Dear Martin, a word to the wise


A former lads’ mag editor is advising feminism on its branding. A word to the wise may be required.

Psst, hey, Martin! A word in your shell-like over here.

I expect that by now, several hours after your Telegraph blog appeared, your ears will be burning at best if not (metaphorically) battered black and blue. It may be some time before you are ready to engage with constructive criticism, but here’s a friendly note and, to borrow from that classic historical text Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head, I’ll drop it in the basket, you can read it later.

I’m sure you knew there was a shitstorm heading your way and you knew why, but for the benefit of spectators let me spell it out. One of the primary objectives of feminism – perhaps THE primary objective of feminism – is to liberate women from men’s authority and control – not only formalised and structural authority but also the assumption of male authority and female subservience which comes from a few millennia of oppressive socialisation. Against that backdrop, even well meaning advice from a man on how to fix feminism and make it more effective is rarely well received. When the man is a northern hemisphere, middle aged, middle class, straight white man like you or me… well we can imagine. When that man is also formerly editor of the lads’ mag Loaded and you invite comparisons between that failed rag and the feminist movement… well actually no, I can’t even begin to imagine.

Now let me move on to this:

Feminism isn’t meant to be sexy, but as a word, it is instant intellectual brewer’s droop.

I really, really wish I didn’t feel like this. But as long as feminism is called feminism, a small, dark nugget of my soul will forever resist its message.

I hate to break it to you Martin, but a primary message of feminism is that the world does not (or should not) revolve around the sensitive fee-fees of middle aged, middle class, straight white men and our boners. Demanding – or even politely requesting – that feminism rebrand itself to become more palatable to men like you and me is deep, deep into the territory of waging war for peace or fucking for virginity. If you want feminism to become more palatable to swallow or an easier cloak to don, the only course of action is not to change feminism, but to change yourself.

Now, I must confess, your work over the past couple of years has been something of a revelation. While we don’t always agree, I’ve genuinely admired a lot of your articles and was really impressed with the documentary you made about the affects of widespread pornography on young men. Do you really need the comfort blanket of the feminist movement (whatever it might be called) to make the points you make? Would your work be any more convincing, any more effective? I don’t see it.

As I see it, men in the 21st century have an unprecedented opportunity. Over the past 100 years or so, feminist scholars and activists have lifted the lid on gender identities, shown how they are constructed and policed, demonstrated their role in propping up all manner of restrictive and oppressive power structures. This is a gift to the likes of you and me and anyone who cares about not just about women and girls, but also about boys and men. The toolbox that feminism developed is now open to everyone. We can use it to examine and challenge such issues as society’s suspicion of men as parents and carers and symbolic language which locates courage and strength in male genitalia.

Martin, you offer one of the few voices in the British media that is prepared to speak up for men and boys without getting lost down the rabbit-holes of anti-feminism and misogyny. It doesn’t matter whether you or I feel included by the ‘branding’ of feminism. It does matter that we are prepared to fight injustice and oppression, discrimination and hatred as and when it appears, irrespective who it is aimed at.

See you on the barricades, brother.

Ally

x

Comments

  1. mildlymagnificent says

    See you on the barricades, brother.

    Much more important to see you walk unimpeded, unremarked, totally ignored into a playground, a baby changing room or a playgroup.

    No women snatching their precious little ones away from the nasty menfolk. No men impugning the masculinity of caring male relatives. Just dads and mums, aunts and uncles, teachers and childminders looking after children in public.

  2. =8)-DX says

    Much more important to see you walk unimpeded, unremarked, totally ignored into a playground, a baby changing room or a playgroup.

    As a young parent and now at 30, I’ve never experienced any problem with that. But then I guess I live in a slightly different culture. Perhaps its something about how one expresses oneself in these settings (I have seen excessively loud, macho, aggressive or similar behaviour in communal childcaring places have that effect on other men =/ )

  3. JT says

    Interesting article with some interesting points. And the response you give is unequivocal……”Mind your place Martin, you are a “white male” after all”

  4. Carnation says

    @ JT

    You’re buying into a bullshit myth. Whilst school playgrounds are still the preserve of mothers in terms of collecting their kids, trust me when I say that fathers get admiring looks, and their wives pangs of jealousy, when they venture into the fray.

    The problem, which is overstated, exists via bureaucracy which is well meaning but restrictive. Remember the case of the female police officers being criminally vetted for collecting each others kids from school?

    If you want to apportion blame for this, the obvious culprit is the gutter press and it’s sensationalist pieced about child abuse – remember the NOTW and it’s borderline hysteria circa 2001/2?

    Im guessing you’ll blame this on feminism, but you’re very obviously wrong.

  5. David S says

    symbolic language which locates courage and strength in male genitalia.

    If we are going to start worrying about language that locates personal characteristics in bodily organs or tissues, then we have a bit of a backlog to work through. What about people who call us splenetic, or bilious, or sanguine, or cordial? And should we be more worried about those who locate our personality on our stars and tell us we are jovial, or mercurial, or saturnine?

    I doubt that symbols can be read as literally as you are suggesting. If I was told to grow a pair then I would be annoyed at the suggestion that boldness or courage were automatically good things. I have found that cowardice and hesitation are often the better option. But if you suggest that I should be worried about which bodily metaphor is used, well frankly that’s a load of old bollocks.

  6. JT says

    @Carnation

    Not sure if you knew this but I was a single dad with a daughter for several years. You may be surprised some of my experiences dont quite match your experiences. I dont blame feminism, per se, for anything. I do hold accountable quite a few of the idiots who identify as such.

  7. drken says

    There was a quote from Gloria Steinem a few years back when asked why don’t they change the name from “feminism” since people considered it synonymous with “man-hating”. She replied (paraphrasing here) “they would say it means ‘man-hating’ no matter what we call it”.

  8. Maria Hughes says

    Well done Ally.

    Of course, I had to read the original article – but I didn’t have to read below the line *shudder*.

  9. Carnation says

    @ JT

    I didn’t know that, and hope I didn’t come across too harshly but I stand by my points.

  10. JT says

    Carnation

    No sweat. Funny thing is, my 17yr. old daughter doesnt want to identify as a feminist either. And typically she sites the reasons Martin does. My daughter lives in a world where she encounters such extremism regularly and tells me about it often. She is blossoming into a fine young writer herself and I imagine she could probably give Ally a go already. 🙂

  11. says

    I love peas, they’re small and round and green.

    But peas is a homophone of a bodily function which makes me feel icky.

    I phoned a pea loving friend who said
    “why are you calling me! didn’t you get the letter from the court?”

    Apple invests millions to make their products desirable to people who are more interested in form rather than function.

    Oh why cant peas be called ipeas, I’d want some then.

    Stupid peas.

    I was an FHM reader 1991-2000ish as Loaded was a bit umm chav-y (sorry), so I’m not surprised.

  12. Ally Fogg says

    JT

    And the response you give is unequivocal……”Mind your place Martin, you are a “white male” after all”

    When it comes to telling women how to be feminists and how to ‘brand’ feminism, then yes, ‘mind your place’ is very much the correct advice.

    As is quite clear, there are many, many topics on which Martin Daubney’s views are valuable and welcome and I will look forward to reading them. He’s picked on just about the only one where his view (and mine) is pretty much irrelevant.

  13. JT says

    Well Ally, you have now made it abudantly clear men have no say in feminism, whether they are feminist or not. Alrighty then! Here’s to the equality movement we so hoped for.

  14. Paul says

    When it comes to telling women how to be feminists and how to ‘brand’ feminism, then yes, ‘mind your place’ is very much the correct advice.

    Fair enough Ally but men are still entitled to their opinions just as women are entitled to their opinions with regard to those men-for instance male victims of dv- who’re demanding to be treated equally with women. And if certain strands of the feminist movement -for instance rad fems- don’t take seriously the fact that some men can and do face discrimination on account of being male then they must expect to be challenged.

    I suppose what i’m saying is that i kind of agree with your above quote but it needed to be qualified.

  15. AnarchCassius says

    “As is quite clear, there are many, many topics on which Martin Daubney’s views are valuable and welcome and I will look forward to reading them. He’s picked on just about the only one where his view (and mine) is pretty much irrelevant.”

    Dismissing views based on the originator and not their merit is ad hominem, What’s relevant is feminism is loosing support, becoming more dogmatic and isolated and in some ways loosing ground.

    To liberate women from men’s authority and control, even assumptions of male authority and female subservience hardly translates to carte blanche to dismiss male opinions. Furthermore when so much of feminism insists it is THE movement for gender issues, including men’s, such a stance is purely hypocritical.

    Now Ally’s points are totally true, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. They won’t listen but it won’t be for the right reasons.

    Feminism doesn’t have to become more palatable but it’s its own loss if it does not. I don’t really agree with Martin because I think that as a word feminism holds power. There’s more to be gained by redeeming it than by starting from scratch but that means feminism calling out those lunatic voices giving it bad PR.

  16. 123454321 says

    “Much more important to see you walk unimpeded, unremarked, totally ignored into a playground, a baby changing room or a playgroup.”

    Or become even further evolved by remorselessly walking into the women’s toilets in pubs and nightclubs, or even (and this one is quite remarkable) being granted social acceptance to walk as a parent or teacher into school toilets of the opposite sex. Not as I’d personally want to do that, but hopefully you get my point about the shameless inappropriateness!

    These unimportant little things say a lot about current social construct you know.

  17. says

    “….well frankly that’s a load of old bollocks.”

    Most derogatory language favours the use of words which represent male genitalia, just as you did right there. I rate ‘grow a pair’ as being of a similar ilk to the likes of ‘man-up’ and man-flu’ verbal attacks. I usually tell the assailant in a jovially-spirited manner that they’re a silly cunt. They appear to respect me after that and, for some weird reason for which I can’t work out, tend to want to become my lifelong, tag-along friend all of a sudden.

  18. Archy says

    Is this an equality movement for all? or a movement for women’s issues and equality only? I think this is one of the biggest problems many have with the label of feminism, and branding. I so so so often see some feminists say it’s the former, and others say it’s the latter. If it’s the former, than a man’s opinion on branding is 100% valid, if it’s the latter than it’s up to women to define the movement.

  19. Jacob Schmidt says

    When it comes to telling women how to be feminists and how to ‘brand’ feminism, then yes, ‘mind your place’ is very much the correct advice.

    I have no problem with certain types of criticism, even related to branding; noting that certain feminist propositions are absolutely disgusting is occasionally in order, and men do say so fairly frequently (see anything PZ has written about TERFs).

    This particular bit of tripe is just whiny blather, though. He goes on about how the word “feminism” has accumulated certain connotations in men, does absolutely nothing to establish that said connotations are fair (in fact, he almost concedes that they aren’t), and based on that asserts that feminism needs to re-brand itself.

    There’s this empirical claim that I don’t buy in the slightest:

    Few other words in the English language instil such an immediate, powerful and usually negative response in men (and, interestingly, quite a lot of women) as the F-word.

    But why? “Racism” doesn’t automatically offend all whites. “Atheism” doesn’t get the goat of all Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists.

    Given the phrasing, he seems to think that the word “feminism” draws ire from all or most men, and certainly more than the word “racism” draws from whites. Setting aside the fact that “racism” is not comparable in use or function to the word “feminism” (the proper word would be “sexism”), I don’t accept the claim, at least not to any extent that’s meaningful. The word “racism,” when used to criticize white people, does draw plenty of irrational ire. Now, if there were a word comparable to “feminism” (i.e. a single word that loosely denotes ideologies that support social equality for racial minorities), I don’t doubt that the word would be viewed negatively. I don’t doubt people would bring up O.J. Simpson getting off on likely murder because the courts have policies to disallow racist processing. I don’t doubt people would bring up rioting in Ferguson. People do that now, and that’s without having a neat word to which they can tie all their distaste.

    Feminism is almost inherently counter cultural; by necessity, it’s going to be involved in some drag out, knock down fights; people and ideas are going to be criticized, strongly denounced, or outright hated, and it’s going to create some measure of schism. There’s no real way around that. Not only does he have no basis for the re-branding beyond “male tears,” his solution is stop gap at best.

  20. Carnation says

    The thing is, what is feminism?

    It can be a number of things. Somebody further up the thread wrote about it “loosing support”, citing no evidence.

    Online activism is, in the vast majority of cases, a ridiculous oxymoron. Feminism has it’s passive online “activists”, but the leg work has largely already been done, legislation passed, gender de-constructed and so on.

    So does feminism really need re-branded? It’s still widely studied, there’s no shortage of committed, dedicated and skilled actual activists and plenty of organisations.

    I’d say feminism is doing just fine. The Tweeters and bloggers who reside firmly in the cyberworld will continue to furiously type away and claim they’re activists but they know, deep down, that they aren’t. No more than I am by commenting on this blog.

  21. says

    “Well Ally, you have now made it abudantly clear men have no say in feminism,”

    But it doesn’t matter because Emma Watson says we can all get involved in order to make a difference for women and girls.

  22. Jacob Schmidt says

    Another amusing matter:

    And “Suffragette” – devolved from the Latin suffragium, “to vote” – has already proven we don’t need a woman-specific word.

    “female supporter of the cause of women’s voting rights,” 1906, from suffrage, with French fem. ending -ette, but not in the sense in which it was in vogue at the time.

    Though the UK is not bilingual like Canada, I find it funny he doesn’t notice the blatantly feminine suffix.

    Incidentally, we never did rename “loaded”. The magazine slowly withered on the vine, although its halcyon days are still remembered fondly by some.

    Will the same be said of feminism in ten years’ time?

    Feminism has been going strong for more than a century. One of the issues with renaming it is that it’s so large with such a long history that doing so is simply impractical. I don’t think it’s comparable to Loaded.

    On the other hand, he’s not demanding that feminists do the work of rebranding:

    So here is my challenge to the world’s top advertisers and creatives. Your job is to reposition feminism, and your target audience is men, including working class men who never go on Twitter or read the Guardian.

    Make us ache for feminism the way we crave an iPhone or the new Jag. Many men don’t know how much they need this in their lives, but the harmonious future of the human race depends on it.

    I think I half agree.

  23. says

    “The thing is, what is feminism?”

    Don’t you know? It’s a supremacy movement.

    “Somebody further up the thread wrote about it “loosing support”, citing no evidence.”

    You only need to read the comments sections on the internet to see evidence of that.

    Carnation, do you happen to make your money in a way that is somehow related to supporting feminist ideology? Just curious.

  24. Archy says

    “Poll: Few Identify As Feminists, But Most Believe In Equality Of Sexes” on Huffington Post.

    “According to the survey, just 20 percent of Americans — including 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men — consider themselves feminists. Another 8 percent consider themselves anti-feminists, while 63 percent said they are neither.

    Broken down by party, 32 percent of Democrats, 19 percent of independents and only 5 percent of Republicans said they are feminists.

    But asked if they believe that “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals,” 82 percent of the survey respondents said they did, and just 9 percent said they did not. Equal percentages of men and women said they agreed with that statement, along with 87 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans. ”

    Clearly the name has a major issue when most people adhere to the dictionary version but don’t identify with the label.

  25. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Eh, deluded fantasists consider feminism a supremacy movement.

    Nobody makes money simply supporting feminist ideology. And, of course, I don’t do it for money or indeed in any way .

    Please explain what you meant re toilets?

  26. JT says

    I’d say feminism is doing just fine.(Carnation)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QZ44fmMAxs

    If you think “All” feminism is doing fine read this response to the vid. In case you are wondering the author is a young, impressionable woman.

    The past few days, there has been one video cropping up all over my Facebook News Feed, Tumblr and Twitter feed. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been trying to avoid it. From what I’d seen just from the advertisements and captions, it was about young girls dropping the F-bomb in order to convey some sort of message about feminism. Having worked with kids on a regular basis, this concept made me highly uncomfortable. Seeing youth swear before they’ve even lost all their baby teeth isn’t something I will go out of my way to watch. But, despite all my unease, I watched the video anyway today. For those who have not seen it, click here.

    Instantly upon starting the video, I began to feel queasy. I watched as girls dressed in princess garb, some of whom could be no older than 11, were saying “fuck” as easily as they would say their mother’s name. The entire point of the video, which was to express strong opinions about feminism and the equality of women and girls, was completely lost on me as I struggled with the means of expression. These young, impressionable girls were spewing out hate and profanity, discussing messages that they probably haven’t even begun to grasp or mull over yet. Evidently, these words were forced into their mouths by someone much older who is aware of these topics. And it is this thought, among others, that makes me both frustrated and disgusted by the video. Although I believe in a lot of the messages the creators of the video were trying to pass across to the public, I think that their execution was despicable. Not only are they teaching these young girls that swearing is acceptable, but it is also showing them that the only way in which they can express themselves in an angry manner is through swearing. Yes, gender equality is an issue that people need to talk about, but it doesn’t need to be in this fashion. Rather than teaching women that the only way that their voice will be heard is through ignorant profanity, they should be teaching everyone to educate themselves, and to speak in a coherent manner that people will understand without losing the thought amidst the swearing. If we want to accomplish anything or have our voices heard, this is the only way that we will do it.

    Dear FCKH8, you should be ashamed.

  27. Jacob Schmidt says

    Not only are they teaching these young girls that swearing is acceptable, but it is also showing them that the only way in which they can express themselves in an angry manner is through swearing.

    Oh c’mon, JT. That pearl clutching is just silly.

    Now I hate kids in ads, just because kids are frequently terrible at acting. Do the same thing over as a cartoon, and I’d have no problem with it. Having kids swear (the horror!), then pressing the point of how messed up it is to be offended by swears but not by enforced gender roles is an entirely valid rhetorical tactic, as far as I’m concerned.

    At worst, it teaches kids that swearing and anger can be valid… and I really don’t think I need to explain why there’s nothing wrong with that.

  28. Holms says

    #5 David S
    If we are going to start worrying about language that locates personal characteristics in bodily organs or tissues, then we have a bit of a backlog to work through. What about people who call us splenetic, or bilious, or sanguine, or cordial? And should we be more worried about those who locate our personality on our stars and tell us we are jovial, or mercurial, or saturnine?

    A notable difference between your examples and the quoted ‘grow a pair’, is that your examples involve anatomy that is common to all humans – spleen, bile, blood, heart – as opposed to any subset of humans, as in the case of associating bravery with testicles.

    #14 Paul
    Fair enough Ally but men are still entitled to their opinions just as women are entitled to their opinions with regard to those men-for instance male victims of dv- who’re demanding to be treated equally with women. And if certain strands of the feminist movement -for instance rad fems- don’t take seriously the fact that some men can and do face discrimination on account of being male then they must expect to be challenged.

    I think it worth noting the ‘rad fems’ you identify there, i.e. the people inclined to scoff at even the possibility of male victims of domestic violence (btw hello, Lucy!), are fairly marginal to most feminst organisations, or at least, marginal to the feminists that FTB hosts and associates with.

    #16 1234..
    Or become even further evolved by remorselessly walking into the women’s toilets in pubs and nightclubs, or even (and this one is quite remarkable) being granted social acceptance to walk as a parent or teacher into school toilets of the opposite sex. Not as I’d personally want to do that, but hopefully you get my point about the shameless inappropriateness!

    If the toilet is designated as unisex, then go for it. If it is designated specifically female only, then no, you have no reasonable expectation to right of entry. Maybe try the men’s?

    And that right there is the difference between gender specific toilets, and changing rooms: the toilets are specified as catering to a particular gender, thus it is reasonable to assume only one gender can enter either; but the changing rooms are specified as catering to parents. It is the assumption that men can’t enter that space that betrays an obnoxious stereotype: that men aren’t cut out to be carers.

    Only the latter needs to be rectified; the former is just a matter of whether the venue has a space reserved for both genders combined a.k.a. unisex toilets, or one for each.

    #24 1234
    “The thing is, what is feminism?”
    Don’t you know? It’s a supremacy movement.

    *eyeroll*
    Of course, what your post demonstrates is that Lucy does not have a monopoly on ridiculous hyperbole cum outright dishonesty.

    @25 1234
    “What are you talking about? Toilets etc, I have lost you…”
    Pull your head up from down there then.

    In which childish insults are substituted for a requsted clarification of your argument. That’s about all we need to know of you.

    #29 JT
    Instantly upon starting the video, I began to feel queasy. I watched as girls dressed in princess garb, some of whom could be no older than 11, were saying “fuck” as easily as they would say their mother’s name.

    I for one think that fuck, shit, and various other similar words aren’t vulgar at all, but that the idea of vulgarity itself is passed down from largely english class separation, combined with the fact that the rich and the poor used to speak entirely separate languages. Even after the languages merged and were becoming recognisable to our modern english ears, the concept of vulgarity remained, and those words in particular became markers for low class.

    So yes, the point they were making is entirely apt: the objection to the word fuck is just a cultural holdover, and is trivial next to some real world bullshit.

    #32 sheaf24
    Schmidt,
    Can you please explain instances where ideological anger is productive?

    When it motivates a population to action. See: basically every civil rights advance ever. The trick is to moderate the anger away from violence while keeping the agitation for change.

  29. Bugmaster says

    Branding is not about “fee-fees”, or penises, or bravery, or selfless fights against oppression. It’s about numbers.

    If you want to grow your political organization, then you can either energize your base, or attempt to attract a broader audience.

    To energize your base, you identify some emotionally charged ideological issues and milk them for everything they’re worth. In the process, you will end up demonizing your political opponents, which actually works out in your favor, since it gives your base some external entity to rally against (and to blame when things go wrong). This strategy can be very effective — just look at the US Republican party, or on modern online social justice movements.

    If, on the other hand, you want to get broader support, then you need to rein in (or possibly even disavow) your most radical elements, and to pander to all kinds of moderates and undecideds out there. When this works out, you end up building a powerful, numerous coalition, sort of like what the Occupy movement was in the beginning. When the strategy fails, you get something like the US Democratic party, whose followers are by and large too confused and/or lethargic to accomplish anything.

    Feelings don’t enter into it. You look at your current numbers; you look at where you want the numbers to be; you assess the pool of available converts and the risks involved; and then you pick a strategy and execute it. That’s all.

  30. avern says

    Haha.

    I hope feminism never gets a shiny new rebranding because it doesn’t deserve one. I’m glad feminists are raging over any advice as to how to regain relevance and popularity and continue their accumulation of PR blunders. Women and-to my endless glee-gay men are turning away in droves. It’s an intellectually bankrupt ideology and it ought to fade into obscurity.

  31. David S says

    @Holms (33)

    A notable difference between your examples and the quoted ‘grow a pair’, is that your examples involve anatomy that is common to all humans – spleen, bile, blood, heart – as opposed to any subset of humans, as in the case of associating bravery with testicles

    Yes but people who use words like “splenetic” don’t genuinely associate bad temper with the spleen, any more than people who use “jovial” associate good temper with the planet Jupiter. Analysing words that way is an example of the etymological fallacy. Testicles get used in metaphors for both nonsense and bravery, but their use in that form does not imply that anyone literally associates those qualities with them, so its not obvious that there is any relevance to the fact that they are secondary sexual characteristics.

  32. Holms says

    #36 David S
    Yes, ‘jovial’ isn’t associated with Jupiter any more because the link has been forgotten. ‘Growing some balls’ and similar on the other hand are still associated with maleness, perhaps because it is more blatant than relatively obscure organs and latinised planetary names. That’s the commonly understood link with the phrase, and it is no use telling people to not worry about it or to overlook the link.

  33. 123454321 says

    “If the toilet is designated as unisex, then go for it.”

    I’m not talking about unisex toilets.

    “If it is designated specifically female only, then no, you have no reasonable expectation to right of entry. Maybe try the men’s?”

    I agree, and I would NEVER walk into a female toilet, despot the fact that you’d probably only catch someone combing their hair or washing their hands. Presumably you feel the same the other way around? The fact is that women should not be walking freely into male-designated toilets, just as they expect men not to walk into female-designated toilets. Why women think it’s ok to do this, especially in schools where there is an obvious risk that they’re going to be faced with a young male using the urinals, is beyond me. But then I am probably more dignified, decent and respectful in such circumstances. Are you?

    “I for one think that fuck, shit, and various other similar words aren’t vulgar at all”

    But these very words have evolved to depict vulgarity as part of the inbuilt connotation design. Most people, I think, would view an 11 year old spewing this type of language as uneducated, undignified, little vulgarians who need a lesson or two in communication etiquette. Yet I understand there is no hope!

  34. 123454321 says

    #35 I’m with you on that one, avern. I’m sick and tired of the man-hate which has built up over the last few decades along with the plethora of mens issues which persistently get ignored. Feminism is killing itself and becoming more and more irrelevant as the months go by.

  35. Jacob Schmidt says

    Yes but people who use words like “splenetic” don’t genuinely associate bad temper with the spleen, any more than people who use “jovial” associate good temper with the planet Jupiter. Analysing words that way is an example of the etymological fallacy.

    I’d find this far more convincing if the associations in question weren’t blatantly obvious; if “grow a pair” weren’t so often used in conjunction with “be a man,” “man up,” and similar; if strength and bravery weren’t consider typical of manly behaviour; and if biological determinism weren’t part of the common mindset.

    Feminism is killing itself and becoming more and more irrelevant as the months go by.

    Though such a refrain has been uttered nigh constantly for a century or more, it’s bound to be correct eventually.

  36. 123454321 says

    “Nobody makes money simply supporting feminist ideology.”

    Oh yes they do. For example, the entire entertainment and advertising industry has transitioned through an era of feminisation where public support/popularity/acceptance in pushing feminist propaganda and man-hate has created a rich economy within those domains. Even the government, on countless occasions, has tried to grab votes by pandering to the female audience whilst blatantly ignoring men (because they can get away with it). It’s been a money-making strategy that has been ‘in-your-face’ over the last few decades – a clear and obvious strategy designed to make money with the least effort. Plenty of people have made money out of supporting feminism but thankfully it looks like things are changing and I’m sure we’ll see some redirection in terms of where the effort gets aimed in the future (as feminism eventually becomes a dirty word) in order to make money out of some other ridiculous form of supremacy segregation.

  37. bruce bartup says

    Ally is correct in saying effectively, I think, that the label, broad definition and broader scope of the body of practice employed by members of movements within feminism taken as one whole gobbett called ‘feminism’ is not the province for authortitative or strong or unbalanced or unreconciled leadership or determination by men in general or by Great Whte Men individually in specific.

    We as allies must know our place. Our place is equal, related, committed and free. There are no slave feminist male allies, only volunteers.

    Therefore if we recieve intelligence from the front line that the word ‘feminism’ is a vote-loser, we have to pass it up the chain of command. And recieve what the bearers of such bad tidings usually get from general staff who are informed that their plan is ‘bollocks’. Did someone tell us that being an ally was a matter of being adored by crowds of maidens throwing flowers? I seem to remember being specifically warned about the risk of having roses shoved in our weapons.

    And if ever a man’s weapon was begging for a good floral thrust… I think the comments so far could result in bids to lengthen the list.

    More seriously, we do have to discuss the field tactics – we have to apply them. Personally I’m prepared to use more throwing and less thrusting where floral tributes are due to any man, ally or otherwise, who tries his level best. But then I’m not a maiden. Which might be part of thhe unique male ally role? The throwing I mean, and the man not maiden thing.

    Or do I need single-stem weaponisation?

  38. Thil says

    either he’s right and should be listened to regardless of his sex, or he’s not and we’re all free to ignore him. last time I checked we weren’t living in Martin’s reich

  39. Holms says

    #35 Avern
    Women and-to my endless glee-gay men are turning away in droves.

    Sure. Meanwhile, creationists insist the public – and even scientists! – are similarly abandoning secularism and evolution. Believe it if it comforts you, dude.

    #38 1234
    I agree, and I would NEVER walk into a female toilet, despot the fact that you’d probably only catch someone combing their hair or washing their hands. Presumably you feel the same the other way around?

    Of course.

    The fact is that women should not be walking freely into male-designated toilets, just as they expect men not to walk into female-designated toilets. Why women think it’s ok to do this, especially in schools where there is an obvious risk that they’re going to be faced with a young male using the urinals, is beyond me.

    I have yet to see any woman do this, ever. As far as I have ever seen, a parent with a child in public is much more likely to take that child into their own gendered toilets – mothers take daughters to the women’s, fathers take sons to the men’s – wherever possible. That’s how my friends with kids manage it anyway, and also what I typically see strangers do in public places. The only variation on this theme that I have seen is that mothers are much more likely to take young sons in to the women’s toilets than fathers taking daughters into the men’s. Most likely because of the urinal complication, as you mention.

    In other words, you really seem to be raging against a problem that is tiny, if it exists at all.

    But these very words have evolved to depict vulgarity as part of the inbuilt connotation design.

    This is but to say that the words are only considered vulgar because an old cultural hand-me-down, as I outlined.

    #41 1234
    Oh yes they do. For example, the entire entertainment and advertising industry has transitioned through an era of feminisation where public support/popularity/acceptance…

    You accidentally touch on why you are talking crap right there: cultural tastes are changing, just like the way they have done with e.g. race. I don’t see you rushing to characterise the increasing prevalence of say, positive portrayals of black people in movies as being a money-grubbing push to steal jobs from white actors, but that is directly analogous to what is happening with women in entertainment / advertising. There is nothing wrong with cultural mores changing over time.

    #42 Bruce “Purple Prose” Bartup
    Pretty sure Ally said it much more clearly than your, uh, attempt just then.

  40. Marduk says

    I agree, but its entirely out of nihilism.

    After years of reading, studying and educating myself about feminism its easier to be the person feminists hate than to be on their on their side. I don’t really cat-call, go to lap dances and sleep with trafficked prostitutes but its easier than condemning the same. You don’t get policed, questioned or abused for your failures at all. The tools of postmodernism in the hands of the Penny Dreadfull’s of this world have destroyed discourse. There is no point caring at this point, there is nothing to be said or done so what’s the point?

    I expect Valenti and Moore continue to play up. I don’t know, I read the Indy which just has news in it mostly. Might even vote UKIP by the end of all this, why not?

    Weird. I picked a different paper after 30 years and I’m instantly a better person for it.

    Bottom line Valenti and Moore: change the law, enforce the law and catch me breaking the law or STFU.

    The mad thing is this is “feminist victory” and shitlords like myself being driven off are a huge fucking win. I don’t understand how but hey, its none of my business.

  41. avern says

    Holms:

    “Sure. Meanwhile, creationists insist the public – and even scientists! – are similarly abandoning secularism and evolution. Believe it if it comforts you, dude.”

    LOL, what a weird and defensive comment. And it doesn’t even makes sense. I’m a gay man saying gay men are rejecting feminism. The equivalent would be creationists saying creationists are rejecting evolution which would be a wholly unremarkable statement.

    Anyway, you know who else is saying gay men are rejecting feminism? Feminists! There’s been a slew of articles by feminists that accuse gay men of being extremely misogynistic and unconcerned with women’s rights, the most recent example being Rose McGowan.

    I love it!

  42. mildlymagnificent says

    I’d find this far more convincing if the associations in question weren’t blatantly obvious; if “grow a pair” weren’t so often used in conjunction with “be a man,” “man up,” and similar; if strength and bravery weren’t consider typical of manly behaviour; and if biological determinism weren’t part of the common mindset.

    It’s all about that much-maligned term, gender policing.

    I know more men use it than women do, but I have heard it from women. The most common use I hear is from men urging other men to change their behaviour to demonstrate “manliness” – generally expected to be some version of strength, courage, violence or other “manly” behaviour. Often it’s about “protecting” women, most of whom would prefer some other behaviour, maybe not involving “protection” at all. (For too many people, that “protection” becomes more an expression of ownership or control of a woman rather than recognising her individual needs and preferences and acting to support those.)

    The problem with that (ab)use of language is that it appropriates a whole lot of admirable human qualities, bravery, honesty, persistence, steadfastness, as being male only and denying them to women. It also allows stubbornness, violence and argumentativeness to be included as worthy attributes when they’re clearly not a daily necessity for men or for women. And there are far too many men who absorb this particular – but vague – message and then get upset when they presume that women are asking them to volunteer to behave like this.

    Just look at the responses from men when women suggest they can help to deflect harassment on the street, public transport or in bars and pubs. “I don’t want to get into a fight!” they cry. Nobody asked them to. There are lots and lots of things people, both men and women, can do to deflect a harasser or to support a victim or to stop the harassment in its tracks – and none of them involve violence or even the threat of it. If men hadn’t become accustomed to the notion of physicality being required to deal with difficult or unpleasant situations, they’d be a lot better off.

    And they’d be a lot better off if other men, and women, stopped that particular form of gender policing.

  43. Carnation says

    @123454321

    Dude, seriously…

    Women walking into men’s toilets. This is angering you? Is this even a thing?

    I seriously wonder what societal sphere anti-feminists live in. It’s a bizarre, paranoid, delusional headspace.

  44. 123454321 says

    FFS Carnation and Holms, everyone who has lived a bit knows there are plenty more undignified and disrespectful women who choose to walk into mens/boys toilets than there are men who do so. These little things show how self-righteous and morally superior some women behave in circumstances where men demonstrate a far higher level of decency.

    If you state otherwise then you’re either deluded, never been out, or talking utter fanny-flaps.

  45. mildlymagnificent says

    Women walking into men’s toilets. This is angering you? Is this even a thing?

    Two instances I can think of.

    One. Teachers in schools are sometimes obliged to go into toilets for several reasons. Seeing as it’s entirely possible, given the gender imbalance in the profession, esp at the primary level, that the only available person is a woman, then that’s who will go in to sort out whatever shenanigans or disaster or illness is happening. There’s no alternative. (On that subject, are there any school teachers here who’ve discovered whatever the attraction might be for kids to saturate toilet paper and throw lumps of it upwards to stick on the ceiling? I even caught one silly kid doing it at my super special, nothing-like-a-school, tuition centre. I’m still mystified.)

    Two. At large events where the toilet provision is totally inadequate, or just inadequate for women, it’s not unknown for a dozen women in a queue of more – all with bursting bladders – to just say “Bugger it, I don’t care, I’ve got to go Now!” In fact, I was on just such a lengthy queue when some men invited a group of crossed-legs women to use their toilet because “there’s nobody in there just now.” My experience has been that most men agree with women about the problem and can’t understand why venues don’t provide enough women’s loos. They’ve seen the queues snaking around the showgrounds or the theatre foyer and presume that the people who run these places/ events know very well about the problem and don’t do anything to fix it.

  46. sonofrojblake says

    Just look at the responses from men when women suggest they can help to deflect harassment on the street, public transport or in bars and pubs. “I don’t want to get into a fight!” they cry. Nobody asked them to.

    Um… yes, they did. They didn’t know they did, because on this subject, women are clueless. Women have their experience of the world, and men have theirs, and they are different. And one of the ways they are different is in the imminence and open nature of the threat of violence. I’ve seen the video of the woman walking through Manhattan, and like many people, my main takeaway was that black people in the USA are horrible. (This is SARCASM).

    What struck me (pun) was that at no stage was she jostled, pushed or indeed physically contacted in any way by anyone. Ten hours in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, and despite her reason for being there – to document harassment – apparently not a single instance of physical contact whatsoever. My experiences of Manhattan included being pushed into the path of a moving vehicle by a woman who then berated ME for getting in her way as she walked. How dare I be standing on the pavement with my hands in my pockets looking into the middle distance, seemed to be her point. This is symptomatic of a state of affairs where hitting men is fine. It’s something you expect to happen, in broad daylight, in the street. It’s not surreptitious, hidden away or shameful. If you’re a man, you’re a potential target.

    I spent a good deal of my youth inside and outside pubs and nightclubs in the north of England. In about a decade, I saw precisely one woman get punched, and that was by another woman. I saw men get punched, on average, about twice a week. That said, I tended to avoid “rough” pubs. I had schoolmates whose idea of a good night out was ten pints, a curry, and a fight. And they didn’t mind who that fight was with – anyone passing in the street would do. No, hang on, that’s not right. Any MAN passing in the street would do.

    This is the atmosphere in which I grew up, in England in the 1980s and 1990s. An atmosphere where the threat of violence from other men on the street was real and imminent. I did quite well – I was only punched unconscious in the street twice. I never asked to be in a fight. I knew people who were stabbed, glassed or shot at (“only” with airguns, this is England).

    Thus, the concept of deliberately inviting this violence by confronting the sorts of people who engage in street harassment strikes me as so irresponsible as to be actually contemptibly stupid.

    There are lots and lots of things people, both men and women, can do to deflect a harasser or to support a victim or to stop the harassment in its tracks – and none of them involve violence or even the threat of it.

    If you ask me to “help deflect harassment”, you definitely are asking me to risk getting into a fight. This has NOTHING to do with my lack of education in methods of non-violent conflict resolution (which is 100% complete, thanks, British education system and society), and EVERYTHING to do with my judgement about the sorts of people who engage in street harassment, and their likely propensity to violence.

    And fuck you for judging me for not wanting to get into a fight on your behalf.

  47. sonofrojblake says

    are there any school teachers here who’ve discovered whatever the attraction might be for kids to saturate toilet paper and throw lumps of it upwards to stick on the ceiling?

    This is one of those questions where the answer is: if you have to ask the question, you wouldn’t understand the answer. It’s a bit like “Where do you get your ideas from?”. There’s an atavistic pleasure in taking materials with a certain societally pre-defined use, and repurposing them for the visceral pleasure one can get from throwing a wet object at a dry object and watching it (and, importantly, hearing it) stick. Some people don’t get that pleasure. Some people don’t jump in puddles. Diff’rent strokes.

  48. 123454321 says

    “One. Teachers in schools are sometimes obliged to go into toilets for several reasons. Seeing as it’s entirely possible, given the gender imbalance in the profession, esp at the primary level, that the only available person is a woman…”

    Respectfully, I don’t agree. There is always a man (or mature boy) available, it’s just that women aren’t morally obliged to look hard enough. And it’s not just teachers; it’s parents, too, for which this phenomenon exists. A male adult would ALWAYS feel obliged to go and find a female assistant. A Father would NEVER walk into a girls toilet. I think it’s down to the fact that men in those types of circumstances are more considerate and fundamentally more decent. It’s similar to why female doctors don’t require male attendants to be present when they’re doing an intimate examination or why female police could frisk men….but the other way around…..

    “Two. At large events where the toilet provision is totally inadequate, or just inadequate for women, it’s not unknown for a dozen women in a queue of more – all with bursting bladders – to just say “Bugger it, I don’t care, I’ve got to go Now!”

    Oh come off it, that’s just down to white knightism (or alcohol) where the male encouragers are concerned. And as for the women….well…that’s purely down to bad bladder management (similar to children) or, like I say, a complete lack of discretion when it comes to indignity – in their mind, well, they’re just men, so who cares, we can do what we like!

  49. SteveF says

    “A Father would NEVER walk into a girls toilet. I think it’s down to the fact that men in those types of circumstances are more considerate and fundamentally more decent.”

    I think it has more to do with the difference in magnitude of the social punishment. A man in a women’s bathroom is simply seen differently from a woman in the men’s bathroom, and that’s true even accounting for the pragmatic reasons mentioned above by MM in post #50.

    The reason I’d never go into a woman’s restroom is because I don’t want people to think I’m a rapist, pedophile, or other flavor of sexual deviant/predator, not because of my gender’s moral superiority.

  50. SteveF says

    I should clarify that I don’t actually think that any man who goes into the women’s restroom is a rapist/pedophile/sexual deviant. I’m merely alluding to the pervasive societal assumptions that, for instance, work to disincentivize men from teaching elementary school or teenage boys from babysitting.

  51. 123454321 says

    Spot on, SteveF, but don’t you think it’s thoroughly sad and offensive that men have been made to feel like rapists, perverts, pedophiles and sexual predators just because they might have to go and retrieve their daughter from a school toilet if they think she may require some sort of assistance? Or as per the other scenarios in pubs/clubs/venues etc. Women don’t appear to feel like this, which is a sad empirical reflection of segregation and social perception. Personally, I think feminism has fuelled the negative perception of men to a point that they’re frightened to even blink without fearing reprimand. And there’s no punishment worse than peer disapproval.

  52. Lance Smith says

    I think it really comes down to whether or not feminism is about equality for all or just about female [equality/supremacy]? If the former – as sold by Emma Watson – then it is absolutely and 100% acceptable for men to demand an equal seat at the table. On the other hand, if it just about women, then absolutely we need a new movement to address the disparities men face because feminism never will. I’m ok with either outcome as long as we have some honesty.

    One of the benefits of Emma Watson’s talk may be that plenty of feminists have come out of the woodwork to say the same thing as is said here (paraphrasing): the feminist movement isn’t about men so men need to shutup and accept the arguments of their overlords or go away.

    Sounds good! Let’s clear this up so we can get on in life and the men (and women) that care about true equality can move on to something better. Perhaps feminism really is just that broken and there is no fixing it.

  53. WhineyM says

    “This is a gift to the likes of you and me and anyone who cares about not just about women and girls, but also about boys and men.”

    No, sorry, not buying this. It’s a bit like arguing that going down to your local park and smearing yourself with dog poo is really good for you because it will boost your immune system. I mean, yes, perhaps technically there is a case to be made, but all in all – no.

  54. mildlymagnificent says

    Respectfully, I don’t agree. There is always a man (or mature boy) available,

    Really? I remember when my kids were at primary school. One year there were a whole two male teachers, one yr 5, one yr 7 – though there were occasionally visiting men teachers for music and a couple of other things. It would take just one of them being off on an excursion or sick/ at an appointment/ otherwise engaged to make it difficult or impossible to find the one and only man somewhere on the five acres of the premises to deal with an incident in the boys toilets. And a “mature boy”? I’m pretty sure that most schools have policies that prohibit deliberately choosing to put a student in danger of violence from other students. I’d never send a year 7 boy into a toilet block where it sounds as though one or more year 7s are beating the daylights out of other kids.

    Mayhem in the toilet block is one instance where the old idea that teachers have an “in loco parentis” responsibility comes very close to what’s actually needed. When it’s a matter of needing first aid attendance, whoever is nearest is the person with the responsibility. (Just a heads-up. Where I live, all teachers are fully qualified first aiders who have to renew their qualifications every 2 years in order to keep their registration as a teacher. Not at all like schools in other places where only a few (if any) teachers are designated as first aiders.)

    And as for the women….well…that’s purely down to bad bladder management …

    Bad bladder management? When interval during a play or an opera or other live entertainment is the only opportunity to visit the facilities, bladder “management” doesn’t come into it. The only limitation is the number of loos provided for known audience numbers and the full awareness that that’s what has to be provided for in a very short period of time.

    When it comes to other places, like fairgrounds, neither women nor men will walk away from an attraction while waiting for their kids to finish their turn on some ghastly head-spinning, stomach-churning device. They wait until the children return. And then they take the whole gaggle of family off to find the loos … where they find themselves joining a queue already a good dozen or more people long.

    I must say things have improved greatly in the last 15+ years or so. (Maybe it’s just the advantage of not tracking kids around any more.) I tend to attribute it to the proliferation of combined disabled/ baby changing loos which are apart from the sex separated loos for the general populace. It’s very rare to find a disabled toilet ~inside~ the women’s loos now. They’re only in some of the older buildings. If anyone’s in a hurry, or got 2 or 3 kids in tow, they’ll often use the disabled/baby change facility which shortens the waiting time in the women’s queue tremendously.

  55. Pitchguest says

    Psst. Ally. Come here. Listen, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to what feminists have been saying about feminism for the past few years, but in case you haven’t here’s a casual reminder:

    IT’S ABOUT EQUALITY.

    You got that? Good. And usually by equality one means to include *everyone*, women *and* men. Which come to think of it is actually one of their bullet points for what defines feminism. You shouldn’t call yourself an *egalitarian* or an *equalist*, oh no, that’s the route of a coward. You should always call yourself a feminist if you’re for equality of the sexes. So this kind of rhetoric that feminism isn’t for “middle-aged, middle-class, straight white men” is just widely contradictory. In fact, I keep asking what feminists have been doing to help men lately whenever they bring up that old canard that feminism is for men, too, but I never get an answer. Wonder why.

  56. Carnation says

    @123454321

    I spent half my teens and all of my 20s frequenting pubs, clubs, raves and many other venues. In that time, I have seen men (albeit in almost exclusively male frequented places) use the ladies, for expediency, comfort or speed, but have rarely seen women venture into mens. The few occasions I have, they’ve had male children with them.

    Why does this cause you such anger?

    It’s accepted SOP that the ladies is the bathroom of choice for those moments when lust can’t wait and a couple have to get it on. Does this annoy you?

    Likewise, when doing coke, the usually tidier and dryer confines of the ladies is the preferred bathroom of choice.

  57. mildlymagnificent says

    If you ask me to “help deflect harassment”, you definitely are asking me to risk getting into a fight. This has NOTHING to do with my lack of education in methods of non-violent conflict resolution (which is 100% complete, thanks, British education system and society), and EVERYTHING to do with my judgement about the sorts of people who engage in street harassment, and their likely propensity to violence.
    And fuck you for judging me for not wanting to get into a fight on your behalf.

    You’re the one who claims the experience and judgement to evaluate whether any given harasser or situation is likely to turn violent. So, that’s what you do. Assess the situation and make that judgement. If you reckon the risk to you and/or others is too high, you move down the options list. Not being able to defuse, deflect or distract a harasser doesn’t mean you can’t support the targeted victim. I’ll repeat what I said earlier …

    Nobody asked them to. There are lots and lots of things people, both men and women, can do to deflect a harasser or to support a victim or to stop the harassment in its tracks – and none of them involve violence or even the threat of it.

    I’ve bolded the important part for someone who judges active intervention as too dangerous. Supporting a victim might mean just a bit of eye contact signalling that you’re here and you know what’s going on and, if wanted, you can continue to hang around. Usually a little nod or a tentative smile or a confident headshake from the target will indicate your next action (or inaction). You might get a woman friend to help out. It’s sometimes a lot easier for a woman to loudly interrupt such a “conversation” by rushing in with wide open arms, a huge smile and a “Daaaaahling. We’ve been looking for you eeeeeverywhere. Come over here and join us.” while she links arms, turns and marches the target out of range than it is for a man to do that. Or you can give the barman or bouncer or floor manager a heads up about what’s going on. (If you think they’re a mob of imbeciles who’ll make more trouble rather than solve the problem, maybe send the venue an email the following day.)

    Often the best thing to do is to wait until one or the other of the parties involved goes to the loo. Once they’re separated, however briefly, is the moment to ask whether she wants help or to get out of the joint or … just to see a friendly face who acknowledges that she’s in a difficult spot. This is her chance to speak for herself about what she wants to happen. And if she wants you to fight tell her to get lost.

  58. Carnation says

    @ sonofrojblake

    I can relate to your experiences of male-on-male violence. You are obviously, and correctly, angry about this.

    What do you suggest is done about it?

    What is the anti-feminist movement(s) doing about it?

  59. 123454321 says

    Yes, Carnation, it’s about ethics, you’re right. But the code of ethics that women operate around is vastly different to those that men operate around. Women aren’t chastised or held to account as men are (whether it’s nipping into the opposite sex toilet or killing your child), and the varying perception others have of the genders means that women don’t suffer the social stigmas that men do. This ultimately skews the levels of acceptability based on what society considers is right and wrong depending on gender, which is archaic and plainly wrong.

    mm #59 – sorry, but you’re just making blah, blah, blah excuses for female-entitled indecency.

  60. mildlymagnificent says

    Likewise, when doing coke, the usually tidier and dryer confines of the ladies is the preferred bathroom of choice.

    Really? A friend of mine had a job for a while which included cleaning toilets in a couple of pubs. Her experience was that the women’s toilets were far more gross and filthy than the men’s.

  61. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Do you think that it’s an escalating scale?

    What can we do to nip this inthe bud?

    Do you think many people share your anger and concerns at ladies using the gents? I fear that even the most hardened and easily outraged MRAs (or even MHRAs) will fail to share your indignation, fear and outrage at this… issue.

  62. mildlymagnificent says

    mm #59 – sorry, but you’re just making blah, blah, blah excuses for female-entitled indecency.

    I intended to just let this one slide. But something just occurred to me. Who – precisely, now – who should handle the toileting and nappy changing of those 5 and 6 year olds who are sent to school before, rather than after, toilet training?

    Who should handle the accidents at school of little boys whose toilet training is sometimes not up to the challenge of school activities? AFAIK, these matters have always been handled by women. Aides, nurses, “matron”, back in the days of all male schools with all male teaching staff. Women teachers also are now expected to handle these things, despite having whole classes of little people to manage at the same time, in more than a few ordinary primary schools.

    You might like to rethink some of this stuff by separating primary school, especially junior primary, from the other scenarios you had in mind.

  63. Carnation says

    @ MildlyMagnificent

    Yes, in my admittedly limited experience, the lack of an open urinal generally makes for a more pleasant bathroom.

    There isn’t much in it in more salubrious establishments.

  64. Holms says

    #46 avern
    “Sure. Meanwhile, creationists insist the public – and even scientists! – are similarly abandoning secularism and evolution. Believe it if it comforts you, dude.”

    LOL, what a weird and defensive comment. And it doesn’t even makes sense. I’m a gay man saying gay men are rejecting feminism. The equivalent would be creationists saying creationists are rejecting evolution which would be a wholly unremarkable statement.

    You’re over-analysing the analogy, or parsing it differently to what I intended, so let me clarify. Anti-[evolutionary science] groups have been bleating about the imminent downfall of evolution for years; similarly, anti-[feminist] groups are bleating about the imminent downfall of feminism.

    Oh and if you’re referring to McGowan’s condemnation of gay people for the boycott they called for against a hotel chain (due to being owned by a head of state who passed extremely anti-gay laws)…? Criticising gay advocacy groups for advocating for gay rights i.e. their chartered purpose and claiming that because they aren’t also advocating for women’s issues i.e. not their chartered purpose makes them misogynists. What a mess.

    Anyway setting aside the dubious reasoning, you actually took that to mean ‘therefore gay people must be leaving feminism.’

    #49 1234
    FFS Carnation and Holms, everyone who has lived a bit knows there are plenty more undignified and disrespectful women who choose to walk into mens/boys toilets than there are men who do so.

    Firstly, you are stating your personal perspective as if it were representative of everyone else’s perspective, everywhere. Are you even from the same nation as me? Anyway, yes I maintain that I have seen men use the women’s in bladder emergencies slightly more often than the reverse.

    #53 1234
    Respectfully, I don’t agree. There is always a man (or mature boy) available, it’s just that women aren’t morally obliged to look hard enough.

    Always? In every suspected emergency? At every school in the nation? In every nation? Methinks you are making an overly sweeping assumption here.

    Also, your school must have had a shitload more teachers than mine because my primary school memories include no more than 2 teachers on yard duty a time for recess and lunch; being that my school had about twice as many female teachers as male, this frequently meant the only teachers in the yard were both female. If an emergency / brawl / whatever is thought to be occurring in the boys toilets, should they wait dash off to the staff buildings and hope a male teacher is a) easy to find and b) available to come immediately? Even if the search went well, how long would it take?

    As for getting ‘a more mature boy’, jesus christ you are grasping at straws. Send a kid in to break up a brawl, and guess what will happen? At my school, a pummeling. Certain teacherly things simply can’t be palmed off to students in high school, and even less so at primary school, where student ages top out at about 13.

    Oh come off it, that’s just down to white knightism (or alcohol) where the male encouragers are concerned. And as for the women….well…that’s purely down to bad bladder management (similar to children) or, like I say, a complete lack of discretion when it comes to indignity – in their mind, well, they’re just men, so who cares, we can do what we like!

    You keep claiming to know the minds and experiences of people that aren’t you; now, you also know their motives. Speak for your own experiences and no more, yes? Also, “bad bladder management” are you fucking kidding me? You’re now criticisng women for … needing to go to the toilet urgently some times. Inironically, as if the same thing never befalls you / men in general when out on a bender. Women are bad at bladder management.

    Your weird angles for criticising women are just pathetic.

    #57 Lance Smith
    I think it really comes down to whether or not feminism is about equality for all or just about female [equality/supremacy]? If the former – as sold by Emma Watson – then it is absolutely and 100% acceptable for men to demand an equal seat at the table. On the other hand, if it just about women, then absolutely we need a new movement to address the disparities men face because feminism never will. I’m ok with either outcome as long as we have some honesty.

    This would be a great time for the vaunted Men’s Rights Advocates to step in and regale us with the positive actions they are taking in between calling feminists cunts. Any takers? I even agree with you that there are area that need addressing on behalf of men, so, what the fuck are you guys doing in that regard? Oh cool, photoshopping Rebecca Watson and MZ Myers having sex again, yeah that’ll fix the negative image people have for men.

    By the way, are you aware that feminism advocates on and associated with FTB have repeatedly pointed out examples of anti-male bias before? The idea that they refuse to acknowledge such things is just a plain old lie.

    #60 Pitchguest
    Psst. Ally. Come here. Listen, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to what feminists have been saying about feminism for the past few years, but in case you haven’t here’s a casual reminder:

    IT’S ABOUT EQUALITY.

    You got that? Good. And usually by equality one means to include *everyone*, women *and* men. Which come to think of it is actually one of their bullet points for what defines feminism.

    Hey Pitchguest, did you even read the OP before diving into your usual patronising wankery? It was in reponse to a man trying to tell women to rebrand feminism to suit him; Ally more or less called him a prat. I found this passage to be the main take-away point: “I hate to break it to you Martin, but a primary message of feminism is that the world does not (or should not) revolve around the sensitive fee-fees of middle aged, middle class, straight white men and our boners. Demanding – or even politely requesting – that feminism rebrand itself to become more palatable to men like you and me is deep, deep into the territory of waging war for peace or fucking for virginity.” Or if I may paraphrase, ‘feminism is about freeing women from male control; a man that attempts to control how women go about this task immediately proves feminism necessary.’

    Naturally, here you are telling people what feminism should be about.

  65. Adiabat says

    feminism is about freeing women from male control

    Do they do that while wearing their tinfoil hats, or do they take them off first?

    The OP is replying to an opinion piece which explicitly states that it’s using a common definition of feminism being about equality; in doing so it replaces that common definition with a crazy radfem definition that no-one should take seriously.

    If you want to insist on using that definition you can probably take the figures provided by Archy in post 26 and slash the percentage of people willing to identify with feminism to insignificant levels.

    Over the past 100 years or so, feminist scholars and activists have lifted the lid on gender identities, shown how they are constructed and policed, demonstrated their role in propping up all manner of restrictive and oppressive power structures.

    They’ve done no such thing. The early work on gender identity was done by Psychologists. Psychologists are also the ones who have “shown how they are constructed” by the age of 3. Feminist “scholars” didn’t pick it up until much later, and they have added little of value to the subject other than their own opinion pieces and baseless assertions.

    You do realise that terms such as ‘shown’ and ‘demonstrated’ usually require more than ‘someone asserted it in a book’ right? But if you disagree feel free to point out where someone like Butler conducted epistemologically sound studies to provide evidence of any of her assertions. Or did anything other than write a load of twaddle based on more twaddle by people such as Luce “sexed equation” Irigaray.

  66. Bill Door says

    Holms:

    Demanding – or even politely requesting – that feminism rebrand itself to become more palatable to men like you and me is deep, deep into the territory of waging war for peace or fucking for virginity.” Or if I may paraphrase, ‘feminism is about freeing women from male control; a man that attempts to control how women go about this task immediately proves feminism necessary.’

    The fact that you don’t see a difference between ‘demanding,’ ‘politely requesting,’ and ‘attempting to control’ is rather troubling. Feminists may get bad, unsolicited advice from men, but you’ll actually find it’s not legally binding. The writer is not trying to control you; they’re assuming you’re misinformed and that if given information you will choose rationally. Apparently not, though, because instead of rejecting it for a host of rational reasons, you reject it due to who the writer is. Women can fight male control, but they can’t fight reality and I doubt they can afford to discount arguments for illegitimate reasons. Maybe Martin Daubney should just have paid a woman to put her name on the article, thus deflecting the usual ad hominem responses. The article could then ostensibly be evaluated on its merits (which, sadly, aren’t many).

  67. 123454321 says

    “who should handle the toileting and nappy changing of those 5 and 6 year olds who are sent to school before, rather than after, toilet training?”

    Well obviously there aren’t enough men to contribute because feminist indoctrinate has seen that men have been discouraged from teaching in primary school environments. Perhaps many men are shit scared that someone would brand them a pedophile? in fact most men these days are terrified of being within a mile of a teenage girl for fear of being dissed in one way or another. You can almost feel their concerns as they mingle with their friends’s daughters with obvious anxiety. The women have no such fears as they mingle with their friends and their Sons – there appear to be a completely different set of boundaries in operation.

  68. 123454321 says

    “Your weird angles for criticising women are just pathetic.”

    No, it’s pathetic that in 2014 women still enjoy operating around a totally different set of rules to men, in which every outcome appears to benefit or favour the women at the expense of the men. Whether you’re talking about toilet habits or politics…..health care or family courts….negative media portrayal or board quotas…etc. It ALWAYS appears to favour the female sex. This is why feminism is dying. Because it’s NOT about equality; it’s about how to favour women.

  69. Lance Smith says

    I have the temerity to bring up men’s rights and ways men/boys are discriminated against, and we get the classic dodge:

    Holms: “This would be a great time for the vaunted Men’s Rights Advocates to step in and regale us with the positive actions they are taking in between calling feminists cunts. Any takers? I even agree with you that there are area that need addressing on behalf of men, so, what the fuck are you guys doing in that regard?”

    You know you just made my point, right? It’s pretty telling and kinda illustrates why mainstream, gynocentric feminism isn’t helping men/boys when the moment that someone brings up men’s rights that you assume that you are talking to an MRA. Perhaps I’m an MRA…or perhaps I’m an equity feminist who cares as much for men’s right’s as women’s rights….or perhaps I label myself as an egalitarian. Who knows? I certainly didn’t say. As Ally is fond of saying, pigeonholes are for pigeonshit. As it stands, I’ll work with anyone with whom I share a common set of beliefs…I couldn’t care less what they call themselves.

    So back to my point: as long as mainstream gynocentric feminism is only focused on women – which is their right – they won’t be about equality and those of us who care about equality will have to keep looking for another movement….or start our own. Which is beginning to happen when you have self-labeled feminists, egalitarians, and MHRAs working together to raise awareness about the plight of men in western society.

    Gynocentric feminism is such a dinosaur, but it’s not for me to call them on anything but their beliefs and how they conflict with mine. Asking them to improve is like asking the KKK to improve. Ok, you can do it…but it probably won’t get you very far.

    The scary thing is if gynocentric feminists could leave aside the misandry and man-shaming, they would probably find allies in the egalitarian movement.

  70. Lance Smith says

    Over the past 100 years or so, feminist scholars and activists have lifted the lid on gender identities, shown how they are constructed and policed, demonstrated their role in propping up all manner of restrictive and oppressive power structures.

    They did that while painting men as evil predators and masculinity as toxic. How is that not just as oppressive? So we replace one type of oppression with another? Nice.
    And that illustrates why mainstream, gynocentric feminism is similar to the KKK. Their rationalization is even similar. Double standards and hypocrisy. In the future, gynocentric feminism will be looked upon as a joke because the only thing it is really pushing is hate and revenge (for past wrongs – real or imagined).

  71. Paul says

    Comment submitted:
    @33 holms.

    I think it worth noting the ‘rad fems’ you identify there, i.e. the people inclined to scoff at even the possibility of male victims of domestic violence (btw hello, Lucy!), are fairly marginal to most feminst organisations, or at least, marginal to the feminists that FTB hosts and associates with.,

    I think many feminists who don’t identify as being rad fems are reluctant to acknowledge the extent to which females can be both perpetrators and instigators of violence and abuse.And that in those families and communities where there’s a problem of violence and abuse it’s wrong to assume the women are primarily either victims or helpless bystanders. This isn’t in any way meant to detract from the role of men as perpetrators and instigators of violence and abuse.It’s simply an attempt to address a dimension to the problem which many men and women alike-including feminists- are reluctant to acknowledge.It’s almost like we’re collectively more comfortable focusing on men as the primary abusers.So it’s not only feminists of whatever ilk who struggle to address the extent to which females are both perpetrators and instigators as well as the fact that they’re more likely than men to get away with it.

  72. Paul says

    @33 holms.

    I think it worth noting the ‘rad fems’ you identify there, i.e. the people inclined to scoff at even the possibility of male victims of domestic violence (btw hello, Lucy!), are fairly marginal to most feminst organisations, or at least, marginal to the feminists that FTB hosts and associates with.

    ,

    I think many feminists who don’t identify as being rad fems are reluctant to acknowledge the extent to which females can be both perpetrators and instigators of violence and abuse.And that in those families and communities where there’s a problem of violence and abuse it’s wrong to assume the women are primarily either victims or helpless bystanders.

    This isn’t in any way meant to detract from the role of men as perpetrators and instigators of violence and abuse.It’s simply an attempt to address a dimension to the problem which many men and women alike-including feminists- are reluctant to acknowledge.It’s almost like we’re collectively more comfortable focusing on men as the primary abusers.So it’s not only feminists of whatever ilk who struggle to address the extent to which females are both perpetrators and instigators as well as the fact that they’re more likely than men to get away with it.

  73. mildlymagnificent says

    Well obviously there aren’t enough men to contribute because feminist indoctrinate has seen that men have been discouraged from teaching in primary school environments. Perhaps many men are shit scared that someone would brand them a pedophile? in fact most men these days are terrified of being within a mile of a teenage girl for fear of being dissed in one way or another. You can almost feel their concerns as they mingle with their friends’s daughters with obvious anxiety. The women have no such fears as they mingle with their friends and their Sons – there appear to be a completely different set of boundaries in operation.

    You might be surprised to hear that I agree with your conclusions (but I disagree violently with your attribution of causes). Teaching salaries have declined for two reasons. In Australia, there was a huge “realignment” of blue collar and white collar salaries/wages in the mid 70s. In other OECD countries similar things happened so that by the mid 90s, the monetary advantages of “a good job” in the public service or in schools, universities, banks, insurance companies had been substantially eroded. That was true for both men and women.

    The other effect on teaching salaries has been a flow on from the change in conditions which (graciously) allowed women to continue working after marriage. When that happened, teaching became even more desirable for women and families who wanted to continue with the prime role of women as child carer, because the working hours lined up neatly with the children’s school hours. The higher the proportion of women in a workforce, the lower the wages. That’s been true since forever. Typists were highly paid clerical staff until the job became women’s work. Programming computers was silly, trivial, poorly paid work until men took over that occupation. (Remember the old Soviet Union. Doctors there were not the highly respected, highly paid professionals that doctors in the West were. Why not? Because it was women’s work.) The best way to attract and retain more men in women-dominated occupations is to increase the pay.

    I’m very much in favour of men working in childcare centres/nurseries and in primary schools, especially junior primary. But the men who do try out for these jobs leave them pretty quickly. Maybe because of anti-male prejudice (not from feminists but from ludicrous speculation often fanned by irresponsible journalism) but mostly because the wages are too low. They either migrate quickly into management and oversight roles away from direct involvement with children/clients, this also happens in nursing, or they go to another industry entirely.

    As for teenage girls. I remember a discussion when we were doing our training for running our tuition centre. There’s a huge “debate” about teachers and associated staff touching children in any way at all, even for first aid. Many people refuse even to pick up or otherwise comfort a crying 5 year old. The instructor, a really nice bloke who seemed to have read everything about child development, not just the educational/ academic/ disability stuff, pointed out that 13 year old girls are the most “touch-deprived” group in society generally. Parents and other family give up hugging and cuddling them as they did when they were children once puberty kicks in, and no one touches them on the arm or the shoulder or pats them on the back as they more readily do with boys. (My own attitude to this is that more girls should be encouraged to do more sports. Any sport is good, but netball, hockey, volleyball, cricket give a lot of opportunities for mutual reinforcement and physical contact from team members. It won’t entirely make up for a lack of casual, affectionate family interaction, but it’s a good thing in itself.)

    I suspect the current hysterical over-reactions to men being involved with infants and school aged children will run its course in the next 5 to 10 years. There was a huge jump in the divorce rate when no-fault divorce came on the scene where a whole lot of previously undisclosed bad marriages came to a belated end. Now it’s settled down to a fairly consistent rate, year to year. We’re now seeing something a bit similar as multitudes of skeletons keep tumbling out of church and other organisations’ closets with all the previously disregarded or unknown child rape and molestation offences and the policies and politics that supported the offenders and disregarded the children’s complaints. Once all these historical cases are aired and dealt with in some way, things should settle down to a more realistic public perception. At the moment it seems like child molesters are everywhere. In fact, the rate of child molestation has been declining steadily for a few decades. Nil would be nice, but less and less as time goes on is a good thing.

    If we also institute better workplace and family related policies to make it A) easier, and B) entirely acceptable, (I can dream, can’t I?) for men to be involved in the day to day, down and dirty, fussy and time-consuming activities of caring for infants and small children, we’ll finish up with a much more balanced attitude about all this stuff. This probably needs to be backed up with a better attitude to male sexuality generally. Part of the reason why men “can’t be trusted” with children and with teenage girls is the attitude, held by almost as many women as men, that men are constantly on the lookout for sex and will take any and every opportunity they see, or can create, to get sex of the “never mind the quality, feel the notch count” variety.

    Most men aren’t like that – even many of the ones who “perform” that brand of masculinity in front of their mates in the pub or at work or the surf club – and it would be a good thing for everybody if those men felt freer to refrain from the silliness and/or speak up about men who do display such attitudes.

  74. Carnation says

    Adiabat has joined the discussion. Adiabat thinks (or claims to think) that GamerGate is actually about ethics in games journalism.

    Please keep this in mind when debating with him. Be kind.

  75. avern says

    @Holms

    “You’re over-analysing the analogy, or parsing it differently to what I intended, so let me clarify.”

    In other words, I gave your bone-headed analogy more thought than it deserved.

    “Anti-[evolutionary science] groups have been bleating about the imminent downfall of evolution for years; similarly, anti-[feminist] groups are bleating about the imminent downfall of feminism.”

    Your attempt at rhetoric is obvious and pathetic. ALL groups bleat about the downfall of their opposition. Republicans constantly predict the imminent downfall of Democrats and Democrats constantly predict the downfall of Republicans. The only reason why you chose to make your stupid analogy is because you want to leech the respect scientists rightfully have into feminism. Sorry, but that won’t work because evidence continues to support evolution while evidence is feminism’s worst enemy.

    “Anyway setting aside the dubious reasoning, you actually took that to mean ‘therefore gay people must be leaving feminism.”

    Nice try buddy. One, I never said gay people are leaving feminism; I say gay men are leaving feminism. Two, I didn’t use Rose McGowan’s statements as evidence that people are leaving feminism; I use her statements as proof that it’s not just anti-feminists claiming gay men are leaving feminism, but FEMINISTS are making that claim also, which renders your already mindless analogy false.

  76. Jacob Schmidt says

    ALL groups bleat about the downfall of their opposition.

    Most groups have plans to enable the oppositions downfall. Most groups believe they will succeed on day. Fewer groups assert that people “are turning away in droves,” and it is, indeed, a flag indication delusions. As I stated earlier: “Though such a refrain has been uttered nigh constantly for a century or more, it’s bound to be correct eventually.

    Psychologists are also the ones who have “shown how they are constructed” by the age of 3. Feminist “scholars” didn’t pick it up until much later, and they have added little of value to the subject other than their own opinion pieces and baseless assertions.

    You do realise that terms such as ‘shown’ and ‘demonstrated’ usually require more than ‘someone asserted it in a [comment]’ right?

    Adiabat thinks (or claims to think) that GamerGate is actually about ethics in games journalism.

    Is anything achieved by bringing up irrelevant arguments from other threads?

  77. Lucy says

    I like the feminist brand just fine. It perfectly encapsulates what it stands for. The fact that most men do t like that is an entirely inevitable outcome. You can’t wrest power from a caste of people without them minding.

  78. Lucy says

    i don’t suppose the Communists, Fascists, Anti-Capitalists, ISIS, or any of the millions of other men’s political movements spent much time concerning themselves with how to appeal to or seduce the targets of their ire. Too busy blowing shit up and winning.

    Odd that the women’s movement is meant to. Some might say, suspiciously so.

    The only political movements that worry about branding are the establishment, centralist ones. Conservatives, LibDems, Labour, the Church of England. And look where that’s got them.

  79. Lucy says

    “Well obviously there aren’t enough men to contribute because feminist indoctrinate has seen that men have been discouraged from teaching in primary school environments. Perhaps many men are shit scared that someone would brand them a pedophile? in fact most men these days are terrified of being within a mile of a teenage girl for fear of being dissed in one way or another. You can almost feel their concerns as they mingle with their friends’s daughters with obvious anxiety. The women have no such fears as they mingle with their friends and their Sons – there appear to be a completely different set of boundaries in operation.”

    Might be because men are responsible for 98% of all sexual offences and 99% of child sexual offences (Home Office). And have a popular, multibillion pound entertainment industry built on coercing teenage girls to let the look up them. Just a thought.

  80. Lucy says

    #57 Lance Smith
    “I think it really comes down to whether or not feminism is about equality for all or just about female [equality/supremacy]?”

    The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. If you have three glasses of water and I have one, I’m going to take one of yours, you lose, I win, equality is achieved. You can be supportive in giving me one of yours so I don’t have to take it off you by force or seduction, but a debate about how much water you’d like to have over and above your two glasses is irrelevant. If you want to talk about what kind of glass you’d like your water to be in, then knock yourself out, but I’m busy getting my extra glass of water so talk to somebody else about it.

  81. Holms says

    #71 Adiabat
    If you want to insist on using that definition you can probably take the figures provided by Archy in post 26 and slash the percentage of people willing to identify with feminism to insignificant levels.

    Yes okay, ‘control’ is a bit too absolute… replace it with ‘undue influence’ perhaps?

    #72 Bill Door
    Maybe Martin Daubney should just have paid a woman to put her name on the article, thus deflecting the usual ad hominem responses. The article could then ostensibly be evaluated on its merits (which, sadly, aren’t many).

    At the very least, that same article coming from a woman would remove the ‘man tells women how to prettify their work for men’ vibe. It would still be a flawed article as you note, but at least it would be less patronising.

    #73 1234
    Well obviously there aren’t enough men to contribute because feminist indoctrinate has seen that men have been discouraged from teaching in primary school environments. Perhaps many men are shit scared that someone would brand them a pedophile?

    That sounds like a legitimate area of male disadvantage. Maybe the MRM would like to do something about it? of course, that might require them to take a break from insulting Rebecca Watson (or whomever has their ire these days), so I guess not.

    #74 1234
    No, it’s pathetic that in 2014 women still enjoy operating around a totally different set of rules to men, in which every outcome appears to benefit or favour the women at the expense of the men.

    You are now making shit up whole cloth.

    #76 Lance Smith
    And that illustrates why mainstream, gynocentric feminism is similar to the KKK.

    Not much point trying to reason with you if you truly believe this.

    #83 avern
    “You’re over-analysing the analogy, or parsing it differently to what I intended, so let me clarify.”

    In other words, I gave your bone-headed analogy more thought than it deserved.

    No, I was being generous in my wording when pointing out your misunderstanding. I see you are now in full snide mode, the very thing I was hoping to head off.

    Sorry, but that won’t work because evidence continues to support evolution while evidence is feminism’s worst enemy.

    Anything you say, Mr. Hovind.

    #85 Lucy
    i don’t suppose the Communists, Fascists, Anti-Capitalists, ISIS, or any of the millions of other men’s political movements spent much time concerning themselves with how to appeal to or seduce the targets of their ire. Too busy blowing shit up and winning.

    And since those groups aren’t analogues to feminism, this comparison is useless at best, or dishonest at worst.

  82. Pitchguest says

    #70 Holms

    Hey Pitchguest, did you even read the OP before diving into your usual patronising wankery? It was in reponse to a man trying to tell women to rebrand feminism to suit him

    No it wasn’t. It was about a man trying to make a point about feminism having problems with embracing men into its fold while branding itself as an equal rights movement for both women and men.

    Ally more or less called him a prat.

    Yeah, for no good reason. It’s not surprising that men think they have the power to give advice about feminism if feminists keep saying that any man worth his salt and cares about equality of the sexes should be a feminist, because feminism is for men, too. It’s also not surprising that men don’t take too kindly to be summarily dismissed afterwards for offering said advice because “the world does not (or should not) revolve around the sensitive fee-fees of middle aged, middle class, straight white men and [their] boners.”

    In the previous paragraph, Ally says this: “One of the primary objectives of feminism – perhaps THE primary objective of feminism – is to liberate women from men’s authority and control – not only formalised and structural authority but also the assumption of male authority and female subservience which comes from a few millennia of oppressive socialisation.” Which is not only complete and utter tosh, but also a very good argument as to why men feel they don’t belong in a feminist heirarchy and furthermore why this idea that “feminism is for men, too” is rubbish.

    I found this passage to be the main take-away point Or if I may paraphrase, ‘feminism is about freeing women from male control; a man that attempts to control how women go about this task immediately proves feminism necessary.’

    Exactly. A man tries to use the faculties of feminism that is afforded to him by feminists and he gets lambasted for it because he is, as nature bestowed him, a man.

    Naturally, here you are telling people what feminism should be about.

    And you people wonder why I don’t call myself a feminist. Shocking!

  83. says

    lol,

    I haven’t been about for a bit because stuff, but when I last looked into this OP it was a bit of a fluff piece by a mate of Ally’s who was looking to stir up a bit of twitter controversy to justify himself to the Telegraph. Now its all toilets and fighting!

    First off women using men’s toilets and vicky verky.

    Oh come on, if a man walks into a woman’s toilet what is his reason for being there? There are no urinals so were you thinking of peeing in the sink or something?* On the other hand , the men’s toilets are full of all these cubical things that are very rarely used other than if someone is reeeelly desperate for a dump** or a quick toot off the back of the cistern.
    So whats the problem if a woman is stuck in a queue bursting? In my raving days with all that water being drunk the queue for the fellas was pretty much unisex, and these days on the extremely rare occasions when its happened to me the woman has usually called ahead to see if anyone had a problem.
    You might call it “white knighting” but its just common decency.

    And the fighting. I also grew up in a town where most young men’s Friday night entertainment was lager, curry and a fight, but then MDMA came along and for a few years it got much better.
    I also wouldn’t be surprised if the comparison between 1994/5 (strangely probably during the height of Ecstasy) and today was a false one, as I remember the police’s probably unofficial policy in those days was to separate gangs of fighting youth and ship them to opposite ends of the town centre forcing them to cool of by walking home. So I think the numbers of violent incidents would been much higher in the 90s but unreported, so a remarkable drop as today the police will arrest at the drop of a hat.

    *ok, one very memorable Motorhead concert circa 1987.
    ** Most blokes I know will either hold it to the point of agony or run home rather than use the cubical for the the use it was designed for.

  84. mildlymagnificent says

    Which is not only complete and utter tosh, but also a very good argument as to why men feel they don’t belong in a feminist heirarchy,/b> and furthermore why this idea that “feminism is for men, too” is rubbish.

    Who on earth could they have been reading or listening to or watching that proposes a feminist hierarchy? I might not have kept up to date with current feminist scholarship, but I’m pretty familiar with most stuff up until the mid-80s, and I’ve never heard of any such hierarchy. We objected mightily to being asked to “obey” our husbands in wedding ceremonies and we had no intention of anyone being asked to commit to permanent unquestioning obedience to anyone, anywhere, for any reason.

    Back in the women’s liberation days you were much more likely to read hippie-anarchist-feminist stuff with various (all unrealistic) ideas about utopian societies with no authority structures of any kind, from the family onwards through workplaces all the way to the (apparently unnecessary) UN. Anyone who attended any of those interminable feminist consciousness raising meetings knows where that got you. Nowhere. Everybody was heard, at tedious length, and it was near impossible to get much decided, but it was a useful exercise for a lot of women who were very afraid of speaking up in any environment. It was good for personal development, but not for much else.

    And we’ll all join in a lusty chorus of “The Age of Aquarius” from Hair. Some people seemed to think that was some kind of manifesto rather than just another expression of a sentiment common to a lot of anti-war songs of the time.

    If anyone has any references for feminist proposals for a hierarchy dominated by women, I’d like to see them. (Though I can’t promise to read them in any detail. I’ll claim immunity from the necessity to read any more philosophical/utopian/ political material due to previous inoculation by huge doses of similar material.) I’ve seen references to matriarchy from time to time, but one of the outstanding features of matriarchal societies is the lack of authoritarian structures and a preponderance of mutuality and reciprocity behaviours. So that can’t be the source of this feminist hierarchy idea.

  85. Lucy says

    Pitchguest

    “if feminists keep saying that any man worth his salt and cares about equality of the sexes should be a feminist, because feminism is for men, too”

    Men who care about equality should ge a feminist because feminism is a movement that advances womens rights until or beyond their parity with men’s; not because it’s a movement to advance the cause of men.

    As a happy coincidence, women having parity with or supremacy over men will make the world a better place for women and men because they don’t behave as men do: they’re not so hierarchical, they’re nowhere near so violent, they’re much less anti-social, they have greater empathy, they prioritise things other than militarism, expansion and exploitation of resources.

  86. mildlymagnificent says

    As a happy coincidence, women having parity with or supremacy over men will make the world a better place for women and men because they don’t behave as men do:

    Supremacy? I’m perfectly happy with the idea of women as presidents, prime ministers and CEOs. But that’s just being in charge of an organisation for a period of time. I very much dislike the idea of anyone having supremacy “over” other people because that’s an undesirable notion in itself. Though I won’t push too hard on that, it might just be a matter of word choice pushing my buttons.

    However, I very much disagree with the idea that women are inherently better and more moral than men, as expressed here … make the world a better place for women and men because they don’t behave as men do. That’s the old idea of the first wave feminists – the suffragists – who sincerely believed that women were, at core, better than men. It’s a belief that anyone who still held it in the second half of the 20th century should have discarded once they saw how Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Sirimavo Bandaranaike and the one we all know and love/despise, Margaret Thatcher, behaved when they gained political power without the political system being changed in any way from the way it worked when men held the reins.

    Their only saving grace was that their century was also the historical period of some fantastically, grotesquely, awful men, among the worst we know of in modern history. Personally, I think that being a more moral, competent leader than Pol Pot or any of the other despots is a pretty low bar to clear.

    Women can behave badly and wield power unfairly, just as men do. There are some bloody awful women in the parliaments of the world and many of them are just as keen as power-hungry men can be to make life more miserable for women who lack their advantages. This idea of the innate niceness of women has to die. Women are as innately nice as men are. It’s political power, laws and social conventions that allow people to be their best or, under other laws and conventions, can force them to do their worst to get by. People with nasty ideas flourish under nasty conditions. We have to work for better societies and communities that leave nasty stuff to die a lonely death while the rest of us get on with better lives and better jobs.

  87. 123454321 says

    “Might be because men are responsible for 98% of all sexual offences and 99% of child sexual offences (Home Office)…”

    Lucy – what percentage of the adult male population are convicted (according to Home Office stats) of child sexual offences? Hint: there are many tens of millions of adult men in UK alone.

    I know you’d like every human born with a penis to be branded with a tattooed forehead stating that there is a high percentage chance that he’s a potential sexual abuser. But you’d be fucking wrong, as usual! Do you realise how offensive you are to all of those good, honest, hard working men out there who aren’t the slightest bit interested in sexually abusing other people? No, I thought not! And let’s not forget that the stats haven’t yet caught up with the truth behind how many female sexual abusers there are out there! You’ll be swallowing your own words in a couple of decades time, I assure you!

  88. 123454321 says

    By the way, Danny Butts, in my time spent on this earth I’ve come to notice that the nicer variety of females wouldn’t dream of entertaining a visit to the gents toilet, no matter how much they’re bursting (that’s most females, by the way, I think). Most of the ‘more decent ones’ remain queuing in their designated queue. Some women (thankfully the majority) appear to have some amount of decorum. I think everyone should teach their daughters not to enter men’s toilets. That seems like the right thing to do to me. Where is your dignity?

    “Most blokes I know will either hold it to the point of agony or run home rather than use the cubical for the the use it was designed for.”

    Oh, ok, clearly that little gem there is T-rex shit, which means I should have ignored the rest of the garbage above it.

  89. avern says

    @Jacob Schmidt

    “Most groups have plans to enable the oppositions downfall. Most groups believe they will succeed on day. Fewer groups assert that people “are turning away in droves,” and it is, indeed, a flag indication delusions.”

    Could you please re-write this so that it’s no longer a random string of words devoid of argument and sense? Thanks.

    @Holms

    “Anything you say, Mr. Hovind.”

    Oh, keeping up with your delusion that feminists are in any way analogous with evolutionists are you? Not going to work. I’ve argued with creationists like Kent Hovind for nearly a decade. The only ideologues I’ve ever come across that give creationists a run for their money in being the most denial-ridden hypocrites on the planet are feminists. Try again.

  90. Holms says

    #89 Pitchguest
    No it wasn’t. It was about a man trying to make a point about feminism having problems with embracing men into its fold while branding itself as an equal rights movement for both women and men.

    Mainstream feminism (i.e. not Lucy’s version) has no problem accepting men into the fold. It does have a problem with men telling how to go about the business of feminism for the sake of appealing to men that want to feel wanted. That is, you are wrong.

    #93 Lucy
    Men who care about equality should ge a feminist because feminism is a movement that advances womens rights until or beyond their parity with men’s; not because it’s a movement to advance the cause of men…

    No.

    As a happy coincidence, women having parity with or supremacy over men will make the world a better place for women and men because they don’t behave as men do: they’re not so hierarchical, they’re nowhere near so violent, they’re much less anti-social, they have greater empathy, they prioritise things other than militarism, expansion and exploitation of resources.

    ‘Not so hierarchical’ except for the fact that your interpretation of feminism calls for setting women up above men, i.e. a female-centric hierarchy. I’m relieved to note how little traction your faction has.

    Oh and nice job assuming all those other traits are innate rather than learned.

    #96 1234
    Most of the ‘more decent ones’ remain queuing in their designated queue. Some women (thankfully the majority) appear to have some amount of decorum.

    It is a strange definition of decorum that requires a person to risk wetting themselves above visiting the wrong toilet.

    I still can’t really fathom why this is the issue you insist on arguing. Not only is your complaint based on pure anecdata (interesting note: in my experience, the trend I have seen is actually the reverse of yours), but ‘women use the men’s toilets omg how crass’ is just fucking trivial.

    #97 avern
    Could you please re-write this so that it’s no longer a random string of words devoid of argument and sense? Thanks.

    I actually understood it just fine.

    Mr. Hovind.

  91. Adiabat says

    Jacob Schmidt (83):

    “You do realise that terms such as ‘shown’ and ‘demonstrated’ usually require more than ‘someone asserted it in a [comment]’ right?”

    Yes, what’s your point? You seem to be saying that an assertion in a comment on the internet has as much validity as assertions in a feminist book written by someone like Butler, which would be correct.

    Holms (88):

    Yes okay, ‘control’ is a bit too absolute… replace it with ‘undue influence’ perhaps?

    I don’t know; I wish we had a breakdown of those figures provided by Archy, I think it would be useful.

    I would guess even “feminism is about freeing women from undue male influence”, when presented as a counter to someone saying it’s about equality as Ally does above, will also see those numbers of people willing to identify as feminist fall significantly. I think most ‘lay’ feminists do believe in a general ‘equality’, and don’t limit that to just where women are disadvantaged (of course these feminists aren’t considered to be prominent in the movement and aren’t prominent in most feminist organisations with influence).

    And “feminism is about freeing women from undue male influence” is very vague. You would need to clarify whether you are referring to specific incidents or whether you mean it as a broad statement implying some general “theme” in our society. I don’t think many would accept something like “all women (as a class) suffer from undue male (as a class) influence” as valid. I would hope most people see through such obviously flawed identity theory.

    I think that most of the ~20% who would be willing to identify as feminist do so on some vague belief that it’s about equality, and most probably aren’t even aware of much of feminist ‘theory’, much less agree with the more egregious parts of it. Do you agree with assessment?

    If so, do you think that such ‘lay’ feminists, upon learning about it, would consider people who believe in things such as ‘rape culture’ to be “radical feminists”?

  92. sonofrojblake says

    @mildlymagnificent, 63:

    Supporting a victim might mean just a bit of eye contact signalling that you’re here and you know what’s going on and, if wanted, you can continue to hang around.

    Yeah, sorry, not doing that. If there are potentially violent people in the vicinity, hanging around is what I’m very much not doing. My judgement, obviously.

    maybe send the venue an email the following day

    And just how infantilised are you suggesting the victim is in this imaginary situation if you believe them not to be capable of doing that themselves? How white-knighty is that?

    Often the best thing to do is to wait until one or the other of the parties involved goes to the loo

    This suggestion makes me think you don’t get out much, or at least that when you do the “harassment” you witness is relatively trivial. Which is great! 🙂 In situations that trivial, obviously I’d be on the same page as you, and don’t require the sort of patronising coaching you’re offering.

    @Carnation, 64:

    What do you suggest is done about it?

    Immediately release all those imprisoned for non-violent, victimless crimes such as drug use. Stronger rehabilitation for those convicted of their first two violent crimes, and a serious effort on the part of the authorities to alter their pattern of behaviour. Extremely harsh sentences for those convicted of a third violent crime. Lots more. But I suspect you’re not really interested in the answer because:

    What is the anti-feminist movement(s) doing about it?

    Eh? This seems to me a bizarre non-sequitur. Possibly you think you’re having a conversation with someone else? Or on some other subject? Either way, I really can’t help you.

  93. Jacob Schmidt says

    Could you please re-write this so that it’s no longer a random string of words devoid of argument and sense? Thanks.

    Huh. And I thought projection was overrated as an explanation of people’s rhetoric.

  94. Jacob Schmidt says

    You seem to be saying that an assertion in a comment on the internet has as much validity as assertions in a feminist book written by someone like Butler, which would be correct.

    I just find a statement effectively including, “This statement is worthless,” amusing.

  95. mildlymagnificent says

    And just how infantilised are you suggesting the victim is in this imaginary situation if you believe them not to be capable of doing that themselves? How white-knighty is that?

    I’d think that a) a victim would be very pleased to see someone else backing up her own report, b) the venue would take more notice if it received more than one report about such an incident. Win! all round.

    This suggestion makes me think you don’t get out much, or at least that when you do the “harassment” you witness is relatively trivial.

    I certainly don’t get out much to pubs, let alone clubs, nowadays. I’m 67 years old! But I’ve certainly been targeted by harassers in public, and I’ve witnessed my fair share of threatened and actual violence by men against women. My own direct experience of male violence is mainly private – from my first marriage – but I can recall at least one instance of being knocked flat on the footpath by a bloke who’d pushed someone at the back of our group. I was the last domino of about four in a chain, so I went down. The others just stumbled and staggered a bit. (He attacked a group of us because one, a judo instructor to my surprise, I’d known him for years without knowing that, had done an absolutely brilliant job of quietly talking him down from choking his girlfriend on the street. He relaxed his grip enough that she was able to get up off her knees and move away. At least he took it out on us and not on her, which is a sort of good thing.) I have vague recollections of other stuff, but this one sticks out in my memory because of the superb conflict resolution skills of my friend.

    Being as old as I am, I’m a survivor of the days when these things happened a lot more often and were pretty brazen into the bargain. As for the ‘hang around with visual, body-language signals of support’ strategy for a targeted woman, I’ll admit that’s easier for a woman to do without provoking overt violence than it would be for a man, but it’s an option worth considering. One strategy for a man cautious about not making things worse would be to get a woman friend to keep an eye out and go to the loo when she sees the woman in question head in that direction. That’s a fairly common tactic among women – to ask whether someone’s OK when they’re both out of earshot of the bloke in question.

  96. Jacob Schmidt says

    And just how infantilised are you suggesting the victim is in this imaginary situation if you believe them not to be capable of doing that themselves? How white-knighty is that?

    I never understood this retort. I can only assume that you believe any sort of help ever, under any circumstances, is infantalising. That, or you’re being arbitrary about what help is and isn’t infantalising.

    If I help a friend move, is that infantalising? If I back them up to the police and submit my report as well, or is it strictly ‘venues’ to which I’m not supposed to report? Are there specific venues where the answer changes? If I make them coffee because I know their coffee machine broke, does that require that I assume they are too weak to find their own coffee? It doesn’t make sense to me.

  97. Holms says

    #99 Adiabat
    And “feminism is about freeing women from undue male influence” is very vague. You would need to clarify whether you are referring to specific incidents or whether you mean it as a broad statement implying some general “theme” in our society.

    Yes, it was non-specific by intent. It should not be interpreted as meaning ‘all women are always disadvantaged in every aspect of life everywhere.’ It is also not ‘men are never disadvantaged.’ Going through every single would not only be a ridiculously unwieldy conversation, but would require detailed statistics and the like. I’m not getting that rigorous.

    I think that most of the ~20% who would be willing to identify as feminist do so on some vague belief that it’s about equality, and most probably aren’t even aware of much of feminist ‘theory’, much less agree with the more egregious parts of it. Do you agree with assessment?

    I would rather say that that is quite a claim to make about a diverse group of people without significant substantiation. You appear to be making claims as to the state of mind of people without actually consulting them; such claims of course run the risk of simply being your own viewpoint extrapolated to the general population.

  98. sonofrojblake says

    @mildlymagnificent, 103

    I certainly don’t get out much

    Thank you for confirming I was right.

    I can recall at least one instance of being knocked flat on the footpath […] I went down. […]He attacked a group of us because one, […]had [interfered in a violent attack]. […] he took it out on us

    Thank you for confirming I was right.

    This, to me, does not sound like “a brilliant job” of “talking him down”. Interestingly, I too know (or rather knew) a judo expert. She had a black belt, and was a vague acquaintance at university. The main thing I remember about her was a livid scar that ran from her right ear to the corner of her mouth, legacy of a time she’d tried to talk down a violent attack. Coincidentally, the attacker in that story had been choking someone… with one hand. In the other, he had a knife – but she didn’t see the knife until after he’d opened her face with it. Outside Hollywood and internet warrior vigilante fantasies, judo is not a shield of steel.

    I’m not a judo expert. I don’t go routinely armed or armoured. I don’t have training in conflict resolution, and I’m not paid to protect people. I do have responsibilities to people other than myself that require my continued health. Therefore if I see you – one of the interchangeable mass of other people of which there is for practical purposes an infinite supply – being attacked in the street, my first and most responsible action will be to make absolutely, 100% sure that I am not going to suffer the same. Once I’m 100% sure that is the case, then and only then I’ll take action that might help you, like calling 999. Anything else I do puts the continued security of my family at risk, and unlike L’Oreal, you’re not worth it.

  99. mildlymagnificent says

    This, to me, does not sound like “a brilliant job” of “talking him down”. Interestingly, I too know (or rather knew) a judo expert.

    I reckon it was. He stood there, perfectly still, just quietly talking to a bloke who continued to hold on to the neck of the woman who had been forced to her knees by the chokehold. He did this for several minutes and – from what I could see – didn’t move a muscle himself. When the grip relaxed and the woman began to move, he sort of hoisted her up to her feet and to the side in a single move. And the bloke in question just stood there sort of stunned while friend checked with the woman whether she wanted to call the cops/ a taxi/ get other help.

    It was only after the whole thing seemed to be over and we had all walked further down the street that this idiot (he was fairly drunk) suddenly realised he needed to reassert his manly manliness and ran down the street to push another man in the back. And ran away again. If that hadn’t resulted in someone, me, falling flat and merely a couple of people stumbling and regaining balance, it would have remained really trivial. (And we were all ravenously hungry and in a rush to get a meal before our 7 pm meeting started. So we didn’t do anything about that either.)

    It’s actually very rare to see a woman being openly attacked (at least in a way that allows intervention). My husband used to be quite willing to do so – but only after he checked that I and the kids were safe – and was happy to move along once both the man and woman indicated that he wasn’t needed. But, on those occasions, he’d already achieved his objective. To let them know that people were watching and that any one of those watching might call the cops. That’s usually enough to settle things down.

    Though you just mentioning not being trained made me rethink. My father in law was an amateur/ semi-professional boxer for a while in his 20s and early 30s and he taught my husband to box when he was of a suitable age. (M-I-L apparently threw several kinds of fits when witless dad proudly produced a pair of boxing gloves as a 7th birthday present. The lessons started some years later.) There’s probably “something” about people who know how to fight physically even though they’re quiet, polite and not displaying any aggressive behaviour in the moment. It might be as simple as being sober and self-controlled when the other person is an out of control fool.

    (Which raised something I have quite literally never previously thought about. My first husband got a bit free with his fists at times, as well as being verbally threatening more often and physically threatening occasionally – having someone deliberately shake the ladder when you’re painting a 10 ft high ceiling is pretty bloody scary. My husband of 35+ years is the kindest, nicest man any woman could wish for. Never once raised his voice nor his hand to me or the kids – and he’s the one who was trained to fight. It probably means nothing except that he’s a much better person, but I’ll have to think about it for the very first time. Don’t know yet whether I should thank you for that or not.)

  100. sonofrojblake says

    If that hadn’t resulted in someone, me, falling flat and merely a couple of people stumbling and regaining balance, it would have remained really trivial, assuming we were lucky and the person in question wasn’t more belligerent and/or armed, something the “judo expert” had no way of judging before he intervened.

    Fixed it for you.

  101. Adiabat says

    Jacob Schmidt (102): Heh, I suppose it would be amusing to someone who doesn’t understand epistemology and the philosophy of science.

    It’s a bit like how some people laugh at the classic joke about ‘why they don’t make airplanes out of the stuff the black box is made out of, as the black box always survives the crash’: It’s only funny if you don’t understand the actual reason why they don’t do that. Once you do the joke becomes a meta joke about how ignorant the other people laughing at the joke are.

    Holms (105):

    Yes, it was non-specific by intent.

    Why? What’s the purpose of keeping it vague? Surely the only possible result of doing this is to get more people to identify as feminist, despite most of them not actually agreeing with each other? The only people who would benefit from this are the most prominent ones with control of organisations and columns at media outlets who get to use the number of ‘rank and file’ as false support for their ideas.

    I’m not getting that rigorous.

    I don’t blame you. It sounds like a lot of work just to make a comment on the internet.

    I would rather say that that is quite a claim to make about a diverse group of people without significant substantiation. You appear to be making claims as to the state of mind of people without actually consulting them; such claims of course run the risk of simply being your own viewpoint extrapolated to the general population.

    Yeesss I pointed that out in my comment already. Did you not see where I peppered my post with ‘I don’t know’, ‘I think’ and ‘I would guess’ and where I said a breakdown would be useful?

    I’m having a chat with someone on the internet, giving my opinion and asking for theirs. Without a breakdown I don’t see what else we can do. I’m trying to gauge your experiences, as I’m interested in your view and would find it informative whatever your opinion is. I have no basis to say it’s wrong, just that I’d like to understand your position some more: It’s why I come to a blog full of people with different world-views than my own.

    You appear to disagree with my assessment; do you think that most of that ~20% of people who identify as feminist are aware of and agree with the bulk of feminist theory such as ‘rape culture’? I know you don’t’ “know”, as no-one can, but you surely have an opinion?

  102. mildlymagnificent says

    … something the “judo expert” had no way of judging before he intervened.

    Oh, I think he’d got the measure of the drunken fool’s physical capacities pretty straight. If the bloke had gone for him, he’d have achieved the objective of getting the woman free. As a martial arts instructor, I’m pretty sure he’d have a couple of moves ready to get the bloke pacified / immobilised / harmless. If he’d struck any real trouble, there were half a dozen blokes in our group, all sober, who could have helped out as needed.
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    Another thing that occurs to me. Quite apart from violence related to pubs and clubs, there may be a generational difference between you and people like my husband and me in terms of familiarity with conflict on the street. He’s a bit of a refugee from the 60s, and I’m a veteran of 2nd wave feminism and conventional unionism. He had a lot more experience of facing down cops on horses at anti-war and similar demonstrations – they tended not to show up at women’s rallies and marches. I had a few run-ins with various unpleasant people on feminist/union/political rallies and marches. Both of us have done our time facing down determined or unpleasant people on union picket lines.

    We may just be more accustomed to holding our ground and keeping our tempers when faced with people spoiling for a fight. Once you’ve stood in front of a truck with an angry driver who says he will drive through or over you, you learn how to behave. (In fact, the professional drivers are pretty okay. It’s the non-union staff taking over the vehicles and trying to be tough that cause most of the problems.)

  103. says

    MM @110

    basically your musings below the line.

    I think I agree 100% that its a problem with a generation of entitlement and and even some older but childish males.

    Its like you’re being told that because I as a male am no longer allowed to use my physical advantage to bully you, then don’t go expecting me to use it when you’re being bullied.

    A nastier version of “we gave you the vote so don’t expect to get my seat on the bus”.

    I’m depressed.

  104. Jacob Schmidt says

    Heh, I suppose it would be amusing to someone who doesn’t understand epistemology and the philosophy of science.

    Well that, or it’s clear you would like people to believe you.

    Dear me, you’ll have to try harder than that.

  105. sonofrojblake says

    @mildlymagnificent, 110:

    As a martial arts instructor, I’m pretty sure he’d have a couple of moves ready to get the bloke pacified / immobilised / harmless

    Sheesh. You definitely watch too many movies. Did you even read post 106? Because you appear to be wilfully ignoring about half of it because it doesn’t accord with your wish-fulfilment vigilante fantasies.

    If he’d struck any real trouble, there were half a dozen blokes in our group, all sober, who could have helped out as needed.

    Oh, so they were fully equipped paramedics? If he’d “struck any real trouble”, it would have all been over in ONE SECOND. This is not the Matrix, where fights have soundtracks and choreographers and last minutes, like a boxing match. Here in the real world, if you’re unlucky, you say “hey” to the wrong guy, and he stabs you, once, and leaves. Just how much fucking help are your half dozen blokes at that point? It would be all they could do to stop the bleeding, once they realised what had happened, which in my experience takes longer than you might expect (being stabbed in the stomach when you’re not expecting it feels a lot like being punched – even the victim doesn’t often realise what’s happened until they notice the blood).

    You and your martial arts instructor friend were lucky. His survival of that encounter was not down to his skill at conflict resolution, or his badass judo abilities. It was luck, and that really is all it was.

    My martial arts instructor friend was unlucky, and she *literally* had the scar to show it, right there across her face. This is why your blather about “a couple of moves” makes me perhaps unreasonably irritated.

  106. Holms says

    #109 Adiabat
    Why? What’s the purpose of keeping it vague? Surely the only possible result of doing this is to get more people to identify as feminist, despite most of them not actually agreeing with each other?

    No, it’s to keep it from being specifically worded to specific scenarios, rather than limiting it so, say, workplace envireonments only. Speaking of which, it seems to me that the only benefit of wording feminism such that it is applicable only to limited settings benefits those that oppose or begrudge feminism, allowing them to keep it limited and small.

    I don’t blame you. It sounds like a lot of work just to make a comment on the internet.

    Time is a finite resource, smartarse.

    You appear to disagree with my assessment; do you think that most of that ~20% of people who identify as feminist are aware of and agree with the bulk of feminist theory such as ‘rape culture’? I know you don’t’ “know”, as no-one can, but you surely have an opinion?

    If you truly want to continue that line of guesswork (with someone other than me), then you need to include the reverse: how many would identify as feminist, but don’t due to the stigma associated with that word? Is the number of ‘covert feminists’ greater, the same, or less than the number of ‘false feminists’? Guesswork, guesswork, guesswork.

    There appears to be no purpose to guessing at how ‘genuine’ people are other than to portray the group as being smaller than it really is. I don’t know the minds of that 20%, I have no way of gauging their sincerity, therefore I take them at their word that they believe what they say they believe.

  107. W.Malone says

    Mind you, Ally, more seriously, this piece does finally make me feel pretty certain in my own mind that we’re essentially always going to be adversaries with regards to debates about modern gender politics, really just not on the same side at all. (Though since I’m intellectually such a complete featherweight/atomweight, I doubt this will be much of a problem in terms of serious competition as far as you’re concerned!) 🙂 Having said this, I didn’t think, when I first started reading the blog, that I would take this view, but hey ho.

    The negative assumptions/generalisations about ‘straight, middle class, white males’ I’m happy to brush aside as being fairly boring and trivial, and ultimately of little consequence.

    But the problem at heart for me is this: that you want to defend and promote feminism as a movement as something which is essentially good for men’s well-being and for the well-being of society in general, whilst I, on the other hand, see feminism (or at least the most dominant strain of it) as being the biggest impediment to men being treated as equal human beings, and as equally worthy of compassion and political resources as everyone else. When it comes down to it, these are fundamentally irreconcilable positions. Or, to put it another way, I like you as a personality and as an individual, but I think your politics, in their present form, are really quite harmful to men’s interests, and ultimately will entrench existing inequalities (in defending many elite establishment values) rather than helping them to disappear.

    By way of example for when I say that you often defend feminism in general, in one of your opening blogs here, you expressed your deeply held conviction that the idea that ‘those who are angry about the injustices and problems facing men should target their anger upon feminism’ is a belief which is ‘so grotesquely, monumentally wrong that I can barely even begin to express it’ , and then a bit later, that it is ‘an idea which ‘is so mind-shrivelingly stupid I rarely bother to engage with it’ .

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/06/18/malestrom-pt-1-the-rights-and-wrongs-of-anger/

    Well, fair enough, and of course this is not to say that you haven’t raised some specific, targeted criticisms and queries about feminism in your writing, which of course you have.

    But if I were to sum it up in brief, your position is essentially this: You make acerbic, dismissive generalisations about MRAs and the MRA movement, whilst still occasionally acknowledging some validity in a minority of points that they raise. Meanwhile, your position towards feminism, is effectively the exact inverse of this: while specific, targeted points may be raised, the core direction is to defend it as a movement, describing it as a ‘gift’ to men, saying that you will do anything to stop anti-feminism becoming the most dominant narrative on International Men’s Day, and also saying in a YouTube video featuring Tom Martin that the reason why you reject the MRA movement is precisely because it is ‘an anti-feminist movement’ which seeks to ‘defend male privilege’.
    Now, in itself all this is fine, in that it is a coherent position which you hold in good faith. The problem for me is that exactly these values and beliefs are already defended and promoted by a mighty liberal media establishment, and so it is precisely these assumptions which need challenging if we are to make any progress. All the vested interests will not go away by themselves, but to appease them and embolden them (including strengthening indirectly and inadvertently the position of the feminists you work for and with) will, I fear in the long run not help British men all that much at all.

    Sorry, Ally, I don’t like to step on your toes, but this is genuinely what I believe and feel.

  108. W.M. says

    (Psst… great performance on the Moral Maze last night, BTW. Thought you and Mel Phil rubbed along quite nicely!) 🙂

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