The five little words that betrayed Emma Watson


There is so much to admire in Emma Watson’s sublime speech to the UN on Saturday. There was the poise and elegance with which it was delivered, the subtle charisma and assured performance, but it was the content that has made her the talk of social media and the darling of the world’s young progressive left.

The roster of Hollywood actors and naff pop stars that makes up the (remarkably lengthy) list of UN Goodwill Ambassadors are usually considered something of a joke. Once you have learned that Ronan Keating once put his name to a parliamentary inquiry into global food security, satire and snark can be declared redundant. And yet Watson’s speech was different. There was an inescapable sense that not only had she written her speech herself, every word came from deep within her.

In particular she made a compelling argument that, in the words of bell hooks, feminism is for everyone, or as the theoretical dictum would have it, patriarchy hurts men too. The points have been made often before but seldom with such simple sincerity:

I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society. I’ve seen young men suffering from illness, unable to ask for help for fear it will make them less of a man …. I’ve seen men fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.”

So while I didn’t entirely agree with every word she said, there was more than enough there to win my support. Without a moment’s hesitation, I went to the HeForShe website to add my name to the campaign. I got as far as the button to sign the pledge when I glanced over the wording, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn’t sign. The pledge is only 35 words long. For 30 of them I was agreeing enthusiastically and then…. well, let me talk you through it.

“Gender equality is not only a women’s issue…”

So true, so important, and so seldom acknowledged. How refreshing to see this stated so clearly.

“…it is a human rights issue that requires my participation.”

I’m with you, with you all the way.

“I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination…”

At last! How long have I waited for this? Finally we see a body like the United Nations issue a clarion to the world, to stand as one against all forms of violence and discrimination…

“…faced by women and girls.”

Oh. I see.

So we are not in fact being invited to stand up for all human rights, to take a stand against all forms of violence and discrimination. We are explicitly not standing as one against all forms of gender discrimination and violence. The pledge could have stopped at the 30th word, but those final five entirely changed the meaning.

As it is, the wording betrays and confounds Watson’s heartfelt plea. The discrimination which devalued her father’s role is ignored in this pledge. The prevailing social manacles of masculinity that leave men physically and mentally ill and unable to seek support are specifically excluded. So too are male victims of sexual violence, including atrocities such as the mass rape campaigns in Congo. It entirely removes from the equation issues such as sexual assault in men’s prisons, now acknowledged as a systemic crime against human rights.

Earlier this year the world was rightly appalled by the mass kidnapping of schoolgirls by Boko Haram, yet apparently unconcerned when the same monsters slaughtered a dormitory full of schoolboys. We now know this indifference is shared by the UN. To this atrocity, add the mass abduction of boys by ISIS in Northern Iraq. The UN’s determination to end female genital mutilation can only be admired, in stark contrast to their studied and wilful blindness towards the deaths and mutilations of thousands of young men and teenage boys in savage traditional circumcision ceremonies across sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN has form on this. So many men and boys were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 that by the time it ended the population of the country was 70% female. Two years later UN Special Rapporteur René Degni-Ségui declared that “women may even be regarded as the main victims of the slaughter.” UN Security Council Resolution 1325, passed in 2000, treats wartime sexual violence as something that impacts exclusively on women and girls, against all evidence.

Emma Watson says she sees that men can be imprisoned by gender stereotypes. She is a clever and observant woman. At the heart of all gender-based oppression is the poisonous notion that people should be differently treated, differently valued, differently destined by their gender. The idea that only women and girls need protection from gender-based atrocities and discrimination is in itself a form of benevolent sexism and, while masquerading as a solution, is a bloody big part of the problem.

UPDATE: A follow-up post is here: When is it acceptable to ask ‘what about teh menz?’

Comments

  1. alex grady says

    Sadly this is par for the course, it has come the norm where male suffering is brushed under the carpet, negated or just ignored completely. If you have as a male suffered from domestic violence you will have some tell you to your face that there is no such thing, others will ask what you have done to deserve it. I would not blame Emma Watson for this though, she most likely had nothing to do with the wording of the petition. Men though do shoot them selves in the foot over this, not enough will speak out, it is seen as a thing that has a sense of shame. Being a male and a victim I should not have any feelings of shame I did nothing wrong. I have noticed a frequent trick when talking about male sufferers that many will immediately any stats are mentioned say but its mostly gay relationships though, even if with some stats it becomes a mathematical improbability. Alas these attitudes are ingrained in various structures, my wife heard such vile man hating speech on her Msc that if turned the other way would get them kicked off the course, she was doing social work.

  2. karmacat says

    I understand the premise of that everyone should be protected, but how can this work in real life with limited resources. Sometimes I see people bring in men’s issues as a way of distracting from issues that really only affect women. There all sorts of type of violence with a lot of overlap. There is violence towards women because of certain patriachial ideas and seeing women as less than. In Rwanda, it was ethnic based violence that ended up killing up far more men than women as a result of trying to drive out certain ethnicities. I not sure I am stating all this very well. It seems people are more ready to accept FGM as a problem but are more ambivalent about MGM. That hopefully will change as people are educated more about the issue. My question is how would you re-word what was written so as to include men but also recognize that a lot of women around the world suffer from financial inequality. Part of the campaign is to get everyone to acknowledge that women should not be seen as lesser than men. That they should not be victims of violence because they are seen as less than men. That could also be as theme for other kinds of violence. In Rwanda, the Hutus were seen as less than. Men in prison are seen as less than so people don’t object to prison rape as much as they should. I am also worried that there is a message out there that if we focus on women, it means we hate men or that we don’t care about what happens to men. So how can we make use of limited resources to protect everyone?

  3. redpesto says

    Those five words – “…faced by women and girls.” – are too often the punchline to every ‘Men! We need you!’ article/speech/whatever. It’s also the reason that ‘We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes’, because every time ‘we’ do, it’s not really about men themselves, it’s about their impact on women.

  4. Moputabe says

    I wanted so much to sign this after listening to Emma….

    Impossible to do so tho if you actually believe in equality because of those five little words…

    What a pity!

  5. funknjunk says

    Though I don’t comment often here, I learn a great deal when I read this blog, and enjoy the variety of perspective on FTB. But the phrase “Perfect is the enemy of good” comes to mind after reading this post. I get this feeling a lot when i read posts that use this sort of template. Agree, agree, agree, agree. Whoops! You didn’t include MY particular concern in your bid to better the world, so I withhold my support. Support, which by the way, is basically an internet pledge. A very small ask. A verbal acknowledgment of a big problem. Much like the ALS ice bucket challenge; more of a PR effort to get 100,000 men on board to raise awareness. It is everyone’s prerogative, of course, whether to sign or not. It just seems off to me.

  6. SteveF says

    I’m not sure it’s fair to characterize Mr. Fogg’s concern as particular to him or to a small group of people. It’s of concern to half the planet.

    I do, however, see merit in the general point you make about incremental improvements being better than no improvement at all.

  7. scoobertron says

    My sentiments exactly. On the one hand, we are told that Feminism is concerned with equality in general (and hence that a separate Men’s Rights movement is not required). On the other hand, when talking about how e.g. Domestic Violence impacts on both genders and that campaigns against DV should take this into account, it is common to be told that “if this bothers men, then they should start their own campaign for male victims”.

    It strikes me that you can’t have it both ways. If feminism is concerned with equality in general, then I ought to be able to think of at least one high profile feminist campaign that addressed men’s issues, and issues affecting both genders should be dealt with in an even-handed way. On the other hand, if men’s issues are not welcome in public feminist discussion (which the moderation policy at some paper’s comment section *cough Guardian* would seem to suggest), then we need to accept that feminism is not concerned with general equality, and there is a need for a separate movement to advocate for men’s rights.

    And I thought that Emma knocked it out of the park. If her perspective could inform even a tiny part of the public discourse on gender, then it would be a great step towards a sensible discussion of gender.

  8. says

    I suppose. Should have seen it coming from the campaign’s name: He for she. Not He for….I don’t know? Everybody? (Probably would have to have some sort of other name to be catchy.)

    But, on the other hand, it seems like a no-win situation (a Kobayashi Maru, for the Star Trek fans out there). Because if you make it out to be He for Everybody, then women are going to be back under the bus. Because you darn well know most guys are going to treat that as He for He. You see this with the “I’m not a feminist; I’m a humanist!” types out there.

    With that, I also don’t really see a way to get to concern over boys issues until we address girls issues. Or, rather, until we start taking down gender stereotypes. Because, historically, it has not really been men (generalizing here) that have fought for such issues.

    I was looking at Watson’s speech, thinking something she said relates to this. It’s not quite what I remembered, but she said, “When [men] are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.” I think the reverse could also hold true. When women are free, things will change for men as a natural consequence. (Though, I’d maybe not use the word “natural” myself.)

  9. Ally Fogg says

    funknjunk

    Hello, and thanks for the comment!

    Agree, agree, agree, agree. Whoops! You didn’t include MY particular concern in your bid to better the world, so I withhold my support.

    I have three problems with this reading.

    The first is that the pledge actively undermines and contradicts what Watson says in the speech to launch it. If Watson hadn’t spoken so eloquently and passionately about how gender discrimination negatively effects men, then I would have happily have accepted this as yet another campaign for the welfare and liberation of women and girls, and that would have been fair enough, I would not have written this blog, I would probably have also added my name to the pledge. But we were, in effect, being sold a pup. It is not what it says on the tin.

    The second problem is that it is not me complaining that they haven’t included my particular interests as well. It is that they were including them, they were including them, they were still including them, and then they added extra words for no other reason than to specifically and explicitly exclude people of the wrong gender.

    How do you think this pledge would read if it was written like this:

    “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys.”

    Would that read as, well, a bit off to you? It does to me. And yet the meaning is absolutely identical to what is there at the moment.

  10. says

    @8

    I got this from Pharyngula regarding a Facebook post that, apparently, Aron Ra was responding to:

    6. Does feminism benefit men? If so give one such example.

    Answer: Yes, feminism benefits men. My personal favorite example is that in the late 1980s, the state of Texas still always defaulted on the mother’s behalf in every child custody case -except when the mother could be proven to be unfit. Several law offices reported that they would not take the case of a man attempting to file for custody for that reason. But these offices also remarked about the feminist protests going on at that time, opposing the stereotype that women were the housekeepers and men were the breadwinners. Their protest successfully changed legal policy in this state such that only a few years later, all such cases would default to joint custody -except again for instances where either parent could be declared unfit. As a result, men can now have primary custody and receive child support from the mother based on a fair comparison of circumstances without regard to gender. This is a clear example of something that was done for men without any special benefit to women.

    But…I worry that you’ll say “That was 30 years ago! What has feminism done today?!?”

  11. starskeptic says

    I’m not sure that her obvious and admitted nervousness constitutes an “assured performance”, but it certainly was a brave one.

  12. Ally Fogg says

    Because if you make it out to be He for Everybody, then women are going to be back under the bus.

    I do not accept this. There are so many ways in which men and women’s welfare and wellbeing are intertwined. To take just one obvious example, boys and men who are subjected to brutality and violence become vastly more likely to inflict brutality and violence upon others – including women and girls. So even if your principal objective remains, very narrowly, to reduce violence against women and girls it is utterly myopic and almost doomed to failure to exclude violence against men and boys from the analysis. We could say the same thing about men’s alcohol and substance abuse and untreated mental health issues, all of which have immediate and direct impacts (including sometimes violence and abuse) against the women in their lives. 7

    Now of course this is not to say men’s issues should be prioritised to the exclusion of women, in the hope that women’s wellbeing happens along as a side effect – that would be ridiculous.

    Every bit as ridiculous as prioritising women to the exclusion of men and hoping that men’s wellbeing might happen along as a side effect, in fact.

  13. funknjunk says

    @ Ally – >>I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys. Would that read as, well, a bit off to you? It does to me. And yet the meaning is absolutely identical to what is there at the moment.<< I understand what you're saying but don't agree with this point, because words have meaning, and she didn't say those words, therefore it's not identical. That's an inaccurate rhetorical/logical device. She did not explicitly or implicitly exclude men and boys from the call to end violence or discrimination, which is what you are saying. All of which you agreed with in Watson's speech implies the need for protection of men and boys as well, yet this effort is still aimed more specifically at the problems faced by girls and women, that is true. In the end, I can really only assume that you don't believe that a separate effort should be made to protect girls and women, or that their unique issues require any specific awareness or effort. And i disagree with that. I thought all the references to men and boys was appropriately inclusive and resonated with me, reminding me of Jackson Katz's Ted Talk about violence against women, and the need to engage men in that effort. But clearly it is still focused on women and girls, and I have no problem with that.

  14. Ally Fogg says

    funknjunk

    The official HeForShe pledge which they were inviting people to sign says:

    “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”

    I am suggesting to you that in meaning this is absolutely, 100% identical to the following statement:

    “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys.”

    Now what would have made me really happy would have been a pledge saying

    “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of gender violence and discrimination

    Can you not see how much more powerful and just that would be?

  15. says

    You’re wrong on this one.

    There’s a big difference between
    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”
    and
    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys.”

    The first is a commitment to action in one particular circumstance, but says nothing about what action one might take otherwise. The second is a commitment to action in one particular circumstance, and NOT to take action otherwise.

  16. funknjunk says

    Well … I think that is powerful, and necessary, but I think that we’re back to whether one believes or disbelieves that women and girls have unique problems that require unique calling out in general. And I would agree with Leo above. I believe that, just as with the phenomenon of attention in the classroom and other pyschological phenomena … NOT making an effort specific to women would make it de facto a male-focused effort in the long run. And I don’t agree with your rhetorical assertion above ….

  17. says

    This is a program aimed at women’s welfare. I can see arguing for men’s programs or broader programs, but you’ve never shown any objection to programs aimed at women before and have argued at length with people who did. What’s the difference here?

  18. Ally Fogg says

    Ace of Sevens

    The difference is that we are sold this one in large part on the basis that:

    “Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.”
    “We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.”
    “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue”
    etc etc etc.

    And when you juxtapose those quotes and others with the final words of the pledge, they look very disingenuous.

    It is also particularly jarring because this is the UN and the UN has such an appalling track record for downplaying or completely ignoring gender-based human rights abuses and atrocities affecting men.

    Watson’s speech gave every impression that this campaign was going to begin to put this right, but then it turned out to be entirely illusory.

  19. Adam James says

    First time reader of your blog. I have to say I find your perspective quite intriguing. My brain is trying desperately to categorize you but comes up empty.

    I’ll admit that, perhaps selfishly, I found the part of Miss Watson’s speech where she spoke of the stigma against male vulnerability or sensitivity to be the most poignant. Perhaps we need a “She For He” campaign as well. If only to promote the idea that its OK for men to ask for help, and for women to take action.

  20. Baphomet of Sig says

    Its not Watsons fault, she should be told how these people manipulate abuse stats though.

    She was reading out what those at UNIFEM told her to read, she believes feminist gendered abuse propaganda … remember Aston Kutcher was parroting sex trafficking stats he took a face value a few years back, same thing.

  21. SlimBoySlim says

    I’ve read several articles by this same user, and honestly I’m getting tired of them. They all sound like thinly veiled MRA talking points, the only real difference between theirs and MRAs is that this user spells better and doesn’t call women slurs.

  22. NPC85 says

    I’ve lurked and not commented here before and I don’t have much to add to the argument, except to say:

    Setting aside the issue that the campaign might’ve been misleading thanks to Emma Watson’s highly inclusive speech, at the heart of this debate, I suppose, is a dilemma about whether women’s rights and men’s rights should be tackled together as co-dependent causes, or separately, as autonomous ones. I see the problems inherent in both options:

    If tackled together, the same male-centricity that plagues society from top to bottom is likely to hold true, even here. Part of the point of feminism, as I understand it, is for women’s voices to actually be heard. It’s harder to do that in a setting in which everything is framed as a cause for human rights and equality in general.

    If tackled separately, myopia is a likely pitfall on both sides. Discrimination and gender normativity harms men and women. It’s an oversight to frame issues like domestic violence or sexual assault as problems that specifically concern one gender. It perpetuates ignorance and neglect for victims of the opposite gender whose well-being should be an equally great concern.

    I don’t know if there’s a better solution here. All I can say is that I recognize where people are coming from on both sides.

    SlimBoySlim, if you disagree with something that has been said here, how about telling us what it is? Which MRA talking points are you referring to that you see here?

  23. Bugmaster says

    @Leo Buzalsky #10:

    You see this with the “I’m not a feminist; I’m a humanist!” types out there.

    Ok, so what do you call someone who cares about reducing violence for everyone (and improving the quality of life in general), not just for women ?

  24. Baphomet of Sig says

    Slimyboyslim

    You can object to feminist misandry and trickery and not be an mra.

    You will find some mras that call women slurs, you will find feminists that call men and a women slurs – its fine.

    Women aren’t some special deities the blaspheme of whom by a minority of one group renders the whole of that group heretics by association.

  25. flocci says

    I agree with Paul Durrant and funknjunk on this. In fact I was going to write a comment much like Paul Durrant’s, but he beat me to it (and his was clearer than mine). The point is you don’t need to withhold your support for women to be an advocate for men. From reading your blog, this is not something I would have thought I would have to point out. I understand that you feel like there was a bait and switch, but is that really enough to justify withholding support for this cause?

    I might have expected to see you make the pledge, (because really, why not?) and then point out that if they really wanted to support men, as Watson’s speech suggested, why not make the pledge inclusive, with lots of good points about how inequality harms men too.

  26. SlimBoySlim says

    Forgive me for not spelling it out, cause I’ve been seeing the same arguments (albeit more rude/hostile) preached all over reddit, especially in MRA and MRA related subs. It gets tiring and eventually there is a limit before I stop caring and simply ignore people who talk like this for the sake of my sanity.

    I find this complaint made by MRAs and others to be childish at best, willfully ignorant at worst, as if people are actually trying to find a reason to dislike women/feminism.

    It’s a campaign for women, it makes sense on why the pledge is aimed at men pledging to help in the fight for equality thru raising up women, since it’s called, you know, HEforShe.

    I don’t get why this is a hard concept. People who argue this are either selfishly trying to make everything about them, or they’re willfully looking for any reason to justify their dislike for women/feminism. Focusing on certain issues is not the same thing as ignoring others. You can pledge to help women and and also pledge elsewhere to help men and boys without feeling like you’re ignoring one or the other.

    And lol, to the user who wrote this gem: “You can object to feminist misandry and trickery and not be an mra.”

    Uh huh, “misandry” and “trickery”‘ DEFINITELY not an MRA! /s

  27. says

    Of all the things I didn’t expect to find at FTB an extended “but what about the menz” post was towards the top of my list.

    I thought the title of this blog was meant to be sarcastic, but apparently not. And yeah, you may claim not to be an MRA, but your words definitely put you in their ranks. How **DARE** that woman spend a few moments not discussing men’s problems?!

  28. Ally Fogg says

    flocci

    The point is you don’t need to withhold your support for women to be an advocate for men

    And my point is that you don’t need to withhold your support for men to be an advocate for women, which is what the UN pledge is asking us to do.

  29. SlimBoySlim says

    >And my point is that you don’t need to withhold your support for men to be an advocate for women, which is what the UN pledge is asking us to do.

    The UN pledge is asking for men to help raise up women….and you’re pissed that men aren’t included in it? Really?

    I cannot believe I’m reading a “WHAT ABOUT THE MEN” post on here. This is typical MRA bull.

  30. A Hermit says

    my point is that you don’t need to withhold your support for men to be an advocate for women, which is what the UN pledge is asking us to do.

    Sorry, but the phrase “picking flyshit from the pepper” springs to mind here. The pledge is not asking you to withhold your support from anyone. That one line could have been better phrased, that’s all.

  31. Eagle35 says

    Leo: “With that, I also don’t really see a way to get to concern over boys issues until we address girls issues.”

    That’s very exclusionary and selfish basically holding boys hostage until girls issues are dealt with. Because this is what it sounds like to me.

    So how long then? How long are we supposed to pour all our energy and efforts into issues that affect women and girls alone before men and boy issues are equally supported? What’s your standards for measurement of importance?

    I find this very offensive as someone who was affected seriously by both genders yet still struggles to get people acknowledging what the female gender did.

    This is 2014. Things are not so cut and dry anymore. Everyone has issues and you shouldn’t keep prioritizing one thing as more important than the other.

    Insofar as limited resources are concerned, sorry but I don’t buy it. Not when we suddenly allot a kingly sum of money for a politician and pencil pusher’s paycheck to essentially sit on their rears and pretend they’re addressing the issue. Now are you going to tell me, with a straight face, that resources are limited?

  32. sawells says

    I’ve read the post, I’ve read the comments, and I’ve just gone and signed the pledge. I don’t see any sense in which a pledge to do something positive for women and girls constitutes a pledge NOT to do something positive for men and boys, so I think the basic argument of the OP is mistaken.

  33. says

    How is this asking us to withold support for men to be an advocate for women? I don’t see anything in the language that says only women are victims of domestic violence or promising to ignore young boys forced into prostiution or anything like that.

  34. Ally Fogg says

    Ace of Sevens

    Let me try one last time.

    Tell me what the difference is between these two statements?:

    1. “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination.”

    and

    2. “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”

  35. says

    And my point is that you don’t need to withhold your support for men to be an advocate for women, which is what the UN pledge is asking us to do.

    Simply put… this is untrue.

    You’ve jumped the shark.

  36. says

    Tell me what the difference is between these two statements?:
    1. “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination.”
    and
    2. “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”

    One specifies the direction of support.

    Neither implies withholding support.

  37. 123454321 says

    You see, I look at it like this. Feminists have spent the last few decades deliberately ignoring men’s issues whilst promoting their bigoted views in every corner of the media. The anger has now grown to such immense heights amongst disgruntled men that feminists now realise they have a serious problem. So in complete desperation an actress employs an ever-so-slightly devious, well-rehersed tactical speech to tempt men back onto their side again.

    Too late; go fuck off; should have thought about men at least two decades ago in which case feminism may have still had a chance. Men who have lost their homes, kids, savings, jobs, men who have been subject to violent/sexual abuse with nowhere to turn to for help, men who are sick of family court corruption, men who are sick of media portrayal of men, men who have had part of their cocks cut off when they were a baby etc….you think they’re gonna buy into this shit now. Me thinks not! Nice try though.

  38. mildlymagnificent says

    Sorry, Ally. I think you’re wrong on this one.

    You really are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  39. says

    Now what would have made me really happy would have been a pledge saying

    “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of gender violence and discrimination

    Can you not see how much more powerful and just that would be?

    While I appreciate your intent, this still doesn’t work. The problem is that “gender violence” is universally construed as synonymous with “violence against women”.

  40. A Masked Avenger says

    #11:

    If Watson hadn’t spoken so eloquently and passionately about how gender discrimination negatively effects men…

    She was pretty clear and specific that systemic discrimination against women automatically entails discrimination against men: for example (pace Aron Ra) the normative belief that women are the nurturers entails a corresponding belief that men are inferior nurturers, and should not be given custody of their children. The normative belief that women are weaker and need protection entails a corresponding belief that men are strong, and therefore that men are defective if they: seek help for mental illness; fail to achieve certain measures of “success”; fail to drive themselves to a premature grave from stress-related conditions; etc.

    It’s more than a little disingenuous for you to suggest that you thought she was referencing circumcision, male prison rape, etc., right up until she uttered those “five little words.” If you seriously want us to believe that, then you’re basically claiming that you have a comprehension problem.

    Also, complaining that this movement is itself discriminatory, because it fails to address every social ill, is like claiming that the American Cancer Society is racist, because they fail to support ebola research. Once again, this is impressively disingenuous. You’re incapable of giving to the American Cancer Society and the Center for AIDS Research? Because reasons?

    Your post comes across as a thinly veiled “but what about teh menz?”

  41. A Masked Avenger says

    (Note that my reference to ebola research morphed into AIDS research–sorry for the stylistic screwup. I didn’t quickly find a name for an ebola research foundation, which is yet more proof that both the American Cancer Society and the Center for AIDS Research are racist, and want Africans to die.)

  42. AnarchCassius says

    Well this restores my faith after the last article.

    Still I find myself wanting to give Emma the benefit of the doubt. It seems to me she was likely approached by the group. She took the opportunity to raise awareness about men’s issues as well. Had she declined someone else would likely have made a worse speech.

    You can make an argument it’s hypocritical but I can also see the argument that she was trying to balance out the overall message.

  43. says

    I was gonna join the NAACP, because advancing civil rights helps everyone, not just people of color – but there wasn’t anything about oppressed white people on the form so to hell with that.

  44. Marduk says

    The problem with monogendered accounts is that they give us false ideas. DV is the obvious example, and attempting to claim its a ‘gendered issue’ to this day hurts women and continues the promotion of ineffective interventions and policies.

    Even if you only care about women, the gendered account hurts your interests in the end.

    Its almost as if simplistic slogans don’t solve complex societal problems…

  45. Suido says

    When someone starts a HeterosforHomos campaign, I’ll be sure to only sign up if the pledge doesn’t specify that the campaign is primarily focusing on homosexuals.
    /s

    HeforShe. It’s in the title.

  46. gmcard says

    I can understand publicly protesting the scope-limiting wording at the end of the pledge, as part of campaign to promote the idea that a movement for gender equality also means caring about male victims of rape and other abuse. I can understand pointing out that He For She is already not a tightly targeted solution to very particular wrongs; it’s a general campaign to get people to speak out against abuse and it’s no more difficult to speak out against abuse of all genders than just abuse of women, so why not make the campaign as inclusive as possible. That protest is not helped, however, by the way this essay unfairly and melodramatically twists the wording of the He For She pledge to imply that it forbids parallel work on men’s and boys’ issues.

  47. says

    @ comment 16

    That is a bad logic fail you have there Ally. I haven’t read everything here, but I just wanted to quickly point out.

    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”

    IS NOT EQUAL TO

    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys.”

    This is really basdic logic you are failing here.

    The first one merely doesn’t specify what to do about discrimination which affects men and boys. And since this is being addressed to people who already have the interests of men and boys in mind (because they ARE men and boys, it’s called HeforSHe) it would be a bit unnecessary to include them, but very necissary to get a pledge for the half they may more easily forget.

    What a fail. (even before we get into non-binary genders!)

  48. AnarchCassius says

    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”
    IS NOT EQUAL TO
    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys.”
    This is really basdic logic you are failing here.

    The first one merely doesn’t specify what to do about discrimination which affects men and boys. And since this is being addressed to people who already have the interests of men and boys in mind (because they ARE men and boys, it’s called HeforSHe) it would be a bit unnecessary to include them, but very necissary to get a pledge for the half they may more easily forget.”

    Actually it’s you failing basic logic, the second one doesn’t either. It’s literally conveying the same information on a logic level. To commit to taking action on behalf of girls doesn’t equate to taking action on behalf of boys. Therefore it is the same as commit to taking action on behalf of all people except boys.

    The logical error you are making is assuming more information than exists. You’re taking the second statement to prohibit helping men and boys, as opposed to just not including them in the commitment currently being made. The effect in both cases is that boys and men are not included in this commitment made, and no other information can be obtained.

    I can understand saying the connotations are different but on a pure logic level Ally is completely correct.

    Also I think our society spends a lot more time and energy on violence against women so the idea that they are the more likely to be forgotten segment doesn’t follow.

    “What a fail. (even before we get into non-binary genders!)”
    Speaking as someone who is non-binary, including other genders in the logic actually makes the second statement MORE inclusive, since the first will only apply to women and girls and the second will include anyone not a man.

  49. Schala says

    Of all the things I didn’t expect to find at FTB an extended “but what about the menz” post was towards the top of my list.

    Too heretic for the church of feminism? Burn the witch? Maybe critical thinking is too new for people on FTB then.

  50. ludicrous says

    Ally, Reading the comments including yours I have been wondering what is Ally not considering? May I suggest that it may be the immensity of the difference in the amount and severity of discrimination faced by women compared to men. If one tried to put numbers on it would you say 10 to 1, 100 to 1, 1000 to 1? Or put another way what percent of freedom to live one’s life do women typically have compared to men? 90%? 50%.

    What I am getting to is what is,. not the principle, but the effect of signing or not signing Which choice is likely to do the most good? Yes you have pointed out that the final sentence does not precisely reflect the body of the speech, but is it harmful to men or others that haven’t been mentioned? It seems to me that what is important here is to get this going,

    .

  51. Menyambal says

    Really? You guys are feeling discriminated against because a program about women didn’t address mens feelings adequately? It is about women — it says so right on the tin.

    Look, we’ll take the phrase that bothers you,

    “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”

    and take out a word or two,

    “I commit to take action against all forms of discrimination faced by women and girls.”

    There. The phrase now addresses discrimination faced by women. See? Discrimination because of being a woman.

    Now, if we put the word ‘violence’ back in, we get violence faced by women because they are women. Again, this is about women, and the troubles that they face specifically because they are women.

    See, if the phrase ‘women and girls’ wasn’t in there, the UN would be pledging you to stop all violence and wars. But this is about women, and the kinds of bullshit that they have endure because they are women.

    Yes, some bad things happen to men, as some commenters have been fluttering about. But most of what has been mentioned is cases where men are treated like women are treated. If we put a stop to that kind of treatment of women, that kind of treatment of men will no longer happen — treating a man as if he is a woman will no longer include rape, for instance. Helping women will help men, as well.

    You guys and your justifications make me ashamed! Why don’t you go ahead and complain that she wore too many clothes and didn’t offer to make you a sandwich?

    She stood up, and she spoke up, and you took offense. You were betrayed!

    Keep mansplaining it to each other, guys. That is really helping to make the world a better place for us all.

  52. Schala says

    You guys are too much, living parody of tumblr fems. It’s like responding to you would make me think I’m in some stupidly-ruled city in Logan’s Run. Not even worth addressing at all.

    But I do think your blog was invaded by the atheism plus “feminism dogma or die” people Ally.

  53. says

    the second one doesn’t either. It’s literally conveying the same information on a logic level.

    It doesn’t ask people to commit to never help men’s rights? Well now that you point it out, there are two completely different ways to interpret that particular sentence. Weird.

    Anyways, that interpretation (which i doubt many people would make) would mean that Ally must not have been complaining about what I thought he was complaining about.

  54. mofa says

    Thank you Ally for this post…I find it difficult to agree with so much that emanates from Freethought Blogs…you are the constant exception.
    The message Watson should have been promoting is one of men and women working together to fight all forms of sexism, gender issues and rights issues facing both men and women…she and the UN had a great opportunity which they only half got right.

  55. Archy says

    Don’t forget the 500+ males killed by Boko Haram including infant males shot in front of their mothers. But great article. This is the type of stuff that makes me annoyed so much with all these calls for what basically amounts to modern chivalry.

    I already support women/girls where I can but I do not like this one way street that is soooo often asked of men. White ribbon does it, hell many campaigns by some feminists (NAFALT) do these same calls for men to step up and stop violence against women. When we have the CDC showing massively increased levels of male victims raped by female perpetrators, yet still no women writing articles that I’ve seen where they call on women to stand up against Violence against men…yet plenty of the opposite exists….it really makes me lose faith in gender equality activism.

    ” So how can we make use of limited resources to protect everyone?”
    By stopping the zero-sum game monopoly that women’s issues funding often has. If equality is the game then men deserve a portion of that funding, fullstop. It’s like with anti-DV campaigns where so many dollars go towards it, nearly everything is for VAW yet VAM gets barely any. Why should one group receive MASSIVE levels of support over the other when both are at risk? It doesn’t have to be a 50:50 split, just proportionate. Although keep in mind currently males are about 2-4x the deaths of violence in the world. I think the W.H.O had it at 3.1males per female but that was a few years ago and we’ve got a few more major wars happening right now which may skew that up (mostly male combatants + male specific gendercides like Boko Haram) or down (civilian deaths are fairly evenly distributed AFAIK).

    Separate campaigns for gender issues (eg white ribbon for women, white+blue? or whatever for men) only work if both are supported and talked about. Yet what happens today is there are huge numbers of male victims of violence, it’s actually the overwhelming majority of violence, yet most of the discussion is about violence against women. That pisses a lot of people off, including myself. It appears very much to be chivalry and seemingly stoic, men expected to care, support, and in some cases sacrifice their safety for helping women (for those that ask men to intervene) where that same expectation of women for men’s issues doesn’t exist.

  56. says

    @56 AnarchCassius

    Oops, wait.

    Go see Ally in 33

    Ally Fogg says:

    And my point is that you don’t need to withhold your support for men to be an advocate for women, which is what the UN pledge is asking us to do.

    unless he doesn’t mean the UN pledge is “asking us to withold your support for men”, or he somehow means “sure do that, but it’s not the purpose of this group”. Is Ally really this bad at writing? Or is he actually saying something wrong, just like it looks like he is?

  57. says

    I do not like this one way street that is soooo often asked of men.

    again, it is not specified that the street ought to be only one way. Only that, of all the ways it needs to go, there is one we should at least not forget, and plan to include.

  58. Jacob Schmidt says

    We are explicitly not standing as one against all forms of gender discrimination and violence. The pledge could have stopped at the 30th word, but those final five entirely changed the meaning.

    Well, no. The pledge is specific to the plights of women, true, but it says nothing about not standing up for men. Woefully narrow? Perhaps.* An explicit statement of not supporting men? No. ’tis the difference between “I want cake” and “I want cake but not tea”; were one to say the former after elucidating on the nobility of tea drinking, another’s accusation of “explicitly excluding tea” would be laughed at (by me, in the least).

    *I’m not convinced that at this particular event Watson was obligated towards dealing with men’s issues. I think Watson should have, in the sense that dealing with men’s issues is a good thing, and everyone should to an extent feasible.

  59. mildlymagnificent says

    By stopping the zero-sum game monopoly that women’s issues funding often has. If equality is the game then men deserve a portion of that funding, fullstop.

    You do know that this campaign is a UN initiative. It’s not restricted to anglophone or European countries which already have variably generous, often worthy, programs in relation to women.

    This is about getting some really basic stuff going in countries which still marry off girls before they’re 15. It’s about education so that girls don’t grow up to be illiterate women who can’t read health messages or agricultural advice about their own or their family’s health and food supply. It’s about promoting at least enough respect for women that they can go to markets or maternal and child health clinics safe from the risk of arrest or attack by gunfire or other assaults and that girls can do the same for school, shopping and work. (See Malala and others.) And a dozen other similarly devastating limitations on the safety and quality of life of women and girls, (along with the ones that are unbelievably worse. See rape in DRC and other war zones.)

    The proportion of DV and other resources allocated between men and women in wealthy advanced industrial societies is an important issue –
    – but so is every other item on this very long list.

  60. Archy says

    “People who argue this are either selfishly trying to make everything about them, or they’re willfully looking for any reason to justify their dislike for women/feminism. Focusing on certain issues is not the same thing as ignoring others. You can pledge to help women and and also pledge elsewhere to help men and boys without feeling like you’re ignoring one or the other. ”

    Because the campaigns for the male side BARELY EVER get attention. Put in basic terms, thing of it like 100 campaigns for women, maybe 3 for men, that’s the kinda disproportionate level of care given. Even than it so often feels like men’s issues are completely ignored, especially by those who claim to fight for equality.

    A crude view of it would be women at a table full of food, whilst men are outside cold n hungry, the women are asking for even more food. That’s what it feels like when women’s issues are so so so promoted in society yet men’s issues are often just a joke. Stats show something like 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 victims of DV are male in some countries, but the campaigns, focus, attention is not 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 but more like 1 in 100. That’s why you get so much whataboutthemenz, because really it’s more like some men feeling desperate that someone throw them a bone to gnaw on after the feast.

    I am absolutely flabbergasted as to how some people can miss this point. Do you know how often I’ve been told “feminism” helps everyone? Yet 99.999% of the attention, focus, drive is on women’s issues. There’s nothing wrong with feminism being for women’s issues only if it’s promoted to just be for women’s issues, but as Ally seems to be pointing out?, if you’re promoting a campaign or a movement as helping both genders but fall back to pretty much ignoring male issues then it’s annoying and dishonest. A campaign for women that mentions just women is one thing, a campaign for women that talks about male issues but then refocuses SOLELY to women’s issues sounds dodgy as hell.

    “OH hey men, you guys have some issues, but come help us women”. This may work if there is a brother campaign sheforhe or something but on it’s own it sounds off.

    “How **DARE** that woman spend a few moments not discussing men’s problems?!”
    ….She DID SPEAK on men’s problems, as what seems to be a drawcard to get support solely for women.

    “American Cancer Society is racist, because they fail to support ebola research”

    The American Cancer society doesn’t go saying it helps ebola research though. That’s the key difference. Is this really so hard to grasp? We’re not talking about quantum physics here. Support for women is fine, just don’t mislead. Throw the men a bone occasionally, support the various issues proportionately.

  61. Whothehell Cares says

    The author made one very clear point. Simply exclude those 5 words, and you have a noble and worthy INCLUSIVE speech.

    FFS isn’t inclusiveness supposed to be the hallmark of feminism?

    The speech became exclusionary, via omission, with the inclusion of those 5 unnecessary words.

  62. mildlymagnificent says

    A crude view of it would be women at a table full of food, whilst men are outside cold n hungry, the women are asking for even more food. That’s what it feels like when women’s issues are so so so promoted in society yet men’s issues are often just a joke.

    You don’t think that a program that improved education for girls and women wouldn’t benefit all their children if it meant that they were thereby able to follow medication, vaccination, contraception and other health information correctly?

    Programs to improve the iron content of food for a pregnant or lactating woman, or the total amount of all food, is a benefit to any child she might have – boy and girl alike.

    Programs that reduce the number of attacks on women by acid or burning oil, and that also provide support and rehabilitation for victims, are pretty important regardless of any flow on benefits to other people.

    Programs that improve women’s agricultural practices mean that all their children, boys as well as girls, will have more income, better food, more educational opportunities.

    Some people may not like it, but the experience of development aid workers is that programs focused on women are much more likely to help whole families and communities than programs that focus on male leadership groups or councils. As they say at Care Australia, http://www.care.org.au/learn-more , Help 1 woman out of poverty and she’ll bring 4 others with her.

  63. scoobertron says

    I think that those who are berating Ally for attacking a campaign for women’s issues for not including men’s issues are being a little uncharitable. I took a key claim of Emma’s speech to be that there is benefit to be gained by discussing gender issues as a whole, rather than having two separate conversations about men’s issues and women’s issues. And that one of the key benefits, would be increasing cross-gender participation from both genders (so to speak).

    This idea highlights what I take to be a key problem in public discourse about gender – the balkanisation of issues into men’s and women’s, which leads to, among other things, tedious conversations about e.g. which gender of domestic violence victims have it worse (and are therefore worthy of support). If Emma’s speech influenced the public discourse about gender, such that the public discussion of gender was broadened, then I (and, I suspect, Ally) think that this would constitute a big step forward for us all.

    In the context of this idea (and only in this context) the fact that the campaign refers exclusively to women and girls is disappointing (not wrong, not evil – it is their campaign and they can direct it how they choose. Ally isn’t claiming that all campaigns have a standing obligation to deal with all the issues). It is disappointing because it seems contrary to the key theme of Emma’s speech. The campaign is exclusive (while, as people point out, it does not comment on the worth of other campaigns directed at men), whereas Emma’s speech was inclusive.

    Therefore, for those of us who think that we need a broader public discussion of gender, it constitutes something of a wasted opportunity. Emma did a great job of articulating a position that is rarely a part of the mainstream discussion on gender, but this was a position that seemed at odds with the campaign she was promoting, which is somewhat frustrating for people who share my views.

  64. Ally Fogg says

    Morning all.

    Don’t have time to respond to all the posts from last night, but thank you Scoobertron – yes, that is exactly it.

    But I’d also like to thank everyone for keeping this relatively civil (by our standards) and for raising some interesting points

    As a reward, I’m going to buy tea and cakes for all the boys and men.

  65. Eagle35 says

    Well, Ally, let this be a lesson to you.

    Walk against the tide and it’s going to come down on you like a ton of bricks.
    How many times have I heard “What about the menz?” uttered with such nonchalance and mockery towards people who are speaking out for half the population that don’t get heard. Or if they did, it’s re-directed towards anchoring womens voices instead and how male problems are less of a priority due to limited resources.

    For so-called progressives, you critics certainly love to fall back on those patriarchal notions you supposedly despise.

  66. Darren Ball says

    It’s a common strategy of extremists to take a perfectly reasonable arguing point of the opposition and make it a no-go area. For instance, when men and boys are being maimed, tortured and massacred by organisations such as Boko Haram but we hear nothing of this disgusting group until they kidnap a group of girls, it IS reasonable to ask “why wasn’t there uproar when it was just males being affected?” This sort of question will always be dismissed at some point with the grossly offensive: “oh, what about the menz?”

    Well actually yes, what about the men and the boys whose lives are devastated by gendered expectations of them and societal norms: the boy soldiers, military conscripts, and where gendered expectations of men coerce them into roles not actually suiting their personalities? Where is the gendered focus on these men and boys with the particular problems they face?

    Brian Murtagh @ 70
    I signed it. If a parallel SheForHe campaign/petition comes along I’ll sign that one too.

    It won’t. That’s the point.

    Although gender norms and expectations damage both men and women, you can be certain that our tax-funded initiatives – both nationally and internationally – will predominantly focus on those that affect women and girls. Men and boys are expected to benefit only vicariously or through some kind of trickle-down effect.

    Feminism is described either as a movement for gender equality or as a movement to end the patriarchy. Operating under either ideology, it should challenge any gendered norm that discriminates against either sex, including the relative ambivalence shown towards male victims of violence, especially through war (this is unequal with its roots firmly planted in patriarchy, so there’s no escaping it). Let’s test this. Can anybody direct me to any similarly high-profile international campaign focusing on the particular problems faced by men and boys in war zones?

    Ally is absolutely right: those five little words draw our focus from the problems faced by men and boys who have their own gendered problems.

  67. azhael says

    @61 Schala

    But I do think your blog was invaded by the atheism plus “feminism dogma or die” people Ally.

    Said the idiot who is whining because Emma’s speech wasn’t sufficiently male-centric.
    During a female oriented pressentation she went out of her way to include men and made a point about the fact that the concept of gender roles negatively affects men aswell and because she didn’t make every single point about men and women on a WOMEN oriented campaign, the campaign becomes untouchable. The whole fucking point of her speech is that by fighting against issues that disproportionally affect women, we are also fighting against issues that affect men. It doesn’t exclude men, AT ALL, it explicitely includes them. The campaign just happens to focus on the group that primarily and disproportionaly suffers from this issues because it is the most urgent and most effective way to achieve improvements that benefit both women AND men.

    And just in case people have missed these:
    @49 Jafafa Hots

    I was gonna join the NAACP, because advancing civil rights helps everyone, not just people of color – but there wasn’t anything about oppressed white people on the form so to hell with that.

    @51 Suido

    When someone starts a HeterosforHomos campaign, I’ll be sure to only sign up if the pledge doesn’t specify that the campaign is primarily focusing on homosexuals.

    Get the fucking point?
    You are all whining that you only want the benefits if the campaign specifically addresses your problems (even though it does, repeteadly, just not as repeteadly as you demand). I for one i’m very happy to participate in a campaign from which i’m likely to benefit even though it doesn’t specifically address me as it’s primary focus. I’d be happy to even if it didn’t benefit me in any way, because this particular campaign is not about me, and that’s quite alright, but that’s not even possible in this case, because as Emma says, by tackling one issue, you are automatically tackling the other.

  68. azhael says

    @77 Darren

    Men and boys are expected to benefit only vicariously or through some kind of trickle-down effect.

    Are you seriously saying that there are no campaigns, no efforts being made that specifically target gender role issues and their effects on men and boys?

  69. says

    Although gender norms and expectations damage both men and women, you can be certain that our tax-funded initiatives – both nationally and internationally – will predominantly focus on those that affect women and girls.

    Why do you suppose that is? It isn’t because women are overwhelmingly in positions of power over men and get to drive the agenda through force majeure. No, it’s because while there certainly are gender norms that affect men, they’re frankly picayune compared to those that face women. Sure, I want all the problems solved, but I find myself shrugging when the problems of women are addressed before those of my gender, because I can look around and see that that’s where the vast majority of the serious issues lie. They’ve got broken bones and I have a hangnail; I’m not particularly concerned that we both be treated simultaneously and with the same level of resources.

  70. Darren Ball says

    Eagle 35 @76

    “For so-called progressives, you critics certainly love to fall back on those patriarchal notions you supposedly despise.”

    You’re absolutely right. What some people have called “benevolent sexism” is really just old-fashioned gallantry which is itself patriarchal. It is patriarchal for us to disproportionally focus on the physical wellbeing of women and girls whilst neglecting similar suffering by men and boys, and yet these initiatives are so often led by feminists. It’s a gigantic contradiction of ideology and succeeds largely because feminism is pushing against an open door: a door opened for them by conservative, traditionalist men.

  71. scoobertron says

    The whole fucking point of her speech is that by fighting against issues that disproportionally affect women, we are also fighting against issues that affect men

    I didn’t think that was the fucking point of Emma’s speech. I thought the fucking point of her speech was that the public discussion on gender didn’t include issues that impact on men and boys, and that this was to its detriment. For example, when she fucking says:

    “Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are”

    This seems to fucking explicitly say that we are not talking about the impact of gender stereotypes on men and boys, but that we should. It is also worth noting that in the fucking examples she gives, she talks explicitly about solving problems for women through solving problems for men. E.fucking.g, “If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive”. If she is correct, then we have to put the male issue first to address a problem faced by women. So the approach explicitly suggested by Emma fucking Watson herself seems to be at odds with the approach suggested by the campaign that she is speaking for. A contrast that I, and other commentators, feel is unfortunate, because Emma’s vision of an inclusive discussion of gender is, in our view, a better option.

  72. azhael says

    @77 Darren

    Ally is absolutely right: those five little words draw our focus from the problems faced by men and boys who have their own gendered problems.

    So, if those 5 little words do that, what about the entire sentences, with manyfold the number of little words in that same speech that directly and explicitely draw the focus towards those problems? Do they not count?

  73. scoobertron says

    Oh crap, I can’t use tags effectively. That was supposed to be a response to azhael, and the first paragraph was supposed to be a fucking quote.

  74. Darren Ball says

    azhael 79.

    I said the focus is predominantly on women and girls, which I believe is overwhelmingly the case, but you’re free to prove me wrong. Ally gives good examples in his original blog of the UN/West generally making a female focus of things that especially or similarly affected men and boys. The same happens in the UK on a range of issues, but I don’t want to get off-thread.

    Why don’t you find me some examples where the UN/West focus on men and boys’ problems even though women and girls are similarly or especially disadvantaged?

  75. Ally Fogg says

    Brian Murtagh

    They’ve got broken bones and I have a hangnail;

    I think this really gets to the heart of the issue.

    Go back and read the OP again, consider the types of issues I’m asking you to consider here.

    Hundreds of thousands of men and boys being picked out and murdered because of their gender in Rwanda.
    Thousands of boys being picked out because of their gender and abducted and forced into becoming child soldiers.
    Hundreds of thousands of boys having their genitals grotesquely mutilated, thousands of them dying, in initiation ceremonies which are tacitly endorsed by the UN and WHO.
    Countless victims of systematic wartime rape campaigns being denied treatment and acknowledgement from international agencies because of their gender.
    Hundreds of thousands of young black men being incarcerated and raped in prison while the authorities in the richest country on earth turn a blind eye.

    Etcetera. Etcetera.

    And you consider this equivalent to a ‘hangnail.’ In other words, you really don’t give a shit.

    And the depressing thing is that you are not just a lone sociopath with a bloody great empathy and compassion blindspot. You are actually reflecting the views of the UN, national governments and, it would seem, the consensus of large parts of the self-styled progressive left.

  76. Paul Inman says

    Another great piece Ally. Personally I thought she relied on some very tired arguments throughout the piece and as far as speeches go, it definitely played to the crowd, which as you say, has form for bias towards the female gender.

    However to address your surprise and disappointment the clue was very much in the name of campaign “He For She”. Instead of creating a campaign that tries to tell EVERYONE to stop being dicks to each other, it specifically asks men to stop being dicks to women. It doesn’t consider for one second that there are as many women being nasty as men nor does it imply a reciprocal arrangement whereby in return for their support in tackling some of the problems faced by women accross the world, men will somehow have their problems heard.

    It’s typical of a global women’s campaign – women are the victims, men are at best wilfully ignorant and and worst the victimisers.

    No thanks. You want funding for this Emma, stick your hands into your own incredibly deeply privileged pockets and fund it yourself. I’m fresh out of spare change and goodwill for such one sided causes.

  77. Darren Ball says

    Brian @ 80

    You’re so demonstrably wrong that I can only assume that your gallant patriarchal lens, through which you obviously view the World, blinds you to the suffering of men who are less fortunate than yourself. You might have a hangnail, other men DO have broken bones, severed limbs, tortured bodies and so on. You are not just putting the needs of women first, you are belittling the plight of suffering men. This doesn’t make you a hero for women, it makes you a heartless patriarch, sufficiently comfortable in your position in the hierarchy that you can throw other men to the wolves.

  78. Darren Ball says

    azhael @83

    The preceding words are contextualised by the last five making them not about problems faced by men and boys, but how men and boys should help women and girls.

  79. azhael says

    @85 You are the one claiming they don’t exist.
    You are also claiming that the issue of gender roles and its oppressive nature, discrimination, gender violence, etc, affect men and women equally. You are wrong. Men are affected by those things, yes, but it’s not in proportion to how women are affected by them.
    If we look at the kinds of things that Emma specifically commented on, like being sexualised at an early age, or being called bossy because taking charge is not expected or apreciated in a girl, being considered too aggressive, anti-men or unattractive for daring to be vocal, how there’s no country in the world where women enjoy equal rights to men, etc, you really think those are problems that affect men and women equally? That there is no obvious bias in how they disproportionaly affect women. Nobody is saying they are exclussive to women, we are saying it’s not proportional and if you want to make advancements against these problems you should be tackling where they hit harder. Like you’ve said, other problems may affect men disproportionally and if you want to make improvements, you should tackle them where they hit harder…I for one won’t stand in your way and complain that you are not treating the problem as if it affected both genders equally.

    @82 scooberton

    So the approach explicitly suggested by Emma fucking Watson herself seems to be at odds with the approach suggested by the campaign that she is speaking for. A contrast that I, and other commentators, feel is unfortunate, because Emma’s vision of an inclusive discussion of gender is, in our view, a better option.

    Is that all it is? The feeling that it is unfortunate? Because there are comments saying how they can’t even participate in this campaign because of those 5 little words. So it’s not just a small commentary on how those 5 words are unfortunate, it’s a dismissal of everything else because of those 5 little words.
    By the way, the discussion is definitely inclussive of both genders, it’s the specific target of action that is more female oriented.

  80. says

    I believe I said it was *I* who had a hangnail. I believe I also noted that there are gender issues that disadvantage men.

    I still am generally of the impression that there are few places in the world where, given my druthers, I’d choose to be a woman over being a man.

    I also still see that the UN and almost all government everywhere is dominated by men. If the gender-based issues even approached parity I doubt that the priorities would fail to consider the problems of males as well.

    They by and large don’t approach a parity as far as I can see, but note again that I am not saying they don’t exist for men as a gender as well – some few have even affected me, in relatively mild ways. Given my druthers though, I am in the gender I’d pick given a choice.

  81. Darren Ball says

    azhael says @90
    “@85 You are the one claiming they don’t exist.”

    That’s right, but it’s difficult to prove a negative. I presume you haven’t found any either, so my hypothesis stands, at least for now.

    “You are also claiming that the issue of gender roles and its oppressive nature, discrimination, gender violence, etc, affect men and women equally.”

    Did I? You will have to point me to where I said that. I believe that gender discrimination affects men and women in different ways but that we disproportionately deal with issues that affect women and girls.

    “…how there’s no country in the world where women enjoy equal rights to men.”

    In the UK women have all the rights men have, plus a few men don’t have (those relating to their offspring being the most pertinent).

    “…you really think those are problems that affect men and women equally?”

    No, and I never said they did. Sexism affects men in different ways. I could counter, in the UK:

    Men are 96% of workplace fatalities, about 70% of serious workplace injuries, 95% of prisoners (about 70% of which have at least two diagnosed mental illnesses), 85% of rough-sleeps, 75% of suicides (and rising), about 80% of those suffering from the most serious forms of alcohol and substance abuse, only c.40% of graduates (the education gap started abruptly in the very year that the GCSE was introduced), etc. you really think those are problems that affect men and women equally?”

    “Like you’ve said, other problems may affect men disproportionally and if you want to make improvements, you should tackle them where they hit harder…I for one won’t stand in your way and complain that you are not treating the problem as if it affected both genders equally.”

    Thanks. So women get the UN and every Western government to fight their corner and men get me. I think it’s quite reasonable for me to ask that these publically-funded institutions to look after all of us.

  82. Darren Ball says

    Brian @ 91

    You can’t pull that one: “I was only talking about me”. This whole debate isn’t about you, it’s about the experiences of men and women in general.

    The fact that men dominate World governments doesn’t necessarily mean that they favour men’s issues. Patriarchies are hierarchies of men and you can’t have a top without a bottom. Patriarchies have always discriminated against less fortunate men, just as you have done in this thread. If you look at my post before this one you will see that some of the problems that men are much more likely to face are some of the most serious social ills of all.

    If before birth you could choose your sex, but not your social class, education, parents or mental health, would you necessarily be wise to choose male? In any event, it’s not a competition or a zero-sum game. We don’t have to choose; we can do both. Issues that affect men and boys, especially with respect to their physical wellbeing, are relatively neglected by Western governments and the UN.

  83. Marduk says

    As regards the other story about Emma Watson’s speech at the moment, turns out it was a marketing company (well, more a spamming company than Mad Men).

    Further to comment 136 on the previous thread, journalists are like bloody Bambi at the moment, completely wide-eyed in the face of any old rubbish. I don’t think this is because Rhiannon Lucy Coslett and the like are unusually gullible but rather the speed-typing clickbait style of modern churnalism which in its own attempts to be ‘viral’ is easy prey for scammers and PR men of all descriptions. There simply isn’t time for any reflection or research when you are on that kind of schedule I’d imagine, you’re just typing as fast as you can. AND THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT KNOW IT AND TAILOR THEIR WARES TO IT.

  84. Ally Fogg says

    As regards the other story about Emma Watson’s speech at the moment, turns out it was a marketing company (well, more a spamming company than Mad Men).

    Sorry Marduk, I have no idea what this is about. Could you explain and/or link?

  85. Jesus_marley says

    1. “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination.”
    and
    2. “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.”

    Expressio unius est exclusio Alterius.

    The express mention of one thing excludes all others.

  86. Marduk says

    “Supporters have rallied round the actor Emma Watson after internet trolls at 4chan threatened to release nude photos of her in response to a speech about gender equality she made at the United Nations over the weekend.”

    Not in a million years 4Chan (despite what the copy says, the site in question wasn’t “at 4Chan” but was somewhere else with its own domain name) but a scam by a marketing company who are now claiming that they wanted to highlight a problem etc. This isn’t the first time they’ve pretended to be 4Chan for marketing purposes, they pretended they’d been hacked last year in relationship to the PC release of GTA V.

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/sep/23/feminists-rally-emma-watson-4chan-nude-photo-threats
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/09/dear-emma-watson-it-s-great-you-ve-come-out-feminist-here-s-what-expect

    But the scam was devised to drum up copy and the copy won’t stop. The scam website is now at 10s of millions of views, job done. Much like paying ransoms to terrorists, the journos have ensured that this will happen many times in the future because they couldn’t be bothered to stop and think about a story that was too good to be true in the end.

  87. Marduk says

    My wider point is that Anon and scammers pretending to be them really understand modern media in a very sophisticated way. They understand how modern media has degraded and they are exploiting the hell out of it producing stories pitched to be written about. They are better at it than ‘Madison Avenue’ at this point.

    People say they are just kids, but as DFW argued in his essay about televsion (as one famous example) its always the kids who effortlessly understand the new media, whatever it is, to a post-modern depth older people are generally blind to.

    The disappointing possibility here is that the media know exactly what is going on and have become complicit.

  88. Anri says

    Saying that you want (for example) health care for the sickest people does not exclude you wanting health care for the well.

    It just demonstrates you know the difference between those who need more help and those that need less help.

    Of course, it’s not a perfect metaphor – with disease, the healthy aren’t almost exclusively the ones making the sick sick.

  89. Ally Fogg says

    Marduk – so who are the marketing company that have supposedly come up with this confection? And to what purpose?

  90. SteveF says

    Rantic Marketing. The stated purpose is to shut down 4chan.com and to lobby for increased censoring on the internet. See rantic.com.

    Rantic Marketing is almost certainly (well, certainly) a fictional marketing company invented by members of 4chan itself. Nobody who actually wanted increased censoring of the internet would use the word censor.

  91. lelapaletute says

    Hi Ally,

    Unusually, I think you’re wrong on this one. I think this initiative is precisely the kind that you usually support – one with the clear objective of improving things for women and girls. It’s just that on this occasion, the initiative is based around trying to get men on side to support this goal (rather than to make everything better for everyone, which as I’m sure you will acknowledge is not really the work of any single initiative but a tissue of interlocking improvements). It never pretended to be anything else – the clue is in the name: He for She – i.e. men helping women. It is what it is. The idea of this specific project is to persuade men who currently think of women’s issues as, well, for women that in fact it is to do with them and they have a role to play in improving things. Not perhaps the best conceived project ever, in my opinion, but a legitimate goal in and of itself if considered as one of many other legitimate goals.

    I don’t think Emma Watson was being disingenuous or ‘selling you a pup’ when her speech launching this initiative included a bit of ‘what’s in it for you’ to the men whose support she was seeking to enlist. She is seeking to answer a question that nobody really asked, namely ‘why should men care about inequality between the sexes, about the abuse of women and girls?’ The answer she is offering is ‘because the forces that engender it, and the effects it engenders, affect men negatively too’. That’s all she was saying, as far as I can see. And I certainly don’t think you should let the fact that a project doesn’t do everything you want done stop you from supporting it if what it DOES set out to do accords with your views. In the same way I would happily support a suicide prevention initiative aimed at men, even if it explicitly didn’t support women, because I want men to get help. I want women to get help too, but I won’t help that by slapping down projects aimed at men.

    Frankly, I do NOT understand why the world and his wife are falling onto their knees singing hallelujah over this particular speech. It’s just another speech, to launch just another initiative which frankly I don’t suppose will actually achieve that much for women or men or collaboration between them in the long run. But it’s a nice idea, and there’s nothing actually objectionable about the premise, nor anything particularly conflicting between the manifesto and Watson’s speech as far as I can see.

    Unless you have a problem with the idea of He for She in the first place (which there are plenty of legitimate reasons for!), the speech Watson gave doesn’t actually make any difference.

  92. says

    AllyF @100:

    Marduk – so who are the marketing company that have supposedly come up with this confection? And to what purpose?

    They state so themselves on the site which until recently featured a count-down clock and a threat signed 4chan towards Emma Watson to release nude pictures of her. Media has reported that this threat was meant as retaliation for Emma Watson speaking at the #HeForHer campaign kick-off.

    I haven’t looked at the site as it was originally, but Google has a cached version (without styling and graphics, but the message is there): http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:E6kore5RBbAJ:www.emmayouarenext.com/+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk

    The site http://emmayouarenext.com now redirects to Rantic Marketing’s homepage. They are a Social Media Enterprise according to themselves. There they explain why they did it.

    Here is an article on HuffingtonPost UK on this: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/24/emma-watson-nude-photos-hoax-rantic_n_5871730.html

    Unless Emma Watson hired them and were aware of the true nature of this hoax I would say that this Rantic Marketing have done something very unethical which very well may have caused Emma Watson distress in the 5 days it took until the threat was revealed to be a hoax.

  93. sawells says

    @96: quod stultum est lingua latine, stultum est et anglice et semper. Saying yes to a cup of tea is not the same as pledging to never touch coffee again. The OP is a disastrous failure of reading comprehension, and latin tags about contract law are not going to save the situation.

  94. Ally Fogg says

    SteveF

    Rantic Marketing is almost certainly (well, certainly) a fictional marketing company invented by members of 4chan itself. Nobody who actually wanted increased censoring of the internet would use the word censor.

    Yep. A quick bit of digging reveals that Rantic is a company with no address, no registration anywhere in the world, whose only previous existence was trolling people with a hoax story about a GTA release being put on hold. All trails lead back to 4Chan.

    In other words, seems pretty likely that some 4Channers reacted to Watson’s speech with a misogynistic hoax intended to scare women away from speaking about gender politics then followed it up with another hoax designed to scare people into thinking that there are efforts afoot to censor the internet.

    Oh Trollololol.

    Knobs.

  95. Ally Fogg says

    Lelapaletute (102)

    Just to be clear, I don’t hold any grudge against Emma Watson for her part in this.

    My objection is entirely to the wording of the pledge on the UN’s site, and more broadly, the way in which this reflects the UN’s ongoing and appalling failure to recognise and address gendered violence and discrimination that affects men.

  96. StillGjenganger says

    @Lelapaletute 102
    Hi Lela
    Stating “It is terribly important that all of you sign up to fight violence against women and girls” does unavoidably imply that other similar goals (like fighting violence against men) are less important. It is not explicitly stated, but if you did not think it was more important than competing goals, why would you put it this way? That is how implications work – the canonical example is from a merchant navy log:
    “Day x: Today the first mate was drunk! Signed: Captain.”
    “Day x+1: Today the captain was sober! Signed: First Mate.”

    From a women’s shelter project that is entirely unobjectionable – of course people think their particular pet project deserves more attention than competing projects. From a movement that claims to be fighting for equality and to be equally in the interest of everybody (like feminism) it is a judgement on whose needs are more important. And from the UN, that is supposed to be a kind of global conscience for all of us, that kind of judgement is really not on.

    If you do not get my point, imagine that the UN was wheeling out the machinery of public pledges, all their stable of captive celebrities, etc. in support of stray dogs – while saying nothing about the needs of people. Would you not think that this was a snub to others whose needs were no less urgent, and showed a seriously biased sense of priorities?

    Of course – unlike Ally – I would never sign this kind of pledge in the first place. But the linguistic point stands regardless.

  97. SteveF says

    I probably shouldn’t say ‘members of 4chan’ as if they were an actual organization. They are about as organized as the people who post to FreeThoughtBlogs, and we’re at each other’s throats half (at least) the time.

    I’m sure the point of the joke is really to make news sites look bad, which in this day and age of time pressures to report is like shooting fish in a barrel. There are very, very few sources of news you can rely on to get even the basic facts correct the first go around. Redditors were correct in pointing out that minimal amounts of technical savvy were required to actually dig to the bottom of this particular story.

    Obviously the joke is in poor taste given it’s being perpetrated at the expense of an innocent.

  98. says

    Right now, there are a lot of news articles talking about how society mistreats young black men, causing them to disproportionally get targeted by the police and how we need to do more for them.

    Now, I’ve checked your blog a couple times, and I’ve noticed a lack of something.

    Specifically, there are no pieces by you calling out these articles for a) not mentioning black women or b) not mentioning white men. This in spite of the fact that many of these articles use similar language to Emma’s ‘exclusionary’ phrase. Why do you suppose that is?

    I find that quite interesting. It’s almost like… well… your so called point was bullshit and your issue is actually the same tired old MRA issue blaming feminism for the problems of the patriarchy instead of actually doing something to help men.

  99. tapout says

    Horrible, horrible, horrible, mealy-mouthed, mean-spirited, unnecessary, deeply depressing article. Used to have a lot of respect for you Ally, I’m pretty disgusted, and will not be reading you or recommending you again. ‘Ghost at the feast’ is an absolute understatement. Gross, just so gross. You should just rename the entire article ‘wot bout da menz’ FIVE words out of her entire speech? Really? You should be so ashamed.

  100. Schala says

    I also still see that the UN and almost all government everywhere is dominated by men. If the gender-based issues even approached parity I doubt that the priorities would fail to consider the problems of males as well.

    That’s the problem. You assume men have some in-group bias. And that men in government/higher ups care about men.

    Rich and influential men care about rich and influential men. The rest can all die for all they care.

    They definitely care more about random everywoman than men. It’s been demonstrated that women have an in-group bias towards women, and men do not, in fact they have a bias towards women, too.

  101. Ally Fogg says

    A Hermit

    The UN has different campaigns focusing on different issues, like this one focusing on child soldiers:
    http://www.voanews.com/content/un-campaigns-to-end-recruitment-of-child-soldiers/1870550.html
    So no, the male victims of violence aren’t being ignored or neglected.

    That’s a really good example of how these things work. Not only is there no recognition that the recruitment of child soldiers is almost entirely 100% male gender specific issue, the piece actually goes off topic in order to talk about sex slaves, thereby bringing concern about girls into the issue. As a consequence, the word “boy” appears twice in the article, the word “girls” appears five times.

    Now as it happens, I have no problem with a campaign / article like that mentioning related issues which affect girls, but it is striking how differently that piece uses a kind of (near) gender neutrality when compared to any other UN-related piece about, say, sexual violence in warfare.

  102. Ally Fogg says

    tapout

    If you dialled down your outrage momentarily and actually read what I wrote, those five words are not hers and not from her speech. They are from the campaign website written and run by the UN.

    I have no problem with Watson’s speech.

  103. Darren Ball says

    withinthismind@111

    Young black men are being targeted because they are young + black + men. So that’s a problem.

    Black women and white men may sometimes be treated badly by the police, but not disproportionately so and not because they’re white or female. Although this is a problem for those individuals, we cannot say that these groups are a particular problem vis-a-vis their experience of the police (for sake of argument, assuming that your original hypothesis was correct).

    Some violence is disproportionately experienced by women because they are women. That’s a problem.

    Some violence is disproportionately experienced by men because they are men. That’s a problem.

  104. Ally Fogg says

    WithinThisMind (111)

    The only way we could make that analogy remotely accurate would be if we imagined that some Hollywood star made a speech to a body like the UN, saying things like this:

    “Institutional racism is not only an issue for young black men. Black women also suffer from institutional racism and prejudice. Black women are also subject to unfair stop and search and racial profiling. Ending racism will not only benefit black men, but black women too, therefore I call on black women to join black men in campaigning against police racism and stop and search policies.”

    You then go to the accompanying website and it asks you to sign the following pledge:

    “Police racism is not only an issue for black men, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to taking action to end all forms of institutional racism faced by black men.”

    If that happened, I would not be remotely surprised to see some black women say, “Hang on a minute…. I thought you said…”

    Would you?

  105. Leek says

    Brainwave alert! Why don’t you get together with a lot of other people and find a famous actor to give a speech called WOMENforMEN? Then the next day an EVERYONEforEVERYONE speech? That would be really inclusive.
    It’s important not to leave anyone out of speeches because it implies you’re actively against them.
    I think you could do this, maybe via crowd funding or perhaps the UN would do it?

  106. funknjunk says

    @ Ally 74 & 75- Ok, i’ll play the analogy game. I’m all right with you buying tea and cookies for all the men and boys, because there’s another fine benefactor buying tea and cookies for all the girls and women every day and twice on Sunday in your world. In fact, in this world, it’s not even considered a ‘reward’ .. just ‘The Way Things Are’ ….

  107. Archy says

    @72 mildlymagnificent

    Yes you can get benefits like that, however, when it’s mostly like that yet direct male issues get ignored….it’s pretty annoying. I’m sure quite a lot of women would whataboutthewomenz like crazy if we focused mainly on male issues too.

    It’d be better to help evvveryone, instead of just helping one gender. Each program can’t focus on everything, but the sum of all programs should add up to a full coverage of all people but currently it’s disproportionately supporting one gender, hence the annoyance.

    @Ally, “As a reward, I’m going to buy tea and cakes for all the boys and men.” ZOMG PATRIARCHHHYYYY.

  108. Darren Ball says

    Leek @ 119

    Two problems with your brainwave.

    1) There was no problem with the speech. I don’t know how may times Ally has said that.
    2) We shouldn’t have to do this ourselves; we’ve got day jobs and stuff. That’s what the UN is for.

  109. 123454321 says

    “Horrible, horrible, horrible, mealy-mouthed, mean-spirited, unnecessary, deeply depressing article. Used to have a lot of respect for you Ally, I’m pretty disgusted, and will not be reading you or recommending you again. ‘Ghost at the feast’ is an absolute understatement. Gross, just so gross. You should just rename the entire article ‘wot bout da menz’ FIVE words out of her entire speech? Really? You should be so ashamed.”

    Cool shaming tactics, Tapout. Shame for feminists that going forward they won’t work anymore!

  110. says

    You probably have far thicker skin that I do, and a few words of encouragement from a dumpy, half-crazy, middle-aged woman on the other side of the ocean probably won’t do much but… Well, a saw a couple comments and was curious as to what terrible thing you said, and while I don’t entirely agree with you, it hardly makes you a bad person. So, I just wanted to give you a symbolic pat on the back in case you were feeling bad.

  111. Ally Fogg says

    @fourth of july, asbury park

    Aww, that’s quite touching thank you.

    But no, I’m fine. Haven’t had any direct hate mail or threats of violence today, which in my line of work counts as a good day. 😉

  112. Marduk says

    It isn’t a real company in that sense but nor is it Anon AFAIK, its people who sell botnet access and traffic, they have many names and they are actually quite established in their ‘industry’. They are “FoxWeekly” as well which is on the same server. You’re expecting organised crime to have headed notepaper and articles of incorporation?

    I don’t think its Anon though, just like Lulzsec weren’t really Anon.

    Its also a bit dumb by Anons standards, but it did get a lot of traffic which was the point.

    @James Ball [via The Groin], I expect the cheque is in the post?

  113. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Luckily, no one signed any petitions or cared about the civil rights movement in the ’60s for blacks. Gosh, what a tragedy that would have been! Thanks Ally, for standing up once again for the privileged majority!

    Although you say you support Emma’s message, you seem to have missed the point entirely.

  114. A Masked Avenger says

    @Scoobertron, #73:

    I took a key claim of Emma’s speech to be that there is benefit to be gained by discussing gender issues as a whole…

    It seems as if you’re claiming the same comprehension problem that Ally claimed. Read a transcript of her speech: it’s a perfectly standard Feminism 101 explanation of the ways that patriarchy harms men and boys. It’s equally obvious that this particular initiative is aimed at enlisting the help of men and boys to attack patriarchy, by telling them how it’s in their interest to do so.

    The problem with “but what about teh menz?” is that it undermines this effort, in exactly the same way as constantly haranguing cancer researchers with, “but what about AIDS?” Seriously? You seriously want to claim that cancer researchers are homophobic (or something) because they’re not spending equal energy on AIDS? Seriously? You honestly don’t get how… stupid… that is?

  115. Pitchguest says

    So aside from Watson’s speech (geez, another Watson) being basically mush and not really all that groundbreaking at all, and aside from the five words that betrayed her (from the UN website), have we arrived at a point where people who think of themselves as journalists don’t actually have to do any actual fact-checking before their blurt out their thoughts for all to see?

    Because, you know, while I don’t think much of 4chan in the greater schemes of things – /b/ least of all – it’s strange that you can just conclude things and call it fact. Like, the website is fake therefore it was a false-flag campaign made by 4chan, in an effort to draw attention to Emma Watson’s speech, in an effort to humiliate Emma Watson, in an effort to shut down 4chan. By 4chan. Other likely candidates, according to the Independent (what’s next? The Sun? Daily Mail?), recent offshoot from 4chan, 8chan, and 9gag. Very elaborate hoax, it seems. By 4chan. To shut down 4chan.

    Then again, it shows just how deep this mentality goes since the story was picked up almost immediately by the mainstream media – no fact-checking of any kind, no scepticism, no (dare I say it?) “free thought” – just blind devotion to whatever was being claimed at the time which, oops, turns out was just a bunch of poppycock. If only people would enact just a tiny bit of labour before they click submit, maybe we might actually get some truth once in a while.

  116. Pitchguest says

    #129 Masked Avenger

    It seems as if you’re claiming the same comprehension problem that Ally claimed. Read a transcript of her speech: it’s a perfectly standard Feminism 101 explanation of the ways that patriarchy harms men and boys. It’s equally obvious that this particular initiative is aimed at enlisting the help of men and boys to attack patriarchy, by telling them how it’s in their interest to do so.
    The problem with “but what about teh menz?” is that it undermines this effort, in exactly the same way as constantly haranguing cancer researchers with, “but what about AIDS?” Seriously? You seriously want to claim that cancer researchers are homophobic (or something) because they’re not spending equal energy on AIDS? Seriously? You honestly don’t get how… stupid… that is?

    It’s not analogous. Contrast funds given to breast cancer research and funds given to prostate cancer research. Point out the discrepancy and it’s “what about the menz?” But in the larger scheme of things, whenever you point out to feminists that they should rather use language that includes both men and women, they usually have a spiel about how women something something are more oppressed and it again comes back to “what about the menz?” A reaction to which I can summarise with two words: Dear. Muslima.

    Generally if you wish to create an egalitarian movement, it’s best not to exclude half the population.

  117. A Masked Avenger says

    @Pitchguest:

    It’s not analogous.

    You failed to justify that claim–you changed the subject. The analogy is sound: Ally (and several commenters) are complaining that an initiative intended to get more men involved in fighting patriarchy and misogyny is bad, precisely because by dealing with patriarchy and misogyny, it is failing to deal with other social evils like circumcision or male prison rape. Try, seriously, to articulate why the fight against one social problem is bad because it is not fighting against another social problem. Really, try.

    Ally is struggling mightily to give weight to the claim that fighting discrimination against women and girls promotes discrimination against men and boys. His main argument is that taking action against discrimination faced by women is, in his words, “absolutely, 100% identical to” refusing to take action against discrimination against men. That’s patently absurd; it violates the rules of logic, semantics, and grammar.

    Ally has to know that–he can’t possibly be that stupid. He knows that asking people to commit to oppose dog fighting is NOT “absolutely, 100% identical to” condoning cock fighting. Asking police to commit to actually running rape kits, instead of chucking them into a warehouse, is NOT “absolutely, 100% identical to” telling them not to investigate murder. He knows this.

    He also knew from the beginning of the speech that it was not going to be about circumcision, or prison rape, or killing boys in regions where child soldiers are used, or anything else like that. He does know his Feminism 101, and he does knows the standard illustrations that “patriarchy hurts men too,” and as soon as Ms. Watson uttered them, he knew exactly what he was hearing. He pretends otherwise in his OP. I understand the rhetorical purpose of that pretense, but dishonesty is dishonesty regardless of your rhetorical intent. He’s fooling nobody. Probably not even the MRAs among his readership (though I can’t vouch whether they’re “not that stupid,” as I’m vouching for Ally).

  118. Lucy says

    FFS. Pathetic. What about the menz 101.

    “Sexism should mean discrimination against any individual on the grounds of sex. Women haven’t abused men solely because of their sex since the legendary Amazons bit the dust; nowhere in the real world are women in a position of sufficient power to enable them to persecute men just for being men. Only women suffer discrimination on the grounds of their sex (as distinct from their sexual orientation) and not only from members of the opposite sex.” Right on Germaine.

  119. Bugmaster says

    From my point of view, it’s a simple matter of quid pro quo. This feminist organization wants my help. They want me to donate my time, or money, or simply my signature, to their cause. Well, I happen to be a man; and if they conclude their pitch by saying, “oh, BTW, we don’t care about men in any capacity”, then I am going to be a lot less inclined to help them out. If they want my help, they should at least make an effort to treat me as a human being.

  120. A Hermit says

    That’s a really good example of how these things work. Not only is there no recognition that the recruitment of child soldiers is almost entirely 100% male gender specific issue, the piece actually goes off topic in order to talk about sex slaves, thereby bringing concern about girls into the issue. As a consequence, the word “boy” appears twice in the article, the word “girls” appears five times.

    And yet you’re refusing to endorse the “He for She” campaign because, in spite of focusing on the unique discrimination faced by women and girls, it specifically references girls and women in just one line in the pledge.

    (By the way, the recruitment of child soldiers is not “almost entirely 100% male”, if you read the campaign website you would know that. https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/children-not-soldiers/ )

    Your complaint about the He for She campaign is akin to not signing on to the Children not Soldiers campaign because it doesn’t pay enough attention to the adults…

  121. Mr Biscuit says

    Ally, your objection has been shown to be illogical in several posts (17 & 41 for example)
    Nothing to say?

  122. AnarchCassius says

    “@56 AnarchCassius
    Oops, wait.
    Go see Ally in 33”

    Hmm, yeah. Ally Fogg is trying to have his logic cake and eat it too. I defend my analysis but Ally’s trying to have it both ways. Mmm, logic cake.

    I think posts 116 and 118 give a better explanation. Waton’s speech was something rare and wonderful in the sea of gender politics and seeing the more of the same HeForShe campaign at the end just feels like a bait and switch.

    Is not signing the pledge irrational sour grapes behavior? Yes, but we are basically talking about marketing here. The whole point is manipulating humans irrationality.

  123. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    Isn’t there sometimes a case for targeting specific typed of violence or crime? In America (and disturbingly often in the UK, too) poor black men are violently attacked by poor black men. Initiatives are undertaken to tackle this. Closer to your original neck of the woods, the Violence Reduction Unit in Glasgow was set up originally to tackle gang violence. It realised, along the way, that many of the almost exclusively male violent gang members grew up in homes with domestic violence. So domestic violence was tackled as part of a holistic approach (and jobs etc).

    Feminist groups lobbied the UN with a lot of success. I think this is acceptable, particularly given the variances in attitudes to violence against women across UN member states.

    @123454321

    Mate, you’re not having the same conversation as everyone else. Your take on this is wired to the moon. “Feminism” doesn’t have a PR dept to arrange what you describe. This is obvious.

  124. Pitchguest says

    @Pitchguest:

    It’s not analogous.

    You failed to justify that claim–you changed the subject.

    I didn’t. The analogy doesn’t work. Most of the time when “what about the menz?” is being trumped out by eager feminists, it’s being made in the connection of one evil against women and one evil against men, usually in the same category (sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc), not being comparable to one another due to some invisible “power differential” or what have you. Hence changing it from cancer to AIDS doesn’t work, in the analogy, because they’re two seperate entities.

    The analogy is sound: Ally (and several commenters) are complaining that an initiative intended to get more men involved in fighting patriarchy and misogyny is bad, precisely because by dealing with patriarchy and misogyny, it is failing to deal with other social evils like circumcision or male prison rape.

    It’s not a sound analogy at all, but whatever. It’s a very imaginative way of looking at it. Vivid imagination, however, is not fact. What I read was an objection to a line which weakened the purpose of the campaign by making it solely about women when the speech specifically mentions the struggles of both men and women and how feminism, by definition, means the drive for equality between the sexes. When the purpose of the campaign is defined that way in the speech, it’s counterproductive (to the campaign) to exclude, on its official website, the half that it supposedly wishes to represent.

    Try, seriously, to articulate why the fight against one social problem is bad because it is not fighting against another social problem. Really, try.

    In order to articulate that, I would first like to know the reasoning why it’s bad to ask for a universal inclusion in the cause towards an egalitarian society. If feminism is, indeed, what it claims to be, for equality, then instead of saying “women experience violence” say “people experience violence” and instead of “women need protection” say “people need protection.” Unless, of course, you think (in some odd way) that it erases women’s issues from the equation.

    Ally is struggling mightily to give weight to the claim that fighting discrimination against women and girls promotes discrimination against men and boys.

    If your reaction to men asking to be included in the struggle against discrimination is to say “what about the menz?” and make up some silly strawman arguments about how by doing that men are demanding their issues be put on the forefront and women’s issues on the backburner, then I would say that’s an accurate assessment.

    His main argument is that taking action against discrimination faced by women is, in his words, “absolutely, 100% identical to” refusing to take action against discrimination against men. That’s patently absurd; it violates the rules of logic, semantics, and grammar.

    Only if that’s what he said. But he didn’t. Rather what he did say was that the statement in the pledge was badly worded if it wished for a more inclusive community and betrayed the speech in which Watson spoke about both men and women.

    Ally has to know that–he can’t possibly be that stupid.

    As the saying goes, stupid is as stupid does. But reading comprehension doesn’t seem to be your forte.

    He knows that asking people to commit to oppose dog fighting is NOT “absolutely, 100% identical to” condoning cock fighting. Asking police to commit to actually running rape kits, instead of chucking them into a warehouse, is NOT “absolutely, 100% identical to” telling them not to investigate murder. He knows this.

    I’m sure he does. I’m also sure that he never said anything about the conflation of equivalent oppositions.

    In Watson’s speech, she speaks briefly about what feminism entails and what she says is the definition of feminism. About how feminism has become known synonymously to “man-hating”, that this needs to stop and how feminism actually stands for the fight for equality for both men and women. The statement on the UN page, however, advertising the HeForShe campaign, said differently. This is what’s being objected to.

    He also knew from the beginning of the speech that it was not going to be about circumcision, or prison rape, or killing boys in regions where child soldiers are used, or anything else like that. He does know his Feminism 101, and he does knows the standard illustrations that “patriarchy hurts men too,” and as soon as Ms. Watson uttered them, he knew exactly what he was hearing. He pretends otherwise in his OP.

    I suggest you take a step back and read what he actually says.

    I understand the rhetorical purpose of that pretense, but dishonesty is dishonesty regardless of your rhetorical intent. He’s fooling nobody. Probably not even the MRAs among his readership (though I can’t vouch whether they’re “not that stupid,” as I’m vouching for Ally).

    I’m trying to figure out why MRA’s needed mentioning in this instance, why they would “not be fooled” (or why they would be fooled in the first place) and why Ally having them among his readership should count as an infraction against him. (Attempting to guilt someone by association seems to be a thing among FtB regulars.) Anyway. Dishonesty is dishonesty regardless of intent. I agree.

  125. Pitchguest says

    #135 Hermit

    And yet you’re refusing to endorse the “He for She” campaign because, in spite of focusing on the unique discrimination faced by women and girls, it specifically references girls and women in just one line in the pledge.

    One line that completely obliterates the inclusion of boys and men. “… to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.” Omitting just five words in this sentence, the meaning changes significantly from something gender-centric to human-centric.

    (By the way, the recruitment of child soldiers is not “almost entirely 100% male”, if you read the campaign website you would know that. https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/children-not-soldiers/ )
    Your complaint about the He for She campaign is akin to not signing on to the Children not Soldiers campaign because it doesn’t pay enough attention to the adults…

    No, it isn’t. Does the Children not Soldiers campaign claim to represent both, like the HeForShe campaign claims to represent both? If not, then it’s not akin. Not even close. You and Masked Avenger seems to have a problem parsing this.

  126. Mr Supertypo says

    I agree wholeheartedly Ally, but for different reason than your, actually also for your reason but not only. I dont find Watson’s speech to be ‘ fantastic ‘ its actually quite banal.
    The examples she gives on mens issues are minor, and her whole speech seems more a call to be chivalrous. A heteronormative speech with few mentions on some marginal mens issues (why not mention male rape? child soldiers? DV on men? etc) and whats the reason for mentioning these issues if at the end of the day they are ignored? yes words means something and the famigerate five words are the ones that gives the direction. If women want a project for women, its one thing, but try to scam men into their net with false “promises” is another thing.

    The speech was nothing new, similar things I have seen on other blogs and sites time to time (mostly on the GMP I have to admit) there have been several call to men in the past, so this is nothing new. Her speech in my eyes was disappointing at best, the top of the banality.

    113. You cannot compare the two initatives, first because He4she has gotten a disprorpotionate ammount of media coverage than the other program, and as Ally has shown the world girl appear at least twice than the word boy. So the one is a project for women the other is a general project. The two are not comparable.

    136 impatient a lot?

  127. Mr Supertypo says

    139
    In Watson’s speech, she speaks briefly about what feminism entails and what she says is the definition of feminism. About how feminism has become known synonymously to “man-hating”, that this needs to stop and how feminism actually stands for the fight for equality for both men and women. The statement on the UN page, however, advertising the HeForShe campaign, said differently. This is what’s being objected to. ”

    When somebody advertise a product with some propriety and after buying you find out these proprieties are lacking, is that not a scam?

  128. says

    I agree with most of what the writer says, but am surprised that it made it into FreeThoughtBlogs. I can only assume that it won’t be long before Mr. Fogg is shown the door.

  129. A Masked Avenger says

    #139:

    Most of the time when “what about the menz?” is being trumped out by eager feminists, it’s being made in the connection of one evil against women and one evil against men…

    I’d say every time, by definition: when someone says, “but what about teh menz,” it’s almost always a response to someone intruding into a discussion about some woman’s issue, and demanding that this other men’s issue immediately be brought to the floor for discussion, in the name of equality. See, the problem is that some people are talking about X, and some asshole insists that they must immediately drop everything and talk about Y, or else there’s something wrong with them.

    If I’m having a conversation about my high blood pressure, and some asshole walks up and says, “That’s nothing–you should hear about my hemorrhoids!” then that person is an asshole. They can’t let any conversation be about something other than them.

    I would first like to know the reasoning why it’s bad to ask for a universal inclusion…

    That’s easy: because each effort of this type must decide how to devote its very finite resources. Also, because different issues require entirely different approaches. And because sometimes, it’s difficult to address both simultaneously without undermining one or the other. For example, it’s difficult to address Jim Crow laws simultaneously with the (very real!) oppression of poor Southern whites–consider for starters the logistical difficulties of holding meetings at which every mention of crimes against black people was immediately followed by someone standing up and saying, “You n**gers got to realize, we’re suffering too!”

    Both sets of injustices deserve to be addressed. Trying to do so simultaneously (don’t you care about everyone’s rights? Black and white alike?) is particularly tough when the victims on one front are also the victimizers on the other front.

    I’m trying to figure out why MRA’s needed mentioning in this instance…

    Because slymepitters like yourself know very well that you are intentionally derailing the discussion, because you dispute the existence of patriarchy or rape culture in the first place, and have no interest whatsoever in doing anything about them.

    http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=52326#p52326

  130. mildlymagnificent says

    Mr Supertypo

    If women want a project for women, its one thing, but try to scam men into their net with false “promises” is another thing.

    A “project for women” might focus on the problem of women and girls eating last and least in far too many households – vast swathes of India and various chunks of other regions. Programs like this should focus on women’s rights to food and good health equal to those granted to men.

    Does it really have to be pointed out that pregnant women, if allowed to eat as much as they need, will produce more healthy sons and fewer sons who are underweight, sickly or intellectually impaired because of their mother’s lack of adequate nutrition? That supplementary nutrition for lactating women ensures better health and stronger growth for their baby boys? Why isn’t it enough to say that a woman is entitled to an equal adult share of a family’s available food and that growing girls need just as much food as their brothers? Women suffer terrible iron deficiencies in large parts of the world because of their unfairly short rations in food stressed households. When those women are pregnant and lactating, they also suffer damage to their bones. If a woman isn’t getting enough calcium from her food supply, biology works wonderfully well to make sure that the foetus gets whatever it needs regardless of the detrimental effect on the woman’s bones.

    Why isn’t it good enough for the benefits to be described as for women who would otherwise suffer horribly but they have to be reframed as benefits to boys and men to make them worthy of consideration? Girls who are inadequately nourished in their early years, as well as during gestation, are at significant risk of underdeveloped pelvic structures making them more likely to suffer obstructed labour. Add in a dietary deficiency of iron and the bleeding associated with protracted or difficult childbirth makes them more likely to die.

    Her speech in my eyes was disappointing at best, the top of the banality.

    It might be cliched and banal to those of us who’ve heard all this before. To younger people unacquainted with ordinary feminist language, she’s a good representative to get them to listen for the first time. For people in other places similarly unacquainted with these common messages, her familiarity from her film roles makes her an effective messenger.

  131. Pitchguest says

    I’d say every time, by definition: when someone says, “but what about teh menz,” it’s almost always a response to someone intruding into a discussion about some woman’s issue, and demanding that this other men’s issue immediately be brought to the floor for discussion, in the name of equality. See, the problem is that some people are talking about X, and some asshole insists that they must immediately drop everything and talk about Y, or else there’s something wrong with them.

    There it is, like clockwork.

    “If your reaction to men asking to be included in the struggle against discrimination is to say “what about the menz?” and make up some silly strawman arguments about how by doing that men are demanding their issues be put on the forefront and women’s issues on the backburner, then I would say that’s an accurate assessment.”

    The nominal feminist talking point. You can’t beat the classics.

    If I’m having a conversation about my high blood pressure, and some asshole walks up and says, “That’s nothing–you should hear about my hemorrhoids!” then that person is an asshole. They can’t let any conversation be about something other than them.

    If only that was what people criticising feminist dogma was doing, maybe you would have a point.

    That’s easy: because each effort of this type must decide how to devote its very finite resources. Also, because different issues require entirely different approaches. And because sometimes, it’s difficult to address both simultaneously without undermining one or the other.

    That is absolutely nonsensical. Addressing both simultaneously would rather remove the possibility to undermine one or the other than when just focusing on one of them. Also, different approaches to what? Sexual abuse? Domestic violence? Most of the time when the media deals with the subject of domestic violence it usually just deals with one aspect, women, than the universal problem it actually represents. According to statistics from the CDC, women are more likely to commit domestic violence than men. The difference being that female victims are more prone to serious injury than men, even in cases where the woman is the aggressor and the man hits back. As for sexual abuse/assault, in the US, 10% of all victims are male. I don’t see how, with that in mind, including both men and women in the equation would undermine the importance of the other.

    Worse, asking to be included only to be replied to with, “what about the menz?” is unnecessarily cruel.

    For example, it’s difficult to address Jim Crow laws simultaneously with the (very real!) oppression of poor Southern whites–consider for starters the logistical difficulties of holding meetings at which every mention of crimes against black people was immediately followed by someone standing up and saying, “You n**gers got to realize, we’re suffering too!”

    An absurd non-sequitur if I ever saw one. I talk about feminists strawmanning men as making it all about themselves and immediately demanding a place in the limelight as opposed to wishing to be included in the debate about discrimination, sexual assault, domestic violence, etc, in the now, and you give an example of something that happened 50 years ago. Yeah. Brilliant. No, you’re right, I don’t think that would be the same at all. Because it’s not. And I particularly love how you seem to be implying that whenever men interject for their opinions to be heard, too, they’re basically being the equivalent of ignorant racists in the 60’s. Top marks.

    Both sets of injustices deserve to be addressed. Trying to do so simultaneously (don’t you care about everyone’s rights? Black and white alike?) is particularly tough when the victims on one front are also the victimizers on the other front.

    Not only are you making a false equivalence, you’re drawing a comparison between male and female victims domestic violence in today’s era (for example) and black victims of segregation (both male and female) by white racists in the 60’s. You might as well have made a comparative look between the treatment of Chinese and Japanese in Nanjing during World War II. It’s just as bizarre and out of left field.

    Because slymepitters like yourself know very well that you are intentionally derailing the discussion, because you dispute the existence of patriarchy or rape culture in the first place, and have no interest whatsoever in doing anything about them.

    Excuse me? The one derailing the conversation right now is you, not me. I’ve been on topic. Projecting much?

    Oh, and because I dispute the existence of patriarchy and rape culture I’m derailing? Even when I haven’t mentioned any of them in this thread and the one who brought them up was you, not me? Radical feminism in a nutshell.

  132. Pitchguest says

    Yes, I post on the Slymepit. That means I must be a demon. The literal spawn of Satan come to tempt you all with sin.

    Grow up.

  133. says

    I imagine the sort of confusion about basic words, their meaning, and logic must make everyday life quite vexing for Ally and everyone he interacts with.

    Person X: “I had lunch today.”

    Ally Fogg: “Goodness! Don’t you know it’s unhealthy not to eat three square meals a day?”

    Person Y: “I plan on sending my daughter to college.”

    Ally Fogg: “What if she wants to get her Master’s or her PhD? Don’t you value higher education? How is she going to get in without a high school degree?”

    Person A: “I enjoy steampunk novels!”

    Ally Fogg: “That’s all well and good, but there’s a whole world of non-fiction writing out there that could really enrich your life and help you learn a lot if you’d just branch out a bit.”

    Person B: “I love my husband.”

    Ally Fogg: “What kind of monster doesn’t love her own children?!”

  134. says

    I agree with most of what the writer says, but am surprised that it made it into FreeThoughtBlogs. I can only assume that it won’t be long before Mr. Fogg is shown the door.

    LOL. Ally’s been around for a while. If only you hadn’t believed the hype about FTBullies and their lockstep hivemind whatever, you could have been reading his posts all along. Probably would have liked them, too.

  135. says

    While I agree on an idealistic level that gender equality movements should focus on all genders, I also know that practicality dictates that women be given special focus due to men’s relative power and privilege. That the name was He4She told me right away that this was about getting more men invested in women’s issues, in particular, so it doesn’t surprise me that the mention of men’s issues affected by misogyny was used more to point out that working on women’s issues would also benefit men indirectly rather than a call to also focus directly on those issues. I agree with that view, too. Most sexism that is harmful to men is an indirect result of our traditional attempts to make women submissive to us, so getting rid of the mindset that women are inferior will translate to destroying harmful machismo stereotypes that lead as much to men being victims of violence as being perpetrators. I also can’t see pledging a focus on women as a call to ignore men, so I think I can still get behind this.

  136. A Masked Avenger says

    #146:

    Interestingly, this sentence of yours is false:

    Oh, and because I dispute the existence of patriarchy and rape culture I’m derailing?

    Yet, had you said this instead, it would have been absolutely true:

    Oh, and I’m derailing because I dispute the existence of patriarchy and rape culture.

    I’ll wait for you to comprehend the difference between those two sentences.

    And yeah, since you deny the existence of everything that Ms. Watson is speaking out against, it stands to reason that you would find her call to action as misguided as a call to stamp out witchcraft. In that sense, everything you say in this thread is a lie: you pretend you’d have been happy if she called to stamp out patriarchy AND prison rape; but in fact you deny the existence of patriarchy. Additionally, everything you say in this thread is useless, because in denying the existence of patriarchy, you’re demonstrating that you’re delusional. Obviously you will deny that you’re delusional, and demand that I prove my claim that you’re delusional–oblivious to the fact that more or less by definition, delusional people can’t be convinced of their delusions. In this case, you perpetuate misogyny even while denying its existence, which is exceptionally delusional (or just dishonest).

    Go ahead and reply–but it seems unfair not to warn you that the chance is vanishingly small that anything you say will be taken seriously. A man on the bus very earnestly explained to me how the CIA put listening devices in his teeth, and I gave him, like you, exactly the credence you deserve.

  137. John Stuart Mill says

    Ally, like you I agree with the sentiment in Emma Watson’s speech, however I would go one step further. Instead of people who support He for She fostering a culture that ignores the issues of men and boys, they are actually supporting an organisation that actively works against tgender equality for men and boys.

    But when you look at who is behind He For She you’ll find Gary Barker from Instituto Promundo. In a recent video on the He For She campaign he is asked how women can help men help them considering the amount of societal change that has negatively affected them (from about 16 minutes into the “He for She: The Next Frontier” panel discussion):

    Simon Isaacs: What do you guys think, and it’s a controversial thing to say, that it’s tough out there for guys in their own way. You are the only man standing, you are the only manning up in Girl Up and I guess so the question is what is the role of women in supporting men supporting women? What is the she for he for she in that sentence? And how maybe from research in the Global South, and maybe here in New York, and elsewhere… How can women support men in this, for many a terrifying transition, where they are no longer holding the same stature, making the same amount of money. Men lost there jobs far greater than women in the recession, and a lot of them are still at home wearing jean shorts… And, so what is the… How can women support men in this transition?

    Gary Barker: Yeah, um, one if we look at the, um, I think that we have to be careful in that women supporting men, and that, in our feminist colleagues saying we don’t have to tell you how to do the stuff that you should be doing anyway, (laughs). Right? On the one hand lets not put the burden on women of having to do this too. There’s a big burden on women (laughs). Men have to do their part in this (applause). So I do think that… On the other hand I think that a little simplistic nudging is quite useful. [1]

    The answer seems to be that women don’t need to support men and that men should just man up and deal with it. If that isn’t trapping men into the gender role of not asking for help when they need it then I don’t know what is.

    If you look at the way that this same group of people address the issue of male victims of intimate partner violence, it should be quite clear that that rather than just ingoring the issue, they flat out refuse to research it at all.

    In 2005, the findings were published from the WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Against Women. Even though they didn’t include male victims in the quantitative part of the study, the steering committee acknowledged that men’s victimisation needs to be included in future research.

    The original plan for the WHO Study included interviews with a subpopulation of men about their experiences and perpetration of violence, including partner violence. This would have allowed researchers to compare men’s and women’s accounts of violence in intimate relationships and would have yielded data to investigate the extent to which men are physically or sexually abused by their female partners. On the advice of the Study Steering Committee, it was decided to include men only in the qualitative, formative component of the study and not in the quantitative survey.

    This decision was taken for two reasons. First, it was considered unsafe to interview men and women in the same household, because this could have potentially put a woman at risk of future violence by alerting her partner to the nature of the questions. Second, to carry out an equivalent number of interviews in separate households was deemed too expensive.

    Nevertheless, it is recognized that men’s experiences of partner violence, as well as the reasons why men perpetrate violence against women, need to be explored in future research. Extreme caution should be used in any study of partner violence that seeks to compile prevalence data on men as well as women at the same time because of the potential safety implications. [2 pp 7]

    Between 2009 and 2010, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Instituto Promundo conducted a multi-country study into men and men’s experiences of IPV, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES). The questionnaire was developed by Rachel Jewkes (who was co-chair of the WHO Multi-Country Study Steering Committee) and had significant input from Mary Ellsberg (one of the principal researchers of the WHO Multi-Country Study and Research Director for the ICRW) [3 pp 2].

    The IMAGES study interviewed 8,000 men and 3,500 women aged 18-59 in six countries (Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico and Rwanda) and included questions about the victimisation and perpetration of IPV.

    Relationship, gender-based violence and transactional sex. Use of violence (physical, sexual, psychological) against partner (using WHO protocol); victimization of violence by partner (using WHO protocol); men’s use of sexual violence against non-partners; men’s self-reported purchasing of sex or paying for sex, including with underage individuals. [3 pp 15]

    So given the need for a multi-country study to look at the prevalence of men’s victimisation, that the survey instrument was developed by a member of the WHO study steering committee that made the recommendation that men’s victimisation be included in future research, that the Research Director of the funder the IMAGES study was also a lead researcher in the WHO study, and the study was based on the methodology of a study that looked at both men’s and women’s victimisation, what is the prevalence of men’s IPV victimisation?

    Well, we simply just don’t know, they didn’t even bother to ask. The men’s questionnaire only asks about their perpetration of IPV and the women’s questionnaire only asks about their victimisation.

    And they didn’t ask in the next multi-country study either. The United Nations Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific (who’s lead technical researcher was Rachel Jewkes and of which Gary Barker from Instituto Promundo was also a member of the technical research team) just replicated the IMAGES survey in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea [6].

    So there have been two multi-country studies on men’s experiences of intimate partner violence as perpetrators and none on their victimisation. That these studies were conducted by the same people, one of whom had explicitly acknowledged the need to study men’s victimisation, is of great concern and has wide reaching implications.

    It doesn’t just end there, I have compelling evidence that strongly suggests that the Men’s Multi-Country study methodology is going to be included in the domestic violence module of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) that are regularly carried out in 90 countries around the world.

    The attitude of these people towards the issues facing men and boys is exteremely offensive. You have lost your job? Man up and get on with it. You aren’t making the same amount of money? Man up and deal with it. You have been a victim of intimate partner violence? Man up and deal with it.

    Regarding male victims of intimate partner violence the following words from Emma Watson’s speech come to mind, the researchers involved in this seriously need to ask themselves “If not me, who? If not now, when?“. Could the behaviour of these feminist researchers and activists contribute to the perception that feminsts are man-haters? At the very least it appears to show that this group of feminist researchers and activists are apathetic towards the issue of men’s intimate partner violence victimisation, they just don’t seem to care.

    However much we may not want to acknowledge this being true, or deny that this has happened, unfortunately, it actually has. Don’t just blindly believe what I have said or write it off dismissively, all the evidence I have provided for these claims is publicly available. Have a look at the video and the study findings and decide for yourself.

    1. S.H.E. Summit – He for She: The Next Frontier
    2. C. Garcia-Moreno, H. Jansen, M. Ellsberg, L. Heise, C. Watts, “WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women.” Geneva: World Health Organization, 2005
    3. G. Barker, M. Contreras, B. Heilman, A. Singh, R. Verma, M. Nascimento, “Evolving Men: Initial Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES)“, ICRW and Instituto Promundo, 2011
    4. Fulu, E., Warner, X., Miedemak, S., Jewkes, R., Roselli, T., & Lang, J. (2013). “Why Do Some Men Use Violence against Women and How Can We Prevent It. Quantitative findings from the United Nations Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific.

  138. Archy says

    “I’d say every time, by definition: when someone says, “but what about teh menz,” it’s almost always a response to someone intruding into a discussion about some woman’s issue, and demanding that this other men’s issue immediately be brought to the floor for discussion, in the name of equality”

    I’ve seenit used on an article about men’s issues, no lie. It’s often used to silence men. It’s staggering how often I’ve seen an argument that men’s issues belong in feminism, that we don’t need the MRM because feminism will fix it, yet even the same feminists making that argument (in my case, it was on a facebook page)…they’d pretty much stop men talking about male issues and pull the whatabouthemenz card on genderless articles or even male-issue articles. It’s completely rediculous.

    “See, the problem is that some people are talking about X, and some asshole insists that they must immediately drop everything and talk about Y, or else there’s something wrong with them.”

    I disagree, quite often it’s the person wanting to talk about X + Y together, team up the effort to fight it. If you only talk about X then Y is being ignored, Y’s issues can fester into a massive problem. For example the current crisis of boys in schooling, we had the focus on girls for a while as it was needed but people forgot to ensure the boys stayed up to standard too. We can see in rape statistics from the CDC that increasing numbers of males are being raped, especially by women yet the narrative has near universally been about male = perp, female = victim.

    “If I’m having a conversation about my high blood pressure, and some asshole walks up and says, “That’s nothing–you should hear about my hemorrhoids!” then that person is an asshole. They can’t let any conversation be about something other than them.”

    No, it’s more like you and your peers only talk about let’s say a female blood pressure issue, but you’re in a movement that was first made to address female blood pressure issues, but then said “Men, we will deal with your issues”. A man comes in and say “Hey, my blood pressure is messed up too” and then bam, the rest turn on him..or more accurately what I saw was some will say “Oh that sucks, let’s discuss it” and others will say “go away, this is for female blood pressure issues only”. On one hand men are being invited in to discuss their issues, and on the other they’re being told to stfu.

    And seeing as nearly all of the feminist space articles are on women, there isn’t really a way to discuss the male issues without some form of derailing, and the guys get annoyed that there is a disproportionate level of discussion of the female issues when they had been invited in with the understanding that it’s an egalitarian movement, that everyones issues would be addressed. Sounds like a bait n switch. That’s why there are sooooo many derailers, it’s like the lil kid being told wait your turn by a bully, cept his turn never comes, when he speaks up he’ll be told his turn surely is coming! He’ll die standing in line before his turn shows up, or so it can FEEL.

    Then you get the ridiculous trend of when a feminist, especially female, does speak on male issues such as rape…they derail their own article because they just HAVE TO MENTION how much worse the women get it. Now, do you think that would cause bitterness n resentment? Feminists are largely creating the whataboutthemenz derailing problem themselves. If you didn’t have some feminists going around n saying feminism = the egalitarian movement, then you wouldn’t have this issue, or it wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad.

    As a side note, I’ve been looking for some data. 1 billion rising suggests 1 billion females have been the victims of violence, what is the number for men? I couldn’t find any data on it. My guess would be 1-2 billion but I’d like to see a worldwide breakdown on the types of violence faced, possibly by country or area. I don’t know if such a study exists though.

    BTW, isn’t it extremely offensive to be asking men to help support women and women’s issues so much when the same isn’t being asked of women, and men’s issues are being largely ignored? This is probably the root of a lot of bitterness n resentment, I know I struggle with it because at times it feels like a man and woman could be head to toe covered in injuries but the doctors give him a bandaid, and tell him to help give first aid to the woman. It was utterly disgusting to see the 500+ males killed by Boko Haram and get barely any mention, yet the world loses it’s shit over 200 girls being kidnapped.

  139. says

    @118 Ally

    Ally, you know you are spouting bullshit. So why are you spouting it?

    Women are excluded in hundreds of forums. They get threatened with rape and death when they point this out. There are thousands of boy only clubs out there. Men control most of the media and political forums out there. In general, men get way more talking time and have vastly more political and financial resources. Men dominate the political and sociological research centers, so why aren’t they doing the research you claim is being ignored? Why do women have to shoulder that burden as well?

    And you are whining because a woman dared to use such a forum to give a speech and didn’t go out of her way to include men? Because FSM forbid a man stand up and give a speech about the problem of violence facing men. No, no, guess that kind of speechifying takes an estrogen vibe, so demand that time be taken out of the speech addressing the problems of women. After all, we wouldn’t want to be helping women unless we are also helping men even though men already have a lot more power to begin with.

    It’s bullshit. It’s MRA bullshit. How dare Emma Watson speak out on the problems befalling her gender! And once again, rather than do anything to actually help men, you’d rather tear down feminism.

    Pity the MRA folks are too busy attacking, threatening, harassing, and belittling us, or they might have some time to actually do something about the real problems facing men. Guess it’s up to the feminists to continue addressing the problems of ‘benevolent sexism’.

  140. says

    —-And seeing as nearly all of the feminist space articles are on women, there isn’t really a way to discuss the male issues without some form of derailing, and the guys get annoyed that there is a disproportionate level of discussion of the female issues when they had been invited in with the understanding that it’s an egalitarian movement, that everyones issues would be addressed. —

    Well, here is a thought – why don’t you take some of those numerous MRA forums and, I dunno, use them to address the problems facing men instead of just bitching and whining that those uppity women are daring to think of themselves as actual people? Maybe extend some of your efforts towards, I dunno, campaigns to help men instead of campaigns to harass and threaten feminists?

    I swear, if you assholes spend a tenth the effort addressing the problems facing men as you do trying to get women to go back into the kitchen we’d only need one male population prison in the entire fucking USA.

  141. scoobertron says

    @A Hermit September 24, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    “(By the way, the recruitment of child soldiers is not “almost entirely 100% male”, if you read the campaign website you would know that. https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/children-not-soldiers/ )”

    That may be true, but there are more male child soldiers, and there are various ways in which I can claim that male child soldiers ‘have it worse’. Therefore, feminists shouldn’t come to male spaces where we are discussing men’s issues to try to derail the conversation about child soldiers by asking ‘what about the girlz?’. If they are so concerned, why don’t they start their own campaign instead of derailing men’s attempts to tackle men’s issues.

    Incidentally, while the homepage of the campaign talks about female child soldiers and the need to include them in the public discussion of child soldiers (as they are often overlooked in the public discussion about child soldiers and policy interventions are often targeted exclusively at male child soldiers), when you click through to the campaign donation page, it states that all money is going to be targeted at saving young boys from the horrors of fighting in wars. Some people have objected to this and refused to sign up, but that makes no sense and is just like refusing to support cancer charities because they won’t cure aids.

  142. Ally Fogg says

    Sally Strange

    I imagine the sort of confusion about basic words, their meaning, and logic must make everyday life quite vexing for Ally and everyone he interacts with.

    Not really. Because most people I interact with in real life are not idiots.

    On the other hand, I might have to put a little flag here saying “WARNING: THIS POST WAS LEFT BY SOMEONE WHO IS PROBABLY AN IDIOT” on all comments left under the name “Sally Strange.”

    What’s the matter?

    It’s not as if I’d be singling you out or anything, would I?

  143. Ally Fogg says

    WithinThisMind (154)

    Men dominate the political and sociological research centers, so why aren’t they doing the research you claim is being ignored?

    Because hegemonic patriarchy instils male gender roles that require men to be willing to suffer and die, to maintain themselves as independent units where collectivised strength and support is shamed, and to do so without complaint as and when required by the demands of capitalism. Duh.

    Why do women have to shoulder that burden as well?

    They absolutely don’t. The whole point of HeForShe is that it is not a women’s campaign, it is meant to be everyone’s campaign, everyone’s effort.

  144. Ally Fogg says

    A Hermit (135)

    (By the way, the recruitment of child soldiers is not “almost entirely 100% male”, if you read the campaign website you would know that. https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/children-not-soldiers/ )

    Oh FFS. The recruitment of child soldiers is not “almost entirely 100% male” according to that UN campaign be cause that UN campaign has gone out of its way to make it gender neutral, by redefining the word “soldier” to mean something that it doesn’t mean to anyone, anywhere, in any other context, thereby allowing them to worry about girls too.

    This is an absolutely classic example of the UN making gender issues simply vanish when they affect men and boys. It illustrates the exact point I’ve been trying to make, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  145. sawells says

    Ally, your whole argument is based on the idea that “I will have a cup of tea” is logically equivalent to “I will never, ever drink a cup of coffee”. Please at least try to respond to the multiple comments which have pointed out the problem with your logic. You seem nettled because SallyStrange was snarky in comment 148, but if you have time to be snarky back in comment 157 you should have time to understand the point.

  146. sawells says

    Is calling your blog “Heteronormative Patriarchy FOR MEN” an explicit claim that heteronormative patriarchy doesn’t affect women? If not, how can a pledge to oppose violence against women and girls be a pledge to not oppose violence against men and boys? Come on, you’re smarter than this.

  147. Ally Fogg says

    Ally, your whole argument is based on the idea that “I will have a cup of tea” is logically equivalent to “I will never, ever drink a cup of coffee”

    No it isn’t.

    My argument is that the clause “faced by women and girls” is an exclusive qualifier. When there is a limited range of options, call it ‘A, B or A and B’ qualifying to say that you will only do A has a clear meaning that you will not do B.f

    As in my example “I will make a cup of tea for everyone on this thread who is male” those final three words not only say something about my intentions towards the male users of this thread, it also says something – by omission – about my intentions towards the female users.

    Now you could argue (indeed you are doing) that saying I will make a cup of tea for everyone who is male does not preclude the possibility that I might also make a cup of tea for all those who are female.

    I reject this, it is wrong. Because if that had been my intention I would not have needed to add the qualifier.

    What I will add, is that I think there is some confusion about my comment much earlier in this thread where I used the inverse “I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which affects men and boys.”

    Some people seem to be taking this as meaning “I commit not to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination which affect men and boys”

    It doesn’t mean that, and I never meant to suggest that it means that.

    What it does mean is this “I do not commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination which affect men and boys”

    And I maintain that coming immediately after a speech which highlighted some of the violence and discrimination which does affect men and boys, this is an offensive and corrosive qualifier.

  148. Ally Fogg says

    sawells

    “Heteronormative Patriarchy FOR MEN” an explicit claim thate heteronormative patriarchy doesn’t affect women?

    Good point.

    The blog name is an ironic joke, playing on the notion of a fictional aftershave called “Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men” which is clearly marketed at men and only at men.

  149. sawells says

    @162: I understand your argument, I just don’t agree with it your reading of the pledge at all, i.e. we disagree on the premises not the argument that follows. It does not mean “I do not commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination which affect men and boys”, any more than “it’s sunny in Suffolk” means “it’s raining in Norfolk”, or “I’ll donate to research on heart disease” means “I will not donate to research on cancer”. You seem to be using a drastically exclusionary logic, which seems inappropriate and oddly strained.

  150. scoobertron says

    @164

    I still think you are misreading Ally. When he considers the equivalence with the phrase “I do not commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination which affect men and boys”, all he is saying is that no commitment has been made, not that a negative commitment has been made.

    To compare with your example, saying “its sunny in Suffolk” is silent on the weather in Norfok – no claim is made, just a no commitment is made in the first instance. It would, I grant you, be odd for someone to state a commitment that they had not made – and this would usually be done to signify opposition to making that commitment. However, this would be an implication whereas we all seem to care about the strict logical entailments of Ally’s statement.

    Usually, we wouldn’t care about this. A campaign that asks one to commit to aiding male child soldiers would, not be asking one to commit to aiding female child soldiers. Hence, by signing up, you would not be committing to helping female child soldiers (just as you would not be committing to NOT helping child soldiers). That is fine because campaigns can be focussed in whichever way they see fit (with the slight caveat that if all the high-profile campaigns are directed at male child soldiers such that female child soldiers are excluded from the public discussion, then we may express frustration at such campaigns as being part of a wider problem).

    We would, however, justifiably balk at a campaign that stressed the need to bring female child soldiers into the discussion and highlighted several ways in which they are under-served by our current thinking about children and war and by our current intervention strategies, if they then asked us to pledge support/money for helping to fight practice of forcing boys to be soldiers. In this context (and this context alone) I think that we would rightly expect the pledge to reflect all of the victims that had been highlighted in the campaign.

  151. StillGjenganger says

    @Scoobertron 166
    Excellent summary. There is one thing to add, which is that attention and resources are limited. Making high-level high-visibility pledges means that you (person or organisation) is going to give particular attention to this specific point – and less to most other points. For an individual or a cancer charity there is nothing wrong with this. You have to choose what to concentrate on, and each charity has a fairly small market share, so you can safely leave other problems to competing organisations. Top-level organisations like ‘the Government’ or ‘the UN’, or universalist ideologies like ‘feminism’ have no competitors on the same level. If they emphasize women and de-emphasize men there is no one to take up the slack.

  152. StillGjenganger says

    @Gjenganger 167
    One illustration:
    Men that think feminism is neglecting the welfare of men are often that they should make ‘their own movement’ to fight for their problems. Women who complain about underrepresentation are not generally told that they should make ‘their own universities’ or ‘their own multinational companies’ if they do not like the current conditions – and indeed it would be a ridiculous thing to ask.
    Do you think that men should build ‘their own UN’ if the one we have is biased? Or does the UN have an obligation for balance that e.g. the Poppy Project does not?

  153. sawells says

    If I were to conclude, from your refusal to sign this pledge, that you were not opposed to violence directed at women and girls, you would presumably be horrified. That would be an invidious conclusion to draw. But apparently signing this pledge allows you to draw invidious conclusions about my attitudes regarding violence directed at men and boys. I am unimpressed.

  154. Len Firewood says

    Well I’m pleased that you very rightly objected to those five words at end and for the no brainer reasons you gave. I would add other objections too – for example while I agree that traditional gender norms hurt men too I totally disagree that feminism will ever be the champion to fix that for us. Four or five decades of what feminist DO rather just what they say has shown that as now their interest in mens issues extends only so far where it intersects womens interests and where a change would benefit women. One such example of this highly selective concern is in maternity\paternity leave. Many feminists started to support greater allowances for for paternity leave because feminists would much rather women had the absloute minimum “disruption” to their carreers with bothersome stuff like “motherhood”!
    I’m not a feminist yet I support equal rights for both sexes and I think men are human beings too – that latter is not just a sentiment to be adverised for effect only but to be put into practice as we in the West indeed do already when we address issues affecting women and girls.

  155. Mr Supertypo says

    144

    “Because slymepitters like yourself know very well that you are intentionally derailing the discussion, because you dispute the existence of patriarchy or rape culture in the first place, and have no interest whatsoever in doing anything about them.!

    Can you point me who exactly in this 3ad has denied patriarchy and rape culture? I may have missed a comment or a line, I like to see them by myself.

    BTW Ideological incompatibility is not a excuse to silence people.

  156. Len Firewood says

    Sawells wrote: “If I were to conclude, from your refusal to sign this pledge, that you were not opposed to violence directed at women and girls, you would presumably be horrified. That would be an invidious conclusion to draw. But apparently signing this pledge allows you to draw invidious conclusions about my attitudes regarding violence directed at men and boys. I am unimpressed.”

    If all you had written here is that you had signed the pledge you might have a valid point but it isn’t and having read many of your other comments in this thread you don’t. That’s okay though – free speech and all that – you have no issues with blatant hypocrisy if it supports your clear bias – some of us like myself for example have more sensitive stomachs – perhaps I need more brainwashing to take away the nausea. 😉

  157. elementary_watson says

    While I wouldn’t be as insistent as Ally about the badness of the implied exclusion of men, I do understand his point of view.

    Let’s take the counter example above about donating to research on heart diseases and donating to research on cancer:

    Take the following set of statements: “I had two older brothers, but both are dead. One died of a heart disease; the second died of cancer. These issues are very personal to me. That’s why I donate to research on heart diseases.”

    This would be an extremely strange wording if the person speaking also donated to research on cancer, wouldn’t it?

  158. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    @ Ally Fogg

    As in my example “I will make a cup of tea for everyone on this thread who is male” those final three words not only say something about my intentions towards the male users of this thread, it also says something – by omission – about my intentions towards the female users.
    Now you could argue (indeed you are doing) that saying I will make a cup of tea for everyone who is male does not preclude the possibility that I might also make a cup of tea for all those who are female.
    I reject this, it is wrong. Because if that had been my intention I would not have needed to add the qualifier.

    What if you added the context that everyone on this thread who is female already has a cup of tea? Because that’s the situation we have here. The vast majority of the power in the world is in the hands of men. All other things being equal, men are almost always better off than women. What you’re doing here is walking out of the tea party because your host wants to make sure the men get a cup of tea before pouring a 2nd cup for the women.

  159. A Masked Avenger says

    #171:

    Can you point me who exactly in this 3ad has denied patriarchy and rape culture? I may have missed a comment or a line, I like to see them by myself.

    I notice you carefully said “in this thread,” because you already know that Pitchguest denies the existence of both–just not “in this thread.” You know that because I already gave the link to a particular slymepit post in which he says so. In other words, you’re wanking: “Yeah, but tell me when I said something misogynistic today!”

    BTW Ideological incompatibility is not a excuse to silence people.

    Oh, whoops, I apologize for banning you from the Internet, canceling your phone, and ordering everyone everywhere to shun you. I’ll reinstate your ability to speak, including phone and Internet privileges.

    Meantime, kindly don’t equate “trying to have a conversation about X without assholes trying to make it about Y” with taking away your frozen peaches.

  160. JT says

    “The vast majority of the power in the world is in the hands of men.”(Seven of Mine)

    And this is where you miss the boat. The reality is “some” men have the vast majority of power. The vast “majority” of men have little to none of it. All for one and one for all, I guess what we need to determine is who is the all? Is it humans, or certain gendered humans at any given moment?
    I think Ally was pretty specific in what would have changed the meaning to something more inviting to BOTH genders. And in the words of a popular/not so popular band.

    And this is how you remind me “Of what I really am”

  161. Mr Supertypo says

    I dont understand why some people keep repeating the ‘the vast majority of power is in the hand of men’ what is their point? Men occupying power means nada for men, it doesent help the homeless men, it doesnt help men victim of DV, it doesent help men victim of rape or abuse, it doesent help men being victim of war, crime or incarceration, it doesent help men with child custody and tons more.
    So what good is that there are few men in power? if these important issues where taken and worked on was one thing, but they arent. The few shelters for men struggle from ridicule and lack of money, fathers are still discriminated in court, female rape and violence is hardly known and often seen as a commedy. The reality is despite the myth, a governement with men is not a governement for men. Claiming the opposite is a liar. Im sorry to call you all out on this.

  162. Mr Supertypo says

    And without mentiong gay marriage and minority discrimination, racism etc. As I said men in power means nothing, same thing would be if women were in power….

  163. JT says

    @176 Masked

    You do realize the incidents of rape in the west has consistently decreased since the 70’s?

  164. Mr Supertypo says

    176

    “I notice you carefully said “in this thread,” because you already know that Pitchguest denies the existence of both–just not “in this thread.” You know that because I already gave the link to a particular slymepit post in which he says so. In other words, you’re wanking: “Yeah, but tell me when I said something misogynistic today!””

    So I repeat the question, and Im not interested in links. who is that show that behaviour here? Are you a regular guest here or one time visitor? I dont know thats why I ask…

    Oh, whoops, I apologize for banning you from the Internet, canceling your phone, and ordering everyone everywhere to shun you. I’ll reinstate your ability to speak, including phone and Internet privileges.

    Meantime, kindly don’t equate “trying to have a conversation about X without assholes trying to make it about Y” with taking away your frozen peaches. ”

    The statement wasnt about me or you. The statement indicate that ideological contraposition is NOT a excuse for or to silence people. And beside irony, can you tell me im wrong?

    Having a different doctrinal background make people assholes in your eyes?

  165. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    @ JT

    I didn’t say all men have more power than all women. I said the vast majority of the power in the world is in the hands of men. Or are you going to claim that there are just as many female heads of state as men? Just as many female CEOs as men? Just as many female members of congress/parliament/other government offices as male ones? If you don’t see a difference between those two statements, there’s really no point engaging with you.

    @ Mr Supertypo

    a governement with men is not a governement for men.

    Not necessarily, no. But they’re probably representing men’s interests better than they are women’s given that, ya know, women more or less aren’t represented at all.

  166. Minnow says

    This is a fascinating article. At first it seemed obvious to me that you were wrong, for similar reasons given by some of the objectors above but I found it hard to articulate precisely why and I struggled with it until I began to see that you were right. The trouble is that this problem is embedded so deeply that it is just very, very hard to see. I am old enough to remember when feminist attempts to delegitimise exclusive gender language such as using ‘men’ to mean ‘people’ and particular terms like ‘policeman’, ‘fireman’, ‘chairman’ etc seemed eccentric and trivial, but gradually we (nearly) all came to recognise the importance of the issue. The Sally Stranges of that period resisted strongly and ridiculed the idea loudly for a long time, it was just obvious to them that ‘men’ could include women, ridiculously clumsy to have to say ‘men and women’ all the time, PC gone mad etc, etc. Something similar needs to happen here. It will be slow.

  167. says

    @ Mr Supertypo

    Furthermore, you’re missing the fact that, while homeless men, black men, male victims of DV have it bad, women in those same situations tend to have it worse. They have to deal with those problems plus being a woman in a society that undervalues them and often still hobbles their ability to function independently.

  168. Minnow says

    “Not necessarily, no. But they’re probably representing men’s interests better than they are women’s given that, ya know, women more or less aren’t represented at all.”

    Even that is questionable. They are more likely to represent the interests of a particular class that will be made up of men and women.

    But it is beside the point when it comes to gender violence. Boys who are kidnapped and forced to fight in grotesque child armies should not be of less concern to us because there is a male gender imbalance in world political circles.

  169. Mr Supertypo says

    ” Not necessarily, no. But they’re probably representing men’s interests better than they are women’s given that, ya know, women more or less aren’t represented at all. ”

    They do? are you sure? unemployment, homelessness all the mention problems are still here, yes with all the men in power as how incredible it sounds.

    The gender of the person/s in charge means nothing, a example the governor of california resently vetoed the the potty equality for parents act. How is that a good service to men or women?

  170. karmacat says

    There are all kinds of violence in the world. Violence that targets different ethnicities, different races, different religions, and, yes, a lot of men and women get killed. The Heforshe campaign is about changing the patriarchal culture that leads to violence toward women. Saying “what about the men” is like complaining about “what about the whites” in the civil rights movement. We all need to address the different causes of violence and need a whole lot more programs. But by dismissing this one program, you are saying everything has to be perfect before we do anything

    http://www.salon.com/2014/09/25/the_domestic_violence_gender_trap_hope_solo_ray_rice_and_the_tired_myopia_of_women_do_it_too/
    From a Salon article

    Coates lays out the matter of history and power succinctly, so I’ll quote him at length here, “In the history of humanity, spouse-beating is a particularly odious tradition—one often employed by men looking to exert power over women. Just as lynching in America is not a phenomenon wholly confined to black people, spouse-beatings are not wholly confined to women. But in our actual history, women have largely been on the receiving end of spouse-beating. We have generally recognized this in our saner moments. There is a reason why we call it the “Violence Against Women Act” and not the “Brawling With Families Act.” That is because we recognize that violence against women is an insidious, and sometimes lethal, tradition that deserves a special place in our customs and laws.

  171. Mr Supertypo says

    184:
    “Furthermore, you’re missing the fact that, while homeless men, black men, male victims of DV have it bad, women in those same situations tend to have it worse. They have to deal with those problems plus being a woman in a society that undervalues them and often still hobbles their ability to function independently.”

    I dont know, while women have shelter for help, men often are incarcerated or left alone so I dont know if male victims of DV have it better. In everycase its poor excuse to not taking care of them. Actually their invisibility should be a serious concern for everybody.

  172. Minnow says

    “The Heforshe campaign is about changing the patriarchal culture that leads to violence toward women.”

    No, I think you have misunderstood it. It is about challenging the idea that the struggle against gender inequality is a struggle for women only and showing how both men and women are victims of the status quo. So it is entirely appropriate to look for an end to all gender violence, not just some. And it is urgent that we recognise that men are victims of violence as men too, to break down that old concepts of women as victims, men as knights who can rescue them.

  173. Mr Supertypo says

    187

    ” There are all kinds of violence in the world. Violence that targets different ethnicities, different races, different religions, and, yes, a lot of men and women get killed. The Heforshe campaign is about changing the patriarchal culture that leads to violence toward women. Saying “what about the men” is like complaining about “what about the whites” in the civil rights movement. We all need to address the different causes of violence and need a whole lot more programs. But by dismissing this one program, you are saying everything has to be perfect before we do anything”

    No not perfect just a little bit more inclusive would have been good. Listen nobody is complaining that women ask for help. The topic is about something else.

  174. A Masked Avenger says

    And this is where you miss the boat. The reality is “some” men have the vast majority of power. The vast “majority” of men have little to none of it.

    This is 101-level stuff you’re asking. Wealth confers privilege. Prestige confers privilege. Social class confers privilege. Age confers privilege (up to a point), and youth confers privilege (up to a point). Being heterosexual and cisgendered confers privilege. Group memberships of all sorts confer privilege, such as: being a cop; being a doctor; being a jock; etc. And so do being male, being white, being a lighter-skinned African American, speaking the right dialect, etc., etc.

    “Intersectionality” is the concept that explains why a rich, famous, straight, white, cis male senator who used to be a doctor is WAY more privileged than a poor, unknown, white male janitor who dropped out of high school. And yet the poor, unknown, white male janitor has definite advantages over his fellow janitor who is like him in every respect except that he is black. And nobody wants to be a poor, unknown, uneducated, gay black transexual female who pumps septic tanks and speaks broken English.

    The vast majority of men are nothing compared to some rich, famous, powerful white man you can think of. That’s true. But it’s also kind of a stupid point, Because a clone of you, however poorly off you are, would be worse off if it were identical to you in every respect except that it was female. The vast majority of men may feel “powerless,” but the majority of them have a wife who’s even more powerless, and who does the majority of the child care and is expected to make the man a sammich.

    Hopefully you understand why it’s asinine, when your wife complains about this, to say, “Shut up, woman! You think you have it bad? I don’t have money OR women like Tiger Woods does, and I’m not even black!”

  175. 123454321 says

    @Carnation,

    “@123454321
    Mate, you’re not having the same conversation as everyone else. Your take on this is wired to the moon. “Feminism” doesn’t have a PR dept to arrange what you describe. This is obvious.”

    Yawn….what’s it like to be on the losing side? You may have been up there once, but don’t worry, I’ll make a point of waving to you on your way down as we pass!

    HeforShe my ass. Even the very slogan itself is sexist. it would never have been ‘SheforHe’ would it! Geez, feminism sucks!

  176. Mr Supertypo says

    189.

    Exactly, because in fact Emma’s call for men, is in other words a call for chivalry. Its gender normative, patriarchal. Its like a man call women to the kitchen. Thats why I am disappointed by this. Im not disappointed that women call for help, but Emmas way to doing it was wrong. Not mention the consideration she to male issues, good kudos, but the impression she gave was that at least some of this would be included in the campaign. So you (i) get the feeling of a mocking or a scam perpetrated againsts our good will.

  177. JT says

    @Seven 182

    a governement with men is not a governement for men.

    Not necessarily, no. But they’re probably representing men’s interests better than they are women’s given that, ya know, women more or less aren’t represented at all “.

    You may be right, were seeing something similar in education where females tend to have more “power”, it seems female students are fairing better than male students, statistically speaking that is.

    Interestingly enough here in Canada we recently had more women that were the leaders of political parties that were in power, provincially that is.

  178. JT says

    @191

    That is why the better descriptor is not “Patriarchy” but “Kyriarchy”. I know, I know, patriarchy sounds so much more menacing to women though. We wouldnt want them to think some of them are part of the problem , when its so much easier always being the victim.

  179. A Masked Avenger says

    #181:

    Having a different doctrinal background make people assholes in your eyes?

    Funny you should say “doctrinal,” because this conversation is so far a cookie-cutter version of a creation/evolution discussion. The creationist keeps saying, “You have your religion; I have mine!” The “evolutionist” keeps pointing out that, no, only one side has religion–the other side has empirical evidence.

    There is abundant empirical evidence that given two otherwise identical individuals, one a man and one a woman, the woman will suffer major disadvantages: people will underestimate her intelligence; they will assume she is unqualified for a whole range of activities; they will interrupt her more; etc., etc. The man will suffer some disadvantages as well: he will be disqualified from “womanly” activities, for example. However, there is abundant empirical evidence that the greater disadvantage goes to the woman. This is the definition of “patriarchy,” and it’s not a doctrine you believe in–it’s a verifiable fact.

    There are also disadvantages that might be unique to the men. That’s tricky to quantify, because many of them have a patriarchal component. For example, prison rape is (as far as I know) much more common for men than women–but the prison rapist will describe his victim as “his woman” or “his b*tch.” The term “prison wife” refers to a horrible abuse that might be overwhelmingly suffered by men, but the term has demeaning power only because of patriarchal assumptions about women. This deserves study in its own right, quite definitely. But to the extent that patriarchy fuels this, dismantling patriarchy will help. And to the extent that patriarchy is not involved, it is a separate issue that should be tackled, but probably should be tackled separately.

    SO. What makes people “assholes in my eyes” is not that we have “doctrinal differences.” It’s that (a) they reject objective facts that can be empirically proven, and (b) they (usually) are using that as a smokescreen for their own misogyny. The slymepitters here, for the most part, are confirmed misogynists, as can easily be seen by checking there posting history.

  180. JT says

    @196

    I somehow dont think words are going to matter much to someone who is in the process of being anally penetrated against their will. To think you use that to show how bad women have it is just wee bit non sensical, but hey, whatever floats your boat. Im thinking you may want to talk to someone because you sure do seem to have a seething anger festering inside you.

  181. Archy says

    “Well, here is a thought – why don’t you take some of those numerous MRA forums and, I dunno, use them to address the problems facing men instead of just bitching and whining that those uppity women are daring to think of themselves as actual people? Maybe extend some of your efforts towards, I dunno, campaigns to help men instead of campaigns to harass and threaten feminists?”

    …Did you bother reading the comment? The point is that FEMINISM is being sold AS the forum FOR MALE ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED. Your entire comment is completely whack. Who is “bitching” about uppity women daring to think of themselves as actual people?? I’ve seen PLENTY of MRA’s and I can’t recall ever seeing one think of women as not human/people.

    “I swear, if you assholes spend a tenth the effort addressing the problems facing men as you do trying to get women to go back into the kitchen ”

    Where are these so called MRA’s wanting women back in the kitchen? Most I’ve seen do not have a problem with earlier feminism getting women OUT of the kitchen.

    As annoying as derailing is, it’s not going to stop until both male and female issues are adequately covered. This is not a difficult concept to understand. Anddd nooo I am not an MRA before someone tries to lump me in with them and try shame via association or something silly.

    As for the HeforShe campaign, I’m a lil bit torn on it. On one hand I think it can do well, but on the other it’s a bit confusing with the focus on males in the speech, and then to gender the campaign. I’d like to see a brother campaign for it for male issues too but I have more chance at winning lotto than that ever happening.

    @175 Seven of Mine–etc
    “All other things being equal, men are almost always better off than women. What you’re doing here is walking out of the tea party because your host wants to make sure the men get a cup of tea before pouring a 2nd cup for the women.”

    In the issue of violence, men are by far more at risk and worse off than women. In my country, men are twice as likely to be harmed by violence according to police stats.

    From wiki “According to the data given by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, worldwide, 78.7% of homicide victims are male, and in 193 of the 202 listed countries or regions, males were more likely to be killed than females. In two, the ratio was 50:50 (Swaziland and British Virgin Islands), and in the remaining 7; Tonga, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Latvia and Hong Kong, females were more likely to be victims of homicides compared to males.[6]” – UNDOC homicide Statistics 2013

    The majority of power in the world is in the hands of A VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SMALL percentage of men. Most men have little to no power, same as most women. Keep that in mind. Even in countries where men are the majority of power, there still existed laws and issues that really harmed men such as conscription where men literally became slaves to the state, or where male genital mutilation is still legal (non-medical surgery without consent of the child is mutilation). Men in power largely do not care about men, they care about their small group of men mostly otherwise you’d see massive sharing of resources with most men instead of the 1% hoarding masses of wealth.

    @184
    “Furthermore, you’re missing the fact that, while homeless men, black men, male victims of DV have it bad, women in those same situations tend to have it worse. They have to deal with those problems plus being a woman in a society that undervalues them and often still hobbles their ability to function independently.”

    Is this a joke? There is a plethora of support for female victims of DV, men get sweet F A compared to women.

  182. A Masked Avenger says

    #193:

    Exactly, because in fact Emma’s call for men, is in other words a call for chivalry.

    The opposite. She’s appealing to their self-interest to get their cooperation in dismantling patriarchy, including the concept of chivalry. How do men go about dismantling patriarchy in a non-chivalrous way?

    First of all, by addressing whatever patriarchal assumptions they themselves may be making. Quit assuming that the man is the breadwinner or that the woman stays home, takes care of the kids, and makes the sammiches. That’s not “chivalry”; that’s called “not being an asshole.”

    And second, by setting other people straight when they see improper behavior. That’s also not “chivalry”; that’s called “being a decent person.”

  183. A Masked Avenger says

    @JT, #197:

    I somehow dont think words are going to matter much to someone who is in the process of being anally penetrated against their will.

    I’m sorry for your lack of reading comprehension, but I’ll be happy to help you understand. Start with this: you realize, don’t you, that nobody said anything remotely resembling what you suggest here? Nobody said, “prison rape is fine as long as you call it the right thing,” for example. Reread #196 until you clearly understand this point. Then, when you’re done, I’ll help you understand what #196 actually says.

  184. Poetentiate says

    “Intersectionality” is the concept that explains why a rich, famous, straight, white, cis male senator who used to be a doctor is WAY more privileged than a poor, unknown, white male janitor who dropped out of high school. And yet the poor, unknown, white male janitor has definite advantages over his fellow janitor who is like him in every respect except that he is black. And nobody wants to be a poor, unknown, uneducated, gay black transexual female who pumps septic tanks and speaks broken English.”

    Except for the “female” part which you conveniently stuck in there like it is the same as “black”, the woman is actually on average better off and lives longer. Even poor, she would spared the work that harmed her health, or risked her ability to bear children.

  185. JT says

    Masked

    You used prison rape to further your agenda in regards to Patriarchy. Deplorable, regardless of what you think of my reading skills.

  186. Mr Supertypo says

    196
    “Funny you should say “doctrinal,” because this conversation is so far a cookie-cutter version of a creation/evolution discussion. The creationist keeps saying, “You have your religion; I have mine!” The “evolutionist” keeps pointing out that, no, only one side has religion–the other side has empirical evidence.”

    Yes I said doctrinal, maybe I should have said ideological, you are free to choose that definition if its suit you better.

    “SO. What makes people “assholes in my eyes” is not that we have “doctrinal differences.” It’s that (a) they reject objective facts that can be empirically proven, and (b) they (usually) are using that as a smokescreen for their own misogyny. The slymepitters here, for the most part, are confirmed misogynists, as can easily be seen by checking there posting history.”

    Ok I understand where you come from, but I dislike the name calling for whatever reason coming from any side. Is that to much is I ask you politely to avoid doing this, and not only you, everybody also?

    199.

    “The opposite. She’s appealing to their self-interest to get their cooperation in dismantling patriarchy, including the concept of chivalry. How do men go about dismantling patriarchy in a non-chivalrous way?

    First of all, by addressing whatever patriarchal assumptions they themselves may be making. Quit assuming that the man is the breadwinner or that the woman stays home, takes care of the kids, and makes the sammiches. That’s not “chivalry”; that’s called “not being an asshole.”

    And second, by setting other people straight when they see improper behavior. That’s also not “chivalry”; that’s called “being a decent person.”

    I still find her call exclusive, heteronormative and yes chivalrius. Im sorry Avenger. But my criticism on her speech stands. Beside the banality it was actually nothing new, yes new on the UN. But It wasnt on the higher niveau as we should expect on that place. And not to mention she didnt even mention gay’s lesbians ect. She went for men as males, in the traditional sense. Asking MEN to help WOMEN. She should had ask people to help women, and then mention MEN (in the traditional sense). Non mentioning the scam of including mens issues in her speech as smoke in the air.
    The intentions are good, and there is nothing wrong in women asking for help, as I said before. Maybe because she is unexperienced or malevolent is not important. The speech seems more something written in a hurry and in let me add in a quite lazy way.

  187. Poetentiate92 says

    “The opposite. She’s appealing to their self-interest to get their cooperation in dismantling patriarchy, including the concept of chivalry. How do men go about dismantling patriarchy in a non-chivalrous way?”

    Keeping men in their old gender roles by propaganda and by force is still the standard in society, enforced by other men with guns at the behest of women, including chivalry which is men putting their own well being second to women. Women still expect this as their due for simply existing so don’t expect it to disappear any time soon. Notice how often women use the police to for proxy violence.

    Feminism is female only advocacy (equality is a lie they use for the average Jill, why go for equality when you can have privilege) and is not freeing men from patriarchy it is tying them with tighter chains to their obligations while removing any obligations from women.

    This big lie is still working very well.

  188. says

    Exactly, because in fact Emma’s call for men, is in other words a call for chivalry. Its gender normative, patriarchal. Its like a man call women to the kitchen.

    lolwut.

    Somehow the very basic idea of components is being missed by Ally and so many people here. Or something, I don’t know how to word it. Specifically addressing one thing/area that seems to need improvement. You’re basically complaining that the pledge didn’t also address LGBTQ people being kicked out of homes and their situation in Russia. Perhepase merely the mutual exclusivity of the categories trick you mind to think it is different, who knows? (though of course I saw someone say they are both a man and woman) Hell, why not rephrase the pledge the way Ally did?

    I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination – except that which specifically affects men and boys, lgbtq, the poor etc etc etc etce eteceret.

    This post and thread is quite silly. I’ll have to try to look away from this particular train wreck, I have things to do today.

  189. Mr Supertypo says

    205
    “Keeping men in their old gender roles by propaganda and by force is still the standard in society, enforced by other men with guns at the behest of women, including chivalry which is men putting their own well being second to women. Women still expect this as their due for simply existing so don’t expect it to disappear any time soon. Notice how often women use the police to for proxy violence.”

    This is actually misandry. mind you there is nothing wrong in women asking men for help, but the he4she seems to be quite traditionalist and exclusive. Watson call for men is actually a call for chivalry.

  190. says

    chivalry which is men putting their own well being second to women. Women still expect this as their due for simply existing so don’t expect it to disappear any time soon. Notice how often women use the police to for proxy violence.

    then the pledge wasn’t chivalry in any way.

    Oh no, how dare human beings expect what is due to them…for simply existing!

    As for that last sentence…I don’t even know what I just read.

    I’m starting to have concern for the people commenting here…

  191. says

    “Oh no, how dare human beings expect what is due to them…for simply existing!”

    Eh, my response here was based on a misreading of what I was responding to. So, now to respond to what was actually written:

    Women still expect this as their due for simply existing so don’t expect it to disappear any time soon.

    No, women do not expect as their due the thing you say they do. And the pledge does not ask for any such thing. You are making stuff up.

  192. Mr Supertypo says

    205

    “This post and thread is quite silly. I’ll have to try to look away from this particular train wreck, I have things to do today.”

    Brian, you are free to go. If its so much of a pain for you, by all means go 🙂
    But let me tell you, first trolls are not welcome anywhere, maybe 4chan but I dont know since I dont wander those places. Maybe you find the topic silly, but it raises some good and valid observations that you and others have tried to dispute, but failed to do so. The point stands, the campaign was poorely tough and that should be a lesson for the next campaign to do better. So I dont even know why you are all up in arm.

    And for the record, I complain that the campaign is heteronormative (he4she) are transgenders allowed or just biological males? why not including other categories than just men (the call for chivalry) it may sound idiotic in your eyes, but its a interesting observation that require some answers.Not from you or other forum goers but from the organizators, because its NOT CLEAR. Now go and do your chores while the conversation continues.

  193. Bob says

    Commenters: so we can take righteous indignation about using the word “bossy” in reference to girls, but Ally’s pointing out of the way Watson’s speech brings up the problems of men and then conspicuously excludes them is irrelevant semantics? That’s just nonsense; it’s an excellent point that he’s made.

  194. says

    I still don’t think those two statements have identical meaning in post 16. The second one does indeed specify something different than the first one does, namely specifying not to also pledge for men and boys. I don’t think the two different ways of interpreting the sentence really change that. They merely change where the non-equivalence lies.

    This should be obvious because of how in the actual pledge, you could in theory add a sentence right at the end saying “and pledge for men and boys” while in the second case, doing so would lead to contradiction between “except men and boys” and “and men and boys”.

  195. says

    that you and others have tried to dispute, but failed to do so.

    Simply saying I failed does not undo my points.

    And for the record, I complain that the campaign is heteronormative (he4she) are transgenders allowed or just biological males?

    I am once again concerned. “He4She” doesn’t even say anything about sexual orientation, so heteronormativity cannot be seen here. And, um, the pledge didn’t say just “biological males” now did it?

  196. Schala says

    Because a clone of you, however poorly off you are, would be worse off if it were identical to you in every respect except that it was female.

    Hahahaha, yeah, right.

    Trans woman here. This “women are always worse off” is complete bullshit. I have it way better now than I ever did. And I’m not too feminine, and definitely not normative (regardless of being trans, I’m counter-culture to mainstream in being a no-life geek who spits on fashion/trends or conventions). Still get massively more privilege and a lot better safety net, should I fall through the cracks. People actually show compassion to me. And not my pre-transition self. And my situation didn’t change since (not a better or worse career, wealth or anything).

  197. A Masked Avenger says

    @ Poetentiate :

    Except for the “female” part which you conveniently stuck in there like it is the same as “black”, the woman is actually on average better off and lives longer.

    @ Schala:

    Trans woman here. This “women are always worse off” is complete bullshit. I have it way better now than I ever did…

    Schala, I won’t argue with your experience. I don’t know the full context, of course: perhaps you don’t feel that you’re experiencing any sort of discrimination; or perhaps you happen to like conforming to gender, norms, etc.. Could be either one, for all I know, but I suspect the latter based on this: “Still get massively more privilege and a lot better safety net, should I fall through the cracks.” I’m glad you haven’t had a stalker, or experienced cat-calling, or found people interrupting, talking over, and ignoring you, or found yourself passed over for promotion for a less qualified man, or been harassed, or slut-shamed, or raped, or killed.

    What’s interesting to me is that you believe your experience represents that of all women. It sounds like you and Poetentiate are both saying the same thing: women are so lucky; they get doors held for them; they can have all the sex they want just by asking; etc. Which IS a little slice of heaven, if that happens to be exactly what you want out of life (as sounds like it might be the case for Schala). What’s obvious, though, is that you don’t care whether that’s what they want or not, and you show no awareness of the down side of their experience.

    Basically you sound like the kid who hears about all the ice cream their friend got after his tonsillectomy, and concluded that he was the luckiest kid in the world. Yep, what a lucky lucky kid. Missing school and gobbling ice cream, without a care in the world.

  198. A Masked Avenger says

    #203:

    I still find her call exclusive, heteronormative and yes chivalrius.

    So not behaving like an asshole, and starting to behave like a decent person, is “chivalrous” of you? It’s a favor? Wow. Point noted.

  199. A Masked Avenger says

    @JT:

    You used prison rape to further your agenda in regards to Patriarchy. Deplorable, regardless of what you think of my reading skills.

    Well, your reading skills are important because if you had them, you’d know that I most certainly did not “use prison rape to further my agenda.” You’re taking nonsense, which you wouldn’t do if you had some reading comprehension.

  200. mildlymagnificent says

    Len Firewood@170

    One such example of this highly selective concern is in maternity\paternity leave. Many feminists started to support greater allowances for for paternity leave because feminists would much rather women had the absolute minimum “disruption” to their careers with bothersome stuff like “motherhood”!

    Are you seriously arguing that only women can care for and all women should want to care for infants? Which also infers/ implies that you think it would be better if we (continue to) ensure that men who want to or need to care for their babes in arms face maximum difficulty in doing so.

    Why would a man need to care for an infant? As it happens, not all women come out the other side of pregnancy and childbirth healthy and fit to meet to the challenges of caring for a baby and, possibly, other children. (I know we would have been a lot better off thirty years ago if damn-near-crippled I could have gone back to work much sooner than I did and my husband had been able to care for the kids. I had volunteers coming to the house to bathe the baby because I couldn’t safely do it. Unfortunately, there were no volunteers available to play with the toddler we also had at the time which I also couldn’t do much of. My husband could easily have managed all that. I would have been a lot better off behind a desk doing something I was good at than incompetently struggling – while tears leaked down my face – to get the 2 littlies in and out of the car as they had to accompany me to shopping, physio appointments and the like.) Many blokes simply want more of that baby and toddler time for its own sake even if there is no pressing health, financial or other need for them to do so.

    What feminists actually want is for couples and families to have the maximum freedom to organise their families and jobs/ careers/ studies in the way that best suits their needs at the time. Whether those needs are financial, health, career, social or personal is beside the point. Every family should have the best chance to do the best thing for everyone in the family. Parental leave is just one thing that can make that possible.

  201. Catrambi says

    Wow. If “Pitchguest” ever defends you, you can now for absolute certain that you’ve fucked up.

    Pitchguest is the slymepitter who openly stated, in reference to Steubenville, that rape is not actually rape if the woman is unconscious. And also that if the victim of a crime is unconscious there is no actual victim, since you can’t remember what was done to you while you were unconscious.

    In other words, he’s exactly as intelligent as Cee-Lo Green. These are the readers you’ve asked for, and here they are to defend you. Have fun.

  202. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Wow. If “Pitchguest” ever defends you, you can now for absolute certain that you’ve fucked up.

    Pitchguest is the slymepitter who openly stated, in reference to Steubenville, that rape is not actually rape if the woman is unconscious. And also that if the victim of a crime is unconscious there is no actual victim, since you can’t remember what was done to you while you were unconscious.

    In other words, he’s exactly as intelligent as Cee-Lo Green. These are the readers you’ve asked for, and here they are to defend you. Have fun.

    Yes, Ally has built up quite the following. I personally would have been concerned if someone like Pitchguest and some of the other Slymies were on my side and spewing their hatred on my blog, but hey. Obviously Ally is above such concerns.

    Maybe Ally should go check out the Slymepit for himself. I’m sure he’ll find it most gratifying. Not that I imagine he bothers reading comments this far into a thread.

  203. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Pitchguest is the slymepitter who openly stated, in reference to Steubenville, that rape is not actually rape if the woman is unconscious. And also that if the victim of a crime is unconscious there is no actual victim, since you can’t remember what was done to you while you were unconscious.

    Also, wasn’t that Dawkins’ argument more or less, just last week?

  204. A Masked Avenger says

    @Catrambi,

    Just remember there’s no such thing as “rape culture.” Widespread belief that rape isn’t really rape if the victim is unconscious, drunk, married to you, or not a virgin, doesn’t count for anything.

  205. Ally Fogg says

    Not that I imagine he bothers reading comments this far into a thread.

    I read every comment, including the ones churning out Grade A silver-plated logical errors such as “nasty person agrees with this, therefore it must be wrong” (aka the ‘Hitler was a vegetarian’ fallacy)

    FWIW i don’t need to visit the Slymepit to know that Pitchguest has repulsive opinions. He smears them all over this blog regularly, often while treating me to personal abuse.

    What was your point?

  206. A Masked Avenger says

    #223:

    i don’t need to visit the Slymepit to know that Pitchguest has repulsive opinions… What was your point?

    “Hitler was a vegetarian” is a logical fallacy. “Hitler thinks you’re pretty good on the Jewish question” MOST ASSUREDLY IS NOT. That Pitchguest approves your comments on this subject should definitely give you pause.

  207. Catrambi says

    Seriously Ally. If you don’t understand logic, then don’t try to use it. It hasn’t worked out well for you so far.

  208. Mr Supertypo says

    224

    Ok so Pitchguest is not a lovely person. We get it, but this is not about that individual and frankly in ally blog you find angels and demons. And this is also part of the charm. But personal or ideological disputes is not the topic here…so let go IT shall we?

  209. Catrambi says

    Gen 221

    I don’t know if I saw that particular comment (tweet?). I did see the one where Dawkins basically said if you don’t want to get raped then don’t get drunk. That’s enough Dawkins for now.

  210. Catrambi says

    Avenger 222

    I will try to remember this. I expect it to be fairly easy, since there’s some dude reminding me almost daily. I won’t even have to write it down.

  211. Mr Supertypo says

    227

    “What the fuck are you talking about? I make the topic whatever I want. Thanks, bye.”

    Nice, what im talking about? I tell you my little friend, what is the title…let me see oh here it comes ‘ five little words that betrays Emma Watson”. That is the topic, not your infantile disputes with you kindergarten friends.

    If you want to make whatever topic you want, you go to your own blog and stay there, you dont troll around. Emma watson is the topic, not your childish blabla. so dont waste my bandwidth with your b*llsh*t

  212. Catrambi says

    230

    Nobody’s forcing you to read comments and respond to them. Jebus, can’t believe I have to explain this.

    The topic of this thread IS some sort of ideological dispute, and the comments are to various degrees related. If you don’t like a comment, you can skip it. I’ve been skipping your comments. It wasn’t hard.

  213. Mr Supertypo says

    oh really cat, because you love or hate toward particolar user is the topic in question right? If you want to talk to the pitch why dont you go and talk to him/her? and why the **** are you talking to me? what in the name in heaven makes your brain think I was talking to you? skipping my comments you say? If you to much you end up confused. I was talking to Avenger not you.

  214. StillGjenganger says

    Guys, guys, ..
    So far you are proving that antifeminists like me are not the only ones who can be abusive, intolerant and childish. Of course it is good for me to see we do not have a monopoly – competition is always good – but it is kind of tough on Ally who has to take it from both sides.

    How about trying to prove that you lot are better than we are?

  215. Mr Supertypo says

    234

    captain obyous speaking *joke* because you need a political/ideological/religious affiliation to be super duper. The sad part is somebody really believe this…

  216. Catrambi says

    232

    You either need to figure out how comment threads work, or you need to get better at trolling. Not everything in a 200+ comment thread is in direct response to the OP. Welcome to the internet.

    —-

    To those of you who read this blog more regularly than I do, is the comment section usually this flooded with pitters and other MRAs, or did this topic attract them more than usual?

  217. Mr Supertypo says

    236

    Cat..what happen? I tought you were going to skip my messages or are you confused again?

    But I answer the question anyways:

    In this blog you find cretins, smarties, MRA’s, feminists, MRA trolls, Femi trolls, but mostly unaffiliated people. Thats why I consider this place the best.

  218. sheaf24 says

    “Hitler was a vegetarian” is a logical fallacy. “Hitler thinks you’re pretty good on the Jewish question” MOST ASSUREDLY IS NOT.

    This is still a logical fallacy. Suppose you were debating an anarchist and they were to say: “Hitler agrees with you in being pro state. How bad must someone be when Hitler agrees with you in matters of state? Hitler was a horrible politician!”

    it would be obvious that despite Hitler being a politician that in this function caused the holocaust this would not change one iota about the argument in question and claiming one side to be wrong based on this is fallacious. Similar, whatever the merits of Ally’s position, they do not change when Pitchguest agrees with him

    And in case there is some hangup about me using a slightly different example consider this recent quote by Scott Alexander:

    Before they settled on killing the Jews of Europe, the Nazis had a more creative plan: send them all to Madagascar. They hoped that after taking over Britain they could use the British merchant fleet to transport them, with the voyages being funded by confiscated Jewish assets. Imagine a world in which the plan was successful – say all European Jews deported to Madagascar – but the Nazis were defeated on schedule and the victorious Allies declared Madagascar the world Jewish homeland instead of Israel. Sure, we would probably end up debating Malagasay apartheid with the same fervency as the Gaza War. But the Madagascaraelis would have twenty times the land area of Israel, probably at least double the population (since it would include the six million murdered Europeans) and infinitely more farmland and natural resources. And they would be on a basically uninvade-able island. Between the land God promised us and the land Hitler promised us, I’m kinda going with advantage Hitler here. At the very least it would make good alternate history.

    From here: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/18/more-links-for-september-2014/

    Are you now planning to attack him based on the fact that Hitler’s supposed preferred outcome of the “jewish question” might be closer to his liking than what actually historically happened?

  219. Jacob Schmidt says

    Wow. If “Pitchguest” ever defends you, you can now for absolute certain that you’ve fucked up.

    I’ll admit that, knowing nothing else but “Pitchguest agrees,” I’d consider the idea probably wrong, simply on PGs history.

    But for the love of dog, don’t argue like that. I think Ally is silly in principle and practice here, but some dumbass’ opinion has zero bearing on that.
    ————

    “Police racism is not only an issue for black men, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to taking action to end all forms of institutional racism faced by black men.”
    If that happened, I would not be remotely surprised to see some black women say, “Hang on a minute…. I thought you said…”
    Would you?

    Frankly, if that came from an organization dedicated to helping black men specifically, I wouldn’t care. Not one bit. The issues facing black men are often specific to black men. It makes sense and is not in itself discriminatory to focus like that, given those differences. Now, if black women had a history of completely ignoring or dismissing those issues, it would make sense to talk about the ways they might gain from racial equality.

    Looking at the he for she website:

    Now it’s time to unify our efforts. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other of humanity, for the entirety of humanity.

    They’re rather clear about this. It’s a movement for women. They want men to participate. Watson spoke of some of the ways gender discrimination effects men to get men engaged.

    You know what? Flip the whole thing around:

    Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by men and boys.

    I still don’t care. It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest, not even if such an organization spoke about the gender inequality faced by women and girls in a speech to get my support. Does you organization strive for equality? Does it do so without being shitty to groups not within the organizations focus? Cool, you got my support.

  220. Catrambi says

    I might also add, if you think a casual statement like “if X agrees with you (on issue Y) then you’re almost certainly wrong” is to be viewed as a formal argument, then you fail not only Logic 101, but also Human Communication 101. The troll factor is strong with you people.

  221. Catrambi says

    Wow, it seems like my comment has started a dead serious discussion on whether it’s technically possible that Pitchguest is ever right about anything. *shrugs*

  222. A Masked Avenger says

    #238:

    This is still a logical fallacy. Suppose you were debating an anarchist and they were to say: “Hitler agrees with you in being pro state…”

    Check your reading comprehension. I said that it’s not a logical fallacy if “Hitler thinks you’re pretty good on the Jewish question.” You said that is still a logical fallacy and illustrated with a completely different hypothetical quote. Yet I already said that it makes an important difference what Hitler is agreeing with you about. I’ve already stipulated that it doesn’t matter whether Hitler agrees with you that Charmin is the softest toilet paper ever.

    If you’re still having trouble grasping this point, ask politely, and I’ll try to assist you.

  223. Mr Supertypo says

    239

    ” I’ll admit that, knowing nothing else but “Pitchguest agrees,” I’d consider the idea probably wrong, simply on PGs history. ”

    So if Hitler or Mussolini if they were still alive (improbable) agreed with Emma, you would ditch Emma watson? In other words a if a random person you dislike for some reasons of yours suddenly join a fair cause youll ditch your participation?

    I sincerely, in the holy name of the sacred golden coffee machine hope you are joking.

  224. Jacob Schmidt says

    ” I’ll admit that, knowing nothing else but “Pitchguest agrees,” I’d consider the idea probably wrong, simply on PGs history. ”
    So if Hitler or Mussolini if they were still alive (improbable) agreed with Emma, you would ditch Emma watson? In other words a if a random person you dislike for some reasons of yours suddenly join a fair cause youll ditch your participation?

    In order, you mis-characterized what I wrote, and then mis-characterized what you wrote.

    I can see, if you tilt your head and skip over an entire clause, how you made your mistake about what I wrote. What I don’t get is how you read the rest and retained the same opinion.

  225. Mr Supertypo says

    “In order, you mis-characterized what I wrote, and then mis-characterized what you wrote.

    I can see, if you tilt your head and skip over an entire clause, how you made your mistake about what I wrote. What I don’t get is how you read the rest and retained the same opinion.”

    nah never mind my last message, thats what happens when I speak on the phone, try to swallow a pizza slice, chew some coffee and type on the forum all at the same time. So just ditch it. Peace.

  226. JT says

    Im thinking this would be an awesome group to go out and have a few pints with. Entertainment at its finest. 🙂

  227. Schala says

    Schala, I won’t argue with your experience. I don’t know the full context, of course: perhaps you don’t feel that you’re experiencing any sort of discrimination; or perhaps you happen to like conforming to gender, norms, etc.. Could be either one, for all I know, but I suspect the latter based on this: “Still get massively more privilege and a lot better safety net, should I fall through the cracks.”

    No, I don’t like conforming to gender norms. I typically don’t follow norms to follow norms. I don’t pass as butch, but I definitely don’t pass as bimbo, either. I’m at the comfortable “tomboy” middleground.

    I’m glad you haven’t had a stalker, or experienced cat-calling, or found people interrupting, talking over, and ignoring you, or found yourself passed over for promotion for a less qualified man, or been harassed, or slut-shamed, or raped, or killed.

    Haven’t had cat-calling no. I interrupt people. I always did. Because it’s the only way I could ever place a damn word. But some people are more skilled at it than me (interrupt then verbal diarrhea so you don’t even have an opening to interrupt). All the ones I knew were women. Unstoppable deluges of words. Interrupting to speak is the style I experienced since I was a kid, and the style that’s dominant in the kind of culture I’m in. Don’t have it in you to interrupt, never get heard, people learn fast.

    Ignoring you happens to men more. You know how women above 50s don’t draw much attention and are ignored? Welcome to being a man of any age. You need to be exceptionally good looking to not be invisible as a man.

    Never had (or wanted) a promotion. Newsflash, not everyone WANTS to be the boss of someone else. Or the extra responsibility (and time at work) that come with higher positions. Some want leisure time (that would be me), others want childcare time. Even then, you assume this is a universal female experience, for women in the first world in 2014.

    Been harassed. Well yes, I was. Pre-transition, and during transition early on, when I didn’t pass. Since then, nope.

    Slut-shamed never happened to me, nope. I also don’t hang with the women who would care to do it (or anyone of any sex, for that matter), and I wouldn’t care if a stranger voiced that opinion (because trying to please every stranger you meet is beyond stupid).

    Rape happens to men also, about 40-45% of the time. Know what though? No one seems to care. No rape crisis centers for them. No police believing them. No reporting their perpetrator. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if therapists laughed at male victims who genuinely wanted help and compassion. At least if I get raped, something is more likely to happen about it. That’s a privilege right there.

    And killed. Well I got news for you. Men are killed 3-4x more than women. As a trans woman, my chances are higher (to be killed) than men, but only if it gets known.

    What’s interesting to me is that you believe your experience represents that of all women.

    Right back at you. If you’re not the most oppressed person on the planet, you don’t belong in club woman, no true Scotswoman? I only know TERFs that define womanhood by how oppressed it makes you.

    It sounds like you and Poetentiate are both saying the same thing: women are so lucky; they get doors held for them; they can have all the sex they want just by asking; etc. Which IS a little slice of heaven, if that happens to be exactly what you want out of life (as sounds like it might be the case for Schala). What’s obvious, though, is that you don’t care whether that’s what they want or not, and you show no awareness of the down side of their experience.

    Maybe you forgot higher compassion if poor, if a victim of pretty much anything, if homeless, and people being more sympathetic and desiring to help you, should you ask or even seem like you need the help. People are also generally nicer with me, and more friendly, way less suspicious of me (especially of my sexuality, as long as they don’t know I’m trans).

    You think I want doors to be opened and sex? I’ll be fine with having the better safety net and compassion. I don’t really want sex (pretty low libido), and I don’t care about selective (ie only for women) chivalry. The much much higher allowance on freedom of expression is also something I won’t spit on, even if I don’t really care about fashion.

    Male privilege sounds nice if you’re super ambitious and want to be taken seriously as a CEO or president. Or want a bouncer position where being intimidating is a plus (and maleness is intimidating more than femaleness). Otherwise, I prefer the quality of life, and not being assumed to be evil/predatory, or to have a silver spoon in my mouth, even when I might have.

  228. sheaf24 says

    Check your reading comprehension.

    Consider it checked.

    I said that it’s not a logical fallacy if “Hitler thinks you’re pretty good on the Jewish question.” You said that is still a logical fallacy and illustrated with a completely different hypothetical quote. Yet I already said that it makes an important difference what Hitler is agreeing with you about.

    For this very reason I used a hypothetical that is analogous as opposed to a vegetarian example which would not be analogous, since the key abut not being right in the jewish question is Hitler being absolutely terrible in this field, just as he was in deciding matters of state, as opposed to vegetarianism where he did not have this disqualifying factor.

    I will further note that you did not engage with my second practical example.

  229. Eagle35 says

    I just want to get in one last word after having read through the entire thread.

    You people hurtling insults and offense at Ally and others who dared to disagree with your absolutes? You’re cruel. Fucking cruel.

    Next time anyone tries to toss the dictionary definition of Feminism at me, I’ll just refer to all your insults and offense in this very thread as another perfect example as to why I don’t support feminism one hundred percent.

    Actually, to be honest, after this thread I’m very close to turning full anti-feminist and even closer to declaring every feminist mentally ill.

    Luckily for you, I won’t. I’m above that.

    However, after Boko Haram, Elliot Rodgers and every other attempt to turn everything that happens to both genders into about women being the bigger victims, this has tested my patience.

    At least misogynists are honest about their bigotry and don’t lure people with false senses of trust and acknowledgement before sticking the knife in your chest.

    Yeah, “Feminism is for everybody”.

    Should be “Only for people willing to walk in lockstep”

    I’m done.

  230. Jacob Schmidt says

    You people hurtling insults and offense at Ally and others who dared to disagree with your absolutes? You’re cruel. Fucking cruel.

    I’m not seeing much objectionable material here, yet this claim has been proffered multiple times. I think the “you feminists are so mean” bit has gotten so common people are mistaking moderate* dispute for naked, cruel hostility without even thinking.

    *I’m not gonna say it’s all been gentle, but “fucking hostile” would be silly even as hyperbole.

  231. says

    I commend you for the article Ally, and I have shared it on my feed.

    I do think that people miss the implicit exclusion that you are underscoring. I think they are far too quick to think it doesn’t matter. To them I would say this: imagine – just for once – that someone at the UN got up, presented just a speech and then went on to add “boys and men” on the end. There would be an uproar.

    In the West, men are suffering disproportionately in all sorts of areas such as education, healthcare, DV awareness, military and selective service, disposability, workplace death/injury, and so on. The list is long. To suggest otherwise is to simply disregard all of the very clear research that is available. To put it another way, to suggest otherwise is to be a creationist.

    Perhaps if more people – such as the UN – would take the plight of men seriously, then articles such as Ally’s would be unnecessary. However, until that time, it is absolutely right to point out how wrong and discriminatory the pledge – in its current wording – really is.

    If our goal is human equality, then let’s make the movement about equality for everyone!

  232. Richard West says

    The real problem is that men like the author have absolutely no patience for problems that doesn’t affect them. They’re on board with anything as long as men are benefiting as much or more than anyone else, and anything that slightly excludes them is so atrocious, as though society isn’t already completely organized around men and their needs and preferences and insecurities. If it’s unfair that people think or talk exclusively about women for a few minutes on occasion (or a few words out of a speech), then it’s time to wean yourself off the bottle and start drinking out of a big boy cup and face the fact that, despite the culture you were raised in, you’re not the absolute center of the universe.

  233. Schala says

    as though society isn’t already completely organized around men and their needs and preferences and insecurities

    Maybe in Bizarro world, where having your fears, your desires, your needs, your emotions, and your freedom of expression, isn’t already curtailed by the dominant narrative and government. Because that’s where men are at.

    Nobody listens to men as men. Men as NFL quarterbacks, men as superheroes in movies, men as rich playboy billionaires, but men as men…nope. The moment men have a need, they forfeit the right to ask for it, because the gender role says they can’t ask for help. This is a catch 22 clause, built right in. Feature, not a bug.

  234. eilish says

    I’m not understanding why there can’t be a pledge against discrimination and violence against girls and women.
    Violence against men has to be eradicated first?

    Is that like when the women in Labour associations were told “we’ll fix men’s working conditions first, and then then we’ll sort out women’s”?

  235. says

    Ally, You always strike me as someone who claims his feminism is about equality for women and men AND you actually live up to that claim, rather than just giving it lip service. You are one of the few people that I read and when I disagree I feel that uneasy sense that it is more likely my own entrenched prejudices than yours (and that has happened several times now).

    On the back of that mini-eulogy I think it is somewhat sad the amount of stick you have received in these comments. If absolute straight-down-the-line even-handedness attracts so much pushback (asking for even-handedness by the UN ffs is parodied as ‘what about teh menz’) then it shows the scale of the problems society faces.

  236. mildlymagnificent says

    Lance Smith@ 251

    Perhaps if more people – such as the UN – would take the plight of men seriously …

    In relation to workplace injuries and fatalities –
    Firstly. The ILO was established in 1919 (part of the Treaty of Versailles) and was later reconstituted as a specialist arm of the UN in 1946.
    http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/history/lang–en/index.htm

    These are the “areas of improvement” listed in the Preamble. Note Numbers 3 & 5.

    1. Regulation of the hours of work including the establishment of a maximum working day and week;
    2. Regulation of labour supply, prevention of unemployment and provision of an adequate living wage;
    3. Protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment;
    4. Protection of children, young persons and women;
    5. Provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own;
    6. Recognition of the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value;
    7. Recognition of the principle of freedom of association;
    8. Organization of vocational and technical education, and other measures.

    The fact that many “advanced” industrial societies absolutely refuse to implement these pretty basic principles says nothing about the UN and quite a lot about those governments (and too many voters in some cases) of those countries.

    Secondly.Then we get to the truly “disposable” workers so many men complain of. The UN’s International Convention on migrant workers and their families was signed in 1990. If you look at the wiki page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Convention_on_the_Protection_of_the_Rights_of_All_Migrant_Workers_and_Members_of_Their_Families
    you should take especial note of which countries have and which haven’t ratified this one. Unsurprisingly, it looks very much as though it’s the countries that send, rather than those that employ, migrant workers who have signed or ratified any formal interest in their well-being. Their commitment is entirely dependent on the goodwill of the employing countries. Pretty unsatisfactory I would have thought.

    Thirdly.From the functions described in the constitution of the World Health Organisation

    (h) to promote, in co-operation with other specialized agencies where necessary, the prevention of accidental injuries;
    (i) to promote, in co-operation with other specialized agencies where necessary, the improvement of nutrition, housing, sanitation, recreation, economic or working conditions and other aspects of environmental hygiene;

    The UN’s done quite a lot for a very long time. Any worker in a Western/Anglophone country whose employment conditions are not up to scratch needs to look around a bit. Unions, safety inspectors from governments, shop stewards, designated safety officers, OHS policies and workplace notices. If any, maybe all, of these things are lacking in a workplace, then the worker/s need to contact or join (or form) their local branch of the relevant union, contact the health/safety/hygiene officials in local or regional governments, find out what the national or international standards are for the matters of concern. (You’d think that everybody would know that abattoir workers must wear steel mesh gloves when boning a carcase, and that crane drivers should be qualified, and that ladders and scaffolding should be adequately secured, but ignorance, stupidity and thoughtlessness are human qualities that seem infinite when you walk onto some business premises or operations.)

    And, nearly as important, find out what the workers’ compensation provisions are for the job and for various forms of injury and do something about improving them if they’re inadequate.

    The UN’s done its part. A lot of unions have done a lot of good work, but if people don’t join and/or refuse to support that work, it can’t translate into good outcomes in the workplace. Many governments have apparently good provisions in their legislation, but if they don’t provide adequate funding for relevant agencies to function effectively those provisions may as well never have been written. Nag your parliamentary representatives about funding.

  237. Ally Fogg says

    Jacob Schmidt

    I’m not seeing much objectionable material here,

    To be fair, neither am I. No complaints.

  238. Valhar20000 says

    I’ve read several articles by this same user, and honestly I’m getting tired of them. They all sound like thinly veiled MRA talking points[…]

    As a regular reader of “A Voice for Men”, I can vouch for the truth of this statement. If this blog post had been posted on AVFM and signed by one of the regular contributors, nobody there would have batted an eyelid. I am absolutely astonished that a blog post like this allowed to exist on Freethoughtblogs; I simply don’t know what to make of it.

    The comments to this post, on the other hand, do convey the sort of callous hateful bigotry that Freethoughtblogs has become well known for.

  239. Nathanael says

    Only a few commenters (sigh) identified the problem correctly. While all women are oppressed by the kyriarchy, so are nearly all men, and you really do have to treat the problems together, because the men are used as enforcement agents.

    Yes, you had to treat the problem of poor Southern whites at the same time as you treat the problem of Jim Crow laws. The oppression of poor Southern whites was used as part of a psychological scheme by the plantation owners to recruit them into supporting the oppression of the black population — you had to eliminate that recruitment in order to make any impact on removing the oppression of the black population. (Attempts were made to liberate the black population without dealing with this; that was Reconstruction. It failed.) The common enemy was the plantation owners, who sucessfully executed a divide-and-conquer strategy. Solidarity was the only counter-tactic.

    Similarly, masculinity enforcement for men is largely about making men into agents in a hierarchy, one which involves power over women. You have to cut that masculinity enforcement, that childhood training in which abusiveness is required to be considered “manly”, in order to permanently remove the oppression. Dozens of serious feminist theorists have explained this. And frankly, we’re slowly making some progress, generationally, at least in the US.

    (The common enemy in this case is a few, very powerful men. The only ones who actually benefit substantially from the kyriarchy. Yes, there are actual patriarchs in the patriarchy! Schala makes a key point here: “Male privilege sounds nice if you’re super ambitious and want to be taken seriously as a CEO or president.” [but not otherwise]. Society is not, in fact, organized around men. Society is organized around rich, powerful, upper-class men. If “white privilege” and “male privilege” are like crumbs, class privilege is monumentally enormous, like an all-you-can-eat feast… another topic for another day, though.)

    If you don’t fix the childhood masculinity training, and you try to get men to “help” women, you end up with Victorian paternalism (“We menfolk must protect the wimmin”) rather than feminism. And unfortunately it seems like that’s what this UN campaign is going for: Victorian paternalism. And that didn’t work out so great during the Victorian era, though I suppose you could argue that it was better than what preceded it.

    By contrast to the UN campaign itself (sigh), Emma Watson’s speech was excellent and I love it. Straight outta bell hooks (who I’m also a big fan of).

  240. eilish says

    noelplum99, the movement you’re thinking of might be socialism?
    Feminism is about addressing the problems women face.
    Why is this hard to understand?

  241. says

    Eilish @261

    I am assuming by your comment that this may well be your first foray on to the internet. Welcome aboard 🙂

    As you travel the online world you will find that many many people who adopt the label “feminist” and apply it to themselves see it as a (admittedly gendered) term that, for them, means a desire to deal with issues of equality across the genders regardless of who is getting a raw deal. For some of them, however, their feminism although defined in this way is somewhat like the Christmas carol “The holly and the ivy” which superficially appears to be about both – but the title is the last time you ever hear the “ivy” mentioned.

    I actually think the way you define feminism makes a lot more sense. However, as there are so many people who claim feminism is something other than that, something less gender specific, I suggest to you my point still stands.

  242. says

    The UN’s done its part.

    So does that mean we will get celebrities standing up and talking about these issues as they disproportionately impact men?? Can we expect that the twitterverse will go all nuts talking about men’s issues?

    Oh wait….probably not. Seriously, mildlymagnificent – you didn’t need to waste so many electrons typing about old edicts that have no bearing on today. When there is a special commission on the status of men, come and talk to me.

  243. says

    as though society isn’t already completely organized around men and their needs and preferences and insecurities.

    If that was ever the case, it certainly hasn’t been for 40+ years. I don’t know…perhaps it is all of those male birth control pills I ingest, but I think society is clearly gynocentric. The first time we ever read a story about the “men and children” killed (when women were killed as well), certainly come and talk to me. Or when men have parity with women in education, healthcare, DV awareness, military and selective service, disposability, workplace death/injury, and so on, you let me know. Before then, you’re living – as someone else put it – in an bizaro world.

    it’s time to wean yourself off the bottle and start drinking out of a big boy cup and face the fact that, despite the culture you were raised in, you’re not the absolute center of the universe.

    Ah yes, you can’t provide a sound, relevant argument so you resort of man shaming. Nice try buddy, but not all men hate themselves and a good number of men are man enough to fight for equality.

  244. says

    I’m not understanding why there can’t be a pledge against discrimination and violence against girls and women. Violence against men has to be eradicated first?

    Who said that? Certainly not the author. Go back and re-read.

    Hint: if our goal is an egalitarian society – which I think it is – then you can’t privilege women over men and you need to address ALL discrimination and gendered violence TOGETHER (not one or the other first).

  245. patriarchal landmine says

    par for the feminist course. women only care about their first world problems. the far more serious problems men face are not even acknowledged because they destroy the false narrative feminists are running wild with.

    feminists will spread the lie that it was legal to beat your wife, or that women were considered their husband’s property, because their only power is in playing the victim. feminists ignoring the truth about modern day male enslavement and disposability makes all women look like the narcissistic sociopaths they are.

    now, they gotta ratchet up the shrillness and desperation of their vitriol, in the hopes that we won’t notice that more and more men are standing up against them. men are the warriors of freedom, we are the ones who liberate the oppressed, and our homelands contain the largest amount of oppressed peoples now.

  246. A Hermit says

    The recruitment of child soldiers is not “almost entirely 100% male” according to that UN campaign be cause that UN campaign has gone out of its way to make it gender neutral, by redefining the word “soldier” to mean something that it doesn’t mean to anyone, anywhere, in any other context, thereby allowing them to worry about girls too.

    You’re being a little petty here aren’t you?

    Shouldn’t they worry about the girls too? They’re “recruited” to do the same things as the boys; work as porters, act as human shields, cannon fodder, suicide bombers…if anything the girls are more at risk since they are also more likely to be subject to sexual abuse and enslavement. it’s also often more difficult for those girls to be re-integrated into their home communities if they are lucky enough to get away since they are “tainted” by being raped…

    And what about my other point? Adults are also victimized by war; I don’t see anyone asking “what about the grown-ups” or saying they won’t support that campaign because it doesn’t specifically include adult victims of war…

  247. Ally Fogg says

    You’re being a little petty here aren’t you?

    I really don’t think so. If this was an isolated instance perhaps, but it is of a piece with wide-ranging and longstanding policies at UN bodies to refuse to acknowledge, far less challenge, male gender specific issues, of the types I laid out in the OP.

  248. piero says

    @Ally #162:

    Now you could argue (indeed you are doing) that saying I will make a cup of tea for everyone who is male does not preclude the possibility that I might also make a cup of tea for all those who are female.

    I reject this, it is wrong. Because if that had been my intention I would not have needed to add the qualifier.

    You are perfectly correct. Much of this thread seems to be devoted to questioning such a simple point. When we use English, operators and quantifiers do not have the same meaning they have in mathematics or logic:

    a. “I defend the rights of women”
    b. woman(X) –> defend(X)

    True, the mathematical formulation b. does allow for ~woman(X) –> defend (X), but that’s irrelevant to the way we attach meaning to English expressions. In fact, saying “I will make a cup of tea for everyone who is male and not for anyone who is female” would be justly considered redundant. In normal language, specification is understood to contain exclusion.

  249. says

    What makes Emma Watsons speech so despikable is that she dosnt ignore problems men face, she mentions them, including her dad and in the end it is only a stunt to give the false impression, that she cares for the problems faced by men as well and that her action will address those problems as well.

  250. says

    Great analyzed – thank you for that.

    In the german spoken area they made a fight of “Emma Watson against man man-hating”

    Regarding the origin statements of ‘Hermine’ the correct translation regarding this is, by the way in German:

    „Mir ist klar geworden, dass der Kampf für Frauenrechte allzu oft zu einem Synomyn für Männerhass geworden ist. Wenn ich eines sicher weiß, dann, dass das ein Ende haben muss.“

    What Watson mentions with #HeforShe is simply the content, that man have to fight for women rights and nothing else matter.

  251. Pitchguest says

    #219 Catrambi

    Wow. If “Pitchguest” ever defends you, you can now for absolute certain that you’ve fucked up.
    Pitchguest is the slymepitter who openly stated, in reference to Steubenville, that rape is not actually rape if the woman is unconscious. And also that if the victim of a crime is unconscious there is no actual victim, since you can’t remember what was done to you while you were unconscious.
    In other words, he’s exactly as intelligent as Cee-Lo Green. These are the readers you’ve asked for, and here they are to defend you. Have fun.

    In this thread, there’s been a lot of well-poisoning followed by more well-poisoning. Now it seems that it’s moved on to trying to guilt someone by association. First of all, Ally and me? Not the best of friends. In fact, his arguments lately have been daft and lacking in any fact-checking. His thread about Gamergate is insipid and his reasoning for thinking it’s based on misogyny is doubly so. Any respect I had for the man is mostly gone. Basically, the honeymoon is over (if any relationship we had was once keen). So you can quit it with the guilt trip because it’s not going to work. (Plus it’s a funny tactic for someone who claims to be a critical thinker.)

    Furthermore, this thing about drudging things up from the past and waving it in front of you like a sheet of blackmail is really unbecoming. Especially when the comment you’re trying to pin on me was retracted less than four hours later where I acknowledged it was a stupid thing to say. In fact, even after said acknowledgement and I was still being raked over the coals for it – my cardinal sin, mea culpa – I let them have it. It was the only charitable thing to do. Even when they implied I would torch a homeless man lying on the street.

    However, when people bring it up – and they have now, from time to time – they always seem to conveniently omit that second part. They always seem to forget it exists. Funny that.

    Here. You can even read it for yourself. Make up your own minds.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2013/03/21/big-red-steubenville-whores/comment-page-1/#comment-78716

    #223 Ally Fogg

    FWIW i don’t need to visit the Slymepit to know that Pitchguest has repulsive opinions. He smears them all over this blog regularly, often while treating me to personal abuse.

    The repulsive opinion of expecting journalists to be actual journalists and not clickbait artists? What a cad I am. Just now you took what he/she said about me on faith. No research required. And personal abuse? Dry your eyes.

    To a regular Jack Parlabane, I don’t think I need to point out the problems with the cult-like statements persons like Catrambi and Masked Avenger have made in this comment section.

  252. Catrambi says

    273

    Dude, you “retracted” the statement because you said it was “a bad argument” and that is “sounded bad”. Not once did you acknowledge that you were actually wrong, and that your expressed opinions were horribly immoral. If you’re gonna lie about what you said, don’t link to the thread where you said it. That’s just bad strategy.

    It’s funny how little it takes to be called “cult-like” by an MRA. Just quote their own words back at them.

  253. Catrambi says

    “Not once did you acknowledge that you were actually wrong”

    * ..about the victim not being a victim. You did say you were wrong to make the argument. Just to be as clear as possible here.

    You know what? I have never ONCE said that a rape victim deserved to be raped, or that a rape victim is to blame for her/his own rape, or that a rape victim is more at fault than the rapist, or that a rape victim was not actually a victim – only to later realizing how stupid and immoral of a thing such a statement was. Neither has any of my friends.

    So what the fuck is wrong with you?

  254. piero says

    @Catrambi:

    SInce you followed the link to Pitchguest’s comment, it would not have been too taxing to quote in full, would it?

    And thinking about it now, it sounds worse than it did in my head so I’ll retract it. My mistake. It was a bad argument to make.

    He retracted it. How is that not admitting he was wrong? For the record, I have no idea who this Pitchfork guy is, and I’m replying strictly on the basis of what you and he wrote here.

    Also, the argument he originally made is quite obviously wrong in the case of rape, but not necessarily always. For example, say I have to undergo medical examinations that require anesthesia. While I’m unconscious, a nurse (male or female, it doesn’t really matter) fondles my genitals. When I wake up, I have no recall whatsoever. What damage has been done that we can call the nurse’s action immoral? It probably is, but it is not immediately obvious why. Remember that Peter Singer could not find anything wrong with bestiality, for example. Finding something shocking is not the same as finding a good argument to label it immoral.

  255. Catrambi says

    277

    I didn’t directly quote anything, so I can’t be accused of “not quoting in full”.

    Like I said in previous comments, PG only admitted that it was a bad argument and that it “sounded bad” – not that the actual opinion expressed was wrong and horrible. Now that I’ve said it twice, try to remember it.

    “What damage has been done that we can call the nurse’s action immoral? It probably is, but it is not immediately obvious why.”

    It’s immediately obvious to me and every decent person that your bodily autonomy has been violated. You’re a moron.

  256. piero says

    @catrambi:

    It’s immediately obvious to me and every decent person that your bodily autonomy has been violated. You’re a moron.

    Yes, I am a moron, I agree.

    Now for the immediately obvious: suppose the nurse in question knows how to go about it so as not to get caught. When I recover consciousness, I don’t feel my bodily autonomy has been violated. I just go home and that’s that. Unless the nurse confesses, I’ll never know what happened.

    Now we have a peculiar situation: if I am made aware of what the nurse did, my wellbeing will suffer, because I will feel that my bodily autonomy has indeed been violated, whereas I had no such feeling before. Suppose you are a friend of mine (let’s suspend disbelief for the sake of the argument here) who actually saw the nurse fondling me. What do you do?

    a. You keep quiet. After all, to me it’s just as if it didn’t happen. What’s the point of making me fell angry and violated?
    b. You tell me exactly what happened, because I have to know and because I, as the victim, should decide what course of action to follow. I feel angry and violated.
    c. You don’t tell me, but complain to the hospital authorities, running the risk I might become aware of my predicament through the ensuing scandal.
    d. You don’t tell me, but tell the nurse that you saw what he/she did and what you think about it.

  257. piero says

    @catrambi:

    Oh, and you should do something about that ableism of yours. Using “moron” as a term of abuse is not really fostering social justice, is it?

  258. Pitchguest says

    Catrambi

    Wish I had an edit button for the unexplainable grammar errors, but whatever.

    I wish you knew how words worked. That would make this a whole lot easier.

    Allow me to quote another comment of mine from that thread:

    Leni – Charitable! You need to be more charitable! *snark*

    Look, I get it. I totally do, and you know what? You’re right. Absolutely. And I was wrong. I shouldn’t have said it, I did say it, it was a mistake, I regret it, but it’s there now and I can’t change it. I own up to it. You know how sometimes you get thoughts that sound reasonable in your head but completely daft when you say it out loud? That was one of those times and I’m sorry. I really am.

    Your excessive strawmanning about me torching a homeless man and other stuff is ridiculous and would make most people defensive and hunker down, but you know what? I’m going to give you that one, leni. Charitable.

    Now, I don’t know if you saw that so I’ll mark it for emphasis.

    Look, I get it. I totally do, and you know what? You’re right. Absolutely. And I was wrong.

    And once more, with feeling.

    I was wrong.

    See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now are you finished with your infantile game of semantics?

    You know what? I have never ONCE said that a rape victim deserved to be raped, or that a rape victim is to blame for her/his own rape, or that a rape victim is more at fault than the rapist, or that a rape victim was not actually a victim – only to later realizing how stupid and immoral of a thing such a statement was. Neither has any of my friends.

    Have you not? Good. Neither have I. I’m glad we agree on something.

    It’s funny how little it takes to be called “cult-like” by an MRA. Just quote their own words back at them.

    It’s funny how little it takes for an SJW to call someone they disagree with an MRA. I can’t for the life of me remember how many times I’ve explained to you people that I’m not an MRA, have never been an MRA and in all likelihood will never become an MRA, but each time it falls on deaf ears. I’ve lost count. Get it through your thick skulls: I am not an MRA. You halfwitted ignoramuses.

    This is why I call you cult-like. The need to judge. The knee-jerk responses. How scepticism for something that you feel is the truth (rape culture, patriarchy) is sinful. Oh, I question the idea of rape culture and patriarchy therefore I absolutely must be derailing. Therefore I absolutely must be a misogynist. Nevermind that I never once brought these up in this thread but Masked Avenger. Nevermind that the one who brought up something I said a year ago, in March, was you, Catrambi, not me, thus you two were the ones derailing. I stayed on topic. This habit of referring to me as a Slymepitter to boot is reminiscient of the church referring to an unbeliever. What’s next? Am I to be shunned? Excommunicated? If you wished to disprove your cult-like, religious-esque tendencies, you’re doing it wrong.

  259. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @ MildlyMagnificent 256

    But the point is that the UN doesn’t take men’s problems seriously as men’s problems.

    I mean, it seems fairly obvious to me that this is part and parcel of a fundamental feminist point that man and human are sometimes taken to be synonymous. The point that issues that primarily effect men are seen as people’s issues rather than men’s issues is directly linked to the fact that men are often seen as the default gender and the fact that in other the formulation “person = man” harms women seems, to me, to back up Ally’s point that often the best way to deal with many problems is to focus on the harm done to both genders.

    If we take that list of points and add the qualifiers that Ally originally objected to but in the opposite direction we’d get something like this:

    1. Regulation of the hours of work including the establishment of a maximum working day and week for men and boys
    2. Regulation of labour supply, prevention of unemployment and provision of an adequate living wage for men and boys
    3. Protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment for men and boys
    4. Protection of children, young persons and men
    5. Provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own for men and boys

    etc.

    And I’m pretty certain that if people were asked to sign up for such a programme after listening to a speech that pointed out that work-place issues weren’t just men’s issues but were everyone’s issues they might feel a little nonplussed to see the qualifications and, to be honest, I kind of feel like anyone who claims otherwise is disingenuous or has, to my mind, fairly warped views about how to go about creating a better world.

  260. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @ MildlyMagnificent (256)

    But the point is that the UN doesn’t take men’s problems seriously as men’s problems.

    I mean, it seems fairly obvious to me that this is part and parcel of a fundamental feminist point that man and human are sometimes taken to be synonymous. The point that issues that primarily effect men are seen as people’s issues rather than men’s issues is directly linked to the fact that men are often seen as the default gender and the fact that in other the formulation “person = man” harms women seems, to me, to back up Ally’s point that often the best way to deal with many problems is to focus on the harm done to both genders.

    If we take that list of points and add the qualifiers that Ally originally objected to but in the opposite direction we’d get something like this:

    1. Regulation of the hours of work including the establishment of a maximum working day and week for men and boys
    2. Regulation of labour supply, prevention of unemployment and provision of an adequate living wage for men and boys
    3. Protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment for men and boys
    4. Protection of children, young persons and men
    5. Provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own for men and boys

    etc.

    And I’m pretty certain that if people were asked to sign up for such a programme after listening to a speech that pointed out that work-place issues weren’t just men’s issues but were everyone’s issues they might feel a little nonplussed to see the qualifications and, to be honest, I kind of feel like anyone who claims otherwise is disingenuous or has, to my mind, fairly warped views about how to go about creating a better world.

  261. H. E. Pennypacker says

    That should have been “…the default gender and the fact that in other situations the formulation…”

  262. eilish says

    Lance@265
    “Go back and re-read”?
    I asked two questions, which you didn’t answer.

    Like Noelplum, you have your own definition of “feminism” and “egalitarian”.

    It is seriously disturbing that Mr.Fogg encourages MRAs and anti-feminists to congregate here.

  263. mildlymagnificent says

    H E Pennypacker@283

    I don’t understand why you’d think it was necessary to emphasise that these things, in this case industrial safety and working conditions, should be repeatedly related to a person’s sex or gender in perpetuity.

    I was very pleased to be able to organise my own financial affairs without a man’s signature to authorise or guarantee a transaction or a loan way back when the law (and bank and finance company policies) eventually allowed such radical things in the 70s. But I see no reason why any proposed policy or law enforcement action in relation to secret commissions, predatory lending, corruption or other money shenanigans should refer to protecting me from such things as a woman. It’s perfectly adequate, in fact it’s proper, to simply protect everyone who might be affected regardless of gender/ race/ age/ marital status/ sexual preference/ disability.

    Same thing goes for industrial working conditions. There’s no need for policy at the level of UN treaties to go any further than its commitments to equal pay and opportunity for me as a woman. They wouldn’t have needed to do even that much if things had been on an equal footing in the first place. Now that the general provision is there with its men-only wording modified to be more inclusive, it’s up to individual countries and industries to implement them. The fact that industrial buildings are falling down on workers’ heads, badly run mines collapse, or workers die from falls on construction sites, or pregnant women miscarry or their children are born damaged because of industrial chemicals, or men are made infertile is down to the (lack of) necessary regulations or their enforcement in the relevant regions and industries. Not the UN. Nor to the gendered, or gender-neutral words of any UN/ ILO/ WHO ruling or treaty or policy.

    If things aren’t going right where you or I live or work, it’s up to us to involve unions or politicians or whoever to do what we can, when we can, where we are to make things better.

  264. says

    You are right, there is a regretable flaw at the end. But she has the great excuse that women are the main ones to suffer from man’s violence.
    Actually, the greatest flaw is that she did not emphasize the fact that all violence is caused by violence upon the child, which teaches them THE LAW OF THE STRONGEST that is the most often man’s law.

  265. Catrambi says

    Ah, MRAs pretending to care about ableism, and accusing opponents of not knowing “how words work” – i.e. the final destination of all MRA arguments. It usually takes longer to get to this dead end, but here we are.

  266. Catrambi says

    Oh, and the third component: desperately trying to figure out a wild hypothetical scenario in which rape is ok. So precidtable, dudebros.

  267. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @ MM 286

    Sorry, maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough. Having re-read my post I can see that what I said could be read in other ways.

    I’m not arguing in favour of industrial safety initiatives that are only concerned with men. I’m arguing in favour of initiatives that take both genders into account although obviously there should be place within these initiatives for campaigns based on problems that are more gender-specific. My point is that there are lots of initiatives to help women and relatively few to help men. I was trying to put across the point that this isn’t because of some sort of anti-male agenda but because of a system where men are often seen as the default; women need specific provision because they’re different but men don’t because things that are for people in general are for men because they are the default type of person. I was trying to point out that although (as feminists have long pointed out) this assumption has hurt women in other circumstances it can also hurt men. Now, it’s a difficult question the extent to which we should separate our efforts by gender when we try to combat issues such as violence, work, family etc. but I think it’s safe to say that the current system at the UN seems to have a particular blind-spot when it comes to issues which primarily effect men as men.

  268. JT says

    @281

    Im not too sure what the beef is about but I must admit I like that response. I wait with baited breath for the response. Lol. Gulp, as I drink my beer. 🙂

  269. Schala says

    And finally, MRAs pretending not to be MRAs. Full circle!

    Feminism = someone who identifies as feminist.

    MRA = someone who identifies as MRA.

    Nothing disqualifies anyone from either. You might personally think they’re no-true-scotsmen/scotswomen, but you’re using the fallacy of that name if you do. TERFs are feminists. Christina Hoff Sommers is a feminist. And too bad, but Michael Kimmel doesn’t identify as a MRA, so he doesn’t pass the muster.

    You can’t “accuse” someone from being a MRA, or a feminist, unless they identify that way.

  270. mildlymagnificent says

    H E Pennypacker@282

    I’m arguing in favour of initiatives that take both genders into account although obviously there should be place within these initiatives for campaigns based on problems that are more gender-specific. My point is that there are lots of initiatives to help women and relatively few to help men.

    Sorry. I haven’t been ignoring this. I’ve been wracking my brains to think of things that this might apply to – and I can’t really come up with anything that makes any sense.

    Health. I did think about the common argument advanced by a lot of men about breast versus prostate cancer public health/screening campaigns. I checked the WHO website on cancer screening – and they recommend population screening for very few cancers. Breast, cervix, colorectal, oral. And that’s it. As I understand it, the medical professionals are still unconvinced of the benefits of screening for prostate cancer. So that one’s off the table. (And I think they’re right on that. If breast screening comes up with a false positive, a woman might be upset that she’s had to have a biopsy or a lumpectomy and finishes up with a scar for no good reason. A man who had surgery for a non-existent prostate cancer – which is much more likely considering the unreliability of the tests – will be much more adversely affected if he finishes up impotent or incontinent, or both, for the remaining 20 or 30, or even 40, years of his life for no offsetting benefit at all.)
    Circumcision. Basically the WHO ducks this issue for men. If they didn’t have a specific policy that properly conducted sterile surgical circumcision is recommended for men in areas where there’s a high incidence of heterosexually transmitted HIV-AIDS, I doubt they’d have an explicit policy at all. It would all be subsumed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Both of them allow a lot of latitude for parents to teach and induct children into their religion and culture. Seeing as circumcision is practiced by people of both Jewish and Muslim faith, I doubt it’s going to be dealt with at this level at all. At least not in my lifetime.

    Marriage. The only issue I can think of here that might be of interest to the UN would be in the areas of forced marriages and maybe dowry versus bride price. Even then, I can’t see the UN saying we should eliminate bride price because it’s too demanding of men and their families without saying much the same thing about dowries and their effect on women and their families. More, in fact. Dowry is one of the reasons (far too many reasons) for female infanticide and sex selective abortion.

    Employment and related matters. The ILO seems to have this covered.

    Disability. The UN did a lot of preparatory lead up to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that they finalised a few years ago. I don’t see any gender issues in this area.

    War and armed services. I’d say war and conflict affect men and women differently depending on which country they’re in. Small countries that are overrun by conflicts that involve other countries will have women & girls equally, if not more, affected by that conflict than men and boys of that country. The countries from which armed forces are _sent_ may have few or no casualties among their civilian populations. Even if women are included in those armed forces, many more men will be wounded or killed than women.

    But I’m not sure what more the UN can do or say about this on a gender or any other basis. They have conventions about how POWs are to be treated, about what does and doesn’t count as a war crime or genocide, about the status and treatment of non-combatants and refugees, about forced conscription of non-adults, about the treatment of medical and other humanitarian services in locations where there is conflict. I’d think they’d see most benefit from people staying with diplomacy rather than warfare. They’re realistic enough to acknowledge that people will fight and it’s preferable if they restrain themselves from the very worst things that people are known to do when fighting. But people bomb refugee shelters and hospitals anyway.

    And I’m still all at sea after all that thinking out loud. (Well, through my keyboard at least.) Can you think of any examples that are men-specific that would be appropriately dealt with by a convention, declaration or treaty at UN level?

  271. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @ MM 296

    Just to take some examples of Ally’s post and applying them to the idea you’re supporting – that we should have specific initiatives for women but none for men.

    So you think that the UN should have an initiative to end mass rape and one to end mass rape of women, because it seems to me that there might well be situations where the motivations on the part of perpetrators differ by gender and that the effects experienced might well differ by gender too. It makes sense to me to have one campaign with space with in it for a more gendered approach.

    We should have a campaign for prison reform and a campaign for women’s prison reform? I think we should have one campaign with space within it to address different problems faced by different genders.

    Try to stop the harm caused by groups like Boko Haram and try to stop the harm they cause to girls?

    Why, when we take into account the fact that Boko Haram are abducting girls for ideological reasons (to control their behaviour etc.) can’t we take into account the fact that they are probably killing boys to make it easier for them to extend their influence by obtaining a greater monopoly on organised violence. These two issues are linked and should be tackled together but there’s clearly space for thinking about this from a gendered angle.

    Actually, just mentioning the boys who were killed would be a start. I certainly didn’t see hundreds of posts about it in my facebook feed like I did with the abducted girls. I don’t remember there being countless articles in the Grauniad about it. But this is all part and parcel of men being perceived as the default gender. When something happens to men or boys it is seen as happening to “people”, when it happens to women or girls it is seen for what it is. People read something like “100 civilians were killed yesterday including up to 40 women and children” and don’t bat an eyelid.

    What is so hard about admitting that in some situations men might be adversely effected because of their gender?

  272. mildlymagnificent says

    … the idea you’re supporting – that we should have specific initiatives for women but none for men.

    The idea that I’m supporting?

    I’m not supporting anything. I’m just having a hard time thinking of what topics UN/ WHO/ ILO or any other international treaty type organisation might use as specific initiative/s that would meet your criteria.

  273. H. E. Pennypacker says

    @MM

    Well just for starters I’ll take the first item on the list I just gave which I borrowed from Ally’s OP. I’m just taking this as an example and I’m sure the same thought process could be applied to many, many different areas.

    When it comes to mass rape campaigns it seems perfectly reasonable to me to have an initiative that specifically focused on men because I suspect the emotional and social issues they face are quite different to those faced by women in the same situation. The men might, on average, find it harder to talk about there experiences, to ask for help dealing with them, or might be more likely to be shunned by their communities as no longer being men. This is not to say that their problems will be any worse than women’s but that they will be different and might well benefit from a campaign focused on men.

  274. says

    Mildly Magnificent @ 218 “Are you seriously arguing that only women can care for and all women should want to care for infants?”
    Nope – not what I said – I said that Feminists only supported fathers having more paternity leave because it suited the feminist priority of getting women more focssed on their carreers rather than motherhood. You attribute this support to noble motives – I have observed feminists and their behaviour for far too long than to put it down to anything other than the gynocentricism that feminism is based on.
    If feminists were sincere about improving family life and the lot of fathrs they would be supporting the cause of F4J and similar groups instead of taking part in plots to undermine them.

  275. mildlymagnificent says

    I have observed feminists and their behaviour for far too long than to put it down to anything other than the gynocentricism that feminism is based on.
    If feminists were sincere about improving family life and the lot of fathrs they would be supporting the cause of F4J and similar groups instead of taking part in plots to undermine them.

    I suspect I’ve known more feminists than you. Most of them are a lot like me. Many have marriages/partnerships. Most of them have kids. (When you add in all those who have stepkids and/or extended family responsibilities, practically all of them have/had kids as part of their lives.) Their families are happy enough – certainly at least as happy as other families where no one claims openly to be a feminist.

    I’ve also dealt with a lot of families of school aged children that we tutored. Everything from good stable families doing their best for their struggling kids through to coping with children in the midst of awful traumatic stuff with their parents splitting up or dying. Some families were already split and the parents seemed to manage the routines of schooling and tuition without too much difficulty. Then we get all the way to parents and step-parents and grandparents trying to protect children from a ghastly non-custodial parent – a couple of those were drug-addled, potty-mouthed mothers, a few others were spiteful or violent fathers. None of these difficulties had any link that I could discern to any parent’s stated views on feminism. Though seeing as they were keen on their daughters doing well at school I presume they were interested in at least a few feminist principles.

    And I’ve not detected any hint of anyone “plotting” against anyone or anything. The only generalised issue I can recall would have been about child support not being paid – but that wasn’t about the courts or the system, that was about scummy individuals avoiding their responsibilities.

    As for the parental leave issue, I would have thought men interested in caring for their children would be pretty keen. (Not necessarily as super keen as my husband would have been.) Establishing and maintaining a close relationship with their children is important to all parents. I’d think anything that makes it easier would be attractive to most families.

    The biggest, overriding issue is families being able to organise the best possible arrangements for fitting the care of infants in with their life circumstances at the time. And it’s good for everyone in the family if it can be done with the least possible fuss and bother. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/nov/18/swedish-latte-pappa-shared-childcare

  276. says

    So we are not in fact being invited to stand up for all human rights, to take a stand against all forms of violence and discrimination. We are explicitly not standing as one against all forms of gender discrimination and violence. The pledge could have stopped at the 30th word, but those final five entirely changed the meaning.

    No, they didn’t change the meaning at all. That’s like saying (as many white racists have said) that MLK’s campaign for racial equality for all is “betrayed” by his focus on discrimination against black people. It’s a lazy, cowardly dodge when they said it, and it’s no better when you say it — especially when you say it after unequivocally admitting that Watson was dead right about everything else.

    You just flushed your own credibility down the toilet. I was already done with your Slymepitter commentariat, Ally, and now I’m just about done with you.

  277. Archy says

    Did MLK campaign imply it’d campaign for the other group’s rights? Not that you can compare racial issues with gender issues since they’re extremely different.

  278. TamKort says

    i don’t understand the outrage, here. It’s called heforshe, why do think it’s so dishonest to ask you to pledge support for women, and more over, why won’t you support women in the first place? Men are well represented in nearly all walks of life, we don’t need to also dominate feminism just because it helps us out, too. Supporting women IS supporting men, and it works better if you cann swallow your pride long enough to realize that representation is not your problem. Sign this petition, then go and fine one that supports men the same way if you feel so inclined, but don’t pretend heforshe is some kind of affront to men, and don’t call yourself a feminist if you can’t support women.

  279. says

    @TamKort: I like how you’re studiously ignoring the part where she initially portrayed the campaign as being about supporting men too, and, as usual for folks like you, are quite vague on how feminism allegedly helps men. Like I like to say, women have been able to wear pants for longer than I’ve been alive, but men still can’t wear dresses.

    Men are well represented in nearly all walks of life,

    Like nursing and education and high school/college graduates and acknowledgement as ape and abuse victims.

    Oh, wait.

    Well, men do make up most suicide and violence victims, so there’s that.

    Supporting women IS supporting men,

    Logically, then, supporting men would be supporting women. Except it’s kinda not. Weird how the false equivalence is only ever one way.

    and it works better if you cann swallow your pride long enough to realize that representation is not your problem.

    And there’s the shaming language. Also, assuming people criticizing this are all men. Sexist.

    Sign this petition, then go and fine one that supports men the same way if you feel so inclined, but don’t pretend heforshe is some kind of affront to men, and don’t call yourself a feminist if you can’t support women.

    False binary. The problem people are having is that the speech and H4S is being promoted as a gender neutral feminist initiative, but it’s actually about helping women. Just like the vast majority of feminist efforts.

    I like how you’re actively denying men – or, rather, strawmen – their opinions. Men who are affronted by this nonsense aren’t allowed to consider it an affront to men. Beautiful. Did you actually read Ally’s OP?

    My thoughts on the speech are recorded elsewhere.

  280. Tam Kort says

    SYABM, my sentences did not each occur in their own vacuum, and I’m not sure why it seems possible to twist them out of context while in the presence of their actual context. I didn’t ignore the support for men part; as you actually pointed out, I said–and I believe this is the water that E.W. is trying to lead you to–“Supporting women IS supporting men.” Equal opportunity, social capital, and representation provide mutual benefit to everyone, even those of us that lose some of our inflated privilege in the process.
    As for the rest of your garbage, you’re exemplifying my major point, which is, regardless of your feelings about men, “don’t call yourself a feminist if you can’t support women.” Not that I think there’s any real danger of you calling yourself a feminist.

  281. Tam Kort says

    Oh, and the thing about pants and dresses:

    Not only can men wear dresses, but male humans can–since their biological sex does not inherently dictate their social identity–identify themselves as women and then wear dresses or pants, if they so choose. Biological females can behave similarly. However, these actions of self-embodiment are much harder in the presence of those violently maintaining the hetero-normative status quo, even when that violence is something as intangible as hate-speech, or a quo-reinforcing statement, such as, “Like I like to say, women have been able to wear pants for longer than I’ve been alive, but men still can’t wear dresses.”

    Your ignorance and thoughtless dribble are directly contributing to the oppression of men and women, alike.

  282. says

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  283. TW says

    I know this is an old post, but I wanted to say: some people have mentioned that agreeing with Ally is like saying “I would support civil rights except it doesn’t say anything about those poor whites so I won’t.”

    And then we go back (my context is the USA) and look at the actual Civil Rights Movement, and find that the laws passed at that time (including those relating to gender) are much more like the statement that Ally wanted, the one that says, “Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of gender violence and discrimination.”

    You see, at that point in Left history, it was not the case that you earned rights by being sufficiently Oppressed. The concept of Privilege had not been invented yet (and yet, we managed to end Jim Crow segregation and bring millions and millions of women into universities and workplaces– and what have we accomplished since we adopted the new ways, please tell me?). In this time, you earned rights by being human, including the right not to be discriminated against. These rights were universal.

    Consider the 1964 Civil Rights Act: “It shall be unlawful for an employer to… discriminate against any individual… because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” It turns out that the hypothetical person who wanted whites to be protected from discrimination, too, WOULD have supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because it does just that. Since it has the force of law, there have indeed been lawsuits brought on behalf of victims of all races and genders, and many of them have won. The overwhelming majority of cases have involved women and people of color as plaintiffs, but that is only because that is the way almost all employment discrimination happens– but as society shifts and changes, the genius of this law is that it automatically adapts. Precious few women and people of color were in managerial positions at all in 1964, but now there are more (not enough, but more) and if they choose to discriminate, they automatically are at risk of a lawsuit.

    Moreover, there is nothing in the history of the Civil Rights Movement to suggest that this was a compromise with evil whites, at least on the part of the integrationist portion of the movement led by Dr. King. Martin Luther King, Jr., frequently spoke of the need to bring poor people together across the color line, and as many people know was organizing an integrated Poor People’s Movement at the time of his death. It is commonly said that the American mainstream “only pays attention to the parts of MLK’s legacy that they like,” but the parts they don’t like don’t concern themselves with race separation or the need for special laws protecting only the rights of blacks. No, MLK was a universalist. Not only in his famous I Have A Dream Speech (with blacks and whites sitting down at the “table of brotherhood” and the “sons of slaveowners” saying “Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last”), but also in many other speeches (like the one at Selma: “The southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow. And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide, he ate Jim Crow.” Woul Martin Luther King, Jr., himself, be called racist nowadays for saying that poor whites are also oppressed?)

    It is quite possible– perfect not being the enemy of the good, etc.– that MLK might have signed a pledge to end “discrimination against blacks.” But that is not the language he WROTE, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, one of his great achievements, does not contain that language either.

    There are people nowadays who call themselves Leftists who I have seen sometimes chafing at the boundaries of that old law, that tell them “no discrimination on the basis of sex.” It has even been called a “flaw” of the law, since after all it means that female, as well as male, employers cannot provide special clubs to only one sex. But it is not a flaw. It is how our Leftist forbears wanted it to be. And, in this case, it is good.

  284. HuckleAndLowly says

    It looks like this long comment thread has been resolved in Ally’s favour: the HeForShe campaign has changed its pledge to:
    “I will take action against gender bias, discrimination and violence to bring the benefits of equality to us all. ” see here

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