

    @carnation

    By the way, some Muslims do want their own state in the UK and other Western countries for that matter.

  244. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    I think we might be getting somewhere and, in fact, we’re pretty much agreeing.

    “The sum of it all may be pleasure for pleasure, but clearly women will get more pleasure, and on better terms, than men will. And more men are likely to get nothing at all. Can you really not see that this puts women in general in a more powerful position, or are you being deliberately obtuse?”

    I agree that more men are indeed likely to “get nothing” at all – why is that? Because they are looking for pleasure without, really, offering much back – and not just, or even mainly, based on looks. It’s their desperation (or “powerlessness”) that is hindering them, along with their misreading of the power dynamics at play.

    “… But it is not hard to see that women have more options, more chances, and more leverage when it comes to negotiating the details of a relationship.”

    Not when you discount those for whom it is an obvious mismatch. If a man truly doesn’t care about what a woman looks like or is like in terms of personality, it’s very rare that he won’t find someone.

    “Can you really not see that this puts women in general in a more powerful position, or are you being deliberately obtuse?”

    In the BDSM scene, as you ahve more or less said, it is Doms who have the power and the pick of the bunch, so to speak, because, as you hae said, not many men (mostly men) can pull it off, or are that way inclined.

    As an aside, andd I can’t spend too long on this right now, let’s assume that women are indeed gifted with sexual power over men. In what way could that be a hindrence? Conpare and contrast with the alleged benefits that such power brings?

  245. Archy says

    “In what way could that be a hindrence? Conpare and contrast with the alleged benefits that such power brings?”

    Assumptions of sleeping their way to the top is one. Covert can also be tricky when she isn’t interested in a guy, but he does extra for her, she may mistake that as a stronger friendship.

  246. Carnation says

    @ JT

    I wouldn’t describe them first and foremost as Muslims, just as Ian Paisley isn’t first and foremost a Christian.

    @ Archy

    I absolutely accept that women get more messages online than men. This won’t translate into “power” in any way, and I reckon it’s far more of a hindrence.

    I can’t access your link (work) but I think that outside of the teens/20s, libido evens out, with womens increasing as men’s decreases (sure I’ve seen studies to that effect, can’t think/search).

    Also a hindrence; men resenting her, woman worried that men don’t want her friendship, see her as a “conquest”, men lying to get her into bed etc.

    Re powerlessness – think it was said earlier, 75BC (AKA 123…) was ranting about women using their “covert sexual power” to force men to have sex with them, so they could steal their children and force them to pay child support, the usual dross.

    I’m still waiting for a proper breakdown of these power dynamics… How many women exercising power over how many men, from what societal strata, for what benefits, and at what cost to society, having been weighted against individual cost.

    Or, alternatively, accept that it’s a big wonderful world out there, that most people don’t get to have sex with as many people as they’d like but that doesn’t mean one sex is gifted power over another, covert or not.

    And I’ll say again, a man who takes a bit of care about himself, and who possesses self-awareness (and who doesn’t use theories like s”sexual market value” or “covert sexual power”) can have a sex life – it isn’t hard.

  247. Carnation says

    @ Archy

    I’m having to reply sporadically but you made some good points:

    “Infact I’ve known a few people who stayed in abusive relationships because they felt like no one else would “have them”.

    I know a few as well. They are all women. Abusive individuals are very good at making their victims feel exactly like that.

    I am taking power to mean, in this conversation, to mean that women have advantages derived fro, their attractiveness which gives them moderate to significant advantages in life in matters unrealted to sex/love over men.

    If anyone takes issue with this, I’m all ears (or eyes).

    PS – quite a few studies show that most men who pay for sex are in sexually active relationships.

    PPS – more men than women are celibate – again, seen it in a few studies.

  248. StillGjenganger says

    I do not think we are agreeing, no.
    The logic is simple: If you have something to offer that many want and few can give, you are in a more powerful position. At any level of closeness. More people will be interested, they will choose you over others, they will be more willing to overlook your weak points, they will work harder to overcome problems in the relationship, the inevitable compromises of a relationship will be more favourable to you. In BDSM the most skilled Doms of either sex are rare, and therefore in a favourable and powerful position compared to subs – I would bet that a number of subs who end up as second lover somewhere would much have preferred being the one and only. Similarly, women are rare, compared to men, and therefore in a favourable and powerful position too. The same holds in normal sex, if not as strongly. Desperation is always a turn-off, of course, but no matter how laid-back and respectful you are and how much you are willing to offer, that does not make up for the problem that there are five guys on your side of the room, and only four women to dance with on the other side. And that the women who do not get to dance with guys one or two have a tendency to give up and go home before they try with you.

    As for the compare and contrast stuff, I am actually not in high school any more. But more power and more options is pretty much always better than the alternative. How often is it better to be poor than to be rich?

  249. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 267

    Most men who pay for sex are in sexually active relationships.
    So? One way or the other they cannot what they want in other ways.

    More men are celibate than women. By choice? SInce the gender division is 50:50 where are the women? Mistresses, second wives, or what? Some information seems to be missing here.

  250. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    Re celibacy – my understanding is that the discrepency is because some men have more than one woman.

    “The logic is simple: If you have something to offer that many want and few can give, you are in a more powerful position”

    I will concede that women have this power, if you agree that it is strictly limited to having the power to have sex with men they do not want to have sex with.

    Which isn’t really much of an advantage, is it?

    And I simply cannot see how a woman being sexually objectified by some men gives them an innate advantage in life (other than they can choose to have sex with men they don’t want to, if they decided they did).

    I think a problem has developed – I was arguing with 75BC (123..) whose hyperbolic outbursts aren’t really supported by many.

    So if we are to continue, please spell out exactly what this power is, and what advantages it gives women (specific and innate to women) over men, in life – outside of sexual.

    otherwise it’s irrelevant.

  251. Carnation says

    @ JT, Archy, Steersman, GJGanger

    This is the point this discussion started:

    75BC/123… wrote:

    “Where a man working away from home in a dangerous line of work brings home his salary to provide for his wife and kids – whereby the wife subsequently controls the expenditure – it is with her where the real control and power lies. Where the money came from is almost irrelevant – it’s where it ends up that counts.”

    When challenged about this, the end result was a woman’s “sexual power”…

  252. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 271, 270
    I cannot answer for 123454321. I am happy to apologise for gatecrashing your discussion, if you want, but if you are debating with me, you need to address my posts, not his.

    I already listed the advantages you get from having something other people want – most recently in post 268.

    Your arguments keep coming back to these black-and-white distinctions: You want sex with x / you do not want sex with x; you are fully in the power of x / x has no power over you. That is not how the world works. The process of deciding who to have sex with, who to marry, which film to see, which job to take, which drugs to use, … is influenced by all kinds of factors. Which of several nice men you choose could well depend on what kind of life they were willing to offer otherwise, And how far they would go to accommodate you could well depend on what kind of sex life they thought you offered – and what the chances were of doing better elsewhere.

    The chance of having sex with someone you do not want to have sex with can be quite useful if it will pay for the children’s tuition – or get you promoted to equal opportunities Minister for Italy (reputedly a real example). Having options is better than not having them – even if you choose not to make use of them.

    Anyway, you also get the chance of not having sex with someone you might actually want to have sex with – unless he cleaned up his act first. That could give a very useful influence to the person in the couple who was most sure that she could get her sexual needs met one way or the other. .

  253. JT says

    @Carnation

    I wasnt replying to that quote. Ive been replying to your denials of sexual power and what it does or doesnt entail. And by the way, when someone calls themselves a Muslim, I believe them because after all, like Feminists, they are not Monolithic.

  254. Carnation says

    @ GJganger

    Am I right in thinking that your definition of sexual power is that it allows a person from an as yet undefined subsection of the female population the opportunity to have sex with a man they wouldn’t have sex with for pleasure in order to receive goods or services or other types of favour?

    Essentially, prostitution?

    Or is it that, because of widespread male sexual desperation, that same woman has a large field of men to choose not to have sex with?

    Or are you opting for the outdated sexist myth that women marry for financial reasons? And that men are too dumb/blinded/pathetic to see this?

    In the real world of everyday life, these examples are preposterous.

    So I’ll ask you what I asked 75BC, how big a problem is this disparity of power? Who is suffering? Who is benefitting?

    There’s an old and wise saying. People rarely marry simply for money or beauty – but they help. Are you simply saying that a beautiful woman has an edge over a less attractive woman in terms of marrying into money?

  255. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 270
    OK, just to make it obvious – sexual power is not about having power to do things you do not want anyway.
    Sexual power is about having a larger field to choose from when looking for a partner, and being able to exchange sexual favours (whether you like the act or not) to obtain other things that you do want. Better to have it than not to have it.

  256. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation 274
    I already answered most of that. And, as I must have said eight times by now, it is not a question (mainly) about marrying for money. Exchanging favours and looking out for your own interests are an integral part of any relationship AFAIAC. And sex is one more thing that you can provide and the other person wants, and that therefore helps you to keep the other bloke happy and willing to do things for you.

    It is not about pretty versus plain women either. Rather I would say the average woman has an edge over the average man in this field. The entire distribution is shifted, so that a woman has more and more eager suitors than an equally attractive man would have.

  257. Carnation says

    And do you think men as a class are moderately or significantly disadvantaged be what you perceive as a woman’s sexual power?

    How many women would prostitute themselves in the manner you described, do you think? How much of an advantage do you think it is for these women to have men assume that they could or would benefit from sexually servicing a man for a reward?

    In essence, how real or big a problem do you think this is?

  258. Schala says

    I absolutely accept that women get more messages online than men. This won’t translate into “power” in any way, and I reckon it’s far more of a hindrence.

    I have too much money, it’s a hindrance.

    My house is too spacious, it’s a hindrance.

    I have too many slaves/servants/house staff, it’s a hindrance.

    I have too many clothing options, a too large wardrobe, too much budget for clothing, it’s a hindrance.

    Please tell me again how hard it is to be the rich party. /insert Willy Wonka meme image

  259. StillGjenganger says

    So, do you accept that the effect actually exists?

    I would expect that this is significant but not overwhelming. Certainly comparable in intensity to some things that women complain about. Like for instance the fact that men are physically stronger – violence is very rare in normal interactions, but men’s superior strength is quoted, quite convincingly, as a significant reason that women tend to shy away from being alone with strangers. Or the various things to do with men being seen as more decisive and authoritative, interrupting more, forceful leadership styles being more accepted from men than from women, etc.

    I also think that this is a cause as much as an effect, of the role division where men ask and women grant, of men seeking sex so eagerly in quantity and women preferring to be choosy, of the nasty feelings towards sluts (as someone put it “She is so disgusting that she would even have sex with me!”), and of a number of men despairing and giving up. Enough years of trying and failing and you are no longer really up for it, even if women’s sex drive becomes stronger than men’s as both groups get older.

    As for how many women would prostitute themselves? For the ninth time, most of the benefits come In perfectly normal low-level exchanges that are the bread and butter of any relationship. For actual prostitution there is probably a largish minority of women who would go there if they had to, while almost all would prefer to avoid it. Women who shag their way to top posts are probably rarer – most people have at least some dignity, thank God.

  260. Carnation says

    @ Schala

    Congratulations on the brevity. Imbecilic trash as always, but not a copy & pasted wall of it.

    @ GJganger

    “So, do you accept that the effect actually exists?”

    No, not in the slightest. And most definitely *not* in the manner you describe. Since no credible studies that I can think of have been done to measure female “sexual power”, we are left with personal experience and conjecture.

    “I would expect that this is significant but not overwhelming. Certainly comparable in intensity to some things that women complain about. Like for instance the fact that men are physically stronger – violence is very rare in normal interactions, but men’s superior strength is quoted, quite convincingly, as a significant reason that women tend to shy away from being alone with strangers. Or the various things to do with men being seen as more decisive and authoritative, interrupting more, forceful leadership styles being more accepted from men than from women, etc.”

    I have literally never hard a woman complain that men are stronger. Extremely rarely have I heard of a woman shying away from being alone with strangers (a single incident, and let’s just say she had issues). I have never, ever, seen “superior strength” cited as a reason for male rudeness or forceful leadership styles. You have heard, I assume, of small man syndrome?

    Nothing that you quoted is significant.

    You are still unable to specify exactly which women have “sexual power” – which ones qualify? Or is it all women?

    “I also think that this is a cause as much as an effect, of the role division where men ask and women grant, of men seeking sex so eagerly in quantity and women preferring to be choosy”

    There have been several sexual revolutions. What you are describing simply isn’t the lived experiences of most people. As I keep saying, and will keep saying until it sinks in, women do not *grant* sex – they choose to have sex with someone that they want to have sex with. In virtually all cases, this choice is made based on a wide range of factors, virtually none of which have anything to do with exploiting alleged power. This is a fantasy that lives in your head.

    If a man lives his life viewing sex as something that a woman “grants” to a man, then he will be a very sad individual. Thankfully, as I have said, this simply isn’t reality.

    “… most of the benefits come In perfectly normal low-level exchanges that are the bread and butter of any relationship”

    See above. The relationship that you speak of is acutely dysfunctional and suggests that those involved have no communication skills. And it’s preposterous to state that it is a “significant” societal injustice that “perfectly low level exchanges” exist within a relationship.

    “Enough years of trying and failing and you are no longer really up for it, even if women’s sex drive becomes stronger than men’s as both groups get older.”

    Perhaps women get jaded with men assuming they want something and are up to no good with their mysterious sexual power?

    My friend, if your life resembles anything that you are describing, I strong suggest, with all due respect, making some serious changes.

    Let’s focus on the one relationship we both know about, because he’s written in this very blog about it (hope you don’t mind, Ally):

    “If I want to get laid I catch up on the Hoovering and scrub the toilets, pack the kids off to their grandparents for the weekend, make my best curry (with extra ginger) make sure the cats are fed and the dog is walked and we’ve thrown enough coffee down our necks that we don’t fall asleep in front of Celebrity Knitting on Ice, which let’s be honest, we probably will.”

    Now, is Ally doing these household chores because his other half is exploiting him using her sexual powers? Is this the bartering that you’re talking about? Is this the significant societal injustice that you’re describing? Or, maybe, Ally did a bit more around the house so that his other half would have a bit more energy to stay awake beyond Celeb Knitting on Ice.

    I usually at least respect your POV, GJGanger, but I’m having trouble believing you believe the tripe that you’re staying here.

    *Incidentally, I would never cohabit because I think it kills libido. Same goes for monogamy. Having a very active sex life takes precedence over emotional commitment for me. God bless feminism for the sexual revolutions that it has given society. Feminists make the best lovers, in my opinion.

    * This paragraph is off-topic and quite possibly way TMI.

  261. StillGjenganger says

    I’m having trouble believing you believe the tripe that you’re staying here.

    I can assure you it is mutual.

    Enough.

  262. mildlymagnificent says

    Schala

    I have too much money, it’s a hindrance.
    My house is too spacious, it’s a hindrance.
    I have too many slaves/servants/house staff, it’s a hindrance.
    I have too many clothing options, a too large wardrobe, too much budget for clothing, it’s a hindrance.

    My house is full of my mother in law’s hoarded knick knacks. It’s a hindrance.

    My kitchen is completely covered in mess after my children’s efforts at cooking. It’s a hindrance.

    My yard is overrun with rats. It’s a hindrance.

    Every dimwitted vandal from the local high school has scrawled tags on my front fence. It’s a hindrance.

    … …

    Just to make my point Absolutely Clear. Getting and having lots of things you do. not. want. is no kind of advantage.

  263. Archy says

    “Just to make my point Absolutely Clear. Getting and having lots of things you do. not. want. is no kind of advantage.”

    My household pantry + freezer has probably 20-30 days of food in it, yet I only like maybe 5% of it. I am still advantaged that I have items that can benefit me.

    Remember that privilege can get you things you may not want, like I don’t want to be treated better than women but it’s still an advantage in the workforce for instance.

  264. mildlymagnificent says

    I know all that Archy.

    I was focused really on Schala’s notion that it’s an “advantage” to get lots and lots of responses – where all but a few indicate very, very clearly that the writer has not even bothered to read the woman’s profile, with the added bonus of the occasional dick pic.

    When a profile states quite clearly that a woman is not interested in long distance relationships, nor casual sex, maybe she’s stated that she’s explicitly looking only to expand her circle of friends and is not interested in sexual relationships at all. Men “responding” from the other side of the country and/or stating that they’re interested in topics and activities that the woman’s profile has not just indicated but stated quite explicitly that she’s not interested in – or actively dislikes – is not a compliment nor an advantage. It’s a bald statement that the man in question doesn’t care at all about what she does and doesn’t like.

    And then there’s the heap of foul-mouthed exhortations to engage in no-strings-attached, no-holds-barred sex with strangers to women who’ve explicitly stated they’re only interested in friendship or in long term relationships. This is not an “advantage” it’s actually a repugnant, distasteful burden.

    You might have stored food that you’re not especially thrilled by. That’s a lot different from having a grocer deliver boxes and boxes of smelly, weevil infested, rotting, mouldy food scraps instead of the flour, pasta, fresh vegetables you’d asked for.

  265. Archy says

    But even so these women still get more decent messages than the guys do if what I saw was right. So the grocer sometimes brings awesome food for free, or at least decent food. The forums of okcupid, whilst not a 100% accurate sample, do seem to suggest more men get ignored and get less opportunity, even decent opportunity than the women are getting.

    The disadvantage is the sea of dickpics, etc, the advantage is the few good ones they will get. Seems that the men however routinely get zero, and rarely get replied to. But online dating is full of a lot of bullshit to deal with.

  266. carnation says

    @ Archy

    Yes, but then wouldn’t a complex formula have to be worked out that weighs up the costs/benefits from the over abundance of messages? I’ve known of a few women who’ve come off dating sites as it was too difficult wading through the propositions, abuse, unsolicited anatomy photos and so on. I’m also do the firm belief that dating sites are awash with men who thrive off negative attention and who seek to disgust others into a reaction.

    So, in a nutshell, much like life, if a woman wanted to be treated as a piece of sexual meat with no guarantees for her own pleasure, she could do it with relative ease. Maybe even have dinner bought for her first. But finds is far, far harder to meet someone for something substantial.

    Also, by the way, women looking explicitly for casual sex still find it very hard to find a suitable partner.

    Incredible, considering the significant power that they hold over men, apparently.

  267. mildlymagnificent says

    The disadvantage is the sea of dickpics, etc, the advantage is the few good ones they will get.

    Going back to the pantry idea, I’d suggest that anyone who turned up to help out with cleaning up the food supplies would have one, and only one, reaction. Exactly the same as a council inspector looking at the same phenomenon in a restaurant.

    I. Don’t. Care. if there might be some possibility that, somewhere in that stinking, fetid mess under the scuttling and fluttering insects, we could, if we held our noses and wore rubber gloves, just possibly, identify some items that are safe to ingest and palatable to eat.

    Don’t look at any of it.
    Throw the whole lot out.
    Start again.

  268. Archy says

    @Carnation,
    “Yes, but then wouldn’t a complex formula have to be worked out that weighs up the costs/benefits from the over abundance of messages? ”

    Such a formula would be quite difficult indeed. If someone is interested, setup a poll for it maybe.

    ” I’ve known of a few women who’ve come off dating sites as it was too difficult wading through the propositions, abuse, unsolicited anatomy photos and so on. I’m also do the firm belief that dating sites are awash with men who thrive off negative attention and who seek to disgust others into a reaction. ”

    There is a big issue where a lot of the decent men get ZERO replies or relatively few replies. Hell I sent about 8 messages recently and only 1 bothered to reply, I read their profile and wrote a thoughtful message. This is a very common theme from men it seems, I’ve seen oooodles of men talk about this issue and quite frankly many just get sick of the ignored messages and ditch online dating which is what I am very close to right now. Some on the forums have to send 20-25 before they get a reply.

    The woman that did reply to me rejected me but I thanked her for taking the time to message as I really appreciated it. I know there are other men though who don’t take it so kindly and many women probably avoid the rejection replies but quite frankly I think it’s still pretty rude. An option would be a button that sends a message that lets them know thanks, but no thanks without having to individually write a reply.

    Men and women also need to be taught to take rejection much better than many seem to. It shouldn’t be seen as personal as if they suck, but there are sooo many variables in attraction that you can be a stunner to most and still have people not be attracted.

    I do think though that women should take the time to reply to the GOOD messages though because it would encourage the decent ones to stay. My guess is that the decent guys get tired of the rejection and ignored messages and leave, whilst the ones that stay that aren’t successful probably include an ever growing mix of trolls, dickpic senders, ultradesperate sexual message senders, etc. I’ve seen many comments from the decent-message-sender guys who pretty much just give up and leave as they get reply rates of less than 20sent-1reply.

    Having a way to allow the guys to know they’ve been rejected without her having to face abuse would be great. Better moderation is sorely needed to weed out those who hassle the women and are abusive.

    “Also, by the way, women looking explicitly for casual sex still find it very hard to find a suitable partner.”

    But is that due to fear of being abused? Lack of decent sex? Or are they just extremely picky? There are far fewer women looking for casual sex than men I’d say so it does point to the idea that some may be extremely picky if it’s so hard to find a suitable partner. But again, that’s an extremely complex problem but the fact still remains is that they have more opportunity for it.

    @MildyMagnificent,
    “Don’t look at any of it.
    Throw the whole lot out.
    Start again.”
    That is an option but people who do that would be quite silly to complain of a lack of decent men if they’re not even going to read the messages. And it just simply adds to the feeling of being ignored by many decent guys which in turn will probably reduce the number of decent guys on those sites and probably just make the problem worse.

  269. Schala says

    I had a profile on OkCupid. It didn’t mention I was trans, but I did if it came to it, in personal messages. Decent profile. Picture was recent.

    I would receive 3-6 messages a day. ZERO dick picks on my time there. And most messages seemed to be from the decent people Archy talked about. I tried to reply to most.

    I would rather get that than the drought of no messages at all, having to send 20 thoughtful message to maybe get 1 reply.

    So yeah, I consider women are in the rich-person position in this, and I won’t change my mind.

    Lots of the complaining about having some bad messages, or casual sex not being godly sex seems to me to be this situation:

    Person A is starving and wants food, can barely get scraps of food or loose change enough to not starve eating the cheapest possible food.

    Person B wants food too, and they’re very hungry too (maybe not starving I guess), and they want filet mignon, or they say it was shit.

    Seriously won’t have much sympathy for person B. And I love filet mignon.

  270. Carnation says

    @ Schala

    Few messages in a row that haven’t involved pasting hundreds of words that will remain unread!! Well done

  271. carnet says

    Not gonna take up a lot of time or space here. Just wanted to put it out there that the “KillAllMen” hashtag thing is a joke from /b/. There are a few articles on that if you want to Google it.

  272. SYABM says

    @ Tendentious? 93:
    Yes, which is why he explicitly said he did not mean all that, shortly after that bit you quoted. The current version makes it absolutely, explicitly clear that he was not sincere when he said that, with helpful little tags to denote where he was and wasn’t being satirical. In response to Ally, actually.

    Funny story; Elam tried that same sort of quote-mine in a debate with Elam himself. Elam called him on it, and Futrelle abruptly stopped mentioning it. That was in 2010. When I talked about him using it in his 2013 “White Hot Rage” article at the American Prospect it on /r/MensRights, Futrelle said, on another subreddit, that he would correct it the next time he collected quotes from Elam. Not that he’d correct the usage of it he’d already done. And strangely enough, Futrelle doesn’t use an archive of the clearer, newer version of the post when he refers to Elam’s remarks, last time I saw. It’s almost as if he was specifically trying to obscure the fact that Elam was making satirical remarks. Even when he addressed Elam’s defense, he went through logical backflips to insist that Elam was totes sincere, conveniently leaving out the part where he goes “Besides, violence in self defense should be in some way commensurate with the violence of the attack.

    It’s also manifestly hypocritical for someone who’s said his own controversial posts are just “mockery” to accuse someone else of lying to obscure their bigotry. And for someone who insists he cares about men’s issues, he has little to say about the Jez article that Elam was critiquing.

    More on that post here; http://thoughtcatalog.com/janet-bloomfield/2014/06/350587/

    Heck, even his site’s name implies that just talking about men’s historical and current gender role is somehow misogynist. Futrelle himself once said that being made to penetrate shouldn’t count as rape, while simultaneously insisting that the name doesn’t really matter.* It took days of badgering before he admitted, reluctantly, that he was wrong.

    http://siryouarebeingmocked.tumblr.com/post/89309274010/the-real-pushaw-dickardcain
    http://siryouarebeingmocked.tumblr.com/post/68735398094/i-find-this-about-as-questionable-as-the-original

    Interestingly enough, there are about a dozen or so commonly used “examples” of AVFM allegedly being misogynist**, which is a remarkably small number for a site with thousands of posts. This is possibly the most popular, and it’s just plain wrong.

    Meanwhile, there are feminists falling allover themselves to defend Valenti belittling men’s feelings. Because society totally doesn’t expect men to be stoic, and she’s totally not perpetuating gender roles when she does so. And when Jez portrays F>M abuse as female empowerment? No one bats an eye.

    * Notice the doublethink; the name doesn’t really matter, but it’s important that only F>M forced sex is called rape.
    ** That is, specific examples, instead of waving vaguely in the direction of The Website Formerly Known as Manboobz or unbacked claims about MRAs.

  273. Carnation says

    @ SYABM

    Yawn… Same ol’ nonsense. Your point of view has been dealt with repeatedly, on this blog, and elsewhere. Its’ boring.

    The only people that don’t see the blatant and obvious misogyny at AVFM (and Reddit/MR, Spearhead et al) are either the very stupid or those who share a similarly stunted worldview. Or perhaps both.

    Pretty much the same demographic accuse David Futrelle of quote mining too.

    Elam fan-boys seem to be a bit thinner on the ground lately, however.

  274. says

    “The only people who don’t agree with my position are stupid or One Of Them. I don’t have to actually provide an argument for this, I’ll just say that other people have made the argument elsewhere.”

    Interesting personal attack. David Futrelle is a dishonest scumbag who will say anything, to the point of erasing male rape in a way even many of his own readers complained about, just to get one over on MRAs. He is not a trustworthy source. He’s not even a good feminist, barring a very specific definition of “good”.

    I’m not an Elam fanboy, nor am I an MRA. I’ve openly criticized him several times. But, again, nice job trying to stuff me into the Them mental slot so I can automatically be dismissed as one of those regressive, knuckle-dragging, misogynist, whiny MRA dudebros instead of actually addressing a single point I made. And no, saying that my “point of view” has been “dealt with” is not rebutting the actual argument I made, especially since you’re actually wrong about what my POV is. I’ve seen people try that sort of evasion before.

  275. Carnation says

    @ SYABM

    It wasn’t a personal attack. I merely pointed out, accurately, that literally the only people accepting Elam’s weak claims of satire are themselves MRA, or MRA sympathizers. and that the only people accussing Futrelle of being dishonest are the same people.

    Perhaps you are the only actual example of someone who bucks this trend, but I doubt that.

    Like I said, it’s been done to death, on this blog and elsewhere. Either you, AVFM and related fellow travellors don’t understand what is meant by satire, or the rest of the world doesn’t.

    Just to recap:

    Satire

    1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

    2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

    3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.

    And also to recap (this is quoting Fogg quoting Elam):

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/07/03/dear-paul-elam/

    “Now, am I serious about this? No.”

    You carefully omit your next few words.

    “Now, am I serious about this? No. Not because it’s wrong. It’s not wrong.”

    Read that, then read what satire is, then absorb, then go away.

  276. Schala says

    “Now, am I serious about this? No. Not because it’s wrong. It’s not wrong.”

    You forgot the context:

    It’s not wrong…to defend yourself in DV.

  277. Carnation says

    @ Schala

    Continuing praise for limiting the irrelevant word count, but you still write easily dismissed nonsense. He wrote a masturbatory fantasy about ordering a woman he’d beaten to clean up her own blood. He’s a self described “happy misogynist”, so writing a hateful violent fantasy, then actually saying it isn’t wrong, can only be described as satire by the wilfully obtuse or the very stupid/ideologically blind. Despite your chronic lack of writing skill, you are, I reckon, the former.

  278. Archy says

    “It wasn’t a personal attack. I merely pointed out, accurately, that literally the only people accepting Elam’s weak claims of satire are themselves MRA, or MRA sympathizers. ”

    It’s not like many of his critics don’t have a vested interest in smearing the MRM as a whole or anything, no sir-ee. Of course people wanna accuse him of being serious, it means they don’t need to address legitimate criticisms of the feminist movement (though I do admit Elam and the site go wayyy over the top in dramatics).

    I think he was being sarcastic, but also antagonistic as a reaction to the Jezebel stupidity. I don’t think he’s actually a violent man, even if he has angry fantasies. Bitter? probably but I am not surprised given some of the shit they seem to put up with. My impression is a cranky old fella type mentality, sounds typical of bitter people….not unlike some of the Jezebels actually apart from age….

  279. Carnation says

    @ Archy

    Actually, his critics, in the main, have a vested interest in him carrying on exactly as he is. He has no effect on feminism, except to provide a crystal clear example of the type of mindset that justifies it’s continuing. He is to trans activists what a TERF is – a galvanizing presence.

    He was and is many things: capable of writing satire he is not.

    He’s good at getting press attention, but it’s invariably negative. Their MO is then to claim they knew it would be negative, but that’s what they planned, then to write lots of blog posts attacking the journalists. Maybe they’re satire, too.

    Still, it’s somewhat compelling to watch the internal wranglings of a blog that considers itself a human rights movement.

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