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May 04 2014

A PSA for All My Dear Feminist Allies

I originally posted this on Facebook, but here I paste it too:

I’m not a very social person. I usually avoid others when I can. I get cranky and angry when I am forced to spend a great amount of time in society. I prefer living inside my room and devoting my time to reading and writing. Making friends is a painful and slow process. I watch porn. I masturbate. A lot. I still live with my parents. I don’t have a choice but if I did I would still want to live with my patents. I am single. Romantic relationships are even slower and more painful of a process.

As far as I know, these facts do not affect your life at all. Also none of them are morally wrong. I have been a vocal feminist all my life. I have never made lewd comments about women online or in real life. I have never left hateful comments on people’s blogs. I have never been a men’s rights activist.

So, when you are ridiculing sexist people, please stop ridiculing them by saying “get outside a bit, you still live with your mum and jerk off, hahaha.” I have seen many people do so. It is a meme. But don’t. Social people are not better people than me. The fact that I have made a conscious choice to prefer books and video games to parties and walking outside does not make me an inferior entity.

It’s possible that some sexists are like that. I’m sure some of them have very active social lives as well.

And what is really painful is not only that you correlate people like me and sexists, but that you use US to insult THEM. What is wrong with them is not that they are sexist assholes who send hate mail, no, they are losers who live with their parents haha. This basically places me at a LOWER human level than them, because they are shamed by being described to resemble me.

Please stop doing this and making this joke. It is old, cliché, not funny, and potentially insulting to people who are your allies. Thank you very much.

57 comments

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  1. 1
    M can help you with that.

    I’m not too different in the details. I live with my parents (“again” rather than “still,” but there’s no real difference there), I masturbate (ugh, are there really still left-leaning people who think that’s a bad thing?). I can’t even take “basic level of decency” credit for not making lewd comments about women, because my lewd thoughts are all about men. I read my porn rather than watching it.

    But still.

    Plenty of people who are less-than-super-social are sexist asshats — sure, I believe that. But the problem is the sexist asshaberdashery, not the less-than-super-social persona. Socially-awkward semi-recluse guys can be pro-feminist too!

    (And actually, we might be some of the people best-placed to promote feminism to our fellow male parental-household-dwelling inveterate masturbators. Half of them won’t listen to me because I’m a raging nelly, but half is still a better percentage than any woman would likely get. And a straight pro-feminist basement-dweller could be the ultimate double agent for the ethically defensible side in the patriarchy wars.)

  2. 2
    René

    Patents. The R key is to the left of the T key.

    1. 2.1
      Kaveh Mousavi

      Thanks for pointing it out. Actually, this wasn’t typed on keyboard, but on a tablet. :P It was a Facebook status.

  3. 3
    oolon

    The sad virgin one is even worse, perpetuating the idea that men losing their virginity makes them more “manly” … Quite anti-feminist really. I like a lot of what Amanda Marcotte writes but when she talks about anti-feminist X not ever “getting his dick wet”. I do cringe a bit as it perpetuates this idea that for men getting their “dicks wet” is a measure of their worth. But really? Not worth criticising her over, the power imbalance is men>women, so women making crude jokes like this has a certain power. Especially when done as satire of sexist male attitudes. I personally don’t think Amanda gets that bit right, but given it’s not for my benefit, who cares what I think? When her joke is punching down, then I’ll care more.

    A bit of splash damage to male allies is nothing compared to the damage done to women by the harassment and misogyny they are exposed to. So the intimation that “allies” will be put off over a little bit of hurt feelings doesn’t say to me that they are allies worth having. Or that they are allies with a sense of humour, more “NOT ALL MEN…!!” “allies”. It’s ok to punch up in humour, so this qualifies sometimes IMO. But your post is not clear whether you agree this is ok, so maybe I do agree with you?

    I think I’m trying to say context matters, and as a stand alone post I find little to disagree with. But if you generalise and apply this post as a hard rule to tell women they are “doing it wrong” and “losing allies” with their jokes. Then I’m not with you, humour like that can be liberating.

  4. 4
    Hunt

    More importantly:

    Live. The I key is to the left of the O key. :)

    1. 4.1
      Kaveh Mousavi

      Thanks, I will fix it.

  5. 5
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Take off the fedora, your brain is overheating.

    1. 5.1
      atheist

      Is his brain overheating? Or does he just get annoyed by being attacked for things that are not his fault?

    2. 5.2
      Kaveh Mousavi

      I consider this a personal attack rather than an argument. Please read the comment policy and refrain from personal attacks. Thanks.

      Also, as far as I remember, you had decided that I’m not humanist to be worthy of your readership.

  6. 6
    Andrew B.

    Yesyesyesyes. We’re introverts. That’s all. We’re not undesirables, we are NOT worthless, developing a social life and relationships is simply a slower, more difficult process.

  7. 7
    leni

    I didn’t even see the patents. My brain just read “parents”. And that is why I will never be an editor.

    What is wrong with them is not that they are sexist assholes who send hate mail, no, they are losers who love with their parents haha.

    I don’t think this is accurate, it’s really the both things together! Along with some other unpleasant traits that you don’t exhibit.

    A couple of weeks ago PZ posted an article from the SPLC in which they describe the pathological discontent of white supremacists:

    A typical murderer drawn to the racist forum Stormfront.org is a frustrated, unemployed, white adult male living with his mother or an estranged spouse or girlfriend. She is the sole provider in the household. Forensic psychologists call him a “wound collector.” Instead of building his resume, seeking employment or further education, he projects his grievances on society and searches the Internet for an excuse or an explanation unrelated to his behavior or the choices he has made in life.

    Wound collector. Was there ever a more perfect description for anything?

    And this:

    Assured of the supremacy of his race and frustrated by the inferiority of his achievements, he binges online for hours every day, self-medicating, slowly sipping a cocktail of rage. He gradually gains acceptance in this online birthing den of self-described “lone wolves,” but he gets no relief, no practical remedies, no suggestions to improve his circumstances. He just gets angrier.

    Emphasis added. I’m no expert, obviously, but that pretty much sums up what I think about the MRAs. So you see the problem isn’t that they might live with their parents, it’s that they are raging narcissists who think the fact that they have penises is the only qualification needed for being “better” than half the human race. That’s bad whenever it happens of course, but it’s just laughable coming from some putz who doesn’t even buy his own groceries.

    It’s kind of the same thing with rich people who never had to work a day in their lives telling poor people that they just need to work harder. The problem isn’t that they’re rich, it’s that they are hypocrites. Just like it is when some racist, unemployed thug with a long rap sheet criticizes non-whites for being lazy and criminal, as if their own armed robberies and assaults are like some better category of crime because the guy holding the gun was white. Or when some kid who has never even lived on his own tells the ladies how easy they have it because of some creepy evo-psych argument about the sexual marketplace or berry-picking. Or if I, the queen of typos, random apostrophes, and blockquote fails, criticized you for a couple of typos :)

    You are not that person! And the criticism really isn’t about living with one’s parents. It’s about pretending that you are part of a class of penis-bearing ubermench when you don’t even pay your own rent.

    1. 7.1
      Codi Johnson

      Some really good points in there.

      1. leni

        I agree!

    2. 7.2
      Kaveh Mousavi

      This all makes sense, but when you use characteristic X to mock a misogynistic person, you’re mocking some collateral damage as well. That was my point.

  8. 8
    leni

    Oops link fail :D

    Here’s the link to the SPLC article. It’s a good read.

    1. 8.1
      atheist

      That was indeed a great article.

  9. 9
    atheist

    I feel your pain, Kaveh. For what it’s worth, I think that most feminists are aware that dudes who live with their parents and masturbate aren’t the problem. I think most feminists just use mockery to attack MRA’s and other misogynists, and sometimes the mockery becomes “friendly fire”. Your point is well-taken.

  10. 10
    atheist

    Maybe part of the problem is that *success* is kind of over-rated in the US and UK. To the point where “loser” is seen as the ultimate insult.

  11. 11
    John-Henry Beck

    Yeah, I fit some parts of those insults too. Kinda irksome, even being fairly privileged and all. It does seem like a failure, mocking for unrelated features, as much as I understand the strong desire to mock MRA types for being awful people.

  12. 12
    Michael Brew

    I would say that some of the most mysoginistic men I’ve known have actually been some of the most successful in life and “love” (or sex, mostly). They just don’t feel the need to complain about it because they already have the women in their lives firmly under their thumbs, and if any complain they can easily drop them. Most perpetrators of sexual assault and rape tend to know the victims as well, which implies that they are probably not spending most of their time at their parents’ house beating off. Probably would be better for everyone if they were.

    1. 12.1
      leni

      Most perpetrators of sexual assault and rape tend to know the victims as well, which implies that they are probably not spending most of their time at their parents’ house beating off.

      Does it? All I see when I read that is that they know their victims.

      1. Blanche Quizno

        Did you see the analysis of the Department of Justice crime statistics that showed that, with each release of a violent video game, violent crime rates *DROPPED*??

        There is a worth-a-thousand-words chart here: http://www.wired.com/2008/04/gaming-real-vio/

        For all the hue and cry about how violent games will create violent offenders of our youth, all that has happened is that violent crime rates have DROPPED, even as these games are wildly popular and widely played (mostly by young men). We’ve had 20 years of violent games in existence to observe the feared rise in violence these games would necessarily promote – yet we have seen the opposite: http://gamepolitics.com/2008/04/12/comparing-violent-crime-to-violent-game-releases#.U2gQOPldXDU

        More study of this fascinating phenomenon remains to be done, but the obvious (jump-to-)conclusion is that more young men (the most violent demographic) are staying at home (perhaps in their mom’s basement) playing video games on weekend nights instead of going out, packing up like dogs, and rumbling. That would have been the “normal” weekend behavior when I was in high school, long before personal computers and longer before video games. Now, we see more young men staying home, playing video games (and perhaps masturbating). This scenario is supported by studies that have shown that young men who commit violent crimes tend to consume less media of all sorts as a group, including THIS sort of media, than their non-trouble-causing peers.

        And I, for one, am VERY happy with this development, of harmless, vicarious violence substituting for real violence.

  13. 13
    timothycarter

    I think there are cultural assumptions at play here, too. I am a white guy married to a Mexican in a predominately Asian-American city (San Francisco). Among white people, it is just assumed that any adult living with their parents is a loser, but that is because we are used to nuclear families. Most Mexicans think adults living with their parents is perfectly normal, and many Asians I talked to about this think it is a positive thing. They are used to extended families. I have experienced enough of both to see good points and bad points of both, but they are really just different, and the belief that an adult living with their parents is a loser carries a lot of cultural assumptions that the speaker is probably unaware of.

  14. 14
    Endorkened

    THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
    And did I mention THIS.
    Like I said on Avicenna’s blog a few days ago, nothing says inclusive and socially progressive like responding to criticism by saying that your opponents are effeminate and dress funny.

  15. 15
    Rabidtreeweasel

    Since it clearly pains you and costs me nothing to stop using the meme, I am happy to pull it from the lexicon. In the same way that it doesn’t help to perpetuate the myth that all rapists stand in the alleyway twisting their mustache, it doesn’t help to assert that all MRA’s are sad and lonely (or that wanting to be alone means being sad/lonely). It gives the people who don’t live with their Mum’s an out- they can point at the stereotype and say, “Well, that’s not me, so I couldn’t be a sexist!” It’s not helpful and it doesn’t serve the conversation. It’s a pretty unnecessary addition to the overall discourse.

  16. 16
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    And I like basements. I live in them when I can. I’m not too worried about splash damage, but you know, it can rather affect some introverts or insecure people or those who feel the stupid cliché use of “basement dwellers living with their parents and needing to get out more” is a core component of the criticism and it gets internalized as a mark against themselves. There at least as many creepy extroverts as their are creepy loners. Cisgendered heterosexual white dudes share a spectrum of privileges to be punched up at. People living with their parents, living in basements, living as introverts, are not.

    There’s a valid point here. It’s not a scorekeeping point in the oppression olympics, just a point. There is no claim of oppression, and no class of people involved. A personal request from someone who feels affected by it. Take it or leave it. Question it, discuss it. Mocking it it a hoser move. There was nothing over the top here.

  17. 17
    robertbaden

    All too often, when I tell someone I’m a member of the ethnic group they are disparaging, I get a “I wasn’t talking about you” response. It’s annoying.

  18. 18
    colnago80

    http://goo.gl/e7u4en

    1. 18.1
      Kaveh Mousavi

      What does that have to do with this article?

      1. colnago80

        Nothing. Just calling it to your attention in case you were unaware of it.

        1. Kaveh Mousavi

          Fine, I was confused.

        2. Holms

          Just your average non-sequitor then.

  19. 19
    Blanche Quizno

    You know, our society is strongly biased in favor of the extroverts and against the introverts. It’s a shame, really – both have their strengths and weaknesses, and we owe a great debt to the introverts, in particular. It is they who devote themselves to research and creativity, for example, instead of seeking opportunities to socialize.

    “History shows that the majority of people that have done anything great have passed their youth in seclusion.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

    “The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” ~ Aldous Huxley

    “A career is born in public – talent in privacy.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

    “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” ~ Pablo Picasso

    “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.” ~ Nikola Tesla

    My only female cousin, 7 years older than I, became a professional artist. From the time she was 5, she spent at least 3 hours a day drawing – every single day. One summer, she drew studies of her own feet – all summer long. Her work is *glorious*. Yet if she hadn’t been content to be there, in her parents’ basement, drawing for hours on end, she never would have become a successful artist.

    We can contrast the concepts above with the “Wolf of Wall Street”, an extrovert who got really really rich by wheeling and dealing (socializing) and seeking the input of experts to figure out how to get around the laws.

    “I realized… that the artist is always alone. Early in life I had thought I needed other people to confirm or approve what I was doing…” ~ Beverly Pepper

    Live well, Kaveh.

  20. 20
    fourth of july, asbury park

    When I started blogging regularly on my own site a little over a year ago, I had some thoughts about things I did, and did not, want to do. One of the things I didn’t want to do is use exactly the sort of characterizations you’ve highlighted, not just about MRAs, but about any group of people. Reading this, I’m glad I made that decision. It’s not only hurtful, but I see it as lazy, ineffective writing. I haven’t objected to it when I’ve seen it mainly because I feel like I’d be tone trolling. Most people should be able to relate to this since we all have some quality that other people might see as damning in some way.

    Since a few people have brought it up, I was sexually assaulted by a former college football player who had belonged to a fraternity. (Before everyone jumps to assumptions, it was not at a party, we hadn’t been drinking, he was a friend of a friend I barely knew and I was modestly dressed, unless you think Keds and jeans are super sexy, not that any of that should matter, but people always ask.) I’m tempted to say that the men who have treated me the worst have often been outgoing, friendly and well-liked. On the other hand, I recall in graduate school a very likeable man asking if we could cool it with our off-hand comments about “frat boys.”

    Miri, just put up a post in which she mentions the concept of “Schrodinger’s Rapist” and how, similarly, if a man approaches you, you don’t know whether or not he will take rejection well or make an uncomfortable scene. She’s right, because we don’t know about a man’s attitudes towards women just by looking at him, or knowing a couple superficial facts like whether or not he lives with his mother.

    In any case, we need to confront the ideas, not engage in ad hominem attacks. It’s no different if an MRA says someone is a feminist because she’s ugly.

    By the way, you asked me to let you know when I put up the post I wrote about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. One day I’ll have to learn to write with the rapidity of a blogger.
    http://fojap.com/2014/05/06/ayaan-hirsi-ali-and-brandeis-some-thoughts/

    1. 20.1
      Kaveh Mousavi

      Thank you very much for this comment, and I am very sorry for your experience.

      I loved Miri’s article a lot as well. I personally never approach people I don’t know intimately.

  21. 21
    Blanche Quizno

    There is a lot to be said for the rather quaint notion of a “proper introduction”, where someone is introduced by a mutual friend or relative who is well known to both parties and can vouch for the character of the new person. Not foolproof or fail safe by any means, but it certainly has many advantages over walking up to a total stranger and saying “Hi!”.

    I remember reading a letter in an advice column years ago written by a single man (I think he was divorced) who lives at home with his mom. He explained that there are some single men who choose to live with their elderly mothers because their mothers need help and can’t really live alone any more. Some of these men would very much like to meet a partner and have that kind of love relationship as well, so it is deeply hurtful that these noble men, who have made such a loving and responsible choice, should be regarded as somehow weird or odd. In the letter, the man made a comment about how, next time you’re at the grocery store and you see a man escorting a little old lady around with the grocery cart, realize that this is a good man who might very much like to meet a nice woman (or man!) around his own age.

    I hope I wrote that out so it sounds right – we in the US have this irrational aversion to the concept of the extended family, which is a shame. I hope that, when my kids are grown, they’ll remain close by – I *like* them! Isn’t it best when families care for their most vulnerable and frail members? Also, even when our economy is good, given the complexity of our urban society, most children need parental support until about age 25 just to get properly on their adult feet. And when the economy is bad, as it is right now, and jobs are scarce, for an adult child to need to move back home to ride it out shouldn’t be a source of shame or a sign of loser-hood. Why is it so wrong for us to help each other?

  22. 22
    abear

    Kaveh: Beware of misandrists in feminist’s clothing.
    There are plenty of people out there that claim to be social justice advocates and feminists that are every bit as nasty bigots as the fascists and misogynists they rail against, and every bit as hypocritical and self-righteous as the most passive-aggressive religious types.
    Also, there are people that, when they encounter people that have even minor disagreements with, will label and make dishonest claims about these people. Next time you hear people talk about MRAs and sexists, about how much they hate them and how they do such evil things, take it with a grain of salt.
    There is an awful lot of toxic dishonesty out there, especially on the internet.

    1. 22.1
      Friendly

      Beware of misandrists in feminist’s clothing.

      Beware of MRAs bearing sympathy.

      1. abear

        Friendly; Thanks for proving my point- you just insinuated that I, a life-long liberal and feminist ally, am an MRA because I criticized some of the factions in the feminist/progressive movement.
        Exactly the sort of poison I was warning against.

        1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

          If you don’t like being called an MRA, you should consider not spouting MRA talking points.

    2. 22.2
      Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

      And, since there are plenty of these people, I’m sure you’ll find the task of providing us with examples of this behavior well within your means. Also, given that you’re clearly very concerned with honesty, I’m sure you’ll raise no objection to being asked to provide these examples, including links so that we can judge them in context.

      1. Kaveh Mousavi

        I’d rather he doesn’t provide examples. An example would include real names of real people, and I prefer this discussion goes without them.

      2. abear

        I’m going honor our host’s request and not name names.
        If I were to”enact that task” it probably would be a pretty long list because there are plenty of them.
        What a bout TERFs (trans-exclusionary feminists) that consider male to female transexuals not real women?
        How about alleged feminist allies that make a career out of denigrating men while “teaching” gender studies that turn out to be psychopaths that cheat on their wife while taking sexual advantage of their students?
        Is it OK to criticize the loony female separatist factions that want to do away with men?
        What about the more mainstream people that label themselves feminists? Am I automatically spouting MRA talking points if and when I criticize them?
        You strike as someone that is brainwashed. If you were a right-winger you would be a Rush Limbaugh Ditto-Head.

        1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

          What a bout TERFs (trans-exclusionary feminists) that consider male to female transexuals not real women?

          Yep, TERFs exist and they’re horrible. It’s not just male to female transgender people they deny. The only reason they include female to male transgender people is because they deny that being transgender is even a thing. They consider them women because genitals. That’s just as messed up. And neither is “misandrists in feminist clothing” as you originally put it.

          How about alleged feminist allies that make a career out of denigrating men while “teaching” gender studies that turn out to be psychopaths that cheat on their wife while taking sexual advantage of their students?

          That’s an awfully specific example. I’d need citations before I’d be willing to consider that any kind of a trend.

          Is it OK to criticize the loony female separatist factions that want to do away with men?

          Sure, but these are people who occupy extremely dark, damp corners of the internet and don’t even identify themselves as mainstream feminist. They call themselves radical. That should tell you something. They know their views are extreme and not shared by very many people. Nobody at all outside of their insulated little circles takes them seriously.

          What about the more mainstream people that label themselves feminists? Am I automatically spouting MRA talking points if and when I criticize them?

          Depends on what the criticism is and whether it’s a thing commonly brought up by MRAs. When you lead with the word “misandry?” That screams MRA because nobody who is actually paying attention to reality thinks misandry is enough of a problem that men are denied rights because of it. It’s isolated and anomalous where it exists at all.

          You strike as someone that is brainwashed. If you were a right-winger you would be a Rush Limbaugh Ditto-Head.

          Says the guy pouting about being labeled.

          You came here warning about anyone talking about MRAs and sexists, not TERFs (who, incidentally, bear far more similarity to MRAs in their talking points than they do to feminists despite what they call themselves), not self-identified extremist groups and not outlier cases of adulterous gender studies professors.

          1. abear

            Piegasm; Thank you for being a living example of what I was warning Kaveh about! Your lack of self-awareness would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.
            Here are examples of inaccurate things you made about my statements (Note that I’m not calling you a liar because I’m not sure whether you are dishonest or just stupid):
            -

            Says the guy pouting about being labeled.

            I wasn’t “pouting” about being (mis)labelled,I was amused that someone would immediately prove my point by kneejerk, cliche name calling when they saw something they disagreed with.

            You came here warning about anyone talking about MRAs and sexists, not TERFs (who, incidentally, bear far more similarity to MRAs in their talking points than they do to feminists despite what they call themselves), not self-identified extremist groups and not outlier cases of adulterous gender studies professors.

            I didn’t warn about “anyone” and was careful not to broadbrush. Can’t you read?
            Radfems consider themselves social justice advocates and feminists, who are you to say they are not?
            You asked for some examples of the people I was talking about and when I give them you decide they are not a valid example.

            As far as talking points go, the biggest talking point the radfem nutcases have going for them is labelling people that disagree with them as MRAs. I’m not trying to dox you, but are you a sockpuppet of witchwind or twisty faster? :)

          2. Kaveh Mousavi

            Please retain from calling people dishonest or stupid. I’m sure you can discuss the ideas without name calling. The same goes for “seven of mine” as well. Please check the comment rules, both of you. Thank you very much.

          3. abear

            I apologize Kaveh.
            At least now nobody can mischaracterize me by calling me an MRA.
            On the other hand, if I get angry at Friendly or Piegasm I can’t call them Republicans or Born Again Christians.:)

  23. 23
    ThorGoLucky

    Agreed.

    (I have gotten so content with my single-human living that I freaked out about losing it when I last dated)

  24. 24
    brucegee1962

    I’ve been guilty of making this kind of assumption about MRA’s — that, if they had better social skills and were able to form genuine relationships with women, they’d likely grow up some.

    I’ve been basing those assumptions on my own background. For many years, I had poor social skills and dated rarely. At the time, I was getting to be resentful of the women who rebuffed me, and I think I was starting to develop MRA-ish tendencies. There was no internet around at the time, but if there had been, and if I’d discovered them, I might have fallen into their narrative. I hope not, but it’s hard to get back into the head I was wearing a quarter century ago. Maybe I would have.

    Now I’m happily married with kids, and when I look at the MRAs I hear from, I see echoes of my lonely, frustrated, angry earlier self. So I tend to make the assumption that, if they just could manage to forge a few friendships across the gender divide, they might shed their negativity.

    Maybe I’m wrong there. And maybe there are MRAs who really have the confident, sexually successful persona they assume. I’ll bear both of those possibilities in mind.

  25. 25
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm

    @ abear

    I wasn’t “pouting” about being (mis)labelled,I was amused that someone would immediately prove my point by kneejerk, cliche name calling when they saw something they disagreed with.

    You objected, made an observation, were amused by, whatever. The point is you’re criticizing others for labeling you while posting replies full of labels.

    I didn’t warn about “anyone” and was careful not to broadbrush. Can’t you read?

    Yes, I can read. Thanks for your concern. I can also scroll back a couple of comments and re-read your words:

    Next time you hear people talk about MRAs and sexists, about how much they hate them and how they do such evil things, take it with a grain of salt.

    Please tell me what the meaningful difference is between “people who talk about XYZ” and “anyone who talks about XYZ.” I submit there is none.

    Radfems consider themselves social justice advocates and feminists, who are you to say they are not?

    Words mean things. Calling yourself X doesn’t really mean much if your actions aren’t consistent with actually being X.

    You asked for some examples of the people I was talking about and when I give them you decide they are not a valid example.

    You came here with a warning about taking people who talk about MRAs and sexism with a grain of salt because they’re often “misandrists in feminist’s clothing.” When asked for examples, you list a group (TERFs) not motivated by misandry and repudiated by anyone whose behavior is actually consistent with the goals of mainstream feminism, a group who makes no attempt to disguise their extreme views as mainstream feminist (misandrists but not in feminist’s clothing) and a bizarrely specific case which you tried to paint as some broad trend with no evidence that it’s enough of a trend to be a concern or that it’s motivated by misandry or that gender studies professors are any more prone to the behavior than anyone else. Your examples don’t support your claim.

    1. 25.1
      abear

      Try re-reading my comment Piegasm.
      I came here warning about extremists that CLAIM to be feminists and social justice advocates that throw about the label MRA against anyone that disagrees with them. They don’t label themselves as “extremists”, they consider themselves the genuine believers and they tend to denigrate “mainstream feminists”.
      Many people consider consider Andrea Dworkin as mainstream and in fact her writings have heavily influenced women’s studies and many people that claim to be feminists. I consider her to be an extremist, many don’t.
      You don’t think TERFs are motivated by misandry? Really??!! I think you should read up on them a little more.
      I remember well the feminist movement during the 1960s and 70s. The mainstream feminists were warning people about how the radicals that were popping up in their midst were discrediting the movement. Some suspected the radicals of being planted by the authorities just to make feminism politically unpalatable. Al;though I don’t believe the government is behind it, I am concerned that humanism/social justice/feminist movement/s are being tainted by extremists and foolish ideologues and they are bigger enemies to real social justice than MRAs, the patriarchy, or sexists ever could hope to be.

  26. 26
    abear

    P.S.
    Yes Piegasm, words do mean things and you have not been appointed to change the definitions of words to suit your arguments. Radfems and TERFs are a sub sector of feminism and are the type of people I meant when talking about “plenty of people that claim to be…”. I wasn’t talking about “anyone”, I was referring to a subgroup within certain movements.
    If you don’t think TERFs and other radfems have misandrist views let me furnish you a quote from witchwind.wordpress.com. If you think she is alone in her views try educating yourself, you can start by going through the list of links she supplies on her blog. Witchwind writes this:

    Men, homo rapiens, you scum, you filth. There is no word to describe the extent of your evil, you are pure evil, pure lechery. I hate you, how I hate you. In the 250,000 years of your rotten, defunct existence, you have managed to kill 5 million years of life on earth.

    Men like Guy McPherson, you are also part of the problem. How dare you – yes I’m talking to YOU, and to all liberal men like DGR & co, and I hope you will come across this – indeed how dare you continue to write about the near term life extinction while pretending it is “humanity” who has sentenced to death all life on earth. The unstoppable death-machine has always only been orchestrated by the homo rapiens. By men. YOU. Women are not and have never been responsible for the atrocities committed by men, for men’s global industrial rape and death system.

  27. 27
    lancifer

    “Global Industrial Rape and Death System”

    Hmm, that would be a good name for a rock band.

    1. 27.1
      abear

      Another good name for a rock band: Dick and the Homorapiens.

  28. 28
    Ani J. Sharmin

    Thanks for writing this.

    I feel similar frustration when people use “lives with parents” as an insult against Millennials. People love to use this as a synonym for laziness and immaturity, when there are sorts of reasons one might still live with parents, including financial necessity, an illness which require a person to take care of a family member, cultural expectations, etc. There are plenty of people who live with their parents but take on the financial responsibility of the household after their parents retire, so to consider them lazy just because they happen to live in the same building as their parents is absurd.

    On this argument in feminist and gender equality discussions, I would remind fellow feminists that there are women who (due to law or culture) aren’t permitted to live alone. They’re expected to move from their parents’ home to the husbands’ home. Discussing this expectation and the use of familial pressure to limit choices for people would be a more fruitful discussion topic, rather than speculating about which family members sexists live with.

    There are people who promote all kinds of sexist stuff who live with their parents, who live alone, who live with a spouse and kids, who live in a dorm, etc. etc. (There are also people who promote all kinds of sexist stuff who have no sexual partners, one sexual partner, or multiple sexual partners. The idea that people’s sexism is a result of them ‘not getting laid’ is also something I detest.) I’m sure that my fellow feminists already know this, and I get that they are saying stuff out of frustration … but in general I wish people put more thought into what they say, instead of using the fact that they are arguing for a good and important cause (such as gender equality) as an excuse for not thinking about how they speak.

    Related to what @leni (#7) wrote, I do think there is a certain hypocrisy when some men try to give credit to men for creating all of civilization (and accusing women of not contributing anything), trying to take credit for their entire gender for stuff that some men did … but there are better ways to express this than just using ‘lives with parents’ as an insult.

  29. 29
    Amber

    I agree with your overall point and everything else you’re saying here, but I don’t think it’s wrong if some women feel uncomfortable with people who consume porn, considering that so much porn is directly sexist (and some porn even depicts non-consensual acts, and we can’t always know if something is consensual or not). I mean, I assume, as a feminist ally, that you probably try to watch ethical porn and screen the content of your porn, but I don’t necessarily agree with the “none of this affects you” bit. Although I do think sexist-imagery-porn-saturation is a pretty US-centric thing and someone from a country where images of sexuality are more banned doesn’t hold the same kind of responsibility for such problems in Western countries. (Not, obviously, that I agree with images of sexuality being banned, and I’m anti-censorship.)

    I do think talking like sexist dudes are just socially awkward, shut in, masturbate, etc., is lazy logic, and a tired, bad argument (and it ignores the fact that many men benefit from patriarchy, so successful men are quite likely to be patriarchial… since they reap the benefits).

    1. 29.1
      Kaveh Mousavi

      I agree with what you say here.

  1. 30
    The Reading List, 5/11/2014 » Almost Diamonds

    […] A PSA for All My Dear Feminist Allies–”And what is really painful is not only that you correlate people like me and sexists, but that you use US to insult THEM.” […]

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